The list author says: "Dreaming of living in China? Get ready to take that first step! Here are some fun and helpful books about living in China as an Expat (expatriate*) if you are contemplating moving here or planning to.
*EXPATRIATE - a person temporarily or permanently residing in a country and culture other than that of the person's upbringing or legal residence."
"2010 In no way an ordinary expat's life, a Norwegian girl (backpacker in the 80's) immerses herself in living, loving, eating, drinking & studying Chinese language, MEN & culture, burning a trail of misadventure, broken hearts & weed smoke from Hong Kong to Beijing. A bawdy, unapologetic, semi-autobiographical novel. New bible to single female expats in China? Like a 'Sex in the 'Forbidden' City'"
"After resettling their three young children from suburban New Jersey to China, Paul, a music and basketball journalist who played guitar only as a hobby, embarked on an exploration of local culture and music. He unwittingly becomes a rock star with his blues rock band, 'Woodie Alan' when they earn the title 'Beijing's best band'. ISBN: 9780061993152"
"2006 A bit dated already -China changes so fast! Still a worthy read. Captures the excitement of living in China as a 'white-faced' woman & her young expat adventures. Esp. noteworthy is her ability to describe cultural differences & explain Chinese language & history since she grew up with Sinologist parents & has had her whole life to contemplate cultural differences! ISBN: 0393328597"
"2007 Another memoir of an expat woman in Beijing who navigates communist slogans, transvestite nightclubs, SARS scares and maintaining her integrity as a 'foreign expert' working at the Communist-controlled China Daily newspaper. ISBN: 1741147557"
"2011 Funny & informative account of life in Guizhou province, deep in the heart of China from a Peace Corps volunteer. Cheekier & more freewheeling than Peter Hessler’s River Town…and Peter J. Vernezze’s Socrates in Sichuan… ISBN: 0805091963"
"2011 An unprecedented description of the mind's of the up-and-coming generation—“post-1980s generation”— with their unique perspective on China—and America by a peace corp volunteer who lead a weekly philosophical discussion group with Chinese undergraduate and graduate students. ISBN: 1597976725"
"2001 Describes how a vibrant American English teacher in Shanghai in 1982, 'breathtakingly naive about the stumbling blocks her students face', has a devastating impact on her students, who are 'enthralled by her air of freedom and her not-too-subtle sexuality.' Told by the voice of a young woman, hardened by the crushing Chinese system post Cultural Revolution, ISBN: 0425180239"
"1989 Ready for great adventures traveling on China's vast railway network?! This is a China backpacker’s essential. 'While infrastructure in the P.R.C. has markedly improved over the decades, a foreigner in the hard seat of the peasant car will have the same mad experiences in 2010 as Theroux did in the 1980’s.' (Thomas Carter) ISBN: 0804104549"
"2005 Funny account of a women who had never been out of the States & rarely out of the Midwest when her husband’s job was transferred to China & she was thrust into a new & bewildering existence virtually overnight. Laugh at the horror of her first encounter with the primitive disgusting “squatty potty”. Witty, wry observations of a newbie China expat fresh off the plane. ISBN: 0595342361"
"2009 China is a Foodie's PARADISE with the abundant variety of cuisines at very affordable prices. A smart memoir about cross-cultural eating with a backstory that started in 1992 & consequences of her fascination with China & Chinese FOOD -an integral part of Chinese identity! ISBN: 0393332888"
"A columnist for a Beijing Expat magazine, "theBeijinger", 13+ year resident in Beijing created a poignant, humorous and delightfully engaging portrait of contemporary Beijing and its “lazy, prideful, garrulous and potty-mouthed” residents whom the author also praises as, “the warmest, best-humored and most easygoing people in all of China. ISBN: B0030GFAPQ"
"2009 Tips for moving to China. My number one advice is to make some Chinese friends upon arrival (very easy - everyone would like an American friend, esp. students studying English . .) and ask them for lots of help (also relatively easy in China!) Aside from that you can read a book like this. ISBN: 1598801694"
"2008 Information on how to: secure a residence permit; find employment; find a home; obtain a competitive mortgage; choose a suitable school; open the right bank account; health care; learn the language; organize your retirement abroad IN CHINA. ISBN: 9781854583840"
"2011 Now a motion picture that compares to Joy Luck Club! Vivid portrait of family & village life in 19th century China, 'Even though the women's culture and upbringing may be vastly different from readers' own, the life lessons are much the same, and they will be remembered long after the details of this fascinating story are forgotten.' ISBN: 0812982711"
"2008 Lisa See's books are highly recommended for both entertainment value, emotional depth and especially for learning about Chinese history and culture! Her book, 'Snowflower' has graphic descriptions of footbinding that is intriguing and a rich glipse of childhood from a girl in 19th century China. ISBN: 0812975227"
"-130 million- Chinese migrant workers, the largest migration in history Follows the hardships & heartbreaks of two teenage factory girls who 'were prey to all sorts of cons, making life decisions on the barest bits of information,' in China's lawless free-for-all boomtowns. They also reinvent themselves, feeling freed from a suffocating web of traditional habits & mores. ISBN: 0385520174"
