Chinese Books By Level:P
I just discovered and started reading two newly-published books by Stewart Lee Beck, both under the China Simplified. imprimatur.
The first one, written with Katie Liu, Language Empowerment,
approaches learning Chinese from the perspective of his own encounters with the language. His self-deprecating humor lightens the read while offering the reader a lot of substance to reflect upon. Although it isn’t a “Learning Chinese Vocabulary/Grammar” type of book, it is much more because it gives you the perspective of someone who’s been living in China since the early nineties, and understands perfectly --as an American-- what an Adult-level Chinese learner needs to know. I particularly love two reoccurring subchapters, “What I meant/What they heard” re language snafus, and “Expert Opinion” for intimate snapshots of life in China.
The second book, History Flashback, written with Sun Zhumin,
picks through several thousand years of Chinese History with fearless élan, serving us the choicest tidbits of that complex journey with mirth and scholarship. The thoroughly researched details whether mundane or of historical importance, make the reading fascinating without ever falling into pedantic lecturing.
Both books are beautifully illustrated with the smart, elegant line drawings of Yang Kanzhen.
Here’s an interesting comment from a well-known reader:
“I wish a book like this existed when I moved to China.”
Chief Content Officer, Asia Society
Author of The Forbidden Game: Golf and the Chinese Dream
I bought the paperback versions, to carry around everywhere I go; and the digital version, so I can review the Chinese characters with greater accuracy.
Whatever you do next, whether you are studying Chinese and/or are going to China, living in China, or just for pure fun and discovering a great culture, get these two books now, you’ ll thank me later…
You can read more about Stewart Lee Beck, his team, and the books here:
Oh wow! I saw this book last week when I was looking for some Mandarin resources in the bookstore - gave it a quick glance and enjoyed it instantly. Kinda surprised to be seeing this recommendation here but good to know it’s worth the buy! I found a few cheaper copies on bookdepository so I might grab a copy for myself.
Thanks for the recommendation!