Myanmar – A Luminous Journey is a simply gorgeous coffee table book of David Lazar’s best Myanmar photographs. The Nat Geo contributor and multi-major award winner, made these fine art travel images over a six year period with multiple extended visits, including while leading Luminous Journeys photo tours! To order the book you can go directly to Lazar’s website.
First time author Gail Gutradt’s moving, inspirational and often humorous account of working as a volunteer with AIDS affected children in Cambodia.
Gail was a dear friend of Luminous Journeys and of Wat Opot – Partners in Compassion, one of our Luminous Giving charities, on which the book is based. The limited first edition publication of In a Rocket Made of Ice has been released by Heian-kyo Media. Net proceeds from the limited edition all go to the children of Wat Opot. The Alfred A. Knopf / Random House edition is now available in bookstores everywhere, and here at Amazon.
Gail passed away from bone cancer in 2016. After the kids of Wat Opot, finishing this book and getting it published against all odds before she passed away was her greatest passion. And by God she did it! Gail was/is a beautiful soul who left her body with absolute grace and deep equanimity. She is greatly missed.
“An extraordinary book about an extraordinary place…” — Amy Scribner, BookPage
“ A beautiful book. Read it, and act on the heart-lifting vision of a universal humanity it brings so movingly home to us.” – Pico Iyer, Author
Labor of Love – A Mother’s Journey, Nguyen Vu Phuoc
An astounding work of beautiful images from Luminous Journeys photographer – and one of Vietnam’s greatest all around shooters – Nguyen Vu Phuoc.
It’s documents a mother’s journey that begins with pregnancy, progresses to birth, and finishes in the afterglow in the days following birth. Phuoc’s own wife and baby daughter are part of the narrative. That’s her on the cover!
Bangkok based Andrew Marshall’s ambitious crisscrossing of contemporary Burma, which to western eyes reveals a way of life that can at times be exotically unfathomable. The Trouser People is less analysis than witty, candid Myanmar travel reportage, highlighted by adventures into the remote territory of some of the country’s most intriguing ethnic minorities. A fantastic read.
A History of Modern Burma, Michael Charney, 2009
“ An excellent work that deals with the period from the annexation of Upper Burma by the British in 1886 until the devastation of Cyclone Nargis in 2008. The focus is on the period from the 1930s, as self-government was gained in 1937. Charney, Senior Lecturer in the Department of History at SOAS, is well-qualified to write this work and he offers a careful account, one that is particularly nuanced in its coverage of the civil conflict and totalitarianism of recent years. What would be welcome is a similar work by Charney on Burmese history as a whole.” – The Historian
Where China Meets India: Burma and the New Crossroads of Asia, Thant Mynt U, 2011
From their very beginnings China and India have been walled off from each other: by the towering summits of the Himalayas, by a vast and impenetrable jungle, and by hostile tribes and remote inland kingdoms stretching a thousand miles from Calcutta across Burma to the upper Yangtze River.
Soon this last great frontier will vanish—the forests cut down, dirt roads replaced by superhighways, insurgencies crushed—leaving China and India exposed to each other as never before. This basic shift in geography—as sudden and profound as the opening of the Suez Canal—will lead to unprecedented connections among the three billion people of Southeast Asia and the Far East.
The Lost River of Footsteps: A Personal History of Burma, Thant Mynt U, 2008
An excellent and very accessible ‘personal history’ of Myanmar from past glories to the present, engagingly told. An excellent understanding of the country that will be of interest to anyone considering Myanmar travel.
Burmese Days, George Orwell, 1934
Certainly one of the most famous me to travel Myanmar, Orwell’s first novel is a must read classic. It takes place in the waning years of British rule over Burma, where the author himself was a police officer for five years. A tale form the dark-side of “corruption and imperial bigotry”.
The Piano Tuner, Daniel Mason, 2003
Another great first novel set in Burma, the basis for a 2004 opera of the same name, also made into a 2013 film by director Werner Herzog. The story is about a helluva lot more than a man sent into the jungles of 1886 Burma (the very year the British officially changed the name from Myanmar) to tune a piano. The artful writing writhes in intrigue.
From the Land of Green Ghosts: A Burmese Odyssey, Pascal Thwe
Growing up as a Padaung Hill Tribe minority to become a rebel and then a Cambridge-educated writer, Pascal offers a moving account of his experiences. The many mysteries of Myanmar travel can be understood through the eyes of a man who understands through both Myanmar and Western eyes.
Vietnam: Rising Dragon, Bill Hayton
BBC journalist Hayton’s readable and informative book is a laudable contribution to understanding contemporary Vietnam . After reporting from Vietnam, he’s able to peel back the layers to reveal the political, economic and social forces at work in the country during “a breathtaking period of social change”.
The Communist party’s doi moi (renovation) reforms in 1986 cautiously declared the country open for business.
The introduction of capitalism with Vietnamese characteristics – chaotic, corrupt and under party control – has lifted millions out of poverty . But although the economy has grown rapidly, freedoms have not. The party keeps a tight rein on life, and beneath the transformation “lurks a paranoid and deeply authoritarian political system”.
Sacred Willow; Four Generations in the Life of a Vietnamese Family, Duong Van Mai
An extraordinary narrative woven from the lives of four generations of her family, illuminates fascinating–and until now unexplored–strands of Vietnamese history.
Catfish and Mandala, Andrew Pham
Catfish and Mandala is the story of an American odyssey?a solo bicycle voyage around the Pacific Rim to Vietnam?made by a young Vietnamese-American man in pursuit of both his adopted homeland and his forsaken fatherland. A vibrant, picaresque memoir written with narrative flair and an eye-opening sense of adventure, Catfish and Mandala is an unforgettable search for cultural identity.
Pleasures of the Vietnamese Table: Recipes and Reminiscences from Vietnam’s Best Market Kitchens, Street Cafes, and Home Cooks, Mai Pham
A land of vibrant cultures and vivid contrasts, Vietnam is also home to some of the most delicious and intriguing food in the world. While its cooking traditions have been influenced by those of China, France, and even India, Vietnam has created a cuisine with a spirit and a flavor all its own.
Chef and restaurateur Mai Pham brings to life this diverse and exciting cooking in Pleasures of the Vietnamese Table. Born and raised in Saigon before emigrating to the United States, Mai has often returned to her native land to learn the secrets of authentic Vietnamese cooking from region to region. Green Mango Salad with Grilled Beef, Stir-Fried Chicken with Lemongrass and Chilies, Caramelized Garlic Shrimp, and especially pho, the country’s beloved beef-and-noodle soup. Filled with enchanting stories and stirring black-and-white photos of life in Vietnam, Pleasures of the Vietnamese Table provides a captivating taste of an enduring culture and its irresistible cuisine.