Please answer 2022.

Nucleic acid testing, lockdowns, stockpiling, shouting, reopening, hoarding medicine... that's how 2022 passed.

Almost every Chinese person has experienced one or more of the above stages, and I am no exception. The bitterness and pain have been talked about too much, there is no need to talk about it again.

So what else is there to talk about? Looking back on this year, it seems to be as empty as the previous two years, except for home and work, I have hardly been anywhere. If the body cannot be on the road, then only the soul can be on the road - reading books, watching movies, only these two aspects can be reviewed.

What did I read this year?#


This year, a total of 86 books were marked, and the complete reading list can be accessed here, which includes personal comments and ratings. If you want to know the most recommended books, I recommend those with a rating of 4.7 or above.

In March, I developed the habit of summarizing my reading records on a monthly basis. In September, in order to practice "reading with notes, thinking with traces," I started recording inspirations of the day on "Random Talk" (

In the movie "Casablanca," there is a line that goes: "Nowadays, your temperament contains the roads you have traveled, the books you have read, and the people you have loved." When I heard this artistic and pretentious line in high school, it deeply imprinted in my mind.

In the middle of the year, when I went to the Wan Sheng Bookstore with a friend to buy books, we talked about the books we had recently read. I jokingly said that I started to enjoy reading books on politics, society, and philosophy this year. Perhaps because I'm getting older, I'm starting to pursue something eternal.

Reading can influence a person's temperament; similarly, a person's experiences can also influence their reading preferences. For example, in my reading this year, there is an obvious tendency to explore the various doubts and actions beneath the land of China.

  • Why did they "stand alone" and implement dynamic zero tolerance?
  • Why did they keep escalating measures?
  • Why did the people endure the pain of lockdown?
  • So many whys...

Let me start with the conclusion, I haven't found the answers, but I haven't gained nothing.

At first, I tried to find answers in Zhou Shuren's essays and satirical novels. I saw that people a hundred years ago were not much different from people today. The pitiful Xiang Lin's sister-in-law in "Blessings" is even more "fortunate" than the woman in Fengxian County, Xuzhou, who was chained up. Can we say this is progress?

Then I encountered Yan Lianke, who tells untold true stories through his novels. The catchy slogan "Serve the People" in "Serve the People" has become a privilege of the ruling class. Just like Zhang Hongjie described the hungry prosperous times - a prosperous time for a few, paved by the majority. And many of us, as newcomers and insiders, still listen to slogans and feel excited about the prosperous times, shouldn't we reflect on this?

Literature is ultimately just a record and reflection. It can answer the question of "what," but to explore the "why," other books are needed.

From Kong Feili's thoughts on the Qing Dynasty to the modern research of scholars like Fu Gaoyi and Zhou Xueguang; from the soul-calling case in 1768 to the three-year famine starting in 1958, and the ten-year Cultural Revolution starting in 1966, many things have changed on this land over the centuries, but there are always things that remain unchanged.

When I read Yang Jisheng's "Tombstone," I started reading slowly because those words felt like knives stabbing into my heart, making it hard to breathe. But as I read on, I read faster. Firstly, the experiences of people from different places are generally similar, except for "misery." Secondly, the development of the situation and history are the same, I can even predict the subsequent developments. When I know that similar things will happen again in a few decades, this feeling of powerlessness makes it hard to breathe.

I can't continue writing, but I won't stop exploring. Perhaps one day I will truly understand the truth, or maybe I will wait for the arrival of the answers. Until then, the only thing I can do is to stay healthy, preserve memories, and continue thinking.

What did I watch this year?#


This year, a total of 64 films and TV shows were marked. I thank them for bringing a bit of joy to my boring life. The complete list can be found here. I hardly watched any of the newly released films and TV shows from mainland China because I don't want to waste my precious life on inferior products - although I know this is not entirely the fault of the people in the film industry.

Some old films are still worth watching, such as Huang Jianxin's urban trilogy: "Back to Back, Face to Face," "Red Light, Green Light," and "Stand Straight, Don't Bend Down." The film and TV industry in the 1990s produced a large number of good movies, but unfortunately, such a beautiful time didn't last long.

In comparison, Taiwan's film and TV industry occasionally brings surprises, such as "The Bold, the Corrupt, and the Beautiful," "Godspeed," and "A Sun." Although they were not released this year, they still give me hope for the future.

I also came across a podcast called "Antagonistic Film Reviews," which discusses why Chinese films have fallen to this day. It's worth a listen:

Since domestic films are not up to par, foreign films come to the rescue. After finishing the sixth season of "Suits" in August, I sighed: "This is the only American TV series I've watched this year." Indeed, I haven't seen any other series that are as excellent since then. In November, "The Walking Dead" also came to an end, bidding farewell to the zombies that accompanied my entire youth.


After writing this, I realized that the tone of the article is too pessimistic, but that's not the reality. I am grateful that I had the opportunity to encounter Fyodor Dostoevsky this year. His "The Brothers Karamazov" had a great impact on me. If I could only bring two books on a journey, one would be "The Brothers Karamazov" and the other would be "Conversations with Goethe" translated by Zhu Guangqian. The latter has been my bedside book for a long time, and every time I read it, it brings me peace.

Referring back to the beginning of this article, the experiences of these years have led the public to adopt a "better to believe it" mentality. In most cases, it has surprisingly come true, which is the absurdity of the present.

Of course, this year was not all bad. I went to the beach and to Universal Studios... some insignificant things that were enough to satisfy me. I hope that 2023 will bring more of these little things.

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