books: Top 8 Summer Reads


I’ve decided to condense my reading into lists instead of individual posts. Partly because I’m so far behind updating the blog regularly. One of the reasons why I love going to the library is that it holds me accountable to finish my books in a slated time. I have many books I’ve bought on my bookshelf and I haven’t got to them yet. And some already have their pages turning yellow from the Hong Kong humidity.

1. This is going to hurt by Adam Kay

This book is hilarious and makes for a quick summer read. You can probably finish it in one or two sittings. It’s hilarious. Having dated a medical student and there for him through the gruelling five years of medical school, it brought back lots of memories of the bizarre, hilarious, health warming, gut wrenching sort of stories. Medicine is about people and often times it’s made so clinical and void of human emotions.

2. Freedom In Exile, His Holiness The Dalai lama

I loved this book – so much compassion, love and forgiveness. And the narrative is so human – how his holiness is just like us, greed for roast meats in his younger days, being a naughty child, playing pranks and navigating the world of uncertainty like how we all would, no super human airs.

3. The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel van der Kolk

This is one of the best books I’ve read this year in 2019. I took a while trying to digest all the interesting nuggets. Many of my psychologist friends recommend this book, as with friends who have been through their lifetime of trauma, chronic pain, and illnesses. It’s super fascinating with the research they’ve conducted, in-depth look at the hippocampus, physical and psychological abuse; patients from war veterans to survivors of traumatic accidentals and prolong child/sexual abuse. Highly recommend this book if you’re interested in the human psyche and coping with the thing called Life.

4. History of Islamic architecture in illustrations.

This is God sent. A comprehensive high-level breakdown of places, architecture style, motifs, injected with historical and cultural details over the centuries. Gives one a serious case of wanderlust. So many places to go, so many things to see.

5. The Casual Vacancy by J.K Rowling

I haven’t read any of her other books apart from the full Harry Potter series that I LOVED. This was a pretty engaging read too and I’d recommend it for an enjoyable summertime read.

6. 21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Harari

I haven’t read his first two best sellers Homosapiens and Homo Deus, but this one is a concise and practical read with much to contemplate on what the future will look like – with tech, AI, privacy, machines vs men, religion, power, ego and identity. Highly recommend it.

7. Men without Women by Haruki Murakami

It’s been a while since I last read a Murakami book, this collection of shorts is brilliant. My favourite story is the shorts story on Scheherazade. Absolutely spellbound by this collection. Yes, the solitary male protagonist still exists in most of the narratives, the existential loneliness, solitude, with an equal measure of plot twists and surprises.

8. The convenience store woman by Sayaka Murata


I picked this up at the airport. Curious about the cover. It’s a short and entertaining read and a glimpse into Japanese culture and life – and the judgement women have to put up with if middle-aged and unmarried.

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