Wednesday, February 24, 2010


These boots are meant for talking. These legs are meant for gawking. Don't call my name, Alejandro. (Shenzhen (China) Girl.)Dear Gentle Reader,

It's 3WW, again.

This week the prompt words are generate, meager, and tease.

As usual, I serve up three haiku/senryu, each with an American Sentence title.

Things have still not hit equilibrium in Hong Kong, yet, so I am woefully behind in reading, responding, and even posting, myself.

Nonetheless, I am here for Thom's prompts.

Your starter is a titled picture with, as always, descriptions if you run your mouse over the image.

For dessert, I close off with a musical offering, which, this week, is related to last week's offering.

So, promptly, away.

Let the games begin with generate, meager, and tease...

Fresh officer learns quickly that herbal teas aren't wanted at the front.

meager teas, hot-wet,
generates no goodwill, sir.
serve joe booze instead.

** ... joe is a US slang term for coffee whilst Joe is a US slang term for either an "ordinary Joe" or an ordinary soldier, a la G.I. Joe. my lack of capitalization yields ambiguity...

High tension cabling required for these; restrain the dogs of war on base.

Meagre tees. Wet, thin,
strained, stretched, full to bursting
generate ten-shun.

** ... "Ten-Shun" is a North American slang term, on the military parade ground, for 'attention'. It is usually phrased and delivered in the imperative tense. And the implicit puppies in the American Sentence title are also a slang term for breasts. Usually women's. Oh. And, after Heroine testing, it might be noted that tees are tee shirts...

When home's an alley and the only purr is your belly... ...gotta eat...

Meager tease goes home
hungry. Generate coin, food...
Rough trade; go pro, boy.

** ..."Rough trade" is a slang term for a male prostitute.



Last week I gave you a baroque 'Ciaccona', a chaconne, which I said always reminded me of modern dance music as baroque chaconnes have a driving bass line with a series of short harmonic variations which dance around that beat.

I also said that I enjoy dance music.

Rereading last week's post, I thought of today's musical piece by Kenny Mellman.

Sure, Kenny uses a banjo (I think) rather than a harpsichord, but the plucking is similar to a baroque harpsichord. And, Kenny uses his voice as a driving bass line with a series of short harmonic, plucked banjo variations dancing around that bass line.

...Baroque to Dance-Electro-Pop and back to baroque...

"Music evolution change
Sometimes the common makes it sound strange"

Buckshot Lefonque

Gentle Reader (and listener), if you think that my musical selection this week is akin to a malformed pearl, then I am delighted.

(A malformed pearl, in Portuguese, is now uma pérola malformado. But, in the seventeenth century, a malformed pearl, or a misshapen pearl, was uma barroca, from whence we get Baroque.)


Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Image of a bouquet of roses, made from some foamed plastic, with glowing snippets of fibre optic cable sticking out. This image is titled 'Alien Bouquet hot from Victoria Park's Chinese New Year Fair (Hong Kong, 2010)'Dear Gentle Reader,

It is 3WW. Again.

Not so much love for my loose id postscript for last week's 3WW, but I take what I get, and I did like what I did receive. (What a suck, no?)

Anyway, thanks are due to Thom, as usual.

This week the 3WW word prompts are occur, ragged, and tidy.

As usual, I present three haiku/senryu, each with an American Sentence title.

So, let the games begin with occur, ragged, and tidy....

OH! You might note that I have gone with aural interpretations of the words, and visual sleight-of-hand, too, just for fun. (Mine.)

And, lastly, the Heroine of this site recommended that folks read the green explanations under two of the poems... ...and, without further adieu...

William shakes fist, spear; shivers the air with his tempestuous anger...

Oh cur! Oh ragged
Cur! Hang cur! Hang you whoreson...
[Tidy curse for foes!]

**The Tempest, Act 1, Scene 1
Antonio: "Hang cur! Hang, you whoreson, insolent noisemaker!"
William Shakespeare (1564-1616)

In soft, modern days and ages the old lives on, even if not here...

(D)ragged over thresholds--
out of tidy home to hell;
forced weddings occur.

To test his theory the new priest undressed her, removed her rags, and then...

Tidy ochre scraps
swept into neat piles by priest.
D-ragged... ...Mummy gone...

