Summer reads 2013

SummerSummer is in the air for most of us with lots of sunshine and balmy weather ahead, and it is also time for traveling to recover and rediscover the self.

Seeing new sights, meeting new people and gaining new experiences in a foreign land is my way to freshen up midway through the year.

During my summer travels, I will always try to pack in a few books to bring along to read on the plane, on the beach or for whenever, wherever.

Below is my summer reading list for this year:

1. On the road

The bible of the beats generation, it is based on the travels of author Jack Kerouac and his friends when they drove across America, carefree, careless and aimless, and experimented with sex, drugs and everything in between. Packed with constant restlessness and deep contemplation about life, this classic from the beats literary movement maestro is simply a wonderful book to be on the road with.

2. A tale for the time being

The New York Times claims that “this book’s title shimmers and shifts shape upon study” like a piece of zen art. And if that was not enough to entice you, what about a Japanese teenage girl’s diary wrapped in a Hello Kitty lunchbox being washed ashore millions of miles away and later picked up by a novelist living on an island? The set up for this novel instantly suckered me into buying it and have it all lined up next on my reading list.

3. The orphan master’s son

Summer holidays is a time to let imaginations run wild and this piece of fiction that won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction could do exactly that. Set in Kim Jong-il’s North Korea, its explores life under one of the world’s last authoritarian countries and the numerous tensions bubbling under it including individual’s private desires, morals and values. Not bad I must say.

4. The casual vacancy

I grew up on the Harry Potter series, so when the author J.K. Rowling released her first post-Harry Potter book, as her fan, I had to show my support. Currently I am in the midst of reading it and I could say her writing has certainly matured to contain a lot of adult language material. This will be a dark read for your sunny days.

5. Tales to nowhere

This is an anthology by Lonely Planet I received over Christmas comprising short travel literature from various writers. The book purports to illuminate a simple truth: “if we embark on each adventure with an open heart and an open mind, travel will take us places we never planned to go, and enrich and enlighten us in ways we never otherwise would have known.” Sounds like something to mull about when lazing around and sipping on a cocktail.

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18 thoughts on “Summer reads 2013

    1. Thank you so much for your complimentb Ozeki’s latest book is certainly something worth picking up this year! You have my assurance (:

  1. I must get A Tale for the Time Being. That sounds awesome. On an unrelated note, I was underwhelmed by On The Road. I hope you get more from that one than I did.

    1. I’m currently reading A Tale for the Time Being and it has so far proved not to disappoint! As for On the Road, perhaps it was because Jack Kerouac’s writings felt almost like pure rambling rather than a well-developed story structure? That was how I felt when I first started on the book, but subsequently, I began to better appreciate it when I saw the book as a diary that Kerouac was documenting his daily sights and sounds while traversing though America. Not sure if that interpretation helps!

  2. I also have A Tale for the Time Being on my to-read list! I tried reading Casual Vacancy when it first came out, but found it didn’t hook me. I might re-read it in the future though. I’d love to hear your thoughts on both books. 🙂
    http://www.jannlee.com

  3. Looks like a good list! On the Road is definitely the perfect road trip book, and the Lonely Plant anthology sounds awesome! I think I’d want to read it when I’m stuck home with wanderlust, though 😛

    1. A couch traveler does sound pretty appealing too! Maybe add in a cup of coffee and some biscuits to go with it?

  4. i love j.k. rowling! “the casual vacancy” is something totally different from hp, but the detail for character traits is the same and i think she wrote a strong, interesting and critical book.

    1. I was pleasantly surprised by The Casual Vacancy too because it’s just so different. Will be following up with a book review about it

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