March 23, 2016

Easy reading books for travel: Me Before You and Crazy Rich Asians

My wife and I like to bring books when we travel. We like to take the idle time on the plane, train or bus to do some light reading. I don't like to bring the usual business books I've been reading and reflecting about since my MBA. I take the time during the holiday to catch up on some of the more popular fiction titles. It also give my wife and I an opportunity to read the same books (gasp, she is not fond of reading the business books that have caught my fancy lately) and to talk about it afterwards.

For our recent trip to London, we each picked out a book before we left. My wife selected "Me Before You" by Jojo Moyes while I picked out "Crazy Rich Asian" by Kevin Kwan.

My wife has good taste in books
I was attracted to the title

I must say, my wife and I picked out some appropriate books for travelling to London. Both books are have links to the United Kingdom with Me Before You being set predominantly in a fictional English town while the fictional rich Asians have studied in the UK and have homes in the English countryside.

Both books are not new, but we both enjoyed reading it. There is a big contrast in the overall tone for both books even though both are essentially love stories. Me Before You takes a more serious tone and even tackles the politically charged issue of assisted suicide. Crazy Rich Asians is rather light-hearted and I found myself laughing in secret while reading behavior that are somewhat too familiar to my own family.

Me Before You has the makings of an instant romance classic while Crazy Rich Asians probably will fall more along the lines of modern fads.

Some key highlights:
  • In Me Before You, I liked how the book was able to show that love is more complicated that we are made to believe in pop culture. There is often a lot of gray areas. And with a controversial topic like assisted suicide being discussed, it pushes the boundaries of what people will do for the ones we love.
  • In Crazy Rich Asians, I liked how everything is so extravagant and exaggerated that people reading can't help but think differently about the usual stereotypes. Hopefully, people do not take any of it seriously but rather take it more lightly. It is after all a work of fiction.
Both books already have sequels and I have my hands on "China Rich Girlfriend" which I plan to read over the long Easter weekend. Will look to grab a copy of "After You" for my wife.

I find that reading different types of books gives me a well rounded perspective and opens up new worlds for me. I always considered myself a more book-smart type of person and my friends will probably agree. I'm an introvert. And while some may think I'm boring, my tastes in books are probably well-rounded and more interesting.

I plan to write more about what I read, if only so to keep this blog going. Instead of just focusing on business related posts, I'm going to share more about the things I like and the things I find interesting and useful.

I'm happy to hear more from those who have read the two books I just finished reading. What did you think? Are the sequels any good? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.