Reading is a huge part of who I am–I can’t stay away from books for long. I’m spoilt for choice in Singapore: The National Library has all the books I’d love to read and many many more. Most books I buy these days are gifts—books by authors I know to readers I know and love.
Only on rare occasions have I found our library branches lacking a book I wanted my grubby hands on–and they acquire the audio and ebook versions as well!
Here are the books I’ve been reading these past weeks:
The Searcher by Tana French
Retired detective Cal Hooper moves to a remote village in rural Ireland. His plans are to fix up the dilapidated cottage he’s bought, to walk the mountains, to put his old police instincts to bed forever. Then a local boy appeals to him for help. His brother is missing, and no one in the village, least of all the police, seems to care. And once again, Cal feels that restless itch. Something is wrong in this community, and he must find out what, even if it brings trouble to his door.
Unmarriageable by Soniah Kamal
In this one-of-a-kind retelling of Pride and Prejudice set in modern-day Pakistan, Alys Binat has sworn never to marry—until an encounter with one Mr. Darsee at a wedding makes her reconsider.
Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata
Convenience Store Woman is the heartwarming and surprising story of thirty-six-year-old Tokyo resident Keiko Furukura. Keiko has never fit in, neither in her family, nor in school, but when at the age of eighteen she begins working at the Hiiromachi branch of “Smile Mart,” she finds peace and purpose in her life. In the store, unlike anywhere else, she understands the rules of social interaction ― many are laid out line by line in the store’s manual ― and she does her best to copy the dress, mannerisms, and speech of her colleagues, playing the part of a “normal” person excellently, more or less.
The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg
Ceony Twill arrives at the cottage of Magician Emery Thane with a broken heart. Having graduated at the top of her class from the Tagis Praff School for the Magically Inclined, Ceony is assigned an apprenticeship in paper magic despite her dreams of bespelling metal. And once she’s bonded to paper, that will be her only magic…forever.
Sudden Traveller by Sarah Hall
The seven stories of Sudden Traveller immerse us anew in one of the most distinctive literary imaginations. In Turkish forests or rain-drenched Cumbrian villages, characters walk, drive, dream and fly, trying to reconcile themselves with their journey through life and death. A woman fitted with life-changing technology returns to the site of her strongest memories; a man repatriated in the near east hears the name of an old love called and must unpack history’s suitcase; and from the new world-waves of female anger and resistance, a mythical creature evolves.
Blacktop Wasteland by S A Cosby
Beauregard “Bug” Montage: husband, father, honest car mechanic. But he was once known – from North Carolina to the beaches of Florida – as the best getaway driver on the East Coast. Just like his father, who disappeared many years ago.
After a series of financial calamities (worsened by the racial prejudices of the small town he lives in) Bug reluctantly takes part in a daring diamond heist to solve his money troubles – and to go straight once and for all. However, when it goes horrifically wrong, he’s sucked into a grimy underworld which threatens everything, and everyone, he holds dear . . .
What about you? What books have been on your reading shelf? Any reads that you’d absolutely recommend?
This week I was interviews by ConnectedToIndia, and if you’d like to read a chat about writing in India, Singapore, and my take on the author life, check it out here.
My debut literary crime novel,”You Beneath Your Skin,” published by the fab team at Simon and Schuster IN is optioned to be a TV series by Endemol Shine.
It is available in India here.
Reviews are appreciated–please get in touch if you’d like a review copy.
Get Curated Writing Resources Subscribe to Blog Join Daily (w)rite on FB
I thoroughly enjoyed The Searcher and felt the background fitted what I knew/observed about rural Ireland after my research and travels there. I’ve also just finished Re-reading Louise Penny’s excellent series about the village of Three Pines and Chief Inspector. Armand Gamache. Classified as crime novels, for me they have wonderful insights to human nature, great quotes and a tempting introduction to Quebec Province in Canada…now I want to visit.
Such nice books
Books make me happy 🙂
Lots of excellent books, it seems. I’m deep into Lincoln in the Bardo. George Saunders has totally rethought the way a novel should be written.
