3 books to read if you loved Crazy Rich Asians

Looking for a fix after watching Crazy Rich Asians and binge-reading Kevin Kwan's novel series? Here are three books you might love.
Kevin Kwan became a bestselling writer when he published his first novel Crazy Rich Asians. (kevinkwanbooks.com)

Looking for a fix after watching Crazy Rich Asians and binge-reading Kevin Kwan's series? Here are three books you might love.

Based on a True Story by Elizabeth Renzetti

Elizabeth Renzetti is a columnist with The Globe and Mail. Based on a True Story is her first novel. (http://www.elizabethrenzetti.com)

In a nutshell: The drunken exploits of Augusta Price, a washed-up former soap star, is popular fodder for the London tabloids. But Augusta hits pay dirt when she publishes a bestselling (and selectively true) memoir. When Augusta is warned that a former lover is threatening to write a tell-all, she ends up dragging an insecure American gossip writer on a transatlantic journey.

Read this if: Your favourite character in Crazy Rich Asians was Kitty Pong — a wildly unpredictable, scandal-ridden soap star on an unlikely path to redeem herself. 

From the book: It was not the first time she'd been asked to leave a clinic. Augusta huddled into her coat as the wind cut across the porch. The nurse who'd come to say goodbye remained inside, as if afraid to leave the safety of the foyer. One hand held out in farewell, the other on the handle of the door. The paint was peeling down the side, Augusta noticed. The other clinics had been much smarter than this.

She took the outstretched hand, their cold fingers meeting. This nurse, Jennifer, had been her sole friend and ally over one long week, which should have been two.

"We'll not see you here again," Jennifer said.

"No," said Augusta. "You'll not see me here again."

"Well," said the nurse, "you know you can always ring me, any time, if you do feel yourself slipping. My mobile's on there." She fished a card from the pocket of her blue tunic. Augusta looked at it, and realized with some surprise that the nurse she'd been calling Jennifer was in fact named Claudia.

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

The Kiss Quotient is Helen Hoang's first novel. (Adam Amengual)

In a nutshell: Stella Lane is a successful econometrician with an unnaturally keen ability to invent algorithms that can predict what customers want to buy. Work is a cinch, but relationships are another thing altogether — Stella struggles with intimacy, in part because she has Asperger's. She decides to hire a professional escort to help teach her about sex and relationships — and ends up meeting an incredibly gorgeous man named Michael Phan.

Read this if: You've got access to air conditioning, or at least a cold drink. This charming, page-turner of a love story is a steamy read.

From the book: "I know you hate surprises, Stella. In the interests of communicating our expectations and providing you a reasonable timeline, you should know we're ready for grandchildren."

Stella Lane's gaze jumped from her breakfast up to her mother's gracefully aging face. A subtle application of makeup drew attention to battle-ready coffee-colored eyes. That boded ill for Stella. When her mother got something into her mind, she was like a honey badger with a vendetta — pugnacious and tenacious, but without the snarling and fur.

"I'll keep that in mind," Stella said.

Free Food for Millionaires by Min Jin Lee

Free Food for Millionaires is Min Jin Lee's first novel. (www.minjinlee.com)

In a nutshell: Casey Han is a 22-year-old Princeton graduate and daughter of Korean immigrants, who finds herself exiled from parents' home in Queens after deciding not to go to law school. Casey sets off on her own, but her penchant for haute couture and mix of arrogance and insecurity foretells a rocky road.

Read this if: You're looking for a unique, sprawling, yet fast-paced story about work, friendship and love, featuring a young woman coming-of-age between her Korean and American heritage.

From the book: Competence can be a curse.

As a capable young woman, Casey Han felt compelled to choose respectability and success. But it was glamour and insight that she craved. A Korean immigrant who'd grown up in a dim, blue-collar neighbourhood in Queens, she'd hoped for a bright, glittering life beyond the workhorse struggles of her parents, who managed a Manhattan dry cleaner.


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