November Read: Street of Eternal Happiness

Street of Eternal Happiness by Rob Schmitz

Street of Eternal Happiness by Rob SchmitzAlthough I’m on track to finish at least 16 books this year, I’m glad my resolution to blog about each of them is coming to a close, because while I understand not every post of mine is of interest to every reader, these posts don’t seem interesting to anyone 😛

So let’s get this over with.

Street of Eternal Happiness: Big City Dreams Along a Shanghai Road by Rob Schmitz

This book is what I would’ve loved to write if I had more time in China. It was everything I wanted and thought about doing myself and much, much more. Remember when I reviewed Corpse Walker, a book similar to this one in that it paints fascinating portraits of Chinese people? This is like a modern-day version and not only about the lowliest of society. I wouldn’t be surprised if the author also got inspired by that book, along with books from Peter Hessler.

So this and Corpse Walker are my favorites this year. They’ve reinforced the idea that everyone has a story, and the stories told about these people only add to my wanderlust and general desire to know how others live (am I just weird in this way?). I’ve said many times that my year abroad has changed me, and the power these books had in helping to remind me of constantly engaging with both loved ones and strangers makes reading them totally worth it.

It’s too easy to stay in our bubbles, and I think what makes me love China authors in particular is the fact that they break all boundaries to connect with the locals and share their stories with an open mind.

Humans are as much storytellers as they are listeners. As much as we like to gossip, but we often like listening even more.