This week's book giveaway is in the OCPJP forum. We're giving away four copies of OCA/OCP Java SE 7 Programmer I & II Study Guide and have Kathy Sierra & Bert Bates on-line! See this thread for details.
and nothing else. The database driver and the database between them should take care of any encoding issues. And from what you say in your second example, that is already working. I don't understand why you think you have to do anything else.