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SMITHSONIAN JOURNEYS

Jewels of Indonesia

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

Item EXINS76. Buy these 4 items as a set for $84 including shipping, 15% off the retail price.
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The Indonesia Reader, History, Culture, Politics

The Indonesia Reader, History, Culture, Politics

by Eric Tagliacozzo | Tineke Hellwig

  • ANTHOLOGY
  • 2009
  • PAPER
  • 477 PAGES

This detailed and meticulous sourcebook shows the Indonesian archipelago through the writings of heads of state, journalists, travelers and ordinary Indonesians. Part of the World Readers series, the editors have done impressive research to uncover some literary jewels, including an account of a visit to Pasai by the fourteenth century Muslim traveler Ibn Battuta, as well as reportage of the Bali bombing and the impact of the 2004 Asian tsunami on Aceh. (INS115, $27.95)

This Earth of Mankind

This Earth of Mankind

by Pramoedya Ananta Toer

  • LITERATURE
  • 1996
  • PAPER
  • 367 PAGES
  • FAVORITE

A coming-of-age story set in pre-revolution Indonesia, this novel captures the oral rhythms of a master storyteller. Its protagonist is a native high school student of royal Javanese birth, educated at the exclusive Dutch-language school. (INS04, $16.00)

Lonely Planet Indonesia

Lonely Planet Indonesia

by Peter Turner

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2013
  • PAPER
  • 916 PAGES

A practical guide to all of Indonesia, featuring introductions to each island's culture, art and history, along with 200 maps, a great deal of practical information and 100 pages dedicated solely to Bali. (INS77, $33.99)

Indonesia Map

Indonesia Map

by Nelles

  • 2012
  • MAP

An outstanding topographic map of all of Indonesia at a scale of 1:4,500,000. (INS07, $13.95)

 
Culture Smart! Indonesia

Culture Smart! Indonesia


by Graham Saunders

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2007
  • PAPER
  • 168 PAGES

A concise and practical guide to local Indonesian customs, etiquette and culture. (INS104, $9.95)

Eyewitness Top Ten Singapore

Eyewitness Top Ten Singapore


by Eyewitness Guides

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2013
  • PAPER
  • 128 PAGES

A compact, illustrated guide in the popular series, featuring favorite attractions. With handy pullout map. (SGP27, $14.00)

In the Time of Madness, Indonesia on the Edge of Chaos

In the Time of Madness, Indonesia on the Edge of Chaos


by Richard Lloyd Parry

  • HISTORY
  • 2007
  • PAPER
  • 315 PAGES

A riveting, personal account of contemporary Indonesia, including violent upheavals in Java, Borneo and East Timor by a correspondent for the Times of London. (INS102, $14.00)

Indonesia, Peoples and Histories

Indonesia, Peoples and Histories


by Jean C. Taylor

  • HISTORY
  • 2004
  • PAPER
  • 448 PAGES

This broad social history addresses, with authority, the diversity of communities, upheaval and challenges of Indonesia. Taylor weaves a vivid tale of the nation from prehistory to modern politics. (INS94, $27.50)

Indonesian Destinies

Indonesian Destinies


by Theodore Friend

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2005
  • PAPER
  • 640 PAGES

A comprehensive and vivid history of modern Indonesia that combines scholarship, first-person experience and a wealth of contemporary Indonesian sources -- from generals and scholars to ordinary folk. (INS106, $29.00)

Nathaniel's Nutmeg, True and Incredible Adventures of the Spice Trader Who Changed the Course of History

Nathaniel's Nutmeg, True and Incredible Adventures of the Spice Trader Who Changed the Course of History


by Giles Milton

  • HISTORY
  • 2000
  • PAPER
  • 388 PAGES

A rousing tale of international competition, greed and exploitation in 17th-century Indonesia. The book revolves around Nathaniel Courthroupe, who held off Dutch marauders on a tiny nutmeg-producing island from 1616-1620. It's a great story, well told -- and all true. (INS73, $16.00)

Ring of Fire, An Indonesia Odyssey

Ring of Fire, An Indonesia Odyssey


by Lawrence Blair

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2012
  • PAPER
  • 248 PAGES

The companion book to the Emmy award-winning documentary, this is the first-person account of the adventures of two English brothers, Lorne and Lawrence Blair, as they explore the astonishingly rich cultures of the Indonesian islands. (INS120, $20.00)

The Balinese

The Balinese


by John Stephen Lansing

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 1995
  • PAPER
  • 148 PAGES

An excellent, brief survey of the geography, prehistory and modern culture and people of Bali. (INS69, $64.95)