**Mummies, those fabulous Egyptians whose bodies were rendered less mortal, ultimately derive their name from bitumen, a heavy petroleum product, once worked into devotional art by the Medes, early Persians, and by others.

It was believed, from the colour of the preserved corpses, that bitumen, mum in Persian, thence mumia in Latin, thence Mummy in English, had been used in the mummification process.

The modern priestly caste, sometimes known as scientists, de-ragged, or removed the wrappings on the corpses--the Mummies--to check, and found no trace of bitumen in the Mummies' corpses.... so, linguistically, the Mummy was a Mummy no more (no bitumen).


PS. As an aside the baroque musical style 'Ciaccona', possibly more familiar to most through its French name, chaconne, always reminds me of modern dance music; it has a driving bass line with a series of short harmonic variations which dance around that beat. I enjoy dance music (I enjoy dancing) and tend not to be too epochcentric... Hopefully some of you will enjoy this selection.

(Admittedly, the beat per minute rate of this Ciaccona is slower than most modern dance and electronic music, but most ravers and dubsteppers are wearing clothing easily weighed in micrograms, not the kilograms of baroque outfits, not to mention those Lady GaGa-esque baroque wigs...)


Thursday, February 11, 2010

3WW CLXXVI (postscript) (Big Egos. Loose Ids.)

The moral wasteland (rich in grey)... Dear Gentle Reader,

I am back with a 3WW CLXXVI postscript (in haiku[ish] format with an American Sentence title)...

This week, again, the words are lucid, righteous, and salvage...

Mobsters swagger through moral wastelands, diminishing debtors and debts...

Big egos. Loose ids.
Sal Vaggio, Righteous Lee;
made men collect debts.


** For non-English-as-a-first-language speakers, a made man, or a wise guy, are other names for a mafioso--a member of the Cosa Nostra, the mob. Hence two mafiosi, two wise guys, or, two mobsters, would be made men.

**Further, for id, and ego, think of Sigmund Freud and his id, ego, and super ego. Or, for German-readers, think of das Es, das ich, und das Ueber-Ich...


Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Image of a squid in a tub ready for sale for dinner. Poor Squid. The title of this image is 'Cthulhu awakes from a bubble bath, ready to pump up the jam; beware... Or maybe this is a gentle reader, eyeing your humble scribe cautiously, trying to determine if he will stay around this time...'.Dear Gentle Reader,

It is 3WW and I am back after another absence (see prior post).

This week the words are lucid, righteous, and salvage.

As usual (when I am present), I offer three haiku (ish), each with an American Sentence title.

For those that don't know, the 'Coles Notes' version explanation of Haiku and American Sentences follow first, with a bit of extra fluff--or dander, and then come the poems...

Haiku originated in Japan, but the English version of haiku is, usually, a bit stricter than the original Japanese haiku format.

The English language haiku generally requires three lines with 5 syllables on the first line, 7 syllables on the second line and 5 syllables on the final line.

Of course, haiku, classically, deal with seasons or nature and use a 'cutting word' (frequently onomatopoeic) to divide the poem into two parts.

I don't normally do that.

In fact, I rarely write haiku, technically speaking.

I frequently write about human foibles, or deviancy, sometimes with irony and, sometimes, humour, which are the subject matter domain of senryu rather than haiku.

Senryu are structurally similar to haiku except for the subject matter revolving around men (and women) rather than nature or seasons (haiku).

That difference is probably irrelevant to most folk; I figure that most folk either know this stuff already, or can't be bothered to know about, or be interested in, the senryu/haiku differences.

The American Sentence is a poetical form far closer, syntactically, to Japanese haiku, in my opinion--and this is readily debatable. This form requires 17 syllables in one flowing sentence and was created by the American poet Allen Ginsberg.

Now, let my verbiage end and the games begin with lucid, righteous, and salvage... (thanks for the words, Thom).

Sleeping on Milton's black gulf, burning with rage amidst sulphur, dreaming...

Lucifer dreams hot,
lucidly, righteously of
salvaging his rank

Eco-warrior, on the margin (of sea and land), finds funds for her cause.

Lucid beachcomber
salvages timber for cash;
righteous tree-hugger.

When brains go snap, and psyche flees, hope follows and soon is lost or trapped...

Psycho-chem'cal salvage--failed.
Righteous wail, despair.


