I Can’t Be the Only One

There are contemporary books so lauded or so popular, they are cultural pillars in our collective consciousness (at least, my generation’s): Harry Potter, Twilight, and to lesser extents, The Hunger Games and Percy Jackson. And because these series have transcended into such phenomena, there is luxurious room for justified disappointment, apathy and even loathing.

There are also books, though not Herculean triumphs like the aforementioned, that are popular enough to have seemingly achieved omnipresence across social media platforms and in prime window displays in bricks-and-mortar stores (yes, those still exist). Many of these are adored enough to have scored an average 4.0+ on Goodreads. To the uninitiated bibliophile, that may not sound impressive, but with a community numbering more than 55 million members and books often receiving more than 100,000 ratings each, such a high average is actually no easy feat. For the typical book, it would mean almost 50,000 deeming it perfect enough to merit the elusive five stars. From my personal experience, the rating system really is quite reliable, and I do agree with the vast majority of the 4.0+ ratings for the books I have read.

Anyway, I digress. The point of this post is, I have been increasingly frequently boggled by certain books, which either received rave reviews or were otherwise simply commercially successful enough to have sold-out sequels etc. Here is a list of those books, and why I did not enjoy them.

1. Freakonomics (averaging 3.9 stars)

I wrote a full review for this ‘groundbreaking’ introduction to economics a little while back. Steven D. Levitt certainly thinks of himself as some ‘woke’ academic with (gasp) controversial answers to some big questions. But too often, the crucial intermediate steps between his bold hypotheses and conclusions were missing. Some statistics were quoted from unreliable sources. His deductions were no more than superficial appeals to intuitive logic. And the black-and-white explanations were too simplistic to be convincing or even evaluable.

The titles for most chapters were overworked and sensationalist. His tone was unpalatably dismissive, stamped with an all-too-familiar oh look at you less educated souls, how cute! strain of superiority. Yes, I was uncharacteristically generous when I gave this three stars. But be assured that it was for wholly unrelated reasons to the educational value of this book. If you want to learn some economics, look somewhere else instead.

2. Heartless (4.1 stars)

Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles was deserving of praise. The retellings stood on inventive premises that worked, had compelling and complicated characterisations both familiar and fresh, and were different enough from previous reworkings to make them feel like completely new stories. Heartless (a ‘prequel’ to Alice in Wonderland) was not this.

The protagonist, Cath, was insufferable – the archetypal fortunate-in-all respects girl blessed with wealth, a good family, attractiveness, and purported ‘intelligence’, who was woefully stuck in an oh-so-original ‘unfortunate’ circumstance (catching the eye of the king). If the problem were just the premise, I would have been willing to set it aside. But she could not seem to do anything but whine. Whine and precipitate the very disaster she was warned about repeatedly throughout the novel. Oh, and inexplicably turn mad and start chopping heads off left, right and centre.

I mean, I get it. [Highlight to show spoiler] Her lover died. (Her fault.) But it was all so sudden. The final few chapters felt like Meyer was desperately rushing to turn Cath into the villain we all know so well from the original stories, knowing that she was already running out of steam. Not to mention how clichéd it all was. True, clichés are clichés for a reason – they can still be powerful when spun well. This was not spun well.

3. The Wrath and the Dawn (4.2 stars)

I also wrote a full review for this duology, the first four paragraphs of which discuss the sheer ludicrousness of the plot and characterisations (or lack thereof). But if you cannot be bothered to scan a few more hundred words, the gaping flaws were as follows:

  • Girl’s best friend is murdered by the caliph.
  • Said girl has few charms to recommend her (at least, none uniquely able to catch the caliph’s attention when 70+ just as beautiful and much more talented girls have failed) but decides to seduce and murder the caliph.
  • Girl thinks she’s all that but it’s a Hong Kong summer-ful of hot air. 90% of her qualities are tell-not-show.
  • Caliph is seduced. Don’t ask me.
  • On day two, girl becomes all butterflies and lust for her best friend’s murderer because he’s frickin’ hot.
  • Some corny lines.
  • More corny lines.
  • She finally finds out why he has been murdering a girl every dawn and stuff actually goes down but it’s already the last few chapters.