I have just completed A gentleman in Moscow by Amor towles, totally loved it. Starting the great mistake by Jonathan lee
The Gentleman in Moscow is on my TBR!
Thank you for sharing, will check out the books!!… because of practicalities, I have a Kindle, both Paperwhite and the Fire (it has speakers should I decide to use audible).. at present I am reading some of Agatha Christie and Hercule Poirot…. trying to decide on whether to read Dr Zhivago or “The Trapp Family Singers”… I read a little of everything… 🙂
Until we meet again..
May your troubles be less
Your blessings be more
And nothing but happiness
Come through your door
I read a few books at the same time as well! I’m listening to the audio version of The Mysterious Affair at Styles on Libby, and Magician by Raymond E Feist as an eboook!
Not reading anything other than blog posts and articles nowadays. Last I read was ’55 pillars red walls’, by Usha Priyamvada, the review for which I posted at Women’s Web. It was a good book published back in 1961.
That sounds like a fascinating read!
I had a similar slow patch in my reading back in 2019, all the way into mid-2020, but then I discovered audiobooks and life has been a lot more reading-friendly since then.
I’ve just completed The Midnight Library by Matt Haig.
I’m now reading The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams. I’m also trying to complete The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri which I started and didn’t complete. I haven’t been reading as much as I should.
I also have a few books on my kindle that I need to get to.
All three are on my TBR! Gosh, so many books, and such little time. I plan to go on another ‘reading vacation’ end of this year.
You certainly give us some good suggestions for reading. Unfortunately I will not be reading anything or be online for a while as my first cataract op takes place on the 23rd so no TV or blogging. 🙂
Hope your op went well, Ian, and that you can get hooked to audiobooks during this time. One of my relatives used audiobooks to read during the cataract op recovery period.
I’m reading This Is Happiness by Niall Williams and can’t believe I’ve never come across this Irish writer before. With a couple of unexpected words he can characterize a person or tree or rain or whatever in an original way that makes you blink. I see he has written other books, and for the stage. Recommended.
Sounds wonderful. I’ll look up Niall Williams!
I’m reading “Under a White Sky – The Nature of the Future” by Elizabeth Kolbert and it’s both chilling and brilliantly written. xo
I added it to my TBR, Pam!
I am always interested in extending my reading list with diversity. I added a few of your suggestions to my TBR—especially looking forward to the Pakistan Pride and Prejudice having enjoyed the movie Bride and Prejudice. Just finished Andy Weir’s Hail Mary—liked it, but didn’t love it.
Unmarriageable is interesting for many reasons–let me know what you think of it, Pam! I haven’t read Weir yet–need to change that soon.
Hi Damyanti – what a great list with summations on their story lines … my latest #WATWB was a book called ‘First Catch Your Rabbit’ … about how a man, Simon Mahoney, going and went blind, but who learnt to cook … it’s a great uplifting story. Also ‘Hattie’s Home’ by Mary Gibson is what felt like a true reckoning of east London after the War 1947 and an Alaskan fur factory … Australia – a trip, and a return … but I’m hooked on the Silk Road too … William Dalrymple – who walked from Jerusalem to Xanadu … fascinating – too much to read! Cheers Hilary
I agree–too much to read–we live in such abundant times when it comes to reading choices (if we’re privileged enough to have access to education and books!).
Recently discovered Christopher Rosow at a Humane Society bookstore. Just read False Assurances and started Threat Bias a few days ago. Lots of story movement from page one!
Will check them out–thank you for sharing! I miss bookstores.
That’s a great list of books. But I’ll confess that I haven’t read any of them. I heard so many people talking about Bridgerton on Netflix so I started reading the books.
I’m glad that your Library stocks most of the books you feel like reading, audio books and ebooks too! But now that I’m actively blogging, my reading has been progressing at a snail’s pace!
