Books to Read for Lunar New Year

Books to Read for Lunar New Year

Happy Lunar New Year! Douglas & McIntyre is excited to roll out even more books for all kinds of readers this year of the rabbit. In the meanwhile, check out some of our recommended books to read for Lunar New Year. 


Have You Eaten Yet

Author and documentarian Cheuk Kwan weaves a global narrative by linking the myriad personal stories of chefs, entrepreneurs, labourers and dreamers who populate Chinese kitchens worldwide. Behind these kitchen doors lies an intriguing paradox which characterizes many of these communities: how Chinese immigrants have resisted—or often been prevented from—complete assimilation into the social fabric of their new homes, while the engine of their economic survival, the Chinese restaurant and its food, has become seamlessly woven into towns and cities all around the world.


Chop Suey Nation

Hui, who grew up in authenticity-obsessed Vancouver, begins her journey with a somewhat disparaging view of small-town “fake Chinese” food. But by the end, she comes to appreciate the essentially Chinese values that drive these restaurants—perseverance, entrepreneurialism and deep love for family. Using her own family’s story as a touchstone, she explores the importance of these restaurants in the country’s history and makes the case for why chop suey cuisine should be recognized as quintessentially Canadian.


The Jade Peony

Chinatown, Vancouver, in the late 1930s and 1940s provides the setting for this poignant first novel, told through the vivid and intense reminiscences of the three younger children of an immigrant family. They each experience a very different childhood, depending on age and sex, as they encounter the complexities of birth and death, love and hate, kinship and otherness. Mingling with the realities of Canada and the horror of war are the magic, ghosts, paper uncles and family secrets of Poh-Poh, or Grandmother, who is the heart and pillar of the family.


Being Chinese in Canada

William Dere’s Being Chinese in Canada is the first book to explore the work of the head tax redress movement and to give voice to the generations of Chinese Canadians involved. Dere explores the many obstacles in the Chinese Canadian community’s fight for justice, the lasting effects of state-legislated racism and the unique struggle of being Chinese in Quebec. Dere tells of his family members’ experiences; his own political awakenings; the federal government’s offer of partial redress and what it means to move forward—for himself, his children and the community as a whole.


Swallowing Clouds

A witty, enthusiastic and knowledgeable guide, Zee draws us into the heady pleasures of Chinese food and presents a banquet of family anecdotes, folklore and alluring tidbits about Chinese culinary history and culture.


East Meets West

The first book of its kind, East Meets West is a celebration of the city's Asian food and a mouthwatering compilation of distinctive dishes from its most talented -- but often unheralded -- kitchens. Veteran food writer Stephanie Yuen brings together a collection of recipes showcasing both traditional Asian foods made with fresh ingredients from the Pacific Northwest Coast and modern classics inspired by Asian flavours and techniques.


The Horse that Leaps Through Clouds

On July 6, 1906, Baron Gustaf Mannerheim boarded the midnight train from St. Petersburg, charged by Czar Nicholas II to secretly collect intelligence on the Qing Dynasty's sweeping reforms that were radically transforming China. On July 6, 2006, writer Eric Enno Tamm boards that same train, intent on following in Mannerheim's footsteps. Initially banned from China, Tamm devises a cover and retraces Mannerheim's route across the Silk Road, discovering both eerie similarities and seismic differences between the Middle Kingdoms of today and a century ago.


The Unceasing Storm

The Unceasing Storm describes Luo’s personal struggles—among other things, she was expelled from university, forbidden to marry her first love, and accused of being a spy—but it is also the memoir of a generation, representative of similar incidents occurring all over China. Luo’s colleagues and famous artists were dogged by their backgrounds—the unluckiest in the “to be executed, imprisoned or placed under surveillance” category.