Xi Jinping is a prolific reader, or at least that's what he'd want you to think, never wasting an opportunity to flaunt his so-called reading list. Judging by this list at face value, he exhibits a refined literary taste, having enjoyed books from a diverse range of cultures and time periods. In actuality, his grasp on the books' content is tenuous at best, and is often no better than a that of a high school student who had just read the Sparknotes version a night before their essay deadline. As a result, he shows off his sophistication by gratuitously stuffing his soporific speeches with literary references, although more often than not he gives up the pretense and doesn't try at all, resorting to robotically enumerating a list authors and books he claims to have read in his signature monotonic voice. This has become so iconic that people have coined a term for it: "报书单" (bao shu dan, annoucing a booklist)
Ironically, Xi hasn't read the two books that could improve his life the most: On Writing Well might help cut down the verbosity of his speeches and inject some long-lacking enthusiasm, while How to Make Friends and Influence People could definitely offer a new perspective that's more productive than Wolf Warrior Diplomacy. If Secretary Xi so wishes, the editor of this site might be able to lend him a personal copy with highlighted notes along with a book report.
Forms of booklist annoucing
Booklist announcing can be divided into two categories based on Xi's audience.
When giving a speech in front of foreigners, Xi would try to emphasize his love of authors and works from the audience's country. This is perhaps to endear himself to his hosts/guests, essentially the boomer version of saying you like Justin Bieber despite knowing nothing about him so you can improve your chances with a girl.
Works that Xi claims to have read
Sager King gaffe
During the closing ceromony of the first session of the 13th National People's Congress, Xi Jinping mispronounced "King Gesar" as "King Sager" (萨格尔王) when mentioning the Epic of King Gesar, a Tibetan and Central Asian epic, as an example of Chinese literature. Our colleagues at Xinhua News quickly edited the recording; when the speech was rebroadcasted Xi was shown to be pronouncing the title correctly, albeit in a robotic voice, even more so than normal. The Chinese term for "King Sager" was promptly blocked on social media. This gaffe is compounded not only by the fact that just a month ago the Communist Youth League claimed that Xi had read the book, but also by Xi's cultural appropriation of a piece of Central Asian literature as explicitly "Chinese".