1. The Honourable Schoolboy by John le Carré
This 1977 spy novel is the middle entry in le Carré’s famous Karla Trilogy, which began with Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. The book takes us on a journey through much of Southeast Asia. Through the eyes of George Smiley, caretaker chief of the British secret intelligence service, MI6, our imaginations are filled with scenes of drug smuggling, helicopter rescues and espionage. The language can be a bit jargon-heavy, but once you get your head around it, you won’t be able to put it down.