Suggested Reading List
China in the 21st Century, What Everyone Needs to Know
Author: Jeffrey N. Wasserstrom
Description: Wasserstrom puts China’s policies, industrialization and international relations in the context of its history and culture in this concise, illuminating introduction.
Culture Smart! Japan
Author: Paul Norbury
Description: A concise, no-nonsense guide to local customs, etiquette and culture, this is a helpful travel tool for visitors to Japan.
Eyewitness Guide Japan
Author: Eyewitness Guides
Description: Dazzling illustrations, architectural cutaways and color photographs, along with useful local maps, give this guide to Japan's many attractions a distinct edge.
Eyewitness Top Ten Hong Kong
Author: Eyewitness Guides
Description: A compact, illustrated guide in the popular series, featuring favorite attractions. With handy pullout map.
Author: John Hersey
Description: Never sensational, this 1946 classic by the Pulitzer Prize-winning Hersey puts a human face on the unthinkable. Hersey explores the tragedy through interviews with residents, scientists and politicians.
Author: Jan Morris
Description: A wonderful portrait of Hong Kong by one of our favorite travel writers. Morris enumerates the many personal pleasures of the city, deftly interweaving reportage, history and culture.
Inventing Japan, 1853-1964
Author: Ian Buruma
Description: A favorite writer with keen insight about Japan, Buruma offers an admirably succinct, dramatic history of Japan's transformation from feudal state to host of the 1964 Olympics, with a focus on World War II.
Author: Periplus Maps
Description: This convenient map covers the island nation at a scale of 1:2,000,000, with insets of the major cities.
Japan, Its History and Culture
Author: W. Scott Morton
Description: An introduction to Japanese history, people and culture from ancient origins to contemporary society. With selections from Japanese literature and arts, anecdotes and illustrations.
Korea's Place in the Sun, A Modern History
Author: Bruce Cumings
Description: A provocative, spirited history of the two Koreas since World War II for the general reader, highly recommended. It includes a chapter on Korean-Americans, and ends with a lively discussion of Korea's place in the world at the end of the 20th century. New edition.
Lonely Planet Japanese Phrasebook
Author: Yoshi Abe
Description: A handy palm-sized guide to pronunciation, basic grammar and essential vocabulary for the traveler.
Author: Jonathan Spence
Description: Yale Sinologist, writer and historian Spence tracks the life of the architect of the People's Republic from his provincial upbringing to his savage three-decade rule.
Search for Ancient China
Author: Corinne Debaine-Francfort
Description: With information on everything from jewelry to emperors' tombs, the Great Wall and the dazzling 400-year Han empire, this shirt-pocket survey of discovery features 150 illustrations.
Shanghai, The Rise and Fall of the Decadent City 1842-1949
Author: Stella Dong
Description: A riveting portrait of "the most pleasure-mad, rapacious, corrupt, strife-ridden, licentious, squalid and decadent city in the world."
Taiwan, A New History
Author: Murray A. Rubinstein (Editor)
Description: This scholarly history of Taiwan by diverse contributors covers the economy, culture, politics and development of Taiwan from ancient time to modern nation.
The Inland Sea
Author: Donald Richie
Description: Richie's masterpiece, more than a travel account, is a beautiful reflection on all things Japanese by one of its most acute observers.
The New Asian Hemisphere, The Irresistible Shift of Global Power to the East
Author: Kishore Mahbubani
Description: Mahbubani analyzes the eastward movement of global power and the best policies for coping with the rise of India, China and Japan.
Author: John Bryan Starr
Description: The Yale professor’s essential primer on the history, politics and economy of China. A succinct and refreshingly forthright best-selling guide, this third edition brings us right up to date with events in the rapidly evolving nation.
Wild Swans, Three Daughters of China
Author: Jung Chang
Description: In this riveting tale of three generations spanning the end of Old China, Mao's regime and the Japanese occupation, Chang chronicles the enormous changes in China since 1929.
World Religions: Eastern Traditions
Author: Willard G. Oxtoby (Editor)
Description: A clear and insightful introduction to Eastern religions by a team of scholars, covering Hindu, Jain, Sikh, Buddhist and East Asian traditions. Scholarly, but still rewarding for the general reader.