SINGAPORE (Dec 27): Here are our picks for the best books of the year.

The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse by Charles Mackesy

This brilliantly illustrated book will stay with you long after you finish its extremely modest 128 pages, for its hopeful message in today’s turbulent times.

The Body: A Guide for Occupants by Bill Bryson

The fantastically funny Bill Bryson once again takes us on a journey; this time, through the inner (and outer) workings of the human body. Extensively researched and engaging, biology is never quite so interesting as when Bryson describes it.

The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo

Malaysian-born Yangsze Choo’s brilliant second novel charts the destiny of five seemingly unrelated people as they contemplate the supernatural thread that links them all together.

 

The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates

A supernatural tale that was selected at the revival of Oprah’s infamous Book Club, this fantasy-fiction tale is engaging and unputdownable.

 

The Institute by Stephen King

This is being touted as the scariest book the prolific Stephen King has ever written, and we would be hardpressed to argue. Chilling and terrifying, it shows that monsters are not always what, or who, we expect them to be.

 

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

A sequel to the grim and dystopian The Handmaid’s Tale, The Testaments takes place 15 years after the events of the first novel. It was the joint winner of the Man Booker Prize 2019.

 

Grand Union by Zadie Smith

Divisive, frantic and somewhat erratic — this collection of stories from one of the most exciting female writers today takes us through modern life in unexpected ways.

 

Where Reasons End by Yiyun Li

All at once heartbreaking and hopeful, this tenderly written novel of a fictional conversation between a mother and her son, whom she lost to suicide, is a stark reminder of the importance of mental health awareness.