#2042 | Reading Update #4

October

The lonely passion of Judith hearne by Brian Moore
The blind owl by Sadegh Hedayat
On earth we’re briefly gorgeous by Ocean Vuong
Know my name by Chanel Miller
The Ministry of Fear by Graham Greene
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark
Home Remedies by Xin Juliana Wang
Pedro Paramo by Juan Rulfo

Book(s) of the month: Know my Name by Chanel Miller, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark

November

The Testaments by Magaret Atwood
Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
Every Day is Mother’s Day by Hilary Mantel
Unaccompanied by Javier Zamora
Autumn by Ali Smith
Do you Hear Them by Nathalie Sarraute
The Hour of the Star by Clarice Lispector
Dear Girls by Ali Wong
Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Hunger by Lan Samantha Chang
The Pyramid by Kadare
Dolly City by ORly Castel-Bloom

Book(s) of the month: Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Hunger by Lan Samantha Chang, Autumn by Ali Smith

December

Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo
A Girl Returned by Donatella Di Pietrantonio
In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado
A Tiger Remembers: The way we were in Singapore by Anne Wee
Edinburgh by Alexander Chee
How to Write an Autobiographical Novel by Alexander Chee
My Heart Hemmed In by Marie Ndiaye
My Brilliant Friend (re read) by Elena Ferrante
The Story of a New Name (re-read) by Elena Ferrante
Those who Leave and Those who Stay (re read) by Elena Ferrante
The Story of the Lost Child (re read) by Elena Ferrante

Book(s) of the month: Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo, How to Write an Autobiographical Novel by Alexander Chee, My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante

And that’s a wrap for 2019! At last count I read 113 books this year, which I’m pretty pleased about, this was an excellent reading year with many beautiful books that took my breath away. And I know we’re barely dipping our toes into the new decade, but my reading list is, like, a mile long already. Did I just say mile? I guess I’ve truly assimilated into America. Ha.

Happy reading everyone!

x
Jem

#2032| Reading update 3

July


Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind
(Screenplay)
Frankisstein by Jeanette Winterson
Severance by Ling Ma
The Man Who Saw Everything by Deborah Levy
The 80 Minute MBA by Richard Reeves and John Knell
Exhalation by Ted Chiang

Book of the month: Exhalation by Ted Chiang

August

Three Women by Lisa Taddeo
How to Pray by CS Lewis
We are the Weather by Jonathan Safran Foer
The Water Dancer by Ta-nehisi Coates
Veronica by Nicholas Christopher
Still Here by Lara Vapnyar
Everything I know about Love by Dolly Alderton

Book of the month: Everything I know about Love by Dolly Alderton

September

Bad Blood by John Carreyrou
Trick Mirror by Jia Tolenteni
Death in Venice by Thomas Mann
Rabbits for Food by Binnie Kirschenbaum
Monsieur Teste by Paul Valery (hated)
The Face: Strangers on a Pier by Tash Aw (Re-read)
Miss lonelyhearts by Nathaniel West
Day of the locust by Nathaniel West
Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine
Glory by Vladimir Nabokov
Mrs Bridge by Evan S. Connell
Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

Book of the month: Mrs Bridge by Evan S.Connell

When you have to read two novels a week for school you realise things move very, very fast indeed.

Last quarter of 2019, here we go.

x
Jem

#2024 | reading update 2

Reading update for Jan-Mar here.

In the last three months:

April

The Sun on my Head by Geovani Martins
A Map of Betrayal by Ha jin
We, the Survivors by Tash Aw
Critical Incidents by Lucie Whitehouse
Hotel World by Ali Smith
The Wallcreeper by Nell Zink
South and West by Joan Didion
Swimming Home by Deborah Levy
The Changeling by Victor LaValle
This is going to hurt by Adam Kay
Delayed Rays of a Star by Amanda Lee Koe
Broccoli and other tales of food love by Lara Vapnyar
Lanny by Max Porter
The Lonesome Bodybuilder

Book of the month | We, the Survivors by Tash Aw | This is going to hurt by Adam Kay

May


Not that Kind of Girl
by Lena Dunham
The Farm by Joanne Ramos
Suicide Club by Rachel Heng
Crazy Cat Lady
Too Fat Too Slutty Too Loud by Anne Helen Petersen
Your Duck is My Duck by Deborah Eisenberg
A Free Life by Ha Jin
My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell

Book of the month | My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell

June

Inferior by Angela Saini
Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli
10 minutes and 38 seconds in this strange world by Elif Shafak
Lie with Me by Philippe Besson, Translated by Molly Ringwald
This is my family: New Singapore Plays Vol 2 by Checkpoint Theatre
How we Disappeared by Jing Jing Lee
Hereditary (Screenplay)
Insiduous (Screenplay)

Book of the month | Lie with me by Philippe Besson | How We Disappeared by Jing Jing Lee

I’ve read less than I’d like to – slower than I’d like to, essentially, but I have reasons.. !!

