Before anything else, here is my list of Top 30 Secret books to learn the Chinese language from.
1. Reading and Writing Chinese: A Guide to the Chinese Writing System by William McNaughton, Li Ying
2. Chinese for Beginners: Mastering Conversational Chinese by Yi Ren, Xiayuan Liang
3. Integrated Chinese publishes by Cheng & Tsui Company
4. Chineasy: The New Way to Read Chinese by Shaolan, ShaoLan Hsueh
5. Contemporary Chinese by Wu Zhongwei
6. Modern Mandarin Chinese Grammar Textbook & Workbook by Claudia Ross, Jing-heng Sheng Ma, Baozhang He
7. Practical Chinese Reader by Xun Liu
8. Niubi! The Real Chinese You Were Never Taught in School by Eveline Chao
9. Barron’s AP Chinese Language and Culture by Yan Shen M.A.
10. Encounters: Chinese Language and Culture, textbook by Cynthia Ning and John S. Montanaro
11. The Chinese language for beginners by Lee Cooper
12. The Chinese Language: Fact and Fantasy by John DeFrancis
13. Hanyu Yuedu Jiaocheng by BLCU press
14. HSK Standard Course Books by Jiang Liping
15. Easy Steps to Chinese series（English）
16. Bridge: A Practical Intermediate Chinese Course vol.1 (with MP3 CD) by Chen Zhuo
17. New Target Chinese Spoken Language by Mao Yue
18. Friends—Chinese Graded Readers (Level 1): I Begin to Learn Chinese (for Adults) by Confucius Institute Headquarters
19. New Concept Chinese 1–Interactive Multimedia
20. Smartcat Graded Chinese Readers (For Kids) book and MP3
21. Domino of Chinese Characters: A Cumulative Method of Learning by Fu Yunhua
22. Chinese Grammar Wiki BOOK: Elementary by John Pasden (Author) Shishuang Chen
23. New HSK: Complete Vocabulary Lists by HSK Academy
24. Chinese: Crash Course Chinese by Celine Li
25. Practice Makes Perfect Basic Chinese by Rongrong Liao, Xiaozhou Wu, Feng-Hsi Liu
26. The Second 100 Chinese Characters: Traditional Character by Alison Matthews and Laurence Matthews
27. Hacking Chinese: A Practical Guide to Learning Mandarin by Olle Linge
28. Chinese: Learn Chinese in 21 Days! a Practical Guide to Make Chinese Look Easy! by Henry Ray
29. Big Chinese Workbook for Little Hands by Yang Yang
30. Talk Mandarin Chinese: The Ideal Chinese Course for Absolute Beginners by Alwena Lamping and Feixia Yu
Being a student can be the best thing that can happen to humans. You learn so much from a simple topic. Everything is connected.
You don’t have to be in school or university to be a student. Be on the receiving end, you will see you are learning almost everything new every day.
I teach Chinese to clients who are sometimes 20 years elder to me. Don’t you start imagining my age! I still call them students because they are learning.
Over the years I have gathered loads of books that have helped me not only in learning Chinese but also to teach Chinese with the best concepts. You have to be a student first to become a teacher.
I make sure I clear my doubts from books before I start with anything.
There are so many authors around the world who have contributed towards the Chinese language in form of books and e-books. Thanks to them.
In this article, I will provide you with some of the latest and best books to learn Mandarin.
Tips on how to learn Mandarin from books
1. You must follow the sequence of the book
Many times we are intimidated by the beauty of the cover and its pages, we tend to open it and start from where ever we feel is good.
Remember one thing. You are new to this book. Try and start from the beginning.
Read the content of the book properly. Half of the things will get cleared from there. Each author takes so much efforts to write every page and every detail.
Almost every book has a basic in Mandarin. Start from there. You will always end up learning something you never knew.
Don’t skip the exercises
I did it, you should not. I always skipped exercises every time. There is no particular reason, I knew all the answers also but I just did not like doing them.
This is what I don’t teach my student.
Exercises at the back of chapters could be boring, I know. The reason you should still do them is for revising what you have done in the chapter.
This way you get hold of the concepts in the chapter, characters, vocabulary, grammar, sentence structures.
Buy more than one book
Following one book for long could also turn out to be boring. This happens quite often with textbooks.
I used to go to my university library, do some soul searching for the next book. I always found out yet another book that helped me make learn Chinese learning more interesting.
Buying or issuing books from the library or from Amazon will make things interesting. Sometimes changing the format of the letters of the books changes our learning capacity. Your original textbook could be boring in its letter printing, change is good.
I am not asking you to drop your existing book.
4. Make notes
You might have taken up 5 books. You have decided to learn Mandarin from all these 5.
Always make notes. Until you make note, you will end up forgetting a lot of important things that this book could offer.
Language learning could be easy but its main drawback is that you forget things easily. Maintain these notes for a lifetime.
5. 15 minutes Chinese daily
This tip is for the vocabulary in the books. Almost all the books in Chinese learning has a set of vocabulary after each chapter, sometimes at the beginning of the chapter.
Take 15 minutes before or after your study time and revise the words you have done in the previous chapters.
Try this tip for every day. Revise for 15 minutes for each chapter. Slowly your speed of revision will also increase and you will learn few words by simply going through.
I hope my list of 30 books has helped you choose a better one. There are so many books more to be reviewed. Do let me know in the comments below which one are you following.
This is not an affiliate article, I have not shared the links of the books for the same.
All the books are easily available online.