Photo: Paper all the way.

Books forum

Book Review: The Narrow Road to the Deep North

Posted by somtam2000 on 29/2/2016 at 02:30

The 2014 Man Booker winner is a deep, dark and important read. While the story is about far more than the Thai-Burma Death Railway — think love, hope, humanity, memory — the setting of a Japanese POW camp along the railway looms large and dominates in this beautiful novel. The story is woven around the main character, Australian Dorrigo Evans, a doctor in camp. The camp is brought hauntingly to life in a way possibly not captured in any other book — if you plan to visit Hellfire Pass and ...

 Read the full post.

Viewed 842 times, with no replies.

Book Review: Bright Shining Lie by Neil Sheehan

Posted by somtam2000 on 22/2/2016 at 06:51

This huge and highly awarded book is crucial reading for anyone with an interest not just in the Vietnam War, but Vietnam today, as it recovers from the aftermath of that tragedy (and also, war in general). Good news: the lengthy book is an utterly compelling and stunning read. The 1989-published Bright Shining Lie covers the life of US Army Lieutenant Colonel John Paul Vann and the US involvement in the Vietnam War. Vann was a critic of US strategy and befriended (or manipulated) journalist Ne ...

 Read the full post.

Viewed 905 times, with 2 replies. Last reply by somtam2000 on 23/2/2016 at 19:03

Book Review: The Trouser People: Burma in the Shadows of the Empire

Posted by somtam2000 on 15/2/2016 at 04:13

This is our go-to recommended read for those heading to Burma (Myanmar). In an offbeat, compelling tale, Andrew Marshall seeks to follow in the footsteps of Victorian adventurer Sir George Scott. Having found Scott’s diaries in the no-doubt dusty aisles of the British Library, Marshall strikes out to explore modern Burma, in all its rich diversity, complexity and brutality. Marshall’s writing strikes that rare sweet spot between reportage and memoir as he traverses the sprawling territory h ...

 Read the full post.

Viewed 1,010 times, with no replies.

Book Review: Holiday in Cambodia

Posted by somtam2000 on 8/2/2016 at 00:04

While perhaps popularised by the Dead Kennedys, Holiday in Cambodia is also a great book well worth a read. Holiday in Cambodia is an invigorating, nuanced portrayal of life in the kingdom today. Laura Jean McKay’s characters, described with empathy and affection, sashay through a series of crisp but well-rounded vignettes. McKay moves beyond the usual cliches of the beauty of Angkor Wat and the horror of the Khmer Rouge, though these do feature too. With a light hand, McKay explores the c ...

 Read the full post.

Viewed 934 times, with no replies.

Book review: Ring of Fire: An Indonesian Odyssey

Posted by somtam2000 on 31/1/2016 at 20:11

Looking for some inspiration to get off the map in Indonesia? Lawrence Blair will fill your bucket list with incredible places to go. Ring of Fire: An Indonesian Odyssey is a rollicking, old-fashioned adventure tale that hops, skips and jumps through remote and fascinating parts of the Indonesian archipelago. Originally published in 1988, and based on an Emmy award-winning documentary series of the same name, Lawrence Blair tells the story of various trips he and his brother Lorne made intermit ...

 Read the full post.

Viewed 1,263 times, with 2 replies. Last reply by julep60 on 2/2/2016 at 15:41

Book review: Indonesia Etc. Exploring the Improbable Nation

Posted by somtam2000 on 25/1/2016 at 00:45

If you’re heading to Indonesia, or seeking to get even a slight understanding of this complex archipelago nation, Elisabeth Pisani’s beautiful Indonesia Etc: Exploring the Improbable Nation is essential reading. The former Reuters correspondent and epidemiologist travels extensively to research for the book, but entwines her experiences with her earlier stint as a journalist based in Jakarta, and the country’s fascinating history. For those familiar with Indonesia and frustrated to one-di ...

 Read the full post.

Viewed 1,535 times, with 2 replies. Last reply by sambrown on 25/1/2016 at 20:40

tagging books you leave behind

Posted by caseyprich on 14/4/2010 at 19:54

I've gotten in the habit of writing (my name - season/month reading - and location of reading) in every book i pass on or leave behind or sell to a used shop. In China the best books are expensive so we share a lot, and in SE Asia it goes the same. But what I like is seeing where these things have been and where they go. Please, in the future - do the same. Fill the back cover. Why not? ...

 Read the full post.

Viewed 5,200 times, with 6 replies. Last reply by Adventurer707 on 3/11/2015 at 13:45

Looking for a good book on history of Cambodia

Posted by wheelse on 13/4/2009 at 04:15

Hi everyone, thought i'd ask here since the crowd seems so generally knowledgeable - I'm heading to Cambodia in early July and sadly know little about the country besides the general outline and was looking for a book recommendation that discusses the khmer rouge, killing fields, the genocide generally. I don't want to read a textbook, per se, but want more background and context than I'll get in a guidebook. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated! Thanks! ...

 Read the full post.

Viewed 14,043 times, with 20 replies. Last reply by AFClatouche on 29/7/2015 at 04:44

books on travelling round the world

Posted by Dhagmara on 21/1/2012 at 05:57

Any recommendations as far as books dealing with lazy travelling round the world are concerned? Would you know about any fairly recent accounts of prolonged land trips around more temperate regions of the world on a shoestring? Not that much interested in polar regions, posh hotels or touristy destinations. But we'd appreciate any funny or educational stories, in-depth guidebooks, gripping and factual accounts - just a good read or two that will enhance our idea of an elderly couple spending a y ...

 Read the full post.

Viewed 6,606 times, with 12 replies. Last reply by ajarnalex73 on 28/4/2015 at 08:09

What books would you recommend for a trip to Thailand?