Reasons or excuses I suppose, depending on how you look at them. Regardless, hoping to turn this around in the second half of the year, which I am sure will be spent reading infinitely more.

x
Jem

#2101 | reading update

So far in 2019:

January

If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin
The Plotters by Un-su Kim
Travel Junkie by Julia Dimon
A River in Darkness by Masaji Ishikawa
The Effect by Lucy Prebble
The Gritterman by Orlando Weeks
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
Dear Ijeawele by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche
An Amorous Discourse from the Suburbs of Hell by Deborah Levy
Standard Deviation by Katherine Heiny
Feast Days by Ian MacKenzie
A Public Space issue 27
Swing Time by Zadie Smith
Mary Ventura and the 9th Kingdom by Sylvia Plath

Book of the month

If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin / The Effect by Lucy Prebble

Feburary

Book Love by Debbie Tung
Mr Salary by Sally Rooney
Come Rain or Come Shine by Kazuo Ishiguro
Becoming by Michelle Obama
A Thousand Years of Good prayers by Yiyun Li
Certain American States by Catherine Lacey
Waiting by Ha Jin
Heartburn by Norah Ephron
Dept of Speculation by Jenny Offill

Book of the month

A thousand years of good prayers by Yiyun Li

March

Educated by Tara Westover
A Manifesto for Arts Funding by Alfian Sa’at
China is Messing with your Mind by Bilahari Kausikan
The Power of a People by Kuik Shiao-Yin
The Silhouette of Oppression by Kirsten Han
A Good time to be a Girl by Helena Morrissey
The Authentic Lie by Pandora Sykes
Vox by Christina Dalcher
Hot Milk by Deborah Levy
I WILL SURVIVE : Personal Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transexual Stories in Singapore edited by Leow Yangfa
The Leavers by Lisa Ko

Book of the month

Edcuated by Tara Westover

It is now April – I have read The Sun on my Head by Geovani Martins, and A Map of Betrayal by Ha jin. I am now re-reading Tash Aw’s We, The Survivors, which is launching today in the UK.

Good times.

x
Jem

#2086 | Favorite books of 2018

Untitled

Hey guys,

Here we are at the end of the year. In wrapping up 2018 and bringing us into 2019 I offer you the words of those far wiser, kinder, and smarter than I; may the new year bring us nuance and perspective. May we all find ourselves a little bit more.

The best books I read this year:


The book that wrecked me:
Forgotten country by Catherine Chung

The book that perfectly encapsulated my feelings about motherhood: Motherhood by Sheila Heti

The book that changed my mind about poetry:
Nobody Told Me by Holly McNeal

The book that everyone got confused with the Sally Rooney one but that I actually liked more:
Ordinary people by Diana Evans

The book that was so beautiful and authentically southeast asian and that gives me hope as someone writing from the diaspora:
We the survivors by Tash Aw (Forthcoming April 2019)

The book that made me laugh and laugh and laugh:
Single Carefree Mellow by Katherine Heiny

The book that retold greek myth with modern magic and took my breath away:
The Porpoise by Mark Haddon (Forthcoming May 2019)

The book that was so lucid and perfect and that you should definitely buy for every new parent:
Dear Ijeawele by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche

The book I loved so much it actually hurt me when it ended:
The Pumpkin Eater by Penelope Mortimer

The book that made me wary of pasta for a long time
: The Days of Abandonment by Elena Ferrante

The book that was uncool to like but that i liked anyway:
Milkman by Anna Burns

The book that was super fun and that you should definitely pick up: My Sister the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

The book that I re-read so many times it’s getting almost embarrassing:
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche

The book that I found totally amazing and painful and inspiring and truthfully asian
: A Thousand Years of Good Prayers by Yiyun Li

The book that made me want to immediately and effectively become the author’s friend:
The Cost of Living by Deborah Levy

The book that was actually a screenplay but that was so totally incredible that I’m including it in a book list anyway:
The Inheritance by Matthew Lopez

The best short stories I read this year:


We love you Crispina
by Jenny Zhang (found in collection – Sour Heart)

The Finkelstein 5
by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah (found in collection – Friday Black)

After a Life
by Yiyun Li (found in collection – A Thousand Years of Good Prayers)

Waugh by Bryan Washington (found in The New Yorker Fiction)

The Husband Stitch by Carmen Maria Marchado (found in Granta Mag)

Welcome to your Authentic Indian Experience™
by Rebecca Roanhorse (found in Apex Mag)

The best essays I read this year:


Work Life Balance Should Not Be Class Privilege
by Teo You Yenn (found in This is what inequality looks like)

A Lotus for Michelle
by Morgan Jerkins (found in This will be my undoing)

Sometimes You Make Your Rapist Breakfast by Marissa Korbel (found in Harpers Bazaar)

On Eating Alone in Paris by Stephanie Rosenbloom (found in The New York Times)

Why Women Still Can’t Have It All by Anne-Marie Slaughter (found in The Atlantic)

Sadly:


The book I didn’t ‘get’:
The White Book by Han Kang

The book I rolled my eyes so hard at:
Fresh Complaint by Jeffrey Eugenides

The book I hated so much I actually didn’t finish:
The Water Cure by Sophie Mackintosh

Also, reading update:

I finally bought a kindle.

See you in 2019 x

x
Jem