books

Top 5 Books in 2018 (Fiancé Edition!)

Hey everyone!

I want to introduce you guys to a special guest – the amazing Carl!

Other than being my (super awesome) fiancé, Carl is an avid reader who specializes in audiobooks. He enjoys a variety of genres, from fantasy to sci-fi to non-fiction (though he tries to avoid romance as much as possible). Though we share a love for books and stories in general, Carl and I have quite different tastes and writing styles, as you guys will see!

Pssst…. These are in no specific order!

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (Yuval Noah Harari)

This book has been around for a while, and it was hard to finally open it, because my recollection of history books has been a long list of dates and events. It started off slow, like the introduction lecture of any history course. However, as the narrative distanced itself away from prehistorical times, we began to see glimpses of Yuval Naoh Harari’s own philosophy interjected into the event he describes. It was not an objective book of history, which was what makes it interesting. It was a story of the human race, as told by one of its members. It was as opinionated as a book of this subject matter can get. There was the freedom to disagree with his world view, but there was respect to individuals who don’t dance around their own opinion in fear of being wronged. 

Madness and Memory (Stanley Prusiner)

The discovery of prion disease (the human equivalent of “mad cow disease”) was marred with unnecessary conflict and barriers. The story of its discovery was told by the researcher himself, Dr. Stanley Prusiner. There was no doubt that a significant portion of the book was dedicated to his contempt for his scientific community and popular science journalism. However, it was a realistic portrayal of one who was persecuted by his own academic community and forced to claw his way back. There was none of that idealism of scientific discovery that was often portrayed- this was a Game of Throne for science.

The Book Thief (Markus Zusak)

There is a certain expectation when reading a fiction book about World War II. We are expected to know who the good or bad guys are, and what the conflict should be about. Now, what if that isn’t the case? What made The Book Thief memorable was its focus on childhood innocence. It only suggested but didn’t overburden us with discussions of morals or political injustice. At its basis, it was a book about children treasuring their childhood, even if the world forced them to grow up. Things just were, and unless they stopped you from chasing the soccer ball marred in mud, they just didn’t matter.   

Here We are Now (Jasmine Warga)

Prior to this book, I have read My Heart and Other Black Hole by Jasmine Warga. It would have no doubt made it to this list if I had read it this year as well. The author managed to impart something magical to ordinary events. It was the focus on these ordinary events that made you feel that you were not reading a fiction, but rather listening to a friend’s retelling of their own events. Trust me, when you finish this book, you would be left to wonder a bit at what really happened, or if anything was solved at all. However, the magic of her writing was that it didn’t matter what happened in her book, or if nothing was really solved. Because somewhere out there, you were sure that these character continued to exist, and came to a resolution on their own terms. 

The Disaster Artist (Greg Sestero, Tom Bissell)

Sometimes, you just need a book that doesn’t take itself too seriously to help you dissolve some of the day to day stresses. The book followed the production of The Room by Tommy Wiseau, as told by one of its leading actor Greg Sestero. It was a bizarre and strange journey, that sometimes you couldn’t help but feel it was a fantasy. Despite its numerous jokes and hyperboles revolving around Tommy, there was also a silent respect and admiration for him.  It was an unlikely friendship between the two, but when you finish, you couldn’t imagine a better friendship than this. It was wild, it was crude, but in the end, it was the triumphant outburst of two friends in Hollywood.

Have you guys read any of these books? What are your thoughts about audiobooks? What are your bookish highlights in the past year?

35 thoughts on “Top 5 Books in 2018 (Fiancé Edition!)

  1. Ahh that’s such a fun post, hello Carl and great to meet you 😀 I really want to read a book by Jasmine Warga soon, I’m so happy you enjoyed this one 😀

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    1. Hi Marie,
      Glad you enjoyed the post. Hope you find the opportunity and time to read one of Jasmine Warga’s books. Definitely an author who can calm me down with her writings 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  2. This was a lovely idea for a post!! Yay for the book thief– I loved the description– it definitely does focus on childhood and it made it such a good read. I haven’t ever read a audio-book but I really want to but I think you get a monthly subscription so I need to look into the cost of it first haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello! Yes The Book Thief is one of my all-time favourites 🙂
      I think I can speak for Carl in that we both love audiobooks! Personally I love being able to listen to audiobooks when I am walking, exercising or doing chores around the house. It makes these tasks more entertaining and I get to read a book at the same time, so it’s pretty awesome 🙂
      In the US and Canada, there is audible (which we use) which has a monthly subscription fee (I believe $10-15). However I get most of my audiobooks and ebooks through my library which helps me save lots of money on costs!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi!! Such a good book!! 😊
        That’s really good that you can do it whilst doing other things and I can definitely see it enhancing the task you’re doing.
        Oh right– maybe one day I can try the subscription. But I didn’t know you could get them from the library– I should look into that, thank you. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      1. My fiancée locks me up in the fridge most of the time. Only letting me out when her friends come to visit so they know I exist. So I guess I’m pretty cool.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. A big welcome to Carl! 🙂 I love the different styles of books that were on this list. I’ve only personally read The Book Thief (and adored it) but I at least know of all the others as well and enjoyed reading your thoughts on them!

