The heart of the operation was a claustrophobic room tucked away in the bowels of just another city bar. Once through the trap door into the basement, visitors were greeted by a tiny circle of chairs arranged haphazardly atop an unfinished concrete floor. It was not a place anyone would come for civil discussion. The air was fetid, and pools of water collected unevenly on the floor as water dripped down from the cooling pipes which snaked across the ceiling.Learning Chinese? Our lesson today features an intermediate-level dialogue, along with a quick book club of our own. Want to know who we consider to be the Hemingway of China? And who else is worth reading now that you're up to this level? Get our verdict in this show, and leave your own thoughts in the comment section below to share recommendations on contemporary authors we've missed.