When Rachel and Nick make the twenty-two-hour flight from New York to Singapore in Crazy Rich Asians, there’s sure to be a lot of staring lovingly into each other’s eyes. These two are head over heels for each other! They’re taking their first international trip together! It’s all super exciting and romantic. But twenty-two hours is a lot of time. And there’s definitely a cap on staring lovingly. That’s where we come in. We’re here to save these two from boredom and in-flight fatigue with a list of book recommendations for their flight. Y’all can thank us later.
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
Tayari Jones’ latest novel is perfect for this long flight. It’s one of those can’t put it down books that sucks you in – so much so that Rachel will be tempted to ask about Celestial and Roy’s well-being long after the end of the novel. Jones’ prose is that vivid. And in an unintentional set of foreshadowing, this book deals with the ripple effect that occurs when a young couple’s lives impact far beyond their own marriage. The alternating perspectives make this an incredibly quick read – and the epistolary midsection of the novel keeps the pace quick and engaging. It’s the kind of novel that will keep Rachel awake, which is perfect for fighting off the impending jet lag.
[source: Penguin Random House]
The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
If Rachel is looking for a break from the heavier topics in An American Marriage, she can turn to Helen Hoang’s debut novel The Kiss Quotient. Romance novels are perfect airplane reads – predictable in all the right ways and snappy reads. A little romance never hurt anyone, especially when they’re full of twists and turns like The Kiss Quotient is. Plus, the reverse Pretty Woman could end up being the perfect antidote to the family drama she’s about to encounter in Singapore. But don’t tell her that yet. For now, Rachel is sitting pretty in an amazing romantic bubble. Just her, Nick, and fictional lovebirds Stella and Michael.
Ms. Marvel by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona
Meeting her boyfriend’s parents (and potential future in-laws) is a stressful enough situation on its own. Add to that a twenty-two-hour flight, jet lag, and an unanticipated number of surprises and you have a recipe for disaster. Luckily, we’ve recommended G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona’s Ms. Marvel. Because Rachel could really use a hero right about now.
The Wangs vs The World by Jade Chang
Nick didn’t sufficiently prep Rachel for what she’s about to encounter when she gets to Singapore. Extravagant wealth, matriarchs with ridiculously high standards, and too many family secrets to count all await Rachel on the other end of this plane flight. We thought it would be good for him to read The Wangs vs The World on the flight over. It’s our way of subtly hinting that he should be more honest with Rachel. Because even though we’re rooting for the two of them to get through this stronger than ever, we’re not above using the Wangs as a cautionary tale. And let’s be honest: we also love how incredibly funny Jade Chang’s debut novel is. And we think Nick will too.
The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach
Chad Harbach’s sweeping novel The Art of Fielding has everything. Baseball, Melville, love, heartbreak – all set on the fictional campus of Westish College. At over 500 pages, it’s a hefty novel, one that Nick won’t be able to finish on a single flight to Singapore. But it’s one of those books that digs deep into your soul and refuses to let go – perfect for the weeks ahead. It’s silly to think that Nick might get homesick for the States while he’s away, but he might. And in those times, The Art of Fielding will be there.
Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
Since the number one thing on Nick’s mind is “Will my family like Rachel?” – and honestly, who wouldn’t? – it’s helpful to have a sci-fi world to dive into. Saga is the perfect comic series for this long flight. It’s fantastical enough to keep Nick guessing, but each installment is short enough to afford a quick nap in between. (Why are airplane naps always the best naps?) It’s also the kind of series that will completely distance Nick from what’s happening on the ground. And even though we’re firmly against Nick’s decision to hide so much about his family from Rachel, we know that the stress must be killing him. Dive into that Saga universe, Nick. The real world will be here when you land.