To say that we at Yahoo are a family of readers is no exaggeration. Our love of writing is probably borne out of our love for reading.
If you are thinking of starting your reading journey this year but need help figuring out where to start; fret not. I have asked our Yahoo staffers, which includes a book author and another who read 185 books last year, their reading habits, preferences and book recommendations. And oh boy, our favourite genres and book recommendations are so wide-ranging, from classics, fantasy, memoirs, philosophy, fiction, and thrillers to historical romance and more. So, you know you are in good hands. As we get to know our Yahoo team better via our reading preferences, may you chance upon that one book that will touch you, even for a little bit!
A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies . . . The man who never reads lives only one.American novelist and television producer George R.R. Martin [author of the fantasy novel A Song of Ice and Fire, which was adapted into the Emmy Award-winning HBO series Game of Thrones]
Reta Lee, Head of Lifestyle Commerce, Yahoo Southeast Asia & co-author of The Stories Women Journalists Tell
Reta's top picks: 1000 Years of Joy and Sorrow by Ai Weiwei
Preferred genre: Biographies
Preferred reading style: Kindle and hard copy
Currently reading: If Walls Could Speak: My Life in Architecture by Moshe Safdie.
Did you know Moshe planned the Marina Bay Sands development and Jewel Changi Airport in Singapore? In his memoir, the celebrated architect and thinker recounted his childhood days and thought processes – from his roots in Haifa and Montreal and his ideology on designing public housing to other cultural landmarks – that makes him who he is today.
Number of books read in 2022: Sadly, three.
Favourite book/s of all time (or 2022): 1000 Years of Joy and Sorrow by Ai Weiwei.
It’s a compelling read about the artist whose acts of defiance shaped him to be China’s public enemy and the activist he is today.
The Stories Women Journalists Tell is another favourite book of mine, as I was involved with producing the book from start to finish! It’s a compilation of essays by women journalists in SEA that celebrates kinship, camaraderie and strength while highlighting our most important and exciting history in events and news.
To read list:
Reading goal in 2023: 10 books
Ronald Goh, Lifestyle & Content Producer, Yahoo Singapore
Ron's top pick: Conversations on Love by Natasha Lunn
Preferred genre: Non-fiction
Preferred reading style: Hard copy/E-book
If you struggle to set boundaries in life, this book is one practical manual for tackling conflicts. Written by a licensed counsellor and relationship expert, learn tips on navigating family, romantic, friend and work relationships. It also helps to unpack the six types of boundaries and can be a good entry point into self-reflection/journalling and learning how to communicate better.
Number of books read in 2022: 8
Favourite book of all time (or 2022): Conversations on Love by Natasha Lunn
I loved how the author could unpack life lessons and stories first-hand from individuals with vastly different backgrounds and stages of life. Good questions were asked, and the details of the conversations gave emotional weight and context to the stories shared.
My ideas on love have changed after reading the book, and it made me question my views on love and how it is expressed in daily life and relationships. It also felt like I was witnessing the conversations in person.
To read list:
Reading goal in 2023: To read at least 10 books and more informative web articles
Stephanie Zheng, Lifestyle Editor, Yahoo Life Singapore
Steph's top pick: When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
Preferred genre: Fantasy/Sci-fi
Your preferred reading style: Kindle/Hard copy
Currently reading: I just started on Dune by Frank Herbert, which is the first part of a 6-book series. I only started on it because of all the hype around the movie starring Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya (which I haven't watched because if there's a book before the film, you can bet I will read the book before coming anywhere near the movie). I saved all six books on my Kindle, iPad and iPhone to ensure I always have access to them.
Number of books read in 2022: Probably around 12-13? One a month, at least!
Favourite book/s of all time (or 2022): Where do I start!?
2. Sandman by Neil Gaiman. Every single story inside the graphic novels, EVERYTHING.
If it isn't clear enough, I love it when I can immerse myself entirely into the world built by authors, which is why I always love multi-book series. And yes, put Harry Potter on the list as well!
To read list:
Reading goal in 2023: I can make it to 15 this year. I'm on book three at the moment!
Nisha Rahim, News and Lifestyle Producer, Yahoo Singapore
Nisha's top pick: Becoming by Michelle Obama
Preferred genre(s): Memoirs and Satire
There is something very personal about reading autobiographies by notable personalities such as former first lady Michelle Obama and comedians such as Tina Fey and Richard Ayoade. It is fascinating to get a glimpse into their personal beliefs and thought processes. Apart from that, I prefer books that have satire in them. Satire is a fascinating genre that offers a dark sense of humour and irony to expose the shortcomings and vices of societies, or individuals.
Preferred reading style: Hard copy. Nothing like holding a physical copy.