Posted by MikeSanto on 19/1/2014 at 02:23

It should be a good book, preferably easy to read and interesting, somehow related to thai culture, history or people. Fiction or documentary doesnt play a beeg role. I am looking for something that can put you in a right mood to feel this country better, to understand it deeper. I hate mindless sightseeng and photofetishism. Thanks in advance to you, devoted readers of this forum! ...

 Read the full post.

Viewed 4,981 times, with 7 replies. Last reply by esseestpercipi on 9/3/2014 at 06:36

Travel Guide: Lonely Planet or Rough Guide?

Posted by carlakoopman on 23/2/2007 at 12:57

Hi all, In search on the internet for reviews which travel guide I should buy, I found this site, awesome! Loads of information here, great. But I still want to buy a travel guide (and print out/write done eFishes), which one do you think is better? Actually I tend to buy the Rough Guide, as almost everyone seems to have the Lonely Planet, and goes to the same recommended things. Which probably change the situation that it isn't recommended anymore. Besides that Rough Guide has a later ed ...

 Read the full post.

Viewed 44,565 times, with 35 replies. Last reply by MADMAC on 18/1/2014 at 22:29

Great Books

Posted by Danlo on 14/3/2011 at 23:24

A Woman of Bangkok by Jack Reynolds. Found this on sale in Canterbury Tales Bookshop in Pattaya while staying there and found it an awesome read, although written in 1956 is still fresh and a very well written and many people I talked to had similar stories about the relationship with Thai Girls. Its great its back in print and a must for the Thailand traveler. ...

 Read the full post.

Viewed 5,822 times, with 9 replies. Last reply by karibou on 1/1/2014 at 12:04

Buddhism Primer

Posted by gannongm on 20/1/2013 at 19:39

Anyone have recommendations for books on Buddhism? Given the extent to which religion figures in the lives of many S.E. Asian people, I'd like at least to learn the difference between, for example, Theravada & Mahayana Buddhism before traveling there. ...

 Read the full post.

Viewed 3,701 times, with 4 replies. Last reply by cybermutiny on 10/12/2013 at 09:52

Mark Elliott - South-East Asia (a graphical guide)

Posted by kav86 on 10/11/2009 at 15:56

Hi Been trying to find a copy of this book for a couple of weeks now but have not had any luck. Does anyone have a copy they could sell or know of anywhere that has it in stock. Thanks for your help. ...

 Read the full post.

Viewed 11,152 times, with 9 replies. Last reply by LeonardCohen1 on 4/9/2013 at 11:15

looking for the ideal book to take for 3 months travel...

Posted by jack2408 on 15/2/2010 at 03:26

Any help? I was thinking of a classic such as grapes of wrath, robinson crusoe etc... ...

 Read the full post.

Viewed 7,884 times, with 24 replies. Last reply by Alexandre8100 on 22/8/2013 at 12:08

travel stories

Posted by SophieAlice363 on 20/8/2009 at 22:24

Hi guys, in my opinion most travel stories I’ve read are, without sounding too harsh, fluff with no depth: i.e " i filled my backpack up to the brim and set off...the flight was long and tiresome etc etc" zzzzzzz. I like Paul Theroux with books such as The Great Railway Bazaar -so insightful and articulate. And The Beach was quite humorous... -bloody ****, this sounds well pretentious doesn’t it!? anyways, if anyone can recommend any tangible or humorous traveling stories along the s ...

 Read the full post.

Viewed 6,556 times, with 13 replies. Last reply by dokuman on 21/7/2013 at 02:18

Ten travel books I'd recommend to anyone

Posted by somtam2000 on 3/7/2009 at 08:15

When I'm travelling on longish trips I read a lot -- not always about the countries I'm travelling in. So here's some of my favourite titles that I just grabbed off he shelves -- one I'm reading now (the Malay Archipelago) and others I've read many times! Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad Set in Africa's Congo during the colonial period, this was a (very) rough base for the hit Vietnam epic Apocalypse Now. The book is far far far better than the movie! Ideally read on the bank of a river. ...

 Read the full post.

Viewed 10,759 times, with 16 replies. Last reply by daawgon on 10/3/2013 at 13:22

Historical/Cultural Reading to Recommend?

Posted by alexandra13 on 27/8/2009 at 03:22

Can anyone recommend good books about the region? I'll be in Cambodia and Vietnam for 3 weeks or so and want to learn more before going. I have a background in international relations so am moderately well informed, but would love to read more about the history and culture about these two countries. Could be travel writing or political/historical non-fiction - anything. Thanks! ...

 Read the full post.

Viewed 4,764 times, with 3 replies. Last reply by Saphir on 25/11/2012 at 22:32

A New, Good Book on Cambodia

Posted by MBEverett on 11/11/2012 at 12:46

I am a big Cambodia fan. A new book on travel in Cambodia was just released as an e-book. Title is Refractory Road in Cambodia. Some great overall observations, and pretty good treatments of things like money, survival language, and riding motorbikes. Worth a look if you are heading there. ...

 Read the full post.

Viewed 2,461 times, with 1 reply. Last reply by 3drazor on 11/11/2012 at 13:57

good Laos books

Posted by scomoore1 on 28/7/2011 at 05:07

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 - ...

 Read the full post.

Viewed 5,672 times, with 5 replies. Last reply by ericgsmith on 6/11/2012 at 01:47

Browse more pages of the forum:
Top of page

Please login to add a new post

You need to be a Travelfish member to be able to add a post to the forum. Please use the button below to log in. After logging in you'll be returned to this page automatically to add your post. Not a member? Join up here.

Top of page