Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme that was started by @Lauren’s Page Turners. This meme is quite easy to follow – just randomly pick a book from your to-be-read list and give the reasons why you want to read it. It is that simple.

This week’s book:

Almond by Sohn Won-Pyung

Blurb from Goodreads

This story is, in short, about a monster meeting another monster. 

One of the monsters is me.

Yunjae was born with a brain condition called Alexithymia that makes it hard for him to feel emotions like fear or anger. He does not have friends—the two almond-shaped neurons located deep in his brain have seen to that—but his devoted mother and grandmother aren’t fazed by his condition. Their little home above his mother’s used bookstore is decorated with colorful post-it notes that remind him when to smile, when to say “thank you,” and when to laugh. Yunjae grows up content, even happy, with his small family in this quiet, peaceful space.

Then on Christmas Eve—Yunjae’s sixteenth birthday—everything changes. A shocking act of random violence shatters his world, leaving him alone and on his own. Struggling to cope with his loss, Yunjae retreats into silent isolation, until troubled teenager Gon arrives at his school and begins to bully Yunjae. 

Against all odds, tormentor and victim learn they have more in common than they realized. Gon is stumped by Yunjae’s impassive calm, while Yunjae thinks if he gets to know the hotheaded Gon, he might learn how to experience true feelings. Drawn by curiosity, the two strike up a surprising friendship. As Yunjae begins to open his life to new people—including a girl at school—something slowly changes inside him. And when Gon suddenly finds his life in danger, it is Yunjae who will step outside of every comfort zone he has created to perhaps become a most unlikely hero. 

The Emissary meets The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime in this poignant and triumphant story about how love, friendship, and persistence can change a life forever.

Why I Want To Read It

First of all, I want to greet everyone a happy Monday everyone! Yes, Monday may not be everyone’s favorite day of the week but I hope you all had a great start to the week. Wah, who’d have thought that today is the last Monday of April. Time is on a roll. Locked up in my own corner of the world, I can only begin to imagine what has transpired in the first four months of the year. I hope that the following months will be filled with blessings. I am one with everyone in praying that things will hopefully start looking up, that this pandemic will soon draw to a close.

As it is Monday, it’s time for another Goodreads Monday update, my last for April 2021. In April, I immersed in works of Asian writers such as Kazuo Ishiguro, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Chang-Rae Lee and Elif Shafak. As such, I have been featuring Asian works in my Goodreads Monday update for April. To close the month, I am featuring one of the more fairly recent additions to my growing (and already very lengthy) reading list, Korean writer Sohn Won-Pyung’s Almond. It was a book that I have never heard of until a couple of month aback. It kept popping up on my recommendations list (Shopee). I didn’t bother until I came across a post mentioning that the book was featured in a reality show by Korean Pop (K-Pop) boy group BTS.

It piqued my curiosity a little but it wasn’t enough to convince me to purchase a copy of the book. Still, the book kept popping up on my timeline and over a week ago, I finally relented. Just today, my copy of the book was finally delivered. First of all, I have been immersing in Korean culture lately, watching as much variety shows as I can. I have been trying to observe their culture, and society. I have also resolved to read as many Korean literary works as I can. I have actually read some Korean literary works already – The Vegetarian, Please Look After Mom, Kim Jiyoung Born 1988 to name a few. Almond, it seems, is going to be a deviation for it belongs to the young adult genre (or so it seems). Nevertheless, I am hoping that it will enrich my understanding of Korean culture and society.

How about you fellow reader, what book do you want to read? I hope you can share it in the comment box. For now, happy reading! Have a great week ahead!