Biography, History, & Politics 2000







 

We had such good access to newspapers and TV that our book reading went down. Nonetheless, it seems that this list of books must be incomplete.
 
Biography, History, & Politics 
   My Life as an Explorer
   The Travels of Marco Polo
Fiction 2000
   Memoirs of a Geisha
   A Small Town Called Hibiscus
   LíEspoir by Andre Malraux
   Sister Carrie

Travel Guides

My Life as an Explorer by Sven Hedin

We bought this book at Commercial Press in Hong Kong (just above the China Products Store in Tsim Sha Tsui). It turned out to be a delightful read. Hedin worked most of his life for the King of Sweden exploring what was then known as Chinese East Turkestan, now Xinjiang province. He also was an early explorer of Tibet. This first person account of his exploits is not only fascinating but a quite riveting read. His travels took place in the early years of the 20th century, before airplanes, satellites, and telephones in this part of the world. As an older man he supported Hitler, thinking that Germany would be the savior of a Sweden that was faced with an expansionist Soviet Union. This killed his public popularity.

Very highly recommended.

The Travels of Marco Polo

It would be hard to recommend this book, which is often so repetitive and yet having been to China and read Sven Hedinís book about exploring in Chinese Turkestan, the book was nonetheless interesting. One regret: I wish I had had an atlas with me while I read it to make it easier to follow his route. I also wish that the short glossary of place names had been more complete. It was sometimes possible to guess at place names, but it would have been nicer to have absolute confirmation. Because it was a Chinese edition, perhaps it was assumed that the Chinese would recognise most of the Chinese places.
 

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