In between train ride or alone time at a coffee shop, I managed to finish reading a few books since I arrived in Singapore nine months ago. Here are the books, some description of what the book is all about (according to Google) and a short story of how the book landed on my shelf (according to me).
By Jostein Gaarder
Sophie’s World is a 1991 novel written by Norwegian writer, Jostein Gaarder. It follows the events of Sophie Amundsen, a teenage girl living in Norway, and Alberto Knox, a middle-aged philosopher who introduces her to philosophical thinking and the history of philosophy.
By Elizabeth Gilbert
At the end of her memoir Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert fell in love with Felipe, a Brazilian living in Indonesia. The couple swore eternal love, but also swore (as skittish divorce survivors) never to marry. However, providence intervened in the form of a U.S. government ultimatum: get married, or Felipe could never enter America again.
The Diary of Amos Lee
By Adeline Foo
Amos Lee was forced to write a diary by his mother but with a twist; Amos Lee has to write his diary in the loo, but that’s fine with Amos. This book revolves around Amos, his mother’s strange assignments, the prefect bully, his family, his friends and food.
Before Ever After
By Samantha Sotto
Three years after her husband Max’s death, Shelley feels no more adjusted to being a widow than she did that first terrible day. That is, until the doorbell rings. Standing on her front step is a young man who looks so much like Max; same smile, same eyes, same age, same adorable bump in his nose; he could be Max’s long-lost relation. He introduces himself as Paolo, an Italian editor of American coffee table books, and shows Shelley some childhood photos. Paolo tells her that the man in the photos, the bearded man who Paolo says is his grandfather though he never seems to age, is Max. Her Max. And he is alive and well.
How the book landed on my shelf?
A month before our flight to Singapore, October 2012 to be exact, I went on book hunting with my daughter. I was thinking back then that since I would be home-bound most of the time in SG, I might as well get myself back to reading which I rarely did after I got married. I wanted to find a good book I have since read during my school days. A book that as if I only felt obliged to read because my Literature teacher wanted me to do so but never really understood what the heck the story is all about, and so I picked Sophie’s World. Reading it now doesn’t mean I understood and liked the book, it’s just too much of Plato and the men of Philosophy. I guess I am not a fan.
I moved next to chick lit section and got intrigued by what happened next to one of my fave movies, Eat, Pray, Loveso I pickedCommitted. Got glued to finishing the book in a short time as it was similar to the first one, the story was also light, unpretentious and heart warming. This is my kind of book.
I was feeling so cheesy with just the thought of another happy ending so I chose of one of the best sellers that month, Before Ever After. It is a hard-bound novel published by book giant, Random House, and it was a happy surprise to know that it was written by a Filipina who is living overseas and made her dream of publishing a book a reality. The story had unsuspecting characters and interesting twist. It was quite an entertaining read.
And finally, another best seller that month was the funny story of this boy who writes on his diary in the toilet. Just a quick browse made me and my daughter excited to read the succeeding pages as it narrates about the Singaporean culture in the eyes of a grade school kid like my daughter. She could so relate to Amos and such reading was very timely with our migration to the Lion City. And indeed, after finishing book one, The Diary of Amos Lee I sit, I write, I flush gave me and my daughter a funny yet educating preview of everyday life in Singapore.