Tag Archives: Vietnam

A Memoir Introduces Vietnamese Food

Vietnamese Food book cover
Destination: Vietnam

Book: Communion: A Culinary Journey Through Vietnam (2010) by Kim Fay, Photos by Julie Fay Ashborn


“It is not a cookbook,” the author cautioned me.  When I was talking to Kim Fay, the author of Map of Lost Memories, I had slipped and called Communion, her memoir of an exploration of food in Vietnam, a cookbook.  In my defense, it does include a few recipes. But she is right, Communion: A Culinary Journey Through Vietnam is much broader in its concept than a cookbook.

Somehow, although we have some reportedly good Vietnamese restaurants in Tucson, and I love related Thai and Cambodian food, I have never become familiar with Vietnamese cuisine.  Communion proves to be a good introduction for someone like me, but also provides a more in-depth exploration for people who have already dined on Vietnamese food and want to learn more–perhaps even try cooking a few dishes. Continue reading A Memoir Introduces Vietnamese Food

Fast-Paced Book:Love and Loss in Vietnam

Destination: Vietnam

Book: The Headmaster’s Wager(New August 2012) by Vincent Lam 

Cholon Street today
Cholon Street today borrowed from the Vincent Lam website.

Perhaps books like this should come with a warning–“Dinner may be late and laundry will remain dirty.” Once I started The Headmaster’s Wager, I was reluctant to stop for minor interruptions like answering the telephone or eating dinner.  It  plunged me into an unknown world.  I cared deeply about the characters. To add to the impressive credentials, although the author has written other books, this is his first novel. Continue reading Fast-Paced Book:Love and Loss in Vietnam

The Boar and the Butterfly

An Earth Day Read

Destination: the World

Book: The Ragged Edge of the World: Encounters at the Frontier Where Modernity, Wildlands and Indigenous Peoples Meet (NEW April 2012) by Eugene Linden.

“Tourism’s hyperbole to the contrary, there are very few “timeless” places left on the planet.” Eugene Linden.

Surely anyone afflicted with an addiction to travel will envy  the itinerary of Eugene Linden‘s life. This is the sort of book that convinces people that travel writers lead glamorous and exciting lives. The important thing about Linden’s travel, though, is not the sheer joy of exploring far-flung places, but the intellectual journeys that motivated his jet-away life. Continue reading The Boar and the Butterfly