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SMITHSONIAN JOURNEYS

Cruise from Singapore to Mumbai

READING AND TRAVEL GUIDE

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Books for

Enrich your travels with reading! Here's a hand-picked list prepared for your journey in conjunction with the book experts at Longitude.

Essential Reading

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Eyewitness Guide Malaysia & Singapore

Eyewitness Guide Malaysia & Singapore

by Eyewitness Guides

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2013
  • PAPER
  • 367 PAGES

A visually stunning guide to Singapore and surroundings, featuring hundreds of photographs and illustrations, detailed city maps, and information on history, culture and attractions. (SGP12, $25.00)

What the Buddha Taught

What the Buddha Taught

by Walpola Sri Rahula

  • RELIGION
  • 1994
  • PAPER
  • 151 PAGES

A classic account of Theravada Buddhism by a respected monk and scholar from Sri Lanka. Provides translations from original texts with explanations for Western readers. A good foundation for any visitor to Southeast Asia. (SEA41, $14.95)

Running in the Family

Running in the Family

by Michael Ondaatje

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 1993
  • PAPER
  • 207 PAGES

Award-winning author Ondaatje returns to his native Sri Lanka in this hypnotic travelogue. His lovingly traced family memoirs are interspersed with poetry and ruminations on the island's post-colonial history. (SRL04, $15.00)

India Adventure Map

India Adventure Map

by National Geographic Society

  • 2011
  • MAP

The most detailed shaded relief map (at a scale of 1:2,100,000) of India available. (IDA18, $12.95)

 
India Northwest Adventure Map

India Northwest Adventure Map


by National Geographic Maps

  • 2011
  • MAP

A double-sided full color map of Northwest India at a scale of 1:1,400,000 with good shaded relief, topographic detail, roads, waterways and basic travel information. Printed on waterproof, tear-resistant paper. Two Sides. 20x31 inches. (IDA73, $11.95)

Malaysia Map

Malaysia Map


by Periplus Maps

  • 2012
  • MAP

A handsome map covering Peninsular Malaysia (and Singapore) and Malaysian Borneo. (MSA08, $8.95)

Sri Lanka Map

Sri Lanka Map


by Nelles

  • 2013
  • MAP

A detailed, colorful map of the island, at a scale of 1:450,000. (SRL08, $13.95)

Insight Guide Sri Lanka

Insight Guide Sri Lanka


by Insight Guides

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2012
  • PAPER
  • 296 PAGES

An illustrated overview of Sri Lanka with essays on its attractions, history and culture complemented by many pictures and maps. (SRL02, $24.99)

A Tiger in the Kitchen

A Tiger in the Kitchen


by Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan

  • FOOD
  • 2011
  • PAPER
  • 296 PAGES

In this thoughtful and delightful tale of culinary homecoming, Tan, a freelance writer in New York, attempts to recreate the dishes of her native Singapore during one Lunar Calendar year. (SGP24, $14.99)

Mangoes & Curry Leaves, Culinary Travels Through the Great Subcontinent

Mangoes & Curry Leaves, Culinary Travels Through the Great Subcontinent


by Jeffrey Alford | Naomi Duguid

  • FOOD
  • 2005
  • HARD COVER
  • 416 PAGES

In this latest book the roving, food-loving authors (Hot Sour Salty Sweet, Item SEA80) travel the seven countries of the Indian Subcontinent: Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the Maldives, collecting not only 200 recipes but also engaging tales of the people, history and adventures. With color photographs of food and places throughout. (IDA320, $45.00)

Arrow of the Blue-Skinned God

Arrow of the Blue-Skinned God


by Jonah Blank

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2000
  • PAPER
  • 370 PAGES

Blank's entertaining portrait of contemporary India and Sri Lanka mixes reporting, anecdote and myth as he travels, sometimes in the footsteps of India's great hero Rama. (IDA250, $18.00)

