Now on my ‘to read’ pile

I have been looking forward to reading both of these for a long time, anthology ‘How Does One Dress To Buy a Dragonfruit’ since Jocelyn Eikenburg of Speaking of China announced she’d be featured, and memoir ‘The Good Chinese Wife’ ever since some of my favourite bloggers interviewed Susan Blumberg-Kason for her online book tour this summer.

During the three years between my longer Chinese adventures, time I spent back in the UK missing China and surrounding myself with as many things Chinese as could be, I read a LOT of fantastic books relating to Chinese culture, modern history, memoirs of expats and others, among my favourites being Xinran’s ‘The Good Women of China’ and Fuchsia Dunlop’s memoir ‘Shark’s Fin and Sichuan Pepper’. I can’t remember all that I’ve read over these past few years (maybe I should put together a list) but I certainly did a lot of reading, something that I’ve missed a lot in the 6 months I’ve been here so far – I guess when packing up your life into two 25kg suitcases, books aren’t the most practical choice.

Anyway, thanks to Jocelyn’s recent post that Susan Blumberg-Kason would be taking her book tour to Hong Kong, I was thrilled that it coincided with my week in HK to apply for a visa. So I went along to one of the events and really enjoyed listening to some of the writers read from their essays, and a little bit starstruck to see them in the flesh after reading about their lives online. It was great to say hello to Susan, although I was nervous of what to say (!), but she was really approachable and even offered me a little marriage advice!

I look forward to reading both of these books over the coming weeks and may come back with my own thoughts. Any other book recommendations would be very welcome – I shall be putting a list together for my upcoming maternity leave!

8 thoughts on “Now on my ‘to read’ pile

  1. Sarah, I am so thrilled you had a chance to attend one of the events I posted about! Susan is the nicest person ever! She actually mentioned to me that you attended this event and thought you were very nice as well.

    If you’re looking for other good books to read, the list on my website (books I love) is loaded with titles featuring Western women/Chinese men and also AMWF relationships too. I’ll admit it’s tilted more towards nonfiction (I am quite a nonfiction buff) but there are some good fiction titles in there too.


    • Hi Jocelyn,
      Thanks for the suggestion, I’ve had a look at your ‘Books I Like’ list and have added some to my own wishlist. I agree on the nonfiction, I’m also a big documentary fan!
      Can’t wait for your own memoir by the way 😉


  2. Thank you for such a wonderful post! Jocelyn directed me here and I was thrilled to read it. It was just lovely meeting you Thursday night. I’m so glad you could make it and that you introduced yourself. All the best with your pregnancy. Please keep in touch!


    • Hi Susan,
      The reading is underway already! Thank you for sharing your story, I think it’s going to be a very enjoyable read.


  3. I really enjoyed Susan’s book and The Good Women of China was a heartbreaking read.How was “Sharks Fin Soup”? I don’t think I’ve heard of that one.


    • It’s more of a food memoir, I don’t know if that’s your thing? The writer was enrolled on a course at a Chinese university is the 90s, then ended up dropping out and enrolling on a professional Sichuan cooking course, so it’s food, travel and how someone’s life becomes so intertwined with Chinese culture. Her Chinese recipe books have been a Godsend too!


  4. Thanks for the reading suggestions! I’ve read a lot of the ones you mention in your bibliography, but I haven’t had a chance to read the two mentioned above yet. Lovely blog, I’m looking forward to your next post! 🙂


    • Yes, I think my book list has a lot of popular ones on there. I’m hoping to branch out a bit to books not set in China or about China, perhaps other countries and other intercultural relationships, but China just draws me in (especially if they write about food!)


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