Summer Reads to Watch For

By Jo Phillips

Summertime brings longer days, less hectic schedules, and more down time for lounging and relaxing. With more time to enjoy, a good summer read can be one of the best ways to pass your leisure time. We can’t always jet off for holiday, so intriguing stories can be the next best thing. Whether your favourite genre is fiction or nonfiction, the books that captivate us are always something we want to come back to and want more recommendations on. We have crossed the spectrum of good reads that will get you ready for summer, all launching in May, that will take you well into the season. You won’t want to put these down!

If the summer heat isn’t too much to handle, Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan will be sure to give the intensity and drama you’re looking for. With two bestselling novels, Crazy Rich Asians and China Rich Girlfriend, Kwan has created a third installment in his series that is equally as juicy as the first two. His newest novel, which is already causing an uproar, takes us to the mansions of Manila and the islands in the Sulu Sea. Family drama over the family fortune? Jealous ex-wives? Sabotage and betrayal? This book combines all the glamour and scandal wrapped up into the extensive wealth of China’s elite. It focuses on the Shang-Young clan, a wealthy family vying for the fortune of their dying grandmother, Su Yi. Each character has an angle and their own drama to deal with. Kwan’s novel is both hilarious and intriguing, divulging the secrets of rich people problems. So sip your champagne and dawn your pearls, this heated series will last all summer.

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If you’ve already got enough drama to deal with, why not try a more visual read that will take you places. Middle Point Between My House and China by Spanish photographer Coco Capitán combines an accurate and personal journey through her lens that explores her childhood dream of China. As a child, Capitán believed that she could dig a hole to China. The reality of how impossible this was, was the catalyst that gave her the concept of her being in the ‘Middle Point Between My House and China.’ The title is both figurative and literal in that China was a representation of her desire to run away, while her House was her reality. Her love for what she considered, “the most remote place in the world,” grew with each trip she took. The beauty and reality captured in her words and images of China gives its reader an insightful look into Capitán’s perception. This is Coco Capitán’s first book, launching on May 9th with a book signing from 6pm-8pm at Claire de Rouen Books. Both are not to be missed.

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For the more creative reader, sometimes its hard to keep up with organisation. Most often we are told that we work best in messy environments, that the chaos will often spark an idea. It’s not so much that we thrive off of the mess, but that our creative ideas will throw us into a state that causes the mess. Sheila Chandra, author and former lead signer of the hugely successful 1980’s pop band, Monsoon, is trying to bust that myth of the ‘messy creative genius’ with her book Organising for Creative People: How to Channel the Chaos of Creativity into Career Success. She became inspired by the way creative people work, in her own life, with her first best-selling book Banish Clutter Forever, but also by an artist, Stik, whom she met in 2008. Homeless at the time, Stik was a struggling street artist who Sheila began to mentor. The book was originally a guide for Stik to help him pursue a creative career and then, bloomed into a piece that could be used to help anyone in or seeking a creative career and how to become more successful in it. If you’re looking for a more motivational read to do your summer cleaning, Organising for Creative People is a step by step to jump start just that. Her book will be released May 25th.