Books, books, books
The book I'm now reading is The Chinese Experience by Raymond Dawson. This is a really interesting book on Chinese culture. What drives the Chinese? How has history influenced Chinese culture through the centuries? It contains much details on the role of the emperor; the influence of Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism; and a really fine section on family life. It's well-written and thoroughly enjoyable.
The Chinese Experience
A book that I just finished and enjoyed very much is the controversial The city of light by Jacob d'Ancona. The supposed translator, David Selbourne, states that the story is a translation of an original 13th century manuscript. Problem is that the manuscript has never been seen by scolars or researchers. Western academics have been highly critical of the book while Eastern and Chinese scholars have had much less reservations about it, and have even gone sofar as to place it in the same category as The travels of Marco Poloby Marco Polo.
Whatever the case may be (and Marco Polo's book is also highly contested!), I found it a fascinating read. It gives a wonderful personal and up-close view of Italy, the Middle East and the Far East in the 13th century. The philosophical debates in China are sometimes a bit long and tough but they convey very well not only the debates going on Chinese society but also the debates d'Ancona has with himself as a pious Jew. All in all, an amazing read, and an astonishing find if the manuscript is real.
The city of light
The travels of Marco Polo