Strongly recommend anthropologist Andrew Walker's book The Search for the Golden Boat (Hawaii) for anyone spending time on boats, near Mekong landings or near the Mekong in Laos and Thailand. The book examines the transboundary river traders and trade in the region.
Also, take a bunch of Colin Cotterill's 'Dr. Siri' novels (I think there are six of them in paperbound versions right now. The protagonist is the national coroner of Laos and the novels light on all kinds of interesting subjects -- Lao politics, the war, buddhism, re-education camps, etc. all anchored by Dr. Siri's pursuit of the causes of death of a series of characters. Great reads. Cotterill himself is very active in Lao education and health issues. Check out his website.
#1 scomoore1 has been a member since 30/7/2006. Posts: 33
Has anyone read Ant Egg Soup by a foodie who travels to Laos? Recently this book was recommended to me, but I would love to get some other opinions before I run out and get a copy.
#3 DKBK has been a member since 3/12/2011. Posts: 8
Ant Egg Soup is a nice read. It has several recipes as well. I'd recommend it. The author is a very intrepid traveller and it would be fun to find some of her dishes.
#4 scomoore1 has been a member since 30/7/2006. Posts: 33
I've recently finished reading Mekong Upstream by Wilfred Burchett. Written in 1959 this is a fantastic look into an interesting period in Laos and Cambian history, with the first half of the book focusing on Cambodia and the second Laos. Part history and part travelogue, if your lucky enough to find this in a second shop I highly recommend it. Very much on an optimistic anti colonial vibe, pro Asian nationalism. Unfortunately we all know how things turned out in these two countries.
Another book on Laos I've read this year is Tragic Mountains. Very good yet depressing read about the Hmong people. Used, abused and essentially forgotten by the USA. More easily available and a bit more of a heavier read. I have to say I am very glad I read it, provides an interesting take on the secret war and the actions of various US governments throughout the 1960's - 80's.