Of making many books...

There Is No End

I have recently bought a Rock Pi 4 mini-PC from Radxa in Shenzhen (literally, I went out to their office and bought it from the development team). The Rock Pi 4 is similar to the Raspberry Pi but it has more memory (I bought the 4G model) and a faster processor. Here is the board with the small heat sink added: Radxa now have a larger heat sink available. more...

Most students of Chinese just learn Mandarin. A few just learn Cantonese (or other Chinese hua such as Shanghainese). But there must be a few who need to learn both Mandarin and Cantonese. Yet there is very little help available for this group. In my case, I am living in Hong Kong (Cantonese speaking) and Shenzhen (Mandarin speaking), so any help for learning both languages would be useful. Of course, more...

It must have been a risk as an author, to try to combine two different and well-established genres. There has been a tradition on Napoleonic naval series: Marryat, Forester, O'Brian,... with a focus on historical action, generally appealing to conservative men. Then there are fantasy novels with dragons, including The Hobbit, McCaffrey, Le Guin, etc etc. Not, one might think, an easy combination to put together. However, Novik succeeds, and in doing so reinvigorates the Napoleonic naval genre. more...

book review Based on his previous book on how to learn Japanese characters (reviewed here), Heisig has teamed with Richardson, wbo wrote his doctorate on adapting Heisig's method to Chinese, to produce a guide to learning the first 1500 characters. There is also a version for traditional characters, and volume 2 of each text (when they eventually appear) will cover another 1500 characters. Heisig and Richardson have a page on their publisher's website with a free download of the introduction and the first few chapters, and also of the errata to date. more...

Much darker than Carey's "Terre d'Anges" series, this series (without explicitly mentioning it) presents the story of Lord of the Rings from the viewpoint of the other side. Not that the characters or the places have the same names, but the similarities are made obvious enough for the reader not to be in any doubt, The story is considerably changed (otherwise it would be a rather boring book), so Banewreaker in part is based on The Hobbit and part on The Fellowship of the Ring. more...

The book is very well illustrated with numerous photos and diagrams, and would be worth buying just for the photos alone. The author is a retired professor of architecture from one of the leading universities in China (Tsinghua), and the book has the tone of the professor personally taking the reader on a guided tour of the architecture: where to look, what to see, the historical events that happened there. The author fills in numerous insights, especially by comparing the architecture to its western equivalents. more...