SUMMER 2016 is on the horizon and I’ve stacked up the best beach reads for your summer getaway. From cathartic binge-eating in Chengdu to a road trip gone awry around Brazil with a love-struck stalker, there’s something on this summer reading list for all types of travelers to keep you intrigued long after the sun sets.
SCROLL DOWN FOR OUR FIRST GIVEAWAY!!!
IF YOU’RE AN EMOTIONAL EATER, TRY… DOUBLE CUP LOVE BY EDDIE HUANG
Off the success of his first memoir “Fresh Off The Boat,” food personality Eddie Huang delivers another serving of soul food in the next of his existential contemplations entitled “Double Cup Love: On the Trail of Family, Food, and Broken Hearts in China.” After the mounting pressures of fame and a newfound love cause him to break, Huang journeys to China to find some answers about his heritage and himself, in where else, but a kitchen.
IF YOU’RE KIND OF A CLUTZ ON THE ROAD, TRY… IT’S ONLY THE HIMALAYAS BY S. BEDFORD
For anyone who has every been backpacking, you know that its anything but a vacation. Backpacking is rough, even awkward at times and that’s exactly the kind of stuff S. Bedford writes about in her humorous narrative on her year-long misadventures around the world. As an overly confident backpacker, she finds herself suffering from some serious miscalculations. Whether she’s blundering along the Annapurna or running away from a pack of ravenous lions, you’ll be laughing away at her traveling blooper reel.
IF YOU SUFFER FROM FERNWEH, TRY… CITIES I’VE NEVER LIVED IN BY SARA MAJKA
“I’m in love with cities I’ve never been to and people I’ve never met.” A collection of prose captures the aforementioned maxim in a series of short stories. Through the eyes of a recent divorcée, her analysis of the growing space between the public and private sectors of her life and the aching nostalgia for the have beens and the what ifs is something each of us can relate to.
IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR THE NEXT ‘GONE GIRL’, TRY… PERFECT DAYS BY RAPHAEL MONTES
Critically-acclaimed Brazilian author makes her English debut with this chilling tale. The story follows Teo, a man with a dark, twisted obsession. The object of his affection is the beautiful Clarice, a screenwriter working on a play about an epic road trip around Brazil. In the wake of his rejection, Teo abducts Clarice and forces her to join him on a deranged odyssey, creepily similar to her screenplay, in the hopes that she’ll fall in love with him. Fasten your seatbelts guys, ’cause its one bumpy ride.
IF PICTURE BOOKS ARE *STILL* YOUR THING, TRY… DISPLACEMENT: A TRAVELOGUE BY LUCY KNISLEY
Bring out the tissue box for this one because this graphic novel will hit very close to home. The artist chronicles a heartfelt story of love and loneliness aboard a cruise ship with her elderly grandparents. Barely an adult herself, the up-close encounter with mortality as she plays caregiver to her ailing grandparents makes her grapple with her own primordial fears of death. But its not all doom and gloom. Interwoven into her memoir are memories of her grandparents at their prime. It’s an exquisite read and should inspire you to follow her other travelogues.
IF HIDDEN FAMILY SECRETS INTRIGUE YOU, TRY… THE CURIOUS CHARMS OF ARTHUR PEPPER BY PHAEDRA PATRICK
Another read with a geriatric tone, but this one is more about discovery and less about nostalgia. 69-year-old Arthur Pepper is content living in his world of routines. On the one year anniversary of his wife’s death, he comes across a charm bracelet belonging to his wife that is the key to unlocking the secrets of her past-life never revealed to him. A quest for enlightenment takes him out of his dreary existence, to the farthest reaches of India. It portrays grief as a journey that is as revealing as any far-flung escapade.
IF YOU WISH TRAVEL SEARCH ENGINES COULD BE SORTED BY MOOD, TRY… THE GEOGRAPHY OF GENIUS BY ERIC WEINER
Using creativity as his compass, Eric Weiner continues his pursuit of higher knowledge in the follow-up to “The Geography of Bliss.” This new discourse has him charting the hotspots of creative activity, not only across the globe, but through the annals of time. Ancient Athens, Renaissance Florence, The Song Dynasty… all the way up to the present-day examining Silocon Valley, there’s no stone left unturned. What is unmasked in the process are the origins of our genius and culture’s role in cultivating said intellect.
