Here are the books I finished from January to April 2021:

1. A People’s History of Christianity by Diana Butler Bass

Picture Credit: www.goodreads.com

FORMAT: Kindle/ Audiobook

GENRE: Non-fiction/ Religion/ Spirituality

ABOUT: The church has always been inclusive—in doctrines and deeds. Unfortunately, this rich tradition was hijacked by a single narrative that excludes by definition. Diana Buttler Bass reveals the silenced part of history. Hidden behind the bossy orthodoxy lies an abundant terrain.

THOUGHTS: The Christian tradition is so rich in history and diversity. But of course, in Malaysia, we have to adopt the narrow-minded chauvinistic version of Evangelical Christianity.

2. Love Wins by Rob Bell

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FORMAT: Audiobook

GENRE: Non-fiction/ Religion/ Spirituality

ABOUT: The fate of every person who ever lived. Those who are dead—are they in heaven or hell? Well, what if we’ve been extrapolating the wrong data from the Bible? And a person who does not believe in Jesus won’t go to hell?

THOUGHTS: Every self-professing Christian needs to read this book. We need to get rid of theology that excludes and fails to accommodate the nuance.

3. The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

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FORMAT: E-book

GENRE: Non-fiction/ Chic lit

ABOUT: Lucy Hutton has a nemesis at work. They are both eyeing the same promotion, and they hate each other. Did I mention they hate each other? Incidentally, he’s hot.

THOUGHTS: The first 50% of the book was great. She started so well! Then, they slowly yielded to their feelings…50% into the book! Noooo…shouldn’t have let their sexual tension crack so early. They shouldn’t become acutely aware of their desire of bang each other until at least 70-80% into the book!

4. The Evolution of Adam by Peter Enns

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FORMAT: Audiobook

GENRE: Non-fiction/ Spirituality/ Religion

ABOUT: Can you believe in a historical Adam and Eve and believe in evolution?

THOUGHTS: Long story short, the answer is no. It is not possible to believe in a historical Garden of Eden, a historical Adam and Eve, AND also believe in evolution.

Some people try to rationalise—”one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day”—so perhaps the 7 days of creation was not 7 literal calendar days? Peter Enns explains why this view does not fly.

5. Macat Analysis of Jared’s Collapse by Rodolfo Maggio

Picture Credit: www.amazon.com

FORMAT: Audiobook

GENRE: Non-fiction/ Environmental Science/ Anthropology/ History

ABOUT: Why do societies survive, or not survive?

THOUGHTS: Geographic determinism is interesting food for thought.

6. The Duke and I (Bridgerton Series, Book 1) by Julia Quinn

Picture Credit: www.juliaquinn.com

FORMAT: E-book

GENRE: Fiction/ Regency-Era Romance/ Chic lit

ABOUT: Daphne Bridgerton wants a worthy husband, and Simon Basset (who is determined to never sire a scion) wants to avoid the ambitious mamas trying to matchmake him with their daughters. So, they do the only logical thing left—pretend to court.

Pretend to court. Huhh.

THOUGHTS: Spoilers ahead! You have been warned!

I’m going to start with my concerns. In one particularly wrenching scene, Simon, who had decided never to reproduce, tried to pull out when he was about to cum. But Daphne, who was on top of him, Cow-Girl position, stayed on top of him with his phallus securely inside her, so that he had no choice but to release into her. Does this constitute rape?

One thing that the Bridgerton series pride themselves on is the agency of the women. And I can see it, although there are limitations when writing about a period during which a woman’s options were get married or starve to death.

7. The Viscount Who Loved Me (Bridgerton Series, Book 2) by Julia Quinn

Picture Credit: www.juliaquinn.com

FORMAT: E-book

GENRE: Fiction/ Regency-Era Romance/ Chic lit

ABOUT: Anthony Bridgerton has set his eyes on Kate Sheffield, the woman he’s determined to marry. He wants to get married, but he doesn’t want to fall in love with his wife.

And we all know how that’s gonna go.

THOUGHTS: I don’t not like Kate. She has exactly the kind of character I usually enjoy in female characters. Nonetheless, I admit to kinda having my heart set on Anthony being with Sienna the opera singer, who is barely mentioned in the book, but played a sizeable role in the Netflix series.

Again, Kate is fine, but I was really digging the Sienna storyline.

8. 23 Things They Don’t Tell You About Capitalism by Ha-Joon Chang

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FORMAT: E-book

GENRE: Non-fiction/ Economics

ABOUT: A lot of people think the rules of capitalism is set in stone. It is not. This book is a rebuttal of neo-liberal capitalism.

Click here to find out what the 23 things are.

THOUGHTS: There are 23 things, but allow me to draw your attention to 4 that especially resonated with me:

#1 There is really no such thing as a free market.

#13 Making the rich people richer doesn’t make the rest of us richer.

#16 We are not smart enough to leave things to the market.

#20 Equality of opportunities is unequal.

9. An Offer from a Gentleman (Bridgerton Series, Book 3) by Julia Quinn

Picture Credit: www.juliaquinn.com

FORMAT: E-book

GENRE: Fiction/ Regency-Era Romance/ Chic lit

ABOUT: Bridgerton number 2, Benedict Bridgerton (btw, they are all named in alphabetical order. So Daphne mentioned in number 6 is child number 4, and Anthony in number 7 is the eldest).

Benedict meets a girl at a masquerade ball, and he falls madly in love. This is a twist on the Cinderella tale, expect the female protagonist, Sophie Beckett, has a spine, unlike Cinderella.

THOUGHTS: I was actually thinking of skipping book 3 and jumping straight to book 4 on Colin Bridgerton and Penelope Featherington. I’m glad I didn’t, because of book 1 through 3, I find this the best.

10. The Tragedy of Heterosexuality by Jane Ward


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FORMAT: Audiobook

GENRE: Non-fiction/ Sexuality/ Gender

ABOUT: Straight culture is screwed up.

THOUGHTS: It is. The kind of shit that gets normalised is astounding. As I type, an incident just happened in Malaysia where a school teacher joked with his class about rape. A girl in the glass posted about this on tik tok and it went viral. As a result, her school mate, a teenage boy, threatened to rape her. Next, a high-ranking police officer suggested that perhaps the boy was “joking“.

I know, rape culture.

It’s not that gay culture has no rape. The difference is that it’s normalised in straight culture.

11. Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss

Picture Credit: www.goodreads.com

FORMAT: Audiobook

GENRE: Non-fiction/ Self-help

ABOUT: How to negotiate (manipulate people) and get your way.

THOUGHTS: I used the techniques recommended in this book to get my husband to go to bed early. I’ll keep you guessing on whether they worked or not.