Monday, July 25, 2011

Invisible China: A Journey Through Ethnic Borderlands

Colin Legerton and Jacob Rawson
online access from ProQuest Ebook Central
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In this eloquent and eye-opening adventure narrative, Colin Legerton and Jacob Rawson, two Americans fluent in Mandarin Chinese, Korean, and Uyghur, throw away the guidebook and bring a hitherto unexplored side of China to light. They journey over 14,000 miles by bus and train to the farthest reaches of the country to meet the minority peoples who dwell there, talking to farmers in their fields, monks in their monasteries, fishermen on their skiffs, and herders on the steppe.

In Invisible China, they engage in a heated discussion of human rights with Daur and Ewenki village cadres; celebrate Muhammad’s birthday with aging Dongxiang hajjis who recount the government’s razing of their mosque; attend mass with old Catholic Kinh fishermen at a church that has been forty years without a priest; hike around high-altitude Lugu Lake to farm with the matrilineal Mosuo women; and descend into a dry riverbed to hunt for jade with Muslim Uyghur merchants. As they uncover surprising facts about China’s hidden minorities and their complex position in Chinese society, they discover the social ramifications of inconsistent government policies--and some deep human truths as well.

(Excerpt from


季羨林 著
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Monday, July 18, 2011

The Ice Cave: A Woman's Adventures from the Mojave to the Antarctic

Lucy Jane Bledsoe
online access from ProQuest Ebook Central
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For Lucy Jane Bledsoe, wilderness had always been a source of peace. But during one disastrous solo trip in the wintry High Sierra she came face to face with a crisis: the wilderness no longer felt like home. The Ice Cave recounts Bledsoe’s wilderness journeys as she recovers her connection with the wild and discovers the meanings of fear and grace.

These are Bledsoe’s gripping tales of fending off wolves in Alaska, encountering UFOs in the Colorado Desert, and searching for mountain lions in Berkeley. Her memorable story “The Breath of Seals” takes readers to Antarctica, the wildest continent on earth, where she camped out with geologists, biologists, and astrophysicists. These fresh and deeply personal narratives remind us what it means to be simply one member of one species, trying to find food and shelter—and moments of grace—on our planet.

(Excerpt from


online access from SuperStar Digital Library
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Monday, July 11, 2011

The Moon, Come to Earth: Dispatches from Lisbon

Philip Graham
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A dispatch from a foreign land, when crafted by an attentive and skilled writer, can be magical, transmitting pleasure, drama, and seductive strangeness.

In The Moon, Come to Earth, Philip Graham offers an expanded edition of a popular series of dispatches originally published on McSweeney’s, an exuberant yet introspective account of a year’s sojourn in Lisbon with his wife and daughter. Casting his attentive gaze on scenes as broad as a citywide arts festival and as small as a single paving stone in a cobbled walk, Graham renders Lisbon from a perspective that varies between wide-eyed and knowing; though he’s unquestionably not a tourist, at the same time he knows he will never be a local. So his lyrical accounts reveal his struggles with (and love of) the Portuguese language, an awkward meeting with Nobel laureate José Saramago, being trapped in a budding soccer riot, and his daughter’s challenging transition to adolescence while attending a Portuguese school—but he also waxes loving about Portugal’s saudade-drenched music, its inventive cuisine, and its vibrant literary culture. And through his humorous, self-deprecating, and wistful explorations, we come to know Graham himself, and his wife and daughter, so that when an unexpected crisis hits his family, we can’t help but ache alongside them.

A thoughtful, finely wrought celebration of the moment-to-moment excitement of diving deep into another culture and confronting one’s secret selves, The Moon, Come to Earth is literary travel writing of a rare intimacy and immediacy.

(Excerpt from

山居歲月: 普羅旺斯的一年 (A Year in Provence)

彼德.梅爾(Peter Mayle)
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法國南部的普羅旺斯地區,自古以來是歐美人心目中的福地仙鄉。那兒盛產美酒美食,人民熱情樸實,生活舒緩愜意。作者,一位曾任國際大廣告公司主管的名作家,在他生命與事業的巔峰時刻,自紐約與倫敦的絢爛都會光圈中淡出,,偕愛妻與愛犬,豹隱普羅旺斯山區,追求恬淡閒適的生活原味。洞燭世情的他,以機智風趣的筆觸,精確刻畫山鄉居民的生活面貌,描繪山村時序的推移、景物的變換,甫出版即獲英國書卷獎(English Book Awards)選為「年度最佳旅遊書」。泰晤士報形容它「是一齣高級喜劇」,讚許它「機鋒百出」、「讓人愛不釋手」。


Monday, July 4, 2011

Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found

Suketu Mehta
online access from ebrary
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A brilliantly illuminating portrait of Bombay and its people–a book as vast, diverse, and rich in experience, incident, and sensation as the city itself–from an award-winning Indian-American fiction writer and journalist.

A native of Bombay, Suketu Mehta gives us a true insider’s view of this stunning city, bringing to his account a rare level of insight, detail, and intimacy. He approaches the city from unexpected angles–taking us into the criminal underworld of rival Muslim and Hindu gangs who wrest control of the city’s byzantine political and commercial systems ... following the life of a bar dancer who chose the only life available to her after a childhood of poverty and abuse ... opening the doors onto the fantastic, hierarchical inner sanctums of Bollywood ... delving into the stories of the countless people who come from the villages in search of a better life and end up living on the sidewalks–the essential saga of a great city endlessly played out.

Through it all–as each individual story unfolds–we hear Mehta’s own story: of the mixture of love, frustration, fascination, and intense identification he feels for and with Bombay, as he tries to find home again after twenty-one years abroad. And he makes clear that Bombay–the world’s largest city–is a harbinger of the vast megalopolises that will redefine the very idea of “the city” in the near future.

Candid, impassioned, funny, and heartrending, Maximum City is a revelation of an ancient and ever-changing world.

(Excerpt from


林達 著
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林達的《帶一本書去巴黎》不僅讓讀者深刻“閱讀”巴黎的歷史,更使得雨果的《九三年》一書再現風潮。同樣延續從旅行中重新審視旅行地的歷史、文化、風土民情的創作風格 ……《一路走來一路讀》,走遍美國幾十個城市與鄉鎮,以歷史為主軸,將相關人物與事件串連起來;每走過一個城市或鄉鎮,便如同走過一段歷史、一則感人的陳年故事。