20 books, 3 videos, let’s find answers to explain the world together | Editorial Department Holiday Recommendations

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Before every long holiday, our editorial department will carefully prepare a reading and movie recommendation to share with you the good content that we think is good during this period. Most of the recommended works this time are serious works. It can be seen that in this complex world, everyone is also trying to find answers to some important questions. If you have been confused about a certain aspect of the world recently, you might as well check out this recommendation to see if there is one that touches you.



“My World View”

042aa5f8179d8b60a7b5bf2d2984634a_900x500 Author: [US] Albert Einstein

Publisher: The Commercial Press (Chinese translation of classics)

“Einstein” can be regarded as the most famous IP in the scientific community. There are many blockbuster works in the publishing industry, such as “The Biography of Einstein” and “The Complete Works of Einstein”. In comparison, “My World View” is quite sophisticated. It collects Einstein’s scattered articles, speeches, etc. during World War II. It is mainly short articles, but the content covers a wide range of topics. From science, politics, economics, education, to war, religion, Jewish spirituality and even the meaning of life, Einstein expressed his views on the world with great candor. This book updated my definition of a scientist. Just as Oppenheimer was not only a scientist but also a top project manager, Einstein’s scientific achievements were largely due to his broad vision, concern for people, and the courage to break the conventional thinking habits. . (Recommended by: Zhao Jia)


“Chip Wars – The Battle for the World’s Most Critical Technology”

3e987550854dd2bc7cb5ab1e0dc0e90b_900x500 Author: [US] Chris Miller

Publisher: Zhejiang People’s Publishing House

There couldn’t be any more good reasons to read this book in 2023. The author has indeed lived up to expectations, tracing the history of semiconductor development in the past half century, the rise of chip technology, and how it has become the most sensitive factor affecting global political and economic games. This book is rich in historical facts and the story is told very well. In addition, this book also makes people think about what innovation is, such as the following two points: First, an important reason why semiconductors and chips were born in Silicon Valley after World War II was that during the war, a large number of top-notch products from Europe, Asia and other places When scientific and technological talents immigrate to the United States, the foundation of innovation is still talent; secondly, innovation is almost impossible to predict and manage. Its initial form is more of a momentary idea, a hypothesis without a goal, and its best soil is It is a laboratory with a relaxed atmosphere. (Recommended by: Zhao Jia)


“Annoying Love”

bc10f2440d469e82937c698bc475e5b0_900x500 Author: [Italian] Elena Ferrante

Publisher: People’s Literature Publishing House

On the heroine Delia’s 45th birthday, her mother died unexpectedly. In order to find out the cause of her mother’s death, Delia returned to her hometown of Naples. In the process of pursuing the truth, the story of her mother’s life surfaced… “Annoying Love” was written anonymously by Italian writer Elena Ferrante. The first work is also the emotional prototype of the “Naples Quartet”. Ferrante is good at describing the psychological activities of characters and the emotional wrestling between characters. In this book, Ferrante’s portrayal of the mother-daughter relationship is wonderful. Through the perspective of her daughter Delia, she reveals the difficulties faced by women in their lives. (Recommended by: Lu Yanjun)


“What is a good life”

12fd0535127468a816118874cfef5658_900x500 Author: Chen Jiaying

Publisher: Shanghai Literature and Art Publishing House

How to do good deeds and be a good person is the most important and most controversial thing in the world. It requires good purposes, good results, good means, and more importantly, a set of values ​​​​about what is “good”. However, these dimensions of “good” often conflict with each other: good intentions may bring bad consequences; Good things done with an obvious purpose can be a little disingenuous and not quite “good”… This book is a concise road map out of this maze. (Recommended by: Jiang Ruijie)


“Miss: The Right to Work – A Comparative Study of China’s Southeast Coast and Northeastern Cities”

a71887aea98fac0e1036b1997be4b493_900x500 Author: Pan Suiming

Publisher: Hong Kong Avenue Publishing House

This is a field description of the working conditions of female sex workers in the Northeast and Southeast regions. The author is Pan Suiming, the originator of the sociology of sexuality in China, and his students. The book provides a detailed description of the styles of escorts in different regions and the different professional groups in the escort industry. Through multiple and months-long non-participant observations and interviews conducted in relevant areas, the old stereotypes such as “degeneration theory” and “demonization” have been updated, and the diverse causes of “prostitution” have been revealed. , revealing the huge impact of globalization, marketization, and industrialization on traditional society.

