Whether it’s a new book hot off the press or a classic ‘oldie but goodie’, Team Sassy has got some reading inspo for your summer lounging or those long haul flights. From tried and tested faves to psychological thrillers, to romantic comedies to ground (and heart!) breaking non-fiction… there’s something for everyone. Check out our book choices for this summer!
A psychological thriller, The Girl on the Train was a book I could not put down. From seemingly ordinary circumstances like riding a train, we’re invited into a world that takes every day people into chilling situations. Narrated by three different women, we get a glimpse into their thoughts as they unravel a mysterious disappearance and their unbeknownst involvement with a disappearance and their connection to it.
I’m a sucker for stand-up comedy, so when I discovered Ansari had written a book on dating in the digital age, I had to get my hands on it and check out his insights. Written with the help of sociologist Eric Klinenberg, there are interesting – and real – factoids about couples now versus 50 years ago, all peppered with Ansari’s deadpan humour.
I read Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series a few years ago and was sadden to hear of his passing. I absolutely loved the complex characters that he created, the thrilling plot and the underlying issues that tackle violence against women and misogyny in society. So when I heard that another acclaimed Swedish author, David Lagercrantz, was continuing the crime series with a fourth novel, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. I was hesitant at first as I really wanted it to live up to the previous trilogy, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that Lagercrantz had perfectly captured the pace, tone and essence of the main characters, Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist. Intriguing, through-provoking and action-packed, this book was a respectful and loyal tribute to Stieg Larsson and the epic world he created. Definitely recommended if you’re looking for something that you can’t put down but will also make you think…
I absolutely recommend Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty. BLL tells the story of three very different women, each at a turning point in life when their paths intersect at the everyday battlegrounds of the community they live in. I love Big Little Lies because it’s all about the little lies we can sometimes tell ourselves to get through the day and how this very human instinct we have can affect so many other things in ways you would never expect. It’s a thrilling summer read, with multiple points of view and narration that’ll keep you on your toes the whole time. Perfect for when you want to hang out on the beach or by the pool this summer!
After watching the movie ‘Beijing Meets Seattle II: Book of Love’, which took a leaf from ‘84, Charing Cross Road,’ I had to read the book. This book was written in 1970 by Helene Hanff about her twenty-year correspondence with Frank, a staff of an antiquarian bookshop in London. After hundreds of letters, slowly, slowly, a relationship blossoms into a charming long-distance friendship lasting many years.
Living in Hong Kong, life tends to get in the way and I’m often unable to find the time to just sit down with a good book. I know, I should make time, but in the hustle and bustle of it all I find myself bumbling along and in those rare moments I do get to breathe, I gravitate towards classics and books I know that I really enjoy. Hence, an all-time favourite… the Harry Potter series. Having been infatuated with fairytales and magic since a young age, this feel-good series so easily transports me to my happy place. Pages fly between my finger and thumb, and before I know it, I’m reaching for the next. So, if I do get the chance to pick up a book this summer, I hope to be on the beach, sipping a good pinot and loosing myself in the so cleverly written adventures of Potter and the world of magic!
I was first introduced to Michelle Alexander during freshman year in writing class. Her book “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Color Blindness” was a required reading and quite possibly the best required reading I’ll ever receive (shoutout to Dr. Steinmetz). It explores the injustices in America’s incarceration system and how the majority of black men in America are behind bars and have a criminal record that will follow them for the rest of their lives. Black people in America are once again denigrated to the subordinate position and mass incarceration is, intentionally or not, the new form of slavery. It might seem like a heavy read at first, but once you start I guarantee you will not be able to put the book down.
Read before you see it in theatres! Me Before You is a story is about a man named Will who was paralysed in a motorcycle accident, and a woman named Louisa who is hired in an attempt to brighten his spirits – despite her own emotional disabilities. The two have have nothing in common, but upon learning how deep Will’s misery truly is, Louisa dedicates herself to proving to him how much there is to live for. The two endure a roller coaster of experiences and emotions that tug at every heart string. While the book is a romantic “weeper” the end will truly encourage you to “live well.”
They say classics are favourites for a reason and The Great Gatsby is certainly no exception. Many people are aware of the story on a simplified level (they’ve seen the film, or studied the tale at the tender age of 16), but I found rereading it really made me understand and appreciate the themes of idealism, excess, and social upheaval. Written in 1925, and set in a fictional town in America, it’s also interesting to see how these themes are relevant in 2016, Hong Kong. Known as F. Scott Fitzgerald’s masterpiece, the tale follows a cast of characters through a materialistically prosperous Long Island summer – and there is never a dull moment!
The book I am most excited about reading this summer while lounging in the sand is the Expatriates by Janice Y.K. Lee. The book has been described as Hong Kong’s version of Sex and the City which is reason enough to make this a must read. Being an expatriate myself, I can’t wait to see how this book portrays Hong Kong from that point of view!
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