Make Chiangmai Mail | your Homepage | Bookmark

Chiangmai 's First English Language Newspaper

Pattaya Blatt | Pattaya Mail | Pattaya Mail TV

 
Update January, 2014


Home
News
Arts - Entertainment
Classical Connections
Life at 33 1/3
Ask Emma
AutoMania
Book Review
Bridge in Paradise
Business
finance & Investing
Cartoons
Animal Welfare
Care for Dogs
Community Happenings
Doctor's Consultation
Dining Out & Recipes
Education
Features
Gardening
Long Live His Majesty The King
Life in Chiang Mai
Mail Bag
Mail Opinion
Money Matters
On the Grapevine
Photography
Quirky Pics
Real Estate
Social Scene
Sports
Travel & Tourism
Daily Horoscope
About Us
Subscribe
Advertising Rates
Current Movies in
Chiangmai's Cinemas
Classifieds
Back Issues
Find out your Romantic Horoscope Now - Click Here!
Update by Natrakorn Paewsoongnern
 
 
 
Book Review: by Lang Reid
 

The Battered Butterfly

Jake Jacobs is an American writer whose previous two books have been on backgammon. This one is his first thriller. He is American but has lived in eight countries and has had 14 different jobs, ranging from pizza delivery to professional blackjack player. With that varied background he has launched himself into the whirlpool that is book sales.
“The Battered Butterfly” (ISBN 978-1-5008-5103-3, self published, 2014) has an attractive and colorful cover and is set in 1989 in Manila. The central character is Lefty Markowitz, an overweight (280 pounds) ex-New York policeman turned professional gambler.
Lefty is the narrator and has a droll sense of humor. I enjoyed the very original turns of phrase such as “Let yourself be pigeonholed, and you wind up covered with bird shit.” Describing a man sweating where “Mommy Luz stared in fascination at the big clear drops, as though they were crystal balls. Peer in them and see the future.” And you straight away get the picture of a Japanese stand-over merchant “with a nose that looked as if it had been flattened by repeated blows with a shovel: Lefty guessed it had taken the first five blows just to get his attention, and at least another five to hurt him.”
Lefty also states the well known truism of opening a bar as “… a spectacularly bad idea, but fresh idiots are never in short supply, so there are always plenty of bad restaurants and poorly run bars to choose from.” The setting for that was Manila 1989, but it has a mirror image in Pattaya still today.
A bar girl is violently murdered and Lefty finds himself in the middle of the intrigue, much of it caused by his own pig-headedness. The intrigue involves several different groups, all of which are definitely not on Lefty’s side.
The action bowls along at a good pace, using short chapters which have you turning pages frequently.
Another of the other main characters is well known to any SE Asia ex-pat. The guy who owes everyone money, and yet manages, somehow, with a plausible reason to avoid being forced at gunpoint to find the money. However, eventually they all get found out and they have to leave, to go to another ex-pat area in SE Asia where they ingratiate themselves, and borrow money.
As the action rolls on, Lefty finds himself in the drug scene, something he did not want at all.
You also get a potted history of the political scene in the Philippines post Marcos, as the action hots up to a very busy ending, believe me!
I am sure the book is available through Asia Books/Bookazine or through Amazon dot com, but I was given no RRP. Similar books of that genre are generally around THB 450. It is a good read and one warms to the central character Lefty Markowitz whose smart ass nature gets him into more strife than Flash Gordon. However, he is a thinking smart ass and applies logic to the situation, just as he does with his card playing. I enjoyed the book, and Lefty Markowitz.


