Well-Read Travels

(posted by Emily)

One of our favorite parts of our trips is the the opportunity to read. Rick and I both love to read, but aren't very good about making time to do so in our day to day routine. Luckily, most of our vacations involve time to relax and lots of public transportation--aka, lots of time for new books!

After reading this article by Anthony Bourdain (yes, we are obsessed with his shows), we decided to adopt one of his suggestions during our travels--read a work of fiction set in the place you are visiting. We tried it out on our SE Asia trip and really enjoyed it!

While on the trip, we read books about Thailand, since we were spending the most time there:

The Beach by Alex Garland

Both Rick and I read this one before we got to Koh Samui--it only took me about two days to finish! It's a bit older, and has inspired a lot of young people to visit Thailand. Very engaging, and reminded me a lot of Lord of the Flies. It's been made into a film as well.

I am a fan of Harry Bosch, and this series definitely reminded me of Michael Connelly's work. Sonchai is a detective in the Royal Thai Police, and his mother is/was on "The Game" in Bangkok (she is a former prostitute). I have read three of the books so far - Bangkok 8, Bangkok Tattoo, and Bangkok Haunts. The most fun part has been recognizing all of the locations the characters visit and being able to accurately picture them!

Bangkok Cowboy by Ron McMillan

Another detective story, with great locations, and unique characters!

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

This is an honorable mention, because clearly it has nothing to do with Thailand. But, I hadn't read it yet and when it was $2 on Kindle, we couldn't pass it up. It was a great partner during my airport adventures on the way home, and definitely made the time pass quickly.

For our Cancun trip, I think I am going to break the Anthony Bourdain rule, because a number of my Kappa friends have suggested great books I want to check out!

And my recommendations? Here you go!

Looking for more great book recommendations? Check out Alex's blog for more great suggestions!


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