Summer Reading On China

  • Summer Reading On China

Summer Reading On China

At a recent talk in Europe, I was asked during the Q&A by a Chinese member of the audience to suggest an English language reading list on China. Here is what I came up with as old favorites:

  • Caixin magazine (subscribe online)
  • The Party – Richard McGregor
  • Red Capitalism – Carl Walter
  • Capitalism with Chinese Characteristics – Yasheng Huang
  • Avoiding the Fall – Michael Pettis
  • Inside China’s Shadow Banking – Joe Zhang

A couple that are on my to-buy list, but have not yet arrived:

  • China’s Second Continent – Howard French
  • Age of Ambition – Evan Osnos

And below is the remainder of my list from a year ago

  • One Billion Customers – James McGregor
  • The Chinese – Jasper Becker
  • River Town – Peter Hessler
  • Tide Players – Jianying Zha
  • Poorly Made in China – Paul Midler
  • Factory Girls – Leslie Chang
  • Stumbling Giant – Tim Beardson
  • Tiger Head, Snake Tails – Jonathan Fenby
  • On China – Henry Kissinger
  • China’s War with Japan – Rana Mitter

What am I missing that I should use the summer to catch up on?


You can read more of my views on China on my LinkedIn Influencer blog. And please follow me on Twitter @gordonorr

Image credit: Lochaven / Flickr

By |July 3, 2014|Categories: Gordon's View|6 Comments


  1. chris July 11, 2014 at 19:35:57 - Reply


    – just a few of my recent reads – good books

    Shanghai 1937 – Peter Harmsen
    Bones of the Master – George Crane
    The Opium War – Julia Lovell
    Khubilai Khan’s Lost Fleet – James Delgado
    Empress Dowager Cixi – Jung Chang
    the Rape of Nanking – Iris Chang

  2. Jonathan Peter July 12, 2014 at 09:03:56 - Reply

    Good list Gordon, but what about the Chinese classics ?(English Translations of course) – such as The Three Kingdoms, Outlaws of the Marsh, Dream of Red Mansions, Lu Xun’s stories, Lin Yutang’s Moment in Peking and My Country & My People. There are also many new writing such as Jung Chang’s recent book about the last Empress, Xin Ran’s The Good Women of China and Ten Words by Yu Hua.

  3. A Nesbitt July 30, 2014 at 21:43:36 - Reply

    I recommend Amoy Magic, by Dr Bill Brown, (ISBN-13: 978-7561516041) to my work colleagues who travel to China for the first time.

    It is focused on Xiamen and the surrounding areas. However, it is a very light hearted and ‘easy to read’ book which gives a good insight into China life and culture.

    See also ‘supporting website’

    Hope others enjoy it also.

  4. Bryan Cassady August 1, 2014 at 05:33:29 - Reply

    A book I would because it is informative and entertaining is China Road

  5. Gary Rice August 4, 2014 at 19:46:37 - Reply

    I wrote and published this book on Amazon recently, “Chasing the Dragon: Importing, Exporting and Doing Business in China”.

    From my early years in China, I quickly learnt how to do good business with the Chinese. You need to do business the Chinese way and become almost Chinese yourself.

    I was once told by one of China’s best hospitality and tourism management experts, ‘Mr Han Wan Guo’, that it is the devil in the detail and the understanding of Chinese business and social culture that is key to being successful in China, especially for foreigners.

    And Mr Han was right…

  6. Holly January 19, 2016 at 20:41:58 - Reply

    In opposition to the classics and golden oldies, try
    Jemimah Steinfeld ‘Little Emperors and Material Girls: Sex and Youth in Modern China’.
    Jon Geldart ‘Notes from a Beijing Coffee Shop’

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