"The Man Who Loved China" (2009 Selection)

About the Book
About the Author


About Author Simon Winchester

Simon Winchester

Simon Winchester studied geology at Oxford and has written for Condé Nast Traveler, Smithsonian, and National Geographic. In addition to The Man Who Loved China, Mr. Winchester is the author of "A Crack in the Edge of the World," "Krakatoa," "The Map That Changed the World," "The Professor and the Madman," "The Fracture Zone," "Outposts," and "Korea," among many other titles. He lives in Massachusetts and in the Western Isles of Scotland.


Websites About Simon Winchester and "The Man Who Loved China"

Simon Winchester's website

Simon Winchester interview with PM (Australian public broadcasting) (available in print and audio)

Simon Winchester on the Man Who Loved China (video -- scroll down the page)



Websites About Simon Winchester and His Other Works

Bookbrowse: An Interview with Simon Winchester

Contemporary Writers: Simon Winchester

National Public Radio, "Talk of the Nation": The Meaning of Everything (audio)

Powells.com Interviews: Simon Winchester

Travel Writers: Simon Winchester

Funding for "One Book, Everybody Reads" is made possible by Friends of the Wilmette Public Library.

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World War I- 
A Series at the Wilmette Library
August 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War. This fall the Library will offer a series on "The Great War."  
Register for the book discussions and programs via the
Library's online calendar or call 847 256-6930.
Click here for a list of the World War I materials.
Book Discussions    7 pm

Led by Paul Grasmehr, Reference Coordinator 

at the Pritzker Military Museum & Library.

October 8  

Catastrophe 1914 : Europe Goes to War by Max Hastings     
A history of the war's outbreak from the breakdown of diplomacy to the dramatic battles that occurred before the war bogged down in the trenches.


November 12  

Storm of Steel  by Ernst Junger
A memoir of astonishing power and lyricism, the book illuminates not only the horrors but also the  fascination of total war, seen through the eyes of an ordinary German soldier. 
Registration required.  Sign up here.
World War I -How and Why the US Got Involved 
Wednesday, September 10
Dr. Paul Herbert, Executive Director, First Division Museum at Cantigny, will discuss the US entry into the war, from the initial stance of neutrality, to the evolution of President Woodrow Wilson's thinking and policies amid a changing international scene, and finally to the declaration of war in April, 1917.  Using materials from the McCormick Research Center at Cantigny, he will cover the experience of Chicago Tribune publisher Robert R. McCormick during these years and the organization and deployment of the first combat troops sent to France, the First Division. 
Military Genealogy-Finishing the Story 
Saturday,  Sept 27 at 11 am
Tracing a World War I or II soldier can be challenging. Many researchers are unaware of the records and resources available outside of the usual genealogical sources. Explore the lives, service, and deaths of three soldiers,  and learn about numerous military resources available. Through a brief reading from her new book  Stories of the Lost, Jennifer Holik will demonstrate how to write the stories of your Soldier.
Mike at the Movies : Global Perspectives on WWI 
Saturday, October 18 at 2 pm
Film scholar Michael Smith will examine cinematic depictions of the "Great War" from a variety of perspectives. Film clips will include portrayals of the conflict as seen by Hollywood in the silent as well as the sound era not to mention responses from France and Germany, where the reaction was more "coded" through the bleak movement known as Expressionism.
Myths and Realities of World War I 
Sunday,  December 7 at 2 pm 
In the popular imagination, WWI consisted of repeated attacks  by neat rows of infantry against trenches defended by barbed wire and machine guns, resulting in the slaughter of a generation of young men. The reality of war was far more complex. Thomas Mockaitis,  PhD, Professor of  History at DePaul, will consider  the significance of the war in historical context.
Film Screenings
2:30 and 6:30 pm
October 10       
 All Quiet on the Western Front  
A group of young World War I German recruits pass from idealism to disillusionment with war.
November 7  
Paths of Glory
 During WWI, a French battalion is ordered on a suicide mission that is likely
to fail .When it does, the general that planned the mission selects three soldiers from the battalion to be executed for cowardice, and selects their leader as their attorney.   
December 5
Joyeux Noel 
Based on the true story of three armies in the bloody trenches of World War I and the miraculous Christmas Eve truce they unexpectedly forge.   Subtitled.
For more information contact Nancy Wagner at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (847) 256-6930.
WPL logo


Meet Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist


November 19 at 7:00 p.m.

Community Recreation Center

3000 Glenview Road, Wilmette


Mr. Suskind and his wife will discuss his new book,

Life, Animated: A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes and Autism

Free and open to the public. No tickets required.

A book signing will follow the program, and The Bookstall will have books available for purchase.

For more information, call 847-256-6930.

Known for his critically acclaimed book, A Hope in the Unseen, as well as four New York Times bestsellers about domestic policies and international affairs, Mr. Suskind has written his most personal work yet in Life, Animated, which describes his family’s 20-year journey to connect with their autistic son, Owen, through Disney films and characters.