I really have no clue why the two books were considered to be amongst the best fantasy novels published in their respective years. Nor why readers swooned from the ridiculous patchwork of clichés that was the central ‘romance’. I did end up giving the second book four stars, precisely for the same reasons most readers enjoyed it less – the eye-rolling romance became less important, towns were razed, a war declared, basically some actual action happened.

4. The Sword of Summer (4.3 stars)

I know, I know, this is a Middle Grade book, so I was not the intended audience. While I staunchly believe books written for younger audiences should never automatically be held to lower critical standards (read The Little Prince, Harry Potter, even picture books like The Giving Tree and The Paper Bag Princess), another spin-off series is just one too many. There are only so many times you can rehash the exact same concept, and for Riordan, third time was sadly not the charm.

With The Sword of Summer, you can tell he was trying too hard. His wit was a little thinner, his characters flatter, his twists more formulaic. Magnus Chase might as well have been Percy Jackson 2.0 – take Percy Jackson’s voice and personality traits, truss them up into a younger blond, and you have our latest demigod hero. I was so uninterested I gave up after the first quarter. Maybe it’s time to get back to some actual creativity.

5. Deathless (4.1 stars)

Valente’s lemony prose first captivated me in her Fairyland series (reviews here, here and here), with its sumptuous verbal illustrations weaving allusive treasure troves for literature lovers and seasoned readers. Deathless boasts the same meandering descriptions, but in this case, the leaden-footed build-up was an unfortunate detriment instead. The narration was too verbose, bordering on pretentiously philosophical, and I was constantly tempted to skip entire chapters.

It suited Fairyland, where there was a deliberate absence of urgency or any overarching tasks, so the reader was able to feel like she had all the time in the world to be enamoured by the wondrous, witty marvels of Valente’s unique, well, fairyland. I am sure her extensive knowledge of Russian folklore was incredibly impressive. I am sure she transformed well-loved stories (as she did with Fairyland) into a poignant, heart-wrenching, witty, intricate mural of war and love – if you ever manage to slog through it first. But no amount of genius or incandescent language can make up for the total lack of direction. If this novel were 100 pages shorter, perhaps I would have been able to finish it.

So?

So there you have it, why I cannot comprehend, for the life of me, why these books receive such inflated hype. Are there any popular books that you just could not enjoy? Comment them below, I would love to hear!

A Little Empathy

Two days ago, some friends and I went to a popular 茶餐廳 (cha chaan teng, literally, ‘tea restaurant’) for lunch. Within seconds of arriving, we heard a loud stream of Cantonese profanities, punctuated only by shrill cries of ‘democracy’, ‘independence’ and ‘ridiculous’. Searching for the source of the commotion, my eyes found an elderly man hunched beside another group of waiting students (as I said, this restaurant is popular). He was hurling the same fragmented insults again and again, raising his voice whenever an onlooker smiled (from his perspective) dismissively.

The man was evidently unwell. And the students seemed to know. So they continued to wait, staring nonchalantly at their phones until a waitress called their number. Eventually, the same waitress also called the police. Of course, shouting in a public space is not a crime in Hong Kong. Nonetheless, I still had some trepidation – given our city’s reputation as a community that still stigmatises mental illnesses, the Hong Kong police did not seem to me to be the most well equipped to recognise, empathise with and help aggravated mental illness sufferers. But the policemen who came were professional and understanding, and gently asked him what was the matter. Gradually, he calmed down. From the little we could glean, the man had lost his livelihood, possibly during the Occupy Central movement, which had ended just over two years ago. He had consequently lost his apartment as well because he could not pay the rent. Regardless of whether these years of pent-up bitterness triggered his outburst yesterday, or whether it was a genuine account at all, the man was obviously stuck in a cycle of despondence and desperate anger, which he unfortunately directed at the students.

What struck me was not his ceaseless barrage of insults, but the reactions that it elicited. Most onlookers who commented on the situation were clearly sympathetic towards the students, but none towards the man. Instead, the surrounding faces were marked by irritation. A few even disgust. Some explicitly remarked that they felt much more sorry for the students than the man, because the students’ afternoons were now ruined. Or that they wanted the man to be arrested, good riddance. Frankly, this irked me. In the first place, the students did not look all that perturbed. If they felt too uncomfortable, they could have always left. Sure, being shouted at could not have given them an amazing time. But whatever distress they may have experienced would have been temporary – probably even easily washed down with some good food and retrospective laughs, or the thought of having a ‘juicy’ story to tell their friends. The man, on the other hand, had no such options. Would I rather be subjected to his insults for less than half an hour or be filled with so much misplaced anger that wiling away my hours shouting at passers-by becomes an appealing pastime?

