China Blog 2011

What I'll be reading in China

Article text
Athens Gingko
Pearl of China: A Novel, by Anchee Min
I have loved her other novels (Red Azalea, The Last Empress, Becoming Madame Mao) so I’m excited to read this one about Pearl Buck in China. Min was born in 1957 in Shanghai, worked as a movie actress with Madame Mao, and then came to the US in 1984.)

The Sense of an Ending, Julian Barnes
I often seek out Man Booker Prize winners, and this is the 2011 winner. About aging, memory, friends, all subjects of my current thinking.

Me Talk Pretty One Day, David Sedaris.
He’s speaking in Athens this week so I’ve been reading about him. A little humor sounds like a good tonic for rainy days and trains. Plus at least two of my Goodreads friends gave the book 5 stars!

Dreamers of the Day: A Novel, Mary Doria Russell.
I’m not one who loved (or even really liked) The Sparrow, but I’ve already started this one and love it. Narrator is a teacher from Ohio (could have been me?) in early 1900s who ends up in the middle of the creation of the modern Middle East at the 1921 Cairo Peace Conference, where Winston Churchill, T. E. Lawrence, and Lady Gertrude Bell met to decide the fate of the Arab world. Charming voice so far.

Cries in the Drizzle, Yu Hua.
I have been reading my own journal from China, 1987, and came across the title of a film I loved there: Hibiscus Town, from a novel by Gu Hua. Not the same person, I don’t think, but descriptions of this book and the author (“one of China’s most distinguished contemporary writers”, says Goodreads) intrigued me.

Importantly, all were available for Kindle downloads. Would love to have my fans FRIEND me (Sally Ross) at to share favorite reading!