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China: A Family Adventure

READING AND TRAVEL GUIDE

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Books for

Enrich your travels with reading! Here's a hand-picked list prepared for your journey in conjunction with the book experts at Longitude.

Essential Reading

Item EXCHN129. Buy these 5 items as a set for $85 including shipping, 15% off the retail price.
With free shipping on anything else you order.

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Lonely Planet Discover China

Lonely Planet Discover China

by Lonely Planet

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2013
  • PAPER
  • 448 PAGES

Focusing on must-see and memorable places and experiences, this all-color guide by the discerning editors at Lonely Planet features hundreds of color photographs and maps, suggested tours and itineraries along with not-to-be-missed places to stay, eat, shop and see. (CHN674, $27.99)

Understanding China

Understanding China

by John Bryan Starr

  • HISTORY
  • 2010
  • PAPER
  • 400 PAGES

A Yale professor's essential primer on the history, politics and economy of China. A succinct and refreshingly forthright best-selling guide, this third edition brings us right up to date with events in the rapidly evolving nation. (CHN196, $17.95)

The Forbidden City, Center of Imperial China

The Forbidden City, Center of Imperial China

by Gilles Beguin | Dominique Morel

  • HISTORY
  • 1997
  • PAPER
  • 144 PAGES

This slim volume is packed with maps, archival photographs and illustrations. With a useful chronology and a carefully chosen selection of writings over the ages, it's an indispensable guide to the Forbidden City and the history of Imperial China. (CHN32, $15.95)

Wild Swans, Three Daughters of China

Wild Swans, Three Daughters of China

by Jung Chang

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2003
  • PAPER
  • 524 PAGES
  • FAVORITE

In this riveting tale of three generations spanning the end of Old China, Mao's regime and the Japanese occupation, Chang chronicles the enormous changes in China since 1929. (CHN04, $18.00)

China Adventure Map

China Adventure Map

by National Geographic

  • 2011
  • MAP

A double-sided, full-color map of China, at a useful scale of 1:4,375,000, which shows roads and cities. Printed on tear- and water-resistant paper. (CHN06, $11.95)

 
Culture Smart! China

Culture Smart! China


by Kathy Flower

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2010
  • PAPER
  • 168 PAGES

This is a handy guide to local customs, etiquette and culture. (CHN434, $9.95)

Eyewitness Guide Beijing and Shanghai

Eyewitness Guide Beijing and Shanghai


by Eyewitness Guides

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2013
  • PAPER
  • 240 PAGES

This superb guide features color photography, excellent maps and a neighborhood-by-neighborhood overview of each city. (CHN385, $23.00)

Fodor's Shanghai's 25 Best

Fodor's Shanghai's 25 Best


by Fodor's

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2010
  • PAPER
  • 96 PAGES

This shirt-pocket guide, with an excellent map of the city, includes a choice selection of attractions, shops and restaurants, ideal for a short visit. (CHN60, $11.99)

Lonely Planet Mandarin Phrasebook

Lonely Planet Mandarin Phrasebook


by Hua-Yuan L. Mowry | Justin Ben-Adam Rudelson

  • LANGUAGE & PHRASEBOOKS
  • 2012
  • PAPER
  • 256 PAGES

A handy phrasebook for basic Mandarin, focusing on pronunciation, grammar and essential vocabulary for the traveler. (CHN72, $8.99)

The Chinese Kitchen

The Chinese Kitchen


by Eileen Yin-Fei Lo

  • FOOD
  • 1999
  • HARD COVER
  • 452 PAGES
  • CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE

An authoritative compendium of Chinese recipes and food-oriented cultural practices. Eileen Yin-Fei Lo's cookbook doubles as an introduction to China itself. (CHN134, $39.95)

A Traveller's History of China

A Traveller's History of China


by Stephen G. Haw

  • HISTORY
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 310 PAGES

An admirably brief, lively history of China from early origins to today. With a historical gazetteer, chronology and list of dynasties. (CHN43, $14.95)

China, A New History

China, A New History


by John Fairbank | Merle Goldman

  • HISTORY
  • 2005
  • PAPER
  • 546 PAGES

A sweeping history of China from the Paleolithic to Tiananmen, revised with a new chapter by Merle Goldman. A standard for history buffs. (CHN11, $29.00)

