All posts tagged: Books

Taiwanese artist Renren’s new book ‘Un moment français’ beautifully illustrates what French love looks like in real life

Taiwanese illustrator Renren’s new book, “Un moment français 達令的法語時間” came out this week. I wondered around the Tai-da Eslite bookstore the day before yesterday after work and found this little cheerful illustration book. I read through the preface and the author’s page and thought it was very inspiring. It said that the book author and illustrator Renren had once been an English language teacher for little kids and a purchasing sales for computer companies. Encouraged by his fine arts trained French husband, she began to pursue her dream career as a freelance book illustrator. For thirty years she dreamed of one day holding her own drawings but never pursued it. The author’s introduction noted that she made the career change in her late thirties, which I think is quite inspiring. Renren has worked on many illustration projects on books since then. A list of links: Buy the book on books.com.tw: “Un moment français 達令的法語時間” by Renren Renren’s blog: http://letslearnfrench-ren.blogspot.tw/ Renren ‘s facebook page: https://zh-tw.facebook.com/UnMomentFrancaisDeRenRen/ Advertisements

Taiwan’s Looming Pension Crisis: A Review of Hao Chung-jen’s ‘Taiwan Inc Bankruptcy’

A new book calls on the Taiwanese government to undertake pension reform as warning signs indicate that Taiwan could face problems similar to those experienced by Greece This article was first published online by Thinking Taiwan想想論壇(http://thinking-taiwan.com) on March 30, 2016. In his latest book 《中華民國股份有限公司破產》(Taiwan Inc Bankruptcy), Hao Chung-jen (郝充仁), a professor at Tamkang University, takes a close look at the impact of what he describes as Taiwan’s ill-designed pensions system and the barriers that have hindered progress in pension reform. The book emphasizes the urgency of pension system reform through a business metaphor: If the Taiwanese government were a company, you would be terrified to discover how little its earnings are. Hao is adamant that the pension system has serious flaws, but he believes that it can change. The opening chapters provide a brief history of Taiwan’s pension system and analyze how demographic structure changes have affected that system. The section goes all the way back to 1949, when people from China poured into Taiwan and when the government decided to give outrageously high pensions …

Best Quotes by Julian Barnes

Julian Patrick Barnes (born 19 January 1946) is an English writer. Barnes won the Man Booker Prize for his book The Sense of an Ending (2011), and three of his earlier books had been shortlisted for the Booker Prize: Flaubert’s Parrot (1984), England, England (1998), and Arthur & George (2005). He has also written crime fiction under the pseudonym Dan Kavanagh. In addition to novels, Barnes has published collections of essays and short stories. Here are a few great quotes from Julian Barnes’s publications. When you read a great book, you don’t escape from life, you plunge deeper into it. There may be a superficial escape – into different countries, mores, speech patterns – but what you are essentially doing is furthering your understanding of life’s subtleties, paradoxes, joys, pains and truths. Reading and life are not separate but symbiotic. JULIAN BARNES, A Life with Books Reading is a majority skill but a minority art. Yet nothing can replace the exact, complicated, subtle communion between absent author and entranced, present reader. JULIAN BARNES, A Life with …

2017 Summer Reading List

I admire those authors, editors and journalists who manage to do their work while reading a phenomenal number of books, about and beyond their latest project. I secretly hope that I can trick myself to read at half that speed. This year I aim to step outside of my comfort zone with these six picks. Here is a list of fiction and nonfiction books that I am planning to read this summer: Levels of Life by Julian Barnes Catch-22 by Joseph Heller Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov The Man Without a Shadow: A Novel by Joyce Carol Oates American Gods by Neil Gaiman Just Kids by Patti Smith   The book that I’m currently reading is Man Booker Prize winner Julian Barnes’s new book “Levels of Life,” published in 2013. It is a small collection of essay, fiction and heartbreaking memoir. The first section, “The Sin of Height,” is a historical essay that revolves around the “aerostatic photographs” of Paris taken in 1858 by the French balloonist Nadar. I’m reading stories about 19th-century ballooning enthusiasts for the …

Of Bicycles and War: A Review of Wu Ming-yi’s ‘The Stolen Bicycle’

The latest novel by the award-winning Taiwanese author interlaces devastating events with a touch of tenderness This article was first published online by Thinking Taiwan 想想論壇 (http://thinking-taiwan.com) on December 1, 2015. Wu Ming-yi’s (吳明益) fifth novel《單車失竊記》(The Stolen Bicycle) pays tribute to the millions of soldiers who died during World War II and the countless animals and natural habitats that were destroyed in the cataclysm. Written in traditional Chinese, the novel follows the protagonist as he sets off on a search for his father’s stolen bicycle, a popular Made-in-Taiwan Happiness Brand bicycle (the brand used the slogan “Get on a Happiness, Bike Your Way to Happiness” (騎幸福牌腳踏車,踏上幸福之路). The unnamed middle-age male protagonist, a writer like Wu himself, whose father is a skilled tailor at the Chung Hwa Market, receives a letter from a reader asking what happens to the father’s bicycle left at Taipei Zhongshan Hall in his last novel,《睡眠的航線》(Route in a Dream). The letter immediately grips the protagonist’s heart and he embarks on a journey of discovery, tracing back the history of the Happiness bicycles …

Reading F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Stories with Sandee Woodside

This month I signed up an interesting small tutor-led class, “The Great Gatsby and New York,” on a new Taipei English course shopping website called MDT. It was the most interesting classes on the list, and it was the only class that was about F. Scott Fitzgerald’s works. I’m a big fan of F. Scott Fitzgerald and so my thoughts are completely biased. When I saw the course description, I liked it immediately and was excited about the class. I wonder what it might be like to chat about Fitzgerald’s stories with real people in real life. “The Great Gatsby and New York” class that I attended was held every Wednesday night in the month of June (3 lessons in total) after work from 7:30pm to 9pm in a small meeting room inside an old office building nearby Guting MRT station in Taipei city. The location was great for all of us and was close to National Taiwan University and National Taiwan Normal University. The class was led by Ms. Sandee Woodside, a thirty year old writer, poet, and teacher from New …

10 of the best books set in New York

Inspired by “The Best New York City Novels by Neighborhood,” a great article from The New York Public Library Official website, I came up with a list of recommended books for readers who would like to read stories set in New York. Here are some of my favorite books set in New York. “Washington Square” by Henry James (1880) “The Age of Innocence” by Edith Wharton (1920) “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1925) “The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger (1951) “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” by Truman Capote (1958) “Jazz” Toni Morrison (1992) “Broke Heart Blues” by Joyce Carol Oates (1999) “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” by Jonathan Safran Foer (2005) “Brooklyn” by Colm Tóibín (2009) “Just Kids” by Patti Smith (2010)