Friday, 31 July 2020

New Arrivals at The Penang Bookshelf in July and August 2020

New Arrivals at The Penang Bookshelf


July and August 2020

(Last Updated 10-8-20)

  • Each book advertised below includes a brief description of its contents and condition as well as the price in Malaysian Ringgit. If you want a fuller description of a used book's condition, to look at the scanned contents page, if any, and/or to find out the price in USD, please click on the link in blue for the relevant book. 
  • If you click on a link after the current month and find nothing, the book's been sold.  
  • Of course, if you want to buy anything you see here, you can either do so from the site or contact me at 
  • This page will be updated constantly until the end of the month.
  • The prices shown here hold good for at least this month, but for out of print books, the prices may change in subsequent months.
  • All prices include free postage to anywhere in Malaysia and to Singapore.

Malaysia & Singapore - Anthropology & Sociology

This work publishes the Malaysian results of an ASEAN five nation study of fertility patterns amongst different ethnicities in each country. The study also looks at how socioeconomic activities, place of residence and 'exposure to modernity' affect fertility patterns in the country. Good Hardback. First Edition 146 pages with figures tables and a bibliography.

This book is the result of a 14 year study of the lives of women in one kampung, Rusila in Terengganu. The author seeks to determine the extent to which development does or does not affect women's attempts to gain equality. Besides looking at life in the village, Strange includes in her study the effects of change in the wider district and the country as a whole. Good Hardback. First Edition. 265 pages with tables, figures, a bibliography and an index.

Malaysia & Singapore - Architecture

This book was published by the Malaysian Institute of Architects to commemorate its 80th anniversary. Besides photographs of traditional and new buildings from all over the country, the book contains a selection of reflective essays. Near Fine Paperback. First Edition. 176 pages. For further details please see the scanned contents page

Malaysia & Singapore - Arts & Crafts

An exhibition catalogue in Bahasa Malaysia and English mainly highlighting various forms of wood carving of the Jah Hut and Mah Meri peoples of peninsular Malaysia with an introduction by Anthony Ratos. There is also a small section on Sarawak sculpture.  Very Good Brochure 14 pages with several black and white photographs

New. This boxed set contains all four of the author's well known and trusted guides on the crafts of the Straits Chinese, the descendants of intermarriages between early Chinese settlers in Malaya and their host community. Many in the community established prospering businesses which enabled them to display their wealth through the comissioning and purchase of artefacts that blended many styles. The four Collectors' Guides included in this boxed set are - Beadwork and Embroidery - Furniture - Porcelain and Silver.  New Paperback in a Slip Case. Reprints 

This book showcases the rich collection of jewellery of the owner of the Pinang Peranakan Mansion, a museum dedicated to the culture of the descendants of Chinese immigrants who married Malays and settled in the Malay archipelago from 200 BC onwards. Being of mixed race themselves, they tended to be more open than others to the cultural influences that swirled around them. So the  jewellery and culture described here exhibits traces of Chinese, Malay and European influences. New Hardback in a New Dust Jacket First Edition 168 pages

Malaysia & Singapore - Biography & Memoirs

A young Englishman sets out on his first tour of duty as a rubber planter in an isolated rubber estate in near Kuantan, Pahang. As he says, only "the madness of empire" could have entrusted a twenty year old boy with no real life experience with such responsibility. As Thorp's witty account demonstrates, somehow he managed to muddle through. 221 pages. New Paperback. First Edition 

Thomson was first a private surveyor in Malaya for three years and then a Government surveyor in Singapore for a further twelve years until 1853. This book, originally published in 1864, is his account of his adventures while in Malaya, where he was often the only non-official European and was able to form strong friendships in the Malay community. This involvement made him often more sympathetic than his fellow countrymen to the plight of Malays trying to come to terms with the new British presence. Very Good Paperback. Reprint. 332 pages. 

