Six days to departure: Reading about China

Six days until departure with our group of 45 faculty, staff and WKU family! I have been reading about China for months already, in preparation for an encounter with this important nation. Some of the most useful books I have found: Peter Hessler’s “River Town,” about his years as a Peace Corps volunteer in the town of Fuling in the 1990’s (very absorbing!); “This is China,” edited by our own Haiwang Yuan, a quick-read account of the dynasties that concludes with a compact chapter on China today; “The Chinese Mind” by Boye Lafayette De Mente, with short chapters on important concepts in Chinese culture; and finally “China in the 21st Century” by Jeffrey Wasserstrom, intended as a what-you-must-know handbook with questions for discussion (seems to have been designed as a companion to undergraduate courses on China). Haven’t bought a Beijing guidebook yet. Amazon reviews suggest my choice will have to be as current as possible, as China is changing so fast. Cheryl Kirby-Stokes tells me that Hessler’s “Oracle Bones” is even better than “River Town.” Hessler was Beijing correspondent for The New Yorker after his stint in the Peace Corps. The NYT gives “Oracle Bones” a good review. Might be nice for a long plane flight! — Laura McGee

Hello world!

Welcome to the official blog site of the Confucius Institute at WKU. Here you will be able to follow our group of 45 faculty/staff, students, and community members as they document their experiences in Beijing China, as part of the Confucius Institute’s first ever Adult Summer Bridge trip. Please follow us and enjoy the experience.