The list author says: "Personal selections for family and others visiting China. It's heavy on biography and memoirs, with the odd novel and movie thrown in for entertainment. Look elsewhere if you want books about the Great Wall, Yangtze gorge cruises, 2008 Olympics, or terracotta warriors."
"You can't help but love Joseph Needham's curiosity, discipline and sense of adventure. Leave the comfortable halls of Cambridge University to document and protect scientific history in China--in mid WWII? No problem. Learn Chinese? No worries. Give me a few months. Write an illustrated 24 volume encyclopedia about it? Give it a few decades more."
"Set primarily in Gansu Province, Er Tai Gao's personal account stands out for his "artistic perspective" and his lack of rancor despite difficult times. Note: This book may be considered unwelcome in China."