Hollis Wong-Wear’s summer reading list

Hollis reading list

Read-a-thon time! Seattle’s up-and-coming-est Renaissance woman shares her top 5 summer books.

Hollis Wong-Wear is in heavy rotation across the nation these days. She sings the hook on White Walls — the latest Macklemore & Ryan Lewis single.

But she’s got a lot more going for her than an amazing voice.

The Seattle-based poet/producer/manager/rapper/actor says one common thread ties together all of her work:

I have a joy for words,” she told City Arts back in December. “Whether that’s writing up a production book for a music video or it’s writing a song or it’s writing an email for a press release, writing is fundamentally my calling.”

And if you want to be a good writer, kiddies, you have to read. Here are Hollis’ top five recommendations for your summer reading list:

1.     “China in Ten Words” by Yu Hua

“I loved this examination of Chinese society and culture from the perspective of a writer who grew up during the Cultural Revolution and now writes in the hyper-developing Communist-Capitalist hybrid that is China. He uses language as touchstones for anecdotes and social analysis, and I learned a lot from his insights, which are beautifully and lyrically written.”


2.    “Another Country” by James Baldwin

“This novel knocked me dead. It is lush and heartbreaking, daring and racy — and a modern American literary classic.”


3.    “Safe As Houses” by Marie-Helene Bertino

“This collection of short stories is both bizarre and endearing. It made me laugh out loud and swell with emotion, and it also made me re-read page after page trying to make sense of it.”


4.    “1Q84” by Haruki Murakami

“I’m a Murakami junkie and while The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is still my all time favorite, I loved plunging into the seductive and kaleidoscopic world woven in 1Q84.”


5.    “Gender & Sexuality for Beginners” by Jaimee Garbacik

“A brand-spanking new, illustrated…  guide to the complex and multi-faceted history of gender and sexual identity by a Seattle writer. This book smartly presents heroic achievements and troubling issues of today with lots of facts in accessible language that’s great for teenagers and adults alike, particularly to ignite conversations.”


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This story was originally published in the International Examiner