As per custom, near years-end, or in this case at the new year’s start, a list of the books I read in the past year. I’ve placed them in alphabetic order, by name of author. A goal for 2017 is to read a LOT more fiction, which I’ve drifted away from as I’ve worked on a couple of book projects of my own. Excitingly, the first of these is due for publication by Knopf in March 2017, under the title: Everything Under the Heavens: How the Past Helps Shape China’s Push for Global Power.
I hope to have more to share about the second of my book projects soon.
The novel that most impressed me this year was Colson Whitehead’s widely and deservedly acclaimed Underground Railroad, which was so much more than I expected it to be. In addition to his extraordinary mastery of language and voice, the book read like an ambitious secret history of the United States, consummately literary but with learned payoffs on most every page.
The Immobile Empire, by Alain Peyreffite (originally published in 1992) was my favorite among many works of history I read this year.
The Curse of Berlin: Africa After the Cold War
Markets and States in Tropical Africa: The Political Basis of Agricultural Policies
Bates, Robert H.
When the Walking Defeats You: One Man’s Journey as Joseph Kony’s Bodyguard
Bad Luck and Trouble
China’s Military Power: Assessing Current and Future Capabilities
Known and Strange Things: Essays
The Cultural Revolution: A People’s History
This Present Darkness: A History of Nigerian Organized Crime
The Most Wanted Man in China: My Journey from Scientist to Enemy of the State
One Child: The Story of China’s Most Radical Experiment
The Silk Roads: A New History of the World
Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay: Neapolitan Novels, Book Three
Six Recording of a Floating Life
Unlikely Partners: Chinese Reformers, Western Economists, and the Making of Global China
Exit, Voice, and Loyalty: Responses to Decline in Firms, Organizations, and States
Hirschman, Albert O.
1587, A Year of No Significance: The Ming Dynasty in Decline
The Age of Trade: The Manila Galleons and the Dawn of the Global Economy
Inside Rwanda’s Gacaca Courts
Mayor of Mogadishu: A Story of Chaos and Redemption in the Ruins of Somalia
China’s Coming War with Asia
China and Global Nuclear Order: From Estrangement to Active Engagement
The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts
Kingston, Maxine Hong
The Culture of Narcissism: American Life in an Age of Diminishing Expectations
The Land at the End of the World: A Novel
Lobo Antunes, António
They Can’t Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America’s Racial Justice Movement
The Accidental Life: An Editor’s Notes on Writing and Writers
Memories of Myself
After the Circus: A Novel
The Paper Trail: An Unexpected History of a Revolutionary Invention
Viet Thanh Nguyen
the Immobile Empire
The Beautiful Country and the Middle Kingdom
City of Thorns: Nine Lives in the World’s Largest Refugee Camp
The Perfect Dictatorship: China in the 21st Century
Intimate Rivals: Japanese Domestic Politics and a Rising China
Smith, Sheila A.
A Short History of China and Southeast Asia: Tribute, Trade and Influence
Middle Kingdom and Empire of the Rising Sun: Sino-Japanese Relations, Past and Present
Force and Contention in Contemporary China: Memory and Resistance in the Long Shadow of the Catastrophic Past
Thaxton, Ralph A.
The Deluge: The Great War, America and the Remaking of the Global Order, 1916-1931
China Under Mao: A Revolution Derailed
Walder, Andrew G.
Eat the Heart of the Infidel: The Harrowing of Nigeria and the Rise of Boko Haram
Harmony and War: Confucian Culture and Chinese Power Politics
The Underground Railroad
The Red Guard Generation and Political Activism in China