Take time out to enjoy..

Take time out to enjoy..
Relax, renew, regain, regrow, reflect

Monday, April 15, 2013

Some of my best Vietnamese books I've purchased?

Well.. when one's library is filled with one shelf alone on Vietnam.. where do I start?
It groans! 

Author Kim Fay.. escorting Cape Lux Food Tour through Vietnam and Cambodia.. now an acclaimed author of her first novel.. 
 "The Map of Lost Memories" and "Communion: A Culinary Journey Through Vietnam"

Just brilliant easy to pocket guides.. 

The Quiet American is an anti-war novel by British author Graham Greene, first published in United Kingdom in 1955 and in the United States in 1956. It was adapted into films in 1958 and 2002. The book draws on Greene's experiences as a war correspondent for The Times and Le Figaro in French Indochina 1951–1954. He was apparently inspired to write The Quiet American in October 1951 while driving back to Saigon from Ben Tre province. He was accompanied by an American aid worker who lectured him about finding a “third force in Vietnam”. Greene spent three years writing the novel, which foreshadowed US involvement in Vietnam long before it became publicly known. The book was the initial reason for Graham Greene being under constant surveillance by US intelligence agencies from the 1950s until his death in 1991, according to documents obtained in 2002 by The Guardian under the US Freedom of Information Act.

and Vietnam.. Hidden Riches of a Magical land.. John Voigt..

Catfish and Mandala
Catfish and Mandala, by Andrew X. Pham, co mingled a narrative of the author's solo bicycle tour of Vietnam with his memories of his birth and boyhood there, which ended when he immigrated to America with his family near the end of the Vietnam War. Its subtitle was appropriate: A Two-Wheeled Voyage through the Landscape and Memory of Vietnam. The book began with the author's encounter in Mexico with an American veteran of the Vietnam War who was separated from his wife and child and seemed emotionally lost. This set the stage for Andrew's many observations and ruminations concerning the relationship between America, his adoptive land, and Vietnam, his native land. Several American Vietnam veterans appeared in the story, as did many Vietnamese who participated in the war or were affected by it. Each such scene symbolized Andrew's own conflicted feelings about being caught between two cultures and feeling as though...
and Destination Saigon
From the crazy heat and colour of Saigon to the quieter splendour of Hanoi, Walter Mason gives us a rare, joyous and at times hilarious insight into twenty-first century Vietnam. Seduced by the beauty and charm of its people, and the sensuousness of its culture, we can almost taste the little coconut cakes cooked over a fire in a smoky Can Tho kitchen, or smell the endless supplies of fresh baguettes and croissants just out of city ovens.
As colourful city cafes and bars make way for visits to out-of-the-way shrines and temples, we take an impromptu visit to forbidden fortune tellers, and glimpse a little of the Cao Dai religion, made famous in Graham Greene's The Quiet American. Escaping on impulse to a far-flung province, a brief imprisonment culminates in an invitation to local wedding celebrations.
Travelling off the beaten track to far-flung villages and lesser-known towns, we cruise along the Mekong, board hopelessly overcrowded local buses or perch perilously on the back of motorbikes. Behind-the-scenes visits to Buddhist monasteries reveal a quieter and more transcendent world beyond the busy day trips of tourists. And in the process we begin to see the country through the eyes of its people.

Kien Nguyen was born to a Vietnamese mother from a once wealthy family and her American civil engineer lover. His mother's family, who had lost their wealth when the French left Vietnam, lived among neighbors who treated them as pariahs because of their colonialist background. Kien, a child of mixed race, was especially ostracized from the community.

The Unwanted: A Memoir of Childhood

He left Vietnam in 1985 through the United Nations "Orderly Departure Program." After spending time at a refugee camp in the Philippines, he arrived in the United States and became a dentist. He lives in New York City.A story of hope, a story of survival, and an incredible journey of escape, 'The Unwanted' is the only memoir by an Amerasian who stayed behind in Vietnam after the fall of Saigon and who is now living in America.

Vietnam has long captured the imagination of travelers, both real and armchair. It is an appealing country, filled with natural beauty, tranquil village life and fascinating cities. Vietnam also has an inimitable architectural and interior design style, the product of its rich cultural heritage and the various influences of Chinese, French and other Western colonialism.
Vietnam Style is an exploration of the balancing act between traditional vernacular design and architecture and the outside influences of colonialism. The unusual and striking new design styles created by melding these elements are a true cultural kaleidoscope of Vietnam today. Chinese-style shop-houses  temples with Indian influences, Thai-style palaces, French Colonial civic and domestic buildings, and the variety of tribal and native wooden houses present in Vietnam Style offer an intimate look into the vibrant, yet virtually unknown world of modern Vietnamese architecture and design.

After three brief business trips to Hanoi, Pam Scott became enamoured with the city, Vietnam intriguing capital. In 1994 she made a more permanent move, and lived and worked there for the next eight years. What she discovered was a more interesting, challenging and wonderful place than she could have imagined. In Hanoi Stories, Pam tells of an unexpected side to this city, and of the people she came to know and love. During her time in Hanoi, Pam moved outside the cloistered expat world and became involved in the lives of everyday Hanoians - cyclo drivers, postal workers, university students, ordinary families. She also opened first English language bookshop and, among other things, took singing lessons, went ballroom dancing, had her fortune told Hanoi style, and ate some of the citys more exotic offerings.

Windows to Vietnam - A Journey in Pictures and Verse features 140 incredible photographs and 30 related poems about modern Vietnam. This art/cultural book, a masterful work, addresses the culture, diversity, economy and lifestyles of the Vietnamese people today. It is a new, revised look at Vietnam as it has developed into the second-largest growing economy in Asia, and a top travel destination for Americans, Europeans, and Asians while retaining its culture and beauty. This book is emphatically about Vietnam today, not about the Vietnam War
Just one except from the above precious book!

Sidewalk aliens dressed in lemon yellow petals,
Gleaming in sunshine, polished odd shapes,
Retrieved from twisted trees, lost to the sea
Then found, sun dried- salt seasoned creatures
Collected, sanded, stained, replanted
on a concrete sidewalk for souvenir seekers,
Startled travelers astounded at the brilliance
of Color, suggestive shapes and warm,
Natural, weather-sculpted wood
Sold with tiny stickers saying..

So.. best you find a good cafe.. order yourself a filter coffee
and enjoy a good book! Have a great week as well. 

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