The combination of Lucifer, folk on the margins, or between the margins, neural snapping, and righteous whales made me think of H.P. Lovecraft and Cthulhu.

And Cthulhu is what inspired both the image at the top and this piece of folk on the margins...Canadian gypsy jazz (jazz manouche) meets French disco... by some Canadian, Quebecois confrères...
The Lost Fingers' English language website is here...


Back home for a short time...

Image of a tunnel exit in China, taken from a bus from inside the tunnel.Dear Gentle Reader,

I now come out of a long, dark period of e-silence.

Sorry about that.

I blame insolvencies, illness, and insurrections.

Those three 'eyes' glared at us simultaneously, which is almost as bad as a basilisk's stare.

But we were not turned to stone--only e-mush that could not post, apparently.

The insolvencies were not personal to us, only their effects were; Hero Pommes, the Wonder Cat, still has a working Swiss credit card.

The illness' are whatever and insurrections are best not dealt with in e-space.

Suffice to say that the Heroine, the Hero, and your humble scribe are, still, all well enough.

As a further excuse for posting laxity, there have also been: house guests, almost continually, from December 1 onwards; multiple trips into China, where your humble scribe cannot access this site; and, a new apartment has been sought in Hong Kong.

Finding an apartment in Hong Kong brings to mind the first verse of W.H. Auden's poem "Say this City has Ten Million Souls"...

Say this city has ten million souls,
Some are living in mansions, some are living in holes:
Yet there's no place for us, my dear, yet there's no place for us.

(W.H. Auden--excerpt, first stanza of
Say this City has Ten Million Souls)

However, a new home has been found.

Not to mention the fact that Hong Kong only has seven million souls. Ish.

Fewer, even, if some of the reputed deals that Angel Lucy cut are true...

Cleaning and painting and renovating are all being quoted for the new apartment which is interesting because, for once, someone else will be doing all that work, my not really being up for it at the moment.

Packing and moving preparations are breathing hotly down our necks, wondering when they get to bask in our attention... (soon, soon...)

The new apartment will be bigger and will have easier guest facilities (for both guests and for us).

The trade-off for more space was a sacrifice of our lovely view--no more harbour view or park view or bird's-eye views of birds' eyes (raptors and prey, both).

And the new home is in an older apartment building.

And there will be no pool, gym, sauna, weight room, jacuzzi, putting green, outdoor patio, meeting rooms, function rooms, auxiliary computer room, or library in the new building, unlike in the current building.


Also, no concierge.

Or cute conciergettes.

*Double sigh*

Nor will there be the Russian oligarch-chic foyer with black glass chandeliers from Murano, Philippe Starck designed floor lamps, stainless steel sculptures, slowly cycling, recessed rainbow lights, and naked men and women (sculptures, sadly) as door handles.

*Triple sigh*

Special note... that beautiful woman (the door handle on the right) fit wonderfully into one's palm.

Think Thumbelina, only sexier.

And the man was, always, when used, under my thumb.

Go figure. And, no, I won't say what part.

But, the rent is less and the space is more.

I suppose I ought to post photos of the old apartment, now that we are preparing to bid it a fond adieu.

Maybe that will be the next post.

After 3WW, of course.


Monday, February 8, 2010

2009 in review--Books

Books read in 2009... (reverse chronological order of books on completion of reading)

