List of Best Books about China and Learning Chinese

Here at China Admissions we love books. A book costs only a few dollars but the contents can change your life. Here are some of the best books we recommend about China. If you have any comments about the books you like please do let us know in the comments below.

Discover China by reading our top recommended books that will really broaden your horizons about China!

Books to Understand China Better

On China by Henry Kissinger

On China is a New York Times Bestseller authored by Henry Kissinger, former United States Secretary of State and one of the greatest statesmen of the 20th century. This book details Chinese history in the context of foreign policy and Chinese diplomacy during pivotal events between China and European powers, Sino-Soviet border clashes, Korean War and Richard Nixon’s historic trip to Beijing.

This book is available here.

What It Takes: Lessons in the Pursuit of Excellence by Stephen A. Schwarzman

A book that focuses on the multifaceted life of Blackstone chairman, CEO, and co-founder Stephen A. Schwarzman. Schwarzman is an active billionaire philanthropist who founded Schwarzman Scholars fellowship program at Tsinghua University in Beijing—the single largest philanthropic effort in China’s history from international donors. What it takes is a book that focuses on how to build, transform, and lead thriving organizations.

Get this book here.

AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley, And The New World Order by Kai-Fu Lee

Dr. Kai-Fu Lee—one of the world’s most respected experts on AI and China—reveals that China has suddenly caught up to the US at an astonishingly rapid and unexpected pace.

Get this book here.

The Silk Roads: A New History of the World by Peter Frankopan

For centuries, fame and fortune was to be found in the west. Today, it is the east which calls out to those in search of adventure and riches. The eastern region, is taking center stage in international politics, commerce and culture – and is shaping the modern world. The Silk Roads is an international bestseller that shows a major reassessment of world history in light of the economic and political renaissance in the re-emerging east.

Get this book here.

Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford

New York Times Bestseller, this book details the startling true history of how one extraordinary man from a remote corner of the world created an empire that led the world into the modern age.

Get this book here.

Change Your Thoughts – Change Your Life: Living the Wisdom of the Tao by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

In this book, Dr. Wayne W. Dyer has reviewed hundreds of translations of the Tao Te Ching and has written 81 distinct essays on how to apply the ancient wisdom of Lao-tzu to today’s modern world. This work contains the entire 81 verses of the Tao, compiled from Wayne’s researching of 12 of the most well-respected translations of text that have survived for more than 25 centuries.

Get this book here.

The Web That Has No Weaver : Understanding Chinese Medicine by Ted Kaptchuk

The Web That Has No Weaver is the classic, comprehensive guide to the theory and practice of Chinese alternative medicine. This accessible and invaluable resource has earned its place as the foremost authority in synthesizing Western and Eastern healing practices.

Get this book here.

Factory Girls: From Village to City in a Changing China by Leslie T. Chang

An eye-opening and previously untold story, Factory Girls is the first look into the everyday lives of the migrant factory population in China.

Get this book here.

Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China by Jung Chang

An engrossing record of Mao’s impact on China, an unusual window on the female experience in the modern world, and an inspiring tale of courage and love, Jung Chang describes the extraordinary lives and experiences of her family members: her grandmother, a warlord’s concubine; her mother’s struggles as a young idealistic Communist; and her parents’ experience as members of the Communist elite and their ordeal during the Cultural Revolution.

Get this book here.

The Art Of War by Sun Tzu

Sun Tzu wrote this classic book of military strategy based on Chinese warfare and military thought. Since that time, all levels of military have used the teaching on Sun Tzu to warfare and civilization have adapted these teachings for use in politics, business and everyday life.

Get this book here.

Personal Development Books

Think, Learn, Succeed by Dr Caroline Leaf

This is a great book to understand yourself. We are all different and think differently. What are your unique strengths and gifts? You can take the quiz to find out more about your personality, and learn about how you see the world.

Get this book here.

Books to Learn Chinese Fast

HSK Standard Course by Jiang Liping

Authorized by Hanban, HSK Standard Course is developed under the joint efforts of Beijing Language and Culture University (BLCU) Press and Chinese Testing International (CTI). With HSK test papers as its primary source, HSK Standard Course is characterized by a humorous style, familiar topics and a scientific course design.

The whole series is divided into six levels matching the HSK test, with one volume for each of Levels 1-3 and two volumes for each of Levels 4-6, totaling nine volumes.

Get this book here.

Graded Chinese Reader: HSK 1 (150 Words Level): Qian Xiaoyue And Her Family by Edmund Chua

This bilingual book contains three stories designed to help beginner level Chinese learners use Chinese to tell stories about themselves to their friends. Each story is written in Simplified Chinese and English, with pinyin provided to help you pronounce words correctly as used in the context of the story.

Get this book here.

Graded Chinese Reader: HSK 1 (150 Words Level): Akira in Beijing by Edmund Chua

This book is designed to help beginner level learners improve their Chinese through reading. Follow Akira’s adventure in Beijing, and find out what he is doing!

Get this book here.

My Birthday: Graded Chinese Reader: HSK 2 (300-Word Level) by Winnie Wang

In “My Birthday”, follow the adventures of a warm family throughout a very special day. Have fun with them! This story is written with the 300 words required to pass the Chinese proficiency HSK test of level 2.

Get this book here.

Graded Chinese Reader: HSK 4 (1200 Words Level): Li Huan Trivia by Edmund Chua

The story is written in Simplified Chinese and English, with pinyin provided to help you pronounce words correctly as used in the context of the story. Li Huan is a shy boy with few friends. Find out how he overcame fear of being reprimanded and conquered his shyness.

Get this book here.

Great Apps to Learn Chinese

Du Chinese

This is a great app to learn Chinese with interesting stories and text. Check it out on the app store: “Du Chinese” or from their website here.

Receive a special 10% discount from China Admissions with checkout code: CA10

Best Chinese Movies to Watch

The Last Emperor

This movie is about the life of Pu-Yi and his tumultuous reign as the last emperor of China. After his capture by the Red Army in 1950, Pu-Yi remembers his lavish childhood in the Forbidden City, where he was afforded every luxury but was isolated from the real world.

Founder and CEO at China Admissions. Originally from UK🇬🇧, based in Beijing. Studied at Peking University & BLCU. Preparing for HSK 6. Hope we can help more talented international students have the same amazing experiences and opportunities that I have had
Richard Coward

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