10 books that have stayed with me

In the spirit of sharing our favourite books, here’s mine.

Great to see our new Education minister start a small yet meaningful initiative that will hopefully trickle down and inspire others. I’m particularly thankful that I come from a family who loves to read. May we all become voracious readers #MalaysiaMembaca

Top 10 books that have changed my life and whose message has stayed with me:

1. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
– I learned that if you want something to happen, the world will conspire with you to achieve it.

2. Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

– The best ‘chic lit’ and the only one I’ll ever read, Kinsella writes brilliantly with just the right amount of English wit, and candour.

3. Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua 
– Eye opening memoir into parenting styles of the East and West. (Made me appreciate my Asian parents more)

4. Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder
– An excellent introduction into the world of philosophy, its history and different schools of thought.

5. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini 
– A story of brotherhood and friendship amidst a tense political backdrop set in Afghanistan. I learned the true meaning of loyalty and forgiveness when Hassan tells Amir “For you, a thousand times over.”

6. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
– I don’t know how to describe this book but the ending left me in such a daze. It was kind of crazy. It was mind boggling, perplexing, brilliant all at the same time.

7. In the Footsteps of the Prophet by Tariq Ramadan
– Such a wonderful read about our prophet, who he was, what he was like and what he stood for, presented in a way easily accessible to modern day Muslims like myself.

8. What I know for sure by Oprah Winfrey
– Oprah shares her life advice via a collection of short stories by theme, reminding the reader that there is an answer to every question, and that things will make sense in the end.

9. 40 Rules of Love by Elif Shafak
– A story about true love and friendship premised on the short encounter between the world’s greatest poet Rumi, and his spiritual advisor and friend Shams, who transformed him. “Every true love and friendship is a story of unexpected transformation. If we are the same person before and after we loved, that means we haven’t loved enough.”

10. Signs on the Horizons by Michael Sugich
– The best book I have read to date. So many tears were shed as I realized that there is another world out of there filled with people in deep contemplation of God and religion. Many of them are ‘saints’ or Awliyah, who are also ‘Sufis’ focused on their practice of Tasawuuf (related to the branch of Islam called Ihsan). A beautiful tale of a convert meeting these saints around the Middle East in the 70s.


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