Some mixed feelings about it. Being ABC and also with family not from the mainland, I'm pretty much as clueless as the next American off the street abSome mixed feelings about it. Being ABC and also with family not from the mainland, I'm pretty much as clueless as the next American off the street about what China itself is like, so I enjoyed the anecdotes. I could see things I recognize from my family visits to Taiwan, but it's also still different, and then there were definitely bits that were very much written from Western viewpoints. Though overall it didn't make me cringe with exoticism, at least. And as an English-speaking person learning an East Asian language, I found some of the passages about the difficulties and triumphs in studying an East Asian language to be something I could empathize with at times.
Partly I just really enjoyed reading a book with random Chinese phrases thrown in, half of which I don't know (I don't actually speak much Mandarin myself), but some that I did. That part felt really familiar to my general lived experience, English mixed with Mandarin, so that was fun. If you're looking for a book to help you in your language-learning studies, this is not going to help much. But if you want to go from know-nothing-at-all to having-some-vague-idea about modern Chinese culture and history, this is an entertaining read, basically....more