"2009 A young woman calls herself "Apple" because when she drinks alcohol she turns red. About Chinese adopting English names and their reasons for taking them. Arranged alphabetically - from Aeron to Zat & accompanied by photographs. Repetitive but especially amusing for expat English teachers who struggle to think up English names for hundreds of Chinese students ISBN: 0979966671"
"2011 Addresses problems neglected by most travel guidebooks. Has practical checklists on transportation, lodging, walking, haggling, medical and bathroom emergencies, etiquette, crowds, and learning the twin arts of patience and persistence. ISBN: 1933330945"
"You will need to learn a bit about Chinese culture for everyday life as well as business. Are you familiar with the term "Guanxi"? If you are hoping to reap the wealth of the world's fastest growing economy, your knowledge of Putonghua and Chinese culture could stand between you and your millions. ISBN: 1862876886"
"Published 2010 You'll need a good phrasebook to get you started speaking Chinese. You can do it! Just takes more time to get aquainted with the language than it does with European Languages, but you may be surprised at how easy it is to pronounce and the simplicity of many words. ISBN: 9781742200880"
"2007 Material for battling prevailing ignorance about China. People rarely move past the usual images of China presented by the media, there is a huge gap between what specialists understand & the general public believes. Learn how to spot the 'military alarmists', 'free-trade optimists', & the 'China apologist' ISBN: 074253863X"
"2011 Great book for getting to the nitty gritty of debatable issues (without tackling academic texts!) with a selection China hot topics. The well-chosen excerpts clearly express opposing opinions. From a long-running award-winning series, informative, many-sided, well-balanced, written for high school students but does not dumb-down the complexity. ISBN: 073774765X"
"Published 2007, 128 pages Thematic maps on trade, energy, natural resources, population, military strength, religion, languages, tourism, transportation, and more. New satellite imagery—at the highest resolution ever published by National Geographic, a historical timeline, commentaries, graphs, travel info, and photos complete the thorough coverage of today's China. ISBN: 1426201362"
"2001 If you have any relatives that are nervous about you going to live in China, then don't mention the Boxer Rebellion or this book! This vivid account of the revolt against all manner of foreign presence and influence may scare the hell out of you if you believe it could happen again. ISBN: 0425180840"
"2006 This guide to personal and professional success while living abroad is best used as a checklist as it lacks more thoughtful or lengthy discussions of social and psychological issues of international relocation. ISBN: 1888891327"
"2006 Mom describes family's trials and tribulations in adapting to life abroad in destinations as diverse as Bangkok and Seoul, New York and Beijing, found the toughest move of all was 'back home' to her native Canada. ISBN: 0968676030"
"2009 Do you want to live in a traditional Chinese house? Here is a fascinating selection of Chinese houses from every region of the country. From the 'hutongs', the four-sided courtyard house of Beijing, to the case dwellings of Henan, from the wind-swept adobe houses of Kashi to the portable yurts of Mongolia. ISBN: 1606520016"
"Interior design book with photograph of spaces decorated with Chinese design style. Many of the antiques and accessories pictured, from Tibetan carpets to Ming furniture, are now astronomically priced in the US, but if you live in China you can easily find beautifully made cheap replicas or go antique hunting! ISBN: 0794604005"
"2011 Learn Chinese history by looking at photos of bird cages, dragons, Bamboo furniture, Ivory carvings, Snuff Bottles, Mooncake moulds, Musical Instruments, Mahjong sets, and Fengshui compasses that all provide insights & meanings to Chinese civilization, cultural developments of taste & style, & open a window onto the people & the society of the world's largest nation. ISBN: 080484187X"
"2007 From a series of culture shock guides, this is a guide for those going to China for the first-time or temporary residents. Covers some history and cultural issues & focuses on working, eating, exploring China and the Chinese, learning the language, and socializing. ISBN: 0761454039"
"Published 2007 Knowledge about differences in daily culture helps to foster friendships & is also important for doing business. Covers a wide variety of topics: food/drink, love/marriage, masculinity vs femininity, kinship, raising children, education, individualism vs collectivism, gift giving, mythology/superstition, entertainment, sports, religion, festivals & holidays. ISBN: 9781587367908"
"Published 2009 This young adult novel is my favorite memoir of the Cultural Revolution and there are many many great books available about this period. You've gotta read at least one! ISBN: 0312581491"
"1893 & 2011 59 vingnettes & brief sketches describing describe some character of a range of European types that lived in China from 1919 - 1921, or a scene, setting, place, or event. Beautifully written with a lot of depth and insight by an Englishman who thought that protestant missionaries are hypocritical & who shows compassion for the plight of the locals. ISBN: B004SGRUVE"