After the chaos and festivities of the holiday season, sometimes all you really want to do is curl up with a cup of tea and a good book. Now that Christmas and New Year’s have passed and Chinese New Year is right on our doorstep, it’s the perfect time to catch up on some quality reading! Not sure where to start? Here at Sassy HQ, we’re fairly keen readers – check out which books we’re reading at the moment and make sure you start 2018 on the right page!
Told with insight, humour and intimacy – Marieta van der Merwe and her family are living my wildlife dreams. A former volunteer at Harnas Wildlife Sanctuary in Namibia, author Bennett chronicles day-to-day life at this special sanctuary, following an inspirational family and the animals who reside there. A must-read for animal and nature lovers, this biography is full of twists, turns, tears and laugh-out-loud moments. You’re lying if you didn’t check Skyscanner for airfares upon putting this one down.
Mashal, Editorial Intern
Genre: Historical Fiction
Number of pages: 1535
I purchased this book over my short holiday in Karachi to keep me occupied during the long flights and mostly just because I was in need of a good read – it has only been a week so let me just say I’m glad I did! Though the size of this book did make me think twice, reading all the positive reviews was enough for me to make the decision.
With 19 sections, god knows how many chapters, and 1,535 pages, this extensive novel is the tale of a daughter and her mother’s attempts to find her a suitable boy for marriage. More than anything, it is a story of India struggling through a time of crisis during the 1950s. I particularly like it because it’s so rich in detail and each character is discussed with great complexity. It is informative yet enjoyable, and plays with a vast range of emotions – which i think is what a good book should do. It’s super long but I can tell it’ll be worth it!
Hayley, Editorial Intern
Genre: Historical Fiction
Number of Pages: 262
As a fan of historical fiction, I found it genuinely difficult to put Brooklyn down! This page-turner is a moving portrait of the Irish immigrant experience during the 1950s, and details how the protagonist, Eilis, is torn between the familiarity of home and her exciting life in a new country. Offering an emotional and intricately detailed take on part of America’s history, it covers love, loss and everything in between.
The magic of Brooklyn lies in that it isn’t just a engaging novel with relatable (and frankly, lovable) characters, but in how it allows the reader to see how American society and the rest of the world are rapidly changing after WWII. Plus, if you happen to enjoy the book, the film version is definitely worth a watch – with a star-studded cast and a screenplay written by Nick Hornby (of About a Boy fame), it truly does the novel justice!
Surmayee, Partnerships Manager
Genre: Contemporary/Romance Short Stories
There’s something about the holidays that always leaves me in a sappy mood (I’m looking at you, Love Actually) and I’ve decided to extend my cheeseball mood to January by picking up this anthology about the “meet-cute”, the scene in which couples meet for the first time.
Meet Cute is a collection of stories featuring a cast of wonderful characters dreamt up by some of the biggest names in YA fiction like Nicola Yoon (Everything, Everything) and Nina LaCour (Everything Leads to You), and I won’t lie, it’s hitting the spot. These pieces are funny, real, sometimes heartbreaking and will leave you wanting more from each pair. If you’re looking for a light, feel-good read to carry you through the first (and thus hardest) month of the year, this is it.
Tania, Associate Editor
I’ll admit, I picked this up thinking it was fiction…. Novel readers, if you’re looking to ignite your love of non-fiction, this read is guaranteed to get you going. As a poet, singer-songwriter and artist, Patti Smith brings us a deeply personal memoir in a way that is equally fascinating, digestible and moving. The book is her first piece of prose and seamlessly takes you through the chapters of her life, transforming a love story into an elegy.
With a focus on documenting her deep connection with Robert Mapplethorpe, Patti openly expresses the troubles of finding their way as desperately poor, struggling artists and their less-than-glamorous adventures in New York. It’s captivating to get insights into such a talented individual’s truth, and her effortlessly poetic way of capturing images, ideas and emotions really has kept me turning the pages.
Roxanne, Senior Editor
I cannot get enough of David Sedaris. He’s eye-wateringly funny – often to the point where I have to put the book down and literally laugh out loud – but he’s also smart and thoughtful in a way that makes you think you wish you could be him (or at least hang out with him).
This diary was really unexpected, in the sense that I didn’t know how tough his life was when he was growing up, I had no idea he had struggled so much to find a job, and I didn’t really know about his battle with drug and alcohol addiction (the obvious markers of every great writer, I guess). In Theft By Finding, Sedaris gives us a peek into his extraordinary life with the same hilarity and brilliance, but gives a more in-depth view. My favourite part is about the time he spent in France, which he only touched upon in his book “Me Talk Pretty One Day” (one of my favourite books of all time). I love learning the details of his tenure there, and his sense of humour is one that will make me laugh always.
Bea, Graphic Designer
Genre: Nonfiction/ Psychology / Humour
I judge a book 90% by its cover and 10% by its title, the rest is luck. This time, I lucked into this stellar piece of investigative journalism (I had no idea). Famed British journalist, Jon Ronson investigates a hoax that riddles some of the brightest academic minds which leads him onto an unexpected journey into the madness industry while battling with his own crippling anxiety. This easy-read explores psychopathy around us and arms Ronson (and us) with a few criteria to disclose the complex disorder in the everyday. If you have a taste for the weird-but-fascinating, laughing at inopportune moments, and maybe accidentally learning a thing or two – this is one for your 2018 reading list.
Apple, Editorial Intern
I haven’t picked up a physics textbook since my high school days (and I’m not complaining about it). It comes as no surprise that I only manage to retain a hazy memory of struggling to understand how light waves travel. While I have no intention of putting myself through the arduous process of relearning far too complicated equations, I am endlessly fascinated by stars and galaxies and how our universe functions.
Tyson’s book, which promises to break down astrophysics into easy digestible chunks, comes in handy. The renowned astrophysicist tackles one question in each chapter – from detailing what happened during the Big Bang to explaining the nature of time – in a humorous, light-hearted tone. I find myself having to plow through the book slowly and reread some paragraphs to fully absorb the knowledge, but overall it is a highly enjoyable and mind-opening learning experience, appropriate for both readers with or without a scientific background.