Now known as SMK Perempuan Pudu, Pudu English School, Kuala Lumpur, was one of the earliest schools in the English medium for girls in Malaya. Josephine Foss, a level headed experienced missionary teacher, was head mistress there for nearly two decades before being taken prisoner by the Japanese in World War II and helped set the school on the map. Gullick, a prolific historian of British Malaya, here tells her inspiring story from childhood to retirement.  Very Good Paperback 198 pages. Please see the scan of the contents page for further details

Peet arrived as a junior reporter for the Straits Times in Singapore four years after the end of World War I and retired, as editor of the paper, in 1952. In this book he avoids memoirs, but instead concentrates on memories of what Singapore was like before the Japanese occupation. Until that cataclysmic event, he did not think the city had changed all that much since the late 19th century. 226 pages. . New Paperback Reprint  

With the help of his subject and Tan's family and business associates, the author has produced an account of the philosophy and activities one of Singapore and Malaysia's best known businessmen and philanthropists. Besides founding The Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation, Tan played a significant role in at least a dozen other companies. New Hardback in a New Dust Jacket. First Edition 252 pages. For further details, please see the scanned contents page.


This is the British colonial government's report on its activities in the state shortly after taking over from the Brooke family. As one might expect, the report generally records progress on various fronts. The one blemish, the assassination of the new Governor, DG Stewart, in Sibu, is glossed over in a couple of sentences. Although at the report records the crime as a protest against the end of Brooke family rule, later documents have indicated that the assassins were agitating for unification of Sarawak with the newly formed neighbouring state of Indonesia. Good Hardback. First Edition. 115 pages with about two dozen black and white photographs and a large fold out map. For further details please see the scanned contents page.

In this fascinating book of record the author has drawn together research on forty-six distinct languages mainly spoken in Northern Borneo, but also in neighbouring in parts of Sarawak, Kalimantan Utara and Brunei so as to document these languages, many of which are in danger of dying out. Besides personal and demonstrative pronouns and case markers  he also includes 596 entries for each of these languages. It is thus one of the most comprehensive language surveys of Sabah published to date. New Paperback. First Edition. 274 pages with maps and figures.

This mammoth book is a comprehensive survey of the variety and complexity of basket work in Borneo/Kalimantan. With conributions from a range of experts from inside and outside the island supported by extensive colour photographs the book is a tribute to a still vibrant culture. 538 pages with an appendix on Borneo Life and Culture by the editor, a Bibliography and an Index. Chapters include 1 - Art and Identity - Bernard Sellato, 2 - Plants, People, Techniques - Hanne Christensen & Susi Dunsmore, 3 - Northwestern Borneo - Valerie Mashman & Patricia Nayoi, 4 - Central Sarawak - Jean-Francois Blehaut, JC Swayne, Heidi Munan & Diana Rose, 5 - The Basketry of Sabah - Patricia Regis, Robin Lojiwin, GC Woolley & Hanne Christensen, 6 - Northeastern Highlands - Valerie Mashman, Martin Lenjau, Martua T Sirait & Bernard Sellato, 7 - Central Borneo - Arne Martin Klausen & Mering Ngo, 8 - Southern Kalimantan - Pascal Couderc & Roy W Hamilton, 9 - A Florilege of Mats -  Heidi Munan, Janet Rata Noel & Arnoud H. Klokke, 10 - Bags, Boxes, Covers, Trays, Traps - Marieanne Davy Ball, 11 - Modernity and Market - Hendrik Tillema & 12 - Borneo Art and Style - Dianne Tillotson Ne Hardback in a New Dust Jacket First Edition

This book is an essay on the history of the Ibans based on oral materials. Three themes were discussed chronologically - pioneer settlement in the area of Sarawak's Second Division, a phase of additional Iban settlement and consolidation in the river valleys and contact with coastal societies and migrations to other parts of Sarawak. A great book which outliningt the traditions of Ibans. . 134 pages with appendix, notes, maps and photos. Very Good Hardback in a Very Good Dust Jacket. First American Edition

Malaysia & Singapore - Business, Economics & Labour

This collection of essays reflect and seek to advance Sanjaya Lall's major contribution to development economics, i.e. a focus on revitalising the discipline through reflecting on economies' ability to build technology and government and private sector interaction. The essays include case studies from Asia and Latin America. Near Fine Paperback. First Edition. 439 pages with figures, tables and an index.

A history of the development of Chinese and Indian immigrant labour from the time of the British settlement of Penang until the early 20th century. Jackson, a member of the Malayan Civil Service, concentrates particularly on the rubber and tin mining industries. Good+ Hardback. First Edition. 162 pages. For further details, please see the scanned contents page. 

