Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Ideal Gifts for my Ideal Readers

Last week, Jocelyn Eikenburg of the Speaking of China blog posted a list of book recommendations that would make good gifts for people interested in China, Hong Kong, and life in Asia. The list includes Year of Fire Dragons and How Does One Dress to Buy Dragonfruit. Thank you, Jocelyn!

It's a great idea, but as many of my China/HK/Asia book recommendations are already on Jocelyn's list, I wanted to do something a little different. I thought about four kinds of people who might have read my books and what else I'd like to get them for the holidays (in addition to more books, of course).

The Newbie Expat

They read: How Does One Dress to Buy Dragonfruit? True Stories of Expat Women in Asia

I'd get them. . .

Home Leave by Brittani Sonnenberg (TCK novel, worth it for the beautiful hardcover alone)
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver (another take on displacement)
Foreign Babes in Beijing by Rachel DeWoskin (fast times in New China)

Other stuff:
Kindle or other e-reader (my very favorite thing)
Pimsleur language course (for conversation, not writing)
A nice scarf (you can never have too many scarves)

The English Teacher in Hong Kong

They read: Year of Fire Dragons: An American Woman's Story of Coming of Age in Hong Kong

I'd get them . . .

No City for Slow Men by Jason Y. Ng (the insider's perspective on our city)
Gweilo by Martin Booth (required background reading)
The Piano Teacher by Janice Y. K. Lee (beach read for Christmas in Thailand)

Other stuff:
Goods of Desire swag (especially those stacking mugs)
Octopus card key chain (got one from my MIL; best practical item ever)
Sote Gourmet Popcorn (newly opened on Robinson Road; they have candy cane popcorn!)

The Modern Romantic

They read: Year of Fire Dragons: An American Woman's Story of Coming of Age in Hong Kong

I'd get them . . .

Love with a Chance of Drowning by Torre DeRoche (love at sea)
Made for You and Me by Caitlin Shetterly (love and life in America)
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi (love and mortal peril and superpowers)

Other stuff:
ModCloth dresses (so many pretty choices)
The new Taylor Swift album (I love her)
Dinner and a movie (I recommend The Hundred-Foot Journey)

The Determined Millennial

They read: Pay Off: How One Millennial Eliminated Nearly $80,000 in Student Debt in Less Than Five Years

I'd get them . . .

Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey (inspiration for creatives and self-employed entrepreneurs)
Quiet by Susan Cain (introverts unite!)
The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell (little things make a big difference)

Other stuff:
A blazer (makes you feel confident)
Amazon gift cards (use it for everything, but especially for books)
Spiral bound notebooks and erasable pens for checklists (checklists make everything better)

I wish I could go shopping for everyone who has read and enjoyed my books. Thanks for a great year, you guys! I've been holed up in the Starbucks on Queen's Road for most of the past two months working on the Seabound Chronicles. In the meantime, I've been spotting Year of Fire Dragons in more and more bookstores. You can also order it directly from the Blacksmith Books website. They offer free shipping within Asia!

I'm off to the US in a little over a week for my first Christmas at home in five years, the birth of my first nephew, and my little sister's wedding. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Bonus: Have a science fiction and fantasy fan in your life? I put a list of book recommendations on my Jordan Rivet blog that would all make awesome gifts!


  1. Love the recommendations! I've read Home Leave and No City for Slow Mean--loved them both. I am also a sucker for Goods of Desire and went a little crazy at their Stanley shop this fall. I also order from their online store more than I should--but always totally worth it! I hadn't known about ModCloth until I read your post. It looks amazing! I know I'll be checking it out soon! Have a great trip to the U.S. and Merry Christmas!

  2. I love all the contents of your website


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