Even if he were arrested, it would have done nothing to solve the actual problem. I doubt he would have been referred to a specialist outpatient clinic or otherwise given the mental healthcare services that he so clearly needs. In all likelihood an arrest would have made him feel even more marginalised and ignored. Admittedly, public mental healthcare services are woefully limited. But that does not take away from the fact that wanting such people removed from our vicinities without even trying to empathise with them is not an ideal way forward.

Just last week, another elderly man had set himself on fire on the MTR (the underground railway system in Hong Kong) at rush hour, an eery mirror image of the 2004 incident. He had a history of paranoia, and although his condition had been stable, he had missed his most recent check-ups. I understand that this does not make his actions any less terrible (19 passengers were injured, some critically). But this also highlights, like the 2004 incident did, how inadequate the Hong Kong mental healthcare system is. Almost a quarter of Hong Kong residents are estimated to suffer from a mental illness, yet psychiatric patients in the public sector have the longest waiting time out of all specialties. Among the seven hospital districts, the longest wait is currently over three years. Our psychiatrist-patient ratio is also ridiculously low compared to other developed nations (only 4.5 per 100,000 people; in the UK, the ratio is 14.6 per 100,000, and in Australia, it is 9.16 per 100,000). Not to mention that only 344 psychiatrists work in public hospitals or clinics.

And yet many reactions to the fire were fuelled by anger. Why did he have to hurt others too? If he wanted to die so much, he should have killed himself somewhere else, quietly. But the tenet of mental illnesses is that they do not deal in the currency of rationality. Does shouting at random students because you lost your job and apartment make any sense? Is setting yourself on fire, knowing that you will likely injure other passengers, remotely reasonable? Imagine how tortured he must have been to consider self-immolation the best way out. He was in no place to properly evaluate the consequences of his actions. Even if, in that moment, he felt a searing rage to see others hurt, he could not have rationally comprehended the harm that he caused them.

Having been fortunate enough to grow up in schools keen to teach their students about mental health, I wholly underestimated how widespread misconceptions are. I was shocked to hear one of my Medical Humanities instructors tell us how frustrated she was when her close friend (who had committed suicide) ‘chose to be so depressed’. Thankfully, she is not a doctor (if she were, I would be even more worried about our mental healthcare system). Not that that is necessarily an excuse.

I say all this not from some pedestal of superiority, because I am no expert on mental illnesses. But as someone who suffers from cleanliness anxiety and who knows family friends crippled by clinical depression, I could not help but empathise with the two men above. Lashing out at my parents after an anxious incident, sometimes until they cry, is not exactly comparable to screaming at passers-by, but I think it stands on the same principle. What mentally ill people need is not more fear or marginalisation. The least they could ask for is a little empathy.


The Samaritans Hong Kong +852 2896 0000 is a round-the-clock hotline offering emotional support for anyone experiencing emotional distress and/or suicidal thoughts, no matter how disturbing or ordinary the problem may seem.

What My Mother Speaks

As Chinese New Year approaches (the best holiday, really, with the optimum permutation of food, family festivities and money), it is inevitable that I would contemplate how much more concrete the ‘Hong Kong’ facet of my identity has become since spending two years abroad. And enclosed within that facet, as the city is plastered with more and more fai chun (auspicious characters and couplets calligraphed onto bright red paper), is the problem of my mother tongue.

Against my own (and my family and friends’) expectations, I enrolled in a Hong Kong university four months ago. Since my early childhood, initially for no other reason than a romanticised Great Britain constructed from The Five Find-Outers and Harry Potter, I had always envisioned myself studying in the halls of some centuries-old English institution for my university career. It was only when I reached the wholly surprising conclusion that yes, I do want to be a doctor, and yes, I want to be a doctor in Hong Kong, that I grudgingly admitted Hong Kong is the most practical choice. Continue reading “What My Mother Speaks”

On the Merits of Young Adult Fiction

“But some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.” – C.S. Lewis

When bubbling excitedly about a novel I have just finished reading, I am often met with the same uninterested shrug. “I don’t care for young adult books.” I see questions on Goodreads below new releases, anxiously asking whether they are adult books, because how improper would it be to enjoy something aimed at teenagers. So I cannot help myself but try to articulate how this folly against young adult literature is misinformed on multiple levels.