The Buddhist World of Southeast Asia

The Buddhist World of Southeast Asia


by Donald K. Swearer

  • RELIGION
  • 2010
  • PAPER
  • 304 PAGES

A succinct, authoritative survey of Theravada Buddhism in Southeast Asia as a dynamic, complex system of thought and practice imbedded in the respective cultures, societies, and histories of Burma, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Sri Lanka. (REL40, $24.95)

Borobudur

Borobudur


by John Miksic

  • ARCHAEOLOGY
  • 2011
  • HARD COVER
  • 157 PAGES

A professor at the University of Singapore, Miksic includes stunning reproductions of the intricately carved reliefs of the ninth-century monument in this invaluable overview. (INS08, $49.95)

Traditional Indonesian Textiles

Traditional Indonesian Textiles


by John Gillow | Barry Dawson

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 1995
  • PAPER
  • 160 PAGES

With 200 splendid full color examples of the ikats, batiks and other textiles of the region, artisans' techniques and the textiles' cultural significance. (INS22, $22.50)

A House in Bali

A House in Bali


by Colin McPhee

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2000
  • PAPER
  • 213 PAGES

A warm tribute to the people, culture and especially the music of Bali in the 1930s. It's a literary classic, originally published in 1944. (BAL15, $20.00)

Lands of Charm and Cruelty, Travels in Southeast Asia

Lands of Charm and Cruelty, Travels in Southeast Asia


by Stan Sesser

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 1994
  • PAPER
  • 306 PAGES
  • HARD TO FIND ELSEWHERE

This wonderfully written book is a report on Southeast Asia by a talented foreign correspondent. A heart-wrenching portrait of the politics and potential of what Sesser clearly believes are some of the most fascinating places on earth. With chapters on Singapore, Laos, Cambodia, Burma and Sarawak. (SEA04, $19.00)

Revolt in Paradise

Revolt in Paradise


by K'tut Tantri

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 1989
  • PAPER
  • 320 PAGES

The stunning account of K'tut Tantri's life in Java as a young artist and later as a resistance fighter for Indonesian independence. (INS113, $24.95)

It's Not an All Night Fair

It's Not an All Night Fair


by Pramoedya Ananta Toer | Mark Hanusz

  • LITERATURE
  • 2006
  • PAPER
  • 112 PAGES

In this moving novella by the celebrated author of This Earth of Mankind, a son returns home to Java to be with his dying father. (INS103, $12.00)

Max Havelaar or the Coffee Auctions of the Dutch Trading Company

Max Havelaar or the Coffee Auctions of the Dutch Trading Company


by Multatuli | Roy Edwards

  • LITERATURE
  • 1995
  • PAPER
  • 337 PAGES

Written under a pseudonym, this book is the powerful story of corruption in colonial Java, a classic first published in 1860 -- and instrumental in bringing about change in the region. (INS75, $16.00)

The Year of Living Dangerously

The Year of Living Dangerously


by C.J. Koch

  • LITERATURE
  • 1995
  • PAPER
  • 278 PAGES

A tale of intrigue and betrayal set in 1965 revolutionary Yogyakarta, with plenty of local atmosphere. (INS21, $15.00)

Orangutans, Wizards of the Rain Forest

Orangutans, Wizards of the Rain Forest


by Anne E. Russon

  • NATURAL HISTORY
  • 2004
  • PAPER
  • 224 PAGES

An illustrated introduction to orangutans. Russon, a psychologist and primatologist, pays special attention to the behavior of these remarkably intelligent apes. (BST52, $24.95)

Reflections of Eden, My Years with the Orangutans of Borneo

Reflections of Eden, My Years with the Orangutans of Borneo


by Birute Galdikas

  • NATURAL HISTORY
  • 1995
  • PAPER
  • 408 PAGES

Galdikas describes the behavior and natural history of the orangutan as well as her life in the field at Camp Leakey in this classic memoir. (INS14, $19.99)

The Song of the Dodo

The Song of the Dodo


by David Quammen

  • NATURAL HISTORY
  • 1997
  • PAPER
  • 700 PAGES

Clearly written and engaging, Quammen narrates his adventures on the trail of natural wonders in Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles, Galapagos and Komodo and explains complex evolutionary phenomena with humor, wit and understanding. (CON05, $22.00)

Birds of Southeast Asia

Birds of Southeast Asia


by Craig Robson

  • FIELD GUIDE
  • 2005
  • PAPER
  • 304 PAGES

This authoritative, masterfully illustrated guide, featuring 140 color plates covering 1,270 species throughout the region, also includes Malaysia, Burma, Borneo and Indonesia. (SEA49, $37.50)

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.