Some of my most recent reads:
The Street of Everlasting Happiness: a journalistic account of the lives of people living along a 2km stretch of Changde Road, “Ever Happy” street, in Shanghai’s French Concession. From a wenqing (Chinese hipster) to survivors of the Cultural Revolution, immigrants and pyramid scheme sales people, businesswomen and families illegally evicted to make way for construction, the book provides a survey of the sweep of recent Chinese history and how it has echoed through the lives of those making up China’s biggest and brightest city.
Swing Time: Halfway through Zadie Smith’s latest so too early to make a judgement.
Parade: After the recent, excellent movie “Rage” I decided to check out a book by the author of the original story, Shuichi Yoshida. In this one, the seedy side of life is revealed in a shared flat of Japanese university students.
The Thai Occult: Finally, this excellent hardcover book recently arrived for me in the post – a present from some faraway friends who know me way too well. By a mysterious author called Jenx, the book lays out fascinating background information on the practising of the Thai paranormal, for example the powers of a woven-skull-fragment ceremonial belt known as a panneng, and the various different kinds of lersi ( magical hermits) or amulets. Armed with this knowledge, I can feel a return trip to the Thai amulet mall in Mongkok coming on…