Reading Time: 5 minutes

Each summer season is the perfect moment to relax and disconnect. One way to do it is to read books. For once, forget your mobile phone, close your computer and do not even look at your smartwatch. Just lay down somewhere and open a good book. To help you with this, here are our top five books to read during your holidays. At luxuryactivist we took the time to ask around, evaluate, read some of them and even check some of the most notorious book critics to craft this short yet essential selection. Enjoy.

A Novel – To Paradise by Hanya Yanagihara


After “A Little Life”, the new book is a novel of many faces. To Paradise is a fin de siècle novel of marvellous literary effect, but above all, it is a work of emotional genius. The incredible power of this remarkable novel is driven by Yanagihara’s understanding of the aching desire to protect those we love—partners, lovers, children, friends, family, and even our fellow citizens—and the pain that ensues when we cannot. This is probably a true masterpiece of our times.

According to the New York Times: “We are given a patriarch, wealth, children; an arranged marriage, an inheritance, a true love, a class divide and a significant twist. Deftly paced and judiciously detailed, the tale makes hay with the conventions of the 19th-century novel. But that’s not all. With breathtaking audacity, Yanagihara rewrites America….Yanagihara masterfully repurposes themes, situations and motifs…This ambitious novel tackles major American questions and answers them in an original, fascinating way. It has a major feel. But it is finally in [its] minor moments that Yanagihara shows greatness.” – Gish Jen, The New York Times Book Review

A Biography – Taste: My Life Through Food


I love Stanley Tucci. He is a great actor and a great person. He is obsessed with food (like me). He proposes an intimate and charming memoir of life in and out of the kitchen. We must understand that Stanley Tucci was born and raised in an Italian family, so cooking and eating are part of his heritage. This new book, Taste, is a true crossroads between food and life. It is filled with little short moments in life from Stanley Tucci’s childhood growing up in New York, preparing for the shooting of some of his films and, of course, his life with his wife and children. From a cooking point of view, it goes from high standards of five-star meals down to burned dishes. A true gastronomic journey where bad times and good times happened. Written with Stanley’s signature wry humour, Taste is for fans of Bill Buford, Gabrielle Hamilton, and Ruth Reichl—and anyone who knows the power of a home-cooked meal.

A History Book – The Palace Papers: Inside the House of Windsor–the Truth and the Turmoil


This book exposes the intimate narrative of the British royal family’s struggle to escape the tragedies of the Diana era—only to be confronted with new, twenty-first-century issues.

The author takes readers on a tour de force trip through the monarchy’s scandals, love relationships, power manoeuvres, and betrayals throughout the previous twenty-five years. We watch the Queen’s stoic resolve following the deaths of Princess Margaret, the Queen Mother, and Prince Philip, her long-term spouse, and how she prevails in her Jubilee years despite family strife. Brown delves into Prince Charles’ ambition to marry Camilla Parker Bowles, William and Harry’s “separate paths,” Kate Middleton’s ascen­sion, Prince Andrew’s demise, and Harry and Meghan’s startling choice to stand aside as senior royals. Despite the weak monarchy’s best efforts, “never again” appears to be on the horizon.

Reconnecting with Nature – The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate.


In his book, The Hidden Life of Trees, forester and author Peter Wohlleben makes a compelling argument that the forest is a social network. He uses revolutionary scientific discoveries to show how trees are similar to human families: tree parents live alongside their offspring, communicate with them, nurture them as they develop, share nutrients with those who are ill or struggling, and even warn each other of imminent hazards. Wohlleben also discusses his intense love of woods and forests, describing the marvellous cycles of life, death, and regeneration he has witnessed in his forest.

Easy Reading on the Beach – It Happened One Summer: A Novel

Here is the story: Piper Bellinger is trendy and prominent, and her reputation as a wild child has the paparazzi on her tail. When too much champagne and an out-of-control rooftop party put Piper in jail, her stepfather thinks it’s time to call it quits. So he cuts her off and assigns Piper and her sister to help operate their late father’s dingy bar… in Washington.

Piper hasn’t even been in Westport five minutes when she meets Brendan, a large, bearded sea captain who thinks she won’t last a week outside Beverly Hills. She’s determined to prove to her stepfather and the hot, fiercely local that she’s more than just a lovely face. So what if Piper can’t handle arithmetic and the thought of sleeping in a run-down apartment with bunk beds makes her break out in hives? How horrible could it possibly be? For sure, the best summer book you can read by the pool and think about something else.

This summer, do not hesitate to read books. Leave the tablet, the smartphone or the laptop on the side and take a good book to read. It does not require batteries, you will not have a problem with contrast under the sunlight, it is unbreakable, and even if your book falls into the pool, it will survive better than your phone. Above all, books provide something unique: time for yourself.

Happy summer

José Amorim
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