This claims to be one of the first major studies of the impact of party politics on the formulation and implementation of Malaysia's economy, despite Government claims to the contrary. The reader is briefed firstly on the colonial economy, followed by the New Economic Policy with five case studies, privatising state assets with two further case studies and an account of Malaysia's 'New Rich' with four further case studies. 207 pages with a bibliography, an index and extensive tables and figures.Near Fine Paperback. Second Edition 

Malaysia & Singapore - Cooking & Food

The Eurasian Cookbook - Mary Gomes    RM150

The racial mix of Malaysia and Singapore has, amongst other things, produced two food cultures distinctive to the region, the Eurasian and the Nonya cooking styles. While recipe books and restaurants devoted to the latter abound in both countries, Eurasian food and, especially, how to prepare it, are more difficult to come by. Here the queen of that bastion of Singaporean Eurasian culture, St. Joseph's Church in Victoria Street, introduces cooks to a culture that manages to incorporate borrowings from Chinese, Dutch, English Indian, Malay, Peranakan (Straits Chinese) and Portuguese cuisines. New Paperback Reprint. Originally published in 2001 176 pages. Please see the scan of the contents page for further details. 

Kueh, a small cake, usually sweet, are a popular snack in Malaysia,  Singapore and elsewhere in Southeast Asia. They're often prepared by specialist bakers using  'grandmas' recipes' and are generally not attempted by the home cook. In this book, the author seeks to bring both the making and appreciation of kueh within the reach of everyone. New Hardback. Reprint. Originally published in 2020. 292 pages. For further details please see the scanned contents page

Malaysia & Singapore - Crime & the Law

Despite Singapore's reputation as being a place of near financial purity, the city state is not immune from the occasional case of fraud or kidnapping. In this book details are given of ten such cases that made headlines at the time. New Paperback 168 pages. For further details, please see the scanned contents page. 

The author, a Malaysian academic, introduces the reader to the various characteristics of Islamic criminal law generally and then proceeds to compare it with current Malaysian law. The book his heavily referenced to the work of other scholars on the subject. Near Fine Paperback. First Edition. 177 pages with a bibliography and an index.  

Malaysia & Singapore - Environment, Nature & Wildlife

This 248 page book sets out to be a comprehensive guide to consumable herbs still easily found in the tropical vegetation of Malaysia and Singapore. Each herb has been photographed growing in its natural habitat and colour coded as to whether it is fit for medicinal, edible, flavouring, cosmetic or other uses. Please see the scan of the contents page for further details.New Paperback

Holttum, the Director of the Singapore Botanic Gardens in  the immediate pre and post war periods, presents this collection of nine studies of common flowers, easily found in Malayan gardens, to introduce the young to the appreciation and study of the country's flora. The book starts with a survey of general characteristics and then covers specific families including orchids, hibiscus, daisies, verbena and water lilies. Good PaperbacGoodk. First Edition. 35 pages including a page of line drawings for each study.

Through the centuries the practice of Malayan traditional medicine, based on herbal remedies, has developed into a sophisticated form of healing. Malaysia is the host to at least 1000 special of plants that have a pharmaceutical value. In this book the authors detail 30 of such species, in each case providing the botanical and vernacular names, the plant's uses in traditional medicine, a colour photograph and an anatomical description. Very Good Paperback. First Edition. 158 pages with references, a glossary and an index. For further details of the plants covered in this volume, please see the scanned contents pages. 

Through the centuries the practice of Malayan traditional medicine, based on herbal remedies, has developed into a sophisticated form of healing. Malaysia is the host to at least 1000 special of plants that have a pharmaceutical value. In this book the authors detail 30 of such species, in each case providing the botanical and vernacular names, the plant's uses in traditional medicine, a colour photograph and an anatomical description. Very Good Paperback. First Edition. 1164 pages with references, a glossary and an index. For further details of the plants covered in this volume, please see the scanned contents pages.

