Summer Reads 2018

I mentioned that I’m getting back more into reading books, putting down my phone and iPad, switching NetFlix and YouTube for paper. I thought it would be fun to share with you my summer reading list! 

One I’ve already finished, two I’m half way though switching out depending on my mood. I should also mention I’m probably an author’s worst nightmare. Like I do with K Dramas or any TV show I’m into I read ahead on recaps. I do this with books too. It doesn’t matter if it’s books I’m enjoying or books I’m ready to put down for good, I read chapters ahead, the last chapter or last few pages. Sometimes if the ending has enough suspense or I can’t guess the ending from what I’ve read up until I skipped pages, I know it’s probably a good book. Probably, sometimes I read ahead enough random chapters to work out the story and decided it hasn’t got enough to draw me in further. Yes, I don’t always like surprises!

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry. Neil De Grasse Tyson 

I really enjoyed watching Cosmos narrated by Neil De Grasse Tyson. He explains science so easily and in a manner anybody can understand. Not to mention either that you can tell his passion is science especially astrophysics. So when P saw this at an airport he’d knew I like it. 

I’ve read a few pages and am enjoying it so far. However just after I picked it up to read, Crazy Rich Asians arrived. Science could wait a little. After I’ve finished the Crazy Rich Asian trilogy this will be my next read and I’m looking forward to it. We get so wrapped up in day to day life that or I forget we’re suspended in space, floating in a Milky Way surrounded by other stars, planets, blackholes, gases and are as tiny as ants in the universe with nobody knowing why this planet has life, if other planets have life, or even how we became to be from nothing. Growing up I believed Star Wars was true (now, it’s a possibility 1000’s of years into the future) so if you believed that too, I think you’ll like this book too!

Fahrenheit 451. Ray Bradbury

Fahrenheit 451, the temperature at which paper burns. I first heard about this book after seeing HBO’s trailer for a series of the same name. Curious to know more, after I found out it was based on a book about a future that could possible happen if we let social media, the internet and of course machines take over I was I have to read this! 

Set in a dystopia future where books are banned, firemen, fire ladies, fire people no longer put out fires. They start them by burning books, because you know if you can read, you get other ideas to what’s the norm and those in charge don’t like that. It follows the story of one fireman who befriends a new neighbour who leads him to question his values, surroundings, his identity and himself.

Facial Gua Sha. A Step by Step Guide to a Natural Facelift. Clive Witham

I do The Face Yoga Method, so it’s no surprise when my YouTube feed a few months ago started featuring Gua Sha videos I was I’ve gotta try this! Gua Sha according to the blurb’s ‘is a simple and effective anit-aging beauty technique from the Far-East aimed at naturally enhancing the look and feel of your face naturally. It involves light scraping techniques on you skin to help enhance and rejuvenate your face and help combat and prevent wrinkles, eye bags, crow’s feet, facial lines and other signs of aging’.

Similar yet different to face yoga you use the body’s channels that link the body’s elements to muscles to drain toxins, promote healthy circulation to certain body parts. Chinese cosmetology believes there’s a close connection of facial appearance with the state fo the your internal organs, channels and blood. Call me vain, but it’s true. If you suffer from allergies like me, it can help clear channels so you can a breath. Also each groups of facial muscles as the eyes, forehead, etc are linked to element and certain body parts. Drink too much alcohol the liver can’t cope, causing a flushed complexion as the body deals with excess toxins. While face yoga works the muscles this goes deeper using a flat blunt tool such as a Chinese soup spoon or special Gua Sha tool you scrap or lightly drag the tool across certain mapped out channels. Which in turn bring nutrients to the skin’s surface. 

I’m 3/4 the way through and am enjoying it so far. At the moment I’m applying a mix of YouTube tutorials and what I’ve read so far. I can tell you that one eyelid can get puffy in the morning if I’ve slept on in. Doing Gha Sha around that area I can see almost instantly the channel’s been open and is being drained as my eyelid returns to normal. Not every time, 9 times out of 10. There’s a pressure point that helps for just a few seconds when my sinuses are bad. My nose for a couple of seconds has relief. It doesn’t take long to do, about 30 seconds each side of the face. At the moment I’m using a mix of a YouTube tutorial and what I’ve learnt so far. 

Crazy Rich Asians Trilogy. Kevin Kwan

Crazy Rich Asians, the book that got me reading again. I have YouTube to thank for this after watching a trailer for the forth coming movie of the same name. It looks like on big K Drama and I love my K Drams on Netflix so when I found out it was based on a book, I had to read the book!

The blurb: When Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicolas Young, she imagine a humble family home and time with the man she might one day marry. What she doesn’t know is that Nick’s family home happens to look like a palace, that she’ll ride in more private planes than cars and that she is about to encounter the strangest, craziest group of people in existence. Scandalous, addictive and filled with jaw dropping opulence, Crazy Rich Asians is an insider’s look at the Chinese jet set; a fascinating depiction of the clash between old money and new. 

I laughed so much, was thankful for the family tree to work out who everyone is. It was so addictive I stopped Netflix for it. I really enjoyed the crazy antics and can’t recommend it enough for a summer or anytime of year read! 

