#10 Books set in Myanmar (Burma)

Burma chroniclesThe river of lost footsteps: a personal history of Burma by Thant Myint-U – A story of modern Burma, in part through a telling of his own family’s history, in an interwoven narrative by turns lyrical, dramatic and appalling.

 Burmese Days by George Orwell. Classic novel set in Burma in the 20and 30’s

The art of hearing heartbeats: a novel by Jan-Philipp Sendker -A suspenseful love story set in the exotic Burmese countryside, where a young American woman discovers the secret that lived in her father’s heart for over fifty years

Return to Mandalay by  Rosanna Ley A woman’s search to find the truth about her grandfather’s past, her family origins and the red-eyed chinthe itself – enigmatic symbol of the riches of Mandalay.

Elephant moon by John Sweeney – Based on a little-known WW2 true story when a herd of 53 elephants was used by a young English schoolteacher to rescue a band of orphans in Burma and transport them to the safety of India. An incredible journey filled with adventure, tragedy and love.

 Return to MandalayThe road to Wanting by Wendy Law-Yone – In the new Chinese economy in the late ’80s, the frontier at Wanting is a magnet for outcasts & the desperate. To Na Ga it represents not the beginning of a new life, but the end of the road. Will, her American lover, has thrown her out leaving her with painful memories, a dollar bank account & a ticket back to Burma.

 From the land of green ghosts: a Burmese odyssey by Pascal Khoo Thwe – The autobiographical story of a young man’s upbringing in a remote tribal village in Burma and his subsequent journey from his strife-torn country to the tranquil quads of Cambridge

Freedom from fear and other writings by Aung San Suu Kyi – Reflects Suu Kyi’s greatest hopes and fears for her people, her concern about the need for international cooperation and gives poignant reminiscences of her role in politics

 Burma chronicles by  Guy Delisle – presents a personal and distinctively humorous glimpse into a political hotspot, putting a popular spin on current affairs.

A well-tempered heart by Jan-Philipp Sendker – Julia, a successful lawyer’s story is interwoven with that of a Burmese woman named Nu Nu who finds her world turned upside down when Burma goes to war and calls on her two young sons to be child soldiers

Anyone fancy a bit of True Crime

Murder at the inn: a history of crime in Britain's pubs and hotelsNew this week – Murder at the inn: a history of crime in Britain’s pubs and hotels by James Moore’ is a treasure  trove of dark tales linked to the best drinking haunts and historic hotels across the land

In which pub was the notorious murder that led to the Kray twins becoming Britain’s most feared gangsters? Where is the hostelry in which Jack the Ripper’s victims drank? How did Burke and Hare befriend their victims in a Scottish watering hole before luring them to their deaths? What is the name of the pub where the Lord Lucan mystery first came to light? And how did a pub become the scene of the murder that led to Ruth Ellis going to the gallows? For centuries, the history of beer and pubs has gone hand in hand with some of the nation’s most despicable and fascinating crimes. Packed with grizzly murders – including fascinating little-known cases – as well as sinister stories of smuggling, robbery and sexual intrigue, Murder at the Inn is a treasure trove of dark tales linked to the best drinking haunts and historic hotels across the land.

Lady Bette and the murder of Mr ThynnLady Bette and the murder of Mr Thynn by Nigel Pickford

Lady Bette, the 14-year-old heiress to the vast Northumberland estates, becomes the victim of a plot by her grandmother, the Countess Howard, to marry her to the dissolute fortune-hunter Thomas Thynn, a man three times her age with an evil reputation. Revolted by her new husband, Lady Bette flees to Holland. Within weeks, Thynn is gunned down in the street by three hired assassins. Who is behind the contract killing? Is it the Swedish Count Konigsmark, young and glamorous with blond hair down to his waist? Or is it a political assassination, as the anti-Catholic press maintains?

 

Landmarks by Robert Macfarlane

Landmarks

The old ways: a journey on footLandmarks by Robert Macfarlane

Robert Macfarlane – a naturalist, Cambridge Fellow and writer of the bestselling book The Old Ways, where the author  sets off from his Cambridge home to follow the ancient tracks, holloways, drove-roads and sea-paths that form part of a vast networks of routes which criss-cross Britain, has a new book out.

His first book was Mountains of the Mind, and he also wrote The Wild Places.

Anyone who enjoys reading about nature and the land, language and the relationship between them should enjoy this.

Landmarks is all about the language of landscape, and it presents hundreds of words and phrases for weather and natural phenomena, and for working and playing in the countryside.

Macfarlane argues that we’ve lost touch with the earth, both physically and linguistically. He presents writers who are engaged with it, and language ‘that belongs to an age when children could tell the difference between an oak and an ash, a sparrow and a wren, the book demands our re-engagement with the natural world’.

Nature writing is on the up with books like this and prize winning H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald.