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China Challenge

China Challenge
(September 2009-September 2010)
The Rules:

The challenge will last a year and a day, from September 1, 2009-September 1, 2010. There are multiple buttons to choose from. Audio books are fine, as are books for all age levels. See here for the challenger's (Jennie) list of reviewed books.

Choose a Level:

1. Armchair Traveler: Read 1 book about China. The majority of the action should take place in China; places such as Hong Kong, Macau, Tibet, and Taiwan count.

2. Fast Train to Shanghai: Read 5 books about China - 1 should be a translated work of fiction by a Chinese author (or not translated if you have the language skills); 1 should be non-fiction. For Chinese authors that also write in English - their English works are also fine

3. Hiking the Great Wall: Read 10 books about China - 1 should be a work of translated fiction, 1 should be nonfiction. Here you can read 1 book (but only 1) about Chinese immigration (i.e. stories of Chinese people abroad, or nonfiction about overseas Chinese communities).

4. Silk Road Trek: Same as "Hiking the Great Wall," but you also have to do (and blog about!) at least 3 of these other China-Related activities, listed below:

a. Listen to a lesson or two on Chinese Pod (the Newbie lessons are free for all) and learn some Mandarin
b. Check out a Chinese cookbook and make a dish that's new to you
c. Go out for Chinese food. If you can, dim sum brunch!
e. Read a blog about China (such as: Shanghaiist, Danwei, China Beat, and Laura & Tony. Don't worry, they're all in English!)
f. Listen to some Chinese music! Peking Opera might not be your cup of tea, but try Shanghai Lounge Divas or listen to some current Indie music from China here or the phenomenal Afterquake.
g. Watch a Chinese film
h. Check out a travel guide and plan a vacation to China-- it's a huge country--what cities do you want to go to and what do you want to see while there?
i. Actually take that vacation! Or a different trip to China.
j. Attend a Chinese cultural event or art exhibit in your area.
My Challenge Choice(s):

Having listed the rules, etc. above, I've decided to plop myself squarely in the second level: the "Fast Train to Shanghai." However, I am leaving the option open (hey, you never know - [rotflol]) to bump myself up to the third level of "Hiking the Great Wall."

My list of possibilities include (but are certainly not limited to - a year is a long time) ...

"Dragon lady: the life and legend of the last empress of China" by Sterling Seagrave
"The last empress : Madame Chiang Kai-Shek and the birth of modern China" by Hannah Pakula (to be released in November)
"Wild orchid" by Cameron Dokey
"The corpse walker: real-life stories, China from the bottom up" by Liao Yiwu

"The man who loved China: the fantastic story of the eccentric scientist who unlocked the mysteries of the Middle Kingdom" by Simon Winchester

[Though I'm not quite sure if this should count, since it's technically about a European in China...]

"The woman who discovered printing" by T. H. Barrett
"Cinderella's sisters: a revisionist history of footbinding" by Dorothy Ko
"Chinese dress: from the Qing Dynasty to the present" by Valery Garrett
Hmmm... extremely heavy on the non-fiction. I think my problem is that I'm comfortable with non-fic (and I'm fairly certain of topics that will engage me), but Chinese fiction is (and excuse the pun) a foreign country. However, I'll be definitely including some J fiction...

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