The sharper edge to traveling in Asia

Archive for the 'Literature' Category

WoWasis book review: Jerry Hopkins’ ‘Romancing the East’

We’re old fashioned, those of us here at WoWasis. We like books that have left room to include a few blank pages at the end. Author Jerry Hopkins, one of the more prolific writers of the last few years, has written a compelling book that lacks those blank pages. It’s called Romancing the East: A […]

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Bangkok Fiction writers interviewed live by Keith Nolan

Keith Nolan’s a hard guy to miss if you’re around the Bangkok music and writing scene. He’s at the sound board every Sunday afternoon for the jazz jam session at CheckInn 99 on Sukhumvit between Sois 5 and 7 (blink and you’ll miss it, and you’ll be sorry you did). He also has a regular […]

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WoWasis book review ‘Burmese Light’ photo essay by Hans Kemp & Tom Vater

Here at WoWasis, we’re always interested in books on photography focusing on Asian countries, but have gotten to the point where large format coffee table sized books are creating a storage problem in our library. Because of that, they never get read beyond the first opening. We welcomed, therefore, photographer Hans Kemp and writer Tom […]

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WoWasis book review: ‘On Holiday’ how your money is reaped by vacation companies

Ever wonder how the travel industry decides how to best take your money? To those of us here at WoWasis, it’s a fascinating topic. It’s not just about how that industry markets to us, either. It’s making sure that we like our vacation experiences enough that we’ll do it again and tell all our friends […]

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WoWasis book review: ‘In Search of Robinson Crusoe’ (and it wasn’t Selkirk) by Tim Severin

We here at WoWasis reviewed Diana Souhami’s Selkirk’s Island: The True and Strange Adventures of the Real Robinson Crusoe a while back. It’s a great story about a compelling but unlikeable character, Alexander Selkirk, marooned alone for 52 months on an island in the Pacific. But as author Tim Severin discovered, Selkirk, while inspiring Daniel […]

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WoWasis book review: ‘Escape from Camp 14’ a North Korean prison odyssey

In some corners of the world, it’s possible to be born in prison, live and work in prison, and die in prison. One’s entire existence is lived within those fences. And Shin In Geun was slated to be one of those, in North Korea. Against tremendous odds, he escaped his North Korean prison while in […]

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WoWasis book review: Cold case murder solved in China: Paul French’s ‘Midnight in Peking’

Why should anyone today care about solving an expat murder in 1937 Peking? We here at WoWasis were skeptical too. But we took a chance on Paul French’s Midnight in Peking: How the Murder of a Young Englishwoman Haunted the Last Days of Old China (2012, ISBN 978-0-14-312100-8) and were richly rewarded. It’s more than […]

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WoWasis book review: ‘Nothing to Envy’: Tough lives in North Korea

The “hermit country” of North Korea has spawned a number of books on the government and the prison system. Kang Chol-hwan’s The Aquariums of Pyongyang: Ten Years in the North Korean Gulag is a formidable example of prison literature, but leaves out an important element: just what is daily life like for ordinary North Koreans? […]

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WoWasis book back in time: ‘South Pacific’ by James Michener

There are so many books out there, and seemingly never enough time to get to them all, we here at WoWasis tell ourselves. Decades into your life, you muse, you realize you never got around to some of the classics. We don’t know how many people are reading James Michener’s classic Tales of the South […]

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WoWasis Banned Book review: Thailand, ‘A Kingdom in Crisis’ by Andrew MacGregor Marshall

The most talked-about topic in Thailand is also the least talked-about. The controversy on succession plans revolving around the eventual death of King Rama IX, Bhumibol Adulyadej is something everyone discusses, but only in private. To do so in public invites a prison sentence under Thailand’s draconian lèse-majesté laws. As Andrew MacGregor Marshall points out […]

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