Level 1: There are two sides to every coin.

Young adult books are not by definition insubstantial – take The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, chock-full of literary and cultural allusions to rival (and better) most adult books I have read. Nor are they necessarily lacking originality – Daughter of Smoke and Bone is a favourite example. It is true that publishers are far more generous when it comes to green-lighting young adult books, which allows a much greater volume of less-than-stellar novels to be made available for public purchase. But obversely, this also enables fledgling writers to take greater risks with idiosyncratic ideas and writing styles. Most of my favourite authors were first found through their young adult books, rather than their adult ones.

And on the other side of the coin, adult books are not necessarily deliciously complex either. In fact, with the additional burden of having to prove themselves unconventional enough or controversial enough or profound enough, many just come off as pretentious try-hards, for want of a more elegant phrase. There are delicate balancing acts between showing and telling, and then there are broken sequences of such shapeless impressions that you wonder whether the author himself has any idea what he wants his readers to be mystified about in the first place.

Level 2: Do not judge a book by its cover (or blurb or genre).

Perhaps the irony is that even beautifully articulate and sufficiently phantasmagorical adult works are frequently shelved as ‘young adult’ books. Not because of their content or tone or whether the author usually writes for young adults. But because they are fantasy novels. I have seen The Night Circus and The Magicians in the young adult section in bookstores and on Goodreads. The problem with thinking of young adult and adult as genres is that they simply are not. They are audiences, both perfectly capable of reading sci-fi and romance and horror and thrillers set in sleepy suburbs. The distinction is better drawn between the themes that they are more likely to be interested in (perhaps adults are less inclined to read coming-of-age fiction, because it does not reverberate with their current circumstances).

In an effort to circumvent this preconception, yet another age group has been coined ‘New Adult’, which loosely encompasses the years between 18 and 30. Supposedly, the books in this category provide much better ‘insight’ than properly young adult books, because they show the protagonists’ life experiences gradually eclipsing their childhood innocence. Personally, I do not see why this label is needed at all. The primary purpose of many young adult books is precisely to explore this transition, albeit some fulfilling it better than others. But the same goes for whatever books might be in this new category. There are always well-written and less well-written novels, regardless of who you lump them with. Though I suppose, from a purely commercial perspective, it makes simultaneously marketing the books to young adults and adults easier. (Which simply supports my point that the separation between young adult and adult is often arbitrary.)

Level 3: Implications.

Besides, labelling any and all fantasy publications with relatively young protagonists as young adult, when combined with the presumptions discussed under Level 1, implies that adults have no time for such frivolous escapism. Which sounds rather dull and unfortunate to me. Surely, there is a reason that popular children’s books are cherished as tales for all to read? The Chronicles of Narnia, the Harry Potter series… all classics today. They fill us with childlike wonder as they whisper lessons on love and friendship and courage and faith. Fantasy is no juvenile plaything to be trifled with.

I do hope that you are nearing the age where you will start reading fairy tales again. Or young adult for that matter. Or whatever book you like, without a care for these categories or what people might say.

Moi, en français

J’ai lu récemment un paragraphe du blogue d’une vieille camarade de classe, dans lequel elle a discuté de ses personnages différents quand elle emploie les langues différentes. C’est un phénomène scientifique – nous adoptons des personnalités, des manières distinctes avec les langues différentes. Et sa réflexion m’a incité à réfléchir quelle sorte de personne je suis quand je parle le français, une matière que j’étudiais avec assiduité pendant sept ans.

Contrairement au cantonais ou même le chinois, je n’ai pas fait apparaître d’une image immédiate. Y auraient-il des différences nettes de ma conduite? D’impressions les autres développeraient de moi? Alors, l’idée me vint soudain que pendant ces sept ans, je parlais le français rarement à l’extérieur de la classe. Sans occasions d’examiner mon ‘caractère français’, ce n’est pas étonnant que je n’aie pas une image plus claire. Néanmoins, je remarque des changements subtils quand même. D’abord, je deviens plus aventureuse avec mes choix des divertissements (français, bien sûr) – je suis attirée par les films d’art et d’essai (normalement, je me sens intimidée), je mets de côté les productions amusantes mais bêtifiantes, je fais attention sciemment à la technique cinématographique, le montage et la réalisation… Non seulement je suis bien plus sensible aux films, j’apprécie les émissions et romans plus aussi. Je les considère comme des œuvres d’art et non pas des simples distractions. Oui, peut-être ces pensées découlent du cliché de la France cultivée et artistique. Mais comme j’ai écrit dans mon dernier paragraphe français, quand on acquiert une nouvelle langue, on s’informe sur la culture et les normes sociales aussi.

