• The capital city’s traditional—and quickly vanishing—hutong neighborhoods come to life in Michael Meyer’s memoir The Last Days of Old Beijing (Walker & Company, $25.99).
  • In Shark’s Fin and Sichuan Pepper (W.W. Norton & Company; $24.95), British culinary whiz Fuchsia Dunlop recounts her 15-year immersion in Sichuan cuisine and culture.
  • London-based expat novelist Ma Jian explores the repercussions of Tiananmen Square in Beijing Coma (Farrar, Straus).
  • Mid-20th-century sinophile Joseph Needham, who compiled the epic encyclopedia Science and Civilization in China, takes center stage in Simon Winchester’s The Man Who Loved China (Harper, $27.95).
  • J. Maarten Troost may be a China neophyte, but he makes for a wry, observant traveling companion in Lost on Planet China (Broadway, $22.95).
  • Mark Leonard answers the question What Does China Think? (PublicAffairs, $22.95) by tracking the country’s intellectual awakening—and growing global dominance.