When you read a book like Crazy Rich Asians you have to wonder what on earth could have inspired Kevin Kwan to whip up such a fun, heady confection of old money, new money, social climbing, and jet setting. Well, we asked him to give us his summer reading recommendations, and it turns out his reading list offers a major clue. Read on to see what we mean.
To me, there’s nothing better than a great book enjoyed over a languid summer weekend. I love to mix things up by reading biographies of glittering characters along with novels set in far flung summery destinations. So mix yourself a Bellini, find a cool shady spot, and prepare to get lost in these fascinating lives and worlds. —Kevin Kwan
A Beautiful Crime by Christopher Bollen
This utterly transporting novel about a couple of glamorous con artists is not only exquisitely observed, it provides a fun, insider-y look into Venice beyond the tourist spots.
Savage Grace: The True Story of Fatal Relations in a Rich and Famous American Family by Natalie Robins and Steven M. L. Aronson
Savage Grace reads like a gossipy thriller set in the Hamptons, but this story of the tragic Baekeland family—told through gripping interviews with some of the grandest names in New York society—is all devastatingly true.
Lady in Waiting: My Extraordinary Life in the Shadow of the Crown by Anne Glenconner
Anne’s frank, witty memoir of her incredible life within the nexus of British aristocracy—born the daughter of an earl, she was lady-in-waiting to Princess Margaret and married to one of the most colorful eccentrics of the 20th century, Colin Tennant, the man who bought a barren rock in the Caribbean and turned it into the fabled jet-set paradise of Mustique.
Polite Society by Mahesh Rao
This funny, clever re-imagining of Jane Austen’s Emma set in the elite circles of Delhi provides a crash course into the mores and manners of Crazy Rich Indians.
Kevin Kwan's summer reading recommendations center on fascinating lives and worlds, but he recommends you fix yourself a Bellini and snag a cool shady spot, too.