Here is a list of some books that focus on Ubud, or are particularly relevent in one way or another.
Monumental Bali, by A.J. Bernet Kempers, Periplus Editions. An excellent introduction to ancient temples and other archaelogical sites in the Ubud area and their historic background.
Balinese Music, By Michael Tenzer, Periplus Editions. And Music in Bali, By Colin McPhee, Da Capo Press. Since Ubud is a centre of traditional music, and many of the island's most renowned gamelan orchestras are located in the area, these are food tools to help you understand what you hear.
Bali: A Paradise Created, by Adrian Vickers, Periplus Editions. Will give you a new perspective on the development of Balinese culture, and the effect that foreign patrons and "consumers" have had in its evolotion.
Bali: Sekala & Niskala (2 Volumes), by Fred B. Eiseman, Jr., Periplus Editions. Collections of essays on Balinese culture, crafts and traditions, which will help you understand what you experience in Ubud.
Bird of Bali, by Victor Mason, Periplus Editions. If you take a guided Bali Bird Walk in Ubud, or strike out on your own, this is the book to read the night before, and carry with you in the field. Written by the former publican of the Beggar's Bush, one of Ubud's most famous bars.
Flowers of Bali, by Fred and Margaret Eiseman, Periplus Editions.
Fruit of Bali, By Fred and Margaret Eiseman, Periplus Editions.
The Island of Bali, by M. Covarrubias, Oxford University Press.
Balinese Painting, by Dr. A. A. Made Djelantik, Oxford University Press. Before you cruise the museums and galleries of Ubud.
Neka Museum: Guide to the Painting Collection. Spans the history of Balinese painting, by Neka, the painter, collector and founder of the museum that bears his name.
Gianyar: Valley of the Ancient Relics, Art and Culture, by Silvio Santosaa The Regency Government of Gianyar.
Perceptions of Paradise, Images of Bali in the Arts, by G.Kam, Yayasan Dharma Seni Museum Neka.
Walter Spies and Balinese Art, by H. Rhodius and J. Darling, Terra, Sutphen.
Bali Style, by B, Walker and Rio Helmi, Times Editions, Singapore. See some of the most glamourous houses of the Ubud area.
The Language of Balinese Shadow Theatre, by M. Subuchen, Princeton University Press.
Dancing Shadows of Bali, by Angela Hobart, KPI. About Wayang Kulit.
Indonesian Medicinal Plants, by A.P. Dharma, Balai Pustaka, Jakarta.
Offerings: The Ritual Art of Bali, by F. Brinkgreve and D. Fox, Image Network Indonesia.
Woodcarvings of Bali, by Fred Eiseman, Periplus Editions.
Bali: Temple Festival, by Jane Belo, University of Washington Press (1953,1966). Describes in deatai the ritual of the temple anniversary in a temple in Sayan, the village just West of Ubud, where most of its luxury hotels and expatriate palaces are now located.
Traditional Balinese Culture, by Jane Belo, Columbia University Press.
Images of Power; Balinese Paintings Made for Gregory Bateson and Margaret Mead, by Hildred Geertz, University of Hawaii Press.
A Balinese Journal 1971 - 1991, by Rosemary Hilbery, self-published, available at bookshops in Ubud. Describes twenty years of life inside the Ubud palace in a straightforward, day-by-day manner.
Tjokorda Gede Agung Sukawati, Ubud 1910 - 1978, an autobiography of the "last king of Ubud" as dictated to Rosemary Hilbery, describing the incredible sequence of events that shaped Ubud, Bali and the Republic of Indonesia during the Twentieth Century, from the "palace perspective".
The Guard of Ubud Corner, by Madi Kertonegoro, The Harkat Foundation. An idiosyncratic look at everyday life in a rapidly-modernising Ubud.
Man from Behind the Mist, by Madi Kertonegoro, The Harkat Foundation.
Bali Behind the Seen: Recent Fiction from Bali, edited by Vern Cork, self-published. A collection of short stories that reveal how Balinese respond to their own culture, to foreign influences and to the world beyond Bali.
Troppo Man, by Gerard Lee, University of Queensland Press. Fiction, partly based in Ubud.
A House in Bali, by Colin McPhee, Oxford University Press. The story of life in Sayan village, just west of Ubud, during the years when tourism and western culture began to make inroads.
Bali, the Ultimate Island, by Leanoard Lueras and R. Ian Lloyd, Times Editions, Singapore. An exceptionally good coffee table book on Bali, with superb photographs and detailed cultural information that is well written and accessible to the general reader.
Balinese Gardens, by William Warren and L. I Tettoni, Periplus Editions. Coffee table book which includes a section on gardens in the Ubud area.
Stranger in Paradise, by Made Wijaya, Wijaya Words, 1979-80. A sometimes zany journal of expatriate life in Bali by the eccentric landscape and building architect, Michael White, who is better known by his Balinese name, Made Wijaya.
Balinese Architecture, by Made Wijaya, Wijaya Words. This book amounts to an exhaustive scrapbook explaining Balinese architecture, showing the typical features of homes, palaces, temples, villages, etc.
The Definitive Map. Travel Treasures publishes the definitive map of Ubud. Available at bookshops in the area. A new edition has just been produced, and while the colours and clarity aren't as food as the previous edition, much of the information has been updated and new material added. Includes a map showing location of shops, hotels and other features. On the reverse is a map resembling an aerial photograph, showing natural and manmade features, roads, paths, rivers, and so on. Essential for anyone who wants to explore the area on foot.
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