I read when I’m on the road. Sometimes significantly.
Take my trip to Thailand. By my second day in Thailand I’d polished off three or four magazines and a book on Darwin. I picked up a few books along the way, reading China Doll (I think that was the title), a new book by Haruki Murakami, and finally The Glass Palace by Amitav Ghosh.
In fact, it was my addiction to the written word that amused Lek and the other staff working at Cafe@2. Every time I was there, it seemed I was reading yet another book with my meal. And of all my reading material from the trip, it was The Glass Palace that topped everything.
One of the best fiction books I’ve read in awhile, the novel presents a sweeping epic of almost 100 years of history, politics, and culture, spread over three Burma, India, and Malaysia, through the threads of three interrelated families. While the characters are fictional, the larger historical setting is largely true and very vivid.
The novel begins with the fall of the Burmese Royal Family, traces its way to India and eventually back. Slowly tracing its way out, the web of characters is spun wider and wider, with love, hatred, tenderness, and arrogance are all mixed with the whims of fate.
It’s a great novel, if you have a chance to read it. Certainly it beats this rambling, offbeat blog posting.