Friday, May 13, 2011

Your Summer Reading List **being updated daily!***

I figure since your kiddos are either doing reading for school or a library reading program this summer, you should join in the fun!

Here are my recommendations- would love to hear yours as well in the comments.

1.  Bound by Love

I think this should be required reading for all CCAI families as it is the biography of Lily Nie and Josh Zhong, their beginnings in China, coming to America, their heart for God, and how it all led to the forming of CCAI.  You can order it at the CCAI website and part of the proceeds goes to Chinese Children's Charities.



2.  Silent Tears
 This is also available at the CCAI site.  But I do not recommend this for people in the process of bringing their child home.  Wait until your precious one is home before reading as it is the story of an American woman (this is in 2003) in China and her experiences while volunteering at a local orphanage.  Her depictions are at times heartbreaking.  So why do I recommend this book?  Because it is a vivid reminder of WHY we need to be active in helping  those who remain in the orphanages.  It is a story of what can happen when just one woman dares to care.



3.  The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
Oh my.  I read this every year because I love it so much.  It takes place in AnHui (!!! where my Amy was born) in pre-revolutionary China. This will give you so much insight into the Chinese culture. I dare you NOT to love it.



4.   Snowflower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
 Another "Oh My" book.  Again, I read this every year.  The story of 2 Laotongs, foot binding, and Chinese culture again in pre-revolutionary culture.  Riveting.



5.  Messages from an Unknown Chinese Mother by Xinran
This one I have not read yet-- it's on my library hold list.  Xinran, a Chinese journalist interviewed and spoke with many Chinese women who have abandoned babies at some point.  This book is their story.  Tissue caution.




So these are my five suggestions... what are yours? (that have to do with China, Chinese fiction, culture..) 

Added by Midge Cole....
1. The Lost Daughters of China by Karin Evans. Another tear jerker, but worth the pain for the knowledge and insight it brings.

2. The Red Thread by Ann Hood. It's a fictional work about families trying to adopt in the U.S., and what I loved about it was it interweaves the stories of the children they are eventually matched with in China. Again, it is fiction, and parts of the American side are outdated and inaccurate, but it is entertaining and a light read for summer.

3. On Gold Mountain by Lisa See. I haven't read this one yet, but it's on my Kindle for this summer. It is supposed to be the story of how Lisa See's family came to America. I love all her books, so I hope I enjoy this one as much as her others.


Added by Michelle Duffy:
 1.  Colors of the Mountain  by Da Chen
Now a writer living in New York, Da Chen describes his youth in mainland China with engaging humor and affecting warmth. It's often a harrowing tale: born in 1962, Chen was the grandson of a landlord, which rendered his entire family pariahs during the Cultural Revolution. And though initially an excellent student, he was ostracized in school and told he could never attend college. He responded by making friends with a group of young thugs who drank, smoked, and gambled but were kind to him. After Mao died in 1976, the budding juvenile delinquent discovered that higher education might be available to him after all. Chen worked hard to make up for years of neglected studies, and his memoir closes with a jubilant scene as he and his brother Jin are both accepted into college; for his suffering family, "thirty years of humiliation had suddenly come to an end." Chen's lucid yet emotional prose unsparingly portrays a topsy-turvy society where unfairness reigns and the rules are arbitrarily changed without warning, but his zest for life and sharp eye for character make even the most awful moments grimly funny.

