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Best Lunar New Year Reads

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Best Lunar New Year Reads

lunar new year reads 2024

2024 Chinese New Year will fall on February 10th. It is the year of the Wood Dragon. We hope you enjoy these recommended reads. You will learn more about the history and culture of China, Korean, Vietnam, and other East Asian countries that celebrate the Lunar New Year. 

china smart

China Smart : What You Don’t Know, What You Need to Know : A Past & Present Guide to History, Culture, Society, Language by Larry Herzberg

In nearly 60 brief essays, long-time China expert Larry Herzberg tackles important facts and myths about China, its history, people, and culture, as well as its contemporary society.

Culture and Customs of Taiwan by Davison, Gary Marvin

Taiwanese society is in the midst of an immense, exciting effort to define itself, seeking to erect a contemporary identity upon the foundation of a highly distinctive history. This book provides a thorough overview of Taiwanese cultural life. The introduction familiarizes students and interested readers with the island’s key geographical and demographic features, and provides a chronological summary of Taiwanese history. 

Culture and Customs of Korea by Donald N. Clark

Culture Smart! Korea helps you to navigate your way through the complexities of life in these non-identical twin societies, where, even in the affluent westernized South, sensitive issues can cause misunderstanding. By introducing visitors to the Koreans at home and at work, their customs, attitudes and values, this book paves the way for an incomparably more engaging experience, whatever your reason for traveling.

Vietnamese Stories for Language Learners : Traditional Folktales in Vietnamese and English by Tri Chan Tran

Intended for Vietnamese language students or heritage learners, the stories in this volume present the everyday vocabulary and grammar in use in Vietnam today. Forty folk stories have been edited and simplified for learning purposes and are presented in parallel Vietnamese and English versions to facilitate language learning.

Singapore, Singapura : From Miracle to Complacency by Nicholas Walton

Modern Singapore is a miracle. Half a century ago it unwillingly became an independent nation, after it was thrown out of the Malay Federation. It was tiny, poor, almost devoid of resources, and in a hostile neighborhood. Now, this unlikely country is at the top of almost every global national index, from high wealth and low crime to superb education and much-envied stability. But have these achievements bred a dangerous sense of complacency among Singapore’s people?

Feng Shui by David Kennedy

Take a look around you. What do you see? Whether or not you’re aware of it, your environment profoundly affects your health, wealth, family life, relationship, and yes, even your destiny. Feng Shui (pronounced fung shway), which means wind water, is the ancient Chinese study of harmony and energy flow between you and your physical surroundings. 

zen is right now

Zen is Right Now : More Teaching Stories and Anecdotes of Shunryu Suzuki

Shunryu Suzuki’s extraordinary gift for presenting traditional Zen teachings using ordinary language is well-known to the countless readers of Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind. In Zen Is Right Now–a companion volume to Zen Is Right Here–Suzuki’s teachings are brought to life through stories told by his students and selected quotes from his lectures. These living encounters with Zen are poignant, direct, humorous, paradoxical, and enlightening; and their setting in real-life contexts makes them wonderfully accessible.

Kung Fu : Tae Kwondo, Tai Chi, Iaido, Shinto Ryu by Goodman, Fay

This wonderful guide works to introduce some of the most important and most popular among the wide range of specific disciplines to choose from within the general category of martial arts. The fascinating history and philosophy of each art is clearly and concisely explained; these explanations are then followed by step-by-step photographic guides to practicing both basic warm-up exercises and actual techniques.

The Authentic Confucius : A Life of Thought and politics by Ann-ping Chin

For more than two thousand years, Confucius has been an inseparable part of China’s history. Yet despite this fame, Confucius the man has been elusive. Now, in The Authentic Confucius, Annping Chin has worked through the most reliable Chinese texts in her quest to sort out what is really known about Confucius from the reconstructions and the guesswork that muddled his memory.

