My recommendation as to what books to read to prep for the O Level English exams.

Some time back, I had a call from a desperate grandma – yes, you read it right – it’s the grandma, not the parents, who enquired of me of the kind of books her grandchild should read to improve his/her English.

Before I even type the first letter of what would constitute my recommended books and author, please allow me to show my utmost respect for this grandma. We need adults to care for their kids and grandkids’ education, and when I mean ‘care’, it’s the kind of vested interest that this grandma is demonstrating, and not the kind of cursory concern – yeah, the lip service type  – that some indifferent parents half-heartedly put up (for show). Most parents don’t belong to this category of people: in fact, most parents are too concerned about their offspring’s academic endeavours. The kids who belong to my tuition classes? Well, in most cases, I don’t have to worry about them. Their parents have vested interests, and take responsibility to ensure that they are doing all they can to provide the resources for their children to excel. That’s why their children are there in the first place.

But there are those out there who do not care if their kids fail or flounder. They are rare, and parents, if you are perusing the words on this page, you don’t belong to the nonchalant category either. Because if you are seriously disinterested, you won’t even be making the effort to read this.

So allow me to express my deepest respect. You are a responsible parent, and yours is a thankless job (most times), and despite the rigour of it all, you are putting your heart and soul into this. Is this Fathers’ or Mothers’ Day. Of course not – this is the 2nd of July, a Tuesday evening as I type this, but I don’t think we need to wait for some special yet totally commercialised occasion for you to be appreciated.

And to the grandma involved: allow me to salute you. Even if I am not a soldier (I’ve never been a good one). You deserve my – and everyone else’s – great respect.

A Salute to Grandma, and All Responsible Parents Out There!

Roman Soldier in Blue Armour Saluting

Books to Read to Prep for the O Level English Exams

Now, back to the books to read to prep for the O Level English Exams.

Yes, I understand that there is no such thing as a standardised list of books you (or your child should read) to prepare for the O Level English exams.

That’s so true.

But we must remember that there are very good authors out there whom we can emulate to become a top scorer in the Singapore-Cambridge GCE O Level English exams.

Authors who are giants in their own right, on whose shoulders we stand such that we can be taller than our peers.

Different teachers will have different recommendations, but for me, my standard recommendation would always be Malcolm Gladwell.

Who is Malcolm Gladwell

This introduction to Malcolm Gladwell is AI-generated. You can probably sense the difference in tone from mine.

Malcolm Gladwell, the acclaimed author and journalist, is a master at turning complex ideas into engaging stories that challenge conventional wisdom. With his thought-provoking books like “Outliers” and “Blink,” he inspires readers to think differently and approach challenges with a fresh perspective. Embrace Gladwell’s unique insights and dive into his work to expand your mind and enhance your understanding of the world around you.

Why Malcolm Gladwell Books are the Best Books To Read To Prep for the O Level English Exams

Candidates at the O Level English exams are presented with a choice of 4 questions in the Continuous Writing (Section C) segment of Paper 1, the Writing Paper.

Of these 4 questions, two of them are likely to be Argumentative and Discursive.

The challenge for many students is that they are unable to present their case clearly and convincingly.

And the best way to learn to write in a clear and convincing manner?

Not from themselves, but by emulating the strategies and techniques of accomplished writers.

Malcolm Gladwell is an accomplished writer, and those students who have taken my advice to study – yeah, not just read, but study – his books have made great leaps in their English grades over the years.

How to study his books, or any other book, I will probably cover in another blog post.

But suffice to say, if you study Malcolm Gladwell’s books, you (or your child ) won’t fall too far back.

Incidentally, I have people commenting that I have some form of man crush for this guy. Hello! Please! His works just work for my students, ok?


How and Where Can I Get His Books?

There are a series of books you can choose from, and you can easily acquire them via Amazon through my links below:

I am incidentally an Amazon Associate. Buying through my links won’t jack up the prices in any way, but they go a long way to keep my site going, through the small commission I make through every purchase.

Here’s the list of Malcolm Gladwell books, from the oldest to the most recent.

I did my best to ensure the accuracy of the list in terms of the choronology of publication. Please pardon me if there were any misses.

    What If I Don’t Wish to Get from Your Links

    Well, then you can just drop by any Popular Bookstore to purchase the books.

    And you should print out the list because my website might not survive the high cost of maintenance. cool

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