Whether you are visiting Macau for the first time or a long time resident, this is a place that is truly wonderful and has something to explore at every turn. In this day and age, reading a physical book has seemingly gone out of fashion. However, there’s something quite romantic about reading a book, breathing in the smell of the paper and the texture of the pages under your fingers. For those who want to understand why we love this bustling city we live in, here’re some great books about Macau.
“Macao—People and Places, Past and Present” by Jason Wordie
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Wordie views the history and changes of Macau through several different lenses—physical, geographical, chronological and cultural. This book is a must for any serious Macau book collector! We love it at Macau Lifestyle and often refer to it for inspiration on historical article ideas. It’s not so much a general survey history as it is an in-depth exploration of locations and regions around the territory.
Visit the author’s personal site to buy his books (including “Macao—People and Places, Past and Present”), and stay updated with the latest news.
“Everything in Style: ‘Harriett Low’s Macau'” by Rosmarie W. N. Lamas
This book is an abridged version of historical diary entries, and tells the story of foreigners trading with China. Harriett Low, a young American woman, accompanies her aunt and uncle, a trader from Salem, Massachusetts, to Macau. At this time, traders were permitted by the Qing government to travel up the Pearl River into Guangzhou (Canton), but the families of traders were required to remain in Macau. Harriett Low and her aunt lived in Macau for four years, and during this time Harriet kept a diary of her life. Editor Rosemarie Lamas extracts parts of the entries to create a detailed account of Macau society during this time.
“Everything in Style: ‘Harriett Low’s Macau'” is available from Hong Kong University Press.
“The Defences of Macau” by Richard J Garrett
Garrett highlights the many types of defenses that once protected Macau, from the forts to the ships and weapons to cannons. The facilities, soldiers, and sailors, are all detailed in The Defences of Macau as well. All the equipment and facilities—such as the forts, cannon, and small arms—were a familiar part of society for hundreds of years and a significant part of Macau’s heritage. A great read for anyone looking to grow their military knowledge of Macau.
“Macau—History and Society” by Zhidong Hao
The book highlights fascinating analysis of some controversial topics, from sovereignty to current social problems, covering a lot of ground. An interesting and insightful look at Macau’s history and society, in English, from a different perspective.
“Macau—History and Society” is available from The Chinese University Press and Hong Kong University Press.
“Macanese Cuisine—Origins and Evolutions” by Antonio M Jorge da Silva
This book describes the origins of Macanese cuisine and the story behind many of the dishes. From Bebinca to Capela, this book covers it. Many of the recipes were transported in the notebooks and memories by those who emigrated. Today, not only young Macanese but everyone can enjoy the recipes in this book.
“Macanese Cuisine—Origins and Evolutions” is available from the International Institute of Macau.
A note on availability—some of these books can go in and out of print, especially those published by university presses. Regardless, there are bookshops around Macau, and Hong Kong, where you can often find a particular title even after it is officially “out of print” so don’t despair. There are many bookstores stocking English titles, but we always recommend beginning your search to the Portuguese bookshop just a short walk from Senado Square.
Livraria Portuguesa 16 R. de São Domingos, Macau, +853 2851 5915, www.facebook.com/portuguesebookshop