The list author says: "I treated myself to 3 China "road trip" books which I took along with me for my own 1-month road trip (via hired personal driver; I was on business) last month from Beijing to Gansu, then back southeasterly across to Shanghai.
These 3 books together really complimented each other and are the perfect traveling companions for anyone interested in learning about or seeing this New China.
As for my own road trip, I met some nice people along the way, but I didn't have as many amusing situations as Hessler or Gifford, nor did I see even a fraction as much as Carter has through his lens. I guess the "pros" really know how to seek out such things.
I am also including on the list some other helpful books that I have used for travel purposes while in China."
"The first was China Road by National Public Radio China correspondent Rob Gifford, who traveled 3,000 miles for 6 weeks across China, meeting and interviewing a broad spectrum of Chinese people along the way."
"The second was Country Driving by New Yorker reporter Peter Hessler, who covered 7,000 miles over the course of 6 years (divided up, of course, by setting up house in places like Beijing and Shenzhen)."
"The third was China: Portrait of a People by Tom Carter, a photojournalist who saw all 33 provinces in China over the course of a 2-year backpacking journey (a jaw-dropping 35,000 miles logged!). Carter is a photographer, not a writer, so we learn about China and the Chinese through his candid imagery as opposed to anecdotes."
"There is no "perfect" travel guide to China because the country is changing so darn fast, however China Eyewitness Travel Guide is superior to Lonely Planet in every way, from the recommended hotels down to the suggested route planning."
"Every expat in Shanghai knows (or at least knows of) Graham Earnshaw. He plays in a popular bar band, he runs a publishing company, and he has been WALKING across China for the past decade. This is his story."