BURO Book Club: Stories about secrets and lies that will keep you guessing
Can you keep a secret?
Here's what we've been reading this month:
The Gravity of Us by Phil Stamper
“Once a person broke trust, once a lie was brought to the surface, everything they ever said, true or false, felt as if it was at least partially covered in betrayal.”
"This easy-to-read, young adult book by Phil Stamper has been one of the most surprisingly enjoyable books on my reading list this year. It follows Cal, a social media journalist of sorts, as his life is turned upside down when his pilot father is selected for a highly publicised mission to Mars. While this is certainly not the only reason to read the book, the characters are. Throughout, they face real-life issues, like sexuality, first love, depression, anxiety and parental struggles, and explore the secrets families often try to keep behind closed doors. The love story between Cal and Leon is a quaint reminder of everything I longed for in the books I read as a teenager." — Brent Taalur Ramsey, Contributor
Swimming in the Dark by Tomasz Jedrowski
“This is how I lived...through books. I locked myself into their stories, dreamt of their characters at night, pretended to be them. They were my armour against the hard edges of reality.”
"Set in the early 1980s, this captivating, must-read debut by Tomasz Jedrowski tells the story of a secret love between two men during the decline of Communism in Poland. Though they find themselves on opposite sides of the political divide, this poetic and powerful story recounts their intoxicating love and the quiet struggles of growing up and growing apart. If you are a fan of André Aciman's Call Me by Your Name, this is definitely a book for you." — Brent Taalur Ramsey, Contributor
The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa
"My memories don’t feel as though they’ve been pulled up by the root. Even if they fade, something remains. Like tiny seeds that might germinate again if the rain falls. And even if a memory disappears completely, the heart retains something. A slight tremor or pain, some bit of joy, a tear.”
"Imagine forgetting what roses are, how a bottle of liquid that is perfume would smell, and every once in a while, you know that, soon, this knowledge and memory of 'things' would eventually disappear. Because the Memory Police would enforce it. For the people who doesn't forget, they live in secret until somehow, they're discovered and taken away. For the protagonist—a young novelist—that was her mother but now, older, she takes the chance to save her editor when she finds out he's at risk too. Hiding him in her house, her desire to save him grows as strong as her boldness to discover the truth about the Memory Police—to save things that truly matter. Haunting, beautiful and thoughtful. Yoko Ogawa is a new favourite author of mine and her way with words is breathtaking while her tendency to sew everyday struggles into distant plots is seamless. You definitely won't be able to put this book down." — Rachel Au, Editor
This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay
“You don’t cure depression, the same way you don’t cure asthma; you manage it. I’m the inhaler he’s decided to go with and I should be pleased he’s gone this long without an attack.”
"This book is quite literally, filled with secrets—as told by a junior doctor (the author) who compiled a real-life account of his career for the UK's NHS (National Health Service) before he made a career switch to become a writer. If you're considering a profession in the medical field, this book may convince you to give it up entirely. But it all depends on how you can take it—Kay's anecdotes are straight-up hilarious, extremely descriptive and engrossing (half of which may gross you out). It's definitely not for everyone, so gloss through with a pinch of salt. You may actually glean a newfound appreciation for healthcare frontliners." — Loh Wei Yeen, Deputy Editor
For more book recommendations, click here.