The three islands, off the Northwest coast of the Malaysian state of Sabah, are home to a variety of birds, which are usually easier to see there, compared to the mainland, because of a lack of predators on the islands. This book resulted from a four day project by members of the Society to document the Philippine Megapode and other bird life there. Each of the species is illustrated with at least one colour photograph and information for identification and about its habitat. New Paperback First Edition. 58 pages. For further details please see the scanned contents page

This book is the most comprehensive guide yet published to about 100 species of birds to be found in the richly biodiverse setting of the campus of Universiti Sains Malaysia in Penang. There are at least two colour photographs for each of the subjects together with brief notes on identification, habitat and eating habits. The book also contains information on the best places on the campus to find birds together with a complete checklist. New Paperback First Edition. 253 pages. 

This is the most comprehensive book yet published on lizards in and around Malaysia. Not only does the author bring together the findings of various studies from the 19th century onwards, but he also shares his own research of more than a decade into various lizard species he and his colleagues have identified. Each species has a detailed description, information on its distribution, habitat and behaviour as well as references to other works on the subject. It appears that the description of each species is accompanied by at least one colour photograph. New Hardback First Edition. 728 pages with numerous colour photographs, maps and a list of references. 

A guide to gardening in the tropics based on the experiences of the author in his garden in Kuala Lumpur. After nearly three decades living in Malaysia, the author became interested in gardening. So this book moves from the basics to glorious abundance. The book is illustrated with water colours and colour photographs. Near Fine Hardback in a Very Good Dust Jacket. First Edition. 110 pages. 

Malaysia & Singapore - Fiction

The  three books of the trilogy Time for a Tiger, Enemy in the Blanket and Beds in the East are some of the best known works in English of the effects of the Malayan Emergency on the declining British Empire and those who struggled to maintain it and those who were ready to see it go. Burgess took the trouble to learn both spoken and written Malay which enabled him to present a more multi-dimensional picture of society than many of his contemporaries writing about the country. 583 pages. New Paperback Reprint 

An anthroplogist by training, the author puts her experiences of living and working with the people of Kelantan to good use, by writing the first ever detective series in English set in the state. Mak Cik Maryam, a Kota Bharu street trader steps into to try to solve a local murder that baffles the police. Despite becoming involved in a world of black magic and being subjected to vile spells put on her by the culprits, she doesn't give up. Winner of Best Debut Novel (Singapore Book Publishers Association Inaugural Book Awards 2012) New Paperback 

One of several books that Brereton wrote for children extolling the fiction adventures of heroic Englishmen coping with the pesky locals who got in their way. Good Hardback. First Edition. 384 pages with eight black and white illustrations by Fritz Bergen.

Malaysia & Singapore - Gender Issues

In this book the authors publish the results of a yearlong study into the implementation of the Malaysian 1999 Code of Practice on the Prevention and Eradication of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace. The study was carried out in six selected companies enabling the authors to determine the extent to which the code was effective and make recommendations for its improvement. Very Good Paperback. First Edition. 213 pages. For further details, please see the scanned contents page.

The 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women was significant in producing a Platform for Action to expand and entrench women's rights globally. In this book the author takes exception with some parts of the platform, branding it as  being 'an attempt at neo-colonization (while)...ignoring other cultures and traditions across the world.' Very Good Paperback. Revised Expanded Edition. 293 pages with a bibliography 

Malaysia & Singapore - Health & Medicine

A report on the prevalence and treatment of various forms of diarrhoea and dysentery in Malaya during the early 20th century. Besides covering the various types of such illnesses, the authors also deal with the various treatments employed at the time. Good Hardback. First Edition. 78 pages, a list of references and 44 black and white plates

Malaysia & Singapore - History

An in depth assessment of the city's role in various countries' military strategies from the thirteenth to twentieth centuries with a variety of maps, a bibliography and an index. Very Good Paperback. First Edition. 398 pages.

A collection of a variety of travellers' impressions of Singapore from 1819 to 1941. The accounts from are arranged in chronological order providing snapshots of the city as it developed. This is an expanded edition. Very Good Paperback 301 pages with a glossary, chronology and index.

