Still building your 2018 reading list? We’ve gathered the best recommendations from our favourite local personalities who live and breathe books
Confession: we can think of nothing better right now than hanging out in bed and cozying up with some books. If, like us, you’re already wondering what to lose yourself in next as you near the last pages of your current read, it’s time to get better acquainted with the NLB Mobile app and your local library. Want some personal recommendations too? Dip into this list of top reads, curated by local personalities who know books!
Pooja Nansi is a poet and educator with two poetry collections under her belt. She hosts a monthly spoken word/poetry showcase called Speakeasy, and has recently been named the very first Youth Poet Ambassador Singapore has ever seen. She recommends…
Hunger by Roxane Gay
The story: Brutally honest and insightful, this memoir documents feminist and essayist Roxane Gay’s relationship with food, body image, as well as her experiences living in a world with a body that she calls “wildly undisciplined”.
Why it’s a must-read: “I’ve long been a Roxane Gay fan, but this is her prose both at its most vulnerable and at its sharpest. She is a master at writing sentences that say the most beautiful, complex things in the most economic, pristine manner.”
The Good Immigrant by Nikesh Shukla
The story: A collection of 21 essays on being black, Asian, or a minority ethnic in a primarily-white Britain.
Why it’s a must-read: “I’ve never realised how revolutionary it was to see myself so clearly reflected in writing, and as a child of immigrants, an entire collection of voices that articulate so many of my frustrations, questions and concerns felt like I was being welcomed into a community I never thought I had… this collection of essays is immediate, urgent and should be mandatory reading.”
Dr Aaron Ho has a PhD in Victorian literature, and also a passion for books that have led him to document what Singaporeans are currently reading on MRT Reads. One of the most popular books that’s appeared on his feed is…
Grit by Angela Duckworth
The story: Psychologist Angela Duckworth argues that the most important value a person should possess in order to achieve success is grit.
Why it’s a must-read: “Since she appeared on TED Talks, her book on ‘Grit’ is wildly popular [among readers on @mrtreads].”
Any book by Haruki Murakami
The story: Best-selling Japanese author Murakami’s works remain the most popular on @mrtreads.
Why it’s a must-read: “Cats and jazz recur in his books.”
Suffian Hakim has had multiple print runs of his self-published parody title, Harris Bin Potter and the Stoned Philosopher. A man who’s dabbled with many mediums of writing, cites some strong literary influences, which include…
Cosmos by Carl Sagan
The story: This best-selling book documents 15 billion years of cosmic evolution with a language and voice so illustrative, ambitious and uncharacteristic of non-fiction titles. It’s the perfect marriage of science and art.
Why it’s a must-read: “It is not another science book by a scientist trying to make science interesting for the rest of us. It is a history book, a book of myths and legends, a book on astrophysics, biology, chemistry, a book of song and poetry.”
Melissa and Eileen run Books and Beer, a book swap seven years in the running, always served with a side of ice-cold beer (we approve) and some good company.
Quiet by Susan Cain
The story: A non-fiction book about the value of introverts in a world for/of extroverts.
Why it’s a must-read: “Susan Cain offers valuable insight on how to introverts navigate this world, how they can best harness ‘quiet power’ and and how we can better negotiate differences in extrovert-introvert relationships.”
Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari
The story: A follow-up of his previous title, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, Harari speaks of a tech-driven future, what it will give humanity, and how it might just destroy us.
Why it’s a must-read: “We are made to ask ourselves if we are becoming less human, and if we are building ourselves out of our world. I love how Harari manages to have a conversation on such heavy topics with the reader, yet in a language that is light-hearted and less complex. (This will also make you sound incredibly knowledgeable at parties!)”
Pick up any of these books via the NLB Mobile app or your nearest library. Browse, borrow, or bookmark these titles wherever you are – and if you’re looking for their print versions, the app also works as a scanner, so you don’t have to queue at the borrowing stations in the libraries!
Read more, read widely and read together – be part of the National Library Board’s National Reading Movement!
This article is sponsored by the National Library Board