China, Inc. How the Rise of the Next Superpower Changes America and the World

China, Inc. How the Rise of the Next Superpower Changes America and the World


by Ted C. Fishman

  • HISTORY
  • 2006
  • PAPER
  • 352 PAGES

An economist and former commodities trader, Ted Fishman draws on statistics, case studies and interviews in this lively economic history and guide to understanding China's spectacular economic growth and future prospects. (CHN305, $17.00)

Dragon Rising, An Inside Look at China Today

Dragon Rising, An Inside Look at China Today


by Jasper Becker

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2007
  • PAPER
  • 264 PAGES

Asia scholar Jasper Becker examines the pertinent questions and issues facing modern China and its relationship to the global economy. (CHN365, $18.95)

Life and Death in Shanghai

Life and Death in Shanghai


by Nien Cheng

  • HISTORY
  • 2010
  • PAPER
  • 560 PAGES

A plainly told account of the horrors of the Cultural Revolution in Shanghai from an author who was a six-year political prisoner. (CHN42, $18.00)

Mountain of Fame, Portraits in Chinese History

Mountain of Fame, Portraits in Chinese History


by John Wills

  • HISTORY
  • 1996
  • PAPER
  • 424 PAGES

An intriguing, novel approach to Chinese history. Instead of marching through the dynasties, Wells illuminates themes and continuities within Chinese tradition through 20 representative personalities. (CHN10, $30.95)

The Great Wall, China Against the World, 1000 BC - 2000 AD

The Great Wall, China Against the World, 1000 BC - 2000 AD


by Julia Lovell

  • HISTORY
  • 2007
  • PAPER
  • 412 PAGES

The Who, Why and Wherefore of the Great Wall, this marvelous history demolishes myths (no, the wall is not a continuous structure of great antiquity, as much of it was built in the 1600s) with fresh insight and wit. (CHN308, $15.00)

World Religions: Eastern Traditions

World Religions: Eastern Traditions


by Willard G. Oxtoby

  • RELIGION
  • 2010
  • PAPER
  • 515 PAGES

A clear and insightful introduction to Eastern religions by a team of scholars, covering Hindu, Jain, Sikh, Buddhist and East Asian traditions. Scholarly, but still rewarding for the general reader. (ASA07, $89.95)

The Arts of China

The Arts of China


by Michael Sullivan

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 352 PAGES

A lively survey of Chinese visual arts and culture through the ages, thoroughly illustrated and accessible. With a new chapter on the 20th century and beyond, this fifth edition covers bronzes, ceramics, painting and architecture from the Neolithic to now. (CHN16, $41.95)

The Great Wall, From Beginning to End

The Great Wall, From Beginning to End


by Michael Yamashita | William Lindesay

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 2007
  • HARD COVER
  • 192 PAGES
  • CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE

Lindesay's informative text accompanies 160 photographs by Yamashita, who spent a year photographing along the 4,000-mile length of the iconic barrier. (CHN451, $29.95)

Daughter of the River, An Autobiography

Daughter of the River, An Autobiography


by Hong Ying

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2000
  • PAPER
  • 288 PAGES

Ying traces the arc of her life from struggles during the Great Famine through Tiananmen Square in this inspiring tale of coming of age in Chongqing on the banks of the Yangtze. (CHN240, $14.00)

Mao Zedong

Mao Zedong


by Jonathan Spence

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2006
  • PAPER
  • 192 PAGES

Yale sinologist, writer and historian Spence tracks the life of the architect of the People's Republic from his provincial upbringing to his savage three-decade rule. (CHN66, $15.00)

Mao, The Unknown Story

Mao, The Unknown Story


by Jung Chang | John Halliday

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2006
  • PAPER
  • 814 PAGES

In this extraordinary biography Chang (Wild Swans) and her historian husband reveal Mao as a brutal, power-hungry monster with close ties to Joseph Stalin. (CHN301, $20.00)

Mr. China, A Memoir

Mr. China, A Memoir


by Tim Clissold

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2006
  • PAPER
  • 262 PAGES

An excellent portrait of contemporary China. Clissold writes with humor and insight in this entertaining account of his encounters with the Chinese and the Chinese way of doing business. (CHN306, $14.99)

Oracle Bones

Oracle Bones


by Peter Hessler

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2007
  • PAPER
  • 512 PAGES

In this fine portrait of tumult and tradition, Hessler (River Town) finds clues to modern China's realities in the personal stories of peasants, scholars, day laborers and activists. (CHN316, $15.99)

