Friday, 4 January 2019

New Arrivals at The Penang Bookshelf in January 2019

New Arrivals at The Penang Bookshelf


January 2019

(Last Updated 21-1-19)

This is a list of new arrivals advertised at The Penang Bookshelf for this month. Please note: -

  • 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 or  yellow 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.
Malaysia & Singapore - Arts & Crafts

A selection of the works of Chang Fee Ming, one of Malaysia's best known water colour artists, with an introductory essay by Ooi Kok Chuen. New Hardback in a similar dust jacket. Second Edition. 96 pages of which 82 are colour plates of the artist's paintings.

A selection of the works of Chang Fee Ming, one of Malaysia's best known water colour artists, with an introductory essay by Ooi Kok Chuen. New Hardback in a similar dust jacket. Second Edition. 96 pages of which 82 are colour plates of the artist's paintings.

Malaysia & Singapore - Biography & Memoirs

This is the autobiography of an Australian who first came to Malaya at about the same time as the Japanese invasion, escaped capture and returned to join the Malayan Civil Service after the war. In this last role he made a significant contribution to developing new economic policies from a grassroots rather than a macro economic perspective. Very Good Paperback. First Edition. 280 pages. For further details, please see the scanned contents page.

The Real Malay: Pen Pictures - Frank Athelstane Swettenham  RM1,200

Swettenham was the first British Resident-General of the Federated Malay States at the end of the nineteenth century. Like many colonial administrators he found time to write about his impressions of the country where he was based. This is a collection of musings, anecdotes and short essays about what he thought of Malaya and its peoples.Good Hardback. Second Edition  295 pages

Malaysia & Singapore - Boats, Fishing & The Sea

From the late 19th century until the mid 20th century much of the communication and trade between Singapore, the peninsula and Borneo relied on the efficiency of the Straits Steamship Company. Here Professor Tregonning brushes aside most of the colourful anecdotes to apply his historian's skills to reconstruct the company's history. It was not easy, given the loss of most documents during World War II, but the book still remains the definitive work on the subject. Very Good in a Good Dust Jacket. First Edition.  321 pages with 53 black and white plates Please see the scan of the contents page for further details


One Crowded Moment of Glory: The Kinabalu Guerrillas and the 1943 Jesselton Uprising - Danny Wong Tze Ken   RM70

The author, a Professor of History at the University of Malaya, recounts the story of one of the few popular civilian uprisings against the Japanese in Southeast Asia during World War II. What was particularly remarkable about the group known as the Kinabalu Guerrillas, was that its membership was multi ethnic, which set the tone for the relationship between different races in North Borneo, present day Sabah, for years to come. New Paperback First Edition. 254 pages with a bibliography and an index.

Malaysia & Singapore - Business, Economics & Labour

Ownership and Control in the Malayan Economy - JJ Puthucheary  RM70
This book, originally published in 1960, was written by Puthucheary during the second of his three bouts of imprisonment for political activism by the Singaporean Government, both before and after Singapore became a self-governing state. He explains how the organisation of labour under British rule militated against racial co-operation and why the majority of Malayans remained poor in a country rich in natural resources, thus making the book still relevant to the understanding of Malaysia today. Very Good Paperback. Reprint. 187 pages. For further details, please see the scanned contents page

Malaysia & Singapore - Children's Books

Originally published in 1959, this book was aimed at introducing the younger reader, outside Malaya probably, to the country. The book briefly covers the country's history, peoples and nature and wildlife. With many line drawings by Haris Petie. Very Good Hardback in a similar dust jacket. Reprint. 63 pages with an index

Malaysia & Singapore - Chinese Community & Culture

Ethnic Chinese Entrepreneurship in Malaysia - Michael Jakobsen  RM180

In this study, Jakobsen discovers that, contrary to popular belief, ethnic Chinese businesses in Malaysia, whether they be large or small, are not particularly driven by ethnic considerations when choosing with whom they trade. He not only looks at how they operate within Malaysia, but also the extent to which ethnic considerations guide their business policies when trading overseas. New Hardback. First Edition. 147 pages with a bibliography and an index.

