Nonfiction and Biographies

The untold history of the underground marijuana trade in Thailand—from surfers and sailors to pirates.

Thai Stick: Surfers, Scammers, and the Untold Story of the Marijuana Trade by [Peter Temin, Mike]
$9.99

Located on the left bank of the Chao Phya River, Thailand’s capital, Krungthep, known as Bangkok to Westerners and “the City of Angels” to Thais, has been home to smugglers and adventurers since the late eighteenth century. During the 1970s, it became a modern Casablanca to a new generation of treasure seekers, from surfers looking to finance their endless summers to wide-eyed hippie true believers, and lethal marauders left over from the Vietnam War.

Moving a shipment of Thai sticks from northeast Thailand farms to American consumers meant navigating one of the most complex smuggling channels in the history of the drug trade. Many forget that until the mid-1970s, the vast majority of marijuana consumed in the United States was imported, and there was little to no domestic production.

Peter Maguire and Mike Ritter are the first historians to document this underground industry, the only record of its existence rooted in the fading memories of its elusive participants. Drawing on hundreds of interviews with smugglers and law enforcement agents, the authors recount the buy, delivery, voyage home, and product offload. They capture the eccentric personalities of the men and women who transformed the Thai marijuana trade from a GI cottage industry into a professionalized business moving the world’s most lucrative commodities, unraveling a rare history from the smugglers’ perspective.

“Highly recommended for anyone who loves adventure, cannabis, surfing, or all of the above. It’s every single bit as heady, energetic and captivating as the title implies.”—Cannabis Now

CLICK HERE TO BUY

I am Farang: Adventures of a Peace Corps Volunteer in Thailand by [Amy McGarry]
$2.99

At the age of 34, Amy McGarry quit her job teaching high school to fulfill a life-long dream of joining the Peace Corps. All the research and training in the world couldn’t prepare her for the challenges of living as a farang (foreigner) in rural northeast Thailand. From learning to use “squat” toilets to battling rabid dogs, Amy details her experiences with plenty of humor and self-deprecation. Will the rewards outweigh the challenges? Will the lizards living in her home send her running to the nearest airplane headed home? Will she get used to eating crickets and frogs? Will it be “the toughest job she ever loved?”

GET IT HERE

$14.99

At forty-five, successful businessman Peter Robinson gave up his comfortable life in London to ordain as a Buddhist monk in Bangkok. But the new path he had chosen was not always as easy or as straightforward as he hoped it would be.In this truly extraordinary memoir, Phra Peter Pannapadipo describes his ten-year metamorphosis into a practicing Buddhist monk, while being initiated into the intricacies of an unfamiliar Southeast Asian culture.Phra Peter tells his story with compassion, humour and unflinching honesty. It’s the story of a ‘Phra Farang’ – a foreign monk – living and practicing his faith in an exotic and intriguing land.

GET IT HERE

$6.34

National Geographic Best Book of the Year 

National Bestseller

Many people dream of escaping modern life. Most will never act on it—but in 1986, twenty-year-old Christopher Knight did just that when he left his home in Massachusetts, drove to Maine, and disappeared into the woods. He would not have a conversation with another person for the next twenty-seven years. 

Drawing on extensive interviews with Knight himself, journalist Michael Finkel shows how Knight lived in a tent in a secluded encampment, developing ingenious ways to store provisions and stave off frostbite during the winters. A former alarm technician, he stealthily broke into nearby cottages for food, books, and supplies, taking only what he needed but sowing unease in a community plagued by his mysterious burglaries. Since returning to the world, he has faced unique challenges—and compelled us to reexamine our assumptions about what makes a good life. By turns riveting and thought-provoking, The Stranger in the Woods gives us a deeply moving portrait of a man determined to live his own way.

GET IT HERE

$13.99

Extraordinary leaders share a passionate commitment to achieving their vision that borders and sometimes crosses the line into obsession. All In shows why obsession, if properly focused and managed, is both necessary and productive. Advances in any endeavor almost always depend on a small group of individuals who are completely consumed by the goal they’re pursuing. When these leaders and teams are successful, everyone benefits from their obsessive nature.

All In explores the three obsessions underlying the achievements of the greatest leaders: delighting customers, building great products and creating an enduring company. By taking you inside the success stories of iconic leaders, including Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Elon Musk of Tesla, and Steve Jobs of Apple, author Robert Bruce Shaw shows the upside of obsession and the practices that support it. Learn why…                                                                     

  • Amazon’s first principle is customer obsession and the behaviors that sustain it as the firm becomes one of the largest in the world.  The company strives to “work backwards” from the customer in its day-to-day operations and when making key decisions.                                                                                                                                     
  • Tesla puts products at the center of everything it does and the leadership approach that created a revolutionary electric car.  Musk believes great companies are built on great products, and anything that does not improve the quality and appeal of his firm’s cars is a waste of time.                                                                   
  • Steve Jobs’ greatest creation was not the Mac or iPhone but Apple the company.  He was forceful in creating a unique and enduring culture that has continued to thrive in the decade since his death.

 Shaw also provides insight into the dark side of obsession and its destructive potential – as vividly illustrated in his case study of Uber’s aggressive pursuit of growth during the tenure of CEO Travis Kalanick. Appealing to any reader of entrepreneurial biographies, All In shows individuals, teams and organizations how to manage obsession’s downsides while realizing the benefits of relentlessly seeking to create something that truly matters.

GET IT HERE

Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man by [Mary L. Trump]
$14.99

In this revelatory, authoritative portrait of Donald J. Trump and the toxic family that made him, Mary L. Trump, a trained clinical psychologist and Donald’s only niece, shines a bright light on the dark history of their family in order to explain how her uncle became the man who now threatens the world’s health, economic security, and social fabric.

Mary Trump spent much of her childhood in her grandparents’ large, imposing house in the heart of Queens, New York, where Donald and his four siblings grew up. She describes a nightmare of traumas, destructive relationships, and a tragic combination of neglect and abuse. She explains how specific events and general family patterns created the damaged man who currently occupies the Oval Office, including the strange and harmful relationship between Fred Trump and his two oldest sons, Fred Jr. and Donald.

A firsthand witness to countless holiday meals and interactions, Mary brings an incisive wit and unexpected humor to sometimes grim, often confounding family events. She recounts in unsparing detail everything from her uncle Donald’s place in the family spotlight and Ivana’s penchant for regifting to her grandmother’s frequent injuries and illnesses and the appalling way Donald, Fred Trump’s favorite son, dismissed and derided him when he began to succumb to Alzheimer’s.

Numerous pundits, armchair psychologists, and journalists have sought to parse Donald J. Trump’s lethal flaws. Mary L. Trump has the education, insight, and intimate familiarity needed to reveal what makes Donald, and the rest of her clan, tick. She alone can recount this fascinating, unnerving saga, not just because of her insider’s perspective but also because she is the only Trump willing to tell the truth about one of the world’s most powerful and dysfunctional families.

GET IT HERE

%d bloggers like this: