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Reading List For 24-hour Journeys

January 14, 2017

Often when I travel between New York and Taiping, Malaysia, I bring at least one book each in the three languages that I read. The journeys take 24+ hours each way, including layovers, and all the unlimited free wine in the world cannot fill those hours. (Yes, many non-American airlines offer bottomless drinks on international flights.)

 

This year's intended reading material for the clouds:

 

Among the White Moon Faces, Shirley Geok-lin Lim

A memoir that won a 1997 American Book Award. Similar to Lim, I left home because of a scholarship to attend a U.S. university. 

 

Pecah, Khairulnizam Bakeri

Perhaps a bit meta, but this book itself contains at least three languages. The bulk is written in Malay. Proved to be such a hit that it was turned into a movie. I admire what Amir Muhammad (founder of publisher Buku Fixi) has accomplished for the publishing scene in Malaysia. Tabik. Kagum.

 

死神永生, 刘慈欣

The conclusion of the Three Body trilogy, made popular among English readers by a Hugo-winning translation (Ken Liu). In 2015, 刘慈欣 said he hadn't written a single word in the five years since he completed the trilogy -- he'd previously said it was difficult to find an "exciting topic" that could follow Three Body.

 

The Fifth Season, N.K. Jemisin

Another Hugo-award winner. Well, not just that-- Jemisin is the first black writer to win a Hugo for a novel. My husband and I bought this book while on our honeymoon. Despite being an accomplished writer, Jemisin was and is harassed by silly groups that for some reason named themselves "Puppies." I'm glad she triumphed over the hate (much as I usually find baby dogs adorable).

 

And in the magazine department, Pleaides 37:1, with a coincidental folio on "Human Future Fiction."

 

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