'Books have different voices, and they speak to readers differently'

Books have different voices, and they speak to readers differently

Sydney Michael Atkins lists his favourite reads

Published: Fri 6 Jul 2018, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Fri 6 Jul 2018, 2:00 AM

What are you currently reading?
Francesc Miralles and Hector Garcia's Ikigai, which when loosely translated from Japanese means "reason for living". The book encourages readers to discover their own 'Ikigai', by reflecting on the intersection of their passion, profession and calling.
Which books changed your life?
Any reader will tell you that there can never be a set list; books have different voices, and they speak to different readers differently. Earl Stanley Gardner's Perry Mason series changed my life because those simple stories hooked me as a kid and turned me into a voracious reader. Waller's The Bridges of Madison County taught me about love and sacrifice and The Art of War by Sun Tzu opened my eyes to politics and war.
A memorable literary character, according to you?
For some reason, Santiago from Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea has always stayed with me. There's something about his spiritual triumph that makes it a story I will never forget.
What non-fiction do you prefer?
I am currently in a phase where I enjoy reading poetry, interviews and travel writing. I find myself extremely engaged with nonfiction - sometimes challenging writers' claims or being challenged by their views myself. It's quite exciting. In addition, I love to download the screenplays of movies where I have found the dialogue to be particularly rich.
Which are the books that you revisit from time to time?
I generally revisit collections of short stories. A Quiver Full of Arrows by Jeffrey Archer is my go-to travel companion while Interpreter of Maladies and Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri are all-time favourites.

More news from