Nearly four years ago, my dad and I took the trip of a lifetime. I had received a fellowship from my university (Colgate in New York) that allowed me to travel anywhere in the world to conduct a research project. Previously, I'd attended the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. At the time, the burning question on everyone's minds was: "Will Greece be ready for this?" There is so much work that goes into preparing a city for the Olympics, and I wanted to know how Beijing's preparations would compare. I decided to go to China to study the effect that the Games had on the city. What I saw blew any hope of comparison out of the water.
When I returned to school to write the research paper and presentation required by the fellowship, I found that there was only so much about what I'd experienced that I could express in an academic format. I handed in my paper feeling there was more to say about Beijing and the impact it had on me.
Three years later, when I had moved to Asia and started writing a travel memoir about my Hong Kong experiences, I felt that I'd finally found the appropriate format to talk about Beijing. After thinking about it for years, Nanowrimo and the writing skills I'd been learning gave me the motivation to sit down and tell this story. The result is my upcoming e-book, The Olympics Beat: A Spectator's Memoir of Beijing, an 88-page travel memoir about our adventures at the Games. I'm still pursuing traditional publication for my Hong Kong book, but I'm excited to launch this timely digital-only story on May 27th, exactly two months before the Opening Ceremonies of the London 2012 Games.
Now back to your regularly scheduled bookspotting...
This week I spotted a teenage girl on the MTR reading Twilight. The next day, I spotted a middle-aged man unabashedly reading Twilight in the train station. It seems Stephanie Meyer has finally made it to HK in force. Earlier in the week, a teenage boy on the MTR was reading Joseph Heller's Catch-22. Last night, I saw a woman reading a Kindle without a cover beneath the Escalator in Soho. On the other side of the street, I spotted a thick Eyewitness guidebook to China on a table by the window of a restaurant. I counted three Chinese books this week. Have you spotted any interesting books lately?