The Less Wrong community is having a book discussion and offering up recommendations. I'm currently reading Lives of Confucius: Civilization's Greatest Sage Through the Ages (long time readers will know that I'm a particular fan of Xun Zi though). It is revising my view of the "received orthodoxy" as to the development of state sponsored Confucianism during the Han dynasty. A good complement to The Authentic Confucius, which is less a historical work and more a religio-philosophical exegesis of the sage's life. I did finish Empires of the Word, but I will review it at some point so I won't say more than I would recommend it, though with a critical eye.