What’s even more valuable is that Pan Suiming did not stop at the level of observation and recording. He also sorted out and summarized various existing theories about young ladies. Their investigation is an attempt to reverse the “degradation” bias against female sex workers – the belief that prostitutes are caused by their poor family fortunes. In fact, this is precisely the choice made by women after careful consideration and weighing the pros and cons. It is the disobedience and limited resistance in the face of the factory system that cannibalizes and exploits people. The words between the lines reveal his thoughts from many years of field research. (Recommended by: Cui Shuo)


“Making Consumers: A Global History of Consumerism”

d3f5faa79efc9fa10abaf697fd977925_900x500 Author: [French] Anthony Galluzzo

Publisher: Guangdong People’s Publishing House

This book traces the changes in social patterns behind “consumption” behavior. While studying consumer culture, it also provides readers with a reflective perspective. In European and American countries before 1800, self-sufficient peasant communities were still the mainstream, and consumption was an extraordinary behavior. From the early steam engines and railways to the containers at the core of shipping, various technologies have continued to accelerate the circulation of global goods. Brands inject value into products and, together with the media, shape specific consumer demands. Then, the iconic product of consumer society, the department store, was born.

In just 200 years, the peasant community declined and was replaced by urban consumer groups. Various changes continue to this day. Anthony Galluzzo, the author of the book, writes: “After 1960, all new developments are just repetitions and amplifications of phenomena that have already happened.”

Recommended reading in conjunction with “Consumption, Work and the New Poor”. (Recommended by: Xu Tao)


“Work, Consumerism and the New Poor”

1a12b0b4136c3c0d46b7ca08d9fe5b47_900x500 Author: [English] Zygmunt Bauman

Publisher: Shanghai Social Sciences Press

Every word in the title of this book is closely related to our lives, and the combination of them increases the attractiveness exponentially, making it difficult not to read it. The book is not thick, only more than 100 pages, but the whole book is mainly a conceptual theoretical explanation, and the fluency may not be as smooth as those consumer research books with many vivid examples.

The second part does not explain much about consumerism, but if you are interested in consumer topics, you can still get a lot of inspiration from it. In this section, you will find that the topic of how to use “consumerism to lead economic recovery” spans time and geography. The lack of willingness to consume or “consumer confidence” is also a headache faced by the top leaders of various countries. Then, topics such as people’s fundamental demands for consumption and how consumerism disciplines the public are unfolded one by one along with these issues. Both consumers and operators of consumer goods can gain some new understanding of “that’s how it is”. (Recommended by: Xu Shiyu)


“The End of Misery”

05cf427f67a547cc2a1580ba60bb944d_900x500 Author: [India] Pankaj Mishra

Publisher: Wenhui Publishing House/New Classic Culture

When the economy is in recession and society is facing uncertainty, people need to find ideological resources that can support them even more. India has experienced rapid economic development in the past few decades, and a considerable number of people have accepted Western philosophy and social sciences, but people are still facing a crisis in their thinking. The author attempts to trace the footprints of the Buddha in India, compares Western philosophy with the Buddha’s thoughts, and attempts to answer the question “Can the Buddha’s thoughts alleviate the suffering of the current world?” The text of the book is not only the author’s thinking about the history of religion, but also the reflection and pouring out of his own ideological growth history. It may also be a communication with painful and confused readers. (Recommender: Ren Siyuan)


“The Biography of Oppenheimer: The American Tragedy of the “Father of the Atomic Bomb””

9ac4411bba1bbb708f1cb05adf3c0cdb_900x500 Author: [US] Kay Byrd, [US] Martin J. Sherwin

Publisher: Yilin Publishing House

I haven’t watched the movie “Oppenheimer” yet, but I have finished reading the original book on which the movie is based. In this biography, which was written after 25 years of research, it is revealed that Oppenheimer’s tragedy was not only caused by the American society where McCarthyism was prevalent at that time, but also had something to do with his own character flaws. In addition to his charming qualities such as being knowledgeable, having broad interests, and being unique, he is also a political but rather naive “politician”, a prodigal son with an open sexual concept, an unqualified father, and he once suffered from severe depression—— During his student days, Oppenheimer, who had always had a smooth life, was frustrated in experimental physics, which he was not good at. He was even suspected of poisoning his tutor and was sent to treatment. This ambiguous character is far more complex and full-bodied than a simple “tragic hero.” (Recommended by: Ni Ni)


