Here's the list of my top 7 books that I recommend for 2015
My grandmother asked me to tell you she's sorry - Fredrik Backman
A man called Ove - Fredrik Backman
My mother's secret - J.L. Witterick
All the light we cannot see - Anthony Doerr
Everything I never told you - Celeste Ng
Alex through the looking-glass - Alex Bellos
The next 100 years - George Friedman
1. Fredrik Backman is my new favourite author. I like his books and they are all translated from his native Swedish. His style focuses on a lot of character building, and at the end of the book, you'll laugh, cry and be touched by them. After reading his books, I realise that everyone became who they are because of the things that had happened to them. Their baggage, so to speak. In the end, we have to be kind to others, because once we know their story, you just cannot help but to do that. Ultimately, being kind to others is also being kind to yourself, because we also have baggage that we carry on our back constantly, like snails. Both the books below are excellent reading, easily the best and most touching novels I've read for the year.
2) J.L. Witterick style in this book is very refreshing. I've seen it employed in different books that I've read, but it's not as effective as it is done here. The story is like watching 4 different persons weaving a single piece of tapestry. Each knit and weave by different person gives you their unique viewpoint of the same tapestry, then as the weave gets bigger and spreads out, the seemingly disparate parts comes together until you see one complete tapestry. Once the threads comes together, you cease to see the 4 different weaving pattern but instead you just see one complete piece of art. It's like that when you read this book. It's also based on a true story, set in the Nazi occupied Poland during world war 2.
3, Some books you just have to read it yourself to feel it. This is yet another book set in occupied France during world war 2. I always feel that history should not be just about the facts. You can't empathize and learn history by just looking at the factual information. An important part of history lies in the stories of the survivors and also those who died. What made them who they are? Why do they do this and that? Would you do the same thing if this happened to you? This is one of the few books that talks about the war from both sides, in the eyes of children. You can't find such viewpoints from movies, and I think it's because it's almost always portrayed as the victor or the victim. This books shows that there is no winner and everyone is poorer but also richer because of the shared experience of the war.
4. How I love this book! First time author Celeste Ng nails it down in her debut writing in this novel. She captures the tension of characters so well and you can't help but flip the pages over and over again just to see what will happen. And I especially like the way in which a character do or says something, which is what everyone can see but you won't know what he or she is thinking about when doing that action. So, the book will tell you what they are thinking about a few pages later. You can immediately compare and contrast the difference between what you see and what they are thinking. Misunderstanding stems from communicating and also from not communicating. I think the author spent several years writing and re-writing this book, and keeps changing it as she went through a full round of pregnancy. This is like the author of The Book Thief, Markus Zusak, who reportedly wrote and rewrote the entire manuscript from scratch until it is the perfect version we cannot forget now.
5. Recommended by a reader from bullythebear, this books took me to a journey involving numbers and their implications in life. This is a page turner for me and I'm sure it'll be if you love mathematics somewhat. You don't have to follow pages and pages of differential equation to like this book, but you do have to love the spirit of mathematics. Alex Bellos goes around the world looking for people who loves numbers too. Very approachable and friendly read. If you're worried about not knowing enough mathematics to enjoy this book, don't worry - it'll be fine.
6. Recommended book again, haha :) Fantastic read - part prophecy, part fiction and part novel. As the title implies, George Friedman tried to speculate what are the major moves happening around the world in the next 100 years. Given that this book is published back in 2009, you can see some of the major currents that he underlined already being played in the world stage today. It also establish the Russian conflict and explains their behavior through Russia's geographical landscape. This book is very interesting if you like to make some sense of the world's major events and love to link economic theories with geography and I enjoyed this thoroughly. Word of advice - don't be so quick to dismiss US and her highly indebted state.