Friday, May 10, 2019

King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand: From Prince to King (Vol. 1) – Book Review

King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand: From Prince to King (Vol. 1)
by Danai Chanchaochai

Thailand is a wonderful country. My first trip to the "land of white elephants" has left me hungry for more exciting experiences (you can read my account of the adventure here). This little book about the late king of Thailand Bhumibol Adulyadej, who is also known as King Rama IX, is a gift from my kind and generous Thai sister, who happens to have the same name: Gift. Pee Gift ("Pee" means "sister" in Thai) is literally a gift, and the trip would not have been as thrilling without her (khob khun khab!).

King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand: From Prince to King (Vol. 1) by Danai Chanchaochai is the first of a three-volume biographical series of King Bhumibol Adulyadej. As the title suggests, this volume tells readers about the early years of the Thai monarch, but it is more than that. It is a concise yet highly informative book, and I have learned a great deal of knowledge from it, not only about the king himself, but also the history of Thailand. Made up of 17 chapters, this book, in large part, covers King Bhumibol Adulyadej's life stages such as his birth in the U.S., his childhood in Switzerland, as well as his first meeting with Queen Sirikit in France. On top of that, it touches on the origin of Bangkok as the capital city, the transition of the country from Siam to Thailand as we know it today, and some predecessors of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, such as his own grandfather King Chulalongkorn. Before I started reading this book, I had already heard the great reputation of the king and after finishing it, I find it easier to understand why Thai people love this king so much. This book is written in simple English, so readers should not be afraid of having considerable difficulty comprehending the contents. Nevertheless, certain vocabulary might not be familiar to some readers, in which case a glossary is provided at the back of the book as a help. Moreover, there are also exercises at the very end of the book to reinforce your learning and understanding. If you are curious about Thailand and especially the much loved King Bhumibol Adulyadej, this is an excellent source from which to learn.

Have you read King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand: From Prince to King (Vol. 1)? What do you think of this book? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!
Continue reading..

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Dig: A Personal Prehistoric Journey – Book Review

Dig: A Personal Prehistoric Journey
by Sam Chiarelli

As there is a term for a person who loves cats -- that is "ailurophile" -- there is also one for those who are smitten with dinosaurs: "dinophile". I am one of them, and so is Sam Chiarelli, the author of Dig: A Personal Prehistoric Journey.

To begin with, this is a very special book on dinosaurs. It is a scintillating concoction of a memoir, science, and adventures with dinosaurs at its core -- I've never read a dinosaur book like this before. In this dino-craze–filled volume, Sam carries you on an exhilarating tour through the many dinosaurian places he has visited, from museums & prep labs to a dino-themed hotel & a paleontologist's office. Personal interviews with paleo-profiles are a point of appeal of this book -- you will gain a boatload of insights into their views on the dinosaur world, to which they dedicate their lives. Another reason to engulf this book is that it is beautifully crafted with the author's creative writing, which is spellbinding and certain to hypnotize readers into his blazing passion for the ancient behemoths (I am really grateful for the existence of such a book in dinosaurian literature). Through his linguistic work, Sam also invites us to ponder about the philosophical and psychological connections between the dinosaurs and us, humans. As you read this book, you will realize that Dig: A Personal Prehistoric Journey is an example of a manifestation of someone's genuine love for something that they are deeply passionate about. A heightened understanding of Dinosauria is guaranteed, and -- you are warned -- devouring this book can cause the following side effects: childhood nostalgia/reminiscences, passion reinvigoration, and, of course, love of dinosaurs -- dinophilia, a word that the author has embedded in this book countless times. I highly recommend anyone, including fellow dinophiles, to dig through Dig: A Personal Prehistoric Journey, a magnificent addition to your dinosaur book heap.

Have you read Dig: A Personal Prehistoric Journey? What are your thoughts on this book? Share what you think in the comment section below!
Continue reading..