What to read next if you liked ... August 01, 2016 18:36
Do you read lots, love reading, but don't know what to read next? Want to enjoy a story close to home but don't know where to start? As part of the National Reading Movement (but really for the love of books, yours and ours), the team at Ethos Books has chosen some great titles you may have read, and paired them with titles we think you will enjoy.
These deeply engaging books were chosen for their varying narrative styles and scopes, from the intimate portraits of Alfian Sa'at's Corridor to the sweeping epic myth of Krishna Udayasankar's 3. We believe in these stories and want to share their wonderful worlds with you, even as they bear uncanny, thought-provoking resemblances to ones you may already know.
Do leave any other recommendations or book pairings of your own in the comments! Happy reading!
If you liked Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng, you might like…
First Fires by Jinat Rehana Begum
From family tensions to jumbled flashbacks, Celeste Ng’s novel Everything I Never Told You and Jinat Rehana Begum’s novel First Fires are similar in more ways than one would first imagine. These two emotionally complex and multigenerational novels tell different stories of silence, alienation, lies and disorientation—giving readers a peek into the life and expectations within a minority family. Shifting between character voices that speak from both past and present, these novels show how a family makes sense of their lives after one of their daughters disappears. Pick them up if you enjoy heartfelt stories about family and culture that grip the reader with its unfolding mystery.
If you liked Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri, you might like…
Blood: Collected Stories by Noelle Q de Jesus
Thousands of people migrate across the world every year but how easy is it to assimilate into a foreign land which doesn't care for the cultures you've brought along with your suitcase? Jhumpa Lahiri and Noelle Q de Jesus delve deeply into the migratory experience and how the prospects of life in new lands is not always warm like the soft morning light on one's skin. The Interpreter of Maladies and Blood: Collected Stories are also anchored by each writer's realisations to the depths of the human soul—how does a card of kindness play out in a game where everyone plays to win? The careful dealing of characters in each writer's short story leaves you with a hand of mixed cards, enough to make you stop and contemplate this particular combination of life, before you make your next move.
If you liked Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders by Neil Gaiman, you might like…
These Foolish Things & Other Stories by Yeo Wei Wei
Wei Wei's short stories, like Fragile Things, are thick with the clutter (or, if you like, thingliness) of everyday life—song lyrics, food, art, household items—yet charged with the mystery of the fantastic and folkloric. Gaiman's shamanic slipping between worlds is recalled in the imagination and whimsy of this collection, where a mynah sings a Beatles' song, a ghost hides in an umbrella, and a clock tower's watchman reappears at airports. Where Fragile Things parades pop cred, These Foolish Things portrays the messy, charming detail of Singaporean life in a way that will make you smile, not cringe. Delving deep into its characters' memories and private longings, these stories are exact, darkly humorous, and unexpectedly emotive without being over-sentimental.
If you liked Harry Potter, The Chronicles of Narnia, and other fantasy novels, you might like…
3 by Krishna Udayasankar
Don’t venture into 3 by Krishna Udayasankar looking for the same beats and characters. 3 puts a refreshing, mythohistoric spin on an important, but rarely retold story. Instead of focusing on demigods and magical beings, 3 is a gripping, coming-of-age tale about prince Sang Nila Utama. Set against the vivid, historical background of the Srivijaya empire in the 13th century, 3’s political intrigue and sea adventures sweep us into another world and time, where the people lived and dreamed differently. Its spirit of epic adventure breathes new life into the events that happened right in Singapore’s backyard, centuries ago.
If you liked Corridor by Alfian Sa’at, you might like…
Moth Stories by Leonora Liow
How much can we know about a person when we have a glimpse of them behind closed doors? Corridor by Alfian Sa’at has been a long-time local favourite for our readers as the author explores the interiority of multiple characters in an undeniably familiar Singaporean landscape. These short stories ask us to come closer and have a listen to the voices dwelling within our HDB corridors.
In a similar but separate strand, Moth Stories by Leonora Liow distinguishes itself with its haunting stories and how it makes us feel like intruders, crossing paths with characters who have so much to hide. An old man’s muted bitterness, a mother who is unwilling to let go of her son—we catch them in their most vulnerable states as we ghost through each narrative. Leonora guides us into the individual worlds of a varied cast, whose shocking decisions and fates make us squirm with discomfort, yet yearn for more.