Asian Market Cookbook : How to Find Superior Ingredients to Elevate Your Asian Home Cooking by Vivian Aronson

Delicious, home-cooked Chinese food is just a few pantry staples away, thanks to celebrated chef and CookingBomb founder Vivian Aronson. Learn to select standout sauces, condiments, spices, noodles and more from the aisles of your local Asian market, then incorporate them into 60 must-try meals!

Essential Korean : Speak Korean with Confidence by Soyeung Koh

Essential Korean Phrasebook & Dictionary teaches you the practical phrases and expressions needed for common, everyday interactions in Korea in a way that’s clear, concise, accessible and enjoyable.

Maangchi’s Real Korean Cooking : Authentic Dishes for the Home Cook by Maangchi.

A complete course on Korean cuisine for the home cook by the YouTube star and the world’s foremost authority on Korean cooking—Maangchi’s Real Korean Cooking is a must-have for your kitchen.

beginner's guide to chinese brush

A Beginner’s Guide to Chinese Brush Painting : 35 Painting Activities from Calligraphy to Animals to Landscapes by Caroline Self

A Beginner’s Guide to Chinese Brush Painting teaches this ancient art form in an easy-to-understand way – no prior experience necessary! As one of the oldest continuous artistic traditions in the world, Chinese brush painting has been used for thousands of years to create images that harness the imagination, and capture the inner spirit of a subject – be it an animal, landscape or tree.

Easy Chinese Recipes : Family Favorites from Dim Sum to Kung Pao by Low, Bee Yinn

Growing up in a Chinese household in Malaysia where cuisine and culture were inseparable, Bee Yinn Low developed a deep love and appreciation for food. Her early memories of helping her mother prepare steamy and fragrant Chinese meals solidified into a way of life for Bee as a working woman in Southern California. A love of Chinese food didn’t translate well to a modern Western lifestyle due to time and ingredient constraints.

100 Most Interesting Chinese Characters by Hui Xu

As well as its obvious visual appeal, China’s millennia-old writing system is a carrier of the nation’s culture and identity. In this book, Xu Hui selects and explains the 100 most interesting Chinese characters with the help of eye-catching illustrations that bring their meanings alive, and historic tracings through seal script all the way back to ancient oracle bone carvings.

Energy Medicine : The Science and Mystery of Healing by Jill Blakeway

The first comprehensive look at the groundbreaking field of energy medicine and how it can be used to diagnose and treat illness, from one of the world’s foremost practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Today, more of us than ever are discovering the curative powers of energy medicine. Scientific studies continue to confirm its validity, and medical doctors are regularly prescribing treatments such as acupuncture to their patients.

Ancient Remedies : Secrets to Healing with Herbs, Essential Oils, CBD, and the Most Powerful Natural Medicine in History by Josh Axe

Draws on centuries of traditional Chinese, Ayurvedic, and biblical medicine to identify specific dietary choices, medicinal herbs, and mind-body practices for more than seventy common conditions, from hypothyroidism to autoimmune diseases. In Ancient Remedies, Dr. Axe explores the foundational concepts of ancient healing–eating right for your type and living in sync with your circadian clock.

Chineasy Travel by ShaoLan Hsueh

The essential pocket-sized Chineasy guide to characters, phrases, and culture for travelers makes learning Chinese fun and easy. Entrepreneur ShaoLan Hsueh created Chineasy® to educate the world about the richness of Chinese culture through its written language. Her visual, building-block-style teaching method makes learning characters simple and fun: by learning common characters, readers can quickly grasp and communicate basic words and phrases while traveling.

suzane white

The New Chinese Astrology by Suzanne White

In THE NEW CHINESE ASTROLOGY, best-selling author and astrologer, Suzanne White, demystifies the complex Chinese Zodiac. She explains in-depth all 12 Animal Signs. Which Chinese signs is yours? Dragon? Dog? Rabbit? How does your sign affect your character? Dogs are worriers. Rats like to talk. Dragons love celebrations and Tigers are always gone off somewhere. This amusing, yet serious, and informative volume describes each animal sign’s individual characteristics, special capabilities and particular health problems. 

