99 books like The Last Wild Men of Borneo

By Carl Hoffman,

Here are 99 books that The Last Wild Men of Borneo fans have personally recommended if you like The Last Wild Men of Borneo. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Land Below the Wind

Neill McKee Author Of Finding Myself in Borneo: Sojourns in Sabah

From my list on exotic Asian travel and adventure.

Why am I passionate about this?

My first travel memoir, Finding Myself in Borneo, has won three awards. I hold a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in Communication from Florida State University. I worked internationally for 45 years, becoming an expert in the field of communication for social change. I directed and produced a number of award-winning documentary films/videos, popular multimedia initiatives, and have written numerous articles and books in my field. I worked and lived in Asia, Africa, and Russia for a total of 18 years and traveled to over 80 countries on short-term assignments. In 2015, I settled in New Mexico, using my varied experiences, memories, and imagination in creative writing.

Neill's book list on exotic Asian travel and adventure

Neill McKee Why did Neill love this book?

This book gives readers a clear picture of what it was like for an American woman, married to a British colonial, to live in North Borneo just before the Japanese Army invaded in 1942. It was truly an innocent place so far from the cares of the world. I read it in 1968, just before my first sojourn in Sabah, Malaysia. Much had changed by then, but it helped me understand the experiences of some of the older people I met. Today, Sabah remains a land “below the wind” (located south of the annual tropical cyclone belt.) But, as I mention in my book, it is no longer below the “political storms” as China battles the US and five other nations over the rights to the South China Sea.

By Agnes Keith,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Land Below the Wind as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book was written during an era when Sabah was known as North Borneo, and when life was very much different from today s. Reprinted many times, this classic, of Agnes Keith s observations and reflections of the time, is a true-to-life record of society and culture then and of the captivating natural beauty of Sabah. Today, Sabah continues to be known as the land below the wind , a phrase used by seafarers in the past to describe all the lands south of the typhoon belt, but which Agnes effectively reserved for Sabah through her book. One of few…


Book cover of Neverwhere

David B. Coe Author Of The Chalice War: Stone

From my list on fantasy that made me say ‘wow!'.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been writing fantasy professionally for more than twenty-five years, and have published novels of epic fantasy, contemporary urban fantasy, supernatural thriller, and (as D.B. Jackson) historical fantasy. I have devoted my professional life to the genre because I love writing about magic and the people who wield it. I believe fantasy novels should thrill and intrigue, but also touch our emotions, and carry us through narratives with beautiful writing. That is what I try to do with my books, and that is what draws me to the novels I have listed here. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

David's book list on fantasy that made me say ‘wow!'

David B. Coe Why did David love this book?

Chances are many of you have heard of this one, or at least of its author.

Neverwhere is not Gaiman’s best-known or best-selling book. Not by a long shot on either score. But it is my personal favorite, in part because it is less flashy than his other books, while managing to be just as exciting and suspenseful.

Like all of Gaiman’s work, it is at once humorous and dark, fanciful and brutally believable. Our hero, Richard Mayhew, is hapless but ultimately lovable. Our villains, a pair of killers named Croup and Vandemar, are terrifying.

And the characters we discover in the world below the streets of London, are charming and worth fighting for.

By Neil Gaiman,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Neverwhere as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE EXTRAORDINARY FIRST NOVEL BY THE MASTER OF STORYTELLING

'Prose that dances and dazzles . . . Gaiman describes the indescribable' SUSANNA CLARKE

'It's virtually impossible to read more than ten words by Neil Gaiman and not wish he would tell you the rest of the story' OBSERVER

'Much too clever to be caught in the net of a single interpretation' PHILIP PULLMAN

ACCLAIMED BBC RADIO 4 DRAMATISATION WITH ALL-STAR CAST INCLUDING JAMES MCAVOY, NATALIE DORMER, DAVID HAREWOOD, SOPHIE OKONEDO AND BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH

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'I love doors. Anything that leads to possibilities' NEIL GAIMAN

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Under the streets of London…


Book cover of Ghost Train to the Eastern Star

Neill McKee Author Of Finding Myself in Borneo: Sojourns in Sabah

From my list on exotic Asian travel and adventure.

Why am I passionate about this?

My first travel memoir, Finding Myself in Borneo, has won three awards. I hold a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in Communication from Florida State University. I worked internationally for 45 years, becoming an expert in the field of communication for social change. I directed and produced a number of award-winning documentary films/videos, popular multimedia initiatives, and have written numerous articles and books in my field. I worked and lived in Asia, Africa, and Russia for a total of 18 years and traveled to over 80 countries on short-term assignments. In 2015, I settled in New Mexico, using my varied experiences, memories, and imagination in creative writing.

