My summer reading indicates something of a "man crush," but on a country. Having spent nearly a month in Harbin, Heilongjiang province in northeast China, the area that it seems is no longer referred to as Manchuria. I went to China for two reasons, maybe more. What became the first was initially the second reason, and that was to teach at the English Summer Camp at Harbin Institute of Technology. What was initially the first reason was to learn about China in order to revise a class with an international focus, thanks to a small grant from the Northwest International Education Association, part of the Association of International Educators, otherwise known as NAFSA. So, here's what I read:
Bacon, Ursula. Shanghai Diary: A Young Girls Journey from Hitler's Hate to War-Torn China. Milwaukie, Oregon: Milestone, 2004.
As the title indicates, the story of a Jewish girl and her parents escape from Nazi Germany and their life in Shanghai during World War II.
Da, Chen. Colors of the Mountains. New York: Anchor, 2001.
The story of Chen's growing up in rural China during the Cultural Revolution.
---. Sounds of the River: A Young Man's University Days in Beijing. New York: Harper Collins, 2003.
The story of Chen's life as a university student in Beijing.
Ebrey, Patricia Buckley, Anne Walthall and James Palais. Modern East Asia: From 1600. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2006.
An introductory college text that focuses on the histories of China, Japan and Korea. Editions focusing on Japan or China available.
Luo, Guanzhong. Trans. Moss Roberts. Three Kingdoms (abridged). Berkeley UC Press, 1999.
The story of the Han Dynasty and it's fall told during the Ming Dynasty. Considered China's Odessy/Iliad.
Pomfret, John. Chinese Lessons: Five Classmates and the Story of New China. New York: Holt, 2006.
In 1981, Pomfret was one of the first Americans allowed to study in China following the 1949 revolution.
Weatherford, Jack. Genghis Kahn and the Making of the Modern World. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2004.
This is the story of the Great Kahn and his immediate descendants and the role they played in the creation of what we might call "modern" China. Good historical context.
Wong, Jan. Red China Blues: My Long March From Mao to Now. Anchor: New York, 1996.
A Canadian of Chinese descent, Wong was the first western student allowed into China following the Cultural Revolution.
Zhang, Lijia. "Socialism is Great": A Worker's Memoir of the New China. New York: Anchor, 2009.
Zhang's memoir beginning with the inheritance of her mother's job through her experience with Tiananmen related demonstrations.
There might be more, such as the mysteries I squeezed in along the way, but this covers my China reading to the best of my memory.