I forgot to include The Soong Dynasty by Sterling Seagrave to my list of memorable books about China. While the prose is a tad too purple in places for my taste, the book provides a riveting account of the extraordinary lives of the three Soong sisters, Soong Ai-ling, Soong Ching-ling, and Soong Mei-ling, who had such an enormous impact on the history of China during the first half of the Twentieth Century.
City of Devils set me off thinking about the most memorable books that I have read about China.
Time to tie up a couple of loose ends from the past week, starting with a mini-review of The Badlands: more stories from Midnight in Peking by Paul French.
The Emperor’s New Clothes or The Road to Nowhere? I can’t quite figure out which of these two phrases best sums up Thomas Pynchon’s Bleeding Edge. Continue reading Bleeding Edge
Pitching for new business is a complex process that can involve hundreds of working hours and stretch the resources of even the largest advertising agencies – all without the guarantee of winning the account in the end. Continue reading The Levitan Pitch. Buy This Book. Win More Pitches.
How do you compete in a world that is being transformed by Asia, Automation, and Abundance, in which “we are moving from an economy and society built on the logical, linear, computerlike capabilities of the Information Age to an economy and a society built on the inventive, empathetic, big-picture capabilities of what’s rising in its place, the Conceptual Age”? Continue reading A Whole New Mind
Perhaps the biggest challenge of writing a great first novel is leaving enough gas in your tank to produce an even better one the second time around if only to meet the increased hype and expectations that inevitably surround it. Continue reading Between the Assassinations
Like Britain during the 19th century Industrial Revolution, Indian society is going through wrenching changes as the country rapidly industrializes and people migrate from the rural areas to the cities in search of new employment opportunities. The only real difference is that the transformation taking place in India is happening on a much more massive scale involving tens, if not hundreds of millions of people, and at a much faster rate. Continue reading The White Tiger
Sharp blades thrusting, spear blades killing
As Aethelred Lord of Slaughter slaughtered thousands
Swelling the river with blood, sword-fed river
The Burning Land, the fifth in Bernard Cornwell’s series of novels about Alfred the Great’s struggle to defend the kingdom of Wessex against the marauding Danish armies, may not have the poetic cadences of an early English epic except for a few lines like these quoted above. But it does feature a gripping and gritty story as the book’s fictional hero the pagan Uhtred of Bebbanburg reluctantly finds himself thrown into war once again on behalf of his devout but manipulative king. Continue reading The Burning Land
I have to say I was more than a little skeptical when I saw critics hailing Paolo Bacigalupi as a worthy successor to William Gibson. But it only took a few pages of The Windup Girl for me to realize that my doubts were unfounded as I was hurled into a chillingly realistic new world of chronic food and energy shortages, rampant plagues and environmental disasters, and an evil cartel of Midwestern seed companies brutally imposing their biotech IP monopoly throughout the globe. Continue reading The Windup Girl