Sunday, September 25, 2022

The official student newspaper of Methodist Ladies' College, est. 2020

2021 Wrap-Up – Bibliophile Babble

By Nadine Lim and Steph Liang

Best read this year 1House of Hollow by Krystal SutherlandEmma by Jane Austen
Best read this year 2Kafka on the Shore by Haruki MurakamiInvisible Life of Addie LaRue by VE Scwab
Anticipated release 1Babel, or The Necessity of Violence: An Arcane History of the Oxford Translators’ Revolution by R.F KuangSilverborn: the Mystery of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend
Anticipated release 2Kaikeyi by Vaishnavi PatelLeague of Liars by Astrid Scholte

This month with Nadine and Steph…

Spicing things up for the last Bibliophile Babble of 2021, we conducted a pseudo-interview where we gush about our favourite reads of the year, as well as our most anticipated 2022 releases. Enjoy!

S: It’s crazy to think 2021 is drawing to a close! Through all the ups and downs of this year, one thing was constant…

N: … Lockdowns? Mask mandates? Procrastination?

S: Well those, but also…

N: Books!

S: Exactly. So Nadine, looking back what would you say your favourite read of this year was?

N: So many to choose from, but one book I absolutely adored was the classic Emma by Jane Austen. I picked up this novel after watching the 2020 film adaptation starring Anya Taylor-Joy and loved every aspect of it; the wit and humour were particular standouts, especially for a novel written during the 1800s!

S: Nothing like a Regency-era romance and slowburn.

N: Exactly! I’d really recommend everyone to check out both the book and film. What about your favourite read, Steph?

S: I also had some great reads this year, but one that really stood out for me was the novel House of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland. Aside from the simply stunning cover, I loved how the book interwove the genres of urban fantasy and horror, coupled with unique characterisation.

N: That sounds so intriguing! Whilst we’re on the topic of young adult fiction, I also loved The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by VE Schwab.

S: Ooh yes, I’ve heard such great things about it on BookTok this year.

N: Yeah, I loved how the book studied what makes human life valuable, and even though the ending was somewhat predictable I still really enjoyed it overall. Did you have another favourite read for this year?

S: I also loved Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami. It’s honestly unlike any other book I’ve ever read, and the magical realism was confusing at points yet simultaneously intriguing!

N: What a great year of reading! Looking forward, 2022 has many exciting releases planned: one that I’m most excited for is League of Liars by Astrid Scholte, a novel heralded as ‘the next Six of Crows’ by ARC readers for its band of morally grey, criminally involved teens on a jailbreak mission. Hurrah!

S: *cue incoherent screeching* Ahem. Pardon the screaming, but that sounds ABSOLUTELY PERFECT. I AM SO EXCITED. I’m also excited for Kaikeyi by Vaishnavi Patel, which reimagines the life of Kaikeyi, the vilified queen of Indian mythology. And it’s coined to be as good as Circe by Madeleine Miller? Count me in.

N: *more incoherent screeching* As an avid lover of Circe and Greek mythology in general… I’m ready. I am also pumped for the next instalment of the Nevermoor series Silverborn: the Mystery of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend, which I recommended back in May! I cannot wait for the new adventures that are in store from the whimsical city of Nevermoor.

S: That’s so exciting! That reminds me, one of my favourite authors, R.F. Kuang, also has a new book coming out called Babel, or The Necessity of Violence: An Arcane History of the Oxford Translators’ Revolution, or simply Babel. Kuang’s series The Poppy War really left a striking impression on me, and I’m anticipating that this new dark academia novel from her will do the same.

N: Ahh, so many good things coming! On that lovely note, we’ll wrap Bibliophile Babble for this year. From Steph and I, we wish everyone a happy holidays and happy reading.

S: See you all next year!


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