Americans in Thailand

Just before the end of 2014, a heavy book package was delivered to the review desk. Hard back books, for me, represent something to savor. There is a feeling of worth, value and longevity in such books, so I was not going to skim through this book “Americans in Thailand”, (ISBN 978-981-43385-84-8, published by Editions Didier Millet, 2014).
Editions Didier Millet (EDM) was founded in 1989 in Paris by Didier Millet. He opened a branch of EDM in Singapore in 1990, which soon established itself as the headquarters and center of the business. Today, EDM has offices in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok.
EDM enjoys an international reputation for their high-quality books, and publishes approximately 30 new titles per annum in print form, and around 15 ebooks. They have published over 500 titles in total, of which some 130 are currently in print, comprising mainly general illustrated and reference titles for the adult trade market. The chief subject areas are travel, history, natural history, art, architecture, cookery and lifestyle. The books are mainly about Southeast Asia, but not exclusively so, and many of their titles have become standard reference sources for art and culture enthusiasts as well as travelers.
The foreword was written by David Lyman who described the Americans in Thailand as being “… characters, probably eccentric, self confident yet aware of our limitations, ambitious and firm yet pragmatic and compassionate, infected with wanderlust, romance and the search for high adventure and what was exotic.”
The book looks chronologically at the sample of Americans, dating back to a Captain Hale in 1818.
Many expats have heard of the Treaty of Amity but have no idea what, where or how this happened. This book will tell you why Americans can run businesses, while other nationalities cannot, dating back to a fairly flawed piece of legislature signed by America and Siam in 1836.
The Americans looked at are divided into six time scales, 1818 to 1851 (the pioneering Americans), 1851-1868 (the Divided Americans), 1868-1945 (Distinguished Americans), 1945-1957 (Quiet Americans), 1957-1976 (Armed Americans) and 1976 -2014 (Committed Americans).
The historical side has been well researched and the most famous Amerasian Tiger Woods gets his honorable mention, with his mother Kultida being a secretary at JUSMAG and against family wishes went to the US with his father, an American Infantry Officer.
It is amusing to read of the attempts by the Thai leaders to repel Americanisms such as the mini skirt and The Twist dance craze. The government was unsuccessful.
With an Editorial team of 10, including such luminaries as William Warren and Denis Gray, they have produced a marvelous book with interesting appendices and photographs. All Americans should have this on their bookshelves.
With a publication of this size and type, EDM called up sponsors with the RMA Group, Bangkok Post, Citi, Pfizer, Minor International, Four Seasons Hotels Thailand, Jim Thompson, Tilleke & Gibbins and Asian Tigers all assisting to various degrees.
The RRP on the back cover is $39.90, but I suggest Amazon dot com could be the way to go, if your local bookshop does not have it in stock.


How to Win Friends and Influence People

How to Win Friends and Influence People, written by Dale Carnegie, (ISBN 978-1-4391-9919-0, Pocket Books, 1936) has been on the shelves for over 70 years. It has had the copyright renewed in 1964 and again in 1981, and this paperback edition was printed in 2010. There are not too many books still on the shelves with that kind of longevity.
I will admit that I had never read How to Win Friends and Influence People, so I was interested to see if Carnegie’s book was still relevant in today’s society, which is so different from the pre-WWII era in which Carnegie wrote the blockbuster. This is partly answered by the preface, written by Dale Carnegie’s wife, where she states that Dale Carnegie himself was a tireless reviser of his own work and was constantly aware of the changes in the society he was lecturing to. Later revisions after the death of Carnegie in 1955 just followed the same principle.
The back cover promises that the book can show you six ways to make people like you, 12 ways to win people to your way of thinking and nine ways to change people without arousing resentment, and “much, much more!” That is certainly a big promise.
In his beginning, Carnegie emphasizes the teaching nature of the book, “you will find yourself engaged in an educational process that is both intriguing and priceless.”
The book is written in a conversational style, which does take the sharpness off the learning process and ‘humanize’ the lessons.
Early in the book, Carnegie puts forward the principle of getting results through approval, rather than criticism, and cites many examples to show just how the principle worked for others in a real-life situation.
It is important, says Carnegie, to differentiate between appreciation and flattery. “One is sincere, the other insincere. One comes from the heart out, the other from the teeth out. One is unselfish, the other selfish.” Simple and little homespun perhaps, but of immense value when correctly applied. This alone could win you friends.
At the end of each chapter he gives the reader (read ‘student’) a principle to follow. Good practical advice. His Principle 3 is “Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”
There are many chapters dealing with arguments, and initially it seemed as though his advice was to let the adversary win, but as I read further I could see how he was getting around the problem, just as he was getting around my initial doubts.
Initially, I was all prepared to write this book off as being the usual self-help schmaltz but amazed myself in enjoying the reading, and seeing where I too could improve my life (by improving my relationships with others). Some of the people mentioned as examples do date the book, but do not take away from the message. For B. 285 on the Bookazine shelves this is still one of the best (and cheapest) of its genre. It may be 70 years old, but obviously, the advice is timeless. Get it!


 
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

The Battered Butterfly

Americans in Thailand

How to Win Friends and Influence People
 

Advertisement

 



Chiangmai Mail Publishing Co. Ltd.
209/5 Moo 6, T.Faham,
A.Muang, Chiang Mai 50000
Tel. 053 852 557, 081-302 0126 Fax. 053 260 738
e-mail: [email protected]
www.chiangmai-mail.com
Administration: [email protected]
Advertising: [email protected]
[email protected]
Subscription: [email protected]

Copyright © 2004 Chiangmai Mail. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.