The list author says: "Having lived, worked and traveled around China for the past 10 years, these are the books, movies, music and survival tools that I came to really cherish during my stay. Most guide books about China are fairly similar; all have their faults and strong points, so donÂt waste too much time in choosing one. However be warned that Lonely Planet are being confiscated at most Chinese airports, so you might want to go with another brand. You will also notice that my list is Hessler-free. Amazon doesnÂt need yet another ÂChina reading listÂ with River Town on it! I could have made this list a lot longer, but China is one of those countries best explored oneÂs self, so I kept it stripped down to the must-haves."
"Lonely Planet is the most popular, but numerous horror stories abound of tourists having their LP guides confiscated at the airport and border checkpoints. Actually, China is changing too fast for any single guide book to be up-to-date and useful as far as hotels and restaurants, so it really doesnÂt matter which brand you choose."
"If you are intending on actually living in Beijing as opposed to just traveling there, then there is no higher authority than Immersion Guides. Lovingly written by expats who actually live in BJ. You can find the 2010 edition in any Beijing expat haunt."
"DonÂt let all the Mao paraphernalia sold to tourists fool you into believing that Chinese people actually liked the man. He personally oversaw the execution and wholesale slaughter of over 70 million innocent Chinese citizens. Or so claims the authors. Warning: absolutely do NOT bring this book with you into China unless you want to be automatically deported!!!"
"Susan Conley, devoted wife and mother of 2, follows her husband to Beijing circa 2008 and must contend with cultural differences in addition to raising two boys AND getting breast cancer! Perfect read for female expats."
"This epic photographic journey through all 33 provinces will inspire you to get out there and see something of REAL China. Plus itÂs small and cute; I prefer it over those oversized mass-market coffee table books."
"There is no end to cook books on Chinese cuisine, but most are written by Chinese Americans. Real Chinese food is a world apart from that hybrid stuff. This book will acquaint you with actual dishes served in Mainland China."
"Attention men Â Chinese guys have really small feet. ItÂs not likely you will ever find shoes over size 10 (US) sold in China, not even in Shanghai. This is not an endorsement for Docs. Just pointing out what to expect as far as shoe buying."
"Chinese toilets (WC) are like pits of hell. And worse, none come with toilet paper. Not even in hotels! The upside is that you can buy these little tissue packs everywhere in China, so you may not need to crowd your suitcase with them."