“Fantasy Movie Map”

fb79c2b84e99d911cec3d545bdaeb6d2_900x500 Author: [UK] Andrew DeGraaf (creation), [UK] AD Jameson (drawing)

Publisher: Sichuan Fine Arts Publishing House

A very interesting “picture book”. It presents 35 movies such as “Metropolis”, “Jaws”, “Jurassic Park”, “The Shining” and “Lord of the Rings” in the form of hand-drawn maps, including the characters and action routes, plots and scenes of the films. This requires the painter to have strong information extraction and integration capabilities. Readers can not only “tour” the entire plot line by following the protagonist’s action route, but they can also jump to any scene at any time to relive famous scenes. The text writer of this book is a professional film critic, who plays the role of a tour guide, so the text is also rich in information and is not simply annotations or supplements to the pictures. (Recommended by: Ni Ni)


“What’s New Under the Sun: Global Interactions between People and the Environment in the 20th Century”

162f95c4b6c5b7036141847c5e82c1a9_900x500 Author: [US] John R. McNeil

Publisher: CITIC Press

Works by environmental historian John McNeil. This book provides detailed data and cases, from the history of rocks, atmosphere, hydrology, biology and other environments, and tells how the technology, concepts, colonization and globalization after the industrial revolution in the 20th century surpassed the previous century and became a human being. The most profligate century in terms of environmental expropriation since the dawn of time. In fact, McNeil told us a fact: the problem is not destruction. Human beings have been destroying the environment. The problem is the scale of destruction. One day, it will reach a critical point that the environment can withstand. But this critical point has already come, Or are you on your way? (Recommender: Zhang Yunting)


Capital in the Anthropocene

7bf334f1d620ef3c93e1108abccf60fd_900x500 Author: [Japanese] Yukihei Saito

Publisher: Shanghai Translation Publishing House

Japanese writer Yukihei Saito was able to turn a sharp-edged book on environmental protection into a best-seller. As a hot young thinker and researcher of Marx theory, Saito’s book explains most of the current environmental policies and greenwashing business issues in an easy-to-read way, and firmly supports a “de-growth” social system. reconstruction. This requires the efforts of everyone, not the slogans of big companies and politicians. However, the part of Marx’s thought is slightly far-fetched. At least, from the arguments quoted, it does not convince me that Marx was already thinking about the current series of environmental problems and found the answers more than a hundred years ago. (Recommender: Zhang Yunting)


“Single Reading 33: Talk More About Problems”

5b7bf05c3dcc199fbc97a694d855fb0e_900x500 Editor-in-Chief: Wu Qi

Publisher: Shanghai Literature and Art Publishing House

Nine interviews with scholars from different fields such as literature, history, anthropology, philosophy, law, psychology, etc. They are about some seemingly big issues: the search for truth, media changes, historical narratives, social order… There are also many in the article Phrases that appear academic, difficult to pronounce, and “elitist.” But if you look closely, they are all issues closely related to our daily lives:

Why is there so much malice and violence on the Internet? Why are more and more works focusing on the lives of ordinary people? How can people who have not achieved great wealth and prominent status live a decent and dignified life? Why are people paying more and more attention to nature? Are more and more people suffering from depression? How do you feel about failure? …

This book is not intended to give all the standard answers, but to remind us to stop, think and ask questions. It is also a kind of comfort and courage in the general mood of anxiety or depression. (Recommender: Deng Yiyun)


“The World of Perception”

fd0f44ee5ab8f3419e8ce3cbb68aec41_900x500 Author: [France] Maurice Merleau-Ponty

Publisher: Jiangsu People’s Publishing House

This is a philosophy book that is not heavy. It comes from Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s speech broadcast on French National Radio in 1948. The content is compiled by comparing and revising the author’s handwritten speech with the broadcast content. This professional teacher graduated from the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris has strong expressive skills and a very fluent language. He will definitely become a well-known podcaster today.

As a classmate of Sartre, one of the most important French philosophers of the 20th century, Merleau-Ponty was also influenced by Husserl and Heidegger, joined the study of phenomenology, and proposed that “all consciousness is It is perceptual consciousness”, bringing phenomenology into the field of “perception first”. The program is carefully designed as a series of lectures, and the content is a summary of his previous philosophical research, with a theme and sequence set for each lecture.

The first lecture affirmed the relationship between perception and science. From the second lecture, we immediately entered into the use of perceptual phenomenology to explain the understanding and application of space in classical and modern art. Use perceptual phenomenology to explore human animality and look at people from the outside. Since perceptual phenomenology is particularly suitable for interpreting art in the perceptual world, this book devotes more space to it. Merleau-Ponty himself was involved in a variety of art types, so the artistic discussion in this book is not limited to visual art, but also includes literature, poetry and other forms.