Yes, those Bridgerton books are on my ‘snack-reading’ list!, Shweta! I like to alternate bigger books with easy reads or ‘snacks,’ lol
I’m so totally fortunate to live in a country where reading is free and accessible–I’m often pained that more people in Singapore are not reading fiends like me!
Sounds like some interesting reads. I think I would like The Searcher and The Convenience Store Woman.
I loved both. The Searcher is super-long, and the other super-short, but both had their appeal. Good to have your here, Deborah.
First of all, I apologize for not leaving comments on your previous posts. I had some WP problems that turned out to be browser related. I like short stories so I’ll probably work on my collections this weekend.
Not at all, Jan. I’ve been sparse with my comments as well because of everything that has been my life these past few months.I’m a fan of short stories, as well, and quite enjoyed Sarah Hall.
That’s such a nice reading list, Damayanti. Since the libraries are still closed, I couldn’t visit any. My daughter is showing a good interest in books at the moment, so we’ve been collecting a lot of kids books. I enjoy reading it to her. I’m currently reading Postscript by Cecilia Ahern. I’m sticking to just one book a month. At the moment, this is manageable.
The Mr.Darsee here reminded me of Darcy from Pride and Prejudice. I loved that movie. I’m trying to watch a few movies adapted from books. That’s an interesting option for me while my daughter naps.
If I had to pick one from your reading list, it’d be Convenient Store Woman, because I’m trying for a job here and I’m nervous about my new environment. It’s almost like if everything is laid out, I’ll just follow it until I understand the rules.
Otherwise, my pick would be The Paper Magician.
Have a great weekend. It’s good to be back here.❤️
The Mr Darsee is indeed Mr Darcy of Pride and Prejudice–the novel is a feminist take of the Austen classic, set in Pakistan. I particularly enjoyed its critique not just of the patriarchy, but of imperialism, and also of the way West portrays the East, how art, fiction, and people are often exoticized.
Convenience Store Woman is a delight–a takedown of capitalism, of casual misogyny, and the ‘normalcy’ structures we create, which do not stand up to scrutiny!
All the best with your job hunt. Have a lovely weekend, and welcome back!
What an interesting collection, Damyanti. Almost all of them sound appealing.
They are, Jacqui. I read a few at the same time, so that I can balance the heavy with the light. The Sayaka Murata, in particular, has been a revelation.
I’m currently reading Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart.
My previous read – Girl in White Cotton by Avni Doshi.
Shuggie Bain has been on my TBR forever. I need to pick it up soon. Same with the Avni Doshi book, though I might have to wait to do that because it reportedly is too real, and I’m going through a fragile phase at the moment.
I loved Paper Magician! Currently I’m double fisting…reading A Master of Djinn by P Djeli Clark, and, since a sequel is coming out soon, I’m rereading the first to get get ready. Redemptor, sequel to Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko comes out in August.
Will look both of them up, thank you.
I really need to comment more.
I’ve finally been able to get back to reading for enjoyment. Focus wasn’t aligned for way too long.
I just finished Remote Control by Nnedi Okorafor (author of Binti). I highly recommend this novella to anyone who loves tight stories, excellent character development, and world building in a Speculative Realism way. Yes, I just mashed two subgenres.
Before that: Network Effect by Martha Wells. If you haven’t read the Murderbot Diaries series yet, then I envy you coming upon it with fresh eyes. Enjoying as anything.
The next four are on the top of my TBR stack:
Fireheart Tiger by Aliette De Bodard
The Memory Theater by Karin Tidbeck
Orfeia by Joanne M. Harris
Mary: A Flesh & blood biography of the Virgin Mother (non-fiction) by Lesley Hazleton.
plus so many books on my Kindle.
Hi Stuart, thanks so much for stopping by–I need to comment more, too, so no worries on that. Life has been hard as it is, on all of us.
Your reads sound fascinating, and I’ll take anything you recommend quite seriously. Plus a novella sounds like just the thing with all the long books I’ve been reading–The Searcher was super-long! I’m bookmarking this comment for all the books I need to look up.