Bluets by Maggie Nelson [EPUB]
10 December 2014, 17:42
2009 | EPUB | 3.0MB
A lyrical, philosophical, and often explicit exploration of personal suffering and the limitations of vision and love, as refracted through the color blue. With Bluets, Maggie Nelson has entered the pantheon of brilliant lyric essayists.
Obesity: The Biography [EPUB]
10 December 2014, 13:46
2010 | EPUB | 4.19MB
According to the World Health Organization we are in the midst of a global obesity crisis. Is obesity a disease itself or a symptom of underlying physiological or psychological illnesses? Is it a sign of social excess and therefore not a disease in the medical sense at all? Is it really 'new'?
Sander L. Gilman, a leading authority in the social and cultural history of the body, presents a fascinating account of the history of obesity, looking at the changing attitudes towards the body, from regarding it as 'God's temple' to more mechanical and practical concerns from the Enlightenment onwards. In the eighteenth century obesity was understood as a problem of the affluent; today the affluent are more likely to have a personal trainer and a healthier diet, and it is the poorer classes who are more likely to be overweight. Gilman considers obesity in many contexts - including a chapter on obesity in China and the impact of modernization and Westernization on this very different culture.
Taking the issue up to the present day, Gilman examines the wider political and social implications obesity raises, considering whether obesity should be cured by diet or surgery, by psychotherapy or economic improvement, by healthier food choices or by social relocation.
Brave Dragons [EPUB]
08 December 2014, 22:09
2012 | EPUB | 6.12MB
The wonderfully original story of a struggling Chinese basketball team and its quixotic, often comical attempt to right its fortunes by copying the American stars of the NBA—a season of cultural misunderstanding that transcends sports and reveals China’s ambivalent relationship with the West.
When the Shanxi Brave Dragons, one of China’s worst professional basketball teams, hired former NBA coach Bob Weiss, the team’s owner, Boss Wang, promised that Weiss would be allowed to Americanize his players by teaching them “advanced basketball culture.” That promise would be broken from the moment Weiss landed in China. Desperate for his team to play like Americans, Wang—a peasant turned steel tycoon—nevertheless refused to allow his players the freedom and individual expression necessary to truly change their games.
Former New York Times Beijing bureau chief Jim Yardley tells the story of the resulting culture clash with sensitivity and a keen comic sensibility. Readers meet the Brave Dragons, a cast of colorful, sometimes heartbreaking oddballs from around the world: the ambitious Chinese assistant coach, Liu Tie, who believes that Chinese players are genetically inferior and can improve only through the repetitious drilling once advocated by ancient kung fu masters; the moody and selfish American import, Bonzi Wells, a former NBA star so unnerved by China that initially he locks himself in his apartment; the Taiwanese point guard, Little Sun, who is demonized by his mainland Chinese coaches; and the other Chinese players, whose lives sometimes seem little different from those of factory workers.
As readers follow the team on a fascinating road trip through modern China—from glamorous Shanghai and bureaucratic Beijing to the booming port city Tianjin and the polluted coal capital of Taiyuan—we see Weiss learn firsthand what so many other foreigners in China have discovered: China changes only when and how it wants to change.