He even mentioned the latest film art at that time, “…Although it is easy to be addicted to the temptations of big-name stars, fancy shots, confusing plots, beautiful landscapes or clever dialogues, it is easy to be distracted by the temptation. In these things, the pursuit of fame and fortune ignores the original expression of film…” This is a clear and concise comment made by a philosopher in 1948. His discussion is not limited to the normative standards of the time. His goal is first to enrich the expression of the basic structure of the work with philosophical perspectives by paying attention to the work of those artists, poets and writers.

Although there are so many differences between the classical world in our eyes and the current world, in the eyes of this philosopher, artists are constantly getting closer to what they are looking for through artistic creation, and use perceptual phenomenology to let readers understand his perception of art. This is a philosophical work from the 1950s, but the content is concise and clear, and the theme is very enlightening. It can be said that it feels like reading it frequently. (Recommended by: Xu Ru)



c54cde8b81f80d2bffe660c06ab4d53b_900x500 Author: Christien Meindertsma

Publisher: Thomas Eyck

Dutch artist Christien Meindertsma spent three years doing a research project: after a pig numbered PIG05049 is slaughtered, where will the various “parts” of its body flow in the manufacturing process, and what products will eventually be formed? . She numbered each part of the pig’s body, 185 in total. Skin, bones, meat, blood, fat… Under these broad categories, a subtle classification (such as collagen) can reach a variety of industrial products beyond our imagination: cosmetics, energy bars, and even candy. Starting from fat, the end point may be body lotion or floor wax. A bit ironic? Vegetarian food may be contaminated, and there is no ultimate purity under globalization. Meindertsma photographed all the industrial artifacts tracked by the project, designed the entire book herself, and retained the ear tag style that marked the pig on the spine. This book was eventually collected by MoMA, and now it has been reprinted in its seventh edition while reaping people’s shock and reflection on the consumer society. (Recommender: Zhao Hui)


“ヒルズ: Challenge the City”

31511326704ae42327c9d769950a6896_900x500 Author: [Japanese] Minoru Mori

Publisher: Asahi Shimbun Publishing House

This book is also available in English: Mori Building: the Making of Vertical Garden Cities. I’ve never been that big a fan of books written by company founders—it feels too much like a sales pitch for their business idea. However, this book written by Minoru Mori, who was once the president of Mori Building, is quite sincere. I prefer to position it as the real estate practice path of an urban design obsessed. Minoru Mori believes in Le Corbusier’s glorious city theory and continues Le Corbusier’s visionary practice in modern cities with several real estate projects in Tokyo named “Hills”: Indeed, these projects will be larger than the familiar Tokyo neighborhoods. The scale is larger (meaning that there are really not that many small streets and alleys, and a block has been purchased and merged to be redeveloped, and the scope is larger). Through the vertical layout of skyscrapers, it contributes more green space and people’s activity space. Even on the controversial issue of gentrification, he used data to prove that the landowners of these lands have better choices and destinations. I think the concept of gentrification is becoming more and more politically correct. In fact, as long as the owners of the land do not feel evicted, the land cannot be considered gentrification. Although I don’t agree with Tokyo completely turning into a vertical garden city—that would be really boring, I don’t reject Mori Building’s attempt to diversify urban space. You can see many behind-the-scenes stories of urban renewal in this book. (Recommender: Zhao Hui)


“Twilight is Ending”

0f0c49607a3c276a923484eeeafc7395_900x500 Author: [UK] Diana Asier

Publisher: Sichuan People’s Publishing House

Ms. Asier is a star female editor in the British publishing industry. She never married and had no children. She wrote this memoir when she was 89 years old. Because of my professional relationship, this theme naturally attracted me, and after reading it, I did have many emotions that I had not expected before. People will have many similar helplessness in their old age, but the mental state formed by the free experience in youth will definitely provide resistance in the end. it’s great. Recommended for female friends to watch. (Recommender: Chen Rui)


“The Road to Science”