Buddha

Buddha


by Karen Armstrong

  • RELIGION
  • 2004
  • PAPER
  • 240 PAGES

A concise, thought-provoking biography of the Buddha in the Penguin Lives series, written by one of the foremost experts on world religions. (REL09, $15.00)

Mumbai Fables

Mumbai Fables


by Gyan Prakash

  • HISTORY
  • 2011
  • PAPER
  • 424 PAGES

Starting from the catastrophic floods and terrorist attacks of recent years, Prakash reaches back to the sixteenth-century Portuguese conquest to reveal the stories behind Mumbai's historic journey. (IDA610, $19.95)

The Cage, The Fight for Sri Lanka and the Last Days of the Tamil Tigers


by Gordon Weiss

  • HISTORY
  • 2012
  • PAPER
  • 342 PAGES

An incisive first account of the formation, history, and bloody dissolution of the rebel Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka. (SRL31, $19.95)

The Spice Route, A History

The Spice Route, A History


by John Keay

  • HISTORY
  • 2007
  • PAPER
  • 288 PAGES

John Keay draws on ancient logs, traveler's accounts and maps for this rousing history of trade in cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, pepper, gums, resins and other costly goods from antiquity to the 17th century. (ASA52, $29.95)

Arts of Southeast Asia

Arts of Southeast Asia


by Fiona Kerlogue

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 2004
  • PAPER
  • 224 PAGES

A handsome guide to the art, architecture, textiles and crafts of Southeast Asia. (SEA45, $16.95)

Indiscreet Memories, 1901 Singapore Through the Eyes of a Colonial Englishman


by Edwin A. Brown

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2007
  • PAPER
  • 248 PAGES

Brown observes day-to-day life as well as extraordinary events -- like a tiger run amok -- in excellent detail in this eyewitness account of Singapore at the turn of the 19th century. (SGP18, $15.95)

Maximum City, Bombay Lost and Found

Maximum City, Bombay Lost and Found


by Suketu Mehta

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2005
  • PAPER
  • 528 PAGES

The tale of the author who, after a 21-year sojourn in New York, returns to his native Bombay, "the biggest, fastest, richest city in India." (IDA252, $17.00)

Not Quite Paradise, An American Sojourn in Sri Lanka

Not Quite Paradise, An American Sojourn in Sri Lanka


by Adele Barker

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2010
  • HARD COVER
  • 320 PAGES

A deft, nuanced account of an American's year-and-a-half teaching stint. Baker weaves information about the history, traditions and daily life of Sri Lanka with reports on the 30-year war between the government and the Tamils, as well as the devastating 2004 tsunami. (SRL20, $18.00)

The Age of Kali, Indian Travels and Encounters

The Age of Kali, Indian Travels and Encounters


by William Dalrymple

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2012
  • PAPER
  • 392 PAGES

A journalist stationed in Delhi, Dalrymple recounts his travels and interviews, including memorable encounters with Tamil tigers, Benazir Bhutto and Imran Khan. Humorous, insightful and well-informed. (IDA152, $16.00)

A Fine Balance

A Fine Balance


by Rohinton Mistry

  • LITERATURE
  • 1997
  • PAPER
  • 624 PAGES
  • FAVORITE

Set in Indira Gandhi's "Emergency Raj" of 1975 in an unnamed Indian "city by the sea," which bears a striking resemblance to Bombay, this tender novel follows the intermingled fortunes of a Parsi widow, her boarder and two tailors. (IDA92, $17.00)

Collected Short Stories, Volume 4

Collected Short Stories, Volume 4


by W. Somerset Maugham

  • LITERATURE
  • 1995
  • PAPER
  • 464 PAGES

Maugham can evoke turn-of-the-century colonial Asia like no other. This collection of stories features many set in Malaysia, Borneo and other Southeast Asian locales, including the well-known tale "The Letter." (SEA01, $18.00)

King Rat

King Rat


by James Clavell

  • LITERATURE
  • 1962
  • PAPER
  • 479 PAGES

The first in Clavell's acclaimed Asia series, this book describes the life of a POW in Japanese-occupied Singapore during World War II, richly evocative of its setting (ASA03, $8.99)

