Book Bucket Challenge

I accept Book Bucket Challenge from Cam Thu Tran to list 10 of my favorite books that had certain influence on me-on-the-making. My list is not arranged from the most favorite to the least but will be a track of time from I was a child.

Book Bucket Challenge

1. Những tấm lòng cao cả – Heart (by Edmondo De Amicis): the pure and touching stories about normal children taught me my first lessons about devotion, sacrifice, audacity, dignity and above all – love for human beings.


2. Mái trường thân yêu (Lê Khắc Việt ): What a coincidence, the teacher in the book has the same name as my mother’s. When reading this book, I felt like I was living in her time (about 40 years ago) when she started her teaching career, witnessing all the dramatic changes in rural areas and feeling the hurry and the effervesence of studying and building schools during all those years after the Vietnam War. I was so impressed with the program of “Đôi bạn cùng tiến” (Make progress together) that time.


3. Tuổi thơ dữ dội (Severe Childhood) (Phùng Quán ): This book was introduced to me by a friend, when I was a student. I still remember the night I read this book. That was a night of exhaustion preparing games for my class trip. I spent that whole night to read the entire 700 pages of the story about five children heros in the Vietnam War…And I… couldn’t help crying… All of them were 5-8 years old (as I barely remember), but they had the strongest feet and the purest hearts of all having ever fought and sacrified their lives for our nation… That was the most touching story I have ever read in my life…


4. Cho tôi xin một vé đi tuổi thơ (Give me a ticket back to Childhood) (Nguyễn Nhật Ánh ). Imprinted by the gentle, pure writing style mixed with a little mischievousness when writing about children and for the children of Nguyen Nhat Anh, the book seems to recall all the dearest memories in me about my childhood, all the simple/self-invented games, all the time running in the green field on bare feets and playing dirts… Those were so my childhood that I could never find a way back unless for this beautiful piece of writing…It brought me smiles and tears, hopes and regrets… It brought me back to who I was, naturally…


5. Bắt trẻ đồng xanh (The Catcher in the rye – J. D. Salinger). The poetic title, the uniquely simple cover and the fact that this is one of the most favorite books of Bill Gates urged me to read this book. I almost died laughing when reading every single lines of conversations between Holden and his teacher and lines about his sarcastic thoughts/description about everything at the beginning of the story. Lots of sarcasm, lots of swearing, appeared to be very fun at first turned out to be heart-rending at last. This is probably the most profound book that I’ve ever read. Some other facts: This book was written for adults at first and being popular among adolecents at the end. This book used to be “the most censored book in high schools and libraries in the United States” and turned out to be one of the “100 best English-language novels of the 20th century”.


6. Bảy thói quen của bạn trẻ thành đạt (7 habits of highly effective teenagers – Sean Coveys). The book came to me when I was in my early 18th, being panic and managing to find the inner-self with all of ups and downs of this age. It made me believe that I can become better and better by training myself to follow those habits. They worked pretty well on me and many of them still stay with me till now. I like the quotes in the book “What you sow, so shall you reap.” I also love the quote by his father in an even more famous book “7 habít of highly effective people”: “Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny.” And I am still living that quote.


7. Những kẻ xuất chúng (The Outliners – Malcom Gladwell). This book was reluctantly injected in my mind by my boss Nguyễn Cảnh Bình soon before I discovered it myself and also fell in love with it. The core idea of the books was about the principle of success is “10,000 hours” of practice. That proven idea enhances my belief that as long as we try and we work hard enough, we will be successful. It helps me to overcome times I felt inferior to others, helps me to stop comparing myself and to just keep on trying. Somehow, I have peace in my mind and have faith in whatever I do/believe in.


8. Quốc gia khởi nghiệp (Start up nation). When I grew up a bit more, I started to care more about “quốc gia đại sự”. I bought “Why nations failed” but haven’t read that. And the “Start up nation” to me was both about nation and about business/entrepreneurship. If you have read this book, you must be amazed how military services has trained each and every Israeli become a audacious soldier, literally in the war fighting against Palestine, metaphorically in the battles of business. And even more interesting to me, it is their innate characteristic of loving to debate and challenge each other (even among soldier and captain in military), that enables them to build up their nation’s strength in technology (esp. agriculture technology). The book is also interesting if someone wants to read about love, too I have experienced many wow, aha moments in this book.


9. Những quy tắc để trẻ thông minh và hạnh phúc (Brain rules for babies). This is a complete mixture of a story of how a scientist raised his kids and a scientific guide to understand the development of children’ brain and how parents should do about that. This is the only book that I find trustable and brought me many helpful knowledge that I can use to raise my kids in the future.


10. Người mẹ tốt hơn là người thầy tốt (Doãn Kiến Lợi ). This book is about how a Chinese mother raised her succesful kids with love, packed with many smart ways to teach her children how to have faith in herself, share love to others, be disciplined… The title really backs to my belief that the role of parents is always the most important in shaping the children’s dignity.


11. I also fond of classic books that you can name them: Gone with the wind, Wuthering heights, Jane Eyre, To Kill a Mocking Bird… Others I can’t name them all: Thế giới quả là rộng lớn và còn rất nhiều việc phải làm, Tôt-tô-chan bên cửa sổ, Chuyện con mèo dạy hải âu bay, Steve Jobs…

and now I challenge/invite Thichthichiu Meo Wild Daisy Truong Van Anh Ngo Tran Thai Duong Ha Thu Bich Nguyen Lana Lananh Linku XavierLe Hong Tam Hai Thanh Phan Nhung Pham Chi Nguyen Ngo Thu Trang Nguyễn Thị Bích Ngọc Dang Hoang Trung Canh Phan Xuan Ngoc-Trang Xiangkiu Bánh Bò Nghia Vu to do the same. It’s not compulsory, but let’s fill our new feeds with lovely stuff like this.

“Rules: Do not take more than a few minutes and dont think too hard. They don’t have to be the ‘right’ books or great work of literature, just ones that have affected you in some way.”

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