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Book Reviews for Key Stage 5 and adults by the GIS Community | Garden International School Malaysia

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Creating a strong reading culture where everyone in our community reads regularly for pleasure is one the things we strive for at Garden International School. With readily available resources at our library, everyone from our students, and even parents and staff is encouraged to read and share recommendations and reviews with one another. Here are a few book reviews by our parents and staff.

 

Garden International School Malaysia blog book review Crazy Rich Asian

Recommended for: Key Stage 5 and adults
By Erika Pungolino (GIS parent)

Title: Crazy Rich Asians
Author: Kevin Kwan

The novel is about three super-rich, pedigreed Chinese families and the gossip, backbiting, and scheming that occurs when the heir to one of the most massive fortunes in Asia brings home his ABC (American-born Chinese) girlfriend to the wedding of the season.

 

Garden International School Malaysia blog book review Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

Recommended for: Key Stage 5 and adults
By Nina Beaugeard (GIS parent)

Title: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
Author: Gail Honeyman

It’s about a woman with absolutely no social skills and a difficult childhood trying to navigate her way into new friendships. It’s funny, and difficult at times because the heroine is so awkward, but it’s one of the few books that every member of my book club loved.

 

Garden International School Malaysia blog book review Magpie Murders

Recommended for: Key Stage 5 and adults
By Ying-ley Ling  (GIS parent)

Title: Magpie Murders
Author: Anthony Horowitz

Two books in one with enough twists and turns to keep you reading through the night to the very end. Anthony Horowitz challenges the reader to guess the murderer. So far none have succeeded.

 

Recommended for: Key Stage 5 and adults
By James Maitland- Smith (GIS parent)

Title: A Whole New Mind
Author: Daniel Pink

Great for anyone who has a child in school, or any one in education. Provides an interesting perspective on the dawning Conceptual Age.

 

Garden International School Malaysia blog book review Leviathan Wakes

Recommended for: Key Stage 5 and adults
By James Abela (GIS staff)

Title: Leviathan Wakes
Author: James S.A. Corey

It creates a fully realised world set in the near future where people are starting explore our solar system. The story itself is gripping with detective theme and action pieces throughout the book, but it makes you think about the consequences of technology and exploration.

 

Garden International School Malaysia blog book review A Life Apart

Recommended for: Key Stage 5 and adults
By Shalini Nair (GIS parent)

Title: Life Apart
Author: Neel Mukherjee

This is an intense read where the characters haunts you for months. It’s a sad story but it has a lot of depth in it with varied emotions and gave great insight into the periods of history and of society I was less aware of.

It’s two stories intertwined into one book, with each character leaving a mark on the reader. The author has tremendous depth in his writing and uses very poetic language. It had me running for dictionary many a time, but was still not daunting like many other acclaimed authors I have read. The story revolves around the bright young Indian student who got admission into Oxford on scholarship and his journey through the world unknown to him. He is haunted by his abusive childhood, this sexual orientation and lack of social circle which takes him and the reader along on a journey to the dark alleys of London and through his writing to the revolts during Indian independence history. It’s a book that stays with you long after you have finished reading it.

 

Garden International School Malaysia blog book review Nineteen Minutes

Recommended for: Key Stage 5
By Pooja Gupta (GIS Parent)

Title: Nineteen minutes
Author: Jodi Picoult

This book is about a school shooting and the frustrations of a boy being bullied.

 

Garden International School Malaysia blog book review Elizabeth is Missing

Recommended for: Key Stage 5 and adults
By Nina Beaugeard (GIS parent)

Title: Elizabeth is Missing
Author: Emma Healey

Written from the perspective of an old lady with dementia, this is both funny and tragic, as the reader watches her inevitable decline. But there’s also a sub-plot – she thinks something terrible happened when she was young but, frustratingly, she can’t remember. A book to both cry and laugh over.

 

Garden International School Malaysia blog book review How To Stop Time

Recommended for: Key Stage 5 and adults
By Ying-ley Ling (GIS parent)

Title: How To Stop Time
Author: Matt Haig

Tom Hazard has a dangerous secret. He looks like an ordinary 41 year old, but due to a rare medical condition, he’s been alive for centuries. This Sunday Times bestseller is Matt Haig’s first adult book. However, last year a child friendly edition was released with illustrations by former Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell. A film of the book is being made starring and produced by Benedict Cumberbatch.

