100 books like Women and the Family in Rural Taiwan

By Margery Wolf,

Here are 100 books that Women and the Family in Rural Taiwan fans have personally recommended if you like Women and the Family in Rural Taiwan. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Genius of China: 3,000 Years of Science, Discovery, and Invention

Bret Hinsch Author Of The Rise of Tea Culture in China: The Invention of the Individual

From my list on Chinese history that will surprise you.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve dedicated my life to the study of Chinese history. I received a Ph.D. in History and East Asian Languages from Harvard and have spent my career teaching Chinese history at universities in Taiwan. I am the author of eleven books and many academic articles and book reviews about Chinese history. As an American who has spent decades lecturing about Chinese history in Mandarin to Taiwanese students, I have an uncommon perspective on the subject.  

Bret's book list on Chinese history that will surprise you

Bret Hinsch Why did Bret love this book?

This book is full of “wow” moments. The author describes the history of numerous inventions to show the ingenuity of Chinese civilization. Some of these inventions are well known, like paper and the compass. But most of them come as a surprise. Until about two hundred years ago, China was far ahead of the rest of the world in most types of technology. In some respects, such as agricultural tools and steel smelting, China was two thousand years ahead of Europe. When you read this book, you will realize that for most of history, Europe was like a marginal third-world society and China was the center of things.  

By Robert Temple,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Genius of China as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Revised, full-color illustrated edition of the multi-award-winning, international bestseller that charts the unparalleled and astounding achievement of ancient China

• Brings to life one hundred Chinese “firsts” in the fields of agriculture, astronomy, engineering, mathematics, medicine, music, technology, and warfare

• Based on the definitive work of the world’s most famous Sinologist, Joseph Needham (1900-1995), author of Science and Civilisation in China

• Organized by field, invention, and discovery for ease of reference

Undisputed masters of invention and discovery for 3,000 years, the ancient Chinese were the first to discover the solar wind and the circulation of the blood and…


Book cover of Emperor of China: Self-Portrait of K'ang-Hsi

Bret Hinsch Author Of The Rise of Tea Culture in China: The Invention of the Individual

From my list on Chinese history that will surprise you.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve dedicated my life to the study of Chinese history. I received a Ph.D. in History and East Asian Languages from Harvard and have spent my career teaching Chinese history at universities in Taiwan. I am the author of eleven books and many academic articles and book reviews about Chinese history. As an American who has spent decades lecturing about Chinese history in Mandarin to Taiwanese students, I have an uncommon perspective on the subject.  

Bret's book list on Chinese history that will surprise you

Bret Hinsch Why did Bret love this book?

The eighteenth-century Kangxi Emperor was one of the most successful rulers in Chinese history, and he had a fascinating life. But Jonathan Spence was not content to write a standard academic biography. Instead, he writes from a first-person perspective. The reader does not look at Kangxi’s life from the outside but sees the world from the emperor’s point of view. Spence was a talented stylist, so the book is not only a profound study of Chinese history but also an innovative piece of literature. 

By Jonathan D. Spence,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Emperor of China as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A remarkable re-creation of the life of K'ang-hsi, emperor of the Manchu dynasty from 1661-1772, assembled from documents that survived his reign. Illustrations, notes, bibliography, index.


Book cover of The Last Embassy: The Dutch Mission of 1795 and the Forgotten History of Western Encounters with China

Bret Hinsch Author Of The Rise of Tea Culture in China: The Invention of the Individual

From my list on Chinese history that will surprise you.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve dedicated my life to the study of Chinese history. I received a Ph.D. in History and East Asian Languages from Harvard and have spent my career teaching Chinese history at universities in Taiwan. I am the author of eleven books and many academic articles and book reviews about Chinese history. As an American who has spent decades lecturing about Chinese history in Mandarin to Taiwanese students, I have an uncommon perspective on the subject.  

Bret's book list on Chinese history that will surprise you

Bret Hinsch Why did Bret love this book?

In 1795 a group of Dutch diplomats traveled across China from a port in the south to Beijing in the north. At this time, few Westerners had ever traveled beyond the coast, so when the embassy returned to the Netherlands, several members wrote accounts of their unusual journey. This book gives an enormous amount of fascinating detail about what it was like to travel in imperial China, and about the lifestyles in various regions of the country. At times the diplomats enjoyed luxury and refinement, but they also had to endure hardship and mistreatment. The book evokes what daily life was like in China prior to the Western impact.