Currently reading: Spare by Prince Harry, this year's 'explosive' new memoir.
The book is truly a royal tell-all about Prince Harry's life. What struck me the most was how honest he was in the book. He did not shy away from controversial details such as his strained relationships with his family and intimate revelations of his life – including how he lost his virginity. All in all, if you are interested in his story and the challenges he faced, especially in the media since he was a kid, this is a must-read.
Number of books read in 2022: 20 books (as far as I recall)
Favourite book of all time (or 2022): Becoming by Michelle Obama.
It's undoubtedly an exciting read, especially if you want a personal glimpse into the glamorous world of the former first lady and the White House. Her inspiring tales of how she overcame many challenges and criticism to become the first African-American first lady of the United States will motivate you to want to do more in life.
To read list:
Reading goals in 2023:
When it comes to reading, I usually want to read more, but this time, I want to explore new genres that I typically don't read, like horror or romance. It's good to have a healthy form of escapism to recharge myself from the daily grind.
Cadence Loh, Lifestyle Editor, Yahoo Life Singapore
Cadence's top pick: Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder
Preferred genre: Non-fiction
Currently reading: This Is Not A Pity Memoir by Abi Morgan.
I love memoirs, and this one especially. Imagine your loved one suffering from an illness which causes memory loss in which he remembers everyone else but you. Does it sound like fate dealt the author a lousy hand? There's more. As if this was not horrible enough, the protagonist contracts stage 3 breast cancer. This true story is beautifully written and told with such poignance that it makes me reflect on my life with gratitude. The author is also a playwright and screenwriter for The Iron Lady starring Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher.
Number of books read in 2022: 35
Favourite book of all time (or 2022): Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder
More than just a book on philosophy with existentialist questions and the exploration of free will, Sophie's World is a story within a story. As a result, it makes for an adventurous and intriguing read. Without giving too much of the plot away (if you have yet to read it), this book speaks to me, and I saw myself as the protagonist, curious about the meaning of life.
To read list:
1. The Light We Carry by Michelle Obama (Now, who doesn't admire the former first lady and is curious to know more about this charismatic lady?)
2. The Years by Annie Ernaux (Winner of the 2022 Nobel Prize in Literature & Shortlisted for the 2019 Man Booker International Prize)
3. The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel ('cos I'm trying to be better at money management, and not pay unnecessary finance charges for overdue bills)
Preferred reading style: Rakuten Kobo because no matter how wonderful it is to hold a physical copy in hand, an e-reader makes so much more sense in my lifestyle, where I'm trying hard to declutter. As a Lit student and someone who worked for five years in a bookstore, you can imagine the books I have accumulated over the years. Believe me, it was with great pain I sent them for donation after many, many years of the lonely books sitting in my storeroom.
The Kobo e-reader is a lifesaver in so many ways. First, with my failing eyesight, especially during those insomniac nights, physical copies with tiny fonts have become impossible to read. My friends have also diverted their love of reading to audiobooks. The adjustable font sizes in e-readers are such a godsend! Finally, there's no better way to build one's vocabulary than the e-reader's inbuilt dictionary function. So quick and fuss-free to learn a new word.
My Kobo Clara 2E is only 6 inches, weighs only 171g and fits perfectly into my crossbody bag! On top of that, its waterproof function also makes it the ideal travel companion. Of course, as an aspiring eco-warrior, it feels great to know that the Kobo Clara 2E is the first eReader made with ocean-bound and recycled plastic. What’s more, Kobo’s ability to link to the tens and thousands of FREE audio and e-books on OverDrive makes it a great buy.
Reading goal in 2023: To enjoy the reading process and not get too wrapped up about the total number of books read in a month or a year.
Esther Au Yong, Editor-in-Chief, Yahoo Finance Southeast Asia
Esther's top pick: 1984 by George Orwell
Preferred genre: Historical Romance, Crime, Thrillers
Currently reading: Humankind by Rutger Bregman. The author seeks to convince us that human beings are hardwired for kindness and geared towards collaboration rather than competition. We are also more inclined to trust than to be suspicious of one another. They are turning the tacit assumption that humans are inherently bad on its head. Bregman further argues that believing in people will allow us to effect societal change.
Number of books read in 2022: 185
Favourite book of all time (or 2022): 1984 by George Orwell
To read list:
1. The Night Swim by Megan Goldin: In preparation and anticipation of Dark Corners, to be published later this year. Besides being a brilliant writer, Megan is a friend and ex-colleague.
2. The Accidental Malay by Karina Robles Bahrin: Winner of the 2022 Epigram Books Fiction Prize.
3. Spare by Prince Harry: If only to see the hype for myself; I hope I won't be wasting my time.
Reading goal in 2023: To read more non-fiction