Lady Tan’s Circle of Women by Lisa See

Sent into an arranged marriage, Tan Yunxian, forbidden to continue her work as a midwife-in-training as well as see her forever friend Meiling, is ordered to act like proper wife and seeks a way to continue treating women and girls from every level of society in fifteenth-century China.

Where Waters Meet by Ling Zhang

There was rarely a time when Phoenix Yuan-Whyller’s mother, Rain, didn’t live with her. Even when Phoenix got married, Rain, who followed her from China to Toronto, came to share Phoenix’s life. Now at the age of eighty-three, Rain’s unexpected death ushers in a heartrending separation. Struggling with the loss, Phoenix comes across her mother’s suitcase, a memory box Rain had brought from home. Inside, Phoenix finds two old photographs and a decorative bottle holding a crystallized powder. 

Thank You, Mr. Nixon : Stories From the Transformation by Gish Jen

In her first collection of stories since the acclaimed Who’s Irish?, the beloved author of The Resisters refracts the fifty years since the opening of China through the lives of ordinary people. Beginning with a cheery, kindly letter penned by a Chinese girl in heaven to “poor Mr. Nixon” in hell, Gish Jen embarks on an eleven-story journey through U.S.-Chinese relations, capturing not only the excitement of a world on the brink of tectonic change, but the all-too-human encounters that ensue as East meets West.

The Bonesetter’s Daughter by Amy Tan

Set in contemporary San Francisco and in a Chinese village where Peking Man is unearthed, The Bonesetter’s Daughter is an excavation of the human spirit: the past, its deepest wounds, its most profound hopes. This is the story of LuLing Young, who searches for the name of her mother, the daughter of the famous Bonesetter from the Mouth of the Mountain. The story conjures the pain of broken dreams, the power of myths, and the strength of love that enables us to recover in memory what we have lost in grief. 

The Song of the Jade Lily by Kirsty Manning

 In 1939 Romy and her family leave Austria to settle in Shanghai as Jewish refugees and Romy forms a deep friendship with Li, and in 2016, Romy’s granddaughter Alexandra transfers to Shanghai to search for clues about her mother’s history.

The Picture Bride by Kŭm-i Yi

‘Your husband is a landowner,’ they told her. ‘Food and clothing is so plentiful, it grows on trees. ‘You will be able to go to school.’ Of the three lies the matchmaker told Willow before she left home as a picture bride in 1918, the third hurt the most. Never one to be deterred, Willow does all that she can to make the best of her unexpected circumstance. But it isn’t long before her dreams for this new life are shattered, first by a husband who never wanted to marry her in the first place, and then by the escalation of the Korean independence movements, unified in goal, but divergent in action, which threaten to split the Hawaiian Korean community and divide Willow’s family and friends.

can't i go instead

Can’t I Go Instead by Kŭm-i Yi

Two women’s lives and identities are intertwined-through World War II and the Korean War–revealing the harsh realities of class division in the early part of the 20th century. “Lee Geum-yi has a gift for taking little-known embers of history and transforming them into moving, compelling, and uplifting stories.” -Heather Morris, #1 New York Times bestselling author Can’t I Go Instead follows the lives of the daughter of a Korean nobleman and her maidservant in the early 20th century. When the daughter’s suitor is arrested as a Korean Independence activist, and she is implicated during the investigation, she is quickly forced into marriage to one of her father’s Japanese employees and shipped off to the United States.

Absolution by Alice McDermott

A riveting account of women’s lives on the margins of the Vietnam War, from the renowned winner of the National Book Award.

Dust Child by Phan Qué̂ Mai Nguyen

An American GI, two Vietnamese bargirls, and an Amerasian man are forced to make decisions during and after the Viet Nam War that will reverberate throughout one another’s lives.

Hongmei, Adult Services & Acquisitions

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