SCNU proudly released "The Dean's Books of the Year", covering ten thought-provoking Chinese and foreign books. It's a project assigned by the president of SCNU and intended for anyone interested in a great selection of recommended readings, especially for those who came to the university as new students in the Fall of 2022. Get reading with these recommendations now!

01. Xi Jinping and College Students


Recommended by: Professor Zhang Yonggang of the School of Marxism.

The book Xi Jinping and College students was published by the China Youth Publishing Group. It consists of vivid and impressing stories about Chinese president Xi Jinping and college students in different periods. The book can not only help people learn Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, but also encourage young people to cultivate virtue and shoulder responsibility.

The English version of the book was first published by the Pakistan Beyond the Horizon Press, and a promotion conference was held in June. 

02. Eighty Years of SCNU


In celebration of SCNU's 80th anniversary in 2013, the book Eighty Years of South China Normal University was published by HK Phoenix Books Culture Publishing. It tells the past 80 years of history and development of the university. The Chinese title of the book written in pinyin is Muduo jinsheng, meaning the sound of muduo, a kind of bell-shaped musical instruments in ancient China. It symbolizes that the good tradition of SCNU has been kept well and passed down from generation to generation.

"The book is valuable because it depicts intellectuals at SCNU, who always care about education and the nation. This is a group of people that Lu Xun (one of China's foremost writers of the 20th century) called the 'national backbone'," says Zhang Lin, the director of the Phoenix Satellite Television Publishing Center, in his book review. It is highly recommended for those who are interested in the history of SCNU, in particular for SCNU faculty and staff as well as students. The English edition is not currently available.

03. What Is University 

by Chen Pingyuan


Recommended by: Professor Huang Mingxi of the School of Education.

Universities not only have a long history but also a unique culture and tradition. As a hub to spread and create knowledge, the university enjoys full academic freedom. Over the past century, with the development of the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences, great talents have contributed to the national rejuvenation. 

So what exactly is the university and its spirit? Read the book What Is University by Chen Pingyuan to know more. The book is now only available in a Chinese edition.

04. The Beauty of Mathematics

by Wu Jun


Recommended by: Professor Liu Xiuxiang of the School of Mathematical Sciences.

Dr. Wu Jun's book The Beauty Of Mathematics focuses on the important role of math in science and information technology. For many students, mathematics is like a palace, magnificent but only to be looked at. This book shows the function of mathematics in solving practical problems through varied and clear examples. It gives people a different view of mathematics. If you can think of math when you try to solve problems, you will benefit a lot. The book is only available in a Chinese edition.

05. From the Soil 

by Fei Xiaotong


Recommended by: Professor Zhang Xiaohong of School of Philosophy and Social Development

The book is a sociological study of the Chinese grassroots society and the countryside. The author Fei Xiaotong, founder of Chinese sociology, analyzes the traditional society from many perspectives so that we can understand the overview of the traditional Chinese social culture. 

Fei is good at making the theory understandable. He compares the Chinese countryside with Chinese cities and the West, helping readers understand the social structure and cultural characteristics of the Chinese countryside. The English edition is co-translated by Gary G. Hamilton from the United States and Wang Zheng from China.

06. A Short History of Chinese Philosophy

by Fung Yulan


Recommended by: Professor Liu Tisheng of the School of Philosophy and Social Development

A Short History of Chinese Philosophy by Chinese philosopher Fung Yulan was first published in English. It was originally a collection of lecture scripts for the course of the History of Chinese philosophy given by the author at the University of Pennsylvania in 1947. It was then translated into Chinese by Fung's student Tu Youguang and revised by himself in 1985. A new Chinese version was made by Zhao Fusan in 2004.

"Known as a model 'brief history but great masterpiece,' the book expounds the evolution of Chinese philosophy and its development, and creatively answers the important question of 'what contribution will Chinese philosophy make for the world philosophy in the future.' The epithet 'great masterpiece' suggests it has a high academic level, while 'brief history' means it is easy to understand."

7. Dream of the Red Chamber

by Cao Xueqin


Recommended by: Professor Li Jing of the School of Chinese Language and Literature.

"The Dream of the Red Chamber is one of the four great classical Chinese novels. The author Cao Xueqin witnessed the rise and fall of his family. After ten years of writing and revising, five additions and deletions, he created the masterpiece Dream of the Red Chamber. This book reflects the characteristics of Chinese society during the first half of the eighteenth century."

After the release of Dream of the Red Chamber, traditional ideas and writing methods were broken, the Chinese writer Lu Xun once said. The book which has profound meaning and wonderful style, is worthy for generations to read. Famous translator Yang Hsien-yi and Gladys Yang translated the book into English in 1978.

08. Introduction to Logic

by Irving M. Copi and Carl Cohen


Recommended by: Deputy director of dean's office Zhao Yi.

The "Incheon Declaration: Education 2030" was put forward by UNESCO, aiming to ensure all people could develop critical thinking and innovative capabilities. So how can college students improve their thinking? Besides professional learning, students can also study logic. 

The book is a standard model of modern textbooks for the study of logic. It enables students to understand the classical syllogism logic and the more powerful modern symbolic logic technology. Let's start with Introduction to Logic, by Irving M. Copi and Carl Cohen, translated by Zhang Jianjun and Pan Tianqun et al.

09. A Global History

by L. S. Stavrianos


Recommended by: Professor Zhang Haibo of the School of History & Culture.

The book A Global History narrates from the prehistory to the second industrial revolution during the 20th century. Taking geographical discovery in the year 1500 as a watershed, it tells the evolution of history and its influence on modern society from a global perspective. Stavrianos uses his brilliant writing style to make the whole book consistent. Reading this book, you will not only understand China from a global perspective, but also see the world based on China. 

Since its publication, the book has gained much praise, and has been translated into various languages. This book recommended is the Chinese edition, translated by Wu Xiangying and Liang Chimin, et al. Editions in English and other languages are widely available.

10. A Brief History of Time

by Stephen Hawking


Recommended by: Professor Tang Zhilie of the School of Physics and Telecommunication Engineering.

Where did the universe come from? Where will it go? Has the universe had a beginning? If yes, what happened before this beginning? What's the essence of time? Will it have an end? 

In this book, the famous physicist Stephen Hawking expounds these scientific and philosophical questions and other propositions in an understandable way. He leads readers to the outer space, and attracts their interests in cosmology to understand his theory and the mathematical principles behind it. The great book was also translated into Chinese by Xu Mingxian and Wu Zhongchao.

Source: the SCNU library

Translated by Peng Ying, Wei Xiaonan

Proofread by Edwin Baak

Edited by Li Jianru

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