The plan was to go to Japan. We’d been dreaming about it for months, all the reservations were made… and then disaster struck.

So with the blessing of British Airways we re-routed to Thailand and a bit of Malaysia-truly-Asia. I’ll leave tomorrow for two weeks of hard travelling and bits of dolce far niente.

I’ve chosen four books to take with me, which is a bit ambitious considering how much I usually read while travelling, but I’m counting on the days we’ll spend belly-up at the beach.

Until soon! A.

  • The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi. A “bio-punk” science fiction novel set in 23rd century Thailand. It was the winner of the Nebula Award in 2009 and Hugo Award in 2010, both for best novel.

From Amazon: In a future Thailand, calories are the greatest commodity. Anderson is a calorie-man whose true objective is to discover new food sources that his company can exploit. His secretary, Hock Seng, is a refugee from China seeking to ensure his future. Jaidee is an officer of the Environmental Ministry known for upholding regulations rather than accepting bribes. His partner, Kanya, is torn between respect for Jaidee and hatred for the agency that destroyed her childhood home. Emiko is a windup, an engineered and despised creation, discarded by her master and now subject to brutality by her patron. The actions of these characters set in motion events that could destroy the country.

    • The Rice Mother by Rani Manicka. A family sage set in Malaysia during WWII.

    From Goodreads:  At the age of 14, Lakshmi is married off to Ayah, a man more than twice her age. Led to believe Ayah is rich, Lakshmi is surprised to learn he is actually a clerk wholly lacking any sort of ambition. Lakshmi makes the best of her situation, bearing six children, including a set of twins, in five years. But Lakshmi is dogged by a prophecy that predicts heartbreak from her oldest son and the loss of one of her other children. She is a ferociously protective mother, and when the Japanese invade Malaysia during World War II, she hides her three daughters away. At the end of the occupation, part of the prophecy comes true, permanently splintering Lakshmi’s family.

    • One Day by David Nicholls. I want to know what the fuss is about and read it before the movie comes out.

    From Goodreads: Emma and Dexter meet for the first time on the night of their graduation. Tomorrow they must go their separate ways. So where will they be on this one day next year? And the year after that? And every year that follows? Twenty years, two people, ONE DAY.

    From Goodreads: Making a wintry voyage from Ireland to New York in 1847, the Star of the Sea is a ship filled with passengers whose range from humble folk fleeing the ravages of the Irish Potato Famine to bankrupt aristocrats trying to outrun the secrets of their past. Beneath these class differences lies a web of connections marked by betrayal and hatred that spans generations and is about to turn murderous.