Books

Reading books has always been an important part of my life. Despite having poor memory and constantly forget the details of many of the books that I have read, I enjoy reading new (and sometimes old) books. The topics of my reading could be quite broad, but a major part is Sci-Fi and fantasy books (especially after college).

Since I was young, I liked going to bookstores and libraries to read or just to wander around. I somehow feel calm and joy when being surrounded by lots of good books. I still go to the university library constantly whenever I feel I need a change of atmosphere, even though I mostly read e-books nowadays.

I mostly read while travelling (when I am not sketching). Most of the books I read are in Chinese, some in English and sometimes also a few in Japanese.

Books that I like

Here are a few books that I liked, listed in no particular order. Technical books and books on art or music are generally not listed here. I decided to include minimum or no comment at all as it would be a too ambitious project and hard to keep up to date.

Fictions

  • The Moon and Sixpence, by W. Somerset Maugham. Biographical fiction based on the life of the artist Paul Gauguin.
  • The Fountainhead, by Ayn Rand. The story is a bit long and idealized, but the point made is very interesting (and controversial).
  • Murder on the Orient Express, The A.B.C. Murders and And Then There Were None, etc., by Agatha Christie.
  • Romance of the Three Kingdoms (三國演義). Read many many times when I was a child.
  • Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm, by George Orwell.
  • Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There, by Lewis Carroll.
  • The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, by Arthur Conan Doyle.

Fantasy

  • A Song of Ice and Fire, ongoing series of fantasy novels by George R. R. Martin.
  • Harry Potter series, by J. K. Rowling.
  • The Dragonlance series. So far I have read Dragonlance Legends (龙枪传奇) and Dragonlance Chronicles (龙枪编年史).
  • Novoland: Traveler (九州•旅人), series by Zhan’an (斩鞍). Some other books in the Novoland (九州) universe are also good.
  • The Aspired Wings (図南の翼), by Fuyumi Ono (小野 不由美). It is one of The Twelve Kingdoms (十二国記) series. I have not read the other books in the series, but the anime created from those are very good.
  • Lord of Light, by Roger Zelazny. A mixture of steampunk, fantasy and Sci-Fi.
  • The Heaven Sword and Dragon Saber (倚天屠龙记), The Smiling, Proud Wanderer (笑傲江湖) and Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils (天龙八部), by Louis Cha Leung-yung (金庸).

Sci-Fi

  • Hyperion, by Dan Simmons. It is the 1st book of Hyperion Cantos, and I don't really like the rest of the series.
  • Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card.
  • Annihilation, by Jeff VanderMeer. Maybe more of a mystery than Sci-Fi. It is the 1st book of the Southern Reach Trilogy, and I don't like the 2nd and 3rd books.
  • Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, by Philip K. Dick.
  • The Three-Body Problem (三体), a trilogy by Liu Cixin.
  • Foundation series, by Isaac Asimov.
  • Neuromancer, by William Gibson.

MISC

  • 1587, a Year of No Significance: The Ming Dynasty in Decline (万历十五年), by Ray Huang (黄仁宇).
  • Bourbaki: A Secret Society of Mathematicians, by Maurice Mashaal.