By Tonio Andrade,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Last Embassy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the acclaimed author of The Gunpowder Age, a book that casts new light on the history of China and the West at the turn of the nineteenth century

George Macartney's disastrous 1793 mission to China plays a central role in the prevailing narrative of modern Sino-European relations. Summarily dismissed by the Qing court, Macartney failed in nearly all of his objectives, perhaps setting the stage for the Opium Wars of the nineteenth century and the mistrust that still marks the relationship today. But not all European encounters with China were disastrous. The Last Embassy tells the story of the…


Book cover of Mao's Great Famine: The History of China's Most Devastating Catastrophe, 1958-1962

Zhang-Yue Zhou Author Of Achieving Food Security in China: The Challenges Ahead

From my list on understanding China’s great famine.

Why am I passionate about this?

My desire for food-related studies originates from my personal experience of starvation. Born in 1957 in rural China, I soon stepped into China’s Great Famine (1958-1962). During this famine, over 30 million people died of hunger, mostly peasants, including my grandpa (my mother’s father). As a growing child, I was hungry and today I still remember how my family struggled to feed us. After becoming a student at an agricultural university, I had the opportunity to think and started to ponder over food-related issues. After graduation, I became an academic and have since focused my energy on studies concerning food, chiefly, China’s food supply and food security. 

Zhang-Yue's book list on understanding China’s great famine

Zhang-Yue Zhou Why did Zhang-Yue love this book?

Few Western intellectuals are aware of the scale of the atrocities during China’s Great Famine. If they had been and had written more on the famine, there could have been a greater impact on popular consciousness.

Yet, Dikötter cared to painstakingly search through local archives, and with his fine book, depicted the well-hidden human miseries to a much broader global audience. This is another book by a person who is foreign to China that greatly inspired me to look into improving China’s food security.

In this prize-winning book, Dikötter confirms that the famine was the worst man-made human catastrophe, not a natural calamity. Book prize judges regarded it as stunningly original and hugely important.

By Frank Dikötter,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Mao's Great Famine as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A groundbreaking history of China's Great Famine: winner of the BBC Samuel Johnson Prize 2011 'A gripping and masterful portrait of the brutal court of Mao, based on new research but also written with great narrative verve' Simon Sebag Montefiore 'Harrowing and brilliant' Ben Macintyre 'A critical contribution to Chinese history' Wall Street Journal Between 1958 and 1962, 45 million Chinese people were worked, starved or beaten to death. Mao Zedong threw his country into a frenzy with the Great Leap Forward, an attempt to catch up with and overtake the West in less than fifteen years. It led to…


Book cover of Flyover Lives: A Memoir

Patrick M. Garry Author Of The Power of Gratitude: Charting a Path Toward a Joyous and Faith-Filled Life

From my list on gratitude and how it can uplift your life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have published more than twenty books and hundreds of articles. But not one of those books and articles inspired the kind of devotion I felt toward The Power of Gratitude. In a way, this book encapsulates a lifetime of writing. It is the book I believe I was called to write.

Patrick's book list on gratitude and how it can uplift your life

Patrick M. Garry Why did Patrick love this book?

This book is a memoir that demonstrates the power and joys of gratitude through the author’s memories of her childhood in Moline, Illinois. 

Diane Johnson demonstrates much gratitude for her childhood, but she is no midwestern hickster. Johnson is a Hollywood film writer who has worked with such directors as Francis for Coppola and Sydney Pollack. She has traveled the world, and yet she reveals how the gratitude for her youth has sustained her through life.

By Diane Johnson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Flyover Lives as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“Smart . . . perceptive . . . Flyover Lives is a memoir of the Midwest sure to charm readers.”
—Maureen Corrigan, NPR

From the New York Times bestselling author of Le Divorce, a dazzling meditation on the mysteries of the “wispy but material” family ghosts who shape us

Growing up in the small river town of Moline, Illinois, Diane Johnson always dreamed of floating down the Mississippi and off to see the world. Years later, at home in France, a French friend teases her: “Indifference to history—that’s why you Americans seem so naïve and don’t really know where you’re…


Book cover of When Women Were Dragons

Linda Kay Silva Author Of Nothing Fair About It

From my list on novels about life changing experiences and adventures.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a professor of creative writing who knows when readers stop feeling, they stop reading. We all want to feel, to live vicariously. To experience the unimaginable. I’ve lived large. I’ve raced on the back of an ostrich, rode an elephant through the jungles of Thailand, raced catamarans in the Caribbean, and danced with the Shaka Zulu in Africa. The best books are those that feel like memories…that touch us…that make us feel.

