We’ve picked up some amazing new titles in our quest to help all of Malaysia read more for less with our bookstores! Here are three of special note for the month of June:
Everyone knows this person (or, unfortunately, is that person): the one who can’t seem to escape from repeated mistakes, or holds on to things and causes that aren’t worth the fight, or continues to engage in behaviour that you know brings nothing good. And yet, things never seem to change. How does the mind trick itself into these vicious cycles? What tricks do we play on ourselves, while thinking we’re being perfectly logical?
In The Art of Thinking Clearly, thinker and entrepreneur Dobelli lists 99 common thinking errors, including cognitive bias, envy and distortions, in short and easily digestible sections. Described as a guide to ‘avoid self-induced unhappiness’, this book describes common errors in judgement and how to recognise them. With this added awareness, it becomes easier to avoid the pitfalls placed before us by our brains. Make sharper, more impartial decisions, and discover new clarity in the way your mind works! This is a great book for those struggling to break out of a rut, or those interested in understanding the inner workings of the mind.
The Art of Thinking Clearly has remained at the top 10 of Germany’s Der Spiegel Bestseller list for 80 weeks, and is similarly on bestseller lists in UK, South Korea, India, Ireland and Singapore.
THE CARDTURNER by Louis Sachar
If you liked the young adult novel Holes, which was turned into a 2003 film, this is a book you definitely want to pick up for yourself or to introduce to a fellow reader. The Cardturner tells the tale of Alton Richards, who becomes his uncle’s helper at his parent’s behest to lay claim to the old man’s riches. He is not alone, however–Alton must compete with his Uncle Lester’s longtime househeeper, his alluring young nurse, and the crazy Castanedas who seem to have their own mysterious influence over Lester, including shy, quiet Toni: his previous cardturner.
At the beginning of the novel, Alton’s summer is starting in the worst possible way: he has no money, no job, and an ex-girlfriend who has just dumped him for his so-called best friend. Then Alton’s great-uncle Lester Trapp, blinded by diabetes, asks him to serve as his cardturner: basically, his eyes and hands as he plays bridge. His mother urges him to help, if only for a chance at Lester’s collected riches, but the relationship Alton begins to forge with his great-uncle, especially as they start becoming a great bridge-playing team and he discovers his own talents, will be completely on his own terms.
Sachar’s artistic storytelling is paired with deceptively down-to-earth text, making this book a treat to read and digest. It skilfully showcases the many differences between perception and reality through the richly fleshed-out inner lives of each character. Cardturner also won the 2010 Alan Truscott Memorial Award from the International Bridge Press Association, and makes a fine addition to any collection of books.
A classic example of black American literature, Song of Solomon is one of Morrison’s most commercially successful books with over 500,000 copies in print. While Morrison is known for her body of womanist works, she purposely chose a black male protagonist to draw upon experiences foreign to her as a woman, and, according to her, “Because I thought he had more to learn than a woman would have.”
Macon “Milkman” Dead III is the son of a wealthy property owner, alienated from himself and estranged from his own culture, history and roots. He decides to leave Michigan in search of his ‘inheritance’ – supposedly a stash of hidden gold cached in Pennsylvania on his paternal grandfather’s former property. In his journey to discover his fortune and his place in the world, he is helped (and hindered) by his aunt Pilate, an eccentric woman of near-divine nature, and his best friend Guitar, a street-wise, arrogant activist out for revenge against the white people who have killed his fellows.
Milkman’s search for his cultural identity, both as an African-American and a person independent of his family and its influences, are intertwined with fantastic elements and flashbacks into the pasts of family members, giving insight into the workings of their minds. If you’re looking for a rich, compelling story that explores love, life and black history, we highly recommend giving this book a try!