Pinyin (拼音 pīnyīn, literally "join (together) sounds") usually refers to Hanyu Pinyin (汉语拼音 Hànyǔ Pīnyīn or "Han language Pinyin").
Hanyu Pinyin is the romanisation method promulgated and popularized by the government of the People's Republic of China for Standard Mandarin, the most widely used dialect of the Chinese language.
Pinyin is now universal for People's Republic of China. It is also the most widely used method of romanization outside of PRC. For instance, it is used by the Government of Singapore, the United States Library of Congress, and the American Library Association.
TDerz For character search for Go books
http://zhongwen.com/zi.htm could be useful. If you know how to look up radicals, hanzi or Kanji - and you need to know on this site too - then a book could provide a faster result (if at hand). The website provides English-, pinyin-, Cantonese, stroke number- and character-look-up.