Books That Changed Your Life: Trick Mirror, Kite Runner—Tatler Friends Share Their Picks
If a book can be powerful enough to pull us into a fictitious world, then it can be powerful enough to change a life. Out of a million books across the world, there are a few that certainly helped shape some of the prominent people we know today. So we asked our Tatler friends which book left a lasting impression in their lives.
Katrina Razon is a director at Wonderfruit Festival, DJ, yoga instructor, and the founder of KSR Ventures.
If I could recommend one book it would be Jia Tolentino's Trick Mirror. It is a collection of essays that touches on feminism, its intersection with the internet, our modern preoccupations with external appearance amongst many issues that millennials confront. Jia offers insightful commentary, critical thinking and hilarious anecdotes. We can all take pride that Jia is Filipino and we must support Filipino voices on a global scale.
Kevin Tan is the youngest CEO of Alliance Global Inc.
One of my favourite books is Start With Why by Simon Sinek. It's about an inspiring and powerful idea on leadership that teaches us all to define our roles and objectives not by what we do or how we do something, but instead by why we do it. It is only when we can identify and act out a meaningful purpose, cause and believe can we inspire the right kind of action and culture within our organization. This clarity, in turn, attracts a deeper sense of loyalty and affinity from our customers, who are essentially motivated and drawn to our brand by the same shared beliefs and values.
David Batchelor is the Senior Vice President of Resort Operations at Solaire Resort and Casino.
One of the best books I have read is The Boys In The Boat, a non-fiction story by Daniel James Brown about a young boy, Joe Rantz, who was abandoned by his parents in Washington State in the early 20th century but grew up to become a member of the Gold Medal-winning Eights Rowing team for the USA at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin.
It is an inspirational tale of triumph over struggle and adversity for a young man who grew up with nothing and along with his fellow crew members conquered the Rowing world against the backdrop of the Great Depression and the rise of Nazi Germany.
It is a book that is beautifully written, touching, with unforgettable characters that I couldn’t put down. I highly recommended it!
Elena Coyiuto is the founder of Young Filipino Chinese Entrepreneurs and is an artist. She also has a vibrant Instagram persona with @madameinshades.
I consider Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini as a contemporary classic and a must-read for everyone. For me, Kite Runner depicts life as coming around in a circle. The theme of the novel revolves around the coming of age of two boys who are so different in terms of social strata and how they find their place in a world of turmoil and chaos. The story touches on the relationship with parents, friendship and betrayal, human capacity for good and evil, social and cultural awareness, religion, forgiveness and redemption. I find the book heart wrenching, compelling and beautifully written with so much passion! I just love the book!
Junie Peña is a philanthropist and an Honorary Consul of Lithuania to the Philippines.
Choosing one single book seems impossible! But one book that has definitely stuck with me is The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams! I first read it when I was 17 years old and I felt like it was written by a friend who knew exactly how to make me laugh! Like we had a private joke just between us... That’s something special I think that a book can bring you, like making new friends that you instantly know you’ll be best friends with for life... it’s like getting a gift.
Chit Lijauco is a journalist and the managing editor of Tatler Philippines.
The Art of Simple Living by the Buddhist monk Shunmyo Masuno, which presents 100 daily practices to achieve calm and joy. Given by a friend last Christmas, it became a perfect companion in the search for some meaning within the pandemic chaos and in allaying the many fears it brings. It also reaffirms the need to simplify for someone in her senior years.
Philip Cu-unjieng is a journalist and a father of three boys. He writes for Philstar and Manila Bulletin.
The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet by David Mitchell. When this book was published in 2010, Mitchell had already gifted us with his ‘time-slips’ novels number9dream & Cloud Atlas, and his near-perfect coming-of-age tale, Black Swan Green. So this one almost seemed reactionary, as it was set in one time period, 1799. But what a story it is. Set in a closed-to-the-world feudal Japan, it all takes place on an artificial walled island named Dejima - situated near Nagasaki, it is the narrow window of the entire world to this mysterious empire of Japan, manned by a handful of European traders.
Through the Dutch clerk Jacob De Zoet, we enter a dark world of guilt, duplicity, statesmanship, murder, commerce, and sacrifice—all in the name of success, riches, and advantages over other nations from the West. In short, it may be set in 1799, but it’s a mirror to the geopolitical manoeuvring of today. It’s a historical fiction in its purest sense, a flight of imagination; yet saying something about all of us in the here and now. This is the one where I was caught between speeding through the pages to know what happens next while wanting to slow down and savour each paragraph.
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