One Line Book Reviews Q1/2016

I feel guilty after a whole month of not systematically reading. Unlike most people, all that time sitting in planes and airports never makes me want to turn to a book. I’m experiencing a reality check that if I’m to reach my goal of reading a minimum of 60 books this year, I have to get back into it. In the meantime, I rest on my laurels in the form of a list of books I’ve plowed through over the past five months. Some moments of brilliance, some I could have done without reading. Note that I’ve left out the books that felt too laborious to complete.

Botchan by Soseki Natsume
A melancholy coming-of-age tale of what it feels to be an outsider and never quite find your feet.

The Diving Pool: Three Novellas by Yoko Ogawa
A subtle, eerie and disturbing collection of short stories which leave you bothered, but at what exactly, you’re not quite sure.

Gasoline by Quim Monzo
A surreal postmodern novel about art, identity, and meaning; a hallway of mirrors.

Ready, Player. One. by Ernest Cline
Virtual Reality comes to life and the geek in me was sci-fi Heaven.

Girl in a Band: A Memoir by Kim Gordon
There’s more than a bit of angst lying between the pages in this heartbreaking, absorbing tell-all.

Think Like An Engineer: Inside the Minds That Are Changing Our Lives by Guru Madhavan
A must read for creatives and business people alike.

Ragtime: A Novel by EL Doctorow
New York City at the turn of the 1900’s comes to life in way that you won’t believe is fiction.

Think Like A Futurist: Know What Changes, What Doesn’t and What’s Next by Cecily Sommers
Mainstream average and not particularly provocative.

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Atwood, I love you and your science fiction masterpiece.

What Should We Be Worried About? Real Scenarios That Keep Scientists Up At Night edited by John Brockman
Well articulated viewpoints that makes you consider the future; though not a book I’d recommend to read before bedtime.

Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen by Mary Norris
I’m a stickler for books on language and Mary entertains with this part biography, part grammar lesson.

More Time to Think: The Power of Independent Thinking by Nancy Kline
A few good points on how to ask questions, listen, make meaning of what you hear and how to create better personal interactions.

Massimo Bottura: Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef by Massimo Bottura
Part cookbook, part memoir, all wonderful.

What We See When We Read by Peter Medelsuhn
Engaging investigation into how our brain processes text, all in a nicely designed book

Dataclysm: Who We Are (When We Think No One’s Looking) by Christian Rudder
Bit freaky, bit awe-inspiring to know how much personal data is out there; so many crunchy factoids and esoteric bits of information.


A communications strategist and award-winning PR consultant who just happens to also be a photographer and published author. A Penang-born Kiwi living in Singapore. Always looking for the next big thing.

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