Welcome to the Favorite Books category

Hi friends.

I really enjoy reading and I’m blessed to have a number of friends who share this love. I always try to read at least one book per month, and if time allows, the more the better. I mostly read non fiction books, and I have lost count of how many times things I read have helped me with my writing or even my life in general.

So I think I should dedicate one category on my blog to write about books I like. These are my personal opinions/feelings about the books, and not supposed to be proper “book reviews”. This category will be updated less frequently than others, simply because it takes time to read books 🙂

Happy reading!

I bought a Kindle and I like it, now what?

(Note: this was posted on my old blog on September 17, 2015)

If you care about Amazon at all, you probably know that they held an event on July 15th 2015 to celebrate the e-commerce giant’s 20thbirthday. This event, suitably named “Prime Day” was advertised to be a “more-deals-than-Black-Friday” shopping bonanza and one of the main purposes was to “lure” more people into the Prime program. The excitement over this unprecedented online July’s Black Friday built up substantially over the preceding weeks and then, burst spectacularly  on social media sites, where people posted all sorts of remarks about the deals being offered.  Despite all this drama and early reports on how Walmart beat Amazon on Prime Day, Amazon has decided to make Prime Day an annual event, enforcing their claims that July 15th has been a sweeping success. Continue reading

Know your fear, and DEAL WITH IT!

Featuring a real story about how I overcame my fear of a professor 😀

(Note: this was posted on my old blog on July 8, 2015)

I just got back in the States a day ago after a long flight and now I’m experiencing some jet lag. That’s why I’m still wide awake at 2 in the morning (and to make up for what’s this’s gonna do to my face, I’m already having a facial mask on). Being alone and awake at 2am makes one think about all sorts of fear, and since I don’t have anything better to do right now, I will share with you some stories about my fear. Continue reading

How to Navigate this Blog

Hello kind visitors/ Xin chào các bạn,

Thank you for visiting CoffeeOrTea123. Below is a list of the categories (displayed on the sidebar on the RIGHT) and their short descriptions. Of course there are uncategorized posts which are better navigated by tags . I write in English and Vietnamese.


  • Blog Tiếng Việt: Tất cả các bài viết bằng tiếng Việt đều nằm trong mục này.
  • NYTimes writing prompt series: This one includes all my essays in respond to a list on the NYTimes which include 650 writing prompts for narrative and personal writing.
  • Opinion Blog: my opinions on various things, very often involve my real life experience/stories. Nothing too serious really, I DON’T write about politics/religions.
  • Inspired by a SONG: things I write based on/ inspired by song lyrics. This is also a place where I share some of my favorite songs.
  • Favorite Books: where I introduce my favorite books (mostly nonfiction)

Hope you enjoy your stay, come back anytime!

The NYtimes Lists of Prompts for Narrative and Personal Writings

So I found this post on the New York Times while looking for stuff about personal essays. It’s a long list of 650 (yes Six Hundred and Fifty) topics. I think it’s a nice idea to write about stuff on this list (so now I can’t use the “but I don’t know what to write about” excuse). Some topics are more challenging than others but hey, how can I get better if I only stick to easy stuff? So no promises or anything but I’ll dedicate one category “NYTimes writing prompt series” on this blog for this series of essays. I’m quite excited actually, but the speed will inevitably vary since I have a lot more materials for certain topics and practically none for some others.

Anyway, if you also enjoy writing, take a look at this list. And you know what, I think it will be beneficial for job interviews hahaha, since many prompts on this list ask you to think about yourself, including many things that frequently feature in those tough interviews (leadership, working under pressure, changing people’s minds, etc). Have fun writing.

Xin hãy là em của ngày hôm qua

(Bài này mình viết trên blog cũ, ngày 23 tháng 6, 2015. Mình rất thích em nó, nên post lại ở đây)

Tôi gặp lại em  sau 3 năm. Tôi biết là tôi nên vui, mà đúng là đc gặp em, đc truyện trò cùng em tôi có vui thật. Nhưng tôi vẫn cứ muốn nói với em như thế, rằng em hãy là em của ngày hôm qua, hay đúng hơn là em của 10 năm trước. Nhưng làm sao tôi nói đc, khi em không mở lòng với tôi và tôi cũng thấy mình ngập ngừng hơn trong lời nói. 10 năm qua, chúng ta thay đổi thật rồi sao? Continue reading

Hello New Blog

So I have decided to start a new blog (again! I don’t remember if this one is the 3rd or 4th blog but whatever). I was not good at keeping my previous blogs updated, and it seems a bit too ambitious to start a new one when I’m super busy with graduation coming and all that. But that’s just how I roll: busy –> thinking more, worrying more, feeling more –> need some outlet! I actually like being busy, despite what I talk about it in public, because it means I’m being active, moving, working, getting things done! I tend to want to write more when I have tons of work on my shoulders, which makes time management a bit tougher, but a buzzing life isn’t too bad, so I can deal with it.

I’m still not sure how I’m going to separate the English posts and the Vietnamese posts (I still enjoy writing in my mother language very much, thank you) but then again, that’s just technical problem, the most important thing is that I actually write something regularly. This is part of my RENEWED effort in result-oriented working: not just working hard but having something to show for it, even when that “something” is just a blog post. I have (long) realized that I tend to spend a lot of time thinking about/working on something without getting a tangible product out of it. Like I may have a nice idea on a writing project, spend hours researching, brainstorming and organizing thoughts IN MY HEAD, without actually writing anything down, then something else requires my attention, and the ideas/inspiration disappear.

I like writing a lot, and like anything I’m truly into, I want to be really good at it. Not just “above average” kind of good, it must be “showing off to the world” kind of good. I can be so-so about things I don’t really care much about, but once it falls into my “passion” category, that’s a whole different story. So I’ve made a point about “training” myself in writing, and that requires lot of practice. I plan to make it something pseudo-mandatory, like a class or even a part time job kinda thing, with regular assignments and stuff. I used to (and still) write only when I felt like doing it, now I would like to write a little piece everyday, and also challenge myself to broaden my range, with different genres and styles. I’ve started writing fictions recently, as apposed to only writing essays and non-fictions in the last few years. It’s actually not something new, more like returning to my root, as I used to write crazy fictional stuff back in junior high (my goodness, that sounds like a million years ago!)

And just like with my previous blog, this one would also serve as my “public diary”: a place where I narrate/celebrate/moan about my daily life. It’s not that exciting most of the time, to be honest, but every once in a while there’s more interesting stuff happening and I think it’d be lovely to share such thing. Of course I still keep a personal diary (real pen and papers my friends) for stuff that I’d rather not announce to the world. I think I had too big of a plan, too grandiose of a vision for my previous blogs, and when coupled with a lack of commitment, they failed miserably. It’s laughable really, how I imagined all the cool stuff I could do with those blogs, just to neglect them later. I’m trying not to make a same mistake with this one. In fact, I don’t have a goal or plan or anything for this blog, it is, as I just said, just a place where I write stuff. Whatever stuff. I’m not the most tech-savvy person in the world, I very much prefer pen-and-paper writing, just like how I prefer real (physical) books over e-books. But the world is changing, and even as old fashion as I am, I can’t deny the convenience that electronic devices and online blogging offer me. In short, as long as it works, then why not?

Oh and as stated earlier, this year is a busy year for me, but I’m not (hopefully) going to use that as an excuse for slacking off. I even think that the busy schedule should provide me with more writing material actually 🙂 Anyway, slacking off time is over, let’s work hard alright?