What We Are Reading Today: The Dragon Daughter and Other Lin Lan Fairy Tales

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Updated 26 June 2022

What We Are Reading Today: The Dragon Daughter and Other Lin Lan Fairy Tales

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Author: June Zhang

The Dragon Daughter and Other Lin Lan Fairy Tales brings together 42 magical Chinese tales, most appearing for the first time in English.
These stories have been carefully selected from
more than a thousand originally published in the early 20th century under the pseudonyms Lin Lan and Lady Lin Lan—previously unknown in the West, and now acclaimed as the Brothers Grimm of China.
The birth of the tales began in 1924, when one author, Li Xiaofeng, published a set of literary stories under the Lin Lan pen name, an alias that would eventually be shared by an editorial team. Together, this group gathered fairy tales from rural regions across China.


What We Are Reading Today: Work Matters by Maureen Perry-Jenkins

What We Are Reading Today: Work Matters by Maureen Perry-Jenkins
Updated 17 August 2022

What We Are Reading Today: Work Matters by Maureen Perry-Jenkins

What We Are Reading Today: Work Matters by Maureen Perry-Jenkins

Low-wage workers make up the largest group of employed parents in the US, yet scant attention has been given to their experiences as new mothers and fathers. Work Matters brings the unique stories of these diverse individuals to light. Drawing on years of research and more than 1,500 family interviews, Maureen Perry-Jenkins describes how new parents cope with the demands of infant care while holding down low-wage, full-time jobs, and she considers how managing all of these responsibilities has long-term implications for child development. She examines why some parents and children thrive while others struggle, demonstrates how specific job conditions impact parental engagement and child well-being, and discusses common-sense and affordable ways that employers can provide support.

In the US, federal parental leave policy is unfunded. As a result, many new parents, particularly hourly workers, return to their jobs just weeks after the birth because they cannot afford not to.


What We Are Reading Today: Slaying the Dragon

What We Are Reading Today: Slaying the Dragon
Updated 16 August 2022

What We Are Reading Today: Slaying the Dragon

What We Are Reading Today: Slaying the Dragon

Author: Ben Riggs 

Ben Riggs’s Slaying the Dragon reveals the true story of the rise and fall of TSR— the company that unleashed imaginations with Dungeons & Dragons.

Go behind the scenes of their Lake Geneva headquarters where innovative artists and writers redefined the sword and sorcery genre, managers and executives sabotaged their own success by alienating their top talent, accruing a mountain of debt, and agreeing to deals which that made them into a publishing company unable to publish so much as a postcard.

As epic and fantastic as the titles TSR published, Slaying the Dragon is the legendary tale of the rise and fall of the company that created the role-playing game world.


What We Are Reading Today: Sapiens

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Updated 16 August 2022

What We Are Reading Today: Sapiens

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  • The book explains how these revolutions impacted the relationship between human beings and other species of flora and fauna

“Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind” is a non-fiction history and social philosophy book written by Prof. Yuval Noah Harari and published in 2011.

Harari based this book on a history class he was giving to undergraduate students. The contents of the 20 chapters reflect what is being taught in each of the 20 lectures during the semester.

Sapiens discusses world history from the inception of Earth 4.5 billion years ago to modern-day human footprint. Harari divides the timeline of history into four sections: the cognitive revolution, the agricultural revolution, the unification of humankind, and the scientific revolution.

The book explains how these revolutions impacted the relationship between human beings and other species of flora and fauna.

In section one, titled “The Cognitive Revolution,” there are four subcategories, with the first being “An Animal of No Significance,” that presents the reader with concise definitions of physics, chemistry, biology and history.

Section two, titled “The Agricultural Revolution,” discusses human beings’ domestication of plants and animals and explains that this revolution of interfering with naturally growing plants and wild animals started from western Iran, south-eastern Turkey and the Levant.

Section three, titled “The Unification of Humankind,” mentions that as agriculture required uniformity and cooperation between humans, the concept of collective rules and norms created the first structure of culture.

“The Scientific Revolution,” the final section, brings to light how human inventions and breakthroughs in the last 500 years catapulted humanity into a larger, more complex sphere of existence.

To put it into context, Harari highlights the first detonation of the atomic bomb — Oppenheimer’s weapon of mass destruction — in Alamogordo, New Mexico on July 16 1945.

Harari holds a Ph.D in history from the University of Oxford and is now a world history professor at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

He was awarded the Polonsky Prize for Creativity and Originality in 2009 and 2012. His bestseller and most remarkable publication Sapiens sold more than 12 million copies worldwide.

 


What We Are Reading Today: Left to Tell

What We Are Reading Today: Left to Tell
Updated 15 August 2022

What We Are Reading Today: Left to Tell

What We Are Reading Today: Left to Tell

Authors: Immaculee Ilibagiza and Steve Erwin

Immaculee Ilibagiza grew up in a country she loved, surrounded by a family she cherished. But in 1994 her idyllic world was ripped apart as Rwanda descended into a bloody genocide. Immaculee’s family was brutally murdered during a killing spree that lasted three months and claimed the lives of nearly a million Rwandans.

Incredibly, Immaculee survived the slaughter. For 91 days, she and seven other women huddled silently together in the cramped bathroom of a local pastor while hundreds of machete-wielding killers hunted for them.

It was during those endless hours of unspeakable terror that Immaculee discovered the power of prayer, eventually shedding her fear of death.

She emerged from her bathroom hideout having discovered the meaning of truly unconditional love — a love so strong she was able seek out and forgive her family’s killers.

The triumphant story of this remarkable young woman’s journey through the darkness of genocide will inspire anyone whose life has been touched by fear, suffering, and loss.


What We Are Reading Today: The Making of the Modern Philippines by Philip Bowring

What We Are Reading Today: The Making of the Modern Philippines by Philip Bowring
Updated 14 August 2022

What We Are Reading Today: The Making of the Modern Philippines by Philip Bowring

What We Are Reading Today: The Making of the Modern Philippines by Philip Bowring

The Philippines is an eclectic and unique mix of culture, environment, people and politics. Known mostly for natural disasters, migrant labor and dictatorial presidents, in this book Philip Bowing shows how it is much, much more, according to a review on goodreads.com.

Deftly navigating the history of this populous island republic, the book traces its history to define and explain its position in the modern world.

Looking past the headlines of volcanoes, earthquakes and violence, it asks why has the Filipino economy lagged behind its neighbors, and explores the importance of its location in geopolitics.

Taking the history of the Philippines from its pre-colonial era, through its Spanish and American occupations and up to the modern day, it unravels the complex politics, culture, peoples and economy of this rich and unique nation.

Engaging with challenges the Filipino people face today such as federalism, revolution, Mindanao, the diaspora, capitalism and relations with China, it rediscovers the struggles, culture and history of its past to understand the present.