If you’re captivated by the charm and intrigue of Shanghai, there’s no better way to dive deeper into its rich history, vibrant culture, and fascinating stories than through a book on Shanghai. Whether you’re a history buff, a fiction lover, or simply seeking to uncover the secrets of this mesmerizing city, we’ve curated a list of the 20 best books about Shanghai that will transport you to its bustling streets and hidden corners.
- 1 Shanghai Grand: Forbidden Love and International Intrigue on the Eve of the Second World War
- 2 Midnight in Peking: How the Murder of a Young Englishwoman Haunted the Last Days of Old China
- 3 Shanghai Girls
- 4 Empire Made: My Search for an Outlaw Uncle Who Vanished in British India
- 5 The Shanghai Factor
- 6 The Last Empress
- 7 The Painter of Shanghai
- 8 Shanghai: The Rise and Fall of a Decadent City
- 9 The Shanghai Moon
- 10 The Shanghai Wife
- 11 Shanghai Faithful: Betrayal and Forgiveness in a Chinese Christian Family
- 12 The Shanghai Gesture: A Novel
- 13 Shanghai Redemption
- 14 The Shanghai Union of Industrial Mystics
- 15 Shanghai Girls and Their Stories: Women Who Lived in Shanghai in the 20th Century
- 16 Shanghai: A History in Photographs, 1842-Present
- 17 The Shanghai Conspiracy
- 18 Shanghai: The Architecture of China’s Great Urban Center
- 19 Shanghai Homes: Palimpsests of Private Life
- 20 Shanghai: A Novel
- 21 Conclusion
Shanghai Grand: Forbidden Love and International Intrigue on the Eve of the Second World War
by Taras Grescoe
Shanghai Grand: Forbidden Love and International Intrigue on the Eve of the Second World War by Taras Grescoe is a captivating book about Shanghai that delves into the city’s tumultuous history. Set against the backdrop of a city teetering on the brink of chaos, this mesmerizing narrative weaves together tales of forbidden love, international intrigue, and the looming shadow of war.
With its vibrant mix of cultures and its reputation as a playground for the rich and powerful, Shanghai has long been a city of allure and intrigue. Grescoe brings this seductive metropolis to life, immersing readers in the decadence and danger that defined Shanghai in the 1930s.
Through meticulous research and vivid storytelling, Grescoe introduces us to a cast of fascinating characters, including wealthy socialites, ruthless gangsters, and brave journalists. Their lives intertwine as they navigate the treacherous waters of love and loyalty in a city on the brink of destruction.
From the opulent hotels and glamorous nightclubs to the shadowy underworld of crime and espionage, Grescoe paints a vivid portrait of a city on the cusp of transformation. His meticulous attention to detail and engaging prose make Shanghai Grand a truly immersive reading experience.
Whether you’re a history buff, a lover of exotic locales, or simply someone in search of a gripping tale, Shanghai Grand is a must-read. Grescoe’s book on Shanghai will transport you to a time and place unlike any other, where passion and danger lurked around every corner. Prepare to be enthralled by this captivating book about Shanghai that uncovers the secrets of a city on the brink of chaos.
Midnight in Peking: How the Murder of a Young Englishwoman Haunted the Last Days of Old China
by Paul French
Midnight in Peking is not just any book about Shanghai; it is a captivating journey into the dark underbelly of the city during its last days. Author Paul French weaves together a haunting tale of murder, mystery, and the lingering shadows of old China.
In this gripping true story, French delves into the unsolved murder of a young Englishwoman named Pamela Werner in 1930s Shanghai. As the city teeters on the brink of revolution and foreign powers exert their influence, the investigation into Pamela’s brutal death takes unexpected twists and turns.
French masterfully transports readers back in time, painting a vivid picture of the bustling streets, opium dens, and secret societies that defined Shanghai during this era. He skillfully blends historical facts with personal narratives, breathing life into both the victims and the investigators.
