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Some Books You Recently Read About Thailand/Thai Culture ;-)
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  1. #1
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    Some Books You Recently Read About Thailand/Thai Culture ;-)

    Have anyone read any books on Thailand/Thai culture, which you are simply dying to shout out about, be it to laud the author or curse the sleep-inducing contents of the book?

    Seeing quite a few of us here just can't resist reading a book, hoping we can review here some of your recent good and the bad of the lot.

    Book Despository is currently giving 10% off its already discounted book price, plus the online preorder of a new book called Modern Thai Society and Buddhadasa Bhikkhu: A Social History (which will be in print in two days' time) by Tonomi Ito, Singapore University Press, is entitled to an extra 24% off the regular price. Hence I made a purchase of the book and is looking forward to relishing my treat in a fortnight's time. Will review this new book here once I am done with it.

    Also bought Traditional Thai Medicine: Buddhism, Animism and Ayurvedic by Pierce Salguero from Book Despository, which got some pretty good reviews on Amazon...
    Sleep, little one, close your eyes, mother will sing you a lullaby... Sleep in a jewel cradle, sleep, mother will rock you.
    If you don't sleep the midges will go for your eyes and pollen will fall on the cradle....Sleep, close your eyes...
    - Isaan folksong, from "The Price of a Life" (Onkom, 1997)

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    Re: Some Books You Recently Read About Thailand/Thai Culture ;-)

    I mentioned this before a while back in a different thread. I'm don't think there was a lot of interest, but the fact that at least one Thai member gave it a thanks shows that it would be worthwhile to at least look at.

    "The Treasured One, The Story of Rudiroravan Princess of Siam" 1957, a collaboration between Princess Rudi and author Ruth Adams, is the true story of her life. I wish I had been able to read it while I was living in Thailand as it has so much background information which helps in understanding Thailand life, culture, and politics as it is today.

    The book is out of print, but you can read/download it here: http://archive.org/details/treasuredonethes010403mbp
    Last edited by Susana; 13-05-12 at 09:43 PM.

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  4. #3
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    Re: Some Books You Recently Read About Thailand/Thai Culture ;-)

    Great, thanks Susana, and especially when it has a free e-copy too
    Sleep, little one, close your eyes, mother will sing you a lullaby... Sleep in a jewel cradle, sleep, mother will rock you.
    If you don't sleep the midges will go for your eyes and pollen will fall on the cradle....Sleep, close your eyes...
    - Isaan folksong, from "The Price of a Life" (Onkom, 1997)

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    Re: Some Books You Recently Read About Thailand/Thai Culture ;-)

    I have read the two following books which I highly recommend:

    "In Grandmother's House" by Sorasing Kaowai and Peter Robinson (Phra Farang) in which Sorasing describes his childhood in a rural village.

    "Little Angels" by Phra Peter Pannapadipo in which he narrates the life stories of a dozen boys who ordained as novice monks to escape poverty and get a good education.

    TomUK
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    Re: Some Books You Recently Read About Thailand/Thai Culture ;-)

    Tom, In Grandma's House is 100% on my list of favourite books ever

    I first read Little Angels by Peter Robinson, written when he was still phra farang. Sorasing's childhood (as a neung) was also one of the ten or so stories of little novice monks recounted in the book. It is absolutely touching and the first book which opens my eyes to the other, unseen world of Thai society. If you love In Grandma's House, you will adore Little Angels. I shred many a tear when reading the latter, and it still brings tears to my eyes when I do re-read it time and again...
    Sleep, little one, close your eyes, mother will sing you a lullaby... Sleep in a jewel cradle, sleep, mother will rock you.
    If you don't sleep the midges will go for your eyes and pollen will fall on the cradle....Sleep, close your eyes...
    - Isaan folksong, from "The Price of a Life" (Onkom, 1997)

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    Re: Some Books You Recently Read About Thailand/Thai Culture ;-)

    When I read "In Grandmother's House" it reminded me of my own grandmother and all the stories she told and all the things she taught me. She died more than 30 years ago, but I still miss her and think of her all the time.

    TomUK
    You are never too old to learn. You are never too young to teach.

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    Re: Some Books You Recently Read About Thailand/Thai Culture ;-)

    I did pick up and read a book about cross-cultural relations which I mentioned in another post (so if you read that post, you can skip this one).