The First Emperor of China (Frances Wood)
Treason by the Book (Jonathan D. Spence)
Principia Ethica (G.E. Moore)
The Rights of Man (Thomas Paine)
Mesopotamia: Writing, Reasoning, and the Gods (Jean Bottéro, translated by Zainab Bahrani and Marc Van de Mieroop)
Visual Piety: A History and Theory of Popular Religious Images (David Morgan)
The Historical Buddha: The Times, Life, and Teachings of the Founder of Buddhism (H.W. Schumann, translated by M. O'C. Walshe)
Barbarians and Mandarins: Thirteen Centuries of Western Travellers in China (Nigel Cameron)
A Panorama of Ancient Chinese Architecture in Shanxi (Wang Senhao)
The Bomb: A Life (Gerard DeGroot)
Worlds Within: The Japanese Home (MK Shankar)
Adorning the Empress (May Holdsworth)
Bamboo (Trea Wiltshire)
The Long March Back (Peter Moss)
Art Nouveau (Mario Amaya)
Very Bad Deaths (Spider Robinson)
Satan: The Early Christian Tradition (Jeffrey Burton Russell)
Mathematics in Art (Michael Holt)
Japanese Stencils (Rupert Faulkner)
Democracy: Past and Furture (Pierre Rosanvallon, edited and translated by Samuel Moyn)
Last Days of the Buddha [The Maha Parinibbana Sutta] (translated by Sister Vajira & Francis Story)
Neuruppiner Bilderboggen (Lisa Riedel)
Ludwigsburg: Geschter einer Stadt (Alke Hollwedel)
Otto Dix (Dietrich Schubert)
Die vier Ludwigsburger Literaten (Andrea Fix)
Ueberbrueckt: Aesthetische Moderne und Nationalsozialimus Kunsthistoriker un Kuenstler 1925-1937 (Eugen Blume, Dieter Scholz)
Cathedral of our Lady Strasbourg (Dr. Hugo Schnell, Dr. Johannes Steiner)
A Collection of Works by David Gerrold: The Involuntary Human (David Gerrold)
Tides of War (Steven Pressfield)
Stained-Glass Windows: Strasbourg Cathedral (Simon Schultz, Jean-Baptiste Ritt)
Otto Dix: Zwischer Paradies und Unterfanf (Dieter Buchhart, Hartwig Knack)
Neuruppin: In alten Alben geblaettert (Hansjoerg Albrecht)
The Pregnant King (Devdutt Pattanaik)
Gorgias (Plato, translated by Walter Hamilton)
The Peloponnesian War (Thucydides, translated by Rex Warner)
The Silk Road: Two Thousand Years in the Heart of Asia (Frances Wood)
The Essence of Tao (Pamela Ball)
Hieronymus Bosch (Walter S. Gibson)
Shuang Lin Si Cai Su ()
Pingyao China (Zhang Guo Tian)
The Ancient City of Pingyao (Shao Heng, translated by Ren Ying)
Longmen Grotto (Liu Jing Long)
Jacquard's Web: How a hand loom led to the birth of the information age (James Essinger)
The Rise of Magic in Early Medieval Europe (Valerie Flint)
Power and Charity: A Chinese Merchant Elite in Colonial Hong Kong (Elizabeth Sinn)
Buddhism in China (Ling Haicheng, translated by Jin Shaoqing)
Islam in China (Mi Shoujiang & You Jia, translated by Min Chang)
History of Tibetan Religion -- A Study in the Field (Li An-Che)
Thangka Paintings: An Illustrated Manual of the Tibetan Epic Gesar (Jambian Gyamco, translated by Zhou Aiming)
Principles and Elements of Medieval Church Architecture in Western Europe (Michel Henry-Claude, Laurence Stefanon, Yannick Zaballos: translated by Beryl Degans)
The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures (Ann Fadiman)
Towards the Light: The Story of the the Struggles for Liberty & Rights that made the Modern West (A.C. Grayling)
Spinoza Selections (Baruch Spinzoa, edited by John Wild)
The Rise of Confucian Ritualism in Late Imperial China: Ethics, Classics, and Lineage Discourse (Kai-wing Chow)
The Prince of Darkness: Radical Evil and the Power of Good in History (Jeffrey Burton Russell)
The Devil: Perceptions of Evil from Antiquity to Primitive Christianity (Jeffrey Burton Russell)
The Lure of China: Writers from Marco Polo to J.G. Ballard (Frances Wood)
Anglo-China: Chinese People and British Rule in Hong Kong, 1841-1880 (Christopher Munn)
