In Re-imagine, we used the term "not optional" on several occasions. That's the way I feel about China reading. NOT OPTIONAL. The "story" is huge, growing at an "insane" rate, and affects all of us. My "not optional choices": Three Billion New Capitalists, by Clyde Prestowitz. (Mentioned here before.) And: China Inc., by Ted Fishman. Almost "non-optional," same topic: Tom Friedman's The World Is Flat. (Most would put this at the top of the list, but I liked the uncompromising language of the first two a little better.)
I talked about "presentation excellence" recently. My friend Tim Sanders recommends Working the Room, by Nick Morgan. I agree! Though I don't buy everything Morgan says, I'll almost guarantee it's by far the best book on speechifying!
Also: Sanders' own The Likeability Factor; Dan Pink's A Whole New Mind; Richard Florida's The Flight of the Creative Class; Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne's Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant; Marcus Buckingham's The One Thing You Need to Know; and Seth Godin's latest, All Marketers Are Liars: The Power of Telling Authentic Stories in a Low-Trust World.
For what (little) it's worth, a few of my fiction/beach reading favs: Edmund Murray's The Peregrine Spy. Anything by Peter Robinson; his current hardback is Strange Affair. Charles Todd's A Cold Treachery.
(Don't read the China books on the beach; you'd likely jump in and head as far out to sea as you could go.)