Are you curious about Beijing now that the Summer Olympics have begun? Of course, on any given day you can watch NBC, PBS or the Travel Channel and see kaleidoscopic images and all the sights and sounds of this highly populated historic city. But, for a dose of the real unadulterated Beijing, pick up the book The Last Days of Old Beijing: Life in the Vanishing Backstreets of a City Transformed by Michael Meyer. Meyer is a native Minnesotan who moved to China with the Peace Corps and volunteered to teach English in a Beijing elementary school. He’s one of the few Westerners who has had the opportunity to live among the native Chinese and experience the city, culture and cuisine in a manner that most outsiders could only dream of. This is a fascinating mix of history, politics and customs and gives an inside look at this mysterious city.