I’ve fallen behind on my daily Reading Snowball and will wrap it up with one final pitch.
Day 5: Reading Snowball – ORACLE BONES by Peter Hessler
I read Oracle Bones around the same time Factory Girls: From Village to City in a Changing China and The Elephant and the Dragon: The rise of India and China and what it means for All of Us were published. It was a time of global economies, emerging markets and rapid transformations due to technology.
Stories and books like these inspired me to visit China and eventually move to Beijing. What I found there was a world that was amazing, bewildering and different from anything I’ve ever imagined. It was the beginning of my years of travel to China, Asia and South East Asia … and the beginning of my foray into photography and blogging.
Day 6: Reading Snowball – THE CORONER’S LUNCH by Colin Cotterill
The Coroner’s Lunch is the first in a series of Dr. Siri Paiboun mysteries. Dr Siri is an unlikely hero. He’s a 72 year old, world weary revolutionary who’s been pulled from retirement and appointed to the post of national coroner in 1970’s Laos.
I enjoyed Colin Cotterill’s tongue in cheek writing style and his amusing portrayal of Dr. Siri and his associates. Mostly though, I enjoyed stepping into the lives of everyday people living in Laos. It provided an imagined reality to the places I visited there.
Day 7: Reading Snowball – CHOP SUEY NATION by Ann Hui
The last but not least of my book list, Chop Suey Nation. It tells the story of a Chinese Canadian’s trek across Canada in search of small town Chinese restaurants and their owners’ immigrant stories. In the process she learns about her own parents’ history.
I said in an earlier post that Chop Suey Nation is not my story but I found it entirely relatable. It’s a story about family, history and roots and how in searching for somebody else’s story, we sometimes discover stories about ourselves.
It’s a bit like travelling. I traveled to Beijing to find cultural roots which were thousands of years old. I ended up in Singapore where I discovered histories which were only decades old but matched my parents and grand-parents lives exactly. There, I found out more about my family’s history of migration than I ever did from them directly.
And that folks … is a wrap. I am done with the Snowball Challenge. It took me longer than expected. I’ll not do a seven part series on books again.
Next time, I will see you in pictures!
Toronto, Canada. 2019