14 March 2007

What I've Been Reading

I haven't read any books completely since finishing Snow, but I have been happily reading parts of several books.

Oral Epics of Central Asia I wish this book was still available for a reasonable price because I would love to own it. Nora Chadwick takes a huge (but not comprehensive) number of the oral epics of Central Asia and Siberia and classifies and discusses them. This is a handy collection and summary of a lot of epics. Highly recommended.

Holy War in China: The Muslim Rebellion and State in Chinese Central Asia, 1864-1877 This is an excellent book about Xinjiang in the late Qing era. Recommended.

The Oroqens: China's Nomadic Hunters This book is based on research done in the 1960s and was published in the early 1980s, so it's pretty heavy on Chinese communist propaganda. Still, it is rather an interesting book about a very small group of people in China (they are closely related to the Evenki, discussed in the next book). Recommended.

Gaining Ground?: Evenkis, Land, and Reform in Southeastern Siberia This is a brief background of the history and land use issues of the Evenkis by Gail Fondahl. Fondahl has spent a great deal of time in this part of the world and this book is clear and easy to read, but very informative. Recommended.

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