If you have a beach trip planned, but you’re feeling a bit trepidatious about taking your Twitter feed, a newspaper, or magazine for light reading material in case your sunny glow is invaded by terrible news, don’t despair. For readers who’ve loved Danielle Steel for her glamour, or the Shopaholic series for the sheer fun of spending a couple hundred pages rolling in brand names, there’s a relatively new author you’re going to want to try: Kevin Kwan.
With the publication of Rich People Problems, his Crazy Rich Asians series is now three snarky, sparkly, sumptuously jetset books long. Though this is the third in the series, I'm happy to report the books stand alone beautifully; if you doubt you'll ever read Crazy Rich Asians or China Rich Girlfriend, go ahead and dive straight into this one. Like a lot of romance series, reading them out of order won’t ruin things so much as drive you to get caught up on gossip you missed in the last one.
Rich People Problems follows a multi-branched family in Singapore, whose failing matriarch is slated to leave behind an estate worth billions. Various family members are dragged through screamingly funny indignities - and some actual drama - in the race to capture Tyersall Park. Through it all, the prose is sumptuously, snarkily slathered with all the biggest brand names and designers, most glamorous hotels, and all the most ridiculous trappings of the lives of the super-rich. Honestly, this is the most literary fun you can have in hardcover. Grab a cold glass of pinot, put your feet up on your lounge chair, dig in, and indulge your schadenfreude. You won’t even wonder what bad news you’re missing.