There really is no better way to laze the day away than to snag a window seat in a cafe or curl up under the sun, with a good book in one hand and an ice-cold cocktail in the other. Let the power of the written word take you to vistas unknown and immerse you in stunning tales, and by the time you emerge from the pages, you’ll also have a great tan.
We’ve consulted with the lovely folks at Book Depository for a list of the most highly anticipated books of 2020, containing everything from YA romance to dystopian thrillers. Work through the half that is already out while you put in pre-orders and wait for the rest to be published!
This dark, comical satire follows Willis Wu, a man who wants to climb the ranks in Hollywood but is stuck playing the role of Background Oriental Male. What drives the point further home is the way the story is portrayed: The entire novel is written in the form of a screenplay, so Wu is literally trapped within the roles that he is so loath to continue playing.
Moreover, all the Asian characters in the novel live together above a Chinese restaurant in a weird twist on Chinatowns around the world because Asians can’t live outside of their Asian community, of course. Interior Chinatown explores Asian-American clichés to devastatingly funny effect.
The titular girl in question is Adunni, who lives in Nigeria and is to be illegally sold off in marriage. As the plot follows her journey to becoming a “house-girl”—essentially a slave—for Big Madam, Adunni decides she wants to improve her life by getting a western education. She wants to have a “louding voice,” a non-standard English phrase of her own invention for being educated enough to be confident and loud in expressing opinions.
One of the selections in the Reese Witherspoon Book Club, The Girl with the Louding Voice is an ambitious novel calling for social change, seeking to answer Adunni’s question, “Why are the women in Nigeria seem to be suffering for everything more than the men?”
Best-selling young adult fiction writer Sarah J. Maas returns with her signature mix of outcast heroines, troubled pasts, snarky dialogue, romance, and sweeping action sequences. Bryce is the half-human, half-fae protagonist who spirals into self-destruction after a demon violently kills her friends. She is later chosen to work with an enslaved angel Hunt to track down the very same demon murderer.
Suckers for the enemies-to-lovers trope will enjoy how the pair start out hating each other’s guts before gradually warming to each other, with no small amount of snark fueling their heightened emotions. For a YA novel, House of Earth and Blood contains quite a lot of adult themes, such as graphic violence, slavery, and misogynistic sexism, but these all lend to the substantial world-building of Lunathion.
After sorting out junk from treasure for millions of homes worldwide, Marie Kondo has returned to nudge the hapless masses one step further on their journey to a tidy and energising life: by clearing out the office space. The first half of the book is dedicated to the physical space each white-collar worker uses at work. True to the KonMari method, readers are told to do the tidying all in one go, and to only keep “things that directly spark joy, those that provide functional joy, and those that lead to future joy.”
After years’ worth of Post-It notes and faded receipts have been cleared away, the second half of the book covers tidying digital data and reclaiming time that is otherwise ineffectually wasted. Does tidying up your desk equate to tidying up your career, sparking true Joy at Work? We suppose we’ll find out.
All too often, we struggle with talking to people we’ve just met because we make mistakes in the initial interaction. It’s not just the small, everyday conversations that fall into this trap either. Did you know that almost every world leader who had interacted with Adolf Hitler came away thinking that he wasn’t interested in waging war, or that being able to see gestures such as posture and subconscious movements—things we think give us clues about people—actually impairs judges’ reasoning in the courtroom?
In Talking to Strangers, Gladwell challenges his readers to break free from preconceived notions of the world and to not give in to the human tendency to simply favour the most likely interpretation of people and events.
This book seems set to become a modern YA classic. Georgia is an eighteen-year-old who worries about being broken because she has never even had a crush on anyone before, let alone been in a relationship. She likes the idea of romance and is holding out hope that love will strike her like a peal of lightning one day. After starting university life, Georgia enlists the help of her roommate Rooney, who’s styled as a bit of a love expert.
The fact that the main character of Loveless is an aromantic asexual girl is a big step in representation in identity politics, on top of being a heartwarming journey of self-acceptance.
Fans of Bird Box should perk up as the much-awaited sequel novel Malorie will finally hit the shelves this July. For the uninitiated, the series is set in a post-apocalyptic universe infested with creatures that drive people mad once seen. Titular character Malorie Walsh is surviving with her children by wearing blindfolds at all times and camping out in a school for the blind.
They are forced to go on the run again when one of the blind women falls prey to the creatures, and it comes to light that they can drive people insane through touch as well. Nuanced characterisation and understated horrors populate the world as Malorie chooses between staying isolated in relative safety or journeying into the dangerous unknown in search of family.
Terry Hayes follows up on his best-selling novel I Am Pilgrim with the new thriller The Year of the Locust. Luke Truman works a junior position on board the USS Leviathan, an 800-foot submarine which is the world’s most advanced warship. When the US government launches the first large-scale trial of the Leviathan’s effectiveness, it unleashes unexpected forces and a ripple effect of unstoppable events leading to the world’s doom.
Fans of suspense and sci-fi will love this story of government conspiracy, cutting-edge technology, and a single man’s desperate battle against much larger forces at play.
Ever wanted to know what life is like behind the glitz and glamour of a K-pop star? Jessica Jung, of Girls Generation fame, will soon release her debut novel about a Korean-American teen who is thrust into the competitive and seductive world of talent training in the idol industry.
Rachel Kim has been recruited by one of Seoul’s largest K-pop labels and is put through training with these rules ubiquitous in the entertainment world: train 24/7, be perfect, and don’t date. As she struggles to rise within the ranks of an industry that commodifies beauty and is rife with scandals, Rachel also finds herself dealing with romantic feelings that she isn’t supposed to develop.
Partly based on Jung’s own experiences being in one of South Korea’s most famous girl groups, Shine is sure to captivate lovers of K-pop and shed a little light on a world that is famously secretive.
Obviously, this highly-awaited sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale has already been out for a good few months, so if you haven’t read The Testaments yet, what are you waiting for? After three decades, readers are sucked back into Gilead, from which Offred has successfully escaped. The narrative is told from three points of view, the most compelling of which is Aunt Lydia’s—we finally get a look into her inner musings, her motivations, and her past.
There is a much more conspiratorial tone as compared to the previous book, and while some might take offence at how everything seems too neatly wrapped up by the end, we think it’s a great way to say goodbye to this stunning dystopian universe.
The titles above—and so much more—are all available to buy or pre-order from the Book Depository. They have a library containing more than 20 million books, so there will always be something to suit your mood and interests. Best of all, they always offer free delivery worldwide with no minimum spend, including Hong Kong, of course. No excuses now: Join us as we come out of summer well-tanned and well-read!