For the past 2 years, I have a created a booklist for myself reason being, I am not reading enough. A proud bookworm here hasn't really been reading ever since she joined the labour force. So one day 2 years ago, I was determined to get back to reading.
But what should I read? Do I still like the books that I read when I was 19 years old?
Not knowing where to even begin, hence the idea of the book list.
So here's my list for 2019 :
1. The Time keeper - Mitch Albom
It's a story about the definition and meaning of time from 3 people's perspective. Someone has an eternity, someone who is young and depress and someone who is old and rich. After reading the book, I really did slow down and learn to be more present.
“Try to imagine a life without timekeeping. You probably can’t. You know the month, the year, the day of the week. You have a schedule, a calendar, a time for dinner or a movie. Yet all around you, timekeeping is ignored. Birds are not late. A dog does not check its watch. Deer do not fret over passing birthdays. Man alone chimes the hour. And, because of this, man alone suffers a paralyzing fear that no other creature endures. A fear of time running out.”
2. When Breath Becomes Air
- Paul Kalanithi
An autobiography about a BRILLIANT neurosurgeon who has lung cancer. The way he processes his thoughts, wow. Imagine working so hard to reach your goal and just when you're about to "get there" cancer hits. This book really helps put things in perspectiv. Because the book is quite intellectual, it is harder to digest.
“Will having a newborn distract from the time we have together?" she asked. "Don't you think saying goodbye to your child will make your death more painful?"
"Wouldn't it be great if it did?" I said. Lucy and I both felt that life wasn't about avoiding suffering.”
3. To kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
It's fiction but the plot and character is somewhat based on the author's real life. The story is mainly about racial inequality. The story is told from a 10 year old's perspective so that's really interesting, how innocent children are until society pollutes them. The language is a bit hard to read may be because it was written in 1960?
“I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you're licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.
4. Norwegian Wood - Haruki Murakami
I noticed that (not that I've read a lot of Japanese books but the few that I've read) Japanese author starts really slow. And I put down the book a lot more times than I pick it up. The books mainly talks bout how the these 2 character deals with death but in completely different ways. The way the story is told is through the main character's internal monologue. Which is something different from the usual books I read.
“Despite your best efforts, people are going to be hurt when it's time for them to be hurt.”
5. The Last Girl - Nadia Murad
An autobiography about a Yazidi girl (21 years old) being sold into the slave trade by ISIS. And by slave here I mean, mentally and physically tortured and raped repetitively by different men. Because to ISIS, Yazidi is not a religion and hence they are not human, and merely goods. Ugly cried reading this book feeling how ignorant and at the same time blessed. I knew about ISIS but I didn't know the extent of their doings.
“I want to be the last girl in the world with a story like mine.”
6. Before I go to sleep - S.J Watson
This is such a good book! Psychological Thriller, I absolutely could not put it down. I think I sacrificed on sleep and finished it in one night like 10pm - 4am. That is how good this is. For leisure read, highly recommend it!
“…these truths are all I have. They are my past. They are what makes me human. Without them, I am nothing. Nothing but an animal.”
7. In Order to Live - Yeonmi Park
I give this 4.5 because it's my first book on North Korean's escape so it was very insightful for me in that sense. If I do read another, I probably wouldn't rate it so high. The book seems surreal cause just like Nadia Murad they are both born in 1993, and yet they live such different lives. Which brings me back to gratitude, again.
“They need to control you through your emotions, making you a slave to the state by destroying your individuality, and your ability to react to situations based on your own experience of the world.”
8. The Last Lecture - Randy Pausch
Another autobiography about a computer science professor that has cancer. But this book is slightly different from When Breath Becomes Air. Randy structures the book in a way that, each chapter is a nugget in the form of a story, his experience and his memory. It's call the last lecture because this was the last lecture class he gave in his uni and also his last gift to his baby.
“We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.”
9. Freedom - Jonathan Franzen
A fiction about boring, mundane your typical household. BUT the author really highlights the thought processes and character build for each of the family member and some. So you're reading the same events but through different character's eyes and how they receive the events. It's a bit slow at first but it gets interesting when it all comes together in the end. How there is no right/wrong just perception and backstories.
“The personality susceptible to the dream of limitless freedom is a personality also prone, should the dream ever sour, to misanthropy and rage.”
Basically my rule of thumb was 1 book/month. But as you can see here I only read 9, but an improvement from the year before I'm sure!
As mentioned previously, I've been keeping a booklist for 2 years straight because I realised it really helped me a lot in terms of bringing awareness into the books I read and also myself.
1. I am more intentional about what I'm going to read in the new year
2. I get to read the list and do a quick flashback to what I've read the year before. More often that not, we really forget things, and it's the same for the books we've read. This blog post is actually great. Writing this I felt a sense of achievement with the amount and type of books I read. I'm sure without the list I'd probably be.. what did I read last year ah? 🤔🤔🤔
3. This list brings me more awareness to how much I've been reading and what caused me to NOT read so much or what have caused me to read MORE than I expected.
4. Looking back at this list I realised, what I grew out of, what I prefer to read now.
5. Saves money, I have a list. I start hunting for them (borrow from friends/library/book exchange corners) instead of aimlessly buying books and putting them on the shelf. And truth to be told, ALL of the books above are my friends' so yea, thanks guys ❤️❤️❤️
Do bear in mind that this list is just a reminder, it's not a "to-do" list. If you picked up a few random books on the way and did not read what you intended to, it's okay. It's not something you punish yourself with for not "achieving" whatever you set out to read.