The 2015 Book List

I didn’t think it would happen but it did.

It’s 31st December and I’ve surpassed my new years resolution of 50 books. Literary works such as essays, poetry collections and plays are also included onto the list. I have however, failed to alternate between fiction and non-fiction. The list is also unfortunately, overwhelmingly fiction, because the copious annotation and note-taking in non-fiction reading is a tedious endeavour for the chronic procrastinator.

All in all, it’s quite a nice diversity of writers of different cultural, linguistic and ethnic backgrounds but not of gender (oh well). My non-fiction reading however is predominantly politics or current affairs.


The ones I outstandingly enjoyed and would recommend have an asterisk.

In chronological order:

  1. Singapore’s Authoritarian Capitalism – Christopher Lingle
  2. The Origins of Political Order – Francis Fukuyama*
  3. Red Sorghum – Mo Yan*
  4. Asian Godfathers – Joe Studwell
  5. Cooling Off Day – Alfian Sa’at*
  6. Never Let Me Go – Kazuo Ishiguro
  7. The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With The Sea – Yukio Mishima
  8. Patriotism – Yukio Mishima
  9. Confessions of A Mask – Yukio Mishima*
  10. Apricot Jam & Other Stories – Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
  11. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle – Haruki Murakami
  12. One Fierce Hour – Alfian Sa’at*
  13. A History of Amnesia – Alfian Sa’at
  14. Passage to India – E.M. Forster
  15. Stick, Straws & Brick – Cyril Wong
  16. A Gay Anthology of Singapore Prose & Poetry*
  17. The Collected Poems of Arthur Yap
  18. Noon at Five O’Clock – Arthur Yap*
  19. The Sound of Thunder – Ray Bradbury
  20. Making the Future – Noam Chomsky
  21. The Importance of Being Earnest – Oscar Wilde
  22. The Soul of Man Under Socialism – Oscar Wilde
  23. Life & Death in Shanghai – Nien Cheng*
  24. A Bend in the River – V.S. Naipaul
  25. The Sun Also Rises – Ernest Hemingway
  26. Shifu, You’ll Do Anything For A Laugh – Mo Yan
  27. Molloy – Samuel Beckett*
  28. Murphy – Samuel Beckett
  29. Burmese Days – George Orwell
  30. Civil Disobedience – Henry David Thoreau
  31. The Man Who Would Be King – Rudyard Kipling
  32. Kim – Rudyard Kipling
  33. The Snows of Kilimanjaro – Ernest Hemingway
  34. A Personal Matter – Kenzaburō Ōe*
  35. The Tin Drum – Günter Grass
  36. The Sound and the Fury – William Faulkner*
  37. The Age of Reason – Jean Paul Sartre
  38. Disgrace – J.M. Coetzee*
  39. Waiting for Barbarians – J.M. Coetzee
  40. Corridor – Alfian Sa’at
  41. Spring Snow – Yukio Mishima*
  42. Political Change in Southeast Asia – Jacques Bertrand*
  43. Power Systems – Noam Chomsky
  44. The Best of Edwin Thumboo – Edwin Thumboo
  45. Demanding the Impossible – Slavoj Žižek
  46. Runaway Horses – Yukio Mishima*
  47. The Prince – Niccolo Machiavelli
  48. The Passion of the Western Mind – Richard Tarnas*
  49. Off Centre – Haresh Sharma*
  50. The Price of Inequality – Joseph Stiglitz*
  51. The Tragedy of Great Power Politics – John Mearsheimer*
  52. The Double – Fyodor Dostoevsky

(In case you were wondering, I keep track of my readings and my notes in a handy excel sheet.) 

My favourite ones were of course, Fukuyama’s Origins of Political History, Mishima’s Confessions, Ōe’s Personal Matter and Alfian Sa’at’s One Fierce Hour. Where Fukuyama had been thoroughly enlightening, the latter were all absolutely powerful works that I’ve immensely enjoyed! Faulkner’s Sound and Fury was especially haunting (I had to reread it multiple times to make sense of it).

I shall be more judicious in my pickings next year: less frivolous fiction, more culturally mature and educational readings, and definitely a whole load more local writers. Looking forward to another year of literary adventure!

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