Tag Archives: Book Lists

Recommendations for Thai books / books set in Thailand?

Thai Tuk Tuk

Image from teothai.com

In two weeks, I’m off to Thailand for a holiday (Bangkok and Koh Samui). It’s a beautiful place which I find fascinating because it has a liberal culture and a fantastically modern capital, and yet it’s still very traditional in many ways!

Yet, despite visiting three times previously I have oddly never read a novel set there, or written by a Thai author – something that I would like to change.

I quite fancy one novel that’s a little bit epic that I can read on the beach and maybe something shorter. I’d like to learn something but not feel lectured.

Can anyone recommend anything?

Widget You’ll Love: Top Books On The Day You Were Born…

I found this little wonder on Pages of Hackney blog.

Go here (or click on the image below) to visit BiblioOZ.com’s brilliant little widget which tells you the top New York Times bestsellers in the week of your birth.

Biblioz Birthday Books Widget

My list betrays that I’m a child of the 80’s, with Jane Fonda’s Workout Book, a book about Princess Di, and E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial. There’s also a rather saucy book entitled How to Make Love to a Woman.

The only author I’ve read from the list oddly is Stephen King and I’ve never heard of Different Seasons which randomly has really good reviews on Amazon.

What books will be on your list?

Venice: A literary list

At the beginning of January I put up a post about my wonderful Christmas present – a trip to Venice, and after I asked other bibliophiles for their recommendations of what to read on holiday, I was nearly as excited about my final choices as the trip itself! Thank you everyone who helped out with my holiday list!

I couldn’t reduce the list to anything less than five, but as they are mostly novellas or short stories. Here they are:

Don’t Look Now & Other Stories – Daphne Du Maurier (Review here)

Death in Venice – Thomas Mann (Review here)

Death a la Fenice – Donna Leon

The Haunted Hotel – Wilkie Collins (Review here)

The Passion – Jeanette Winters (Review here)

A Year’s Worth of Great Book Group Choices

Last night I went along to my regular book group at the South Bank and I have to say that the choice – George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four went down a storm. For me and a couple of others it was a re-read and for other people it was one of those that they always meant to read but never got around too and I think it’s fair to say they were glad they finally did!

I’m not going to review it here, as I will just waffle on and Savidge Reads has done an excellent synopsis and review, but I will say that reading it again I really appreciated the language and imagery because I wasn’t struggling to get to grips with the new world and ideas in the book. What it did get me thinking about though was what makes for a good ‘book group’ choice. I think that Nineteen Eighty-Four contains the key elements that for me make a great choice. I think these are;

  1. Challenges what you think you know / encourages you to think differently
  2. High standard of writing but;
  3. Is accessible (not too obscure or confusing)

It’s difficult to judge whether a book will be enjoyable, with so many different tastes in a group but I think if you fulfil these 3 criteria then you have the good basis for a debate and a feeling of satisfaction that you’ve read something worthwhile.

My 12 favourite books that I’ve read and enjoyed as part of a book group are:

Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell

Kafka on the Shore, Haruki Murakami

True History of the Kelly Gang – Peter Carey

Atonement– Ian McEwan

The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath

Animal’s People – Indra Sinha

Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golding

The Handmaid’s Tale (Contemporary classics) – Margaret Atwood

On Chesil Beach – Ian McEwan

To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

A Thousand Splendid Suns – Khaled Hosseini

In Cold Blood – Truman Capote

 

What book group choices have you enjoyed and why?