Lord Jim


by Joseph Conrad

  • LITERATURE
  • 2007
  • PAPER
  • 354 PAGES

First published in 1900, this novel has become a classic: the story of a young British sailor in Malaysia who aban-dons ship in a moment of cowardice, an act that marks his life forever. (SEA03, $8.00)

Midnight's Children

Midnight's Children


by Salman Rushdie

  • LITERATURE
  • 2006
  • PAPER
  • 533 PAGES
  • FAVORITE

Crowned Best of the Booker in 2008, Rushdie's greatest novel is a madcap, comic take on the birth of modern India in all its splendid and unexpected manifestations. (IDA12, $16.00)

Shantaram, A Novel

Shantaram, A Novel


by David Gregory Roberts

  • LITERATURE
  • 2005
  • PAPER
  • 944 PAGES

Set in the underworld of contemporary Mumbai, this epic page-turner follows the exploits of an escaped convict who flees maximum security prison in Australia for the teeming streets of the Indian metropolis. (IDA395, $15.99)

The Glass Palace

The Glass Palace


by Amitav Ghosh

  • LITERATURE
  • 2002
  • PAPER
  • 474 PAGES

In this panoramic novel full of tales and anecdote, Ghosh follows the lives and fortunes of Rajkumar and his family over three eventful generations in Burma, India and Malaysia. (IDA173, $16.00)

The Moor's Last Sigh

The Moor's Last Sigh


by Salman Rushdie

  • LITERATURE
  • 1997
  • PAPER
  • 435 PAGES

A sweeping family epic that tackles many of the most complex aspects about Indian culture. In his characteristically rich prose, Rushdie tells the history of India, set among the spice traders of Cochin. (IDA89, $16.00)

The Singapore Grip

The Singapore Grip


by JG Farrell

  • LITERATURE
  • 2005
  • PAPER
  • 572 PAGES

One of a trio of remarkable historical novels by J.G. Farrell, its centerpiece is the Japanese invasion of British-ruled Singapore. Ranging all over the colony from the slums to posh clubs and cricket fields, it's an evocative portrait of the colonial city in peace and war. (SGP13, $17.95)

The Sri Lanka Reader, History, Culture, Politics

The Sri Lanka Reader, History, Culture, Politics


by John Clifford Holt

  • ANTHOLOGY
  • 2011
  • PAPER
  • 816 PAGES

An exhaustive and literate sourcebook of Sri Lanka composed of myriad selections ranging from historical accounts to newspaper articles, essays, poems and modern analysis. Part of the World Readers series. (SRL23, $34.95)

Birds of India

Birds of India


by Richard Grimmett | Carol Inskipp | Tim Inskipp

  • FIELD GUIDE
  • 2012
  • PAPER
  • 384 PAGES

Thoroughly revised, with 73 new plates and many others updated or repainted, the second edition of the masterful Birds of India now features all maps and text opposite the plates for quicker and easier reference. (FG43, $39.50)

Birds of Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore


by Allen Jeyarajasingam

  • FIELD GUIDE
  • 2012
  • HARD COVER
  • 449 PAGES

Featuring 74 exquisite color plates by Alan Pearson, this second edition of the respected field guide covers the 673 species of the region. (MSA26, $65.00)

Sri Lankan Wildlife

Sri Lankan Wildlife


by Gehan de Silva Wijeyeratne

  • FIELD GUIDE
  • 2007
  • PAPER
  • 144 PAGES

A concise, illustrated field guide to the plants, animals and habitats of Sri Lanka in the popular British series. (SRL18, $23.95)

More Recommendations

Here are some other groups of books that might be of interest

Longitude provides recommended reading for travelers in partnership with the leading tour operators and travel programs for hundreds of destinations worldwide. We've got the classic, new and hard-to-find books and maps to help you get the most out of your adventures.