Saturday, December 08, 2007

A book-buying spree

Writing about new book publications on Cambodia in recent posts, must've got my literary juices flowing as I stopped by Monument Books along Norodom Boulevard after work today and flashed the cash to add a further nine books to my already bulging bookshelves. Novels formed the majority of my purchases with Ron Poulton's 2001 publication Battambang and Nicolas Merriweather's Apsara Jet, also from 2001, having previously evaded me on earlier visits to the best bookshop in the capital. I also picked up a copy of Christopher G Moore's Zero Hour in Phnom Penh, which is a crime story that was originally published in 1994, under the title of Cut Out. The Thai-Cambodian border camps is the setting for Jamie Metzl's 2004 publication, The Depths of the Sea, while Taming the Savage Monsoon was written by four former UN personnel who worked in Cambodia, namely Kathy Hopper, Joyce Smith, Margaret Green and Martha Teas, who was later killed in the bombing of the UN HQ in Baghdad in 2003, with the book published two years later in her memory.
In 1992 author Minfong Ho wrote a children's book called The Clay Marble and I've eventually got around to buying a copy. The same goes for a nice coffee-table book of excellent photographs by Robert James Elliott and text by Stefan Smith in Remembering Cambodia that was first published in 2002. To round off my purchases were Ray Zepp's Around Battambang that has been revised and re-packaged in a colourful booklet and the 2005 Dos and Dont's in Cambodia by Dr David Hill and illustrations by Chan Vitharin and Chan Vanbora. As a new resident I want to make sure I don't make any cultural gaffes! To top it all, a new book arrived in the post today, well, calling it a book is rather grand, as it's a flicker-book of poems and photos from S-21 called Corpse Watching by author and prison inmate Sarith Peou.
And if that wasn't enough expense, I bought a Sony digital camera, as I was sick and tired of hearing myself moan about the Sanyo movie camera I've been using since I arrived here. The convenience of digital has been great to get my photos online speedily but the Sanyo has been a nightmare to operate, particularly at night, so it had to go. As for the Sony, we shall wait and see.

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