Popular Bookstagrammer “The Guy With The Book” shares his best reads of 2018

The list is compiled by Faroukh Naseem aka “The Guy With The Book” and is part of the series called “Best Reads of 2018.” You can read more articles of this series here. Followed by more than 43k people on Instagram, Faroukh loves to travel, read & review books. He’s pretty serious about the content he shares. A huge thanks to him for compiling a list and sharing it with us.

1 – Killing Commendatore by Haruki Murakami


KC is actually a duology in which Murakami pays homage to F Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby like never done before. It contains the right mix of plot, story and characters. It also has references to Alice in Wonderland which give it further depth. The book starts in typical Murakami fashion with an in depth introduction to our protagonist who is suffering from a broken relationship and pretty much the worst type of midlife crisis. We have recurring shady characters and a naturally soulless pit which somehow seems to have a life of its own. I’d recommend this to readers who look for and appreciate the art of bringing random characters together and are looking for a little Magic in their lives!

2 – The Only Story by Julian Barnes


This was my first Barnes and I was taken by surprise by the casually rich nature of his style of writing. He strings letters into words and those words form the most soulful sentences leading his readers into a trance, almost a dance of emotions! The plot is perhaps inappropriate for most cultures but the way Barnes has dealt with the story of a teenager falling in love with a mother of two twice his age is flawless. I would recommend this to readers looking for something fulfilling that can be read without having to scratch their heads every few pages. It’s a great ‘story’ for adults.

3 – Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng


I read this way back in January and this books still keeps coming to mind every few weeks. When I was asked to choose my top 5, it’s the first book that came to mind. The way Celeste has dealt with a broken mother-daughter relation along with her own attachment to art is something I haven’t seen many times before. I had said this in my review and I think it sums this book perfectly, so I’m going to repeat it here: Little Fires Everywhere is a beautiful example of what ignites when a perfect system is faced with equal chaos.

4 – We Are Okay by Nina Lacour


I do not read much Young Adult fiction so when I picked We Are Okay my expectations were minimal, I was looking only for a good time with a few hundred pages. I’d have been okay with it as long as it didn’t irritate me. This is the only YA book I recommend to people who ask. Its everything a book targeted at a young audience needs to be. It is atmospheric like no other book ive read till date. Even in the heat of Saudi Arabia I could imagine the cold weather of New York; isn’t that what books are all about?! Successfully taking us to a different place for a few minutes…I’d recommend this should be read by anyone who likes to read a sad book about a teen dealing with loss but not making the experience cringeworthy.

5 – Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata


I actually read this last week and did not expect it to make my top 5 for 2018, it’s a short book and there are plenty of dialogues which makes it a very fast read, you could read it on a quiet Sunday at home. It is a strange book and some may even think of it as weird book. But more than weird, my choice of word would be ‘strange’ to describe it. It shows a part of Japanese culture in a very interesting way through an abnormal protagonist. The ending is very wholesome, it’s very comical in parts and a feeling of impending doom does loom in especially around the end the book. I thought for a long time about what was negative but I really couldn’t think about anything and I’ll be recommending this to anyone looking to enter the weird side of Japanese Literature which would include Haruki Murakami.