25 December 2010

NEWS FLASH: Jason's Book Now Available! 快訊:《香港情懷》現已出版!

Dear Readers,
 is available in Hong Kong at:
Readers outside Hong Kong
can order it from:
Support a local writer
and purchase a copy today!



For immediate release

New PublicationHONG KONG State of Mind: 37 Views of a City that Doesn’t Blink

HONG KONG State of Mind is a collection of essays by Jason Y. Ng, a popular local blogger, who zeroes in on the city’s idiosyncrasies with deadpan precision. 
The 37 essays are organized into three thematic sections: people we see, things we do and places we go, each providing a window on Hong Kong’s city life. Ng’s topics range from the shark fins debate to our unique and unmistakably Cantonese coffee-drinking culture. While the book is meant to pay tribute to Hong Kong’s many quirks, it also puts her flaws on center stage. In “Rhapsody on Pedder,” the author juxtaposes his fellow citizens’ sense of alienation and vulnerability against their unbridled materialism. In “Total Eclipse of the Mind,” he puts our pervasive superstitious beliefs on trial using a series of unrelated news events. In “A Tale of Three Cities,” he compares the coming-of-age stories of Hong Kong and its sister cities Macau and Shenzhen and prompts us to reflect on who we are and where we are heading. 
At once an outsider looking in and an insider looking out, Ng has created something for everyone: a travel journal for the passing visitor, a user’s manual for the wide-eyed expat, and an open diary for the native Hong Konger looking for moments of reflection. 
“Many foreign writers have written about their experiences living as a gweilo and among other gweilo in the city, but their account of Hong Kong is often confined to the expat community,” Ng said. “Books by local writers, on the other hand, tend to focus on the city’s history, politics or economy. They tend to be academic and the average reader finds them heavy, if not altogether inaccessible. I wanted something to celebrate Hong Kong in a light-hearted, authentic way. There is a gap in the existing literature about Hong Kong and I wanted to fill it.”
The author’s no-nonsense style, punctuated with wry humor, cuts through the obfuscation and gives the reader the kind of social commentary that recalls F. Scott Fitzgerald during America’s Jazz Age. Each essay is graced with a line drawing by Lee Po Ng, the author’s father, which lends the book a personal touch and the aura of an old-fashioned travel journal.
The official book launch, organized jointly by Bookazine Ltd. and Blacksmith Books was held on 5 March 2011 at Bookazine’s new location at the IFC Mall. 
About the Author
Jason Ng is a globe-trotter who spent years in Europe and various cities in the United States and Canada before settling back in his birthplace five years ago. He is a full-time lawyer and a contributing writer for lifestyle magazines. In 2008, Ng started his blog, As I See It, commenting on local culture and news events. Over a short span of time, the blog has attracted a sizable following of online readers. Ng lives in Hong Kong and can be contacted at info@jasonyng.com. 
Media Contact
Blacksmith Books5th Floor, 24 Hollywood RoadCentral, Hong KongTel: +852 2877 7899Email: mail@blacksmithbooks.com


  1. Hi Jason,

    I read Hong Kong State of Mind over the weekend. I found it very interesting and powerful. Each sentence is polished with style. Rather than a collection of sentences, it was one sharp statement after another. I almost felt intimidated by the powerful force and high standard.

    It was an engaging read and I enjoyed it very much, especially after spending several months in HK and having become familiar with the issues discussed. My impression of HK so far has been that it is like a Seven Eleven. Everything centres around convenience and practicality. After reading your book, I want to find out more about the history of HK. For example, I didn't know that the airport used to be in Kowloon Tong. The analogy between HK/Kowloon and Manhattan/Brooklyn was very interesting, too!

    The book also showed your love toward your family. Your niece is lucky to have such an insightful literature tutor. Now I feel like putting down my Michael Connelly for a while and try picking up Amy Tan for a change. I read Wild Swan as a student but that was pretty much all I have read from Chinese writers. Now I want to go back to reading some literature books! - yes, I am so easily influenced : )

    Thank you for your stimulating first book. I look forward to next ones!


  2. Hi Jason,

    First of all heartiest congratulations on the book and thanks for sharing the first copies with us.

    I have only read around first 20 pages or so till now but must say its really breath of fresh air and interesting to read. I really liked the "Introduction" (colonoscopy part - believe me I am still laughing) and "Butcher story" - very nice way of putting such a complex matter....

    Thanks again and wishing lots of success for your book..


  3. Jason,

    Your first book is the most welcoming Christmas gift to me. I enjoy your articles and find some of them very inspiring. I have confidence the book will do well and I'm so proud of you in making a first step in your writing career.


  4. Jason,

    I just started reading your book and, like your on-line column, I am thoroughly enjoying it! This is very informative but what's most enjoyable to me is your writing style. I don't know exactly how to describe it but it "flows" so smoothly with well-considered choice of words, like a song.