Malaysia & Singapore - Dance & Drama

Mak Yong Through the Ages: Kelantan's Traditional Dance Theatre - Ghulam Sarwar Yousof  RM50

Traditionally Mak yong is a form of dance and acting which was mainly practiced in Kelantan, formerly  part of Thailand's Patani Province. As a result of the author's submissions, Mak yong was designated by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Mankind in 2005. This book is a collection of the author's essays on this unique art form including its entertainment, healing, traditional and modern aspects. New Paperback. First edition. 103 pages with references and an index.

Malaysia & Singapore - Fiction

Maugham's Malaysian Stories - W. Somerset Maugham   RM100

Six of Maugham's stories set in Malaya with an introduction by Anthony Burgess. 186 pages.Please see the scan of the contents page for further details. 

Malaysia & Singapore - Law & Legal System

Children in Malaysia: Selected Contemporary Issues - Siti Zaharah Jamaluddin & Others (eds)  RM70

A collection of contributions examining various as aspects of the law in Malaysia as it relates to children. Amongst other issues, the essays cover custody, stateless children, child pornography and forum shopping. The authors not only highlight problems in these areas, but make suggestions that they believe will improve the lot of children in Malaysia.  New Paperback. First edition. 205 pages  with a bibliography and an index.


The Conquest of Malacca (Trans. Edgar Knowlton) - Francisco de Sa de Menses  RM350

This is not so much a historical account of Albuquerque's conquest of Malacca, but rather a poem written just over a hundred years after the event. The main purpose was to inspire Portuguese of the 18th century to emulate the feats of their ancestors. 234 pages including a bibliography and glossaries

Malaysia & Singapore - Nature & Wildlife

An Introduction to the Sea Fishes of Malaya - JS Scott  RM120

A survey by members of the Fisheries Department of the more common sea fishes to be found in Malayan waters in the mid 20th century . Most of the species are illustrated by black and white photographs or line drawings and all have text descriptions to enable identification. Very Good Hardback in a Fair Dust Jacket. First Edition 180 pages. For further details, please see the scanned contents page.

Snake Bites and Their Treatment - P. Gopalakrishnakone & Others  RM220

An introduction to venomous snakes in the Asia Pacific region with special reference to Singapore. There is information on identification of snakes and their typical habitats as well as symptoms of reactions to bites. A useful book for the medical profession, herpetologists and anyone interested in wildlife. Very Good Paperback. First edition. 53 pages with several colour photographs and line drawings. For further details, please see the scanned contents page

The Butterflies of the Malay Peninsula - A Stephen Corbet & HM Pendlebury RM240

This classic work on butterflies in peninsular Malaysia id divided into three parts - Part I - Introduction, Part II - Discussion of the Species & Part III - A Synonymic List of the Butterflies of the Malay Peninsula. All of the species have detailed descriptions of habits and habitats and many are illustrated either in in the 55 plates of line drawings and black and white and colour photographs at the end of the book or in line drawings in the course of the book. 537 pages with a general index, a scientific index and an index of English names. Very Good Hardback in a similar Dust Jacket. Revised Second Edition  

Malaysia & Singapore - Numismatics

Coins of North Malaya - William Shaw & Mohd Kassim Haji Ali  RM150

This 64-page book describes scientifically the coins of North Malaya which include states such as Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu. Many of the principal coins are illustrated  and described in some detail. The book ends with a couple of plates and a reference list


Nature Trails of Penang Island - Malayan Nature Society  RM80

Although the visitor to Penang may find this difficult to believe, there are still significant parts of the island which are either forested or given over to agriculture. This book of 30 trails was put together by dedicated walkers in the early 1990s to introduce others to the greener parts of Penang. Good Paperback. 152 pages with three appendices, including one on how to deal with dangerous creatures and plants.

Old Penang - Sarnia Hayes Hoyt  RM80

The book is a collection of pictorial and written sketches about Penang as it was and how it had developed until the early 1990s. Most of the  black and white and colour illustrations are reproductions of artistic impressions of the island.  97 pages. For further details, please see the scanned contents page..

