There is nothing like sitting outside in solitude with the pleasure of your own company and burying your head in an enthralling page-turner, and letting your fantasies transcend you far and away from reality. And while we can’t quite put our finger on exactly why the enjoyment of summer reading is ten-folds better than in any other season – though we’re sure the sunshine and blue skies play a big part – we know the reading of a good book reaps great rewards.
On that note, we kick start our Summer Books To Read series with a selection, most appropriately, from our editors, both from our online and print team. So bask in our selection below and hopefully you’ll find a title you’ll love to amuse you through and through the summer season.
Paul Kay, Managing Editor at Hong Kong Tatler
The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
This wise meditation on life, love and relationships is full of humor and heartbreak, joy and sorrow, hope and despair - just like the real thing.
Elaine Wong, Editorial Assistant at AsiaTatler.com
Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall
I was looking for summertime running tips when I found this page-turner. This is a fun and captivating story that anyone, not just runners, will enjoy to read. In this book, ultra-marathon runner Christopher McDougall gives an inspirational account of his running experiences across different landscapes, and his adventurous journey to uncover the injury-free running secret of indigenous Tarahumara tribe.
Lynn Fung, Online Editor at AsiaTatlerDining.com
So Much For That by Lionel Shriver
From the author of We Need To Talk About Kevin comes another provocative novel, this time on the American health system, or lack thereof. In Shriver's latest novel, she examines how even the upper middle classes in America find themselves without a safety net when an expensive or terminal disease such as cancer rips a family apart.
Tamara de Guzman, Online Director
Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua
An amusing and controversial story about one woman's extreme and obsessive approach to parenting, that becomes an insight into the clash between Asian and Western cultures as well as the stereotypes and societal pressures that we all have to live with. It's by turns hysterically funny and appalling, but overall an entertaining read that makes for an interesting debate.
Arne Eggers, Fashion Editor at Hong Kong Tatler
Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother: The Official Biography by William Shawcross
I'm currently reading the official biography of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother by William Shawcross, and with almost 1,000 pages in tiny print it's probably going to take me all summer! The book, based on the Queen Mother's personal diary, letters and the Royal Archive, gives a fascinating insight into British royal life. And with a life spanning more than 100 years (she lived from 1900-2002), the book is also an interesting historical account of the 20th century from a very unique perspective.
Mei Mei Song, Online Editor at AsiaTatler.com
People Like Us: Misrepresenting the Middle East by Joris Luyendijk
A terribly comical light-hearted read, news reporter Joris Luyendijk scowls at the trickery and bias found in the media as he wallows in the Middle East and tells the tall-tale of his attempts at reporting the “truth”.
Girls of Riyadh by Rasaa Alsanea
Rasaa Alsanea is the Plum Sykes and Candace Bushnell of the Arab world, so five years ago when I heard the book was finally being translated from Arabic to English – that summer, I couldn’t resist. Girls of Riyadh is a potion of scandal, affairs, love and loss, drama – much like books of the same genre – however the author’s inside knowledge of an otherwise closed society (the hushed voices of the women in Saudi’s high society) makes this an intriguing read.
Chris Wood, Editor at Cotai Style
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
The great Russian writer famously begins, “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” In years of asking authors about their favourite read, this one came up more than any other. All of life is here against a panorama of 19th century Russia. Often described as the pinnacle of realist fiction, it's a damn good read, too.
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S Thompson
The father of gonzo journalism's protagonist and his attorney are hot on the heels of the American dream – if only they could make it out through the haze of drugs and alcohol. Every bit the fun, thrilling ride it was back in 1971. Read it and weep ... with laughter.