2018 Reading Wish List

In 2018, I will probably read less books because I will not have a lot of recreational reading time due to graduate school. But that does not mean I won’t be able to carve out time. I usually like to read a paper book before going to bed to relax my eyes after interacting with my phone, a computer screen — heck any screen — all day. Here are a few bits of my reading wish list:

Exit West

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid

When Nadia and Saeed fall in love in a distant unnamed city, they are just like any other young couple. But soon bullets begin to fly, fighter jets streak the sky, and curfews fall. As the spell of violence spreads, they flee their country, leaving behind their loved ones. Early in Exit West, the author Mohsin Hamid explains that geography is destiny, and in the case of his two young lovers, geography dictates that they must leave. Hamid offers up a fantastical device to deliver his refugees to places: they pass through magic doors. Rather than unmooring the story from reality, this device, as well as a few other fantastical touches, makes the book more poignant and focused, pointing our attention to the emotions of exile rather than the mechanics. Surrounded by other refugees, Nadia and Saeed try to establish their places in the world, putting up different responses to their circumstances. The result is a novel that is personal, not pedantic, an intimate human story about an experience shared by countless people of the world, one that most Americans just witness on television. 

Why is this in my wish list? I guess from the sypnosis, it gives this air of magic elements in a story we see in the news everyday. I’ve heard great things about Exit West in other reading circles, and it’s been in my read list for quite some time.

I see you claire mackintosh

I See You by Claire Mackintosh

It all starts during her commute home one night. Zoe Walker glances through her local paper and sees her own face staring back at her in a classified ad. With the grainy photo is a phone number and a listing for a website called FindTheOne.com.
 
In the following days, she sees other women in the same ad, a different one every day, and nearly all of them show up in the newspapers as victims of increasingly violent crimes—including murder.
 
With the help of a determined cop, Zoe uncovers the ad’s twisted purpose…And suddenly, the man on the train sitting across the car—the one smiling at Zoe—could be more than just a friendly stranger. He could be someone who has deliberately chosen her and is ready to make his next move.

Why is it in my wish list? Ms. Mackintosh, you have a repeat reader! I loved her first book, I Let You Go. The story was twist and turns to the very end and it stayed with me.

Fire and Fury

Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House by Michael Wolff

The first nine months of Donald Trump’s term were stormy, outrageous—and absolutely mesmerizing. Now, thanks to his deep access to the West Wing, bestselling author Michael Wolff tells the riveting story of how Trump launched a tenure as volatile and fiery as the man himself.

In this explosive book, Wolff provides a wealth of new details about the chaos in the Oval Office. Among the revelations:
— What President Trump’s staff really thinks of him
— What inspired Trump to claim he was wire-tapped by President Obama
— Why FBI director James Comey was really fired
— Why chief strategist Steve Bannon and Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner couldn’t be in the same room
— Who is really directing the Trump administration’s strategy in the wake of Bannon’s firing
— What the secret to communicating with Trump is
— What the Trump administration has in common with the movie, “The Producers”

Why is this on my wish list? The excerpts I hear from the news all week are so outrageous, who could make this stuff up? Nobody, that’s who! — Unless it is all done before your very eyes. This book affirms what I’ve been hearing on the news and it makes fictional comedy shows come off as period pieces. I purchased this book on Friday — it may take 2 to 4 weeks before it arrives to my house. I can’t wait to read it!

 

Check out my Current Reads page!

Any books you plan to read in 2018?

“Never Let Me Go” by Kashuo Ishiguro

*Deep breath* I’m going to try to make this review as spoiler free as possible.

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At first glance a book titled Never Let Me Go by Kashuo Ishiguro sounds like a typical romance novel about lost love but I certainly did not expect high school romance meets coming-of-age meets quasi-science fiction meets quasi-dystopia. You know something is off the moment you read the first few pages because the main character, Kathy, talks about carers, donors, guardians. I immediately thought she was working in at a nursing home or a hospital. It took me a several pages in that she and her classmates are not in any normal school and probably do not live in the same world as we do. I also found it odd that in their world, they were obsessed with art and not sports.

Their school appeared to be isolated from the main cities. I found it strange the students did not feel restless. Living Los Angeles, I’ve met a lot of transplants from all over who tell me they grew up in rural you-name-it and could not wait to get out. I would expect the students in Ishiguro’s world to feel that way.

What I found interesting was that I did not feel a pull of resistance about their fates throughout the book. I feel it’s due to the main character. If we followed another character’s point of view I’m sure we’d find at least a tinge of resistance early in the novel.

Like I said, I don’t want to give too much away. I was full of questions and I imagined every implication of what happened. I feel the story was about the power and dominance of culture which was why never there was no resistance nor a desire to break away from their fates.

Verdict: I thought this was one of the most unique books I’ve read. I’m not sure what it was that drew me page-after-page well after my bedtime. Maybe I kept playing with my imagination, kept asking questions at every scene figuring out what the heck was going on.

I said the magic word “dystopia”. Don’t expect it to be like the The Hunger Games, you’ll be sorely disappointed.