8 Books to Bring
for Some Fun
Under the Sun
By Gabriela Lee
It’s that time of the year again: when the days are long and the nights are warm, and most of us are dreaming of lazy days hanging out beside a pool or lying down on the soft sands of some island getaway. But just because you’re on vacation, it doesn’t mean you should neglect your brain (it might melt in the heat!). Here are some books you can bring with you during your summer holidays, so you can work on your tan and your thoughts at the same time.
A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab
For: Fantasy fans looking for a new author to follow and a new world to explore; people who refuse to go outside their rooms because they hate the sun.
What’s it about? In this series, magic is bound by geography – specifically, four very different cities of London: Grey London is our own, non-magical world, though set in the Regency era; Red London is where magic flourishes in balance, and where the magician Kell comes from; White London has leeched its buildings and inhabitants of color while a magical war continues; and nobody speaks of Black London. But as Kell travels between Londons as his king’s emissary, he begins to learn that magic isn’t just something he can control – it’s something that can control all of the places and people he’s ever cared about.
Why you should read it: The final installment of Schwab’s fantasy trilogy Shades of London doesn’t disappoint. In The deft handling of the world that’s set up in A Darker Shade of Magic and A Gathering of Shadows, finally comes to a satisfying end in the final book.
Star Wars: Bloodline by Claudia Gray
For: Those who can’t wait until Star Wars: The Last Jedi comes out in cinemas; cranky teenagers who don’t want to admit they love science fiction.
What’s it about? A stand-alone novel that takes place six years before The Force Awakens, the story focuses on Princess Leia and her role in the Galactic Senate of the New Senate, and how she ultimately has a hand in the transformation of the Resistance.
Why you should read it: If you want to know about what happened to everyone just before The Force Awakens, then this is the perfect book for you. It’s fast-paced and exciting, and you’ll finally get to see how kick-ass Leia is.
A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline
For: Ladies who love life and art; fans of Christina Baker Kline’s Orphan Train
What’s it about? The novel imagines the life of the subject of the painting Christina’s World by Andrew Wyeth by creating her life story as an invalid woman in the early 20th century, and her search for independence despite her physical and societal boundaries.
Why you should read it: The story is a vivid depiction of life as a woman with physical limitations on top of the expectations of her role in the family and in society, and will resonate with readers who feel trapped within the expectations of other people on their lives.
All My Lonely Islands by VJ Campilan
For: Third Culture Kids who grew up in different parts of the world; travel junkies; Philippine literature enthusiasts
What’s it about? Part murder mystery, part confessional, the novel follows Crisanta and Ferdinand as they try and search for a woman named Graciella, and explain to her what happened to her son, Stevan, and how their lives intertwined with each other’s – from Bangladesh to Manila to the windswept islands of Batanes.
Why you should read it: Aside from the fact that it’s a wonderful embodiment of how lives intersect with each other across the miles, Campilan’s novel won first prize in the 2016 Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature, and her first published novel.