What’s new on Xi Jinping’s bookshelf this year

He puts us all to shame



It is no secret that Xi Jinping loves to read, and his annual New Year’s greeting from his office provides a rare glimpse into just how heady he’s been getting in the last year. Answer? Very heady.

According to netizens who loyally scour his bookcase every year, Xi is heavy into Marxist-Leninist writings at the moment, placing The Communist Manifesto and Das Kapital within easy reach of his desk. He’s also reading selected works of Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao, as well as selected works of Diderot and Rousseau.

Xi’s collection of Western classics has grown substantially to include many of his favorites: Homer’s The Odyssey, The Divine Comedy, War and Peace, Madam Bovary, Les Miserables, The Old Man and the Sea, The Lady of the Camellias by Alexandre Dumas, Balzac’s short stories, Dead Souls and The Government Inspector by Nikolai Gogol, Home of the Gentry by Ivan Turgenev, Ninety-Three by Victor Hugo, Jean-Christophe by Romain Rolland, Eugene Onegin by Alexander Pushkin, and The Chameleon by Anton Chekhov.

Unsurprisingly, considering his tightening grip on the military, his shelves include tomes on the history of the PLA, ancient writings on military strategy, and a Chinese military encyclopedia. He also has multiple Chinese history textbooks, where netizens speculate he gathers many of the historical allusions he loves to drop in his speeches.

He is reading texts on understanding AI, AR, algorithms, and machine learning, including The Master Algorithm by Pedro Domingos and Augmented by Brett King.

His economics reading includes textbooks on ecological economics, Rostow’s stages of economic growth, Money Changes Everything by William N Goetzmann, and The Grey Rhino by Michele Wucker.

As always, Xi’s bookshelves also displayed plenty of new photos of himself fighting poverty, caring for the masses, leading the troops, etc.

At this point, Xi Jinping is basically just rubbing it in that he is an intelligent technocrat devoted to well-informed policy-making and engaged with the realities of his own country. But also, just that he knows how to read, period.

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This article was written by Jessica Colwell.

[Images via Xinhua]