There are any number of serious and worthy reasons to write a book on Alexander the Great, and author and historian Rachel Kousser gives several—including that Alexander’s world was more “globally connected” and “integrated” than our own and how “Alexander’s story does not just give us a different perspective on the past; it also helps us to imagine the future”—but one suspects that in the end it’s that Alexander’s is a ferociously good story. Kousser can be forgiven for that: Alexander has been considered the best of stories going on for 24 centuries. And she tells it well.

The China-Burma-India (CBI) theater of the Second World War gets far less attention than the battles in Northwest Europe, Italy, the Eastern front, North Africa and the Pacific. Author Caroline Alexander in her new book Skies of Thunder presents a riveting, faced-paced account of the action there both on the ground and in the skies that would make for a best-selling movie. 

There is much about the way international relations is framed—from the so-called rules-based order to the nation-state itself—that has its origins in the Western history, philosophy and experience. It stands to reason that the traditional view might not map very well onto two non-Western countries an order of magnitude larger than almost any other in the original dataset. In his new book Civilization-States of China and India, Ravi Dutt Bajpai posits that India and China are something other than “nation states”.

In 1971, the New York Times called the Taiwanese-Chinese chef, Fu Pei-Mei, the “the Julia Child of Chinese cooking.” But, as Michelle T King notes in her book Chop Fry Watch Learn: Fu Pei-Mei and the Making of Modern Chinese Food, the inverse—that Julia Child was the Fu Pei-Mei of French cuisine—might be more appropriate.

Thirty years ago, Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn published their first book, China Wakes, to critical acclaim. The couple wrote of their five years reporting about China for The New York Times from 1988 to 1993. Other journalists reporting on China have followed suit and we’ve seen books by Jan Wong, Mike Chinoy, Frank Langfitt, Dori Jones Yang, Rob Schmitz, Lenora Chu, and Karoline Kan, among others. There is also the Peace Corps cohort of Peter Hessler and Michael Meyer, who went on to become journalists and write about China. These books have brought China to readers who are both familiar with the country and who are just starting to learn about it, and in most cases, these journalists chose to write about a certain city, region, or period.