All posts tagged "China"

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Human Trafficking, The Heart and The Fist, and Not For Sale

The Heart and the Fist book coverIn The Heart and the Fist by Eric Greitens, immerse yourself into a story of courage of a young man who cares about human trafficking and human suffering around the world, Rwanda, Bolivia, Afghanistan, Mexico, India,  Croatia, Albania, Cambodia, Gaza, to name a few.  He was horrified by the crimes committed against children in the human enslavement and human trafficking industries; he realized that in order to fight this human trafficking war, or to achieve his philanthropic goal of saving children from enslavement, he would need to have a strong "fist", so, he joined the NAVY SEALs.  After that, a new hero was born, and the rest is history.


Also, read this book if the reader has had a lifelong interest in the renowned NAVY SEALs.  Read, to make yourself live through the celebrated SEAL training period which culminates in the distinguished Hell Week.


This book is very appealing because it covers poignant stories of his humanitarian works as a warrior against the human trafficking war.  He actually embarked on a journey of fight against this war after earning his Ph.D. at Oxford University.  When he returned to the U.S., he founded an organization to help the disabled warriors-The Mission Continues, and by its own virtue, he indeed became hero for another group of human beings: hero-warriors, just like himself.


There is a movie, based on a book by Sam Childers, a former drug dealer whose ideal of saving children from human enslavement is very similar to Eric Greitens' ideal:  The Machine Gun Preacher.   


book coverSimilar to Eric Greitns and Sam Childers' works, the NOT FOR SALE organization's humanitarian works cover all 3 R's of human trafficking:  Raising Awareness, Rescue, and Recovery.


In Not for Sale, author David Batstone, an award-winning journalist, not only recounts endless stories of girls who got trafficked, sold, kidnapped, deceived, and raped, how the Sex Syndicate got undermined in Europe, but also introduces to the world a new generation of abolitionists who acted and have been acting so courageously to bring these young victims to freedom.


NOT FOR SALE is a trusted organization that has carried out endless investigations and projects, and has conducted numerous rescuing efforts by setting up an office in eastern Gernmany, by sheltering the lost children in Peru, to name just a few.


Plea by Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter:  "Tweet everyone you know about this book.  Let's make slavery history!"


Plea by the new generation of abolitionists:  "Visit to join the cause" and to see "what is being done to end this appalling epidemic-and how YOU can join the movement."


Although written in the form of a documentary narration of real events, especially towards the latter half of the book, from the beginning until the end, this book is worthy of the name "page-turner" because it made my heart pound as I followed the harrowing paths of the young victims and lived what they lived.  Thank you David Batstone and NOTFORSALECAMPAIGN.ORG and all that you have been doing!

Learn Mandarin at the Bascom Library

Meet me at Tower 8 - Badaling, Great WallStarting on the first Wednesday in June, you’ll have the opportunity to learn Mandarin in a free class. The class is part of a six-week session held at the Bascom Branch from 7:00-8:00 p.m.


Why learn Mandarin? There are a number of reasons you might want to give it a try.


  • Travel: So much history, art and food to discover! San Jose Public Library has a number of travel guides as well as books that provide insight into the Chinese Culture.
  • Business: Bloomberg Rankings list Mandarin as one of the most useful languages for business. With nearly 848,000,000 first-language speakers in the world China is a huge market that companies may be looking to expand their business.
  • Fun: Challenge yourself! Give this free class a try. You may have a knack for languages that you haven't realized. Besides, learning new things may be good for your brain.

An American Legacy of Sun Yat-sen’s Revolution

Sun-Yat-Sen-at-Liberty’s Door: Am American LegacyIn celebration of the 100th anniversary of China’s Revolution that ended the rule of Qing Dynasty, Chinese Historical Society of America and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library present a series of programs at the Library. On Tuesday, October 18, at 6 pm, Connie Young Yu presents her video documentary Dr. Sun at Liberty’s Door which features the story of Sun Yat-sen in America and how he inspired Chinese in America toward civic engagement and leadership.


There is also the “The American Legacy of Sun yat-sen“ exhibit on King Library 2nd floor (Exhibit Area) in October, 2011. The exhibit showcases documents, photos and memorabilia on the role the Chinese in America played in the 1911 revolution (Curated by Connie Young Yu.)


Historian and storyteller, Charlie Chin, performed “Sun Yat-sen and the Three People’s Principles” at the Library on October 9. This theatrical performance will be repeated in various Bay Area locations this fall as shown on the CHSA events page. For a pleasant surprise, you may view a map of Sun Yat-sen 1911 U. S. Fundraising Tours on this page.


For movies with the theme of the 1911 revolution, there is a new feature film 1911 directed by Jackie Chan, now showing in theaters; then there is an older one titled Road to Dawn. Some videos of Dr. Sun’s Speech in “Road to Dawn” are available on Youtube.