    BTW, I can tell that you are going to look like your dad 20 years down the road.

    Keep the stories coming my friend!


  5. I really enjoyed your book!! Finished it in 2 days!


  6. Jason, I read your book and really liked it... had lots of aha erlebenissen. Well written! -B.

  7. Jason, I just wanted to let you know that I am a HUGE fan of your blogspot, your blog on I died three saturdays ago really touched some sensitive subjects other would rather overlook.

    Anyways, I'll be ordering your book - and consume it like HK McDonald's red bean pie when it arrives. Just kidding, but you can imagine.


  8. Jason,

    I went to the Bookazine in Lippo Centre today to grab a few more copies of your books for my friends and some magazines. The lady who worked there said the books they had ordered previously were all sold out and that the book is very popular! Bet you'll be happy to hear that, and that's a direct order (from your customers including me) to pen more brilliant articles or pieces!


  9. I finished the book a few days ago and I really liked it!! Thanks and wishing heaps and heaps of success for your book!


  10. Congratulations!

    I have not even found a copy of your book yet, but if it's as good as many an article you've written, guess i'll be outta luck on finding one anywhere Jason! Good thing there's the net still i suppose. If i find it in Canada, will inform.

    Best wishes and Gung Hey Fatt Choy!
    2011 Xinnian Kuaile!!
    Long live Dr. Sun Yat Sen!!!

  11. Every corner of written sentiments and facts springing out from my hidden thoughts within my space, while reading your linguistic depiction in every chapter. Someday. wishfully, this Chinese~Norwegians may also learn about their root and contemporary matters from you and from your book(s). At least, just a heck of knowing something for real - in fact also some sort of universal concern as a part of one's life/journey/fulfillment.

    I am on Page 125 already since last night, as I usually spend my weekends on lesson plans and hours for self-relaxation; be quite frank, hardly have myself read a book in few days straight! Indeed, superb!


  12. Hi Jason,

    Received your book via Airmail from my best friend in HK 2 days ago. Enjoy reading it and it brought back a lot of childhood memories.

    However, on page 138, I would like to clarity Medicaid and Medicare coverage.
    Medicaid is for certain low-income citizens.
    Medicare is for people over the age of 65.

    Look forward to your next book.

    Best wishes from New York

  13. Finally after visiting a few book stores I bought your book. Though I have read the stories from your blog I still read your book as if it's my first time reading it. Just wanted to compliment your good skills of writing. Managed to read half of the book and just purchased the book 2-3 hours ago. Take care.


  14. Hi Jason. Glad to inform you I have finished reading your book. I would love to go and meet you. It's been a few years reading your stories. I guess I'm one of your fans :) but at the moment it's a "maybe" for me. I should be able to make it. Hope to see you soon.


  15. I usually do summer reading only, yet yours got me chapters to chapters although I often have to scratch my spare time to make the continuous reading ...

    I guess ... because reading your depiction is - as to my reflection; plus, your humorous descriptions in another parts of writings are for boosting up my optimization ...

    In the very beginning of your book, I wanna leave H.K; now am on Page 178, ... wanna see more before my true appreciation; just for the sake of curiosity.



  16. Dear Jason,

    I have just flown to Beijing and have devoured your book during the flight. I am now anxious to get to the hotel so I can finish it - I managed to get to the tale of Three Sisters.

    I love reading but even more so when it is a book I can't put down and have been thoroughly delighted by each of your columns.

    It will be my gift of choice this year - particularly to my three little brothers as a glimpse of all the reasons we too love living in this fabulous city.


    P.S. I loved your father's sketches - particularly the one of the Queen Mary hospital which I pass each day and where my son would have been born if he was not in such a hurry.

  17. Hi Jason,

    Just finished reading your signature book. A good recommendation to friends, colleagues and others....a must read for non-Hong Kong based readers to understand the transformation of Hong Kong over time.

    This is an excellent book that makes easy reading. I particularly like the short, crisp, vivid and lively but detail analyses of various topics slated into 3-part headings in the book. The stories are indeed: Hong Kong State of Mind.

    I look forward to more of your biweekly columns. Your writing skills truly keep readers' yearning to read for more.....so keep writing.

    Once again, congratulations on your successful book launch.


  18. Hello Jason, I have been following your blog and posts on facebook. Just bought your book at Bookazine - very impressed with your writing - very insightful and somewhat similar to some of my experiences in HK. In a city which seems to be devoid of a full-fledged reading culture and has seen a terminal decline in the use of English, I hope this will encourage more people to take up reading and writing.


  19. Thanks, Jason for writing the book. It is really helpful and makes you really think about the social network in the city. The book also makes for good debate and should be a topic for the HMCE (Harvard Model Congress Europe). We all have to cross the culture barriers to move our city forward.


  20. Ive read a few local books and this has been by far the most insightful into Hong Kong. I thoroughly enjoyed your book. Thank you. I look forward to the next one.