IF THE MIDDLE EAST INTIMIDATES YOU, TRY… STRANGERS ARE ALL KIN BY ZORA O’NEILL
They say that Arabic takes seven years to learn and a lifetime to master. Armed with her insatiable fascination of the Arabic language, O’Neill commits to full language immersion journeying to the likes of Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, and Morocco to acquire fluency. During her immersive education, she gains access to the rich history and culture of the region through its words. Her pursuit of knowledge is an invaluable lesson of perseverance and of understanding.
IF YOU’RE INTRIGUED BY THE NYC FOOD SCENE , TRY… FOOD AND THE CITY BY INA YALOF
From the creation of cronuts to the merger of Japanese and Jewish, New York’s dynamic food culture continues to set the tone for “what’s cool” in the food world of today. But who are the people responsible for the countless hours of hard work needed to fuel this booming economy of consumption? Ina Yalof’s gives us a backstage pass to the kitchen, compiling the accounts of professional chefs, restauranteurs, line cooks, and street vendors who teach us that behind every dish, there is always more than meets the eye.
IF YOU HAVE A SUPERSTITIOUS SIDE, TRY… A FIERCE AND SUBTLE POISON BY SAMANTHA MABRY
Staged in the lush tropics of Puerto Rico is a modern day mystery surrounding a supposedly cursed girl and the boy who falls under her spell. When Lucas’ new girlfriend disappears, he turns to the mysterious Isabel to find some answers. The more time he spends with her, the more he recognizes the peril he might be in. While the fantastical romance might be more suitable for a younger demographic, the underlying motif of race, identity, and power will speak to all ages.
IF MASTERING MANDARIN IS ON THE BUCKET LIST, TRY… MOTHER TONGUE BY CHRISTINE GILBERT
The mother becomes the pupil in this memoir of one woman’s journey around the world with a family in tow. As she attempts to rear a child in her native English, she is simultaneous forced to relearn the unfamiliar languages of her temporary homesteads. From Chiang Mai to Cyprus, Beirut to Beijing, surviving the pitfalls of language barriers makes motherhood even more of a mission than it already is.
IF YOU BELIEVE IN THE POWER OF FATE, TRY… HOMEGOING BY YAA GYASI
Yaa Gyasi steps into the literary world with a magnificent, ambitious debut that spans time and space. Two half-sisters, Effia and Esi, live worlds apart in eighteenth-century Ghana despite their common lineage. While Effia becomes the matriarch of the Cape Coast Castle as the wife of a wealthy Englishman, unbeknownst to her, her sister Esi languishes in the castle’s dungeon awaiting a sorrowful fate of slavery. Honing in on the destinies of both women’s predecessors, Gyasi gives voice to a narrative that has long been silenced.
IF YOU ENDORSE THE SCANDINAVIAN WAY OF LIFE, TRY… THE NORDIC THEORY OF EVERYTHING BY ANU PARTANEN
A comparative dissection between American and Nordic lifestyles by Finnish journalist Anu Partanen reveals the destabilizing fears of participating in the pressure-filled American society. From worrisome conversations about the most basic human rights such as healthcare, childcare, and education, Partanen takes a look at the four key relationships — parents and children, men and women, employees and employers, and government and citizens — to bring to light the frailty of the American Dream.
IF THE THE IDEA OF BEING A RENEGADE EXCITES YOU, TRY… THE FUNNIEST/WORST PLACE ON EARTH BY WENDY E. SIMMONS
From serious human rights violations to constant threats of nuclear strikes, broadcasts about North Korea’s ill-repute are world-renowned. For Wendy Simmons, it was all about seeing what was behind closed doors (despite the country’s notoriety for detaining tourists.) Initial amusement with the absurdity of the idea of North Korean tourist quickly becomes frustration and growing paranoia as she deals with the “scariest place on earth.” Luckily her humor remains intact throughout the whole ordeal.
TWO LUCKY READERS WILL GET ONE LISTED BOOK OF THEIR CHOICE. CONTEST ENDS SUNDAY, JUNE 26TH, 9 pm EST. WINNER TO BE ANNOUNCED THE FOLLOWING MONDAY. ENTER NOW!
Open to all residents worldwide. Winner receives either a hard copy or an electronic edition of book, subject to availability and postal conditions. Multiple entries encouraged. Must be willing to offer valid mailing address to received hard copy. Prize is transferable. Cannot be exchanged for cash money. For any questions, please contact me here.