Vinyl School Years: My Favorite Albums from the 1980s (Part 1)

Inspired by my father, and by my forthcoming book on Chinese rock scenes, I take a trip down memory lane, recalling my favorite albums from a misspent youth in Massachusetts. Artists featured in this blog include The Clash, The Dead Kennedys, The English Beat, Polyrock, The Stranglers, Ultravox, Talking Heads, Snakefinger, R.E.M., and Thomas Dolby.

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The Year 2016 in 10 Favorite Books

A list of my favorite reads in the year 2016, not necessarily published in that year but mostly recent publications, including books on music, history, Shanghai, and autobiographies of two British gents.

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Shanghai Nightscapes Goes Live

Finally, nearly twenty years after this project was first conceived in the Hithouse Bar near Fudan University, over a couple of soggy, warm beers and the bleery-eyed environment of a student-populated disco bar, our book Shanghai Nightscapes is now being launched into the world.  Special thanks goes out to Doug Mitchell and the rest of the team at U Chicago Press, as well as to our various editors and compilers.  James Farrer, my coauthor, was the driving force behind this project's completion, and definitely deserves top billing. I hope that those who read the book will find something of themselves reflected in its contents.

You may find the book on Amazon or just go directly to the publisher, University of Chicago Press.  Happy reading!

Walter Benjamin: A Critical Life

I have long been fascinated by the life story and the writings of Walter Benjamin. Benjamin's life and works have taken on mythical powers over the past decades. This book combines a painstakingly detailed account of his life with deep critical analyses of his works, richly contextualized within the framework of his life story. It is a stunning work of scholarship, which reconstructs his life through his own letters and other documents as well as those of his friends and others in the circles in which he traveled.

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A Great List of Books and Films on Old Shanghai

At risk of sounding narcissistic, I was just googling my own name to see what comes up (at least I don't post selfies on facebook!) and on the Frommers website I found this excellent listing of books and films about Shanghai history.  Can't recommend it highly enough to those interested in learning about our fair city (and not just because my book Shanghai's Dancing World is on the list--and if you made this list, please update it to include my book on Mu Shiying!)


Another review of Mu Shiying

I just received news of a very favorable review by Frederik H. Green of my book, Mu Shiying:  China's Lost Modernist, for the e-journal MCLC.  The review may be found on this web page.

Time to celebrate with a night on the town, once I've recovered from this head cold I caught whilst on a company retreat in Moganshan.  James Farrer is in town now, and we have some more follow-up research to do for our upcoming book, Shanghai Nightscapes!