Readers' Advisory Guide

Books for Christmas

Are you still looking for the perfect Christmas gift for your loved ones? Books are always a good choice because there is a suitable book for everyone. We have compiled a list of books from and about China – all from different areas. There is certainly something for everyone interested in China.

Once Upon a Time in the East | Xiaolu Guo

It was our favourite book this year. In «Once upon a time in the East», Xiaolu Guo tells her story from growing up in the remote Chinese village to becoming a successful writer and filmmaker. She remembers the hunger experienced as a child, the empowerment felt when she entered the film school in Beijing and how it feels to leave your native country for a new home. The book is available in English and in German.
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Die Reise in den Westen | Eva Lüdi Kong

China’s most popular novel is finally available in German. Everybody in China and even in the surrounding countries knows the story of «The Journey to the West (Xiyouji)». It tells the tale of four pilgrims, who make their way to the west in order to pay their respect to Buddha and to fetch the sacred writings. The party consists of the devotional priest Tripitaka and his companion, the Monkey King Sun Wukong, Boar Bajie and the horrible looking Sand Monk.
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Lust, Caution | Chang Eileen

The romantic novels by Chang Eileen are modern classics of Chinese literature and are still today popular among China’s older and younger generations. The short story «Lust, Caution» is an intensely passionate story of love and espionage, set in Shanghai during World War II. In the western hemisphere, the story became famous through the motion picture with the same name from Oscar-winning director Ang Lee.
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Factory Girls | Leslie T. Chang

Through the lives of two young women, Chang vividly portrays the world of the million migrant workers in China who leave their rural hometowns to find jobs in the cities. As one tool in trying to understand today’s China, this exceptionally vivid and compassionate portrait of the lives and loves of ordinary Chinese workers is quite unforgettable.
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Crazy Rich Asians | Kevin Kwan

«Crazy Rich Asians» is the outrageously funny debut novel of the Singaporean writer Kevin Kwan. It is an insider’s look at the Asian jet set; a perfect depiction of the clash between old money and new money; between Overseas Chinese and Mainland Chinese; and a fabulous novel about what it means to be young, in love, and gloriously, crazily rich.
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China in zehn Wörtern | Yu Hua

Yu Hua is one of China’s most acclaimed writers. The ten personal essays that are compiled in this book give the reader a unique, intimate look at the Chinese experience over the last several decades. Characterized by Yu Hua’s trademark wit, insight, and courage, «China in zehn Wörtern» is a refreshingly candid vision of the “Chinese miracle” and all its consequences, from the singularly invaluable perspective of a writer living in China today.
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I Am Jackie Chan – My Life in Action | Jackie Chan

If you’re a fan of action movies you will undoubtedly love reading the fascinating, harrowing and ultimately triumphant story of Jackie Chan’s life: How the rebellious son of refugees in tumultuous 1950s Hong Kong became the disciple of a Chinese opera master. How the dying art of Chinese opera led Jackie to the movie business – and how he made the leap from stuntman to superstar by breaking almost every bone in his body. This witty and poignant memoir is available in English and German.
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Shanghai Tango | Jin Xing

This breathtaking memoir describes how China’s foremost male ballet dancer (and colonel in the People’s Liberation Army) underwent one of China’s first sex-change operations and became the Shanghai Ballet’s prima ballerina. At present Jin Xing is the owner of the contemporary dance company «Shanghai Jin Xing Dance Theatre» and after she was extremely popular as a judge on the first season of China’s edition of «So You Think You Can Dance» she very soon became the host of her own television show «The Jin Xing Show». This book is available in English and German.
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Chinabox. Neue Lyrik aus der Volksrepublik | Lea Schneider

For more than twenty years no representative collection of contemporary Chinese poetry has been published in German. «Chinabox» sheds light on the manifold and lively contemporary poetry scene in China. The bilingual anthology contains poems by twelve poets who have a considerate impact on the scene. With about one hundred German translations by Lea Schneider, the diversity and complexity of China are compiled in one book.
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China – Das Kochbuch | Kei Lum Chan/Diora Fong Chan

The book is a 720-page dream for every foodie. With over 650 authentic recipes and accompanying texts, the cookbook presents a unique insight into the culinary culture of China. The Chinese authors travelled all over China, researching, collecting and checking recipes. The result is an unprecedented recipe collection, divided into eight major regions and 12 subregions.
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