Halong Bay as seen from a green boat. Blog author sits looking out over the edge.

Holiday Reads: South East Asia


Book fans, I am fully aware it has been an obscenely long time since I have posted anything! I would apologise, but I feel that these apologies would only sound insincere – given the amount of times this has happened over the last year. 

I had the wonderful privilege of spending 7 weeks in South East Asia with a friend, exploring various different experiences in food, hot temperatures and beautiful scenery. Obviously, in between these once-in-a-lifetime moments there was a lot of behind the scenes travelling in cramped spaces. One needs a most excellent book in these times – luckily I had the foresight of downloading an Amazon Kindle App onto my iPad.


Here are a few choice reads from my vacation – judge for yourself whether they are warm weather appropriate.

Not That Kind of Girl – Lena Dunham

This was one of those reads that I have just seen everywhere and Lena Dunham is a pretty controversial figure who keeps popping up. I thought I would see what all the hype was about so I gave it a download. In many ways it is very similar to Amy Poehler’s Yes Please in it’s non-linear plot and focus upon feelings – leading me to believe that this is a particular style popular among American female comedians. Relatively interesting, although not overly so, it is an easy book to flit through and pick up and put down at will. Great poolside read.


The Girl from Krakow: A Novel – Alex Rosenberg

This was an impulse purchase. It looked interesting – and turned out to be too. The Girl from Krakow contains a strange mixture of historical context, emotional relationships and a fair amount of sex. A sensational read coming from a serious topic, the book flits between Rita and Tadeusz as they attempt to navigate WWII in ignorance of each other’s fates. This keeps the interest peeked, despite a page length in the 450s, although I will be honest- I grew tired of Tadeusz as a protagonist, he lacked any redeeming qualities AT ALL.


Burmese Days – George Orwell

I bought this little number in Yangon (Myanmar/Burma) – these were quite literally on sale everywhere! I think setting the scene may have been helped by it being read on a boat cruising up the Ayeyarwady Delta. This is quite simply Orwell doing what he does best – creating grotesque characters in an ode to stagnating colonialism to contrast with his flawed and guilt ridden tragic hero. This was, I must say, my particular favourite. It left me with the same emptiness 1984 created. Recommended!

I hope this provides some inspiration for holiday reads.

Happy reading!


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