Malaysia & Singapore History (20th Century)

Mills opens his introduction to the book with the words, "The British attitude towards the tropical Empire has usually been one of lack of interest varied by spasmodic attention when one of the colonies forced itself upon public notice." Interestingly the book was researched in the year before the Japanese surprised Britain by taking over Hong Kong and Malaya by the time this book was published. His survey, probably the most significant of these two countries in the inter war period, also compares British imperial efforts with those of the United States in the Philippines and the Dutch in the Netherlands East Indies. 581 pages with two fold out maps and an index. Very Good Hardback in a Good Dust Jacket

The author carried out field work in Jelawat, Kelantan, between 1967 and 1969 in an attempt to get an anthropological grip on the community and to study its history. The area was undergoing some upheaval at the time because the Pan- Malayan Islamic Party (PMIP) had wrested power from more traditional parties supported by the state's nobility. One of the key themes of the book is the 20th century transformation of the relationship between former rulers and the  peasantry. 311 pages. The contents include chapters on - Malaysia, Kelantan and the Islamic Party, Kelantan before 1886, The Years of Foreign Intervention, Jelawat under Colonial Rule, Agriculture and Class in Jelawat, The Origins of Party Politics in Town and Country, The Impact of Party Politics in the Countryside, Land, Peasants and Parties, Party Politics and the Administration of Islam, Religious Ideas and Social Reality. There are also three appendices, a glossary, bibliography and index as well as 4 maps, 15 black and white illustrations, diagrams and tables. Good Hardback in a Good Dust Jacket. First Edition  

Malaysia & Singapore - Magic & Popular Religion

Like many parts of Asia, Malaysia has it's fair share of magic, ghosts and other forms of hocus pocus. In this book, an ex-lawyer gives his readers a sprinkling of stories to give them a shudder or two, but also provides a range of antidotes for those brave enough to grapple with the dark forces. New paperback. First edition. 200 pages.

Malaysia & Singapore - Malay Community & Culture

Wilkinson led the first systematic attempt to write an account of the Malays of the peninsula, their society, culture and history. The results were published in a series of papers. In this work the papers reprinted cover historical subjects, i.e. Part I - The Peninsular Malays, Part II - Perak State Council Minutes & Part III - Negri Sembilan. There is an introduction by Dr Peter Burns where he gives a background to the publication and describes the paper as a whole. Near Fine Hardback in a Very Good Dust Jacket First edition of this collection. The papers themselves were originally published in the 1920s. 468 pages  Please see scanned contents pages for further details

This book is arguably the most comprehensive insight into the workings of a bomoh, as shamans of the Malay community are called. While head of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Malaya, the author befriended Nik Abdul Rahman, the royal healer attached to the household of the Sultan of Kelantan, so as to understand his philosophy and practice. After Nik's death, the bomoh's family made his writings available to the author as well. From this Werner has pieced together an exposition as to how Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist and pagan traditions influenced the healer's work. New Paperback. First Edition 763 pages. For further details, please see the scanned contents page.

Malaysia & Singapore - Miscellaneous

Slightly prurient and voyeuristic Accounts of ten Singaporean cases where mainly men were exposed as doing things they shouldn't have been doing with women. The exception is the first case which recounts how a well brought up Singapore woman agreed to have sex with 251 men in ten hours. New Paperback 165 pages For further details, please see the scanned contents page.

Noor, who has been dubbed as 'Malaysia's hippiest intellectual' demonstrates his wide ranging intellect as well capacity to inform and entertain in this collection of lectures. The chapter titles alone are enough to make one want to read further. Contents 1 - Pity the Poor Keris  (The Transcultural Origins of the Keris and How it was turned into an Ethno-Nationalist Marker), 2 - The Lost Tribes of Malaysia ( The Construction of Race Politics From Colonial Era to the Present), 3 - Of Rajas, Maharajas, Dewarajas and the Kerajaan ( Four Thousand Years of Feudal Politics from Majapahit to Malaysia Today), 4 - From Pigafetta to Panji (Revisiting the History of Sexuality in Southeast Asia in the Hikayat Panji Semirang), 5 - The Red Green Alliance ( The 'Left-Leaning Years'of the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS), 6 - Hang Tuah The Pacifisct (Deconstructing Our National Hero) and an extensive biography. Very Good Paperback Reprint. Originally published in 2009 287 pages


A short history of the colonial development of Penang with 19 black and white plates. Very Good. Paperback First Edition 56 pages. For further details, please see the scanned contents page.