Red China Blues, My Long March from Mao to Now

Red China Blues, My Long March from Mao to Now


by Jan Wong

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 1997
  • PAPER
  • 368 PAGES

Jan Wong tells of her experiences in the "hermetically sealed bubble of Maoism" as one of two westerners to attend Beijing University, then offers a first-hand account of recent reforms in China. (CHN37, $15.95)

Red Dust, A Path Through China

Red Dust, A Path Through China


by Ma Jian | Flora Drew

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2002
  • PAPER
  • 324 PAGES

An astounding memoir by an urban poet, painter and writer on the road to Tibet. A vagabond, rebel and Buddhist, Jian abandons his Beijing life for a 3-year southwestern journey through Tibet, Burma and Guizhou Province. (CHN150, $16.00)

The Private Life of Chairman Mao, The Memoirs of Mao's Personal Physician

The Private Life of Chairman Mao, The Memoirs of Mao's Personal Physician


by Dr. Li Zhisui

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 1996
  • PAPER
  • 682 PAGES

22 years in the life of Mao Tse Tung (and communist China), as seen through the eyes of his doctor. (CHN100, $25.00)

Anthology of Chinese Literature, Volume II: From the 14th Century to the Present Day

Anthology of Chinese Literature, Volume II: From the 14th Century to the Present Day


by Cyril Birch

  • ANTHOLOGY
  • 1988
  • PAPER
  • 476 PAGES

An excellent collection of representative verse, song, stories, essays and excerpts from classic novels, a sampling of Chinese writing over the last 700 years. (CHN14, $16.50)

Empire of the Sun

Empire of the Sun


by J. G. Ballard

  • LITERATURE
  • 2005
  • PAPER
  • 279 PAGES

Ballard's widely acclaimed novel of an English boy in Shanghai during the Japanese occupation, drawn from his own experiences. It's a powerful tale of the upheaval and trauma of war. (CHN265, $15.00)

Empress Orchid

Empress Orchid


by Anchee Min

  • LITERATURE
  • 2005
  • PAPER
  • 346 PAGES

In this novel of the glorious, decadent last days of 19th-century Imperial China, Min (Red Azalea, Becoming Madame Mao) combines her tale of a young girl from the provinces who marries an emperor -- and then improbably becomes the Last Empress -- with a lovingly re-created portrait of life in the Forbidden City. (CHN267, $14.00)

The Good Earth

The Good Earth


by Pearl Buck

  • LITERATURE
  • 1994
  • PAPER
  • 379 PAGES

The modern classic that won the Pulitzer Prize in 1931. Drawing heavily on Buck's personal experience as a young newlywed in rural China, it is the plainly told story of a poor farmer and his stalwart wife. (CHN15, $16.00)

Waiting

Waiting


by Ha Jin

  • LITERATURE
  • 2000
  • PAPER
  • 308 PAGES

A spare, haunting story of a military doctor who tries for 18 years to divorce his peasant wife so he can marry a more sophisticated nurse at his hospital. Greatly evocative of quotidian life in China during the Cultural Revolution and after. (CHN80, $16.00)

Wild China

Wild China


by John MacKinnon | Nigel Hicks

  • NATURAL HISTORY
  • 1996
  • HARD COVER
  • 208 PAGES

A beautiful oversize book of photographs featuring Chinese wildlife and natural history. This informative, up-to-date survey also features excellent maps and detailed explanatory text. (CHN19, $39.95)

A Field Guide to the Birds of China

A Field Guide to the Birds of China


by John MacKinnon | Karen Phillipps

  • FIELD GUIDE
  • 2000
  • PAPER
  • 586 PAGES

A comprehensive field guide to the birds of China, featuring 128 color plates illustrating 1,300 species of birds. Contains introductory chapters on the history of ornithology in China, biogeography, and conservation. (CHN85, $124.00)

Chinese Wildlife

Chinese Wildlife


by Martin Walters

  • FIELD GUIDE
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 208 PAGES

This compact introduction to birds, mammals, reptiles, insects and plants found from the Tibetan plateau to the deserts, tropical forests and mountains includes 200 color photographs. (CHN440, $26.99)

More Recommendations

Here are some other groups of books that might be of interest

Longitude provides recommended reading for travelers in partnership with the leading tour operators and travel programs for hundreds of destinations worldwide. We've got the classic, new and hard-to-find books and maps to help you get the most out of your adventures.