Deuxièmement, je fais l’effort d’être poétique. Pour les étrangers comme moi, le français semble vraiment musical à cause des rimes internes abondants et les élisions et liaisons. La juxtaposition des bruits gutturals et légers créent un son chantant aussi. Par conséquent, chaque fois que je dis ou j’écris, je fais attention à la ‘mélodie’ de mes phrases. Je me demande comment les syllabes s’alignent pour modeler les rythmes. Ce qu’il y a bien, c’est qu’on peut dire n’importe quoi pour sembler lyrique – un autre cliché, mais c’est vrai! De plus, j’ai tendance à employer les expressions et les gestes plus exagérés. Il y a un élément particulièrement brûlant quand les Français allongent les voyelles et mettent les accents toniques sur les derniers syllabes. D’une certaine manière, l’intonation ondoyante m’encourage à adopter un langage du corps plus expressif.

Et en dernier lieu, bien que je devienne douce (parce que mon vocabulaire est relativement limité), je deviens quelque peu idéaliste aussi. Peut-être que c’est en raison de mon appréciation augmentée pour les arts, ou l’élégance de la mélodie ondoyante, ou le fait que le français est ma langue enfantine tout de même. Quoique je l’étudiasse pendant sept ans, j’apprenais le chinois (mon autre langue étrangère) depuis deux fois plus de temps. Et peut-être c’est parce que d’habitude, je suis seulement exposée aux problèmes discutables et questions mondiales par les sources en anglais. La crise des réfugiés à Calais? Le BBC, le CNN, The Economist… Je suis Le Figaro et Le Monde, mais je n’ai toujours pas cliqué sur les gros titres (plutôt que de faire défiler distraitement). Encore une résolution pour la nouvelle année!

Pour conclure, il semble que beaucoup d’aspects de ma personnalité devienne plus prononcés (j’ai utilisé le mot ‘plus’ dix fois dans ce paragraphe jusqu’ici). Peut-être (j’utilise ‘peut-être’ beaucoup aussi, mais ces réflexions sont toujours spéculatives) c’est parce que lorsque j’ai commencé à apprendre le français, je m’étais battu lamentablement pour apprendre le chinois depuis neuf ou dix ans. Par contre, j’ai saisi le français vraiment rapidement, et j’ai obtenu les notes meilleures de ma classe. C’était pas surprenant que je suis légèrement plus hardie quand je suis en mode français. Bon, je réfléchir quelle sorte de personne je suis quand je parle mes autres langues?

Les Mondes entiers

Il y a deux choses que vous ne devriez jamais abandonner: l’instrument et la langue. – Une élève de terminale de mon premier lycée

De toute évidence, j’ai déjà raté le premier lorsque j’ai arrêté de jouer du piano et de la cithare chinoise avant que je sois allée en Angleterre. Et à cause de ma paresse, il se peut que je perde le second aussi. Si vous regardez la page Currently ou mon Goodreads, vous remarquerez que le même livre français avait figuré dans la partie ‘reading’ pendant cinq mois. Donc, ce paragraphe est une tentative de préserver mon aptitude s’effaçante. Notez le mot “s’effaçante” – je m’excuse pour mes fautes nombreuses. Si vous parlez le français, corrigez-moi s’il vous plaît!

J’ai découvert mon amour pour les langues quand j’avais environ sept ou huit ans. J’aimais beaucoup un anime (après coup, l’émission était vraiment hérissante, mais l’intrigue banale plaisais aux écolières jeunes) et j’ai supplié ma mère de me laisser avoir des leçons de japonais. Bien que j’aie commencé cet hobby en raison d’un réflexe soudain, je m’ai rendue compte que je possède un intérêt réel pour l’apprentissage des singularités et des nuances des langues différentes. On peut comprendre les attitudes d’une culture étrangère dans une mesure qu’est impossible d’atteindre avec des autres façons. On peut interpréter leurs médias et publications directement. Et on peut s’entretenir avec les autres qui étions issus des milieux très divers. Contrairement aux autres matières, les langues m’offrent des mondes entiers (🎧 Ce rêve bleu). C’est éculé, mais cette profusion d’opportunités semblait incroyablement séduisante.

