• Heading for the beach and looking for the perfect book to toss in your tote bag? At Five Books, authors are interviewed and asked to recommend five books on a specific topic. Though the site covers far more than China, several of the features are China-focused and worth a look; check out Rod MacFarquhar on the Cultural Revolution, Isabel Hilton on China’s environmental crisis, and Richard McGregor on the Chinese Communist Party.
• Another source for China Beatniks looking to fill up their summer reading lists is this recent Sinica podcast, in which host Kaiser Kuo and guests Gady Epstein, Jeremiah Jenne, and Will Moss (as well as several other contributors) discuss their favorite books about China.
• Those who would prefer to spend their summer days sitting by the local fishing hole should read Adam Minter’s ongoing posts on the topic at Shanghai Scrap. Part I explores the intricacies of shopping for angling equipment in Shanghai; Part II details Minter’s inaugural carp-fishing experience and his reflections on the sport’s future in China:
A friend from Minnesota, a walleye fisherman of some repute, once told me: “The only thing that comes close to the thrill of catching a fish is not catching a fish. If you don’t understand that, then you don’t get to fish with me.” I know exactly what he meant and no, it has nothing to do with six packs in the cooler on the floor of your boat. Instead he was talking about anticipation, and the itchy possibility that the mundane routines of daily like might just run into something wilder – with a little luck and patience. It’s the kind of anticipation that leads experienced fishermen to sit on a boat in the heat of the mid-day sun, lines in the water, knowing that – under such conditions – they’re about as likely to catch a blue whale as a walleye or a bass. And it’s just that kind of anticipation which – along with growing wealth, leisure time, automobile ownership, and restlessness – drives the quickening growth of recreational fishing in China.
• Finally, readers whose idea of relaxation is to hit the links can learn about the growth of golf in China at the Wall Street Journal’s China Real Time Report blog. Emily Veach reports at the WSJ site and in the video embedded below.