The author’s meticulous research is evident throughout the book, as he unearths long-forgotten details and uncovers shocking revelations. From corrupt officials to sinister figures lurking in the shadows, Midnight in Peking exposes the dark side of the city, where justice is elusive and secrets are buried deep.
This book is not just a murder mystery; it is a captivating exploration of a bygone era. French’s evocative prose and vivid storytelling transport readers to a Shanghai on the cusp of change, where the clash between old traditions and modern aspirations creates a tumultuous backdrop for a chilling crime.
Whether you are a history buff, a true crime aficionado, or simply someone looking for an engaging read, Midnight in Peking is the book for you. Prepare to be enthralled as you step into the shadows of old Shanghai and unravel the mystery that haunted the city’s last days.
by Lisa See
Shanghai Girls, a mesmerizing tale by Lisa See, takes readers on an unforgettable journey through the bustling streets of 1930s Shanghai. This enchanting book about the Pearl of the Orient is a captivating blend of history, culture, and the unbreakable bond between sisters.
Empire Made: My Search for an Outlaw Uncle Who Vanished in British India
by Kief Hillsbery
Empire Made: My Search for an Outlaw Uncle Who Vanished in British India by Kief Hillsbery is an intriguing and captivating book about a man’s quest to uncover the truth about his mysterious uncle who disappeared in British India. But this is not just any ordinary search; it takes the reader on a thrilling journey through the bustling streets of Shanghai, exploring the city’s rich history and dark underbelly.
This book is not just a book about Shanghai, it is a Shanghai book that delves into the secrets and hidden stories of the city, painting a vivid picture of its vibrant past. As the author digs deeper into his uncle’s enigmatic life, he uncovers a world of smugglers, opium dens, and corrupt officials, all set against the backdrop of a city teetering on the brink of revolution.
Hillsbery’s writing is evocative and poetic, transporting the reader to a different era and immersing them in the sights, sounds, and smells of old Shanghai. His meticulous research and attention to detail bring the city to life, making it a character in its own right.
But Empire Made is not just a book on Shanghai; it is also a deeply personal and emotional journey for the author. As he unravels the mysteries surrounding his uncle’s disappearance, he confronts his own family history and grapples with questions of identity and belonging.
This book is a must-read for history buffs, mystery lovers, and anyone with a fascination for Shanghai. It offers a unique perspective on the city’s past and a compelling narrative that will keep readers hooked from start to finish. So dive into the pages of Empire Made and get ready to embark on an unforgettable adventure through the streets of Shanghai.
The Shanghai Factor
by Charles McCarry
The Shanghai Factor: A Thrilling Journey through the Intriguing Streets of the Paris of the East
Embark on a pulse-pounding adventure with The Shanghai Factor, a captivating and suspenseful novel that takes you deep into the heart of one of the world’s most enigmatic cities. Charles McCarry masterfully weaves together a tale of espionage, betrayal, and danger, set against the backdrop of the bustling streets and hidden secrets of Shanghai.
In this mesmerizing book about Shanghai, McCarry introduces us to Jake, a young American intelligence officer who finds himself caught in a web of deception and treachery. Assigned to the American consulate in Shanghai, Jake soon realizes that nothing is as it seems in this vibrant metropolis. With its vibrant nightlife, ancient traditions, and shadowy underworld, Shanghai becomes a character in itself, both alluring and perilous.
As Jake delves deeper into the complex world of espionage, he becomes entangled with a mysterious woman named Li-Mei, whose true motives remain shrouded in ambiguity. Together, they navigate the labyrinthine streets and back alleys of Shanghai, pursued by both the Chinese secret police and a ruthless American operative. The book on Shanghai takes readers on a thrilling journey, filled with heart-stopping suspense and unexpected twists.
With its richly evocative prose and keen attention to detail, The Shanghai Factor immerses readers in the sights, sounds, and smells of this captivating city. McCarry’s vivid descriptions transport us to the crowded markets, opulent teahouses, and sprawling gardens of Shanghai, making us feel as if we are walking alongside Jake and Li-Mei, experiencing the city’s vibrant energy and palpable danger.
