book club

Editors’ note: We loved Deya’s piece on how joining a book club helped her make friends, and the books mentioned there made us salivate. Here’s a list of some of the books she’s read with her book club. Include these curated titles in your upcoming book club meets or add them to your to-read list.


The Three-Body Problem

Cixin Liu

Originally published in Chinese in 2008, Ken Liu’s translation of The Three-Body Problem won the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 2015. This science-fiction novel, the first in the Remembrance of Earth’s Past trilogy, begins during the Cultural Revolution in China. Even though it deals with a subject like the alien invasion of Earth, it is so much more than that. In Liu Cixin’s words, “I wrote about the worst of all possible universes in Three Body out of hope that we can strive for the best of all possible Earths.”

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The Book of Disquiet

Fernando Pessoa

The Book of Disquiet is a collection of unedited fragments written by Fernando Pessoa and published posthumously. Part-prose and part-poetry, it is a collection of aphorisms and philosophical reflections. You might want to keep a pencil handy to underline or annotate the book for it is filled with existential musings.

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Craig Thompson

A graphic novel, at its core, Habibi is a love story- the tale of shifting relationships between Dodola and the younger Zam. But it is so much more as it also explores “… our relationship to the natural world, the cultural divide between the first and third worlds, the common heritage of Christianity and Islam, and, most potently, the magic of storytelling.” Set in an imaginary landscape, Thompson drew inspiration from Arabic calligraphy, Arabian Nights and the state of the environment.

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Wimbledon Green


This graphic novel is set in an alternate world where collecting comic books in mint condition is the activity of high financiers. A homage to collectors, the character of the mysterious Wimbledon Green, the self-proclaimed greatest comic book collector in the world, is sketched through recollections of his peers and acquaintances. In his introduction, the author mentions that this book was his way of reconnecting with his youth, which was spent reading comic books.

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Bird by Bird

Anne Lamott

Considered a bible for writers, Bird by Bird is not just a guide to writing but also to life. It touches not only on the joy of writing but also the pain of writer’s block and the feelings of jealousy in a writer. Lamott sketches a true picture of a writer’s world- the ‘darkness’ tempered by her sense of humour. If you are a writer or even an aspiring one, this book will provide step-by-step instructions on how to survive the life of a writer.

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Special Topics in Calamity Physics

Marisha Pessel

Narrated by the protagonist, Blue van Meer, Marisha Pessel’s debut novel is a coming-of-age story. Blue’s voice is distinctive, clever, and peppered with cultural, philosophical, literary and scientific knowledge, as she finds herself in the middle of a murder mystery. You will either love it or hate it; there is no middle ground here.

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Em and the Big Hoom

Jerry Pinto

Winner of the 2012 Hindu Literary Prize and the 2016 Sahitya Akademi Award, Em and the Big Hoom is Jerry Pinto’s first fictional work. The book revolves around the Mendez family and their trials as they deal with the mother’s bipolar disorder. Narrated by the teenage son, this is the story of Em, the mother and Hoom, the dependable father. Pinto’s strength lies in his ability to add humour to a sensitive topic.

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Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Adichie won the National Book Critics Circle Fiction Award for Americanah; the book traces the life of a young Nigerian woman and paints a poignant picture of the African émigré’s experience in America. Ifemelu and Obinze fell in love, separated and found themselves reunited after many years. They must now decide whether they want to revive their relationship considering their different experiences growing up. Americanah is an intricate story about Obinze and Ifemelu’s lives together with a subtle examination of the conditions of race and class in the U.S.

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