As part of my preparation for China this fall, I’ve been compiling a reading list that will help me put my travels into context. So far I’ve come up with the following:

Riding the Iron Rooster by Paul Theroux (I’m probably the only travel writer who has yet to read this account)

Red China Blues by Jan Wong

A Comrade Lost and Found: A Beijing Memoir (Jan Wong’s follow-up)

Chinese Lessons: Five Classmates and the Story of the New China by John Pomfret (I’ll make an effort to also keep up with the author’s Washington Post blog, Pomfret’s China)

River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze by Peter Hessler

Oracle Bones: A Journey Through Time in China by Peter Hessler

Hong Kong by Jan Morris (I remember my parents reading this years ago, but didn’t get around to it myself before it got packed away when the house was remodeled)

Life and Death in Shanghai by Nien Cheng

Out of Mao’s Shadow by Philip Pan

Taiwan: A New History by Murray Rubinstein (this is more academic but should give me a good background on Taiwan)

Lucky Girl by Mei-Ling Hopgood

Turning Japanese: Memoirs of a Sansei by David Mura (Even though this is by a Japanese-American, I’m sure that his story about spending a year in his ancestral homeland will resonate as I prepare to make a similar journey)

And if I can manage to dig out some of my books from my Chinese history class in college, I’ll look over them again. It looks like my reading future is going to be pretty China/Hong Kong/Taiwan-centric for the next several months.

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