My Southeast Asia Reading List

So you’re on the road for a few months and looking for some good books to read and don’t know where to start? Here’s what I’ve been reading (so far!) on my travels. A good book can keep you company when you’re missing your home, and gives continuity when you’re constantly changing spaces.  So what follows is my tried and true list.

A short side note – if you’re traveling with someone, especially a romantic partner, why don’t you try this: instead of the two of you being in separate worlds on your smart phones during your down time, try picking up (or downloading) one of these books and read it out loud to each other. Take turns. Make your partner try to read in a different accent. Talk about the book as you read. Read a chapter per night. I promise you, this will be something you can’t get enough of. It’s so much better than TV. It will change your life and your relationship. Do it!

Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts. Part truth, part fiction. It’s sort of an embellished autobiography about an escaped convict who hides in the slums of Mumbai and creates a new life for himself. A lot of crazzzyy shit happens in this book – it’s set in India after all – but what I was really drawn to were the authors insights into love, life, loss, and our connectedness to other human beings. It’s by far by far my favorite book that I’ve read this year.

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. OK, so I never saw the movie, but I found myself in Ubud, Indonesia (where one third of this book takes place) trying to figure out what the hell was wrong with me, and why I react sometimes the way that I do. And for most of the book, I was thinking..”Yes! I am Julia Roberts!” To be honest, i didn’t finish the last chapter: the ending was turning out to be too perfect. But it’s a great read if you’re in a yoga state of mind.

Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami. I love Haruki Murakami. I love how twisted his stories are. I love his references to music and literature (The Centaur is on my reading list now thanks to this book). To be honest, this isn’t my favorite Murakami novel by a long shot, but if you’ve never read any of his work before, pick up a copy of Kafka By The Shore. You won’t be disappointed.

The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer. If you like reading books by Eckhart Tolle, you’ll really enjoy this one. Learn how to watch the voices that are constantly babbling inside your head, how to train your mind to think positive thoughts, how to live a happier life without attachment.

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

Wild by Cheryl Strayed. More to come!