Notes from “The Guns of August”

Here’s my first book for this year’s Read Harder Challenge! I first started reading The Guns of August two years ago. “Started,” because work quickly caught up with me, leading to a slow abandonment of the book around the halfway point. That was a shame, since this is–despite the heft and subject Read more…

2017 Read Harder Challenge

I read around 30 books last year, many of them during the later months when work became less hectic. The final 2016 list is front-loaded with a lot of science fiction before turning into a pretty scattershot collection of titles. Since I am one of those corny cheeseballs who theme Read more…

What’s the word?

From Peter Hessler’s Oracle Bones, which I also mentioned over here and which I’m still reading: “Peoples of color” sounded awkward if translated literally, so I used the standard Chinese term for minorities: shaoshu minzu. Of course, that was just as odd in English: “small-number ethnic groups.” Perhaps somewhere in the world there was a Read more…

On law, or how we view it

I’ve been reading Peter Hessler’s Oracle Bones, a nonfiction work that’s part-memoir, part-journalism, part-travel writing about Hessler’s years in China. One of the more intriguing sections I’ve recently finished dealt with the government’s crackdown on Falun Gong, a health system-cum-religion that gained millions of believers in the 1990s. Many of these adherents had Read more…