The Dead Do Talk is an autobiography (ISBN 978-981-4302-73-9, Marshall Cavendish Editions, Singapore, 2011) written by the highly regarded Thai forensic pathologist, Dr. Porntip Rojanasunan. Dr Porntip is the lady by whose spiky colored hair she is recognized everywhere. However, after reading this book you will find there is much more to this enterprising woman than her coiffeur.
The classic book describing the relationship between a love-sick young Englishman and the ultimate hardened Thai female prostitute. Set in the 1950’s, and written by “Jack Reynolds” A Woman of Bangkok (ISBN 978-981-08-5430-0, originally released in 1956 and now reprinted by Monsoon Books, Singapore, 2011), is still a spell-binder.
There must be something in the water in the notorious “Bangkok Hilton” prison which brings out the literary side of the inmates. The latest is American Jon Cole, with his book Bangkok Hard Time (ISBN 978-981-4358-32-3, Monsoon Books, 2011), with another true story from the exercise yards of Klong Prem Central Prison (AKA the Bangkok Hilton).
In the course of a year I will read and review more than 50 books. Some never become reviews as they are simply not good enough in the literary sense. It is rare for a book to be outstanding.
Ben Mezrich (a previously published author of 11 books) has written Sex on the Moon (ISBN 978-0-434-02079-9, Random House, 2011), and I suppose it goes with the old adage ‘sex sells’, well in this case the cover caught my eye amongst the hundreds of titles in my local Bookazine. Sex does sell!
There are two reasons that I chose this book, The Master Builder written by Charles Sale (ISBN 0-370-30927-8, Putnam and Company, 1982, but first published in the US in 1930) for review this week. This first reason was Serendipity and the second followed Jung’s theory of Synchronicity. I shall now expand on the first, but you will have to wait until the end of the review for the synchronicity.
This week’s book is 1001 little ways to spend less and live well (ISBN 978-1-84732-350-7, Carlton Books, printed in Dubai 2009). The compiler of the 1001 ways is Esme Floyd. Ms. Floyd has found another 6006 hints on other different subjects, and she has collected these in another six books.
This week’s book review is of Maximum Security (ISBN 978-1-84193-755-7, Arcturus Publishing 2009) by Karen Farrington and has the subtitle Inside stories from the world’s toughest prisons.
The publishing world appears to have a set of rules all its own. I will stop short of calling its conduct ‘subterfuge’, but I direct you towards that very core of the publishing business, the ISBN. A way to identify books which dates back to the 1967 version (called the SBN in the UK), and through to the International SBN and now the latest 13 digit classification. All very noble, and good to see that there has been international agreement on something at least.
This week’s book was written by the famed travel writer Paul Theroux, though a “book” is probably a misnomer. It is in fact, a collection of short stories, previously written for a disparate group of magazines, and re-jigged into this collection of travel writings 1985-2000 (Fresh-Air Fiend ISBN 978-0-241-95055-5, reprinted 2011).