Just as often as I judge a book by its cover, I judge it by its title. I love a title that hints at irony and leaves me thinking- "well that can't really be what the book is about." Sometimes my curiosity is rewarded with a really great story.
How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia is one of the most delightful and original books I’ve read in recent memory. Cleverly presented as a self-help book, author Mohsin Hamid lays out each chapter as a step to becoming filthy rich in an unnamed Asian country. The second-person narrative immediately drawns you into the story, but when step three: Don’t Fall in Love, proves impossible to adhere to, you may find yourself asking, as Hamid does:
“Is getting filthy rich still your goal above all goals, your be-all and end-all, the mist-shrouded high-altitude spawning pond to your inner salmon?”
Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan is indeed a book about crazy rich Asians. Chinese American Rachel Chu, has no idea her low-key boyfriend of two years, Nick Young is one of Asia’s wealthiest and most eligible bachelors when she agrees to accompany him home to Singapore for the summer.
Once in Singapore, hilarious stories of excess, evil bridesmaids, scheming mothers, couture catfights and the most over-the-top wedding imaginable ensue. This book is crazy fun reading and delivers all the glamour of the Jackie Collin’s novels I devoured off my mom’s bookshelf as a teen. But it's not all superficial fluff inside this gold cover: Crazy Rich Asians is also a reflection on family, tradition, and the things in life worth fighting for. If that doesn't appeal to you, the mouth-watering descriptions of Singapore street food ought to. It's not always about the money.