Linda's book list on novels about life changing experiences and adventures

Linda Kay Silva Why did Linda love this book?

I think every woman should read this book. In a time when we need a “movement” to be seen or heard, Dragons reminded me of our strength, of how often the world has its boot on the back of our necks.

I loved the story of 2 sisters-one who desperately wants to be a dragon and the other, who does not. It was my first audiobook and I finished it in 2 days.

By Kelly Barnhill,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked When Women Were Dragons as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A KIRKUS BEST BOOK OF 2022 • A rollicking feminist tale set in 1950s America where thousands of women have spontaneously transformed into dragons, exploding notions of a woman’s place in the world and expanding minds about accepting others for who they really are. • The first adult novel by the Newbery award-winning author of The Girl Who Drank the Moon

Alex Green is a young girl in a world much like ours, except for its most seminal event: the Mass Dragoning of 1955, when hundreds of thousands of ordinary wives and mothers sprouted wings, scales, and talons; left a…


Book cover of The Latecomer

Shawn Nocher Author Of The Precious Jules

From my list on families and the secrets we keep from one another.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write about family, inspired by the exquisitely flawed one I dwell within. Loving my children is the easiest and hardest thing I have ever done in that it was easy to fall in love with them the moment they came into this world but the accountability to that love can be staggering. The same can be said for my siblings. I hope my novels and stories help readers examine the ways we are all tethered to one another. My writing is where I try to untangle all of that. It’s about the ties that bind and how we choose to wear those bindings, especially in times of crisis. 

Shawn's book list on families and the secrets we keep from one another

Shawn Nocher Why did Shawn love this book?

It’s hard for me to imagine a family where the siblings are more uninterested in one another than the Oppenheimer triplets in this novel. But I do love a twin story (am, in fact, fascinated by the twin thing) so triplets really intrigued me. These siblings, however, are determined to disengage from one another and stalk off into their solo adulthood. And they manage to do so with just enough hubris to make a mess of it. But can we ever really cut the ties that bind? Thankfully—probably not. 

By Jean Hanff Korelitz,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Latecomer as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

*A New York Times Notable Book of 2022*
*A Washington Post Notable Work of Fiction*
*An NPR Best Book of the Year*

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Plot, Jean Hanff Korelitz’s The Latecomer is a layered and immersive literary novel about three siblings, desperate to escape one another, and the upending of their family by the late arrival of a fourth.

The Latecomer follows the story of the wealthy, New York City-based Oppenheimer family, from the first meeting of parents Salo and Johanna, under tragic circumstances, to their triplets born during the early days of IVF.…


Book cover of When the Apricots Bloom

Catherine A. Hamilton Author Of Victoria's War

From my list on inspired by heroic women from around the world.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a native Oregonian of Polish descent, I was born in the small town of Sweet Home, Oregon. After finishing high school, I moved to Portland where I graduated from Lewis and Clark College with a Master’s degree in psychology. I spent twelve years as a psychotherapist, publishing over a dozen articles. After joining a writing group and trying my hand at fiction, my stories, articles, and poems have been published in magazines and newspapers—including Sarasota Herald-Tribune, The Oregonian, Catholic Sentinel, Dziennik Związkowy, and The Polish American Journal. My debut novel, Victoria’s War, won CIBA’s Hemingway Award for 20th Century Wartime Fiction and was #1 Best Seller on Amazon Kindle Unlimited in German Historical Fiction.

Catherine's book list on inspired by heroic women from around the world

Catherine A. Hamilton Why did Catherine love this book?

Inspired by her personal experience living in Baghdad, Wilkinson writes a fascinating book that is breathtakingly beautiful and powerfully true! I chose this debut novel because it is about three courageous women who risk it all to help the next generation of Iraqis—Huda, Rania, and Australian journalist Ally.

The story carried me away to Baghdad, and I willingly went on an exotic adventure with these fierce females, where mud-brick huts dot the landscape. The suspense unwinds along the Tigris in the undying gritty winds, during a time when Iraq was cut off from the world by Saddam Hussein.

