China: I’ll Take You There…..Flowing Waters Never Stale.

China books

One of the best/worst things about our having this blog is that just about every book that comes out on China finds its way to us by those wanting us to review it. Most sit on my credenza for a few weeks and then get moved to my bookcase, where I look at them from afar. I’m planning to read all of them eventually, but, you know . . . . life just  seems to get in the way.

It has taken me forever to read the book, Flowing Waters Never Stale, by Mark Anthony Jones. On the one hand, I really wanted to read the book because Mark is a long time China Law Blog reader and a thoughtful commenter here. On the other hand, I worried his book would be too intellectual and since it is subtitled, “Journeys Through China,” I thought it would be too much the travel book. So it sat.

But I spent most of this weekend in the office working on a big project and I started reading it as a diversion and I ended up hardly putting it down until I finished it. I wish I had read it sooner because I actually really liked it.

It is not so much a travel book as it is Mark’s observations on what he saw in China while living there from 2002 to 2007. Mark looks closely at various aspects of China and (just as he does in his comments on this blog), he looks at them from various perspectives. It has no particular agenda on how one should view China, beyond seeking to get us to look at it fairly and in context. The book often looks at things from both a Western and a Chinese perspective, with Mark’s Chinese girlfriend helping immensely on the Chinese side.

It really does make you feel like you are in China and I heartily recommend it.

4 responses to “China: I’ll Take You There…..Flowing Waters Never Stale.”

  1. Thanks for the plug Dan. I’m glad you enjoyed the book. It’s had a few positive reviews published in a number of regional newspapers here in Australia and it has sold reasonable well here. There are a number of textual faults though – the editors at Zeus (my publisher) could have taken a litte more care I think with the editing, as they missed a few typing errors. The word furry for example, is mistyped as “fury” in the chapter on Shenzhen, and the word barley in the chapter on Tibet is mistyped as “barely”. The world recurring is mistyped in the Introduction as “reocurring” – all errors that will we corrected for the second printing.
    Any criticisms you have would be much appreciated Dan, as I’m constantly revising my understanding of China.

  2. I read a few pages of the preview at Google Books. Unfortunately, it’s not available through or other U.S. retailers, and shipping charges from Australia to the U.S. are almost the price of the book. I wish the best of luck, and hopefully it will become more widely distributed.

  3. I have placed another sample chapter – “Shenzhen -city of kitsch” – on my site.
    Zeus is a small independent publisher based on Queensland’s Gold Coast, and unfortunately has limited distribution channels outside of Australia and New Zealand.
    For those living in the US, Canada, the UK or Europe, the shipping charge is almost the price of the book, as Tony points out above. I am however, more than happy to email readers of this blog an electronic copy for free, provided they don’t live in either Australia or New Zealand. My email address is:

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