Background Information and Study
Autobiographical or Biographical
Out of the Gobi , Weijian Shan, 2019.
Shan describes his life as a teenager during the Cultural Revolution and does a lot of comparison with America as a result of his education in and visit to the US.
Imperial Woman, Pearl S. Buck
Wonderful writer! Tells the story of the Last Empress of China. Talk about Nero fiddling while Rome burned.
Life and Death in Shanghai, Nien Cheng, 1986.
Thumbs up. A must read. A resident of Shanghai, Cheng tells the story of her imprisonment during the cultural revolution.
River Town, Peter Hessler.
Peace Corps assignment in late '90's to a city on the Yangtze River. Later wrote for National Geographic and is still in China today.
Iron & Silk, Mark Salzman, 1986.
Very similar to River Town, but with a little more humor.
Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China, Jung Chang.
I didn't care for this book. The writing was choppy, too much unnecessary detail (as in "my third cousin's nephew") made it hard to follow .
Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Luo Guanzhong
The Four Chinese Classics: Tao Te Ching, Analects, Chuang Tzu, Mencius, Edited, translated by David Hinton
Dream of Red Mansion, Cao Xueqin
Confucianism: A Very Short Introduction, Daniel K. Gardner, 2014.
When China Rules the World , Martin Jacques, 2012.
Stopped reading at Chapter 4. Strong biases seem to be purpose of writing.
On China by Henry Kissinger, 2012.
Incredible book. Had to put it down every chapter to think about what he had to say. Incredibly sophisticated writing. Extremely helpful in understanding China today.
Understanding China: A Guide to China's Economy, History, and Political Culture, 3rd Edition, John Bryan Starr, 2010.
Well, yes, statistics are dry. Great book though. I read the whole thing. Did you know that China has 24% of world's population but only 7% of its arable land?
Red Star Over China, Edgar Snow,1938, updated 1968.
A must read. Snow was a British journalist embedded with Mao's command and the book is his interviews with Mao and descriptions of events during the civil war. Snow admits that Mao edited everything he published.
The Dragon Throne: China's Emperors from the Qin to the Manchu, Jonathan Fenby.
Well, you have to try to read at least one of these, right?
China Wakes: The Struggle for the Soul of a Rising Power, Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl Wudunn, 1995.
The Cultural Revolution: The Controversial History of Mao Zedong's Political Mass Movement after the Great Leap Forward, Charles River Editors, no date.
The Third Revolution: Xi Jinping and the New Chinese State, Elizabeth C. Economy, 2018.
Another must read. This was a great read about the emerging political and economic issues faced by China today.
Gai-jin, James Clavell
King Rat , James Clavell
Tai-Pan, James Clavell
Noble House, James Clavell
Where was I in the '80's when he wrote these books??? Loved them, every one of them. So much good info about the history of Hong Kong.
The Good Earth, Pearl S. Buck
Pavilion of Women, Pearl S. Buck
Wonderful writer; great knowledge of China.
Shangai Girls, Lisa See
Hmmm. Thumb sideways as far as information about China.
China Rich Girlfriend, Kevin Kwan
Thumbs down as in the stupidest stuff since the Kardashians. I stopped reading at Chapter 2.
The Fire Maker, Peter May
OK police/mystery novel set in China.
Silk Road, Colin Falconer
Great novel about a trip to the imperial court from medieval Jerusalem.
Siddartha, Herman Hesse.
Must read for anyone interested in Buddhism.
Documentaries/ Movies/ Videos
See Amazon prime menu for lots of video about China.
Tubi has the 1980's mini series on Noble House with Pierce Brosnan as Struan. The books were better, but it was fun to watch.