Suggested Reading List
A History of Malaysia
Author: Leonard Y. Andaya, Barbara Watson Andaya
Description: This scholarly yet readable work tracks Malaysia’s sociopolitical development, from the appearance of the famed Malay empire Srivijaya onto the historical scene in the late seventh century to the formation of the Federation of Malaysia and its transition into the 21st century. This is a panoramic historical overview of a multicultural society that supports one of the most dynamic economies in Asia.
A Traveller's History of Southeast Asia
Author: J.M. Barwise, Nicholas J. White
Description: A compact history of the region, including the Khmer and the various ancient kingdoms that produced Borobudur, Angkor and other architectural marvels.
Anna and the King of Siam
Author: Margaret Landon
Description: The enduring, fanciful tale of a governess in mid-19th century Siam, which is the basis for the hit musical production The King and I.
Birds of Southeast Asia
Author: Craig Robson
Description: This authoritative, masterfully illustrated guide, featuring 140 color plates covering 1,270 species throughout the region, also includes Malaysia, Burma, Borneo and Indonesia.
Author: George Orwell
Description: Orwell, a veteran of the Colonial police force in Rangoon, writes with irony and insight in this sharp novel of politics, folly and the British.
Collected Short Stories, Volume 4
Author: W. Somerset Maugham
Description: Maugham can evoke turn-of-the-century colonial Asia like no other. This collection of stories features many set in Malaysia. Borneo and other southeast Asian locales, including the well-known tale "The Letter."
Culture Smart! Thailand
Author: Roger Jones
Description: A concise, no-nonsense guide to local customs, etiquette and culture with practical travel advice and a short overview of the land and people.
Eyewitness Guide Malaysia & Singapore
Author: Eyewitness Guides
Description: A visually stunning guide to Singapore and surroundings, featuring hundreds of photographs and illustrations, detailed city maps, and information on history, culture and attractions.
Finding George Orwell in Burma
Author: Emma Larkin
Description: An American journalist fluent in Burmese, Emma Larkin (a pseudonym) masterfully interweaves her travels in the footsteps of the British colonial officer and writer with interviews and an astute, moving history of modern Burma.
Fodor's Singapore's 25 Best
Description: This pocket guide and map includes information on essential highlights, including sightseeing, walking itineraries, restaurants and shopping.
In Buddha's Land
Author: Moe Min
Description: This beautiful, illustrated portrait of monuments, monasteries and rituals is both a striking visual overview of Buddhism as practiced in Burma, and a splendid introduction to the country.
Inspector Singh Investigates
Author: Shamini Flint
Description: Flint introduces the bumbling yet endearing Inspector Singh, who is sent from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur to clear the name of a famous model accused of murder.
Letters from Burma
Author: Aung San Suu Kyi, Heinn Htet
Description: Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi's candid, affectionate letters on Burmese culture and daily life, which originally appeared as a weekly newspaper column in the Mainichi Daily News show her spirit and warmth. Michelle Yeoh, pictured here, plays Suu Key in The Lady, opening April 11. David Thewis plays her British husband Michael Aris, once tutor to the king of Bhutan's children and author of The Raven Crown, the exquisitely illustrated history of the Wanchuck family. The 88-minute documentary, They Call It Myanmar: Lifting the Curtain, is also screening this week. Running for the legislature after decades of house arrest, Suu Kyi has protested that the elections were not fee and fair. It is nonetheless a big step forward for Burma!
Lonely Planet Myanmar (Burma)
Author: Joe Cummings, Michael Clark
Description: Featuring maps, travel information and a good overview of society, culture, history and politics.
Myanmar (Burma) Map
Description: A double-sided map of Burma at a scale of 1:1,500,000, with an inset of Rangoon.
Author: Steve McCurry
Description: A remarkable portfolio of striking photographs taken in and around Afghanistan, Burma, India, Pakistan and other sites in South and Southeast Asia over a long career. Saturated with color, light and evocative of daily life.
Southeast Asia Map
Description: A clear, double-sided map of all of Southeast Asia at a scale of 1:4,500,000.
The Skeptical Romancer, Selected Travel Writing
Author: W. Somerset Maugham
Description: Pico Iyer introduces this Everyman's edition of Somerset Maugham's razor-sharp travel writing, set in Spain, China, Burma and Southeast Asia, including a long excerpt from Gentleman in the Parlour, a vivid account of travels from Rangoon to Haiphong by canoe, riverboat, rickshaw and pony. Also included is The Land of the Blessed Verigin (Spain), On a Chinese Screen and The Partial View (diverse places).
Where China Meets India
Author: Thant Myint-U
Description: Home to 60 million people and bigger than France, Burma -- as Thant Myint-U so effectively argues --- is hardly small or politically isolated; it is at the center of Asia. Mr. Thant mixes anecdote, travel, memoir and history in this compelling personal portrait -- and Cri de Coeur for western engagement in the region.