It’s that time of year again, and like many, the start of a new year is marked by resolutions and goal-setting. One of the things I’ll definitely be doing is setting my Goodreads Reading Challenge and building my to-read list. Fortunately, I’m surrounded by a team of readers, each with our unique taste in what makes a great read.
We’ve decided to compile our recommendations into this month’s ‘Team Picks’ for those eager to kickstart their 2024 book list but are uncertain where to begin. Our list spans a mix of both timeless and recent releases, including a thriller, biography, cookbook, children’s literature, and self-betterment books. We’ve also included a selection that sheds light on ongoing humanitarian injustices around the world.
The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music
by Dave Grohl
Recommended by Maggie De Souza, Brand Experience Manager
I thoroughly enjoyed this journey through the life of a rock legend. Grohl’s storytelling prowess shines as he weaves through his experiences, from the early days with Nirvana to the formation of the Foo Fighters and beyond. With such authenticity and humour in his writing style, it is as though he took me through the highs and lows of his life and career.
Whether you’re a devoted fan or just someone curious about the inner workings of the music world, The Storyteller is both heartfelt and inspiring. I’d recommend this to anyone with a love for music and storytelling.
Mornings in Jenin
by Susan Abulhawa
Recommended by Emma Mallaburn, Editor
With the ongoing genocide that’s happening right before our eyes, I find myself gravitating more and more towards Palestinian authors, one of them being Susan Abulhawa. Mornings in Jenin tells the tale of the Abulheja family, who were forcibly removed from their village in Ein Hod to a refugee camp in Jenin. The heart-wrenching stories of four generations will have you emotional on every level you can imagine.
While it’s classified as a novel, the story doesn’t run far from the truth, which, if you take the time to really let it sink in, is almost soul-crushing. Palestine and its people are beautiful, and this book teaches you that. It also teaches that savagery knows no bounds. The author conveys the hardships of her people so beautifully and eloquently that you’ll feel every single emotion known to man. It’s a profound read that I must recommend to everyone.
Untypical: How the World Isn’t Built for Autistic People and What We Should All Do About It
by Pete Wharmby
Recommended by River Huei, Sub-Editor & SEO Specialist
If you’ve got friends who are autistic or neurodivergent, Untypical is a fitting read into understanding their world or how they understand and navigate the world, rather. It’ll help you learn how to support the autistic folks around you and be a part of the solution to a more inclusive society.
The Snail & the Whale
by Julia Donaldson
Recommended by Lee Xin Xin, Head of Design
This book is a personal favourite of my daughter’s. I, in turn, enjoy reading it with her because of how well it’s written and the element of travel it includes. The rhymes make it fun to read aloud, and the storytelling is quite magical.
The story is about a snail longing for an adventure and ends up going on one with a whale. Together, they embark on exciting adventures underwater, passing icebergs and volcanoes, and swimming with sharks and penguins. Without giving the ending away, the final pages of The Snail & the Whale touch on friendship and how both characters help each other despite their differences.
Gordon’s Healthy Eating
by Gordon Ramsay
Recommended by Fiona Thong, Sales & Marketing Lead
This is my go-to cookbook for when I want to eat healthy. I find it challenging to make healthy food taste good, and with over 60 recipes, this book is not short of ideas. It has a variety of healthy meal suggestions, most of which are perfect for day-to-day cooking. And each recipe is put together by none other than one of the most famous chefs in the world – Gordon Ramsay!
Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less
by Greg McKeown
Recommended by Teresa Rodrigues, Social Media Lead
Essentialism is a game-changer. It teaches you to cut out the noise and focus on what really counts. It has encouraged me to say ‘no’ to the unnecessary and discover a more productive and meaningful life.
If you want (and need) clarity and purpose, this book is for you.
My Sister, the Serial Killer
by Oyinkan Braithwaite
Recommended by Marina Mahathir, Founder
I’ve read so many books that I have liked, so it’s hard to recommend just one. But anyway, one that I was surprised by was My Sister, the Serial Killer by Nigerian writer Oyinkan Braithwaite. It has one of the best first lines ever and is quite funny even while it tells a strange story. But it also tells you about modern Nigeria that is not poor and miserable while still making clear that some attitudes towards women haven’t changed.
Take this list as a friendly nudge from fellow book enthusiasts, urging you to dive into stories that not only entertain but also enlighten.