Prepare to be captivated by this gripping shanghai book, as McCarry masterfully combines espionage, romance, and high-stakes action to create a truly unforgettable literary experience. Whether you’re a fan of spy thrillers or simply eager to explore the fascinating world of Shanghai, this book is a must-read that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last page.
The Last Empress
by Anchee Min
The Last Empress by Anchee Min is a captivating book on Shanghai that takes readers on a journey through the turbulent times of the city’s history. Set in the early 20th century, this historical novel offers a vivid portrayal of Shanghai’s vibrant culture and its transformation amidst political upheaval.
The Painter of Shanghai
by Jennifer Cody Epstein
Are you ready to immerse yourself in the vibrant and exotic world of the Paris of the East? Look no further than “The Painter of Shanghai” by Jennifer Cody Epstein, a mesmerizing book about the bustling metropolis known as Shanghai.
Shanghai: The Rise and Fall of a Decadent City
by Stella Dong
Shanghai: The Rise and Fall of a Decadent City by Stella Dong is an enthralling exploration of the history, culture, and allure of the mesmerizing metropolis known as the Paris of the East. This captivating book delves into the captivating story of a city that has experienced both the heights of grandeur and the depths of despair.
Through vivid storytelling and meticulous research, Dong takes us on a journey through time, from the rise of Shanghai as a bustling trading port in the 19th century to its dazzling heyday as a cosmopolitan hub of glamour and excess in the 1920s and 1930s. The author skillfully unravels the layers of Shanghai’s complex past, revealing the intertwining threads of political intrigue, economic power struggles, and cultural clashes that shaped the city’s destiny.
As we delve deeper into the pages of this mesmerizing book, we witness the opulence of the city’s decadent jazz age, where the elite danced the Charleston in lavish ballrooms and glamorous nightclubs. We are transported to the bustling streets of the old city, where merchants from around the world gathered in search of fortune. We glimpse the dark underbelly of Shanghai, with its secret societies, opium dens, and shadowy underworld.
But Shanghai’s story is not one of unending glory. Dong also delves into the tumultuous events that led to the city’s decline, from the Japanese occupation during World War II to the rise of communism and the subsequent Cultural Revolution. Through it all, the resilient spirit of Shanghai shines through, as the city manages to reinvent itself time and time again, emerging anew from the ashes of its own tumultuous history.
With its rich historical detail, vivid descriptions, and captivating narrative, Shanghai: The Rise and Fall of a Decadent City is a must-read for anyone seeking to understand the captivating allure of this enigmatic city. Whether you are a history enthusiast, a lover of travel, or simply someone intrigued by the fascinating stories of the past, this book is sure to transport you to the intoxicating world of old Shanghai.
The Shanghai Moon
by S.J. Rozan
The Shanghai Moon by S.J. Rozan is a mesmerizing book that whisks you away to the enchanting city of Shanghai. This captivating tale takes you on a thrilling journey through the vibrant streets and hidden alleyways of this bustling metropolis. With its richly detailed descriptions and vivid imagery, the book immerses you in the sights, sounds, and flavors of Shanghai, painting a vivid picture of a city that is both ancient and modern, traditional and cutting-edge. Whether you are a fan of mysteries, thrillers, or simply love to explore new places through the pages of a book, The Shanghai Moon is a must-read for anyone who wants to be transported to the heart of this dynamic and captivating city.
The Shanghai Wife
by Emma Harcourt
The Shanghai Wife by Emma Harcourt is a captivating novel that takes readers on a mesmerizing journey through the enchanting city of Shanghai. This compelling book delves into the lives of its vibrant characters, painting a vivid picture of the bustling streets, rich culture, and intriguing history of this cosmopolitan metropolis.
