Top 10 Books that Blew My Mind This Year
Books Published in 2016
Monstress Vol 1 by Marjorie Liu, Sana Takeda blew me away with its absolutely exquisite illustrations. The details in the artwork, even the clothes the characters wear, was just unbelievable.
Do Not Say We Have Nothing – Madeleine Thien
Undoubtedly one of the best reads of the year. Such beautiful writing, such a difficult and painful setting, and yet with all the music that surrounds them, still filled with so much hope.
The Wangs vs the World – Jade Chang
This book isn’t for everyone but I loved how it was a more than just and Asian-American story. It’s a story about a family whose fortunes had fallen. I have to admit that the first few pages threw me off as I wasn’t sure if I liked Charles Wang’s voice, but I’m so glad I stuck with it. It was also surprisingly funny and endearing – I loved how the three siblings are so close.
Rise of the Rocket Girls – Nathalia Holt
I loved learning about how the “computers” at Jet Propulsion Labs were women. That is, all the calculations, the trajectories etc of the rockets were calculated by a group of people, who happened to be women, as they were faster and more accurate than the computers of that time.
We love you, Charlie Freeman – Kaitlyn Greening
Why isn’t this book talked about more?
The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye – Sonny Liew
This book got its government grant pulled just days before the launch, as the National Arts Council decided: “The retelling of Singapore’s history in the work potentially undermines the authority or legitimacy of the government and its public institutions, and thus breaches our funding guidelines.”. But Singaporeans love a controversy and they went out and bought it – its first print run of 1000 copies sold out in the first weekend.
My sister-in-law bought it for me for Christmas last year and I read it a few weeks later. I loved how Liew combined so many different illustrative styles in one book. How he sort of retold the Singapore story from the perspective of this fictional cartoonist, but also included Liew himself and his own thoughts into the story. It was brave, not just from a Singaporean’s point of view, but from a reader of graphic novels and comics, for
(You can read more about it in this post from the Asian American Writers Workshop)
3 books I missed reading in 2015
In the country: stories Mia Alvar
A manual for cleaning women Lucia Berlin
Delicious Foods James Hannah