Through the Looking Glass: China's Foreign Journalists from Opium Wars to Mao (Paul French)
Critical Survey of Indian Philosophy (Chandradhar Sharma)
Notes of a Dirty Old Man (Charles Bukowski)
Perspectives on the Yi of Southwest China (Stevan Harrell, editor)
Folk Customs at Traditional Chinese Festivals (Foreign Languages Press)
Paper Joss: Deity Worship Through Folk Prints (Wang Shucun)
China's Living Houses: Folk Beliefs, Symbols, and Household Ornamentation (Ronald G. Knapp)
Mountain Folks in Yunnan: Selected Photographs of Wu Jialin (Wang Zhiping, Deng Qizao, and Xiao Jingzhi)
A Pictorial Journey on the Old Mekong: Cambodia, Laos, and Yunnan (Louis Delaporte and Francis Garnier, translated by Walter E.J. Tips)
Will the boat sink the water? The Life of China's Peasants (Chen Guidi and Wu Chuntao, translated by Zhu Hong)
The Baisha Frescoes in Lijiang County (Li Xi)
Hunting and Rituals: Treasures from the Ancient Dian Kingdom of Yunnan (Various Writers, Hong Kong Museum of History and Cultural Department of Yunnan Province)
Prisoner of the State: The Secret Journal of Chinese Premier Zhao Ziyang (Zhao Ziyang, tranlstated by Bao Pu, Renee Chang, and Adi Ignatius)
Cassell's World History of Warfare (Holger Herwig, Christon Archer, Timothy Travers, and John Ferris)
The Penguin Book of Great Military Writing (John Keegan)
The Dictionary of Battles (David Chandler)
Chinese Chess for Beginners (Alex Liu)
The Master of Go (Yasunari Kawabata, translated by Edward G. Seidensticker)
On War (General Carl von Clausewitz, translated by Colonel J.J. Graham)
The Arthashastra (Kautiliya, translated and rearranged by L.N. Rangarajan)
The Art of War (Sun Tzu, translated by Ralpgh D. Sawyer)
Go Rin No Sho [The Book of Five Rings] (Miyamoto Mushashi, translated by Victor Harris)
Icônes (Jean Marcadé, Christophe Walter)
The Origins of Christian Art (Michael Gough)
Impressionism (Phoebe Pool)
The Six Day War of 1899: Hong Kong in the Age of Imperialism (Patrick H. Hase)
Buddhist Symbols in Tibetan Culture (Dagyab Rinpoche)
Earth, Air, Fire and Custard (Tom Holt)
Paint Your Dragon (Tom Holt)
Chinese Junks and Other Native Craft (Ivon A. Donnelly)
Fleet of Worlds (Larry Niven, Edward M. Lerner)
Breakfast at Tiffany's (Truman Capote)
Geometric Concepts in Islamic Art (Issam El-Said, Ayse Parman)
Public Success, Private Sorrow: The Life and Times of Charles Henry Brewitt-Taylor (1857-1938), China Customs Commissioner and Pioneer Translator (Isidore Cyril Cannon)
After the Galleons: Foreign Trade, Economic Change and Entrepreneurship in the Nineteenth-Century Philippines (Benito J. Legarda, Jr.)
Hong Kong Internment, 1942-1945: Life in the Japanese Civilian Camp at Stanley (Geoffrey Charles Emerson)
At the Villa of Reduced Circumstances (from the 2 1/2 Pillars of Wisdom Von Igelfeld Trilogy) (Alexander McCall Smith)
The Finer Points of Sausage Dogs (from the 2 1/2 Pillars of Wisdom Von Igelfeld Trilogy) (Alexander McCall Smith)
Portugese Irregular Verbs (from the 2 1/2 Pillars of Wisdom Von Igelfeld Trilogy) (Alexander McCall Smith)
The Encyclopedia of Tibetan Symbolism and Motifs (Robert Beer)
Ballads of a Cheechako (Robert W. Service)
Watching over Hong Kong: Private Policing 1841-1941 (Sheilah E. Hamilton)
A Path of Hope: An Autobiography (Lech Walesa)
Kunst und Geschichte: Altertum (H. Luckenbach)
Taj Mahal (Heera Nand Aswani)
Wordsworth & Coleridge: Lyrical Ballads (edited by R.L. Brett and A.R. Jones)
Guide to the Summer Palace (Administration Office of the Summer Palace)
Kenopanisad (anonymous, one of the Upanishads, the body of Vedic liturgical and moral literature)
The Print in the North, The Age of Albrecht Dürer and Lucas van Leyden)
Ravenne, Un Guide Artistique (Antonio Paolucci)