While Life, Animated tells of one family’s remarkable story, the stunning, poignant, and highly-readable memoir also portrays the universal themes of hope, perseverance, and resilience as well as the never-ending power of storytelling.  It is a book about family - and about raising a son.

A seemingly typical and talkative boy, Owen stopped communicating soon before his third birthday.  He couldn’t speak for many years, but he memorized dozens of Disney movies and used the films to express himself.  As Owen’s parents and older brother struggled to find ways to communicate with him, they discovered they could reach him when they themselves became Disney animated characters, singing and reciting from the films.

Life, Animated was excerpted in the March 7, 2014, issue of The New York Times Magazine in an article titled, “Reaching My Autistic Son Through Disney,” and the book was published last spring. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch called the memoir “a wonderful book, whether or not you know a person with autism.” Kirkus Reviews described Mr. Suskind as “a master journalistic storyteller” and termed the book a “deeply felt, movingly written account of raising an autistic son.” The Chicago Tribune called the book an “extraordinary saga” and noted that “those looking for a smart, well-written, deeply moving, up-from-the-depths inspirational tale with a positive ending should love it.”


More about Ron Suskind and Life, Animated


Ron Suskind’s website

CBS Sunday Morning: Breaking Through Autism With Disney Movies

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart: Ron Suskind

Diane Rehm Show: Ron Suskind - “Life Animated”

Here & Now: Using Disney to Reach a Child With  Autism

HuffPost Live: Ron Suskind - How Disney Helped My Autistic Son

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Journalist Ron Suskind Writes About Son's Autism

NBC Nightly News: Disney Characters Help Boy With Autism Find His Voice

Parents: A Conversation with Ron Suskind

Radio Times: Ron Suskind’s Life, Animated

Radiolab: Juicervose

Slate.com: Talking to Ron Suskind About  Fnding his Austistic Son’s Voice Through Disney Movies


Reviews of Life, Animated

Boston Globe

Kirkus Reviews

New York Times

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

USA Today








The Future of the Book - A weekend of fun activities

for book lovers of all ages, February 28 - March 2


stephencropGaming as an Interactive Book

Friday, February 28, 7:00 pm, Auditorium

Virtual Services Manager and gaming aficianado Stephen Koebel shows you his favorite gaming software and how it may operate much like a book.  It has narrative, plot, and characters, and requires critical thinking skills.  Tell us about yours.

Photo of Narae Kim

Workshops with Book Artist

        Narae Kim

Families welcome.  Registration required. Use the Library's online calendar.


Saturday, March 1, 9:30, Auditorium, Register online    Open to ages 8 and up
Upcycle, recycle, & create paper that is a product of your imagination.  Supplies provided.


Saturday, March 1, 11:30 Auditorium, Register online  Open to ages 8 and up
There’s almost no limit to the form a book takes. Design and make your own book from provided materials.


For Kids! Writing Past, Present and Future

Saturday, March 1 and  Sunday, March 2, Drop in 2 to 4 pm, Youth Program Room
Explore Different ways of writing through history.  Decorate an illuminated letter, experiment with a typewriter, make a simle book, and create stories on an iPad.

McKettrick photo

  What is the Future of the Book, Literally?

Saturday, March 1, 2:30, Auditorium

Newberry Library Librarian Helen McGettrick talks about the life of the book What makes a book published in 1750 survive better than one published in 1895? Helen will also talk about digital preservation.  Will today's e-book be accessible in 20 years, or will it be the equivalent of an 8-track, a format no longer used?


From Clay Tablets to Apple Tablets; The Evolution and the Continuity of the Book

Sunday, March 2, 2:00, Auditorium
Jeffrey B. Garrett, Associate University Librarian for Special Libraries & Director, Special Collections and Archives, Northwestern University Jeffrey Garrett, is a born Evanstonian, a New Trier graduate, and now Dir. of Special Collections and Archives at Northwestern University. He will lead us on a brief but richly illustrated tour through five thousand years of book history. Along the way we will consider Martin Luther as the first blogger and what the computer screen owes to 18th century Baroque architecture. Join us for this romp through book history at warp speed!

Exploring Books

February 25 - March 1, Recent Arrivals Area

Explore books in all shapes, sizes and formats. Try out different e-readers and tablets and learn about digital collections.






About One Book, Everybody Reads

Photo of book cover:State of Wonder

"One Book, Everybody Reads" is the library's annual community-wide reading and book discussion program, funded by the Friends of the Wilmette Public Library. The library selects one book that is the focus of the program, which takes place each spring. In order to facilitate the experience for the community, the library offers numerous copies of the book in various formats for patron use.

We are thrilled to announce that the 2012 "One Book, Everybody Reads" selection is Ann Patchett's newest novel, STATE OF WONDER.

Local residents are encouraged to read the selected title and participate in a series of events that explore the book and its themes. The various programs are designed to create opportunities for shared enjoyment of the selected book as well as enhance an individual's personal reading experience. The culminating event takes place when the author visits Wilmette to discuss his or her book.

The "One Book, Everybody Reads" program began in 2006. Previous selected titles were:

Funding for "One Book, Everybody Reads" is made possible by Friends of the Wilmette Public Library.

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