Category Archives: Books

Review: A Many Splendored Thing by Han Suyin

When I first moved to Hong Kong my friend and old book club member Krissy sent me a link to this list of books set in the British-colonial East. It’s a really great list! A Many Splendored Thing is on it, so I purchased a used copy as it’s out of print.

I love used books. Inside ‘Helen C. Prince’ is inscribed… I do wonder who she was?! Anyways, onto my review.

The book is semi-autobiographical account of Suyin’s year-long affair with a married British war correspondent in Hong Kong during 1949. Suyin is a Eurasian Doctor who yearns to move back to China after her Hong Kong residency.

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Scallop swooning.

Any cookbook with scalloped edges = count me in.

Especially one by my very favorite SF bakery Miette.

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Their cakes are both the prettiest and the tastiest, which is rarely the case. Having a dramatic glasses story myself, I really appreciate Meg Ryan’s story of how she got into baking. Do you really believe she starts every day with coffee and a piece of cake?

Sidenote: have you noticed the movie trend of hot, thin women who own bakeries? Bridesmaids, It’s Complicated, Life As We Know It… Anyways get Miette’s free brownie recipe here.

On the subject of scalloped edges, scalloped shorts are ALL over Hong Kong! I think they’re so sweet.


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China prints from the 1840s.

Loyal HKH reader Ted Turner sent me  a link to these beautiful Steve Bartrick prints depicting China in the 1840s.

The “Harbor of Hong Kong” looked so adventurous back in the day.
The Peak looks so majestic from Kowloon without any skyscrapers in front of her!

I especially like arts and antique prints that depict how ordinary people made their lives, like this one of people feeding silk worms.

And this one of them dyeing and winding the silk.

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Friday’s proverb: Books.

Good morning everyone! I think it’s high-time we start a little tradition here on HK Housewife. I adore traditions, always have, always will. I think it’s why I went to Notre Dame–they may be horrible at football, but they’ve got tradition down pact.

So here it is… every Friday (could be my Friday or could be yours if I’m slacking!) we’re going to look at a Chinese proverb. Today’s is:

“A book holds a house of gold.”

It’s not surprising that the Chinese believe education is the key to success. It’s a bit sad to think about how hard all the Chinese kids are working in school here to get ahead–many go six days a week and stay until after 5pm–while ours at home fall apart.

On a lighter note, the most beautiful photo ever:

So as it turns out, Nigella Lawson’s books are literally in a house of gold! Despite my love of the Kindle, in my dream house I will have a library just like this one. I am not the neatest person. I think genius thrives in a little bit of chaos and I still believe in good, old fashioned books–especially cookbooks! My favorite childhood memory is going through all of my Aunt Steph’s cookbooks–she has a legitimate library with a whole wall dedicated to cookbooks and every night when I stayed with her I would take a couple down to read in bed. From House & Garden (R.I.P) by way of the NeoTraditionalist, sent over to me by Katherine–thank you! If you haven’t checked out Katie’s great blog, you should pop over there and take a look.

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A new book.

Can you guess which one it is?
Didn’t think so!

It’s not even a book… it’s a MacBOOK pro. I’m pretty excited, both about a new computer and about this awesome case I found for it here. I think it’s so perfect that the newest technology is encased in disguise of the books of old that I love so much.

Not only is it super-protective, but you can keep the computer in its case while you work! Fun, huh?

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