Tales of Thailand: Must-Read Books Far Beyond Lonely Planet

Posted: Jan 11 2015

When we expanded our shop to include the neighboring house, we wanted to provide not just new fitting rooms for our growing customer base, but areas where they could relax and ponder their bespoke clothing decisions in peace. So we placed several seating areas in the lush tropical garden and filled the house with comfortable couches. Complimentary beers and waters are served, and a selection of premium single origin Thai coffee is lined up on a beautifully restored Singer treadle table. 

To compliment your cup of coffee - and to save you Bangkok Novels carrying heavy holiday reading from home - we filled a five-tiered bookshelf with The Tailor On Ten Book Exchange. Here, you can leave a used book and pick up a new one, or purchase one for 150 baht, 100% of which goes to various reputable charities, predominantly working with children in Thailand.

Traveling gives time to spend time with a good book, which is an opportunity to learn more about your destination and delve deeper into the local culture. This is especially true in Thailand and Bangkok, thanks to the city’s vibrancy and the country’s deep-rooted culture. So when you've finished your fitting, drop that dusty guide book, inhale the scents of Thailand and immerse yourself in one of these fascinating books...

Bangkok 8

Bangkok 8 by John Burdett John Burdett is an English crime novelist who studied English and American literature at Warwick University. After a stint as a lawyer in the 70s, he decided to pursue his passion for writing. He now travels between France and Thailand researching his novels. An international bestseller, Bangkok 8 is Burdett's third published work and one of the most predominant Bangkok-based novels.

“We do not look on death the way you do, farang. My closest colleagues grasp my arm and one or two embrace me. No one says sorry. Would you be sorry for a sunset?” Detective Sonchai Jitpleecheep and his partner are tasked with shadowing a United States Marine Sergeant on unclear grounds. The sergeant is soon found eaten by a large python in a bolted shut Mercedes. When Jitpleecheep's trusted partner is killed by cobras, an investigation starts that has both official and personal motives. Jitpleecheep struggles - and explicitly explains - his Buddhist beliefs, as he dives into the underbelly of Bangkok’s criminal world, accompanied by a beautiful American FBI agent. The realistic descriptions of Buddhism, Bangkok's scenery, lifestyle, and the conflicts between Eastern and Western cultures are meticulously interwoven creating a surreal experience of dark thrills and surprising laughs.

Read it already? Be sure to check out John Burdett's other novels, such as Bangkok Haunts and The Godfather of Kathmandu available on the shelves of Tailor On Ten's Book Exchange.

The Disallowed: The Tale of a Contemporary Vampire Family

The Disallowed by Owen Jones Owen Jones was born in Barry, South Wales and moved to Thailand at the age of 50 to live with his wife in her village in northern Thailand. Here he has found plenty of inspiration for books, both realistic and mystical.

Despite the plethora of vampire stories out there, do not let this one dissuade you. The Disallowed is not your typical vampire book; it bursts in originality as a comical contemporary piece. Instead of Count Dracula, enter Heng Lee, a goat herder who mysteriously becomes ill and begins to faint. In the remote town of Chiang Rai, Heng goes to see the village shaman, who concludes he is terminally ill with little time left as his kidneys are failing. The only option is to go under the shaman's treatment and start mysterious blood transfusions... The plot only expands from there in this humorously yet compelling tale recreating the classic and shutting away the trending.

Bizarre Thailand: Tales of Crime, Sex and Black Magic

Bizarre Thailand by Jim Algie Jim Algie has been a musician, TV host, DJ, roadie, soundman and punk critic making his living in cities such as Barcelona, Berlin and Casablanca before settling in Thailand in 1992. In an interview, he disclosed that he was only supposed to be in Thailand for 4 to 5 days but then got caught up with the mystical side of religion and occult ideas naturally intertwined within the daily life of the country. Over 20 years later, he remains in Thailand, writing and researching. Bizarre Thailand is an easy read, featuring a collection of mostly non-fiction essays and intriguing short stories. The accounts range from politics to red light districts and religious routines hidden deep within alleyways or publicly announced on TV. Each story is filled with raw and accurate insight about the fascinating oddities in the Land of Smiles. Bizarre Thailand will take you off the well-traveled road of tourist attractions and into the country's dark interior.

Many people write about Thailand these days, but very few have the depth and breadth of Jim Algie. With the persistence of a seasoned journalist and the skill of a born story-teller he takes us places and reveals truths that lesser authors cannot begin to match." -John Burdett, author of Bangkok 8

Poolside reading appropriate clothes, you wonder? How about a printed short sleeve shirt and Irish linen shorts? Contact us for more info and ordering. 



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