 

Garden International School Malaysia blog book review Nutshell

Recommended for: Key Stage 5 and adults
By Nina Beaugeard (GIS parent)

Title: Nutshell
Author: Ian McEwan

It’s written from a whole new perspective – the unborn child – whose precociousness had me laughing at all kinds of inappropriate places. Loosely based on Hamlet, this is a clever and enjoyable read.

 

Garden International School Malaysia blog book review The Gift of Rain

Recommended for: Key Stage 5 and adults
By Nina Beaugeard (GIS parent)

Title: The Gift of Rain
Author: Tan Twan Eng

Written by a Malaysian, and set around the time of Malaya’s occupation during World War II, I think this is an essential read for anyone who lives here and wants to know more about the history of this country and enjoys a beautifully written story. Set in Penang, and based around the complicated relationship between a young adult of mixed English-Chinese heritage and a Japanese diplomat, this story explores ideas of alienation and loyalty, while also giving a real insight into what happened in Malaya during the 2nd World War. Although Tan Twan Eng’s 2nd book, The Garden of Evening Mists, won more accolades, I enjoyed this book more.

 

Garden International School Malaysia blog book review The Music Shop

Recommended for: Key Stage 5 and adults
By Ying-ley Ling (GIS parent)

Title: The Music Shop
Author: Rachel Joyce

It’s 1988 and Frank owns a music shop. He’s very good at finding for his customers what they need. Until a woman walks into his life and helps him to find what he needs in his life. Sunday Times calls Joyce “One of the most sensitive but forensic archaeologists of everyday life”.

 

Garden International School Malaysia blog book review The Pier Falls

Recommended for: Key Stage 5 and adults
By Nina Beaugeard (GIS parent)

Title: The Pier Falls
Author: Mark Haddon

It’s not so much the subject-matter that I loved about this book – although it is startling in its chaos and, for want of a better word, unhappiness. But I loved the writing – sparing, almost without comment or opinion; but simply recounting the shocking events that occur and leaving the reader reeling. A very unusual book.

 

Garden International School Malaysia blog book review The Underground Railroad

Recommended for: Key Stage 5 and adults
By Ying-ley Ling (GIS parent)

Title: The Underground Railroad
Author: Colson Whitehead

Set in pre civil war America, this book follows the journey of Cora, a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. It is this generation’s “To Kill A Mockingbird”. A difficult book to read because of the subject matter, it deserved winning the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Literature.

 

Garden International School Malaysia blog book review Uncommon Type

Recommended for: Key Stage 5 and adults
By Ying-ley Ling (GIS parent)

Title: Uncommon Type
Author: Tom Hanks

A series of funny, moving and sensitive short stories from the actor, director and screenwriter Tom Hanks. If you enjoy his pieces in The New York Times, Vanity Fair and the New Yorker, then this is the book for you.

 

Garden International School Blog Book Review Prisoners of Geography

Recommended for: Key Stage 5 and adults
By Sharifah Zarah (GIS parent)

Title: Prisoners of Geography
Author: Tim Marshall

Great for anyone interested in Geopolitics. A must read for a better understanding of the world we live in.

 

Garden International School Malaysia blog book review Jodi Picoult Small Great Things

Recommended for: Key Stage 5 and adults
By Sharifah Zarah (GIS parent)

Title: Small Great Things
Author: Jodi Picoult

Jodi Picoult’s latest book touches on racial prejudice and its ramifications. As in all her books, she explores current social issues that we face today. An interesting read that makes us question how we view and treat others.

 

Garden International School Malaysia blog book review Salmon Rushdie The Golden House

Recommended for: Adults
By Sonali Bhatia (GIS parent)

Title: The Golden House
Author: Salman Rushdie

It’s a well told tale of a family, money, our global lives; dealing with love and loss. Very interesting references to mythology, cultures and a comment on modern society. A saga about a mysterious man and his sons.

 

Garden International School Malaysia blog book review The Picture of Dorian Gray

Recommended for: Key Stage 4, 5 and adults
By Adrian Stroet (GIS staff)

Title: The Picture of Dorian Gray
Author: Oscar Wilde

It’s the story of a young man, whose good looks and charm have captured the attention of all those around him. He has his portrait painted. From then on, his vile and despicable behaviour – to which he becomes more and more prey – is exhibited on his picture, whilst he remains perfectly young and healthy.
But what if the portrait was destroyed? What if someone saw the picture and the effects that his appalling life had REALLY had on him?
This portrait must be kept safely locked away for Dorian’s eyes only.
What could possibly go wrong…

 

Related stories:
Book Reviews for Key Stage 3 and 4 by the GIS Community
Book Reviews for Key Stage 4 and 5 by the GIS Community

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