Skwew the computer!
Hit the hammock!
Triplit to tide you over on that night train to Calcutta:

The Collected Stories of Somerset Maugham
Perfect for those whiling away long hours with dislocated knees in foreign countries! Dishy tattle from a world that long ago ceased to exist.

Video Night In Kathmandu
by Pico Iyer
I find it comforting to know that paradise was spoiled long before I got there.

Karma Cola by Gita Mehta
Western hippies running amok may be bad for India, but they’re the juiciest reading this side of Somerset’s badly behaved sahibs.

Sand in My Bra edited by Jennifer Leo
Sometimes the travel challenges we ladies face trump the proverbial stone in the shoe.

12,000 Miles in the Nick Of Time by Mark Jacobsen
A Brooklyn dad drags his protesting kids to Varanasi’s burning ghats and points beyond as a remedy for the provincialism and stupidity they’re cultivating in front of the boob tube.

Palestine by Joe Sacco
Here’s a backpacker with more than banana pancakes on his mind, recording his observations in comic book format.

The Beach by Alex Garland
Dope Fields! Shark Attacks! Banana Pancakes! Boy howdy, did this novel make me nostalgic for the years I spent on a secret island in the Gulf of Thailand, Lord of the Flysing It with Leonardo DiCaprio and a bunch of other fit, young things.

Vagabonding by Rolf Potts
Screw Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance! Here’s traveling philosophy delivered without macho bombast!

Ring of Fire: An Indonesian Odyssey by Lawrence Blair with Lorne Blair
If you stumble across just one of the extreme Indonesian customs or clans detailed in this book, you’ll have yourself an Authentic Experience™ to brag about for years. See if you can get hold of the videotaped PBS series as well as the book.

Impossible Vacation by Spalding Grey
It’s a global mystery how someone as neurotic as Spalding Grey’s alter ego can wander so far afield for so long without going totally bonkers.

Atlas Of The Human Heart by Ariel Gore
As subject matter, one’s unfettered early wanderings are an excellent palate cleanser after years of writing about breastfeeding, birth and other maternal bling-bling. HipMama’s Supreme Commander Ariel is trailblazing yet again!

Yoga For People Who Can’t Be Bothered To Do It by Geoff Dyer
He loses points by being so snotty to the accurately portrayed twerps pushing soft drinks near Angkor Wat but redeems himself by including Detroit as an exotic destination.

Hideous Kinky by Esther Freud
If writing memoirs of your failings as a parent and a traveler means Kate Winslet plays you in the movie version, I’m on the next plane to Morocco!

A Woman Alone edited by Faith Conlon et al.
A major advantage to traveling solo is you don’t have to rack your brain for pseudonyms further down the road.

The Unsavvy Traveler edited by Rosemary Caperton et al.
This is one book you can judge by the cover. That Cover Goat could give the little criminal in the lower right hand corner of No Touch Monkey! a run for his money. Actually, your money.


With a few notable asterisked exceptions, shoestring travel doesn’t seem to lend itself to cinematic interpretation. Fire up the VCR anyway to view the films mentioned in No Touch Monkey, usually in gratuitous metaphor!

  • Lawrence Of Arabia
  • A Zed And Two Naughts
  • Swimming To Cambodia (*)
  • The Wizard Of Oz
  • The Sheltering Sky (*)
  • Gorillas In The Mist
  • The Killing Fields
  • Midnight Express

Satisfy your monkey lust. Buy the book from!