Volume Thirteen: Summer Reading List

Posted in AutumnBookshelf
Volume Thirteen: Summer Reading List

What I Wore

blouse c/o BODEN • shoes c/o BODEN • culottes c/o BODEN • handbag c/o BODEN • sunnies BODEN

Summer was a tricky season for me. I’ll explain further in an upcoming vlog on my YouTube channel, but I usually associate summer with actual work. Since moving to London, I worked through the slow period to get ahead and thus reached for a self-help book. Deep into summer, I realized that I should really do more with trying to take care of myself and enjoy a bit of summer, which is when I moved onto some quick reads that still resonated with me. So here’s my summer reading list!

Volume Thirteen: Summer Reading List
Volume Thirteen: Summer Reading List
Volume Thirteen: Summer Reading List

I haven’t been reading as much online just because I find that I get sucked into a blackhole and start comparing my life to anything shared online. My summer reading list was a good way for me to find inspiration. I look for development and creativity and thus have come across these few links. If you scroll a bit further, you will find a few books that I read since volume twelve that I shared.

Roads & Kingdoms

After the passing of Anthony Bourdain, I started a lot of his articles. It was being shared all over the internet and social media and I couldn’t help but feel envious with his ability to combine politics, culture and gastronomy so seamlessly. It’s something I would like to do more of here on C&É, but with the days of Instagram, it seems people are less inclined to stay on this bit of the internet. In my digital blackhole of Bourdain articles, I somehow came across Roads and Kingdom’s, which boasts a James Beard award. Weaving storytelling, wit and proper journalism—R&K informs and inspires travelers. It’s the way I like to travel, with context, and I’ve become lost in so many of their guides!

Friendship After Having Children

I was trying to do research for the friendship section of the expat experience series. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to write it as one big pity party and tell you all the problems I had with finding people to be my friend or if I wanted to make it a more productive post on how to make friends if you are in almost any situation. This post resonated with me quite a bit because some of the people I met whilst trying to make friends in my adulthood were either getting married, married and/or starting to have children. Their chapters felt so full and mine felt empty in return. This is a wonderful read about making and losing friends in your adulthood and I think some of the takeaways are definitely something you can apply to any chapter in your adolescence.

Scandi Interior Styling Tricks

Since moving into my new flat I’ve been making little additions here and there. I want a space that is inspiring, bright and calming. I also want it to reflect my travels and personality and I want it to be a place where I can invite and gather friends. I have had a love/hate relationship with interiors blogs and thus resorted to just digging for inspiration when I needed it. Living in the UK, you see a lot of Scandinavian interior trends coming through and this post really help me pull together some ideas with existing items and pieces I have. Not much of a read, but it’s interesting to see how you can incorporate Scandi design into your space. Had to be added to the summer reading list even though it’s more of snooping!

Volume Thirteen: Summer Reading List
Volume Thirteen: Summer Reading List
Volume Thirteen: Summer Reading List
Volume Thirteen: Summer Reading List

The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen

To truly tackle the summer reading list, let’s start with this one. I wanted to love this book more because after this summer’s expat experience series, but I had a hard time truly falling in love with it like the former books. A collection of short stories, Nguyen accounts observations of refugee life in a modern world. Playing with daily circumstances, the stories cover relationships, desires, strengths and weaknesses. It played with my heart a bit as it covered topics that are really taboo, and it made me imagine my grandparents’ experience moving to America. It also dealt heavily with cultural exchange and emotions and that truly resonated with me. Each story is a very quick read, but I did find bits of it a slightly dry. I think I was looking for more “sexy” refugee experiences that felt adventurous, but this does do a great job of helping you understand the societal assimilation the Vietnamese underwent.

Volume Thirteen: Summer Reading List
Volume Thirteen: Summer Reading List
Volume Thirteen: Summer Reading List

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

I made this book my first attempt at an autobiography and I think I raised my bar pretty high. After reading a few articles written by Ariana Huffington on her productivity, I knew I wanted to read more about people and their career. Kalanithi’s book is more of a memoir of his life and his life with stage IV cancer. A beautiful piece of prose, he shares bits of his upbringing and how it enhanced his career and life. The parts I read more intently had to do with his struggles between personal and professional life, especially since the cancer confused him to play both patient and doctor. I read this in just a few days and I would happily {and tearfully} read it again.

Volume Thirteen: Summer Reading List
Volume Thirteen: Summer Reading List
Volume Thirteen: Summer Reading List
Volume Thirteen: Summer Reading List
Volume Thirteen: Summer Reading List

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Mason

This was a very entertaining read though it was self-help, which I usually find a bore. I didn’t think I would come away with much from this until I properly dived into it. Manson approaches the everyday nuances and obstacles in life with real advice. “Not everybody can be extraordinary, there are winners and losers in society, and some of it is not fair or your fault.” Essentially grabbing you by the shoulders and shaking you until you get his wisdom, he uses wit to explain things like how money is nice—yet finding what makes you happy in life is better. Then in turn, ensuring that happiness can be profitable. I think I’m going to keep this one on the bookshelf for years to come because it’s a good reminder from time-to-time about the realities of life and taking each moment head on.

What’s on your summer reading list?

Volume Thirteen: Summer Reading List
Volume Thirteen: Summer Reading List
Volume Thirteen: Summer Reading List