Can Huda, Ally, and Rania, help two teenagers whose lives are endangered by the regime? Read Wilkinson’s enchanting When the Apricots Bloom and find out for yourself.

By Gina Wilkinson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked When the Apricots Bloom as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“Breathtaking…Riveting and profound! I adored this book!” —Ellen Marie Wiseman, New York Times bestselling author of The Orphan Collector
 
“A deeply involving and important novel by a master storyteller.” —Susan Wiggs, # 1 New York Times bestselling author

INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER

In this moving, suspenseful debut novel, three courageous women confront the complexities of trust, friendship, motherhood, and betrayal under the rule of a ruthless dictator and his brutal secret police. Former foreign correspondent Gina Wilkinson draws on her own experiences to take readers inside a haunting story of Iraq at the turn of the millennium and the impossible choices faced…


Book cover of After Silence: Rape and My Journey Back

Robert Uttaro Author Of To The Survivors: One Man's Journey as a Rape Crisis Counselor with True Stories of Sexual Violence

From my list on sexual violence, hope and healing.

Why am I passionate about this?

God gave me a life-long calling to help anyone affected by sexual violence. Words often fail when I try to describe the pain that results from sexual abuse and what it truly means to me to make a positive difference in the lives of survivors. My heart and soul break for those who are suffering from evil crimes, and yet I continuously see people disclosing, expressing, growing, and healing. From my many years working as a counselor and advocate, I've learned that very often people just need someone to be with them and listen. I'm committed to supporting others in this area for as long as I can be helpful.

Robert's book list on sexual violence, hope and healing

Robert Uttaro Why did Robert love this book?

This book will always be special to my heart because it was the most influential book in getting me involved with rape crisis counseling and advocacy. I remember being a college student while reading this and feeling emotions of horror, anger, compassion, and inspiration.

Raine takes the reader on her personal journey of being violently raped and the ups and downs of her healing process. Part of the beauty of this book is the skill with which the author demonstrates how incredibly destructive and life-changing our responses to rape disclosures can be.

Her book encourages: if anyone ever discloses to you, please believe them, listen to them, and try your best to meet them wherever they are. 

By Nancy Venable Raine,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked After Silence as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The subject of rape has long been 'unspeakable' and remains one of the most controversial and emotionally charged issues for society. For Nancy Venable Raine, second only to the soul-breaking burden of her rape at 39 was the silence that shrouded it, a silence born of her own feelings of shame and the incomprehension of others. She uses the redemptive power of language to lift the silence that is rape's legacy and to promote an understanding of the stigma that haunts rape's survivors.
Using wide-ranging sources from literature, mythology, psychology and feminist theory, she exposes the complicated damage and response…


Book cover of Women of the Mito Domain: Recollections of Samurai Family Life

Anne Walthall Author Of The Weak Body of a Useless Woman: Matsuo Taseko and the Meiji Restoration

From my list on amazing women during the age of the samurai.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I was studying Japan in graduate school, my advisor once told me that he hoped I wouldn’t pursue research in women’s history, calling it a fad. He was wrong, but it took me well over ten years to figure that out. Thanks to colleagues and friends, I helped build the field of Japanese women’s history in English, especially for the early modern period. As professor emerita at the University of California, Irvine, I remain committed to the possibility of uncovering the lives of yet more amazing women who challenge the stereotypes of docile wife and seductive geisha all too prevalent in fiction set in Japan.

Anne's book list on amazing women during the age of the samurai

Anne Walthall Why did Anne love this book?

Want to know how samurai women managed their high status but meager incomes? This engaging memoir takes us inside the nitty-gritty of their everyday life that was frugal by necessity. We learn how samurai women dressed, the importance they placed on meticulous grooming, and how they dealt with in-laws, concubines, and a runaway daughter. It shows how in principle samurai women were expected to practice the martial arts with the naginata (a long, thin halberd), but in fact, they were too busy with household chores to receive more than token training.

For the history buff, the memoir also paints a vivid picture of the civil war that erupted in the Mito domain in 1864 and its devastating consequences for the women whose families ended up on the losing side. 

By Kikue Yamakawa, Kate Wildman Nakai (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Women of the Mito Domain as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Based on the recollection of the author's mother, other relatives, and family records, this is a vivid picture of the everyday life of a samurai household in the last years of the Tokugawa period.


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