One Book At A Time – 2022

I told myself earlier this year I needed to read more SciFi, Blockchain and AI books. However, it’s a year with a lot less time to read …

It’s also year with a new Kindle – the big brother Kindle Scribe. Look forward to have better reading and note-jotting experiences with this great new device.

Anyway, here are my favorites this year :

  1. Winning the Right Game : How to Disrupt, Defend, and Deliver in a Changing World – A great strategy book about ecosystem innovation / disruption. Don’t miss it if you want to learn more on top of industrial disruption.
  2. 所謂「我不投資」,就是 all in 在法定貨幣 – Probably the best crypto foundation and investment book in Chinese, period.
  3. Proof of Stake: The Making of Ethereum and the Philosophy of Blockchains – The ideas behind Ethereum in the words of its founder, Vitalik Buterin. You will find that every crypto idea has been brewed for years.
  4. The Metaverse: And How It Will Revolutionize Everything – To me, it’s the best book of the year, for IT professionals. Lesson learned – the Metaverse is not what you think.
  5. Exhalation: Stories – Nine excellent SciFi short stories, from Time machine, to Robot, Metaverse, Video Artificial Memory and Quantum Machine. Some of the best SciFi short stories I ever read.
  6. Children of the new world – If you are fans of SciFi short stories and Black Mirror, and if you love the movie “After Yang”, don’t miss this book. Not as good as Exhalation and Stories of Your Life though.
  7. Stories of Your Life and Others – Another eight short SciFi stories from Ted Chiang (Exhalation, above) and great read. Note that some of the stories are Science Fictions, some are Fictions about Science.
  8. The Blockchain Innovator’s Handbook : A leader’s guide to understanding, adopting and succeeding with this disruptive technology – Post-COVID information about Blockchain, with 3 parts (This time it’s different, The journey, Making it happen). Good for business professional to understand and to promote the technology within your organization.
  9. The Bomber Mafia : A Dream, a Temptation, and the Longest Night of the Second World War – I learned a lot about Second World War and Bombers from this book … bombing is not as easy as what you see from war movies.
  10. Life After Google: The Fall of Big Data and the Rise of the Blockchain Economy – Will the search engine giant survive after AI and Machine Learning ?
  11. Scary Smart : The Future of Artificial Intelligence and How You Can Save Our World – The book that tells you why Ethical AI is important … “The course of action we take at any given time is also the result of a value system that guides us and sometimes restricts us from making decisions that contradict our values.”
  12. Human Compatible: Artificial Intelligence and the Problem of Control – One of the most important AI books ever written, everybody should read it.

Previous years’ book list:

One Book At A Time – 2021

Second year of COVID-19 but another year of good Kindle readings. 15 books I read this year with the device and here are those one-line comments.

For me, the best read this year goes to book #10.

  1. Life 3.0 : Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence – Before AI, let’s have some hard thinking.
  2. Block Kong : 21 Entrepreneurs and Financiers Leading Blockchain in Hong Kong – 21 interesting interviews of Hong Kong’s Blockchain pioneers.
  3. The Right it : Why So Many Ideas Fail and How to Make Sure Yours Succeed – Techniques to validate your bright ideas.
  4. AI 2041 : Ten Visions for Our Future – 10 amazing AI Scientific (not Science) Fictions with great explanations.
  5. The Innovation Stack : Building an Unbeatable Business One Crazy Idea at a Time – Basically it’s about vertical integration, with Square as the example.
  6. The Almanack of Naval Ravikant : A Guide to Wealth and Happiness – Self-learning book for IT professionals … be happy.
  7. Indistractable : How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life – A great follow up to the previous book “Hooked”.
  8. The Unicorn Project – Stories about Development environment, Data Warehouse, QA, Operations, Security, Functional Programming, Digital Marketing.
  9. The Data Detective : Ten Easy Rules to Make Sense of Statistics – Be curious, to your data.
  10. Leonardo Da Vinci – The real Da Vinci Code, decoded by Walter Isaacson
  11. Think Again : The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know – Individual Rethinking, Interpersonal Rethinking, Collective Rethinking.
  12. Think Like a Rocket Scientist : Simple Strategies You Can Use to Make Giant Leaps in Work and Life – Nothing succeeds like failure.
  13. Experimentation Works : The Surprising Power of Business Experiments – What business experiments really are.
  14. Invent & Wander : The Collected Writings of Jeff Bezos, With an Introduction by Walter Isaacson – Day 1 mindset, Long term mindset, and Customer obsessed.
  15. How to DeFi : Beginner – DeFi guide for dummies, but you are not dummy.

How To Display Book Cover In Kindle Lock Screen

I have been a fan of Kindle eBook reader for over 12 years, and believe it or not, I waited for one simple feature for 12 years. That is – display the book cover of the book I am reading, in the Kindle lock screen instead of random images or advertisements. Following is my Kindle Oasis with the current book I am reading (with the Display Cover option turned on) – “Think Again” by Adam Grant.

The book I am reading – “Think Again”
My Kindle 2 Lock screen 12 years ago

Here are the steps to enable that feature, with tips on how to make it work for an “Ad-supported” / “Special Offer edition” Kindle. (Ad-supported Kindle costs US$20 less, but you will see Amazon special offers and advertisements in the lock screen)

The steps, in summary:

  1. Upgrade your Kindle firmware to version 5.13.5
  2. Remove the “Ad-supported” feature, if you’re an owner of this type of Kindle
  3. Restart your Kindle
  4. Go to Device Option screen, and turn on Display Cover option
  5. If you cannot see that screen in step 4, turn on the WiFi option in your Kindle and likely this option will be made available to your device soon !!

All the 5 steps, with a little bit more details. The first step, upgrade the Kindle firmware.

  • Turn on your Kindle
  • Tap the top to toggle the menu option
  • Tap the upper right corner, 3 dots icon
  • Select Settings in the pull down menu
  • Select Device Options, then Advanced Options, and then Update Your Kindle (if it is in gray color, then likely your Kindle is already updated to latest firmware version)
  • You can check the version of the firmware, by Select Settings, Device Options, Device Info.

The second step is the tricky part, to remove the “Ad-supported” feature.

  • With your desktop machine, start your favorite web browser, surf to and login.
  • On top of the web page, find Account and Lists option, then click Content and Devices. Then click Devices on the top menu, then select your device.
  • If you have an “ad-supported” Kindle, you shall see a screen something like this.
Device details in your account
  • The next step is to click the Remove offers button, then pay the US$20 to turn off that feature (you saved US$20 when you bought your device in the first place …)
  • And here was the area I have problem – the website didn’t take me to the screen to pay for that US$20 and kept asking me to update my address, which I did many times but still failed.
  • The solution was, contacted them with online chat and told them the problem I had. And then Amazon’s magical customer services agent waived my US$20 payment and turned off the “Ad-supported” feature for me. Wow !!
My chat history with Amazon CS agent

Now the last few steps are easy. And here is screen for step 4 … Turn on the Display Cover option (top of the screen).

Display Cover option on top

That’s a wrap and hope you will find it useful. More importantly, have this feature turn on and enjoy the book covers !!

Decision Making

“One common pitfall for large organizations – one that hurts speed and inventiveness – is ‘one-size-fits-all’ decision making.” – 2016 Letter to Shareholders, Amazon

How many decisions you make, today, have to go to the top management ?

Are they big decisions ? Or small ? Did that make your process faster ? Or slower ?

And then it reminds me the great quote from Sir Ratan N. Tata…