Book recommendations

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Book recommendations

Unread postby Kongde » Tue Sep 17, 2019 7:25 pm

Hi all, I'm looking for some good reads, preferably physical books in English, on the Han to Jin period. Any kind will do, but I would prefer it be more factual than fictional if possible.

And as a special request, I was wondering if such a book existed which made an attempt to continue the Romance of Three Kingdoms where it left off to the fall of Wei and establishment of Jin and maybe even to the Southern Song dynasty. I would be so interested in reading a book like that specifically! But if such a book does not exist, any book recommendations based on Han - end of Jin would be greatly appreciated. Must be in English as I cannot read Chinese.
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Re: Book recommendations

Unread postby Sun Fin » Tue Sep 17, 2019 8:56 pm

Are you aware of this thread which is a list of a lot of Three Kingdom books? Do you have a price limit as that would impact what kind of books I'd recommend to you.

In terms of a chronological telling of the history your best bet is probably the Zizhi Tongjian, sections of which have been translated by Rafe De Crespigny, Achilles Fang and our very own Taishi Ci. Hard copies of the former two's work are incredibly rare and expensive, however all are available online. It is written by Sima Guang who was commissioned to write a history of China, finishing in 1084 AD.

Taishi Ci has just began translating the early Han stuff in this thread. RDC's work is available on his university's website, 157 to 189 AD, 189 to 200 AD, 201 to 220 AD. Then Taishi Ci transcribed Fang's work here, which covers 220 to 265 AD. Then Taishi Ci did his own translation of the Jin period which you can find here and a second half here.

If you want a history written by a modern historian and price isn't a problem then I'd suggest looking at the Cambridge History of China series. Volume 1 covers the Qin and Han dynasty. I own this and recommend it highly. A second volume, covering The Six Dynasties, 220–581 (so Three Kingdom's proper and the Jin) is coming out later this year. We discuss it here.

In terms of fiction the only thing published at the moment is T.P.M Thorne's work. They are incredibly well researched, but are perhaps slightly bogged down by names and details? If you want something more historically accurate though they might be up your alley. Some members discuss them here. I own the ones about Early Wu and Zhuge Liang.

Are any of these the kind of things your looking for? If not let me know and I'll try again :lol:
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Check out my library here for a list of Chinese history resources I have on hand and my tumblr to see if I have reviewed it!
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Re: Book recommendations

Unread postby Kongde » Tue Sep 17, 2019 10:12 pm

Sun Fin wrote:Are you aware of this thread which is a list of a lot of Three Kingdom books? Do you have a price limit as that would impact what kind of books I'd recommend to you.

In terms of a chronological telling of the history your best bet is probably the Zizhi Tongjian, sections of which have been translated by Rafe De Crespigny, Achilles Fang and our very own Taishi Ci. Hard copies of the former two's work are incredibly rare and expensive, however all are available online. It is written by Sima Guang who was commissioned to write a history of China, finishing in 1084 AD.

Taishi Ci has just began translating the early Han stuff in this thread. RDC's work is available on his university's website, 157 to 189 AD, 189 to 200 AD, 201 to 220 AD. Then Taishi Ci transcribed Fang's work here, which covers 220 to 265 AD. Then Taishi Ci did his own translation of the Jin period which you can find here and a second half here.

If you want a history written by a modern historian and price isn't a problem then I'd suggest looking at the Cambridge History of China series. Volume 1 covers the Qin and Han dynasty. I own this and recommend it highly. A second volume, covering The Six Dynasties, 220–581 (so Three Kingdom's proper and the Jin) is coming out later this year. We discuss it here.

In terms of fiction the only thing published at the moment is T.P.M Thorne's work. They are incredibly well researched, but are perhaps slightly bogged down by names and details? If you want something more historically accurate though they might be up your alley. Some members discuss them here. I own the ones about Early Wu and Zhuge Liang.