Shanghai Faithful: Betrayal and Forgiveness in a Chinese Christian Family
by Jennifer Lin
Discover the captivating tale of Shanghai Faithful, a mesmerizing book about Shanghai that takes readers on a journey of betrayal and forgiveness within a Chinese Christian family. Written by Jennifer Lin, this gripping narrative unveils the intricate dynamics of one family’s struggle against the backdrop of a rapidly changing Shanghai.
The Shanghai Gesture: A Novel
by Gary Indiana
Step into the vibrant and seductive world of ‘The Shanghai Gesture: A Novel’ by Gary Indiana, a mesmerizing book that takes you on a thrilling journey through the heart of the enigmatic city. Set in the bustling metropolis of Shanghai, this literary gem immerses readers in a world of secrets, desires, and the dangerous allure of the city.
by Qiu Xiaolong
Step into the bustling streets of the ‘Paris of the East’ with Shanghai Redemption, a mesmerizing book about the enigmatic city of Shanghai. Qiu Xiaolong, a master of crime fiction, takes readers on a thrilling journey through the labyrinthine streets of this vibrant metropolis.
The Shanghai Union of Industrial Mystics
by Nury Vittachi
Are you ready to embark on a mind-bending journey through the mystical underbelly of the vibrant metropolis known as the Paris of the East? Look no further than “The Shanghai Union of Industrial Mystics” by Nury Vittachi, a spellbinding book that unravels the secrets of Shanghai like never before.
This captivating tome is more than just a book about Shanghai; it is a riveting exploration of the city’s hidden dimensions, where ancient traditions collide with modern technology in a mesmerizing dance. Vittachi’s masterful storytelling takes readers on a rollercoaster ride through a world where fortune tellers, alchemists, and ghost hunters coexist with skyscrapers and high-speed trains.
Prepare to be enchanted as you delve into the vibrant streets of Shanghai, where mysticism and logic intertwine in ways that defy rationality. Vittachi’s vivid descriptions will transport you to bustling markets brimming with magical artifacts, where wise sages dispense wisdom that transcends time and space.
But it’s not all enchanted tea houses and divination rituals. “The Shanghai Union of Industrial Mystics” also delves into the darker side of the city, where ancient curses and malevolent spirits lurk in the shadows. As the protagonist, a journalist with a knack for uncovering the truth, navigates through this treacherous landscape, you’ll find yourself on the edge of your seat, eagerly flipping pages to unravel the mysteries that lie ahead.
With its seamless blend of fantasy and reality, this book on Shanghai will leave you questioning the boundaries of what is possible. It is a love letter to the city’s rich history and a testament to the enduring power of belief in an ever-changing world. So, step into the captivating world of “The Shanghai Union of Industrial Mystics” and prepare to have your perception of reality forever altered.
Shanghai Girls and Their Stories: Women Who Lived in Shanghai in the 20th Century
by Xue Xinran
Xue Xinran’s captivating book, Shanghai Girls and Their Stories, takes readers on a mesmerizing journey through the lives of women who resided in the heart of China’s bustling metropolis in the 20th century. This remarkable book about Shanghai unveils the untold stories, dreams, and struggles of these women, shedding light on a hidden world that existed within the city’s vibrant streets.
With vivid descriptions and poignant narratives, Xue Xinran paints a vivid picture of Shanghai’s vibrant social fabric, capturing the essence of a city teeming with life, ambition, and tradition. Through the eyes of these women, readers are transported to a time when Shanghai was a melting pot of cultures, where East and West seamlessly intertwined.
As the stories unfold, we are introduced to a diverse cast of characters – from courtesans and concubines to artists and intellectuals – each with their own unique tales to tell. From the glamour and opulence of the city’s elite to the hardships endured by those on the fringes of society, Xue Xinran masterfully captures the complexities of Shanghai’s social hierarchy.
But Shanghai Girls and Their Stories is not just a book about Shanghai’s past; it is a celebration of resilience, sisterhood, and the indomitable spirit of women. Through the triumphs and tribulations of these remarkable individuals, Xue Xinran reminds us of the power of storytelling and the strength that can be found in unity.