Rich China Girlfriend. Kevin Kwan

Second in the trilogy which I’ve nearly finished. This takes us through Rachel and Nick’s wedding to meeting her birth father (Nicks scheming Mother who didn’t improve initially of the wedding until she happened to look her nephew, Eddie’s client who’s son had got into a car crash in London. Eddie’s a banker was called into pay everyone off as the son’s father is a high ranking Chinese official. Eddie’s client flew into London too and through random events Nick’s Mum ‘baby sat’ the son’s mum who showed her a photo of her son. Who just so happens looks male image of Rachel. Obviously then, Nick’s Mum found out more and suddenly approved of the wedding! Only after doing more digging and charming her way into the family) in China, to getting poisoned, meeting a family she didn’t know she had, all while every other chapter deal with the rest of the Youngs, Leongs and Shangs family issues. Kitty Pong’s has the best laughs. 

Rich People Problems. Kevin Kwan

The last in the Rich Asian Trilogy. The blurb Nick Young’s grandmother Su Yi (the one who holds all the money to pass down. She’s guarded by Guhrkas, has Thai mades who usually reserved for Thai Royalty  Ok, back to blurb) is on her deathbed. While he rushes to her side, he’s not the only one. The entire Shang-Young clan has convened from all corners of the globe to stake their claim on their matriarch’s ‘massive fortune (oh and she’s doesn’t approve of her favourite grandson Nick’s marriage and has broken off contact! He went back as his Mother told him too. I many have read a Wikipedia synopsis). With all parties vying to inherit a trophy estate in the heart of Singapore, Nicholas’s childhood home turned into a hot bed of sabotage and scandal. Taking us from elegantly appointed mansions own Manila to secluded private islands in the Sulu Sea (Astrid’s great in the series too!), Kevin Kwan’s final instalment in this irresistible trilogy reveals the long buried secrets of Asia’s most privileged families and their rich people problems. I hope Kitty Pong’s in this too! 

I’ve got my fingers crossed Crazy Rice Asians makes it to Spanish cinemas in Version Original. Please don’t dub this one! Trailer here!

National Geographic Magazine

This is what happens when I move away from reading paper. I have over a year of National Geographic Magazines to read on my iPad with Zinio. It’s cheaper than paper subscriptions, saves space however I forget to read them and at night when I do read, I don’t always want to be on my iPad or phone. 

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life. Mark Mason 

This isn’t your typical self help, motivational full of positivity or seeking happiness read. It’s the opposite yet reading it, makes sense to perhaps lead a better life. I’m on the last chapter and will have to read it again for it to sink in. I can see parallels with Goldie Hawn’s 10 Mindful Minutes and Marie Kondo’s  The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying. You have to have honest or work up to it in baby steps and stick with it conversations with yourself. Failure isn’t a bad thing. Moments when it’s all or feels like it’s going wrong is when later everything goes right. Failure you learn from, it’s when you grow, learn your limitations. It depends on you how you use it (that’s my takeaway) and values you set.

A quote from the blurb which is way to long to write out: Mason makes the argument – backed by both academic research and well timed poop jokes – that improving our lives hinges not on our ability to turn lemons into lemonade, but on learning better stomach lemons. 

Digital Camera Annual. Volume 1. Future/Bookazine

P picked this up for me me just before Christmas last year and I’ve just started reading it! I completed in-between Digital SLR Cameras & Photography for Dummies, A Wiley Brand which was a great starting base. This is less in-depth however I’m learning the same things in a shorter manners. It’s more reminders and tips. Photography lessons would be better, whoever books and YouTube are my next best thing. So much to learn (as per these photos. Midday sun has it’s advantage and disadvantages.  

There’s also Tone It Up’s Balanced and Beautiful when it arrives and US Instyle magazine. Paper as I like visits to see the kiosk dog! 

What are you Summer reads? Are any of these read on your list or have you read them? Books or digital books? 


  1. […] so well and then it was over. Just like that. I’ll miss them! It took me longer to read than the other 2 books in the series and I did feel the ending was a little rushed compared to the build up. It was a great read that […]

  2. says:

    I have never seen gua sha done in the face in China! Always on the back or maybe arms and neck. They do it super hard, it hurts the skin and it leaves horrible marks! I guess the facial one is softer…

    1. says:

      It is, no red marks with this one as they can be permeant. I can feel the ‘drain’ when my eyes are puffy!

  3. says:

    This is amazing Natalie. I don’t have media on my phone. Except for a couple of books I have read on my computer, I have always used the paper variety of reading. Don’t know if it is the same book, but I remember reading a book called Fahrenheit 451 as part of a high school English book report assignment. That was over 40 years ago, and I did not remember any concise details. But reading your description, I think this is the book. Well done on your reading.
    With the June National Geographic coverage of plastic pollution, the cover of the plastic bag to look like an iceberg was so incredibly well done.

    Hope you are having a great summer! 🙂

    1. says:

      Erm I have a confession. Still haven’t touched the National Geographic’s. I have nearly finished the Crazy Rich Asians trilogy. I’ll be sad when I have.

      It probably is the same book. I think it was written in the early 80’s. Much of science fiction (not that that this book is) comes true so if the scenario does in 100-220 years it’ll be interesting!

Leave a Reply