Blogging the Bookshelf

Blogging my bookshelf – one book at a time

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Entries Tagged as 'Chinese'

Chinese Romance – “Twenty fragments of a ravenous youth” – Xiaolu Guo

January 19th, 2012 · Comments Off on Chinese Romance – “Twenty fragments of a ravenous youth” – Xiaolu Guo · China, Chinese, Love, Quotes

YOU CAN CHECK ANY CHINESE DICTIONARY, there’s no word for romance. We say ‘Lo Man’, copying the English pronunciation. What the fuck use was a word like romance to me anyway? There wasn’t much of it about in China, and Beijing was the least romantic place in the whole universe. ‘Eat first, talk later,’ as […]

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Asian Gamblers – “Casino Royale” – Ian Fleming

August 5th, 2011 · Comments Off on Asian Gamblers – “Casino Royale” – Ian Fleming · Chinese, Culture

Bond’s experience told him that few of the Asiatic races were courageous gamblers, even the much-vaunted Chinese being inclined to lose heart if the going was bad.

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“The Family Law”, Benjamin Law

August 18th, 2010 · Comments Off on “The Family Law”, Benjamin Law · Australian, Chinese

Summary: A loosely linked series of auto-biographical essays by Brisbane based (yes Brisbane!) gay, Chinese Australian, Benjamin Law. David Sedaris light with an Australian aspect. My Take: Given that identity humour is such a focus of “The Family Law”, it’s difficult to avoid applying a stereotypical overlay onto Benjamin Law’s writing. In fact, “The Family […]

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“I Love Dollars”, Zhu Wen

September 24th, 2009 · Comments Off on “I Love Dollars”, Zhu Wen · Asian, China, Chinese, Short Stories

Ok, so I’ve been MIA from Blogging the Bookshelf for a while now (a few weeks in fact!). Things have been fairly busy work wise so I’ve had to cut back on discretionary activities and the blog was the first to go. Unfortunately I think work will continue to be quite demanding for the foreseeable […]

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“What Does China Think”, Mark Leonard

August 14th, 2009 · Comments Off on “What Does China Think”, Mark Leonard · Asian, China, Chinese, Philosophy

Synopsis: An idiot’s guide to the various streams of contemporary Chinese policy debate. When you view the world through the eyes of China’s intellectuals My Take: Those who know me know that I’m a bit of a Sinophile. While the human rights record of the Chinese government is obviously indefensible and deserves public attention and […]

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"What the Chinese Don't Eat", XinRan

June 30th, 2009 · Comments Off on "What the Chinese Don't Eat", XinRan · Chinese

Synopsis: A collection of newspaper columns on Chinese/Western society written by the a columnist on Chinese life for The Guardian. My Take: I grabbed this wanting an accessible layman’s guide to the quirks of Chinese society. Unfortunately this collection is very uneven, ranging from shallow and patronising observations about the west to insightful explanations of […]

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"Lost in The Crowd: A Cultural Revolution Memoir", Yang Jiang

June 21st, 2009 · Comments Off on "Lost in The Crowd: A Cultural Revolution Memoir", Yang Jiang · China, Chinese, History

Synopsis: Memoirs of the experiences of Beijing literature scholar and her husband during the Cultural Revolution. My Take: While I have a strong aversion to “suffering Chinese women literature” (eg “Wild Swans”, “Good Women of China”, “Mao’s Concubine” etc etc – I get it ok, women suffered in China, but so did lots of other […]

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"Shark's Fin and Sichuan Pepper: A Sweet-Sour Memoir of Eating in China", Fuchsia Dunlop

June 9th, 2009 · Comments Off on "Shark's Fin and Sichuan Pepper: A Sweet-Sour Memoir of Eating in China", Fuchsia Dunlop · Asian, China, Chinese, Travel

Synopsis: Englishwoman moves to Chengdu, China for post-graduate study only to end up as the first Westerner to train at the Sichuan Institute of Higher Cuisine. The author’s following 14 years of Chinese culinary exploration is recounted in this memoir/travelogue/cookbook. My Take: While I love Chinese food, I’ve always approached it from a the perspective […]

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"The Girl Who Played Go", Shan Sa

June 1st, 2009 · Comments Off on "The Girl Who Played Go", Shan Sa · Asian, Chinese

Synopsis: Chinese teenager and Japanese soldier develop a bond while playing Go in a small town in occupied Manchuria. My Take: A common theme in the ex-pat Chinese authors I’ve read to date (eg Ha Jin, Yiyun Li) is melodrama and The Girl Who Played Go is no exception. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, […]

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"The Crazed", Ha Jin

May 30th, 2009 · Comments Off on "The Crazed", Ha Jin · Asian, China, Chinese, Literature

Synopsis: Set against the backdrop of the Tianamen Square uprising, a Chinese literature professor suffers a stroke and relives his suffering in the Cultural Revolution through his dementia. His star pupil and future son in law is tasked with caring for him but is disturbed at what he learns from the old man’s ravings. My […]

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