Neill's book list on exotic Asian travel and adventure

Neill McKee Why did Neill love this book?

When I retired from my 45-year career as an international filmmaker and multimedia producer, I decided to concentrate on creative nonfiction writing, using my experiences and memories as a basis for the many stories I wanted to tell. I began to read and listen to travel memoirs to learn how to write in a captivating and entertaining way. Paul Theroux is one of the top writers in this genre and Ghost Train to the Eastern Star is one of his best. He doesn’t make it to Borneo, but reaches many familiar places I traveled to during my years in Southeast Asia. I love his style, full of descriptions of those old haunts, and his dialog with the people he encounters on his journey.

By Paul Theroux,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ghost Train to the Eastern Star as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Paul Theroux's Ghost Train to the Eastern Star is a journey from London to Asia by train.

Winner of the Stanford Dolman Lifetime Contribution to Travel Writing Award 2020

Thirty years ago Paul Theroux left London and travelled across Asia and back again by train. His account of the journey - The Great Railway Bazaar - was a landmark book and made his name as the foremost travel writer of his generation. Now Theroux makes the trip all over again. Through Eastern Europe, India and Asia to discover the changes that have swept the continents, and also to learn what…


Book cover of The White Rajahs of Sarawak

Neill McKee Author Of Finding Myself in Borneo: Sojourns in Sabah

From my list on exotic Asian travel and adventure.

Why am I passionate about this?

My first travel memoir, Finding Myself in Borneo, has won three awards. I hold a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in Communication from Florida State University. I worked internationally for 45 years, becoming an expert in the field of communication for social change. I directed and produced a number of award-winning documentary films/videos, popular multimedia initiatives, and have written numerous articles and books in my field. I worked and lived in Asia, Africa, and Russia for a total of 18 years and traveled to over 80 countries on short-term assignments. In 2015, I settled in New Mexico, using my varied experiences, memories, and imagination in creative writing.

Neill's book list on exotic Asian travel and adventure

Neill McKee Why did Neill love this book?

Sarawak is the neighboring East Malaysian state of Sabah. It would be difficult to understand how northern Borneo evolved without understanding its colonial history. James Brooke, a British man born in India, became the Rajah of Sarawak when he helped the Sultan of Brunei put down pirates that threatened his kingdom. The Brooke dynasty brought many reforms and established an orderly form of colonial government. It lasted for a hundred years through succeeding generations until the territory was handed over to the UK after the Japanese were defeated in World War II. But it is interesting that piracy was never totally controlled in the waters around northern Borneo. It remains a problem to this day. Fortunately, I was never captured!

By Robert Payne,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The White Rajahs of Sarawak as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The story of the Brooke dynasty, James, Charles, and Vyner, Rajahs of Sarawak for over a hundred years.


Book cover of A Brief History of Bali: Piracy, Slavery, Opium and Guns: The Story of an Island Paradise

Neill McKee Author Of Finding Myself in Borneo: Sojourns in Sabah

From my list on exotic Asian travel and adventure.

Why am I passionate about this?

My first travel memoir, Finding Myself in Borneo, has won three awards. I hold a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in Communication from Florida State University. I worked internationally for 45 years, becoming an expert in the field of communication for social change. I directed and produced a number of award-winning documentary films/videos, popular multimedia initiatives, and have written numerous articles and books in my field. I worked and lived in Asia, Africa, and Russia for a total of 18 years and traveled to over 80 countries on short-term assignments. In 2015, I settled in New Mexico, using my varied experiences, memories, and imagination in creative writing.

Neill's book list on exotic Asian travel and adventure

Neill McKee Why did Neill love this book?

Bali is known as a peaceful Hindu "paradise” in Asia. But today most tourists are ignorant of its tumultuous history. In my book I travel by sea on a freighter from Singapore to Jakarta, and journey through Java to Bali. Before reading Hanna’s book, I too was largely ignorant of the invasions Bali had experienced before tourists came: centuries of domination by Muslim sultanates; then early 1800s, the Dutch alongside the French; then the British, followed by the Dutch again in 1816. Next, Bali’s people joined the fight for independence before Japan invaded in 1942. The Dutch returned in 1945, so back to the struggle for independence 1945-1949. Within Indonesia, Bali had to fight hard to maintain its Hindu religion and culture. A peaceful paradise?

