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roddy

Book reading for December?

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murrayjames

I remember when I used to read tens of pages of Chinese a day. Good times! Look forward to joining you all as soon as my semester finishes.

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Xiao Kui

@roddy, yes I will be joining, just ordered my book last week, so still waiting for it to arrive from China. 

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roddy

Giving this a bump and retitling it to see if folk want to organise book readings for the coming months. Obviously June is almost upon us, so any selection would ideally be easily available online. July is a little more distant, but by the time we've decided and physical books have made their way around the world...

 

Off the top of my head and bookcase...

 

I'm currently reading 去洞庭. I like it so far, but wouldn't say I'm far enough in to really recommend it. There's an extract of about a third of the book available via a link in my post. So far it's very much a violent thriller - no corrupt officials or rural poverty... yet. 

 

Books I have, or are on the way and I theoretically plan to read at some point...

 

我叫刘跃进, by 刘震云 - migrant worker find bag, corrupt officials really really want bag back.

解密, 麦家。 Review of the translation.

余华作品:活着 - I read this back in the day and had seen it mentioned when I was trying to reach a 100Y spend on JD.com to get a discount.

异兽志颜歌 - I was actually looking for 我们家, but that was out of stock. Interview here has some info.

东野圭吾:解忧杂货店 - this guy seems hugely popular. Translated from the Japanese. I thought I was getting a mystery / detective novel, but appears to be a 'heart-warming tale'. 

 

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Lu

I vote for 异兽志. Yan Ge is someone I hear about and want to check out, and I already have this book (for that reason).

If we go with 我叫刘跃进 I'll also join. I read the first chapter or so of the English translation once, it promises to be classic Liu Zhenyun, with relatable characters and outlandish yet realistic incidents adding up to a tale that is both absurd and real.

 

I'll also re-nominate 景恒街 by 笛安. Short interview with Di An about this book here. Don't be prejudiced by the pretty portrait and the love story: Di An is a good writer. According to her agent, 景恒街 is her best book so far.

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roddy

异兽志 looks to be available online, although I can't promise it's complete and not riddled with OCR errors. 

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roddy

I've put 景恒街 in my JD.com basket - not promising I'll buy it, I've only just put an order through and wouldn't imagine I'll do another one for a while. 

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somethingfunny

我叫刘跃进 looks like an interesting read.

 

I just picked up my copy of 活着 for a quick look as it was the first book I read.  I made a lot of vocabulary notes in it.  I'm not sure if it pleases me how much more I know now, or shocks me how good I thought my Chinese was despite not knowing all the words I had to look up.  Also, it looks like I stopped making notes about a quarter from the end and just underlined words to look up later and flashcard.

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PerpetualChange
4 hours ago, Lu said:

vote for 异兽志. Yan Ge is someone I hear about and want to check out, and I already have this book (for that reason).

 

3 hours ago, roddy said:

I've put 景恒街 in my JD.com basket - not promising I'll buy it, I've only just put an order through and wouldn't imagine I'll do another one for a while. 

 

Managed to find both of these on amazon, in stock, with the first one shipping pretty quickly. 

I went ahead and bought both, looking forward to it if we read one of them! 

 

I've already read 活着 recently so I wouldn't mind taking a look at that one too. 

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somethingfunny

I see 异兽志 on Amazon, but its £23 and ships from China anyway.  What are you seeing?

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Lu
1 hour ago, somethingfunny said:

Also, it looks like I stopped making notes about a quarter from the end and just underlined words to look up later and flashcard.

I think it was Roddy who once said something like 'Oh, the optimism of the first ten pages' :-) But really your approach makes sense, whether you did this on purpose or not. When you start on a book, it takes some extra effort to understand everything and get into it. After a few dozen pages, things usually get easier, the story starts to grip you and you only reluctantly pause to look up the words you really can't do without.

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murrayjames

Roddy, thanks for re-upping this post. I am down for a June-July reading party. Of the several works mentioned, these three get my vote:

  • 颜歌《异兽志》
  • 笛安《景恒街》
  • 刘震云《我叫刘跃进》

I probably won’t participate if the book is 《活着》 or a translated work.

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PerpetualChange
1 hour ago, somethingfunny said:

I see 异兽志 on Amazon, but its £23 and ships from China anyway.  What are you seeing?

 

On the US amazon store it was somewhere between $15-20 with $4.99 shipping. Probably much cheaper if you're in China, but for buying Chinese books in the US I'll happily pay for anything close to the going rate of a new paperback, which is around $15.  

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Geiko

My twelve points go to 异兽志 😁 I analised it with CTA and I'm at a 95% of known words, so I want to read it. Besides, it seems the English translation will be published later this year, and I love that feeling of reading something in advance.

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somethingfunny

Maybe I'll just get all three, and we can start with 异兽志.

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roddy

I'm up for reading 异兽志, but wouldn't be until I finish 去洞庭. Sounds like there's enough of you already though, and if that copy online is good, there's no reason to wait. Except perhaps for people to finish 草鞋湾.

 

Read the third chapter of 去洞庭 this evening and really enjoyed it. If anyone else fancies tackling the extract I'd love to know what people think. There's a chapter break missing in the extract between 一切都跟着倒塌了。 and 他们本来是想去洞庭看一场日出, which is handy to know about otherwise there's a VERY disconcerting scene jump, but if you navigate that ok and read up to the start of the chapter titled 北京 you should be where I am.

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imron
2 hours ago, Geiko said:

I analised it with CTA and I'm at a 95% of known words,

Nice!

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somethingfunny
12 hours ago, Geiko said:

I analised it with CTA and I'm at a 95% of known words, so I want to read it.

How did you get the whole lot into CTA?

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Geiko

I searched for the whole book in .txt, I think It was from this site.

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feihong

Would there be any interest in reading a webcomic? The advantage is that everyone can join in without ordering anything. The disadvantage is that in most cases you can’t order a physical copy (although there are exceptions), and you can’t analyze the text to generate wordlists.

 

Anyway, I can recommend 天下第几: https://m.kuaikanmanhua.com/mobile/472/list/

 

It’s an urban wuxia romantic comedy that finished up some time ago. It was popular enough to justify a print edition. Amazingly, there is even a “visual audiobook” for it: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkkEZUk0gibdgEdypR-7rk6lVtXvy6gP9

 

It’s not clear if the audiobook gets through the entire story, but it does at least cover a decent chunk of it. Apparently there’s also an official English translation somewhere.

 

In terms of difficulty, I find it easier than, say, 古龙, but it’s still wuxia so there are bits of Classical Chinese in there. Most of the dialogue is in pretty straightforward modern Chinese. Having pictures makes the context pretty clear in most cases.

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roddy

I'd love to see a webcomic thing run in parallel - I think it's a different audience, more likely reading dozens / hundreds of characters a day, vs thousands. But that one you linked to looks fun (got a laugh out of the last scene in episode 1)

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