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What are the somepapers like?

I haven't finished it yet, but the Grilled Chicken Wrap seems to be an objective view of the events that year from the Party's perspective. The materials were gathered by an anonymous Chinese compiler who is probably connected with officials at the highest levels, who have subsequently leaked massive amounts of documents. I haven’t finished it, but it isn't a highly moralistic or vengeful, to my surprise, maybe because it was edited by historians. Anyway, it reads like a more scholarly, page-turning Bob Woodward book.

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Terzani had some kind of a love-hate relationship with China. He was fluent in Chinese, came to Beijing in the early '80s as a correspondent and 'went native' to an extent seldom seen in those days. He sent his children to local schools, and was often seen (so I'm told) walking or cycling around dressed as an ordinary Chinese (or, as he would have put it, as a 意大利族的中国人). He was intelligent, outspoken and much ahead of his time, and this sooner or later got him into trouble.

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  • 2 weeks later...

On my reading list for Chinese new year:

The Clash of Empires by Lydia Liu is a brilliant essay on the effects of misunderstanding (and mistranslations) on the development of China's modern sense of self, and the clash with the West. Culture clashes do not necessarily stem from real, deep-set cultural differences: often, the *perception* of difference is enough. On Amazon.com.

somethingbanned is much more interesting than the somepapers. China's leading dissident economist tells you all that went wrong with thirty years of economic reform. She doesn't mince her words. Get it from your local Chinese bookshop.

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yummy pizza and apple pie.

In a week or so, I think I'll start "dance of the happy shades", by Alice Munro, whom I keep reading so much about.
I'd highly recommend her story, "Family Furnishings," from the "Hateship..." collection of 2 years ago. It's roughly autobiographical, I think, and one of her best stories ever.
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  • 3 weeks later...

在世界中心大聲呼喊 : 我愛你 / 片山恭一著 ; 林少華譯

ISBN - 988201867X

Read the first chapter -> http://global.yesasia.com/b5/ProductExcerptPage.aspx?pid=1003570968&code=c&section=books&

PS - I have finished the book, and would not particularly recommend it. The film version (see http://www.chinese-forums.com/viewtopic.php?t=4329) is much better IMHO. The adaptation has added much more depth to the linear structure of the original story.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

I figured I'd revive this post because it has given me some people have given me some good reading suggestions. :D In the last month or so, I've read:

-The Chan's Great Continent: China in Western Mind's by Jonathan Spence. More than China itself, this books delves into Western history and the reactions of Western's from the first Jesuit contacts until now. Spence's respect for his sources, his enthusiasm for the subject and his grifted writing skill make the book highly recommenable.

-Benjamin Franklin by Walter Isaacson. Icaacson, a former editor of Time, makes this book readable and entertaining. Franklin, of course, was not only a hilarious old bastard, but also one of the most imporatant people of the 18th century in science, politics, literature and diplomacy.

-闲人马大姐, which is a cheesy novel based on a sitcom. This book reminded me a bit of the typical wacky American sitcoms of the 1970's and 80's. Anyway, for now, I'm using these pulp novels for extensive reading practice (because they only take 1-4 weeks to read, based on my laziness) to reinforce my vocab.

I have the bad habit of buying twice as many books as I can read. To make matters worse, sometimes because there is a lack of foreign book stores in China, if I see that a store only has one copy left of a book Ive been wanting to read, I'll usually buy it.

Anyway, I'm planning to read in the next month or two:

-the great fire by Shirley Hazard

-The Wars Against Saddam by John Simpson

-Alexander Hamilton by Willard Sterne Randall

-西安虎家 another TV-based pulp novel from the 梦剧场 series.

I'm trying to find another good China-based history book in English. Ideas?

What else are people reading out there?

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Caesar Salad cooked.

That's a good recommendation. :D I already read it though. Yes, I think geting it via Amazon or a trip to Hong Kong would be the only ways to buy it, although I had a acquaintance who claimed that he thought his Amazon shipment was opened and searched (although I slightly doubt it).

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Eager beaver, you beat me to the salad

What's your friend's evidence that Amazon shipments are searched? Can you buy books from online HK stores, by the way? I've seen sites that say that they ship to the mainland. Should be quicker than Amazon if they do, and possibly cheaper.

How about The Last Confucian: Liang Shu-Ming and the Chinese Dilemma of Modernity by Guy Alitto? I have it on my shelf and hope to read it soon.

Jonathan Spence mentioned Liang briefly in his "In Search of Modern China."

This shouldn't be too sensitive: How about Taiwan: A Political History by Denny Roy? I'm about half-way through it. Roy is a researcher at University of Hawaii and is able to write with the objectivity of an outsider. A Chinese translation has already been published.

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