Malheureusement, comme la musique, la langue est insaisissable. Sans entraînement continuel, son aisance dégrade rapidement. Il est nécessaire qu’on se plonge dans les œuvres du pays – une tâche intimidante et quelquefois usante. Après tout, de nos jours digitals, il est facile de chercher les sous-titres et les traducteurs intégrés. Pourquoi doit-on utiliser toujours tellement de temps et d’effort? De même, nous savons que les conversations avec les personnes originaires sont l’exercise le plus utile, mais d’habitude, nous sommes trop gênés. L’acquisition d’une langue est un art qui a besoin d’assiduité continue.

Et mon progrès personnel? Ma compréhension du japonais est pratiquement inexistante. Mon vocabulaire latin aussi. En plus de mes langues maternelles (l’anglais, le chinois et le cantonais), ma seule activité linguistique restante est le français. Ce fait me propulse dans l’auto-apprentissage proactif, et la rédaction de cette réflexion. Alors, quelles sont mes prochaines mesures? Bon, il est probablement une sage idée de finir le roman susdit. (Je lis encore le premier chapitre, c’est honteux.) En outre, je prévois de publier au moins un paragraphe français chaque mois. Ainsi, je peux garantir que je rafraîchirai mes compétences régulièrement. Gaspiller encore tant d’ans que je consacrais à étudier une autre langue, quel dommage!

Unfolding Photographs

As I stare unthinking at my haphazard notes, I surreptitiously recall the pleasant surrealness of an unidentified language, the pulsating vibrancy in the night market air, and the comforting stillness of rural evenings. The unbridled laughter of incredulous children, chasing tirelessly, sun-bleached hair flying across the pitted path, rings phantom notes beside my ear. It is on solitary nights like these that I unfold sepia images and stain my fingers brushing the fine films of dust. In youth, our inherent flaw is to overestimate ourselves, and I am surprised by how unfocused these mental photographs have become. My memory is evidently less crisp than I had believed.

It was during those moments, many spent sitting on rickety floorboards playing Chinese card games (one particularly lively match had resulted in a sprained finger), that I had found myself enveloped in unexpectedly deep camaraderie. The adage, ‘nothing strengthens bonds quite like a holiday’, proved very true. This sense of membership had come after months of uncertainty and self-doubt, and my relief was comparable to the electrifying streets of Hanoi, which we had run across blindly with our cumbersome suitcases, then still protected by our indomitable sense of invincibility. (I suppose a streak of it is still alive and well, given the laughable amount of studying that I attempt to get by medical school with.)

The songs that had saturated our endlessly meandering bus rides, our pathetic construction efforts and the dangerous sway of an elephant’s neck are all fond Polaroid snapshots. What feels like half a lifetime later, I can only regard my younger self – who had led a shameless performance of the Hoedown Throwdown before politely baffled locals – with utter bemusement. I had also taken my first selfie (on a point-and-shoot, for that matter), bargained for the first of many shoulder bags, and discovered a lasting love for Korean barbecue (despite having been over 3,000 miles away from Seoul). Though the draft for this post originally began as a short aside, here I am about to publish three paragraphs positively oozing nostalgia. This may be an abrupt departure from my usual (slightly) less directionless reflections, but this platform is supposed to be a personal blog after all. I cannot help but include the occasional rambling reminiscence.

To intrepid youth and more adventures. ☄️

Playlist

Subtitled ‘grainy evenings in Laos’. 🇱🇦

  1. We Are Young – Fun.
  2. It’s Time – Imagine Dragons
  3. Radioactive – Imagine Dragons
  4. Tonight Tonight – Hot Chelle Rae
  5. Hoedown Throwdown – Miley Cyrus
  6. 99 Bottles of Beer (American folk song)
  7. Hey, Soul Sister – Train
  8. Chasing Pavements – Adele
  9. Royals – Lorde
  10. Some Nights – Fun.