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  4. Oh welcome Carl. 🙂 I feel like the best way to get to know someone is through books so this is a great introductory post! 😀
    The only one of these I’ve actually read myself is The Book Thief but it’s an all-time favourite of mine, and I don’t normally read historical fiction so I feel like that’s saying something. It’s just such a powerful story; the way it’s written, the characters it focuses on, makes the plot and what happens hit even harder.

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    1. Exactly Beth! People used to tell me that the age of the protagonist is an indication of how old the target audience should be. This is the book I recommend them to prove them wrong 😀

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Hello Carl! It was fascinating to see the differences (and similarities) between your and Sophie’s writing styles and book tastes! I haven’t read any of these yet, but the last one sounds especially intriguing— wow, like The Room! Nice. Thanks for the recommendations!

    Sophie, I laughed when you said Carl tries to avoid romances as much as possible. Aside from the books I read for work and school, literally every single book I read nowadays is a romance. XD (LGBTQ+ romances, to be precise. Can’t get enough of them.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Sieran!! Haha yes, Carl and I definitely have different tastes in books, although we occasionally influence each other in our choice of books (hence The Book Thief and Here We Are Now on this list!)
      Have you seen The Room? It’s a pretty funny movie haha 🙂 I saw the movie for the Disaster Artist which was amazing, but apparently the book is good too!
      Lol! I love romances too and although I don’t read pure romances, I always like a dash of romance in the books that I read. My fiancé is different in that aspect haha 🙂
      By the way, Carl says hi!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah I watched the Room! I felt sorry for Johnny, though it was funny too, lol. Tragicomic.

        Hey I’ve been thinking lately— by pure romances, we mean contemporary romances, right? (So if it’s fantasy, sci-fi, historical, or mystery, then it wouldn’t be called a “pure romance”?) I know these are just labels, but I’m curious about your opinion.

        I used to deny liking romances, because my dad thought only womanly women/ girly girls liked them. Well I didn’t know I was trans back then, but I didn’t want to be seen as such, so I pretended to dislike romances for years. It was only in my latter university years that I finally admitted that I not only like, but even ADORE romances! I had friends who taught me it was okay to like romances. People who look down on you for digging romances, are just being close-minded. Guys can enjoy and write romances too, so it’s not even a girly thing. Even Shakespeare wrote lots of romantic comedies.

        Interestingly, even before I knew I was trans and queer, I chatted with a cis male classmate from high school, and he openly likes romances. He has never heard of the stigma against men who enjoy romances, though. Lol! This is one reason why he’s my friend. XD I tend to have gender nonconforming friends. (We attract those who are similar to us.)

        Hi, Carl! 😁

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      2. Hi Sieran!
        I think the reason behind why Sophia and I have a different taste in books is because I try my hardest to be different ! It’s a way for me to define my identity as a reader and trying to be unique.Sophia tend to cover a relatively large range in her reading and reads several folds faster than me. Therefore, I find that if we read the same book or similar genre, she’ll always beat me to it and go beyond it. This makes our discussion about book a bit one sided at times as she is simply more well read. Therefore, to compensate, I often read books that I knew she has little or no interest. In a way, it gives me a voice when I discuss books with her 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Haven’t read any of these but will try to get to The Book Thief. I love audiobooks and have listened to many where the narrators did a good job of it. I do usually multitask to an audiobook, either knitting or making a card, and I try to pick ones with easy plots – usually juvenille fiction. I grew up on Beverly Cleary’s Ramona series and loved the audiobook.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Book Thief is such an awesome book that I hope you will enjoy! I’ve listened to the audiobook as well and it was pretty well done. I also like audiobooks occasionally for the same reason. They are fun to play in the background while I am crafting or cleaning 🙂

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