089: Best Loved Chinese Proverbs by Theodora Lau

by Gerard


089.951: Lau, Theodora with Kenneth and Laura Lau. Best-Loved Chinese Proverbs, 2nd Ed. New York: Collins Reference, 2009. 154 pp. ISBN 978-0-06-172686-6.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 000: Computer Science, Knowledge, and General Works
  • 080: General collections (Quotations)
  • 089: General collections in Italic, Hellenic, or other languages
  • +951: Chinese

The Lau family has brought together many, many Chinese proverbs in a slim volume entitled Best-Loved Chinese Proverbs. This short book organizes Chinese traditional sayings into thematic categories arranged alphabetically from those on ability to those on worry. There’s not much more to say here. It’s well put together and dutifully decorated. Some of the more obscure sayings have a small explanatory passage afterwards to help those confused by the proverb. Other than that, it’s a quick little missive you can enjoy in small bites or read in an hour or two. Here are a few of my favorite proverbs:

  • On discretion: Think before you speak, and do not speak all that you think.
  • On courtesy: Keeping company with the wicked is like living in a fish market: one becomes used to the foul odor.
  • On contentment: Laughter is the music of one’s soul. One is never really poor if he can afford to laugh.
  • On knowledge: By filling one’s head instead of one’s pocket, one cannot be robbed.
  • On strategy: Do not hit the fly that lands on the tiger’s head.