Gai Institutiones (Institutes of Roman Law by Gaius) (Gaius, translated by Edward Poste)
Corpus Iurus Civilis: Institutiones (The Institutes of Justinian from the Body of Civil Law) (Tribonian, translated by John Baron Moyle)
The Law of the Sea (R.R. Churchill, A.V. Lowe)
Contemporary Issues in the Law of Treaties (Malgosia Fitzmaurice, Olufemi Elias)
Modern Treaty Law and Practice (Anthony Aust)
Wings of Fire, an autobiography (Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam, Arun Tiwari)
Treasures of Indian Art: Germany's Tribute to India's Cultural Heritage (Raffael Dedo Gadebusch, Regina Hickmann, Heino Kottkamp, & Marianne Yaldiz))
The Journey of a Moment in Time... Rhagu Rhai, A Retrospective (Michael E. Hoffman, François Hébel, Norman Hall, & Raghu Rai)
Symbolism and Geometry in Indian Art (Rupika Chawla)
Treasury of Indian Tales (Shankar)
Tales from Indian Classics (Savitri)
Petit Guide de Rome pour les Pèlerins du Vingt-cinquième Jubilé (Edité par le Bureau de Presse du Comité Central de l'Année Sainte)
Elephanta (George Michell)
The Story of India (Michael Wood)
An Autobiography or The Story of my experiments with truth (Mohandas Karamchad Gandhi translated by Mahadev Desai)
Rediscovering Gandhi (Yogesh Chadha)
Environmental Health Policy (David Ball)
Environmental Epidemiology (edited by Paul Wilkinson)
Medical Anthropology (Robert Pool and Wenzel Geissler)
Global Change and Health (edited by Kelly Lee and Jeff Collin)
Controlling Communicable Disease (Norman Noah)
Issues in Public Health (edited by Joceline Pomerleau and Martin McKee)
Andrew Marvell: Selected Poems (Edited by G.D.H. & M.I. Cole)
Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties 1969
L'Europe del diritto commune (The Common Legal Past of Europe: 1000-1800) (Manlio Bellomo translated by Lydia G. Cochrane)
European Legal History (O.F. Robinson, T.D. Fergus, and W.M. Gordon)
The Chinese: Lu Yuanmin Photographs (Editors Li Mei and Yuan Yi-zhong)
The Chinese: Liu Zheng Photographs (Editors: Li Mei and Yuan Yi-zhong)
Forbidden City (Frances Wood)
The Man Who Broke Napoleon's Codes: The True Story of a Forgotten Hero in Wellington's Army (Mark Urban)
Chinese Calligraphy: An Introduction to Its Aesthetic and Technique (Chiang Yee)
The Aeneid of Virgil (Publius Vergilius Maro "Virgil" verse translation by Allen Mandelbaum)
Beijing Hutong 101 Photos: The vanished or vanishing Beijing (Xu Yong)
Old Hong Kong: 1860 - 30 June 1997 (Trea Wiltshire)
Riding the Iron Rooster: By Train Through China (Paul Theroux)
Passing Shadows: Hong Kong (Peter Moss)
A Sense of Place: Hong Kong West of Pottinger Street (Edited by Veronica Pearson and Ko Tim-keung)
City of Darkness: Life in Kowloon Walled City (Greg Girard, Ian Lambot)
The Manchu Dragon: Costumes of the Ch'ing Dynasty 1644-1912 (Jean Mailey)
Clonmacnois (Kenneth MacGowan)
Gamla Uppsala from ancient to modern time (Tore Littmarck)
Heliga Birgitta (Saint Birgitta) (Bengt Z Norström translated by Tord Harlin)
Medeltidsmalningarna i Gamla Uppsala kyrka (The mediaeval paintings in the church of Old Uppsala) (Bengt Z Norström translated by Tord Harlin)
Along the Royal Roads to Angkor (Yoshiaki Ishizawa)
Angkor: An Introduction to the Temples (Dawn Rooney)
Oresteia: Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers, The Eumenides (Aeschylus translated and with an introduction by Richard Lattimore)
Power Sharing and International Mediation in Ethnic Conflicts (Timothy D. Sisk)
The Hidden War: A Russian Journalist's Account of the Soviet War in Afghanistan (Artyom Borovik)
The Penguin Book of the Middle Ages (Morris Bishop)
Utas és holdvilág (Journey by Moonlight) (Antal Szerb translated by Len Rix) (Utterly fantastic novel)
Tehanu (Ursula LeGuin) (Read aloud! The experiment continues... eventually she'll agree to listen to Pardise Lost...)
