Shout Selects: Books We've Read | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 31, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:33 AM, December 31, 2020

Shout Selects: Books We've Read

We asked our writers at SHOUT what was the best thing they read this year. Here are the top picks, curated for you.  

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

"Schwab pens an amazing story about life, love and remembering. Addie, doomed by the gods of old to be forgotten, is one of the most unforgettable characters I've ever come across. Hard recommendation for any fans of Neil Gaiman." – Aaqib Hasib

The Parisian by Isabella Hammad

"The Parisian follows the life of a Palestinian youth who travels to France to study medicine during WWII. His experience of adjusting to a new culture and host family, the joys of learning a subject that intrigues him, and the micro aggressions of racism that he faces from locals resonated deeply with me." – Sarah Bari

On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong

"The way Voung captures every moment and memory, with such raw, captive prose, a reader is bound to feel deeply connected to his story. He treads carefully on issues of race, gender, masculinity, and identity and it is hard to believe it is a work of fiction as it holds such power and truth. It is truly at once brief and gorgeous." – Nafisa Afsara Chowdhury

The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga

"This book doesn't try to romanticise India; a lot of authors have done that in the past. It's very raw. But even within his criticism of Indian life, Adiga depicts the story of class struggles through a guy who escaped the life he was born into, even if it was through unconventional ways. It's very Slumdog Millionaire-y and I liked that." – Fariha S Khan

Milkman by Anna Burns

"There's an unsettling feeling conveyed through the protagonist's paranoia at being stalked. The tension gradually grows on you as you're eventually left wondering about the consequences of being the centre of attention in a totalitarian community. But you'll probably have to wrap your head around the colourful Irish vocabulary first." – Rasha Jameel

Submarine by Joe Dunthorne

"Submarine is one of the few coming of age stories where you're not meant to relate to the character. Laughing along to his extremely flawed views is almost as amazing as the movie adaptation's soundtrack." – Wasique Hasan

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

"Narrated from a different perspective than the original Hunger Games series, this book is a much required addition to the saga. It answers some old questions and raises a few new ones. It has suspense and mastery of storytelling, and a good plot." – Upoma Aziz

Gun Island by Amitav Ghosh

"It's not only a very engaging read, but also a relevant one for the twenty-first century. On one hand, there's the climate emergency looming over us. On the other, the plight of Bengali migrants in Italy. Linking the two is a mysterious folktale from the Sundarbans." – Adhora Ahmed

The Molecule of More by Daniel Lieberman and Michael Long

"This is a must read for everyone since products are now designed to cater to people's dopamine systems. The book expands on how everyday things become addictive and how dopamine works as motivation. It really helps to understand how our brain can get hijacked with technology and the consumerism of modern times. I can't recommend this book enough." – Rumman R Kalam

Quiet by Susan Cain

"If you're introverted and feel as though it's a negative trait, please read this book. I hope it helps you identify your strengths in what you believe are your faults due to your quiet nature. Reading it feels like looking into a mirror and being at peace with what you see." – Bushra Zaman

 

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