Are any of these the kind of things your looking for? If not let me know and I'll try again :lol:

I was not aware of that amazing thread! I was referring to the Member Library before and it was kind of hard to navigate for a specific book type that I am on the hunt for.

Thanks for the other wonderful recommendations as well! I was hoping for a physical copy of the ZZTJ, but unfortunately I may have to stick with online for now unless I just print it all off and make it a book myself from all the mentioned resources. Much easier to keep track of where you are.

I will definitely look into the other books you mentioned - but my special request I dont feel quite has been met. I was thinking more so a direct or close to direct continuation of where the ROTK left off. In a very similar style, rather then straight hard facts in a non entertaining way (i.e. ZZTJ). Even if only fan made rather than authored and published, it would be great. I really enjoyed the style of ROTK and surely others have felt like I and wished it to continue.

Also, unless I failed to see it, I dont see your novel posted on Wu / Zhuge Liang in that thread. Care to link me?
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Re: Book recommendations

Unread postby Sun Fin » Wed Sep 18, 2019 7:18 am

Kongde wrote:I was not aware of that amazing thread! I was referring to the Member Library before and it was kind of hard to navigate for a specific book type that I am on the hunt for.


Yeah, they are probably best used in conjunction. Finding the book you think you want, then looking to see if a member owns it and can give more details.

Kongde wrote:Thanks for the other wonderful recommendations as well! I was hoping for a physical copy of the ZZTJ, but unfortunately I may have to stick with online for now unless I just print it all off and make it a book myself from all the mentioned resources. Much easier to keep track of where you are.


I you were to search amazon, they do have the ones translated by RDC and Fang listed, they just might be out of stock, and if they are available your looking at £60+.

Kongde wrote:I will definitely look into the other books you mentioned - but my special request I dont feel quite has been met. I was thinking more so a direct or close to direct continuation of where the ROTK left off. In a very similar style, rather then straight hard facts in a non entertaining way (i.e. ZZTJ). Even if only fan made rather than authored and published, it would be great. I really enjoyed the style of ROTK and surely others have felt like I and wished it to continue.


As far as I'm aware there is nothing in English that matches this request.

Kongde wrote:Also, unless I failed to see it, I dont see your novel posted on Wu / Zhuge Liang in that thread. Care to link me?


I did link to his website too, but here is the page for Eastern Wu and for Zhuge Liang. You can't buy them from his site, but if you copy and paste the titles into Amazon you can get them there. :)
Have a question about a book or academic article before you buy it? Maybe I have it!
Check out my library here for a list of Chinese history resources I have on hand and my tumblr to see if I have reviewed it!
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Re: Book recommendations

Unread postby Kongde » Wed Sep 18, 2019 5:25 pm

Sun Fin wrote:
Kongde wrote:I was not aware of that amazing thread! I was referring to the Member Library before and it was kind of hard to navigate for a specific book type that I am on the hunt for.


Yeah, they are probably best used in conjunction. Finding the book you think you want, then looking to see if a member owns it and can give more details.

Kongde wrote:Thanks for the other wonderful recommendations as well! I was hoping for a physical copy of the ZZTJ, but unfortunately I may have to stick with online for now unless I just print it all off and make it a book myself from all the mentioned resources. Much easier to keep track of where you are.


I you were to search amazon, they do have the ones translated by RDC and Fang listed, they just might be out of stock, and if they are available your looking at £60+.

Kongde wrote:I will definitely look into the other books you mentioned - but my special request I dont feel quite has been met. I was thinking more so a direct or close to direct continuation of where the ROTK left off. In a very similar style, rather then straight hard facts in a non entertaining way (i.e. ZZTJ). Even if only fan made rather than authored and published, it would be great. I really enjoyed the style of ROTK and surely others have felt like I and wished it to continue.


As far as I'm aware there is nothing in English that matches this request.

