Friday, October 28, 2011

My Brush with Fame - Li Cunxin, author of Mao's Last Dancer

I’m feeling very inspired. Today I met Li Cunxin, aka Mao’s Last Dancer

What an extraordinary man.

I was lucky enough to be invited by stockbroking and financial advisory firm Prescott Securities to a business lunch at which Li was guest speaker. 

Spot the book groupie – I think I was the only person in a room of 200 people who brought with me a copy of Mao’s Last Dancer for Li to sign. 

Many of you may be familiar with Li’s story – he was born into bitter poverty in Chairman Mao’s communist China yet went on to become a world-famous ballet dancer. 

Li’s story is one of courage and determination and if you ever have the opportunity to hear him speak I encourage you to do so. 

One minute he had the room in tears as he recalled his early years in China and his parents’ struggle to put food on the table. 

The next minute he had us all laughing at his first encounters with life in the West. 

Then we were all in tears again as Li told us of his parents’ love and their immense pride and joy in seeing him dance for the first time. 

He even threw in a couple of ballet moves for good measure. 

It was truly inspiring to hear Li speak. 

After all that he has been through, he remains humble and down to earth. I must admit to being a little bit star struck when I had the opportunity to meet Li after his presentation when he very kindly signed my book. 

If you haven’t read Mao’s Last Dancer, I highly recommend it. You can buy it here from The Book Depository*. 

Thank you to Prescott Securities for giving me the opportunity to meet Li and hear him speak. 

*Please note: You won't pay more if you purchase via these links, but they will give me a small referral fee (5%). 

Thank you for being part of The Reading Experiment. Happy reading! 

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Book Review - Freedom by Jonathan Franzen

The Slap meets Desperate Housewives in Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom

It’s one of those books that can polarise opinions so, like The Slap, you’ll probably either love it or hate it. It would certainly make for some great book club discussions. 

Set in modern-day American suburbia, Freedom is the story of the Berglund family. 

On the surface, they’re your typical all-American family. Walter is Mr Nice Guy while Patty spends her days baking cookies and doting on her children.

Scratch beneath the surface, however, and all is not as happy families as it seems. 

Freedom contains flawed characters who I didn’t really like, yet I felt compelled to read their story. 

While I didn’t fall in love with this book, it did leave an impression on me and I appreciated its deeper themes about freedom and what it really means to be free. 

Love it or hate it, Freedom is worth a read. 

Would you like to read Freedom by Jonathan Franzen? Here’s where you can buy it online: 


Book Depository US 
Book Depository UK 
Fishpond Australia 
Amazon US 
Amazon UK  

*Please note: You won't pay any more if you buy this book via these links, but they will give me a small referral fee (5%). 



Thank you for being part of The Reading Experiment. Happy reading! 

Find The Reading Experiment on Facebook here and on Twitter here

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Friday, October 7, 2011

It's carnival time!

Visit The Reading Experiment at The 80th Book Review Blog Carnival. 

You'll find my review of Jennifer Egan's A Visit From The Goon Squad along with 34 book reviews across various genres written by book bloggers from around the world. 

Thanks to carnival host Clark from www.residentreader.blogspot.com

Happy reading!