65b591e55bf35321ad734efc17460241_900x500 Author: Yang Likun

Publisher: Central Publishing House

Artificial intelligence is becoming hot again, and there is a new branch – generative AI. Compared with AlphaGo’s generation of artificial intelligence, ChatGPT has a different statistical data method (so-called “auto-regression”), but it does not change the essence of artificial intelligence since AlphaGo – deep neural network (that is, deep learning). “The Road to Science” by LuCun Yann, one of the Turing Award winners, tells the history of artificial intelligence from the rule-based era to the deep learning era. Believe me, among all the books that want to popularize what artificial intelligence is, this one is the most understandable. (Recommended by: Wu Yangyang)


“Language Instinct”

4950b552f3e9dbc9f540a9e7ff4a4678_900x500 Author: [Added] Steven Pinker

Publisher: Zhejiang People’s Publishing House

Can machines really understand human language? Or, taking a step back, does generative AI “generate” language the same way humans do? Is human language ability acquired or innate? These problems caused by ChatGPT are not only related to technology, but also to each of us as individuals. If you haven’t thought about this issue before, or you are starting to have an existential crisis because of the overwhelming power of AI, read this book, it will help you understand yourself better. After understanding language, it is also recommended that you continue reading other works of this author, such as “Mind Exploration”, which involves human intelligence that is more complex than language – the mind. (Recommended by: Wu Yangyang)


Comic “Pink”

a579126106cbcddf486d7f35ea1b70b8_900x500 Author: [Japan] Okazaki Kyoko

I don’t know how many readers still read comics, and try to tell interested people about the Japanese cartoonist Kyoko Okazaki I accidentally discovered, and her masterpiece “Pink” (the Chinese translation can be found on Google). Okazaki Kyoko was mainly active in the 1980s and 1990s. Her early comics were obviously literary and philosophical. The themes of emptiness and existence, desire and passion, adolescent melancholy, and the depression of marginalized people are often seen in her comics. . Okazaki Kyoko described “Pink” as a story of “love and capitalism”. It tells the story of how a young girl who worked as an office worker during the day and sold sex at night went to pieces during Japan’s Great Depression. The setting of the story is still avant-garde today, but the core can resonate with you and me today. (Recommended by: Tao Zidong)



The movie “Oppenheimer”

67e867561aa15a722261d2920592c4b9_900x500 Director: Christopher Nolan

This is director Christopher Nolan’s new work in 2023. During World War II, in order to seize the opportunity, the United States appointed Robert Oppenheimer as the chief scientist of the Manhattan Project and the general director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory. Under Oppenheimer’s leadership, the United States built the world’s first atomic bomb within two years. After the atomic bomb was put into practice in Japan, World War II was coming to an end. Oppenheimer feared that this power, if misused, could destroy the entire world. Therefore, there were differences between his ideas and the government, and he also became a victim of the spread of McCarthyism in the United States after World War II. The film uses a combination of main narrative and interlude narrative to restore the process of Oppenheimer’s development of the atomic bomb during the war and his encounter with unfair hearings after the war. (Recommended by: Lu Yanjun)


“The News”

8d4721ceb048556ea6dca28323e10595_900x500 Director: Sarath Kothalawala / Kumara Thirimadura

Shanghai Film Festival schedule, Sri Lankan film. Guna hopes to rectify the name of his wronged brother and seek dignity for his family by publishing front-page headlines in newspapers. This seems to be a simple task of clearing names, but in Sri Lanka, Guna and his friends encountered a bureaucracy that pushed each other, newspapers pursuing sensational news, and evil forces. The friendly intern reporter also died for helping them. Lost job.

The whole film is connected by accidental events, and the newspaper publication was completed by mistake, but it also paid an unexpected price. The fact that it is based on real events makes the ending of this movie even more cruel. The film has been hailed as “the glory of Sri Lankan cinema”. (Recommended by: Xu Tao)


British drama “Sex Study Room”

660dd7e14e8d85f1a17b4db6a32f9a9f_900x500 Producer: Netflix

The “sex” in the title of the show may be the beginning of many people’s curiosity about this show, but the show actually discusses much more than just sex. The story begins with two high school students opening a sex clinic at school to solve various confusions for their classmates, but then it extends to complex issues such as sexual minorities, sexual harassment, school violence, and family relationships.

Everyone in the play has their own problems, and every family has their own problems. What is enviable is not only that these adolescent boys and girls in the play can bravely talk about sex, but also that they can bravely pursue love, bravely say no to love, bravely separate and say goodbye, and bravely face their own weaknesses. and imperfection. What Chinese people lack is not only sexual calmness, but also frank communication with each other in intimate relationships. (Recommender: Deng Yiyun)

Finally, I wish everyone a happy Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day holiday.

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