Whether you are a history enthusiast, a lover of poignant narratives, or simply curious about the hidden stories of Shanghai, this book on Shanghai will leave you captivated from beginning to end. Xue Xinran’s exquisite prose and her ability to bring these forgotten voices to life make this a must-read for anyone seeking to understand the rich tapestry of Shanghai’s past.
Shanghai: A History in Photographs, 1842-Present
by Lynn Pan
Welcome to the world of Shanghai, a vibrant and ever-evolving city that has captured the imaginations of countless travelers and historians alike. In the captivating Shanghai: A History in Photographs, 1842-Present by Lynn Pan, we are taken on a mesmerizing journey through time, exploring the rich tapestry of this fascinating metropolis.
Step back in time and witness the birth of modern Shanghai as you flip through the pages of this remarkable book. Through a captivating collection of photographs, Pan expertly weaves together the story of Shanghai’s transformation from a humble fishing village to a bustling international hub.
With each turn of the page, you’ll embark on a visual tour through the city’s tumultuous past. Witness the opulence of the city’s pre-war golden era, where European influences melded with Chinese traditions to create a unique cultural melting pot. Marvel at the iconic landmarks that have come to define Shanghai, such as the majestic Bund and the Oriental Pearl Tower, and explore the bustling streets that have witnessed the rise and fall of empires.
But this book is more than just a collection of stunning photographs. Pan’s meticulous research and insightful commentary provide a deeper understanding of the historical context behind each image. From the devastating impact of World War II to the tumultuous era of the Cultural Revolution, Pan shines a light on the defining moments that have shaped the city’s identity.
Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a lover of photography, or simply captivated by the allure of Shanghai, this book is a must-read. Immerse yourself in the captivating visuals and compelling narratives that bring the city’s past to life. Shanghai: A History in Photographs, 1842-Present is the definitive guide to understanding the soul of this extraordinary city.
The Shanghai Conspiracy
by Richard Tregaskis
The Shanghai Conspiracy is a captivating book on Shanghai that delves deep into the shadowy underbelly of this vibrant metropolis. Richard Tregaskis, a master storyteller, takes readers on a thrilling journey through the streets of Shanghai, a city teeming with secrets, danger, and intrigue.
Shanghai: The Architecture of China’s Great Urban Center
by Michael Webb
If you’re fascinated by the bustling metropolis of Shanghai, then you absolutely must dive into Michael Webb’s captivating book on China’s great urban center. This mesmerizing tome offers a comprehensive exploration of the jaw-dropping architecture that defines this vibrant city. From the iconic skyline adorned with glittering skyscrapers to the picturesque waterfront promenades, Webb unveils the secrets behind Shanghai’s architectural wonders in a way that will leave you spellbound.
As you flip through the pages of this book about Shanghai, you’ll find yourself transported into a world where tradition and modernity coexist in perfect harmony. Webb’s meticulous research and vivid descriptions bring to life the historical landmarks that have shaped Shanghai’s identity, such as the magnificent Bund and the elegant Yu Garden. But he doesn’t stop there. He delves into the contemporary marvels that have transformed Shanghai into a global powerhouse, like the gravity-defying Shanghai Tower and the futuristic Oriental Pearl TV Tower.
What sets this Shanghai book apart is Webb’s ability to unravel the stories behind these architectural marvels. He takes you on a journey through time, revealing the inspirations, challenges, and triumphs that have shaped each building. Whether it’s the fusion of Eastern and Western influences in the iconic Jin Mao Tower or the preservation of Shanghai’s rich cultural heritage in the Shanghai Museum, Webb provides an in-depth exploration that will leave you craving for more.
