Catfish and Mandala - Andrew X. Pham
Travel book, personal memoir, and biking adventure all in one, with each separate element a complete success. Good discussion and loved by my book club. Describes a journey on an $135 bike up the west coast of U.S. across Japan, and through Vietnam by a young man in quest for identity and meaning.
The book touches me in many ways: the similarities btw Vietnamese and Chinese culture, the exotic and adventurous travel notes, the humourous and witty writing style, the mysterious plot... The words seem to spread a lingering and curiously familiar smell of fish, heat, dust, values, love and regrets. It's like the Vietnamese catfish claypot, flavourful, complex and deep....Continua