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  • LIFESTYLE

    Dan Brown with a Thai voice

    Life, Melalin Mahavongtrakul, Published on 05/03/2018

    » The Thai award-winning detective novel Kaholmahoratuek is that rare breed: a page-turner set in the 1940s that mixes poetry, history, murder and revenge. The book's appeal also lies with the writer's use of genre elements -- serial murders, cryptic clues and detective work -- in the vintage setting of old Bangkok where century-old temples, back alleys and local communities become grisly crime scenes.

  • LIFESTYLE

    New books worth reading

    Life, Anchalee Kongrut, Published on 29/12/2016

    » From Dust To Dust: A Journalist's Memoir

  • LIFESTYLE

    Tana French's ingenious new murder mystery

    Life, Published on 14/10/2016

    » Tana French, the superb Irish novelist who happens to write avidly about crime, used to link her books by having a minor character in one become the beleaguered protagonist of the next. Since the books all involved the Dublin Murder Squad, the beleaguered part came easily. But in her sixth novel, The Trespasser, she breaks that pattern to reunite the same pair of detectives who waded through The Secret Place, her fifth. That one took place at a swanky private school, a grating milieu where the girls' teen language ("Um, duh?") wasn't easy for the detectives, Antoinette Conway and Stephen Moran, to take.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Empires don't endure the ages

    Life, Bernard Trink, Published on 23/05/2016

    » Empires have come and gone throughout human history -- some lasting more than a millennium, others less than a century. Contemporary historians keep analysing the reasons for their rise and fall. They peruse the same documents and works of earlier historians and eyewitnesses, yet often arrive at differing conclusions.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Loving non-humans

    Life, Bernard Trink, Published on 25/04/2016

    » The close relationship between humans and lower forms of animals was noted millennia before Charles Darwin found a primordial connection. The relationship broadened in Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Asia focus

    Life, Parisa Pichitmarn, Published on 29/02/2016

    » Internationally best-selling author Kevin Kwan chuckles when he describes what his movie producers come across when scouting for locations or attending posh parties in Singapore with the local film crowd.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Filthy rich, and loving it

    Life, Parisa Pichitmarn, Published on 10/08/2015

    » Days of back-breaking labour in the desolate boonies, farming for their lives, is a stale cliché concerning the Chinese. Women are no longer under some ring of patriarchal oppression and they contemptuously shun haute couture dresses bedecked with phoenix and dragon embroidery. This is a new and brave China we are talking about -- they are not just crazy rich -- they are China Rich, as Kevin Kwan's second book title aptly coins it. 

  • LIFESTYLE

    Talking books

    Tatat Bunnag, Published on 23/10/2017

    » Superbaker's Ping picks his favourite books.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Glimpses of the past and present

    Muse, Melalin Mahavongtrakul, Published on 05/12/2015

    » British author John Hoskin is back with another book on the history and culture of the Land of Smiles (or should we say the Land of Coup d’état?). On this occasion, he reaches back in time to the origin of the country — back when we weren’t “Thai”, and were known as the Siamese.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Charnvit in a nutshell

    Life, Chris Baker, Published on 09/11/2015

    » In 1973, Charnvit Kasetsiri became the first Thai historian to gain a doctorate from a top-flight American university and have his thesis published by the university press. In the official history of Thailand at the time, Sukhothai was described as the first Thai kingdom, a Golden Age which displayed everything good about Thai civilisation and Thai values. The role of the subsequent Ayutthaya period was to decline from this peak, so that the Bangkok era could be another great era of revival and resurgence. Charnvit's thesis quietly gnawed away the foundations of this national mythology by describing the rise of the Ayutthaya kingdom. He added a series of articles on Ayutthaya's growth into one of the great commercial powers of early modern Asia, and the cradle of the Thailand we know today. One of these articles began with a banner headline "Ayutthaya was the first major political, cultural and commercial center of the Thai". Goodbye Sukhothai.

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