★ Seven Years In Tibet by Heinrich Harrer
It’s different from the movie. The movie focus on relationship with Dalai Lama but the book is more about Tibetan culture and his exploration before seeing Dalai Lama. It is very exciting to see what will happen next and how to overcome it. I felt like I was exploring the country with him.
★ Himalayan Passage by Jeremy Schmidt
Four travellers travel around the Himalayas from Tibet, China, Pakistan, India to Nepal by bicycles, train, bus and trekking . It was in 1987. But when I travelled the same countries in 2008 and 2010, I saw and felt the same things. People always ask if I am married, and all sorts of personal questions. This is the first sentence of the conversation. When I asked direction, I could not tell which way the locals are pointing. Official work is not efficient. The officers will say different things. But you cannot do anything about it because it is their country. You have to be flexible to travel these countries. Of course there are some changes, too. The rule in Tibet changes all the time. If they travel again, they may notice the development but to me I was surprised to see how little this part of the world was changed.
★ Into Thin Air by John Krakauer
It’s a famous Mt. Everest Disaster story. What people react in thin air. Or we can say at life or death situation. It’s not only a climbing book . I also thought this is psychologically interesting.
★ A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah
A true story about a child soldier in Sierra Leone. Ishmael was a normal boy who likes to dance with friends, then he needed to run away from the civil strife. But at the end, he was caught and brainwashed by rebels, then became a child soldier. He was rescued, went through his rehabilitation and recovered. But again things changed and he needed to escape from the country. I cannot belive this is a true story. It’s sad but also very uplifting story.
★ Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson
Somebody told me about him when I was trekking to Everest Base camp. Even though the story may not be all true, but because of this book, I started my charity project. This fact cannot change. He said the bomb does not do anything, but the education does. People need this in Pakistan. I do not want to know the fact to change my impression. So I do not know much about what media discovered but you can still read as a fiction. Then you will feel you want to support the girls in Pakistan. I think this is the key, not him.
★ Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali
When I travelled Middle East, I did not see many female on the street and learn the culture from male locals. So it’s nice to see Islam world from woman’s point of view. There are many woman abuse own children because they married when they were a child. She need to escapes because of her outspoken behavior. You will learn the culture behind the veil and you will be amazed by her life.
★ Long Way Down by Ewan McGregor & Charley Boorman
Travel from the North tip of England to the South tip of South Africa by motor bikes. They met other travellers who were traveling by unique way. It’s interesting to see their changes. Also it makes me jealous. I want to do the same things!
★ The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell
Just a little thing has such a power to change the world. It is interesting to read all the facts, like how Hush Puppies came back, how smoking get popular among the young people … It’s more like a social history book.
★ Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell
It’s interesting to see how subconscious mind can make a decision. Because of the society, somehow people develop subconscious ideas and cannot change easily. Just an innocent African-American man was standing in front of his house, police officers thought he is a burglar. An innocent man thought they are the burglar because they looked tough and they were not wearing uniforms. So he tried to run away and he was shot by policy officers. Again it is all about the facts but it makes me think my subconscious mind. Most people are not realize own behavior.
★ The Brain That Changes Itself by Norman Doidge MD
Amazing to know how brain control our body. It may sound difficult but it’s not. There are many true case-studies and it is easy to understand. One man lost a part of his brain from stroke, but after the rehabilitation, he was able to move and even hike to the mountains. The brain search the path which can send the signal. The researcher put a camera to a blind person to send the visual image to the brain, he ducked when somebody threw a ball at him.
★ Breaking Back by James Blake
He is one of my favorite Tennis player. He came back from injury and disease. He tells us how he overcame. I used to play Tennis competitively in school for 10 years. The level is totally different but it does not matter many people go through similar things. I liked what his father told him; You can’t control your level of talent but you can control your level of effort … I wish my parents said the same thing to me.. My parents used to say, you do not have talent, you are not smart enough, why don’t you give up and stop dreaming, take easy way and stop working hard.
★ Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith
It’s a fiction but based on some of the true stories in Russia. It’s an exciting suspense book and I could not stop reading it.
★ The Street Lawyer by John Grisham
I like many of his books but this book is a little bit different from others. There is no super hero or exciting story progress but it changes my idea toward to homeless people.