    Basically the book is how foreigners and Thais can better interact in the work place by knowing why Thais seem to act so Thai to us, and why foreigners seem to act so foreign in Thai eyes.

    Seeing as it's written in Thai (and not available in English), if you can't read Thai it's certainly NOT a book for you. I would hazard a guess that being written in Thai, perhaps Thais are the primary target demographic and not foreigners who just happen to be able to read Thai.

    The author is Christopher Wright (a half Thai-half Brit who grew up in Bangkok). He's better known to the Thais by his Friday nite television show "Chris Delivery". He's got quite a few books out designed to help teach Thais English. The book I'm referring to is called “Cross-Culture ” (Foreigners don't understand, Thais don't get it).

    It was easily one of the most interesting and insightful books I've read in a while. The explanations and examples are clear, concise, and well presented. He certainly has a "foot in each culture", and his writing reflects this.

    If I employed Thais (which I don't), or I was a foreigner working with Thais in a Thai company (which I'm not) I'd make this book mandatory reading for all the Thais, and pay someone to translate it into English for the foreign staff too. It's so good that if I had a Thai significant other (which I don’t) or was involved in a relationship with a Thai (which I’m not), I'd make them read it too. The insight they'd gain into why foreigners act so "un-Thai" would go a LONG way towards “bridging the cultural gap” in Thai - foreign relationships.

    It's provided me a lot of insight into why Thais act the way they do. Previously I'd just say, "Wow, that Thai is sure actin' Thai today aren't they?", or chalk it up to one of the many mysteries here concerning Thais. After reading this book, I tried to employ some of the techniques outlined to "encourage" Thais within their cultural and societal restrictions to "maximize their productivity". I've found a marked decrease in the time I hafta spend getting my way with Thais. As far as I'm concerned every second here that I don't hafta waste cajoling or coercing Thais into doing what I want is a plus.

    It's a very good and easy read. I'd suggest anyone who can read Thai and interacts with Thais on a daily basis pick up a copy. Perhaps even have your Thai employees read it too. They’ll certainly understand what makes you (a foreigner) tick more than they ever did.. .

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    Re: Some Books You Recently Read About Thailand/Thai Culture ;-)

    This book while not exactly related to Thai culture definitely has a “thai-in” to Thai buddhist beliefs.

    It’s called ʵҧү (sort of; “consciousness builds miracles”) by ĵ ͧ; who’s nick name is “Teya”. I met her because she’s the coordinator of the “Thailand Language/Culture Exchange” meet up I go to once a month.

    She’s been teaching meditation for many, many years and this book is actually quite insightful. Thru stories of her childhood, and her life experiences she outlines how Karma and the “circle of life” play a role in our lives (this one and the past ones too).

    I have found it to be a really good read (although I’m not finished with it yet). There are some Thai words which are tough seeing as they deal with “conceptual” stuff which doesn’t come up in most daily dialogs, but certainly it’s not over the heads of even hi-basic readers of Thai.

    ʵҧү
    ĵ ͧ
    ISBN: 978-616-7036-47-2

    Here’s the pic of the book;

    and the You Tube trailer too


    Anyway, FWIW just wanted to recommend it and that "meet up" too. .
    Last edited by Tod-Daniels; 29-06-12 at 10:44 AM.

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    Re: Some Books You Recently Read About Thailand/Thai Culture ;-)

    Oops, I almost forgot about this thread, hence the delay in response...

    Sad news; the book on Ajahn Buddhadasa was unfortunately unexpectedly cancelled by Book Despository and the money refunded to me. Because I almost forgot about this thread, this means I also fogot about the other book (the one on Thai herbal medicine) LOL ^^ So it's still lying somewhere in my room, newly awakened in my memory. Once I get down to it, I will pose a review. So far, it has received pretty good rating from people from Amazon and Book Despository...
    Sleep, little one, close your eyes, mother will sing you a lullaby... Sleep in a jewel cradle, sleep, mother will rock you.
    If you don't sleep the midges will go for your eyes and pollen will fall on the cradle....Sleep, close your eyes...
    - Isaan folksong, from "The Price of a Life" (Onkom, 1997)

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    Re: Some Books You Recently Read About Thailand/Thai Culture ;-)



    Received this lovely advanced birthday pressie from a friend!!
    impeccable!!!

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