For books that may interest you, here are a couple titles on Sun Yat-sen, the history of modern China, and Chinese Americans:


Sun Yat-sen by Marie-Claire Bergère; translated from the French by Janet Lloyd

(Translation in Chinese: Sun Yixian 孫逸仙/ 白吉爾著)


Sun Yat-sen, Reluctant Revolutionary by Harold Z. Schiffrin


Chinese American Voices: From the Gold Rush to the Present edited with introductions by Judy Yung, Gordon H. Chang, and Him Mark Lai


Becoming Chinese American: A History of Communities and Institutions by Him Mark Lai


Americans First: Chinese Americans and the Second World War by K. Scott Wong


Claiming America: Constructing Chinese American Identities During the Exclusion Era edited by K. Scott Wong and Sucheng Chan


Chinatown, San Jose, USA by Connie Young Yu


The Search for Modern China by Jonathan D. Spence


Wan Qing qi shi nian by Te Kong Tong. 晚清七十年/作者唐德剛


See you in the library!


Image credit: Connie Young Yu.

"You Are Here" Reading List: Asia

You Are Here logoWe’re continuing to head east in this week’s installment of our “You Are Here” reading lists. These books span the massive continent of Asia, including India, China, and Japan.


Teens, don’t forget… You still have nearly two weeks to submit your five reviews for the Summer Reading Celebration in order to pick up your free book. We still have drawings left at all SJPL locations for two $50 bookstore giftcards. We also encourage those of you with the time and imagination to submit a video review for a chance to win a NOOK Color! Check these awesome book trailers out for some inspiration if you want to get cinematic, but remember, it can be as simple as you in front of the camera talking about a book you enjoyed.



Chain Mail : Addicted to You by Hiroshi Ishizaki

The boundaries between reality and fantasy become blurred when four disillusioned Tokyo teenagers, who have never met, collaborate to write an online fictional story--a psychological thriller told from four points of view.


Koyal Dark, Mango Sweet coverKoyal Dark, Mango Sweet by Kashmira Sheth

Growing up with her family in Mumbai, India, sixteen-year-old Jeeta disagrees with much of her mother's traditional advice about how to live her life and tries to be more modern and independent.


The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya by Nagaru Tanigawa

On the first day at a Japanese high school, an irrepressible girl announces her lack of interest in "ordinary humans" and proceeds to form a club dedicated to finding aliens, time travelers, and other forms of supernatural life, with the intention of having fun with them.


Subway Girl by P.J. Converse

In Hong Kong, Chan Tze Man, called Simon Chan, leaves high school because he cannot master English, but when he befriends Amy, a Chinese American who knows little Chinese, their unlikely bond gives hope to both.


Swimming in the Monsoon Sea by Shyam Selvadurai

The setting is Sri Lanka, 1980, and it is the season of monsoons. Life for Amrith seems rather uneventful and orderly, but things change in a hurry when his male cousin arrives from Canada.


Wandering Warrior by Da Chen

Eleven-year-old Luka, destined to become the future emperor of China, is trained in the ways of the kung fu wandering warriors by the wise monk Atami.

In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson by Bette Bao Lord

Book cover of In the Year of the Baor and Jackie RobinsonSixth Cousin, also known as Bandit, of the House of Wong, lived halfway around the world from New York City. Her father has been travelling for a very long time, while Bandit and her mother remained in China with her father’s family. One day a letter arrives. While this letter makes her mother very happy, it makes her grandmother cry and her grandfather angry. No one tells Bandit anything.  What is going on?


Finally, Bandit is told that she and her mother are going to America to join her father. Bandit selects her American name, Shirley Temple Wong, and so begins their journey. It is a difficult transition from China to America; at times Shirley feels happy and other times sad. But after she makes her first new school friend, and discovers baseball, her transition into everyday American life truly begins.


In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson is not a new book, but with many children in our local community who recently arrived from other countries, there is a perfect audience for this thoughtful and relevant book. New arrivals will identify with Shirley’s struggles, and successes, as she learns to adapt to her new life. Anyone who has felt different or lonely can identify and sympathize with Shirley when she finds herself the only Chinese speaking student in her school. The language used and emotions discussed by Bette Bao Lord are suitable for ages 8 and up. 

Life in "Interesting Times"

Book cover for The Corpse Walker. “May you live in interesting times” is said to be an old curse, and this book brings that idea to life. Horrifying, repellent, and yet fascinating, The Corpse Walker is one of the more troubling books you are likely to read. Journalist Liao Yiwu has traveled China for a number of years, interviewing survivors of that country’s tumultuous 20th century. There are tales of sickening brutality, inspiring courage, unbelievable tyranny, steadfast loyalty, and these elements often occur in the same tale, sometimes even from the same person, in this hellish portrayal of life under Communism. Those with an interest in history and foreign cultures will also be absorbed by the stories of changing times and peculiar (to a Westerner) vocations, such as the corpse walkers of the title. When an individual passed away far from home, the corpse walkers would tie the dead body to themselves and literally walk the body, as if it were a life-size marionette, back home, to create the illusion that the dearly departed was merely taking one last stroll back to say farewell to friends and family. Discover just how alien another human culture can seem through this disturbing but engrossing read.