8 upcoming books you should be reading in 2018

The crop of new releases for the rest of the year includes paeans to humanity, gripping adventure tales and page-turners that are wickedly suspenseful.

From left: Billion Dollar Whale: The Man Who Fooled Wall Street, Hollywood, and the World (Bradley Hope and Tom Wright); To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee) and The Winds of Winter (George RR Martin)

So You Think I’m Funny? Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (Bernice Narayanan)
Release date: Aug; RM50

The award-wining author and published poet released another book on prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad after her first coffee table book with him titled, The Quotable Quotes of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. The wittier second publication is a collection of Tun Mahathir’s life stories, which include a funny incident of naming his boat in Langkawi. (Ed: He cheekily named his boat ‘Apa Nama?’ by the way)


Epic Hikes of the World (Lonely Planet)
Release date: Aug 21; RM192.50/hardcover

Dig out your boots as Lonely Planet is introducing Epic Hikes of the World, a compilation of 50 incredible hiking routes across 30 countries, from New Zealand’s glacial landscapes to some of the world’s highest peaks in Africa and Asia. Each journey, brought to life through a first-person account, shares one defining feature: being truly epic.


The Fall of Gondolin (JRR Tolkien)
Release date: Aug 30; price TBC

Anyone longing to return to the richly imagined Middle Earth — a place of magnificent adventure seasoned with a quiet humour dreamt up by The Lord of the Rings creator JRR Tolkien — is in luck. The Fall of Gondolin, published 45 years after Tolkien’s death and edited by his son Christopher, sets the utmost evil of Morgoth against the sea-god Ulmo to take command of the hidden city of Gondolin.


Billion Dollar Whale: The Man Who Fooled Wall Street, Hollywood, and the World (Bradley Hope and Tom Wright)
Release date: Sept 18; RM79.90

Authored by Pulitzer-finalists Bradley Hope and Tom Wright, The Wall Street Journal journalists who broke the news of 1Malaysia Development Bhd’s troubles in 2015, the book focuses on businessman Jho Low, who “pulled off one of the biggest financial heists in history right under the nose of the global financial industry”.


Into the Jungle: Stories for Mowgli (Katherine Rundell)
Release date: Sept 20; RM95

This special edition is an illustrated, witty companion to Rudyard Kipling’s 1894 classic The Jungle Book. In this careful update, which is timed to coincide with the release of the film Mowgli in October, Rundell deftly explores the book’s timeless themes while still instilling empathy through its original characters such as Baloo, Bagheera and Mother Wolf.


Killing Commendatore (Haruki Murakami)
Release date: Oct 9; RM96

Haruki Murakami’s English-translated Killing Commendatore is set to be a tour de force of love and loneliness, as well as an ode to The Great Gatsby. As usual, symbols, mystery, fierce imagination and unapologetically Japanese storytelling make up the signature pleasures of a Murakami plot.


To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
Release date: Oct 30; RM93.90

Lee’s acclaimed To Kill a Mockingbird, which illuminates the complexities of human nature with unwavering honesty, is reborn as a graphic novel. Follow the lives of Scout, Jem, Boo Radley and Atticus Finch in the small US town of Maycomb, Alabama, all smartly realised and vividly illustrated by artist Fred Fordham.


The Winds of Winter (George RR Martin)
Release date: Nov 20; price TBC

Winter, alas, is not coming. The release of The Winds of Winter — George RR Martin’s long-awaited sixth volume of A Song of Ice and Fire epic fantasy series — has been delayed until next year. In the meantime, fans can revel in Fire and Blood, which chronicles the history of the Targaryens in Westeros 300 years before the events in A Game of Thrones.


Books are available at MPH and Kinokuniya.


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