By Willard A. Hanna,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Brief History of Bali as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book tells the story of Bali--the "paradise island of the Pacific"--its rulers and its people, and their encounters with the Western world.

Bali is a perennially popular tourist destination. It is also home to a fascinating people with a long and dramatic history of interactions with foreigners, particularly after the arrival of the first Dutch fleet in 1597. In this first comprehensive history of Bali, author Willard Hanna chronicles Bali through the centuries as well as the islanders' current struggle to preserve their unique identity amidst the financially necessary incursions of tourism.

Illustrated with more than forty stunning photographs,…


Book cover of Eaters of the Dead

Golda Mowe Author Of Iban Journey

From my list on to experience life-changing adventures.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been fascinated with travel and adventure stories since I read The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton. I finished a whole Walter Scott book; with a dictionary balanced on one knee because Jeanie Deans decides to walk from Edinburgh to London. Romance? Bah! Humbug! I’d rather journey into The Heart of Darkness, follow the hobbits to Mount Doom, or ride a sandworm with Paul Atreides. Show me a lone traveler thrown into the middle of an unfamiliar, confusing culture and you have my full attention. Naturally, when I started typing out my first manuscript, it just had to be a fantasy adventure about an Iban headhunter.

Golda's book list on to experience life-changing adventures

Golda Mowe Why did Golda love this book?

This book is a re-interpretation of the epic saga of Beowulf, re-imagining him as a real-life hero who fought in a historical human world. The magic of this story is that it is hard to tell where facts end and story begins. Ahmad, the narrator, is opinionated in a dry and pedagogic way. He complains about many things but, like a true traveler, refuses little. Even though he regales us with his sense of superiority, his outward manner is meek and passive which helps him get along with the Northmen. Please don’t read this book in a public library if you do not want to be shush-ed. Some of Ahmad’s commentaries on Viking life have sent me into loud, sudden guffaws. 

By Michael Crichton,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Eaters of the Dead as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Eaters of the Dead is a brilliant, stirring tale of historical adventure which deserves a place on readers bookshelves alongside Michael Crichton's bestselling techno-thrillers.

It is AD922 and Ibn Fadlan is sent north from Baghdad as a peaceful ambassador. But before he reaches his destination, he falls in with some Vikings and when they are attacked by mystical bloodthirsty creatures in the midst of a terrible fog, he reluctantly agrees to become the prophesied 13th warrior in order for them to survive.

Later turned into a major Hollywood film, Eaters of the Dead is an imaginative and breathlessly exciting…


Book cover of Lord Jim

Golda Mowe Author Of Iban Journey

From my list on to experience life-changing adventures.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been fascinated with travel and adventure stories since I read The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton. I finished a whole Walter Scott book; with a dictionary balanced on one knee because Jeanie Deans decides to walk from Edinburgh to London. Romance? Bah! Humbug! I’d rather journey into The Heart of Darkness, follow the hobbits to Mount Doom, or ride a sandworm with Paul Atreides. Show me a lone traveler thrown into the middle of an unfamiliar, confusing culture and you have my full attention. Naturally, when I started typing out my first manuscript, it just had to be a fantasy adventure about an Iban headhunter.

Golda's book list on to experience life-changing adventures

Golda Mowe Why did Golda love this book?

This is one of those books that I had to put down a couple of times previously because the protagonist’s flaw hit too close to home. Jim is so ashamed of his past cowardice that each time his identity is found out, he will travel farther away from the spreading Western colonies. A Western marauder eventually invades the Malay and Bugis community where he lives, and Jim has to bear the consequence of speaking up for the man in good faith. After so many years, this book is still one of my top favorites because Jim finally stops running and faces his fear. He ultimately becomes the hero that he has always wanted to be.

By Joseph Conrad,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Lord Jim as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'To the white men in the waterside business and to the captain of ships he was just Jim - nothing more. He had, of course, another name, but he was anxious that it should not be pronounced.'

Lord Jim tells the story of a young, idealistic Englishman - 'as unflinching as a hero in a book' - who is disgraced by a single act of cowardice while serving as an officer on the Patna, a merchant-ship sailing from an Eastern port. His life is blighted: an isolated scandal assumes horrifying proportions. An older man, Marlow, befriends Jim, and helps to…


Book cover of I Was a Potato Oligarch: Travels and Travails in the New Russia

Golda Mowe Author Of Iban Journey

From my list on to experience life-changing adventures.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been fascinated with travel and adventure stories since I read The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton. I finished a whole Walter Scott book; with a dictionary balanced on one knee because Jeanie Deans decides to walk from Edinburgh to London. Romance? Bah! Humbug! I’d rather journey into The Heart of Darkness, follow the hobbits to Mount Doom, or ride a sandworm with Paul Atreides. Show me a lone traveler thrown into the middle of an unfamiliar, confusing culture and you have my full attention. Naturally, when I started typing out my first manuscript, it just had to be a fantasy adventure about an Iban headhunter.

