Top Picks from 100 Books!

Hello lovelies and welcome to my annual post of books!
I've read about 101 books this 2018, and here are my top picks. I hope you'll like them!

Note: I do not really include blurbs because why would I try to write a better blurb than the official ones? :P Do click on the links if something catches your eye, Goodreads will give you a better introduction to the book.

Also check out my article: How I Read 100 Books in a Year

Top Picks

Song of a Captive Bird
by Jasmin Darznik
Forough is a daughter of Tehran. This book is inspired by her verses and stories. It is a fascinating and rousing tale, and I highly recommend it. I remember travelling everywhere with the book and reading it with every free pocket of time I had. Finally, I finished it when I was waiting for my food at the hawker centre. How surreal that feeling was. I was really sorry that I finished the book so quickly. So please, if you have the chance, slow down and savour it. Enjoy!

The Book of Aron
by Jim Shepard
I'm usually wary of reading war books because of the devastating tales they tell, but I also think it's important to learn more about our shared history. This story is set in Poland, and shares the story of Aron, who tries to survive against the odds.

The Garden of Evening Mists
by Tan Twan Eng
Set in Malaya, the beautiful story revolves around the mysterious Aritomo, once the gardener of the Emperor of Japan. I love poetic books like these.

Orphan Train
by Christina Baker Kline

A Boy Made of Blocks
by Keith Stuart
Touching tale of a parent navigating life with his autistic son.

Sleeping Giants
Trilogy by Sylvain
Great for sci-fi fans such as The Martian. Out of the three, I liked the second book, Waking Gods, the most.
(Available on NLB Overdrive)

The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories
by Ken Liu
(Available on NLB Overdrive)

The Gods of Heavenly Punishment
by Jennifer Cody Epstein

What Alice Forgot
by Liane Moriarty
(Available on NLB Overdrive)

Thicker Tomes
Perfect if you like being immersed in a world for hours

Free Food for Millionaires
by Min Jin Lee
Very entertaining. The book is not without some flaws but it has characters that really come alive. You will accompany them in their life journeys, share their woes and joy. A good way to immerse yourself in reading for many hours. The author also wrote another novel, Pachinko, which is a National Book Award Finalist, but I prefer this book better.

by Hanya Yanagihara
Very late to the party but we chanced upon this in the library and it was unexpectedly really riveting. Deeply heartbreaking but definitely worth a read. Warning: things get a little graphic and violent.

The Revolution of Marina M
by Janet Fitch
Absolutely gripping coming-of-age novel. I read this early on in the year, and I was so charmed by it. If you're willing to give thick books a go, don't miss this!

Top Singapore Books
If you want your books with a little local flavour...

This is What Inequality Looks Like

by Teo You Yenn
This is one of the hottest books of the year (or maybe last year). Reading it is an eye-opening yet necessary experience I hope every Singaporean will be willing to try. I hope empathy will also help spur more goodness and change in our society. A rather sad read but highly recommended.

by Balli Kaur Jaswal
This book follows the life of a Punjabi girl, Pin, growing up in Singapore. It was an absolute page turner for me! I really enjoyed it.
(Available on NLB Overdrive)

Let's Give It Up for Gimme Lao!
by Sebastian Sim
This book was fun to read because of many parallels to our society and a rather crazy plot. There were a lot of funny tongue-in-cheek references. Great if you're looking for something more light-hearted.

I've also tried The Riot Act by the same author, but IMO Gimme Lao was the better read. 

Telltale: 11 Stories
Gwee Li Sui, Alfian Sa'at, Wena Poon, Jeffrey Lim, Tan Mei Ching, Claire Tham, Dave Chua
I borrowed this book from my student. I'm pretty glad that they get to read more modern Singapore literature in school. It's a great collection of short stories.

You may have missed them during your schooling days, like I did, but it's never too late to read one! I challenge myself each year to read more of these.

To Kill a Mockingbird
by Harper Lee

by Franz Kafka
I may fall into the camp who do not understand or appreciate Kafka. This book is a collection of his short stories, of which many I found tedious. I only enjoyed Metamorphosis, the story of a man turning into a giant cockroach.

by Mary Shelly
Did you know Frankenstein is the name of the scientist, not the monster?

I often read decluttering books to remind me to cut the crap from my life. In extension I read these other books that I hope will help me lead a more mindful life.

Green Tea Living
by Toshiki A Kayaki
I bet you didn't know that green tea can be used to clean floors! I loved this book for its cute illustrations and ideas on how to live a full, eco-friendly and simple life. It made me more appreciative of the little things around me.

The Urban Monk
by Pedram Shojai

You might also like the Hygge and Lagom books.

Disappointing Books

When Life Gives You Lululemons
Lauren Weisberger
I admit I picked this up because of its cute title, and also because the author wrote A Devil Wears Prada. I was bored by the book halfway through, but insisted on finishing it. I guess the characters and plot just didn't appeal to me

The Phantom of Oxley Castle
This is a children's book which was sorely disappointing. As someone described it, it is an opportunistic take on the Oxley drama.

To see the full list of books I've read in 2018, click here.

If you would like to recommend a book that you've read, just leave a comment below! I'll love to read it.  Thank you :)