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20 Fragments of a Ravenous Youth – Xiaolu Guo

Reading this while sheltering from a storm in our Barcelona Airbnb is one of my fondest memories…

In the Miso Soup – Ryu Murakami

I read this book before spending three months in Tokyo, wanting to know more about any and all aspects of the city and its people…

Volcano – Shūsaku Endō

An elegant novel from the most famous of Japan’s “Third Generation”.

The Good Earth – Pearl S Buck

Both a study of life in early 20th century China, and a study of human nature as it interacts with its environment and fortunes…

Wild Swans – Jung Chang

I had always wanted to learn about the vast history of China, and reading Wild Swans is the perfect way to do this without feeling like you’re reading a textbook…

Buying a Fishing Rod for My Grandfather – Gao Xingjian

A beautiful and compelling portrait of alienation in contemporary China…

Shogun – James Clavell

As a gaijin (foreigner) preparing for my own adventure in Japan, Shogun was the perfect book for me last summer…

1Q84 – Haruki Murakami

If you loved Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliette, you will fall for this love story…

Love in a Fallen City – Eileen Chang

I read this book back in 2008 in Hong Kong – it was recommended by my Chinese teacher in secondary school…

The Vegetarian – Han Kang

I wanted Yeong-hye to live as peacefully as a tree, but I also wanted her to simply live…