The books to put on your reading list, as recommended by the literary circle


By Gwen Ong

The books to put on your reading list, as recommended by the literary circle


The Night Tiger – Yangsze Choo


A Chinese houseboy, Ren and a dancehall girl, Ji Lin’s fates are about to intertwine over an old Chinese superstition about men who turn into tigers. Ren has 49 days to find his deceased master’s severed finger, lost years ago in an accident or else, his soul will roam the earth for eternity. Ji Lin dances to help pay off her mother’s Mahjong debts but one night, she discovered a gruesome souvenir: a severed finger. She’s convinced it’s bad luck and finds a way to return it to its rightful owner. What happens next is a tantalising story of Chinese folklore, mystery, modern ambition, rivalry and first love.



Adèle – Leïla Slimani


This story follows the life of Adèle, a successful journalist based in Paris. From the outside, it seems like she has it all – a good career and a lovely family with her surgeon husband and young son. But Adèle is bored of her safe life and craves for sex at whatever the cost. Thus, begins her downfall as she starts living for one night stands and extramarital affairs, so much so she gets entangled in a trap of her own.



Five Feet Apart – Rachael Lippincott


Before the movie (starring Cole Sprouse and Haley Lu Richardson) hits the cinema this March, read up on the story about loving someone whom you can never touch. Stella Grant has been in and out of the hospital most of her life for a lung condition, thus she keeps a distance from anyone or anything that might pass an infection and jeopardise her chance of a lung transplant. Will Newman is getting impatient about his treatments and does not care anymore. He looks forward to turning 18 when he’ll be able to unplug the machines and go see the world. Both fall in love but have to stay away from each other. How do they keep their hearts from breaking?



The Weight of Our Sky – Hanna Alkaf


Malaysian author, Hanna Alkaf’s debut confronts us with a story about mental illness set in the race riots of 1969. Melati Ahmad looks like your typical 16-year-old, obsessed with music and movies, but the teen believes a djinn is living inside her, threatening her with horrific images of her mother’s death unless she follows a ritual of counting and tapping to keep him satisfied. As the racial tensions boil over, Mel and her mother become separated. She must find all her courage to overcome the violence on the streets, her own prejudices and her djinn’s surging power to find her mother again.



Love Looks Pretty On You – Lang Leav


The international bestselling author is back with a collection of contemporary poetry and prose to give us an insight into love, heartbreak, relationships and self-empowerment. Through the pages you will find the power of words and the impact they can have on the relationships you build with others as well as yourself. Lang Leav beautifully captures the intricacies of emotions with wisdom and encouragement.



A Curse So Dark and Lonely – Brigid Kemmerer


A contemporary fantasy retelling of the classic tale of Beauty and the Beast. A powerful enchantress cursed Prince Rhen to repeat his 18th year over and over. He knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him but that was before he learned that at the end of each cycle, he would turn into a destructive beast. Harper Lacy suffers from cerebral palsy but she learned to be tough enough to survive. As she tries to save someone on the streets of Washington, she’s instead transported into Rhen’s cursed world.



The End of Loneliness – Benedict Wells


Three siblings—Jules, Marty and Liz, are forced to live apart after the untimely death of their parents. With their childhood shattered, they grew up as strangers to one another, bound by tragedy and in memories of the family they once were. Jules retreats inward until he meets Alva, who is also caught in her own grief. A kindred soul she may be, she turns her back on their friendship and leaves Jules adrift again. This story takes a look at “the power of our memories, of what can be lost and what can never be let go”.



The Binding – Bridget Collins


A cross between historical fiction and love story, this tale will get you asking, “what if you could erase grief, or pain and sadness?” Emmett Farmer is summoned for an apprenticeship as a Bookbinder – a vocation that arouses fear, superstition and prejudice. As he learns the trade, he also discovers that a binder can weave any memory that you want to forget into the books. These secrets are stored and locked away in his mentor’s workshop. But one day, he finds his own name in one of the books. So what actually happened?

Image: Annie Spratt / Unsplash, @somekindofalibrary 


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