With stunning photography that captures the grandeur and intricacies of Shanghai’s architecture, this book is a visual feast for the eyes. Each page is a testament to the city’s indomitable spirit and relentless pursuit of innovation. Whether you’re an architecture enthusiast, a history buff, or simply someone captivated by the allure of Shanghai, this book is an absolute must-read. So, grab a cup of tea, cozy up in your favorite armchair, and prepare to be transported into the mesmerizing world of Shanghai’s architectural wonders.
Shanghai Homes: Palimpsests of Private Life
by Jie Li
Shanghai Homes: Palimpsests of Private Life by Jie Li is a captivating book about Shanghai that takes readers on a fascinating journey through the intricacies of this vibrant city. More than just a book on Shanghai, it is a rich tapestry of personal stories, cultural insights, and historical perspectives that unveil the hidden layers of private life in this bustling metropolis.
Li skillfully weaves together narratives of different generations and social backgrounds, creating a vivid portrait of the city’s ever-evolving landscape. From the elegant villas of the French Concession to the cramped apartments of working-class neighborhoods, she explores how the architecture, design, and layout of Shanghai homes reflect the aspirations, struggles, and dreams of its residents.
Through meticulous research and interviews with local residents, Li reveals the intimate stories that lie behind the walls of these homes. She uncovers tales of love and loss, of resilience and adaptation, and of the constant negotiation between tradition and modernity. Each chapter offers a glimpse into a different era, shedding light on the city’s complex history and its impact on the lives of its inhabitants.
What sets this Shanghai book apart is Li’s ability to bring the past and present into conversation. She seamlessly connects historical events with contemporary experiences, showing how the past continues to shape the present in this rapidly changing city. Through her engaging storytelling, she invites readers to reflect on their own notions of home, belonging, and the ways in which our environments shape our identities.
Whether you have a deep fascination with Shanghai or simply enjoy exploring the intricacies of different cultures, Shanghai Homes: Palimpsests of Private Life is a must-read. It offers a unique perspective on the city, blending personal narratives with historical analysis in a way that will leave you captivated until the very last page.
Shanghai: A Novel
by Yokomitsu Riichi
Shanghai: A Novel by Yokomitsu Riichi is an enthralling journey through the vibrant and mesmerizing cityscape of the Paris of the East. This exquisite masterpiece captures the essence of the city like no other, painting a vivid portrait of the bustling streets, captivating culture, and intricate history that make Shanghai a city like no other.
This remarkable book on Shanghai takes readers on a captivating exploration of the metropolis, delving deep into its soul and unraveling its secrets. Through Yokomitsu Riichi’s exquisite prose, the reader is transported to a world where the past and present seamlessly intertwine, where tradition meets modernity, and where the echoes of Shanghai’s illustrious past can still be heard amidst the gleaming skyscrapers.
With lyrical beauty, Yokomitsu Riichi presents a book about Shanghai that captures the city’s vibrant energy, its dynamic spirit, and its ever-evolving nature. From the narrow lanes of the Old Town to the dazzling lights of the Bund, every corner of Shanghai comes alive in his words, allowing readers to truly immerse themselves in the enchantment of this extraordinary city.
Shanghai: A Novel is a Shanghai book like no other, a literary gem that captures the essence of this mesmerizing city in all its glory. Through Yokomitsu Riichi’s masterful storytelling, readers are transported to the heart of Shanghai, where they can witness the rise and fall of empires, experience the clash of cultures, and feel the pulse of a city that never sleeps.
So, if you’re ready for an unforgettable journey through the streets of Shanghai, pick up this extraordinary book on Shanghai and let Yokomitsu Riichi be your guide as you discover the captivating allure of the Paris of the East.
In conclusion, these 20 best books about Shanghai offer a captivating glimpse into the rich history, vibrant culture, and fascinating stories of this dynamic city. Whether you are a history enthusiast, a travel lover, or simply curious about Shanghai, these books are sure to transport you to its bustling streets and immerse you in its unique atmosphere. From memoirs and novels to guidebooks and photo collections, these books offer a diverse range of perspectives and insights. So, pick up one of these books and embark on a literary journey through the enchanting world of Shanghai.