Whether you're bound for a snow-capped mountain or hitting the beach for some serious sun, you won't want to leave until you've chosen a great reading companion
Perhaps you’re catching the sun in The North of Mauritius or maybe you’re hitting up the best snorkelling spots in Asia, wherever you are, getting lost in the world and losing yourself in a novel is the perfect way to spend a summer holiday. And because every occasion calls for the right page to turn, here are our recommendations of books for holiday enjoyment, no matter where you’re flying to.
Books for holiday reading that won’t disappoint
Those Adventurous Souls
Whether you’re backpacking in Peru, deep sea diving in the ever precious reefs, or skydiving over the islands of the Mediterranean, here are some of our fave novels to keep your imagination thrilled.
Less by Andrew Sean Greer
Winner of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Best Fiction Novel, this one immediately peaked our interest. It’s a story of running away, revival, and the endless search for one’s self. A man is facing his past and wants to change his future, so he travels the world to do so (now who in Hong Kong hasn’t thought of doing this?) This concoction of angst is just what we need when we are off roaming the world. Con, it’s a writer writing about a failed writer, but we have full faith in those doling out Pulitzers.
The Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu
This is one of the most compelling and unique sci-fi novels that’s come across our shelves in a long time. It’s an intense tale intertwining physics, Chinese culture, alien contact, and human nature. It comes from China’s leader of science fiction, Cixin Liu, and its excellently translated by Ken Liu. This is the first of a trilogy and the seamless pairing to those out exploring the lesser known majestic parts of the world. Don’t forget to bring along the second or third novel if you read quickly like myself!
Romancing the cities of Europe
There’s arguably no better place to be in love, find love, or get lost in love with a romantic novel than amongst columns of Rome, the islands of Croatia, the coasts of France, or the alleys of Berlin. Here is an ode to ye olde Europe.
Three Plays by Luigi Pirandello
Packing plays is a life hack for holidays on the move. When you are on a Europe tour, be it two stops or five, plays are lightweight and easy to jump in and out of. Three Plays by Luigi Pirandello includes Six Characters in Search of An Author, Henry IV, and The Mountain Goats. These plays are the pages to turn while you’re in the midst of getting lost in Europe’s mystique.
Soaking up the sunshine on the beaches of Southeast Asia
When the humidity peaks, we are all scrambling to book those villa getaways in Phuket, Bali, Palawan, and the like. When you shut off and lock yourself away on the water, bring these novels.
Indignation by Philip Roth
The seminal contemporary American author: Mr. Philip Roth. With his recent passing, I am paying homage to him by recommending my personal favorite of his collection, Indignation. It’s a coming of age story from a time long gone. A story of a young boy’s angst and a tale to make us all relive those days of finding ourselves. I personally read this under the stars tucked away on a hillside villa in Koh Samui and highly recommend the very same for you all.
The Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish
Getting lost in the world is sometimes done best with a damn good laugh. Tiffany Haddish, the comedian of the day, has us rolling on the floor with her outbursts and anecdotes. Released this Spring, her debut book is a New York Times bestseller and the one we are planning to chuckle with while sipping a Mojito by the pool this summer.
There is always an element of energy chasing Jazz in New Orleans or blazing the restaurants of Los Angeles. If you’re off to America this summer, here are some novels to keep you company.
Space Opera by Catherynne M. Valente
Every word said about this novel has our curiosity growing. The tagline – In space, everybody can hear you sing. The comparisons – David Bowie meets Hitchhiker’s Guide. What could possibly be wrong about a novel set in futuristic space about a galaxy-wide singing competition? So if you’re taking the long haul to New York, hitting the Cali coast, or driving from one to the other, this novel is the one to pack. Tip: it’s only available on Amazon for the first year so ship it directly to your hotel in America for quick delivery.
Sweet Bird of Youth by Tennessee Williams
An American classic by a classic playwright, I recently had the joy of revisiting Tennessee Williams while I was tucked away in an Airbnb in Malibu with this play. A fading Southern Belle; a wandering, brooding young man, this play revisits the Americana that is hard to recall in modern times. A tale as old as time? Maybe, maybe not, but a classic is always a good one to grab for holidays.
Hitting the big screen! Long weekend reads
Going to satisfy food cravings for a long weekend in Singapore or Seoul? Maybe a party in Bangkok or Tokyo? Here are some quick weekend reads that are hitting your favorite streaming site or movie theatre this summer to take with you!
Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
Ms. Flynn is a master of mystery and thrill. Her novels are a sure fire hit for any type of summer trip. Sharp Objects is hitting HBO this month and judging by the glowing rave from Sophie, we’re scrambling to get this book before it premieres. Be it for the high altitude entertainment or those late night relaxing moments after a day at the pool, this book is on our list!
Read our review on HBO’s Sharp Objects here
Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
I’ve been raving about this series for years on Honeycombers and now is the time! From the start, this series has been breaking barriers. This summer it’s slated to become one of the first Hollywood films featuring an all Asian cast. The glitz and glamour of Kevin Kwan’s hilarious characters was made to shine on film and our eyes are twinkling already. Grab this novel for your long weekend trip – hits theatres in August!
Read our review on Kevin Kwan’s Rich People Problems here
Sorted your books for holiday reading, but still want more suggestions? Dive into these books by Japanese authors, check out our favourite bookstores in Hong Kong or plug in and listen to these top podcasts.