Bookish at the Book Fair

Quite a few other guys out there are doing it, so I thought I’d list out the goodies I bagged at the Bangkok International Book Fair.

Khun Pinyo of openbooks has a good primer on what book fairs in Thailand means to readers and publishers. Unlike international book fairs, where publishing rights are negotiated over by industry figures, the two major ones in Bangkok are geared squarely at pushing product at the general public.

For publishing houses, it’s time to break out the sweatshops:

ปกติก่อนงานสัปดาห์หนังสือแห่งชาติ หนึ่งถึงสองเดือน จะเป็นช่วงที่สำนักพิมพ์ต่างๆ พากันเปลี่ยนจากกิจการทำหนังสือเป็นโรงงานนรก ด้วยต้นฉบับทั้งหลายต่างประดังกันเข้ามา กองบรรณาธิการก็มีอยู่เท่าเดิม ฝ่ายศิลป์ก็เหมือนเดิม เมื่องานเพิ่มขึ้น ชั่วโมงนอน ชั่วโมงพักผ่อนก็น้อยลงเป็นธรรมดา

โรงงานธรรมดาจึงกลายเป็นโรงงานนรก

Er… thank you, Khun Pinyo🙂

The List

  1. The Nidhi omnibus – Historian Nidhi Eoseewong is said by some to be one of Thailand’s most influential public intellectuals. From what I’ve read so far, I would have to agree – Ajarn Nidhi can always be counted on to give a slightly counter-intuitive but insightful view on Thai culture thats informed with deep historical insight. (Although I don’t completely agree with his lefty-economics.)

    I got four books by Nidhi, all collections of columns he wrote for various Matichon publications. They range from the political “อ่านวัฒนธรรมการเมืองไทย” (“Deciphering Thai Political Culture”) to the smaller scale of “ความยุ่งของการอยู่” (“The Complications of Life”) which focuses on Thai family life and communities. And if you’ve got the taste for it, try “วัฒนธรรมคนอย่างทักษิณ” with more recent articles on the current politics

  2. “เมด อิน U.S.A” by Sujit Wongdes – An early non-fiction work from the veteran Art and Culture editor on when he spend one year as a young journalist in the US during the height of the Vietnam War protests. Sujit conveys that microcosm of Cornell University, its students (Thai, American and others) reacting to the historical events around them with his unique satirical voice and not to mention plenty of self-depreciating humour.
  3. “ฟ้าเดียวกัน”, the ‘Monarchy and Thai Society’ issue – Wasn’t this supposed to be banned? I’m reading through it and may have a comment later on. The Sulak interview maybe things that the social activist has been saying for years, but for younger Thais like me it still has some shock value.

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