Golda's book list on to experience life-changing adventures

Golda Mowe Why did Golda love this book?

John Mole tells his stories the same way an Iban man would when he returns from a particularly harrowing work travel. I personally think that the memoir is a tragedy disguised as a comedy because some parts of his description of life in Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union made my stomach cramp with emotion. At the same time, they also made me laugh because his imageries are so comical. His first-world naiveté either gets him scammed or rescued, but his survival instincts always kick in when it matters. So, if you are interested in a modern Wild-Wild-West adventure, this is the book for you.

By John Mole,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I Was a Potato Oligarch as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In a charming saga of sun, sea, sand - and cement - John Mole tells of the back-breaking but joyous labours of fixing up his own Arcadia and introduces a warm, generous and garrulous cast of characters who helped (and occasionally hindered) his progress.


Book cover of Into the Heart of Borneo

Karen Gershowitz Author Of Wanderlust: Extraordinary People, Quirky Places, and Curious Cuisine

From my list on making you want to travel.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been traveling since age seventeen when I boarded a plane and headed to Europe on my own. Over the next three years I lived in London, took weekend jaunts across the continent, and became completely bitten by the travel bug. Since then, I’ve traveled to more than 95 countries. I’ve lost and gained friends and lovers and made a radical career change so that I could afford my travel addiction. Like my readers, I am an ordinary person. Through travel I’ve learned courage and risk-taking and succeeded at things I didn’t know I could do. My goal in writing is to inspire others to take off and explore the world.

Karen's book list on making you want to travel

Karen Gershowitz Why did Karen love this book?

What happens when an out-of-shape, stay-at-home book reviewer is talked into trekking into one of the most remote parts of the world?

Misadventures abound in the jungle, terrifying at the time but hilarious in retrospect. This is one of the books I use for inspiration when I am considering venturing into unusual, distant areas of the globe. It demonstrates that anyone with the will to do it can explore, survive, enjoy, and even see the humor in outrageous situations.

By Redmond O'Hanlon,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Into the Heart of Borneo as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The story of a 1983 journey to the center of Borneo, which no expedition had attempted since 1926. O'Hanlon, accompanied by friend and poet James Fenton and three native guides brings wit and humor to a dangerous journey.


Book cover of The Banana Tree at the Gate: A History of Marginal Peoples and Global Markets in Borneo

Carol J. Pierce Colfer Author Of The Longhouse of the Tarsier: Changing Landscapes, Gender and Well Being in Borneo

From my list on Indonesian life and policy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I worked in Indonesia much of the time between 1979 and 2009, with people living in forests. As an anthropologist, my work was initially ethnographic in nature, later linking such insights to policies relating to forests and people – as I worked at the Center for International Forestry Research in Bogor (1995 – the present). Although later in my career, I worked in forests all over the tropics, my real love remains with Indonesia, where I worked the longest and learned the most. My most recent research was in 2019, when I returned to the first community I studied ethnographically in 1979-80.

Carol's book list on Indonesian life and policy

Carol J. Pierce Colfer Why did Carol love this book?

This book builds on Dove’s longstanding involvement in research on Borneo and his in-depth knowledge of the history of agricultural and nontimber forest products there. His work shows how the people of Borneo have long been involved in international trade, alternately expanding and contracting their attention to rice production as other opportunities (high prices, high demand) wax and wane. His insights contributed to my own research, showing how longstanding and ubiquitous the international involvement I have seen has been.

By Michael R. Dove,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Banana Tree at the Gate as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The "Hikayat Banjar," a native court chronicle from Borneo, characterizes the irresistibility of natural resource wealth to outsiders as "the banana tree at the gate." Michael R. Dove employs this phrase as a root metaphor to frame the history of resource relations between the indigenous peoples of Borneo and the world system. In analyzing production and trade in forest products, pepper, and especially natural rubber, Dove shows that the involvement of Borneo's native peoples in commodity production for global markets is ancient and highly successful and that processes of globalization began millennia ago. Dove's analysis replaces the image of the…


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