Books

Review | Monkey King updated for 21st century readers by Julia Lovell

Julia Lovell’s accessible new English translation of the Chinese classic novel, Journey to the West, brings its irrepressible hero, Monkey, vibrantly to life for 21st century readers. 

27 Feb 2021 - 6:41AM
Three takes on relationships: to home, to family, to partners

Fragile Monsters by Catherine Menon, The Push by Ashley Audrain and Memorial by Bryan Washington force readers to confront their beliefs and biases. 

22 Feb 2021 - 12:18PM
Review | My Brilliant Life: heart-rending story of a coming-of-age curtailed

The ‘story of the youngest parents with the oldest child’ mixes humour and hope, fate and fatalism, starting with the as-yet unborn narrator causing a scandal before life propels him towards inevitable tragedy.

21 Feb 2021 - 1:36PM
Dear Hong Kong: celebrating a city built on diversity

Hong Kong-based non-profit organisation releases a 200-page bilingual book featuring stories and photographs of some of the city’s most inspiring residents.

19 Feb 2021 - 3:45PM
The immigrant experience, explored in different ways

Writers Ken Liu, Younghill Kang and Carlos Bulosan tackle themes of assimilation, colonialism and activism in their books.

9 Feb 2021 - 12:25PM
Destination Peking: tales of early 20th-century Beijing

In his latest book, Paul French delves into the lives of 18 non-Chinese people in Beijing, painting a fascinating picture of the city, even if it is sometimes lacking in action.

31 Jan 2021 - 1:45PM
China 1949: why did the Communists win?

China watcher Graham Hutchings’ latest book explores the people and events behind the Chinese civil war to reveal how and why the Communists won in 1949.

30 Jan 2021 - 5:48PM
Hitler’s Horses: on the hunt for the führer’s favourite sculptures

Join Dutch art detective Arthur Brand on his mission to track down two giant bronze statues by Adolf Hitler’s favourite sculptor, Josef Thorak.

24 Jan 2021 - 4:28PM
Inside the world of art heists – even the Met is a target

The Woman Who Stole Vermeer by Anthony M. Amore, Chas Allen’s Evolution: Becoming a Criminal, and Stealing the Show by John Barelli, delve into the underworld of art crime.

23 Jan 2021 - 9:02PM
Three books on design – from vegan interiors to Japanese craftsmanship

Formgiving by BIG, Naomi Pollock’s Japanese Design Since 1945, and Vegan Interior Design by Aline Dürr look at how we shape, and are shaped by, the world around us.

17 Jan 2021 - 5:28PM
Has Covid-19 changed our relationship with the office forever?

As the coronavirus forces desk jockeys worldwide to work from home, in his latest book, The Momentous, Uneventful Day, Australian author Gideon Haigh explores the pros and cons of being freed from the office.

16 Jan 2021 - 8:15PM
Cinderella for the 21st century, and other takes on fairy tales

The Charmed Wife by Olga Grushin, Claudia Schwabe’s Craving Supernatural Creatures, and Gender: A World History by Susan Kingsley Kent offer different takes on traditional tales.

10 Jan 2021 - 4:50AM
What if Rapunzel were a man, and other gender-swapped fairy tales

In Gender Swapped Fairy Tales, Karrie Fransman and Jonathan Plackett, hope to raise awareness of the complex and subconscious associations of gender.

11 Jan 2021 - 10:06AM
What does our appetite for thrillers reveal about us?

If the trend for Gothic novels reflected the revolutions of the era, what does our appetite for psychological thrillers say about the fears and complex reality of the 21st century?

23 Dec 2020 - 6:16AM
Review | Why the truth is sometimes more terrifying than fiction

The Perfect Predator warns against the coming catastrophe of a post-antibiotic era and proves more frightening than fictional thrillers The Silence by Don DeLillo and The Russian Pink by Matthew Hart.

19 Dec 2020 - 4:15PM
Three books to guide you through the end of 2020

Katherine May argues the benefits of ‘wintering’ in her book of the same name, James Nestor experiments with the ‘lost art’ of breathing in Breath, and The Best of Brevity presents a collection of snappy non-fiction.

19 Dec 2020 - 3:50PM
It says a lot about 2020 that even Scrooge seems reasonable

In the Covid-19 era even classic Christmas stories, such as Dickens’ three seasonal tales, take on new connotations.

17 Dec 2020 - 5:19PM
Review | Rent a Boyfriend: an Asian-American romantic comedy

Gloria Chao’s latest novel tells the story of Chloe Wang, a student who hires a fake partner to divert her parents’ attention from her single status.

14 Dec 2020 - 4:18PM
A history of Chinese ‘coolies’ is one of poverty, piracy and emigration

In Coolie Ships of the Chinese Diaspora (1846-1874), John Asome explores the trade of indentured labourers from Chinese ports to Cuba, Peru and the West Indies.

8 Dec 2020 - 4:05PM