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Hunter School • Sakinu Ahronglong (tr. Darryl Sterk)

The plainspeople from China brought the legal notion of land title. Well, my father often jokes, “It used to be that if a Paiwan person had walked through a place leaving footprints with his own two feet enough times, that place belonged to him.” Precious little literature from Taiwan’s Indigenous [...]

Rumors From Shanghai • Amy Sommers

Is the English-language bookshelf already too full of novels set in pre-WW2 China? Has that rich seam of Shanghai ore not been thoroughly exhausted? And on a broader note, is it time to move on from the Second World War? No, no, and thrice no. Shanghai was by population count [...]

Wreckwatch Magazine, a quarterly e-magazine

American schoolchildren are taught that the night in 1775 when the famous patriot Paul Revere waited for the signal to inform him whether the invading British were coming by land or by sea, he was told to watch for a lantern that would be hung in the steeple of Boston’s [...]

The World According to China • Elizabeth C. Economy

Elizabeth Economy’s The World According to China joins an overcrowded bookshelf. But it’s a welcome addition, its breadth of coverage and insights into China’s push to attain global dominance making the book a must-read for journalists, business leaders, policymakers, and the interested general reader. The title is a little misleading – [...]

The Shikoku Pilgrimage: Japan’s Sacred Trail • John Lander

This illustrated book of Japan’s most famous pilgrimage, which connects 88 temples associated with the Buddhist monk Kobo Daishi (774–835), is like a serene stroll around a beautiful Japanese garden, and one in the company of a genial host. John Lander's images are – as befits the subject manner – [...]

China’s Leaders: From Mao to Now • David Shambaugh

“Compared to…?” It’s a useful retort, a shorthand way of asking for context. “The world today is so unstable!” “Compared to when?“ “Is your mother-in-law nice?” “Compared to what?” And when it comes to an assessment of Chinese leader Xi Jinping and his era, a comparative approach is an efficient [...]

The Eunuch • Jonathan Kos-Read 

An ambitious debut novel from a handsome actor turned aspiring novelist? I must admit I started reading The Eunuch wondering if it would prove a triumph of fan sales expectations over the quality of writing. After an initial hook of interest from the set-up, it took a little time to get [...]

Our Home in Myanmar: Four Years in Yangon • Jessica Mudditt

Our Home in Myanmar: Four Years in Yangon is a delightful read, both an accessible introduction to Myanmar and a candid behind-the-scenes look at journalism in a developing country. The “our” in the title refers to the author, Jessica Mudditt, a young Australian, and Sherpa, her Bangladeshi husband, whom she met [...]