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New Acquisitions

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Spring new book fever. I just cannot resist buying books.

The Most Beautiful Walk in the World by John Baxter. Not quite the guidebook that the title might suggest, this book is a source of inspiration for every visitor in Paris to discover their own Paris. I’m taking his words in my heart when next time I’ll in Paris, which is this summer: “And we who walk in Paris write a new history with each step. The city we leave behind will never be quite the same again.” In the end, Baxter does share what is the most beautiful walk in Paris for him, and it’s as personal and moving to him as your most beautiful walk in Paris will be when you discover it for yourself.

Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay. I know, I have been avoiding this one like a disease, for fear of being disappointed. It was wildly popular like “shades of grey” when first released but at least it’s not chick erotica. It tells the interlocking stories of Sarah, a 10-year-old girl who locks her brother in a cabinet to hide him during the roundup for war during WW2, and a 45-year-old modern-day journalist who becomes obsessed with finding out if Sarah is still alive.

Half of a Lifelong Romance by Eileen Chang. For the first this contemporary Chinese classic is available in English thanks to the translation by Karen Kingsbury. A dramatic story of love, betrayal, opportunism and family oppression set in 1930s Shanghai, it is an enveloping, haunting and insightful read, rich in Chang’s trademark passionate prose. This is arguably the author’s most beloved novel, widely popular with her Chinese readers since it was first published in 1950 in serial form. (It was rewritten in 1968 in book form.) It has been adapted again and again—into a number of plays and television series, at least one full-length movie and even a stage musical.

The bottom two are books written in Chinese: Introduction to Buddhism and Conversations with Gods. Those are what I think would be good foundation works to familiarize myself with religion. I’m thinking of a two week meditation retreat in Thailand in a Buddhist monastery. Having always been fascinated by Buddhism, I am, however, not sure where to begin studying, consider there are many branches of Buddhism. The book gives a comprehensive introduction to the history, origin and doctrine of Buddhism.

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