Book 577: Crazy Rich Asians (Crazy Rich Asians #1) – Kevin Kwan

After really enjoying the film adaptation of this, I knew I was going to have to read this trilogy! I picked up a copy of this first book pretty quick from the library, but I’ll be on hold for the next two until mid-2019 at the rate it’s going. That’s okay though I have so many other books to read.

If anything the book and the movie made me want to visit Singapore. One of the previous college’s I worked for had a satellite campus in Singapore, so I was vaguely aware of the culture and the people going in, but after reading about the food and seeing some of the awesome architecture in the movie and just from image searching, it’s definitely moved up my list of places to visit.

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Book 462: The Courtesan – Alexandra Curry

curry-alexandra-the-courtesanWhen Dutton reached out to me about a copy* of this book for its new paperback release I jumped at it because of my trip to China this summer! What I didn’t realize was that it was predominantly set in two of the cities I visited: Suzhou and Beijing! It was really neat to read through the fictionalized life of Sai Jinhua and actually feel like I know what and where she was talking about for the post part!

This is a debut novel that I probably would not have read just because I don’t read too many, but with my trip to China, the cover and having someone reach out to me about it, I figured I would give it a chance and I’m glad I did. Add in that the book also featured a subplot line about the one non-English classic from Asia I chose for my Classics Club list: Dream of the Red Chamber and it was well worth the read.

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你好蘇州和上海 | Nǐ hǎo sūzhōu hé shànghǎi | Hello Suzhou and Shanghai!

2016 06-03 Chinese YuanWhen this goes live, we will be in the Chinese city of Suzhou, but we’ll be leaving for Shanghai, by way of Wuzhen, a historical scenic town on the Yangtze River tomorrow!

I’m really looking forward to the Shanghai Museum tour and the free time we’ll have to shop on Nanjing Road! You know I already have bookstores in mind to visit! There’s at least one foreign language bookstore I’m aware of, but I’m also looking for copies of  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (哈利·波特与魔法石) and Wuthering Heights (呼啸山庄) in Mandarin/Cantonese (I’ll take either). Either way, I can’t wait to get back and share the amazing photos I’m sure I’ve already taken!


北京歡迎你 | Běijīng huānyíng nǐ | Welcome to Beijing

2016 03-24 Freaking Out About ChinaI have no idea if the characters in the title will post or not, but I wanted to do a similar post to last year, Bienvenidos a Madrid! I failed miserably at learning any Mandarin, but what I did find out is that even if people speak different dialects they can still read the formal written characters. How interesting? I guess it shouldn’t be that weird, but that’s about as far as I got in the book.

By the time this posts, we will have been in Beijing for a few days after flying from Boston! I hope the 15 hour total flying time (with a short layover in Chicago) wasn’t as long as I thought! And I also hope we’ve adjusted to the 12 hour time difference by now!

I think I’m most looking forward to the three-day river cruise down the Yangtze later this week where we’ll get to relax a bit on the boat. There are some excursions planned where we’ll go ashore to see a few villages and get an up-close view of the Three Gorges (Wikipedia link). After that we’re off on the high-speed train (SAY WHAT!?) to Suzhou where we’ll spend a few days. I’ll have another post next week that tells you about Week two!