My Top Five Book Recommendations

Nowadays, it seems harder than ever to put your phone down and take time to enjoy a good book. Thankfully, I have a husband who’s ever the old soul who inspires me to get back into the reading habit from time to time. Whenever I start getting into a book, there’s no stopping me; I can finish the whole thing - cover to cover - in a few hours. I’m definitely one of those people who get deeply invested in a story.

Now although I’ve read a lot of amazing books in my lifetime, I have a few top choices that I like to recommend to my friends who are looking for good reads for themselves, or to give to others as gifts. There’s really no “theme” among my choices, because I love everything from romance and fantasy to history and biographies. So, without further ado, here are my top five favorite books which I think you’d love too.

For the Drama Lover: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

I was 13 when I read this book which was recommended to me by my older sister. The story took me on such an emotional journey; I remember feeling so attached to main character - feeling every bit of joy and sadness, liberation and pain that she felt. Something that really stuck with me about the book was the main character’s love interest; it sort of shaped my vision of an ideal man. I recommend this to everybody who’s looking for a compelling read - something that’ll take you on a wild, wild roller coaster of emotions.

For the History Geek: Little History of the World by Ernst Gombrich.

History has always piqued my interest as a child; I really enjoyed studying the subject in school. If you’re like me, I would definitely recommend the Little History of the World. It’s a comprehensive account of the most important events of world history, all rolled into a light, easy, and enjoyable read. This book is extremely special to me as well because it was recommended by the late Miriam Defensor-Santiago.

For the Hopeless Romantic: The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

The Notebook is one of those classic novels that everybody knows and loves. It’s something that I can read over and over again without ever feeling bored. I would recommend this to anyone who’s looking for a novel that’s romantic, dramatic, but genuinely relatable. I, for one, really fell in love with this because during the time I was reading it, I could relate to the characters.  

For the Soul-Searcher: Proof of Heaven by Dr. Eben Alexander

I bought this book at the airport because the title really caught my attention. I didn’t know that I was actually picking up a book that would majorly change my life. It’s a touching real-life account of someone who actually experienced heaven; it comforted me deeply. I recommend it to everyone who feels in need of a little motivation; it really enlightens you and gives you a sense of the authentic, larger picture in life.  

For the Fun Lover: Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

Crazy Rich Asians was another airport bookstore pickup. I hadn’t heard of the book before, and was not aware of all the buzz around it. It simply caught my eye because of what it was about - glamour, and of course, fashion! Little did I know then that the author, Kevin Kwan, would eventually become a good friend of mine, and that it would all come full circle years later when I would be featured in a publication for a story entitled “Crazy Rich Couture.” I’d recommend this book to anyone who wants a read that’s genuinely full of soul, but still with fantastic entertainment value.


Thank you to the lovely people of Sweet Escape for the photographs! If you’d like to set up your own shoot with Sweet Escape, head over to their website. You can also use my code, “ESCAPEWITHHEART” to get a $50 discount and 30 additional photos. 

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Chynna Lim