The other day, I was scrolling through Instagram and came across a video that was both sad and funny. It was a series of clips posted on Jimmy Kimmel Live’s account. It was part of the show’s segment called “Pedestrian Question.” Here, they go to the streets and ask random people questions. For this episode, they decided to ask people to name a book, any book. And to my surprise, almost everyone struggled to give a title.
The question was met with nervous laughs, “uhm,” “no,” and “I don’t read books.” From the ones who did answer, they said Dr. Seuss, which isn’t even a book. Dr. Seuss is an author. As funny as it was initially, I found it quite sad that most people don’t read. If you find yourself in the same situation, we put together a book list for you to check out. We asked our officemates to submit a book recommendation and explanation as to why you should give it a read. Check out the list below and pick some of these up. We also suggest sending this list to your friends so they can start reading too. You can even start your own book club.
The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan
“It’s from the same author as The Joy Luck Club, a book my mom recommended when I was younger. This though was something I picked up myself. Amy Tan is known for her amazing way of sharing detailed stories, I knew I’d be into. It tells a story of a courtesan during the Ching dynasty in Shanghai and how she survived through life’s turmoils in the span of 40 years. It’s thrilling and even if the book is quite thick for a paperback, you won’t be able to put it down until you’re done.
P.S. this reminds me of Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden. Another great book you should pick up.” – Jacque de Borja, Managing Editor, Preen.ph
The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp
“Since our line of work involves creative thinking on a day to day basis, I tend to gravitate towards self-help and motivational books—hoping that they’ll give me the ‘inspiration’ I need to get myself to start writing. A lot of these can sound overly optimistic and, to put bluntly, like BS. Twyla Tharp, however, is a creative ‘professional’ in every sense of the word. She’s wise and experienced enough to know that creatives don’t need inspiration (though it certainly helps). Creatives need discipline, and there’s no shortcut to it. It’s a tough love kind of book; a lot of things you’ll read might make you feel a piece of sh*t, but only because you’re forced to face the truth i.e. your own shortcomings. The book gave me a refreshing and much-needed reality check.” – Jessica Alberto, Editorial Assistant, NoliSoli.ph
Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami
“I’m immediately attracted to anything related to science fiction so it should be no surprise that the book I’m recommending is of the same genre. Each chapter of this book switches between what seems to be like two different storylines. But as you read on you will see how they relate to each other. What I really love about this book, aside from the sci-fi aspect, is how descriptive Haruki Murakami is with each scene that I can easily picture everything in my head. What can you expect from this book? Reading dreams, unicorns, shadows, and shuffling data.” – Tisha Ramirez, Editorial Assistant, Preen.ph
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
“Neil Gaiman is one my favorite authors because I love how he creates these fantastic worlds out of the mundane. The Graveyard Book is about a boy who was raised by ghosts after his family was brutally murdered. Although this book is technically a fantasy novel for children, the lessons at the end of the book still apply to older generations.” – Samantha Ong, Photographer/Videographer
#Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso
“I love it because it’s a straightforward guide book that tells you to get off your ass and actually start doing something. It’s inspired me to pursue the industry I want to thrive in (fashion), and to be honest even if I finished the book three months ago, I still go back to it if I need little reminders every now and then.” – Bea Llagas, Editorial Assistant, NoliSoli.ph
Please Look After Mom by Kyung-sook Shin
“My book recommendation is Please Look after Mom by Kyung-sook Shin. Based in South Korea, it’s a story of a selfless mother and, well, a selfish family. Their lives take a turn when mom gets lost in the city. During the desperate search, the family contemplates on the mother they took for granted and deeply regrets everything.
I highly recommend it because not only is it a tearjerker, it makes you reflect on motherhood and your own life. The chapters go into stages showing mom’s great love and sacrifices. It’s written in second person so it’s an immersive read too.” – Marian Hukom, Graphic Artist, Preen.ph
Reportage on Lovers: A Medley of Factual Romances, Happy or Tragic, Most of which Made News by Quijano de Manila
“Reportage on Lovers is a collection of true love stories of the ’50s alta sociedad in the Philippines. The tales are interesting and intriguing, but could come off as repetitive. I don’t mind the latter, though–I could revel in Nick Joaquin assuming his journalistic character forever.” – Yazhmin Malajito, Editorial Assistant, NoliSoli.ph
Beautiful You by Chuck Palahniuk
“What I love about any Palahniuk book I’ve read so far is how smart and sick his plots can be. Beautiful You is a satire of the Fifty Shades trilogy, and how women became obsessed with the story and Christian Gray even though it’s a sub-par book. It’s so subtle that you might just miss it while reading.” – Jacqueline Arias, Editorial Assistant, Preen.ph
A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
If you like the twist of Kimi no Na Wa (Your Name), you might also like how A Tale for the Time Being blends reality and fiction. Although it touches on serious subjects like philosophy, life, and death, and bullying, it was written in such an engaging way (at least to me). Talking about it now actually makes me want to reread it! – Pau Miranda, Associate Editor, NoliSoli.ph
MUNCHIES: Late-Night Meals from the World’s Best Chefs by JJ Goode, Helen Hollyman, and the Editors of MUNCHIES
“I’ve been watching MUNCHIES YouTube shows since 2013 and when they released this cookbook, I had to have it.
Honorable mention: F*ck That’s Delicious by Action Bronson. Another cookbook I would definitely recommend.” – Edric Dela Rosa, Art Director