Good Books to Read on Vietnam


Want a better understanding of the Vietnamese people and their culture.  I highly recommend that you read the following books:

1. Asian Face Reading: Unlock the Secrets Hidden in the Human Face by Boye Lafayette De Mente

Asian Face Reading

The Vietnamese claim that they know what you are thinking by the actions of your face.  I argue with many of my Vietnamese friends that they are just making ‘assumptions’ but they deny it.  I picked up this book at a bookstore in Saigon Center and thought it was interesting.  Maybe they are right, may they are not.  Maybe they are just generalizing.  It is hard to say but the book is worth a good read.

2. Understanding Vietnam by

Understanding Vietnam

3. The Sorrow of War by Bao Ninh

A Sorrow of War

A very sad story of a North Vietnamese soldier, pay particular attention to what happened to his high school sweetheart.

There are many great books on Vietnam.  I will add some more later but you should definately read these three books before coming to Vietnam.


  1. I love Bao Ninh’s book. Asian Face Reading sounds like a hoot. I yearn for books about VN that manage to evoke the outsider perspective/love that I have; The Lover, written my Marguerite Duras, who grew up in Vietnam, and The Quiet American do this better than any other novels I’ve come across.

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