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The Last Chinese Chef by Nicole Mones

Among our favorite books about China are the novels of Nicole Mones, who first went to China to start her own import business when she was 25. Not many business people become novelists, and not enough people write entertaining novels that help explain Chinese history, culture, and values to a broader audience. By “values,” I don’t

By |2024-03-28T08:09:16-04:00March 15th, 2024|Book reviews, China Cooks|0 Comments

Barbara Tropp and Pink Root Ends

One of my favorite cookbooks has been, for years and long before I thought of food publishing, Barbara Tropp’s 1982 The Modern Art of Chinese Cooking. It doesn’t have the glossy photographs of Fuchsia Dunlop’s books, and the recipes are long – which might suggest complexity. But what Tropp does is take the reader by the hand and, with words, helps us see and taste and feel – before we write a shopping list or pick up a knife.

By |2024-03-15T08:35:42-04:00March 15th, 2024|Book reviews, China Cooks|0 Comments

Kerry Brown reviews Parish Church Treasures: The Nation’s Greatest Art Collection by John Goodall

Churches are difficult buildings to interpret. A lot of studies I’ve read tend to treat them as unique, almost sui generis structures that can’t be judged by the aesthetic criterion used for other kinds of buildings. At the heart of this is the challenge of marrying their function and their physical layout - we know broadly

By |2017-12-13T11:38:13-05:00November 14th, 2017|Book reviews|0 Comments

Kerry Brown reviews Middle Kingdom and Empire of the Rising Sun: Sino-Japanese Relations Past and Present by June Teufel Dreyer

The late Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Kwan Yew once typified the China-Japan relationship as one where, on one side (China's) nothing is forgotten, and on the other (Japan's) nothing is remembered. This neat summary comes towards the end of June Teufel Dreyer's comprehensive overview of the relationship - Middle Kingdom and Empire of the Rising

By |2017-12-13T11:38:31-05:00November 9th, 2017|Book reviews|0 Comments

Kerry Brown, Reader and Reviewer

We have long wanted to publish book reviews, and suddenly find ourselves with a starter set of more than 20, thanks to Kerry Brown of King's College London, editor in chief of the Berkshire Dictionary of Chinese Biography. This is not because we used our detailed plan for getting review copies, soliciting reviews, and sending guidelines

By |2024-01-09T13:29:08-05:00October 27th, 2017|Book reviews|0 Comments

Kerry Brown reviews Citizen Clem by John Bew

While wandering around China in late September last year, on the interminable bus and high speed train journeys, I managed to read through my colleague at King’s College, John Bew’s new biography of Clement Attlee, Citizen Clem (Quercus 2016). This is an Amazon affiliate link for your convenience. We also encourage you to buy from

By |2023-05-31T14:08:53-04:00September 21st, 2017|Book reviews|0 Comments

Kerry Brown reviews Enough Said: What’s Gone Wrong with the Language of Politics by Mark Thompson

Enough Said: What’s Gone Wrong with the Language of Politics (Bodley Head 2016) is about a very important subject, and Mark Thompson outlines that reasonably enough. Public discourse now is degraded – or so Thompson believes. We only have to witness the linguistic carnage that occurred during the recent elections in the US. Public trust in

By |2017-10-15T19:17:57-04:00September 14th, 2017|Book reviews|0 Comments

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