2.  Wild Swans by Jung Chang
In Wild Swans Jung Chang recounts the evocative, unsettling, and insistently gripping story of how three generations of women in her family fared in the political maelstrom of China during the 20th century. Chang's grandmother was a warlord's concubine. Her gently raised mother struggled with hardships in the early days of Mao's revolution and rose, like her husband, to a prominent position in the Communist Party before being denounced during the Cultural Revolution. Chang herself marched, worked, and breathed for Mao until doubt crept in over the excesses of his policies and purges. Born just a few decades apart, their lives overlap with the end of the warlords' regime and overthrow of the Japanese occupation, violent struggles between the Kuomintang and the Communists to carve up China, and, most poignant for the author, the vicious cycle of purges orchestrated by Chairman Mao that discredited and crushed millions of people, including her parents

From Reagan:

I'm reading The Connected Child by Karyn Purvis, Ph.D. and David Cross Ph.D right now and how I wish I would have read it either before we brought our daughter home or at least when she was a baby. I'm recognizing that she had some definite sensory processing issues that we really had no idea about.
I've only just started the book but would highly recommend it for anyone adopting a child at any age!


From Kari C:
The Fortune Cookie Chronicles by Jennifer 8 Lee. She researches where fortune cookies come from and American Chinese food.

All of Peter Hessler's books are good. I loved River Town which is based in Sichan where he taught English for the Peace Corps. (This is where our older son is from).

I love anything by Lisa See. I have read all of her books and they are all amazing! Her Red Princess Mystery Series is very good. I just saw that Snow Flower, Secret Fan is a movie. Must see!

I want to read Choosing to See by MaryBeth Chapman. 




Have a great weekend!

6 comments:

  1. Thanks for the list! I have read a couple of them, but can't wait to read the others!

    ReplyDelete
  2. my wife is reading Xinran's book now. i think she is only a few pages in and has already cried.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I heard from a few sources that the Xinran book may not be true, based on some prior writings. Have you heard this?

    ReplyDelete
  4. I always love your reading lists Emily - thanks for sharing. I have read many on your list - not sure if I will read the Xinran book or not - I would love for you to review it after reading, or to hear reviews from your other friends.

    I agree with what you said about Silent Tears. I am glad I did not read it while "waiting", but I think it is one of the best books I have ever read post adoption. I would add one additional reason to read it for those with Chinese Children. It answered a lot of questions for me, filled in a lot of the "blanks". I had no idea what life was really like in a Chinese orphanage, and I had no idea why my daughter had certain behaviors when she came home. In example, why she would "zone out" especially around a lot of people or a stressful situation. This book gave me a lot of insight and helped me understand what much of my daughter's past might have looked like.

    I have a few recommendations of my own.
    1. The Lost Daughters of China by Karin Evans. Another tear jerker, but worth the pain for the knowledge and insight it brings.

    2. The Red Thread by Ann Hood. It's a fictional work about families trying to adopt in the U.S., and what I loved about it was it interweaves the stories of the children they are eventually matched with in China. Again, it is fiction, and parts of the American side are outdated and inaccurate, but it is entertaining and a light read for summer.

    3. On Gold Mountain by Lisa See. I haven't read this one yet, but it's on my Kindle for this summer. It is supposed to be the story of how Lisa See's family came to America. I love all her books, so I hope I enjoy this one as much as her others.

    Can't wait to read, read, read this summer! I'm adding The Good Earth to my list - thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm reading The Connected Child by Karyn Purvis, Ph.D. and David Cross Ph.D right now and how I wish I would have read it either before we brought our daughter home or at least when she was a baby. I'm recognizing that she had some definite sensory processing issues that we really had no idea about.
    I've only just started the book but would highly recommend it for anyone adopting a child at any age!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love all of those books! Xinran's book is on my list for summer. Here are a couple that I have enjoyed.

    The Fortune Cookie Chronicles by Jennifer 8 Lee. She researches where fortune cookies come from and American Chinese food.

    All of Peter Hessler's books are good. I loved River Town which is based in Sichan where he taught English for the Peace Corps. (This is where our older son is from).

    I love anything by Lisa See. I have read all of her books and they are all amazing! Her Red Princess Mystery Series is very good. I just saw that Snow Flower, Secret Fan is a movie. Must see!

    I want to read Choosing to See by MaryBeth Chapman.

    Thanks for the reccomendations!

    ReplyDelete