China Challenge 2009-2010

Jennie at Biblio File is hosting this amazing challenge about China and I am all excited to make my list of books and things - yes, things! more on that later.
The challenge runs from September 1st 2009 to September 1st 2010, which is even better as I am therefore having a "Chinese" year exactly between my 21st and my 22nd birthday!
There are three levels, the Armchair Traveler, the Fast Train to Shanghai, Hiking the Great Wall and the Silk Road Trek. I know that I am slightly behind in my challenges at the moment as I am working quite a lot and being very slow with Anna Karenina at the moment, but this will change after I am done with Tolstoi, so I participate in the Silk Road Trek!

Mostly because the guidelines are so eclectic...
1. Read 10 books about China of which 1 nonfiction and 1 translated fiction (1 book can deal with Chinese immigration, thus not entirely taking place in China)

My list is not definitive, but as a start I will consider these works:
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
The Kitchen God's Wife by Amy Tan (the one novel including immigration)
Waiting by Ha Jin
Women of the Silk by Gail Tsukiyama
A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers by Xiaolu Guo
Red Azalea by Anchee Min (the nonfiction one)
Wild Ginger by Anchee Min
Pavilion of Women by Pearl S. Buck
The Girl who played Go by Shan Sa

2. Do three or more of the activities listed in Jennie's post.
I will..
- (1) Listen to Chinese Pod and learn some Mandarin
- (3) Go out for Chinese food. (really, this will happen more than once, I crave for Asian food in general)
- (4) Read a blog about China. Don't know which one yet, but the suggestions are great.
- (6) Watch a Chinese film. Think about watching 2046 by Kar Wai Wong
... and maybe I'll find myself doing even more. Unfortunately, I won't be going to China anytime soon, I have too many other projects and not enough money to do everything. But it is definitely on my mind.

I think the most difficult and therefore challenging for me will be to blog about all this, as I am a very "moody" blogger. I do not write reviews about all the books I read like so many other bloggers and sometimes even these few reviews come up weeks after I finished a book. So this time, I will do my best, as it is part of completing the challenge.


mee August 22, 2009 at 5:46 AM  

The Kitchen God's Wife is one of my favorite books ever. Hope you'd enjoy it! I've read A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers but wasn't too fond of it. I have Snow Flower and the Secret Fan and Waiting on my tbr pile. Great list! (But isn't Tsukiyama a Japanese-American?)

Sarah August 28, 2009 at 11:58 PM  

Thanks for your opinion, I am indeed really looking forward especially to read The Kitchen God's Wife because of the positive reviews out there. Tsukiyama has one Japanese and one Chinese parent actually, and the host of the challenge actually authorized novels by non-Chinese authors.

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Constantly changing places is inherent to my life. Books have always been steady friends which I could bump into wherever I was all over the world.
Stumbling upon Kaminer's German stories of "Die Reise nach Trulala" in Reykjavík's city library is as moving as meeting the Icelandic sagas in Boston's Borders.
To see a book again, that I've read thousands of kilometers away makes me smile "Hey I know you.." and shake hands by thumbing through it for a while.