China Beat Archive



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December 7, 2009 in The China Beat


Copyright December 7, 2009. Used by permission.


If shopping for holiday gifts has you stymied, China Beat is here to help. We’ve put together a list of China-related books that will make great gifts — and all of them are appropriate for the general-interest reader.

For: The Nostalgic Reader

Earnshaw Books has been reprinting a number of older books, including many expat memoirs from early 20th century China. We’ve previously reviewed Shanghai: High Lights, Low Lights, Tael Lights, an entertaining glimpse into 1930s Shanghai penned by Maurine Karns and Pat Patterson. The press is also releasing a three-volume set of drawings by White Russian cartoon artist Sapajou, which Paul French writes about here.

For: The Budding Entrepreneur

Another old title now available again is Carl Crow’s 400 Million Customers, which is a sharp-tongued set of observant essays about the ins and outs of doing business in China. Much of what Crow has to say about China in the 1930s is still true today, and his book serves as both a how-to guide and a cautionary tale for those who dream of cracking the China market.

For a more current look at Chinese business culture, check out the documentary Win in China (see here for a China Beat interview with director Ole Schell).