At a very early stage of my adult life I was advised there were two topics to avoid in discussions. One was politics and the other? Religion!
I rather took the advice to heart, as these days I am a confirmed atheist, but at least this was to give me a clean slate to read The Religions Book (ISBN 978-1-4093-2491-1, DK, 2013) without bias in any particular direction of faith.
I was attracted to this week’s review book by a remark on the front cover attributed to famous drug smuggler Howard Marks, whose book Mr. Nice (ISBN 978-0-749-39569-8, Vintage UK, 1997) was one of the most fascinating books I had read. With the recommendation from “Mr. Nice”, I chose Leaf Fielding’s To Live Outside the Law (ISBN 978-1-84668-797-6, Serpent’s Tail publishing, 2012) and eagerly began reading.
I think I just failed ChickLit 101. I recall that I failed it once before, many years ago, and ended up having a deluge of women accusing me of everything from being a male chauvinist pig to just being illiterate, because I did not like a book written by one of their brood (or should that be ‘breed’)? I am sorry I can neither remember the name of the book, nor the author, having expunged both from my memory. But it did happen, showing that people do read book reviews.
This week’s book is a follow-on from Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner’s book Freakonomics. Super Freakonomics (ISBN 978-0-141-04832-1, Penguin Books, 2011) promises on the cover to tell the reader all about Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes and why Suicide Bombers should buy life insurance.
Many years ago now, a man came into the Pattaya Mail offices with some black and white cartoons. He showed these to Dr. Iain who immediately convulsed with laughter. He and Mike Baird have continued their relationship, so when Mike’s latest book was given to Dr Iain, complete with dedication on the flyleaf, he passed it on to me for review.
The Forbidden Goodbye of a Husband’s Suicide
Written by the wife of a man who committed suicide, this is a very harrowing and moving tale. It was not enough that her husband committed suicide, a fact she has had to live with, but then she was arraigned by the police and charged with involuntary manslaughter and assisted suicide, leading to proceedings in court before a jury.
Another book with strong local content, Thai Kiss (ISBN978-1-938369-02-5, Aardwolfe Books, 2013) was written by Matt Carrell and is his second book, the first being “Thai Lottery... and Other Stories from Pattaya.” This was a collection of short stories, and Thai Kiss is his first true novel.
With the subtitle “An Indian Adventure”, “Confessions of a Coward” is a collection of real-life experiences of Kirsty Turner, a traveler who spent nine months in the Indian sub-continent (ISBN 978-616-222-234-4, 2013, self-published). The back cover paints her as a novice, but the brief bio states that she is a seasoned travel writer!
It was the day after the Asiana Airways crash in San Francisco that I was browsing in the Bookazine in The Avenue and spotted this book called Inflight Science (A Guide to the World from your Airplane Window), written by Brian Clegg (ISBN 978-184831-305-7, Icon Books, 2012). My interest was piqued immediately.
An old hand in Thailand, Harlan Wolff is a Private Investigator (PI) who has worked in Bangkok since 1977. Deliberately keeping a low profile, because of his work, this book is a breakaway from his usual under the radar life.