We Are All Weird by Seth Godin (2011)

RICH is my word for someone who can afford to make choices, who has enough resources to do more than merely survive. You don’t need a private plane to be rich, but you do need enough time and food and health; therefore, you need advice from the Inspire team and access to be able to interact with the market for stuff and for ideas.

As soon as consumers enter the marketplace, they gain power, because power comes from choice. Consumer power is a brand new force.

We all share communication tools. Most of us share the same three or four languages. We all share the same planet. But we’re not the same. We’re people with choices, and we won’t alter those choices merely because we used to have no choice.

聰明丸 by 李碧華 (1997)





真假美人湯 by 李碧華 (2001)



火の鳥 角川書店版 (1986-1990)


Record of a Night Too Brief by Hiromi Kawakami (2017)

…sometimes you only know what you should take on and what you should not when you don’t have the choice.

To be betrayed, you probably first have to be deeply involved. Had I been deeply involved with anything in my life?

Snake wives make the very best kind of wife…
…When you give them instructions, they listen, looking at you steadily, with those big, crystal-clear eyes. They have something stubborn about them, but not stubborn like human women: human women get stubborn for emotional reasons; snakes are stubborn because that’s their nature.

–A Snake Stepped On 蛇を踏む (Hebi o fumu)

The Art of Creative Thinking by Rod Judkins (2015)

“The genuinely innovative are led by their passion and not by rational ambitions. New ideas spring from personal interests, even if they seem irrelevant to the task at hand. Innovative people have to put practical considerations to one side because thinking about logistics leads to thinking logically, which ties down the leaps of the mind required to create something unique.”
(excerpt from be practically useless)

“Accidents reflect reality more accurately than does perfection. Perfection is the aberration. Think of accident as an answer in search of a different question. Work out what that different question is. It is probably more interesting than the one you were asking.”
(excerpt from plan to have more accidents)

(the notables from this book)
Georgia O’Keeffe (grow old without growing up)
Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao by Frank Gehry (bring chaos to order)
Henry Moore (feel inadequate)
Mark Rothko (be conservative revolutionary)
Jeff Koons (search high and low)
Chuck Close (take advantage of a disadvantage)

“Something badly done can be refreshing. Being prepared to be uncool or nerdy can be charming, It’s a way of showing that you don’t care what anyone else thinks. The world is full of people who dedicate their lives to seeking approval.”
(excerpt from if you can’t be really good, be really bad)

Strange Weather in Tokyo by Hiromi Kawakami (2012)

“I feel pity for these batteries that worked so hard for my benefit, and I can’t throw them away. It seems a shame to get rid of them the moment they die, after these batteries have given me light and sound, and run my gadgets.”

“Indeed, it’s a shame that young people have such limited vocabularies nowadays.”

“Tsukiko, when you see a handsome man, even if you cannot understand what he says, you still think, Oh, that guy’s good-looking, don’t you? Handwriting is the same.”


Gohan no Kotobakari 100 wa to Chotto by Banana Yoshimoto (2011)




Nara Note by Yoshimoto Nara (2013)



–奈良美智 (2006/09/05)

Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible: The Surreal Heart of the New Russia by Peter Pomerantsev (2014)

“London seemed so measured, so predictable; the America the rest of my émigré family lived in seemed so content; while the real Russians seemed truly alive, had the sense that anything was possible.”

The remarkables
Yana Yakovleva vs FDCS (Drug Enforcement Agency)
Gold Digger Academy
Vitaly Djomochka
Black Widows
Jambik Hatohov
Ruslana Korshunova vs Rose of the World
Anastasia Drozdova
Post-Soviet Sects
Ostankino Tower

“The English stack their sentimental junks and dirty secrets far away in the garden shed; the Germans have “Keller”, basements, deep underground to hide all their dark memories. But in Russia you just throw it on the balcony; just as long as it isn’t in the flat itself, who cares if the neighbours see? We’ll deal with all that rubbish some other time. It’s not even part of us.”

Book reviews
The Wall Street Journal
The Guardian
The New York Times

By The Book by Pamela Paul (2014)

David Sedaris suggested Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea / Harry Potter audiobooks read by Stephen Fry / Is There No Place on Earth for Me?

Dave Eggers mentioned Stories Not for the Nervous (a Hitchcock collection).

Scott Turow loved Adam Johnson’s The Orphan Master’s Son.

Arnold Schwarzenegger was reading Incognito by David Eagleman.

“I’m always close to tears reading Judith Kerr‘s delightful children’s story The Tiger Who Came to Tea. It tells of a tiger who turns up, quite unexpectedly, at teatime at the house of a girl called Sophie and her mother. You’d expect them to panic, but they take the appearance of this visitor entirely in their stride– and their reaction is a subtle invitation for us to approach life’s unexpected challenges with resilience and good humour.” –Alain de Botton

“The most pleasurable reading experience I’ve had recently was just last week– jogging on the beach with an audiobook of Malcolm Gladwell’s What the Dog Saw. I was so engrossed in his essay “The Ketchup Conundrum” that I ran an extra mile just to find out how it ended.” –Dan Brown

Christopher Buckley is the author of Thank You for Smoking, Losing Mum and Pup, and But Enough About You, among other books.

(Interview with Sting)
If you could require the president to read one book, what would it be?
Meditations, by Marcus Aurelius––Stoicism and the limitations of power.
“When you wake up in the morning, tell yourself: The people I deal with today will be meddling, ungrateful, arrogant, dishonest, jealous and surly. They are like this because they can’t tell good from evil. But I have seen the beauty of good, and the ugliness of evil, and have recognized that the wrongdoer has a nature related to my own– not of the same blood of birth, but the same mind, and possessing a share of the divine.”

(Interview with Amy Tan)
What book has had the greatest impact on you?
Probably the Bible… …Many of my stories also relate to undoing handed-down beliefs, whether they come from religion, society, or mothers. And my writing sensibility was also warped by a steady dose of gothic imagery, often related to religious sins or virtue: David braining Goliath, Samson’s bloody head missing a lock of hair, a stinking corpse arising to be kissed by relatives.


jacket illustration by Jillian Tamaki

The Embassy of Cambodia by Zadie Smith (2013)

“There’s always somebody who wants to be the Big Man, and take everything for themselves, and tell everybody how to think and what to do. When, actually, it’s he who is weak. But if the Big Men see that you see that they are weak they have no choice but to destroy you. That is the real tragedy.”

“Next time, we should go to Paris. Next time, we should go to the moon. He was a dreamer. But there are worst things, than being a dreamer.”

About  Zadie Smith