I just finished reading Peter Hessler’s River Town.  I earlier reviewed his second book, Oracle Bones.  Oracle Bones is the easier read and easier to engage, as it’s style is more journalistic like that of Jon Krakauer.  I found River Town harder to get into, but once I did I found it to be the first book (of the many I’ve read about China) that actually brought me back to my own experience in China.  It was an excellent read and now it is the book that I will recommend to people when they ask me to describe what it was like to life in China for a year.  The book described all the challenging and fascinating aspects of our experience: getting sick from the pollution; struggles with the languages; choosing to become regulars at local establishments; the stares and laughs; having more time when isolated in China; teaching Chinese students; etc.  I highly recommend the book.

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