Dive into "River Town"
Peter Hessler's account of his two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in central China is a good introduction for a fresh-faced Western perspective on the rapidly developing superpower. He writes about the cultural nuances of one of the oldest civilizations of the world and its fascination with the West. This book is even more fitting for younger folks, as Hessler was in his mid-20s when was there and offers a recent college grad perspective about who he is and how he's perceived as an American living in a small town by the Yangtze River. He also touches on all the myriad of frustrations and miscommunications that stems from the complexity of culture and language. He still resides in China, so he must have done something right!