We live in a world of digital everything. Long gone are the days of having solid objects in your hand that are not made from computer code. Although in lots of cases, magazines and newspapers have been replaced by digital alternatives, the e-book revolution seems to be collapsing. 2016 saw more physical books being bought by consumers than in the past decade. With e-book sales down, now is the perfect time to purchase yourself a book about Thailand to read during your holiday.
#1 – Private Dancer by Stephan Leather
Quite possibly the ultimate Thailand book to read if you are visiting the Kingdom, or especially Pattaya, for a holiday of hedonistic fun to meet female companions of the night. That was quite a polite way to put it! This book is fiction, but it is a story that has happened to Western men thousands of times over and is timeless in essence. If you want to know the trials and tribulations of a Western man in a relationship with a Thai go-go-dancer/sex worker, this book is a well of useful information. Although the outcome of the story might be a little extreme, it only goes to show that you need to learn more about Thai culture before you jump into a long-term relationship with a local prostitute.
#2 – Thailand Confidential (non-fiction) by Jerry Hopkins
If you want the complete lowdown of visiting or living in Thailand, this book is a true masterpiece. Thailand Confidential is a non-fiction book by Jerry Hopkins, who has lived in Thailand for over a decade and passes on his narration of what to do and not to do when in Thailand. The book is extremely funny with Hopkins quick-wit. If you want to travel across Thailand or want to live here in the future, this book is essential reading.
#3 – A Geek in Thailand by Jody Houlton
Although most of the non-fiction books written about Thailand are for and from the perspective of an older male visiting the Kingdom, A Geek in Thailand by Jody Houlton is written from the perspective of a younger person who lives here. This light-hearted take on Thailand is a great guide for travelers and expats in their 20s and 30s and is quite a unique book of this kind. With lots of short stories and an exploration in Thai culture and Buddhist beliefs, if you want a fun and friendly book that is also educational, this is the one for you.
#4 – Bangkok 8 by John Burdett
Although the above books are more like guides to living and travelling in Thailand (even Private Dancer), Bangkok 8 by John Burdett is more akin to a crime thriller that is set on the streets of Bangkok. Extremely dark, but also hilarious in spots, this thriller is razor-sharp and follows a story of murder and betrayal. If you are a fan of murder-mystery books, this one will be right up your avenue.
#5 – Bangkok Bob and the Mossing Mormon by Stephan Leather
Stephan Leather wrote Private Dancer and is one of the most famous English-speaking authors that centers most of his books around Thailand, and most notably Bangkok. Bangkok Bob and the Missing Mormon is another very popular fiction novel that follows long-term Bangkok expat and former New Orleans cop, Bob Turtledove on his quest to track down a fellow American who has been reported missing in Thailand. The story finds Bob in dangerous situations with Russian gangsters and hired killers in his pursuit for the truth. If you like crime thrillers and are travelling through Thailand this is a fantastic book to accompany your holiday.