Still in the publisher's shrink wrapping A stunning introduction to Penang's heritage with a rich combination of beautiful colour photographs by James Bain Smith, an international artist and photographer and informative and well researched text by Julia de Bierre, a restoration expert who was born and grew up in Penang. The book does not just confine the reader to George Town, the well-known UNESCO World Heritage Site, but ventures into other equally captivating parts of the island elsewhere. Near Fine Hardback in a Very Good Dust Jacket. Over 500 colour photographs in its 152 pages, 2 pages of maps and a select bibliography.


From the 19th century onwards postcards became rapidly popular internationally as a cheap and simple means for those away from home to give relatives and friends left behind images of life abroad. In this collection of black and white photographs depicting life in Malaya's capital city, we see examples of the city's growth, the commercial hub of Chinatown, Government buildings, colonial architecture, some glimpses of life of Malayans and a selection of different modes of transport popular during the period. Fine Paperback. First edition. 114 pages. 

Malaysia & Singapore - Transport

It was not until 1886 that Singapore had the benefit of the beginnings of a tram system, powered by steam, although there probably were a few buses before this. In this book a couple of enthusiasts have compiled what must be the most comprehensive account of public transport on the island during this period. 256 pages . Very Good Hardback. First Edition For further details, please see the scanned contents page.

Malaysia & Singapore - World War II

A detailed account of the fall of Singapore in 1942 with a day by day account, many maps and photographs. There is also a visitor's guide to the remaining sites of the battle.  New Paperback Reprint 128 pages. 

A mainly pictorial account of the Japanese occupation of Singapore based on items in the National Archives of Singapore. The book not only contains black and white photos of the time but colour photos of ephemera from the period. 192 pages. Please see the scan of the contents page for further details.Very Good Paperback First Edition . 

This is the classic story of one of the first jungle war experts of the modern era. He takes us through the period of the Japanese occupation of Malaya. Between the invasion and the fall of Singapore he was involved in behind the scenes operations to try to sabotage the Japanese advance. After Singapore fell he remained on the peninsula working with the orang asli (aborigines) and Communist guerillas to do what he could to undermine the occupation until the return of the British. New Paperback Reprint. Originally published in 1949 347 pages with 5  maps and  black and white plates 

These are the internment diaries of George Peet, who was editor of the prestigious Straits Times newspaper both when Singapore fell to the Japanese and again immediately after the end of the war. As a seasoned journalist he was able to bring to life the ingenious methods used by civilian internees to make the best of a bad lot during their imprisonment. The book is compiled and edited by his granddaughter. New Paperback. First Edition. 245 pages. 


  Very Good Paperback First Edition 62 pages For further details please see the scanned contents page.

As an antidote to the more common portrayal of Muslims as fundamentalist isolationists, the author, through a series of case studies highlights cosmopolitan and inclusive trends in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. His study covers the period from the 1970s to the early 21st century. New Paperback. First Edition.  210 pages with a bibliography and an index. 


An experienced practitioner in phrenology, physiognomy and palmistry, known in Chinese as Kan Xiang, introduces the reader to the basic principles of these skills. The book is amply illustrated with sketches of the main head, face and hand characteristics that should be noted. Good Reprint. Originally published in 1991. 132 pages. 

A dictionary of Chinese characters in the simplified form. The dictionary includes 2000 examples of the use of the characters in words, the correct sequence of strokes for each character and the Hanyu pinyin transliterations of the characters.  Near Fine Paperback .510 pages


Although most students of Southeast Asian history first notice the British East India Company when it set up its outpost in Penang in 1786, the Company had been far from idle in the area in the previous century. This book, based on Company records, traces the history of an outpost set up in Bantam (present day Banten) in Java to compete with both the Dutch and Portuguese in the area. The most significant result from the Company's operations there was to use the factory as a springboard for opening up trade with China. New Hardback. First Edition. 246 pages. For further details please see the scanned contents page.


Laumanns and his colleagues have since the beginning of the century being carrying out a systematic survey of the karst and caves of Laos. In this work they complete their work in Northern Laos including caves in  Houaphan province which housed the headquarters of the Pathet Lao for nine years during the Vietnam War. Near Fine Paperback. First Edition. 150 pages approx. with numerous maps and colour photographs