Kongde wrote:Also, unless I failed to see it, I dont see your novel posted on Wu / Zhuge Liang in that thread. Care to link me?


I did link to his website too, but here is the page for Eastern Wu and for Zhuge Liang. You can't buy them from his site, but if you copy and paste the titles into Amazon you can get them there. :)


I did not realize it was part of the website! My apologies!

Thanks for the great references again. What a shame that no such book exists to fill the Jin-Southern Song void. Perhaps this is something I should look into doing myself. I am certainly by no stretch of the means an ingenious writer and absolutely will never reach the level of depth that Luo Guanzhong has in his literature, but I can certainly strive to make an attempt at a well told story for a time period that seems ever so neglected, with the ultimate purpose being to continue where ROTK left off.

Unfortunately, at the moment I am quite ill informed of the history and people of the mid Jin and beyond era, so this would take an enormous amount of research on my end to even begin to start writing it. However... if, in all that time, a book of my description does not pop up, I will strongly consider writing it myself for my own satisfaction. Should anyone else be interested in that venture, I may write it here in this forum in chapters.

I wonder how such a book would fare.
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Re: Book recommendations

Unread postby DaoLunOfShiji » Wed Sep 18, 2019 5:28 pm

According to BookofJin on tumblr, there is a book that somewhat fits what you're looking for. Continued Romance of the Three Kingdoms 續三國演義 it covers until Su Jun's rebellion in Eastern Jin.
"To triumph without fighting is the greatest enterprise of the sovereign. Better to capture a state intact than to wreck it; better to capture an army complete than to destroy it. These are the principles of warfare."
— Zhong Hui
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Re: Book recommendations

Unread postby Sun Fin » Wed Sep 18, 2019 5:30 pm

Oh wow! Is that in English DaoLun? I’ve never even heard of it!
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Re: Book recommendations

Unread postby Kongde » Wed Sep 18, 2019 5:32 pm

DaoLunOfShiji wrote:According to BookofJin on tumblr, there is a book that somewhat fits what you're looking for. Continued Romance of the Three Kingdoms 續三國演義 it covers until Su Jun's rebellion in Eastern Jin.

Now that sounds perfect! I will most certainly look into that, thanks for the suggestion Dao!
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Re: Book recommendations

Unread postby DaoLunOfShiji » Wed Sep 18, 2019 5:33 pm

Sun Fin wrote:Oh wow! Is that in English DaoLun? I’ve never even heard of it!


It seems not. That's a bit of a shame... :(
"To triumph without fighting is the greatest enterprise of the sovereign. Better to capture a state intact than to wreck it; better to capture an army complete than to destroy it. These are the principles of warfare."
— Zhong Hui
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Re: Book recommendations

Unread postby Sun Fin » Wed Sep 18, 2019 5:38 pm

Kongde wrote:
Thanks for the great references again. What a shame that no such book exists to fill the Jin-Southern Song void. Perhaps this is something I should look into doing myself. I am certainly by no stretch of the means an ingenious writer and absolutely will never reach the level of depth that Luo Guanzhong has in his literature, but I can certainly strive to make an attempt at a well told story for a time period that seems ever so neglected, with the ultimate purpose being to continue where ROTK left off.

Unfortunately, at the moment I am quite ill informed of the history and people of the mid Jin and beyond era, so this would take an enormous amount of research on my end to even begin to start writing it. However... if, in all that time, a book of my description does not pop up, I will strongly consider writing it myself for my own satisfaction. Should anyone else be interested in that venture, I may write it here in this forum in chapters.

I wonder how such a book would fare.


Honestly, I think you would struggle to find a large audience for it, but that doesn't mean it isn't worthwhile! :)

DaoLunOfShiji wrote:It seems not. That's a bit of a shame... :(


Gutted :(
Have a question about a book or academic article before you buy it? Maybe I have it!
Check out my library here for a list of Chinese history resources I have on hand and my tumblr to see if I have reviewed it!
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