The rise of China has led to an ever broader range of books about the country becoming available in English. There’s also a greater focus on its diversity, which the country’s Communist leadership likes to downplay. Jeffrey Wasserstrom, a professor of Chinese history at UC Irvine, talks us through his favourite books of 2023, from painful historical episodes to the harsh policies targeting a largely Muslim ethnic group in Xinjiang today—by way of two lighter books that focus on food and cooking.
Some books frighten and thrill us in equal measure. If that sounds good to you, you will love novelist Aliya Whiteley's recommendations: five outstanding sci-fi horror books that, like the original Frankenstein, use dread and disgust to raise fascinating questions about science and what it means to be human.