READ@PolyU 2021

READ@PolyU is delighted to announce the 2021 Common Book, The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories, a collection of award-winning short stories by speculative fiction writer Ken Liu.

In the title story, The Paper Menagerie, a child loses touch with the magical paper menagerie built for him by his mother, a mail-order bride in suburban Connecticut, but then discovers as an adult that love knows no bounds.

-Read with Us!-

  • Get a free copy during the annual Book Pick-Up event (30 Aug -10 Sep)
  • Borrow the print book from the Library
  • Read the e-book version here

Learn more about the book from the publisher's website.

I know this is going to sound hyperbolic, but when I’m reading Ken Liu’s stories, I feel like I’m reading a once-in-a-generation talent. I’m in awe. – Jamie Ford, NYT bestselling author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

These remarkable stories highlight Liu’s themes of family, love, and politics and gathered in one collection pack an even bigger punch. Those who revere shorter speculative works will definitely want this book.– Library Journal starred review

Gracefully written and often profoundly moving, these stories are high-water marks of contemporary speculative fiction. – Publishers Weekly starred review

The selection process with a campus-wide call for nomination in January 2021, and concluded with the final selection by the READ@PolyU Programme Committee in May 2021.

-Common Book Selection Criteria-

The selection criteria help ensure that the common book will support the programme goal of cultivating a reading culture at PolyU, as well as the University's goals to provide a campus experience that is international and enriching.

  • The book will be in English, preferably less than 300 pages
  • It should be engaging for the PolyU community
  • It should be accessible, not difficult to read
  • It should appeal to students’ imagination, and should include some elements of exploration of and reflection on multi-cultural issues
  • It should preferably have been adapted for film
  • It should preferably have an electronic version
  • It should preferably have won international and critical acclaim
  • Ideally, the author would be available to visit PolyU


Read@PolyU 2021 Events

-Book Distribution*-

Date: 30 August -  10 September 2021

Pick up your free copy of the common book at Library’s podium floor in Week 1-2, 1pm to 5pm (Mon to Fri).


-Book Chat Groups*-

Date: 13 September - 8 October 2021

Share your reading experience in a Book Chat Group! Each Group will meet 3 times throughout Week 3 to 6. Let’s make new friends and develop soft skills during the thought-provoking discussion.


-Meet the Author - Ken Liu-

Date: 19 October 2021, 10:30 - 11:30 am

Join us for a conversation with Ken Liu, the winner of Nebula, Hugo, and World Fantasy awards. You will learn the intriguing insights behind the making of The Paper of Menagerie and Other Stories.


-Book Exhibition - Fantasy Fiction-

Date: 20 September to 30 October 2021

Immerse yourself in the world of fantasy fiction from Harry Potter to Game of Thrones, and borrow your next great read from the featured exhibition that will be held online and physically on Library’s podium floor.


 Call for Book Nomination 

Date: 1-12 November 2021

Send us your Common Book nominations for a new year of reading. It will help us decide which book the PolyU community will read in 2022.


*For PolyU students only.

Read@PolyU 2021 Key Events Details

Read@PolyU 2021

 Meet the Author - Ken Liu 

Calling all PolyU readers! Come join us for a conversation with the internationally renowned writer, Mr. Ken Liu, to learn from his intriguing insights behind the making of the READ@PolyU Common Book 2021, The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories.

Date: 19 October 2021
Time: 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Online via Zoom. Moderated by Mr. Dean A.F. Gui (English Language Centre)
Quota: 200.


 Have a Question for Ken Liu? Post it to Win a Prize! 

Do you want to get another bestseller written by Mr. Liu? Let's participate in the Instagram campaign for a chance to win The Grace of KingsThe Hidden Girl and Other Stories, or Star Wars: The Legends of Luke Skywalker.  

Complete Step 1 & 2 below by the deadline of 11 October 2021.

Step 1: Post your thought-provoking question related to the Common Book on your own Instagram (IG) account, with the hashtag #PolyUReads_Ken_Liu

Step 2: To complete your submission, you must also email the screen capture of your IG post to

After the deadline, the IG questions will be compiled and sent to Mr. Liu for selection. During the Q&A session of the talk, Mr. Liu will first answer 5-7 most interesting IG questions before responding to others in the audience. If your submitted IG question is selected, you will receive his bestselling book as a prize.


 About the Author 

Ken Liu is an American author of speculative fiction. A winner of the Nebula, Hugo, and World Fantasy awards, he wrote the Dandelion Dynasty, a silkpunk epic fantasy series (starting with The Grace of Kings), as well as short story collections The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories and The Hidden Girl and Other Stories. He also authored the Star Wars novel The Legends of Luke Skywalker.

Prior to becoming a full-time writer, Liu worked as a software engineer, corporate lawyer, and litigation consultant. Liu frequently speaks at conferences and universities on a variety of topics, including futurism, cryptocurrency, history of technology, bookmaking, narrative futures, and the mathematics of origami.


Read@PolyU 2021

-Book Chat Group: Registration-

Why read alone? Share your reading experience in an online Book Chat Group! Membership is open to all PolyU students.

  • Meet up with a small group of students from different backgrounds
  • Share your responses to reading in a relaxed, informal setting under the guidance of a Staff Facilitator
  • Get a free copy of the common book. (All print copies were distributed in Week 2. Read the e-book version here).

Registration opens in August 2021 until all groups are full. All PolyU students (except HKCC, SPEED or non-PolyU degree students) are welcome.

The Book Chat Groups will meet 3 times throughout Weeks 3 to 6 (13 September to 8 October 2021). You can choose to meet either face-to-face or online this year.