Two great books lately, one fiction, one nonfiction.
Is anyone else reading this blog fascinated by China, or it just my peculiarity? This book is mesmerizing as both a glimpse of China during World War II and as a biography of the eccentric Cambridge scholar Joseph Needham. This man almost single-handedly revived the reputation of China’s huge accomplishments in science and technology in the eyes of the West. The book raises fascinating questions about China’s resistance to industrialization early on and the path it might take now that technology will be guiding its future course. Simon Winchester has a great gift for framing a nonfiction story. You must buy this book.
Fox Woman, by Kij Johnson. I’d always meant to read this book, and now I have. It is, simply put, amazing. She took a story of a fox who fell in love with a man and turned it into a dark and delightful journey into the psyches of three yearning individuals. This story will sweep you away or you have no heart. Add to that, she writes so well it makes lesser scribblers consider giving up. I thought I had a way with figurative language, but honestly, I must stop pretending! We really must all run out and start reading Kij Johnson.