Einhard and Notker the Stammerer: Two Lives of Charlemagne (Einhard and Notker the Stammerer, translated (and an introduction) by Lewis Thorpe)
The Travels of Sir John Mandeville (unknown author, translated (and an introduction) by C.W.R.D. Moseley)
The Nasty Bits (Anthony Bourdain)
Second Foundation (Isaac Asimov)
Foundation and Empire (Isaac Asimov)
Foundation (Isaac Asimov)
Xi'an, Shaanxi and the Terracotta Army (Paul Mooney, Catherine Maudsley, Gerald Hatherly)
The Penguin Atlas of Medieval History (Colin McEvedy)
China Baoji (Zhao Yaping)
The Farthest Shore (Ursula LeGuin) (Read aloud! The experiment continues... eventually she'll agree to listen to Pardise Lost...)
The Penguin Atlas of Ancient History (Colin McEvedy)
The Silent Landscape: In the wake of HMS Challenger 1872-1876 (Richard Corfield)
Thomas Telford (L.T.C. Rolt)
The Chi Lin Nunnery: A Tang Dynasty Timber Monastery (Chi Lin Nunnery)
In Your Dreams (Tom Holt)
Faust Among Equals (Tom Holt)
Flying Dutch (Tom Holt)
The Handbook of Tibetan Buddhist Symbols (Robert Beer)
Tropic of Cancer (Henry Miller)
Buying a Fishing Rod for my Grandfather (Gao Xingjian translated by Mabel Lee)
Shadrach (Meindert De Jong)
Women Empowered: Inspiring Change in the Emerging World (Phil Borges)
Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator (Roald Dahl)
The Law of the Sea: United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea from the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea (United Nations Office of Legal Affairs, Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea)
Articles of Agreement: International Monetary Fund (International Monetary Fund)
being caribou (Karsten Heuer)
The Dragon and the Crown: Hong Kong Memoirs (Stanley S.K. Kwan with Nicole Kwan) (Yes, Stanley is the gentleman who created the Hang Seng Index...)
Manual on International Courts and Tribunals (Philippe Sands, Ruth Mackenzie, Yuval Shany)
International Dispute Settlement (4th Ed.) (J.G. Merrills)
Exploring Traditional Chinese Festivals in China (Gai Guoliang)
hardboiled / hard luck (Banana Yoshimoto, translated by Michael Emmerich)
Down all the days (Christy Brown)
Giovanni Boccaccio (British Library Reference Division)
A Chinese Garden Court: The Astor Court at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Alfreda Murck, Wen Fong))
Stained Glass (Michael Archer)
Cheung Chau Dog Fancier's Society (Alan B. Pierce)
Indigenous Peoples in International Law (S. James Anaya)
Chinese Fairy Tales (Jeanyee Wong)
The Ascent of Nanda Devi (Harold William Tilman)
Robert Service Under the Spell of the Yukon (Enid Mallory)
Colour in Early Russian Icon Painting (Mikhail Alpatov)
Architecture for Islamic Societies Today (James Steele, editor)
Trésor de l'Egypte par Samivel (Samivel)
Across the Tibetan Plateau: Ecosystems, Wildlife, and Conservation (Robert L. Fleming, Jr., Dorje Tsering, and Liu Wulin)
Alexander the Great: The Hunt for a New Past (Paul Cartledge)
Saint Mark: The Life and the Mosaics (Antonio Niero)
L'art ornamental: Mosaïques de Saint-Marc a Venise (Sergio Bettini)
The Potala (Tibetan Administrative Office of the Potala)
Protectionism (Jagdish Bhagwati)
Losing Control? Sovereignty in an Age of Globalisation (Saskia Sassen)
Le Foie gras (Elvira Masson)
Jonathon Strange & Mr. Norrell (Susanna Clarke)
To End A War (Richard Holbrooke)
The Great Wall (John Man)
Blink (Malcolm Gladwell)
The Tombs of Atuan (Ursula LeGuin) (Read aloud, an experiment in progress...)
Art and Architecture Venice (Marion Kaminski)
The Gift of Rain (Tan Twan Eng)
Experimental Travel (Rachael Antony & Joël Henry)
The Emperor of Scent (Chandler Burr)
Roman Law in European History (Peter Stein)