New Year always begins with a new indulgence, and for me, it is not always about food on which we, decidedly, have become more vegetarian at home after watching too much, may be, of the Animal Planet! 🙂 Anyhow, food topics have become simpler at home… with more menus on veggies than meats, although we managed to have a glittering seafood party at our place with four other neighbours.
So books, a big fresh stack of them, are now my objects of indulgence. Following my trip to the UK last Sept for a trail of James Bond and Ian Fleming, I ordered a series of Bond books from Amazon which didn’t arrive until the first week of Jan. There are so many books I am reading right now, and I want to read them all so I scatter them in different spots – from bedroom to bathroom and from the car to the sofa in front of the telly. Here they are:
Tomorn Sukpreecha always sets a new literature standard in the Thai reading cultures. This time his take on a travel journey to Japan is mysteriously fun with tongue-in-cheek satirical accounts. He is one hell of a reader and that reflects into his words which I enjoyed although couldn’t help thinking if his selected words are always straight out of a historical Thai dictionary.
And this is another heart warming stories of Supatra’s first venture into a dream cafe of her own – along with, may be 16 other writer friends of hers. Almost everyone wants a cafe where they can express their creativities in a cup – but how many have carefully/realistically/thoroughly thought about a viable business plan to keep the business afloat? This is a book to read for those wishing to open a cafe of their own and still wearing a rose-tainted glasses about the markets.
And now I am on the month of ‘May’ of the Moneypenny Diaries by Kate Westbrook and enjoying it very very much. The James Bond trip inflicted me a historical bug that I love! It is so fun reading a female account on hard topics such as spies and cold wars. This is not the first book I’d recommend you to read if you’d like to explore the whole world of James Bond because it trails after ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’ episode in which Bond, surprisingly, got married! for may be half a day.. before his wife was killed by, of course, a villian who would play on as a major character throughout Bond’s following missions.
Along with OHMSS, I also bought ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’ – which I haven’t read. But I am sure it is going to be fantastic! Beside 007 story is another wonderful book on tea… anyone loving tea must read this. The Book of Tea by Kakuzo Okakura is a full account of how tea was instituted into this world as a nerve-calming drink will put you right into the true sense of a serenity. 🙂 Don’t forget to brew a fresh green tea when reading this, too.
On my last trip to HK, I was into the groove of, what the hell, economics (of all things!). So, my choice then was ‘The Undercover Economist’ by Tim Harford. If you enjoy something like ‘The Tipping Point’ by Malcolm Gladwell, this book might also enjoys you – although I couldn’t finish it just yet. I found myself reading much slower when it comes to math and economic jargons/logics! And the next is the wonderful/dreamy ‘The Temple of the Golden Pavillion’ a classic by Yukio Mishima. It is such a nice change from Bond’s backdrops of London and European cities to old times Japan where we are more accustomed to as a child growing up watching the now famously rerun ‘Oshin’ story. I don’t know if this book is still in print; I got mine from a second bookstore on Ekkamai Soi 10 (Raan Si Fa) that also serves lunch and some drinks, too.
And here are the two I bought when waiting for a movie (the hilarious ‘Burn After Reading’) at Siam Square. I shopped for books at Odion Book Store for ages when in university and so I always pop there when fate puts me back into the old Siam Square grids. I bought ‘Accounts of Stories that Happened During the Reign of King Rama 5’ by Rome Bunnag. It was a great read… well, I am in a historical groove and it is always wonderful to know more about our own history. And good news is that the writer didn’t put his words in to make me yawn (like many other historical books) . And then there’s Buddhadasa Bhikkhu’s reprint of ‘Jit Wang’ or ‘Neutral/Clear Mind.’ We all need a dosage of serenity and utmost wisdom once in a while and this is one book to own.
Last but not least is the reprint of the wonderful ‘Physiology of Taste’ by Brillat Savarin who first wrote this classic book back in the early 1800s!! If we want to know anything about our habits/inclinations to indulge and about foods and sensuality they bring and why we are eating the way we are – this is the book to read. It is so fun to learn that since that time, we are still the same species, easily induced by senses and tastes. And here we go – an endless indulgence – for as long as we live!