With the [Shanghai International Literary Festival]( http://www.cityweekend.com.cn/shanghai/articles/blogs-shanghai/shanghai-book-club/silf-2009-the-schedule/) coming up in March--and lots of **heavy hitter intellectual-types** rolling into town--it’s time to better ourselves with knowledge. And since we’re in China, it ought to be China-knowledge.
There’s no better place to start for China knowledge than [The China Beat](http://thechinabeat.blogspot.com/) which has just come out with a fascinating two part suggested reading list for **President Barack Obama**. Even though we may not be responsible for maintaining harmonious relations between two superpowers (or are we?) the list is a valuable and very accessible primer for anyone interested in contemporary China.
[Beyond Tiananmen](http://www.brookings.edu/press/Books/2003/0615international-affairs.aspx) by Robert Suettinger
[China Into the Future](http://www.asianreviewofbooks.com/arb/article.php?article=846) edited by John Hoffman and Michael Enright
[The River Runs Black](http://www.cfr.org/publication/6920/) by Elizabeth Economy
[Chinese Lessons](http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5639627) by John Pomfret
Here’s the full [list 1](http://thechinabeat.blogspot.com/2009/01/presidential-reading-recommendations.html) and here’s the full [list 2](http://thechinabeat.blogspot.com/2009/01/presidential-reading-recommendations-ii.html)