  21. My friend at NYC asked me to tell you that she has finished reading your book in 2 days and enjoy it. Two of her friends already read it and they like it too. Just passed it to another friend.


  22. Hello Jason;

    A note to say I really enjoyed your book, Hong Kong State of Mind. Ive been here in Hong Kong for nearly six years, and I related to many of your thoughts, and found other chapters insightful. I'd enjoy having a chance to chat with you sometime.

    Kevin Drew
    International Herald Tribune

  23. I bought Hong Kong State of Mind in HK where I spent the month of May, and enjoyed reading it, as well as my first visit to HK in 24 year. Now, your book's being read by a friend in T.O. and we have started nit-picking. For example, "Only a handful of cities in the world rival HK as a true megalopolis." This follows a comment about the magnificent skyline. Well, here I'm going to take issue.

    I grant you the skyline is magnificent, and London, Tokyo, and Paris, all of which you cite, have no skylines worth mentioning. These are world class cities, however, which HK most certainly is not, unless measured by the density of watch shops. I'll take NYC's antiquated infrastructure, galleries, museums, food, architecture, diverse shopping, and theatres over HK any day. Or the French in Paris, who go along with all its benefits.

    You seem to know Toronto. It has more of all the above cultural attributes than HK, which is provincial, confined, and expensive. With the average price of housing at eleven times the average income, it could qualify as the most expensive city in the world. Hardly a recommendation for the average 'Joe'.

    When Hong Kongese or HK Belongers with money want a vacation, they leave. The possibility of a staycation is not an option, there's just too little to do. No-one would think of moving into a downtown hotel and enjoying what their own city has to offer.

    A nice place to visit, but I wouldn't and couldn't live there. There's no temptation to trade a house in Cabbagetown for a one room flat. It seems there are 300,000 Canadians in HK, probably yourself included. Most no doubt hold passports of convenience - 'We'll stay in HK while the money's good, and if things start going bad on any front we can always escape back to Canada.' None of this is a solid foundation for a 'true megalopolis' as you call it.


  24. Thanks, RW, for your very well though-out comment. And thanks for supporting my book by buying a copy. I spent many years in Toronto. I went to law school and got my MBA from U of T. I had some of my fondest memories in the city. That being said, whether I consider a city a "true megalopolis" is by definition a subjective proposition. I have readers asking me "why not Singapore?" "LA?" "Chicago?" "Frankfurt?" It's not a subject I can adequately address in a single Facebook comment. Next time I visit Toronto -- I do it once every fall around Canadian Thanksgiving to see my folks in Markham -- I am happy to sit down with you and your friend and have a proper discussion. Drinks are on me!


  25. HA! Suddenly it's a dialogue. You are right, what constitutes a true megalopolis is highly subjective. Its not a term Id lavish on many cities, including my own. Anyway, since you're an annual visitor, your two local readers would be happy to get together for a drink and a chat next time you're here. And, despite the nit-picking, HKSM is a really good read. Got it from Bookazine in Prince's Bldg.


  26. Ross, I wish more readers would nit-pick the way you do. Thats what motivated me to write the book in the first place: to start an intelligent dialog about the city I love. Changing the subject somewhat, Bookazine has been very supportive. We held a book launch in March at their location at the IFC. I look forward to our chat, but in the meantime, do check out my blog from time to time for new postings. Cheers.

  27. I am writing just to say: Congratulations on the book! Ever since I arrived in HK last december I was looking for a true and honest reflection of what this city really is. I've been talking about this book to all of my friends saying: "It's like me writing this!", these are my observations!

    It's a manual to a sensitive and respecful expat like myself who tries to get to understand the culture of a city which became home to me last December. Your book gave me some answers to the questions that were rising in my head every day. I'll keep discovering my new home and with your book is will just be so much easier.

    All the best,


  28. Jason,

    I am writing to say that I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your book. I like how each story, though seperate, does carry a similar theme (for me), that is your own reflections on each location. I most enjoyed your finickiness about coffee, which holds dearly to me (I used to work in the coffee industry..I agree that with the ubiquitous Starbucks stealthily erupting almost every corner of HK, it is no wonder that majority of the people view that as real coffee!)

    Looking forward to your next book.


  29. Mr Ng, your book HK State of Mind was enchanting!


  30. Jason, I love your book Hong Kong State of Mind. I have just read through a few essays but it is so fascinating and good for me to improve my English. How can I get you to sign on the cover? I missed the day that you had the celebration on your book publishing.....


  31. Jason, I am currently finishing up my annual visit to Hong Kong. Heading back to US on Sunday. I bought your book while here and have enjoyed it immensely. That's how I found the blog. Looking forward to more of your writing.


  32. Hi Jason

    I came to your book launch at the IFC.

    Just wanted to let you know, I am really enjoying your book...especially - in a weird way - your chapter "I Died Three Saturdays Ago"....

    Keep up the great work!

    Best wishes to you,