Penang Past and Present, 1786-1963  RM90 SOLD

Malaysia & Singapore - Politics

The Challenge - Mahathir bin Mohamad  RM50

Mahathir's seminal book, Malay Dilemma, was written before became Malaysia's fourth prime minister. In this book, written while in office, he develops earlier themes on religion, race and the state of the world. Good Paperback. Reprint. 170 pages. For further details, please see the scanned contents page

The Early Years, 1947-1972 - Mahathir bin Mohamad  RM100

A collection of the early writings of Malaysia's best known Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohamad. Although he first attracted widespread attention with the publication in the early 1970s of 'The Malay Dilemma', he had been a prolific writer on medical, business and political subjects since his student days. Near Fine Hardback. First edition. 142 pages with some black and white photographs and several cartoons by LAT.

Malaysia & Singapore - Pre-Independence History

A History of Malaya - RO Winstedt  RM70

Winstedt, a former civil servant and Malay scholar,  takes the reader from prehistoric times through to the early 1950s in one of the 20th century classic histories of the country. Good Paperback. 288 pages with five black and white plates, a bibliography, an index and eight appendices including four genealogies of Malay royal houses.

A Short History of Malaysia - Harry Miller   RM70

A popular history of Malaysia from the time of the Malacca Sultanate until the formation of Malaysia. The author was a journalist with over thirty years experience in the country. He also wrote one of the first biographies of Tunku Abdul Rahman. 274 pages. For further details, please see the scanned contents page. 

Expedition to Trengganu and Kelantan - Hugh Clifford  RM200

Originally reprinted by the Society in 1961. Clifford was once of the more experienced British colonial administrators in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His colonial career ended in 1929 after having been Governor of Nigeria, followed by Ceylon and then the Straits Settlements. This work was written in 1895 when he was based in Pahang and sent to Terengganu and Kelantan to suppress anti-British unrest. So the work contains some account of the military and political situation but is far more interesting for what it says about the socio-economic situation in these neglected parts of the Peninsula at a time when there was not much written on the subject. Although his observations can be seen to be what might be expected from a colonial officer, there is still much of value to be found when one discounts this subjective viewpoint. Very Good Paperback. Reprint 162 pages with four black and white plates and a map For further details, please see the scanned contents page. 

Kota-Kota Melayu - Abdul Halim Nasir  RM300

This book takes a look at a forgotten part of Malaysia's history - forts built mainly by Malay sultans to protect their territory before the advent of British rule in the country. The author spent ten years documenting what remains of 87 of  these structures throughout the country. Where he has been able to find historical information about his finds, it is included. Very Good Hardback in a Good Dust Jacket. First Edition. 249 pages with 24 map, about 200 colour photographs and an index. The book is written in Bahasa Malaysia. For further details, please see the scanned contents page

The Malay Peninsula: A Record of British Progress in the Middle East - Arnold Wright & Thomas H Reid RM700
Wright seemed to make his living advertising 'the permanent planting of the Union Jack' in various parts of the world. This book, originally published in 1912, is in many ways a follow up to his better known Twentieth Century Impressions of British Malaya, published at the turn of the century. The authors record the country's recent history and the advances made by British power in 'converting this No-Man's-Land of a few decades since into the home of one of the most thriving and contented communities owning the British sway.' The book has nothing to do to with what is today known as 'The Middle East.' Very Good Hardback. Second Impression. 360 pages with a fold out map, 51 black and white plates and an index.

Malaysia & Singapore - The 'Emergency'

Emergency Years. Malaya 1951-1954 - Leonard Rayner  RM120

These are the personal memoirs of a British civilian, employed at Malaya's only coal mine during the 'Emergency' period. The area of Batu Arang in Selangor was also a hot bed of Communism at the time, so his life was never dull. Very Good Paperback. First edition. 103 pages.

Malaysia & Singapore - Travellers' Tales

Glimpses into Life in Malayan Lands - John Turnbull Thomson  RM90

Turnbull 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. Good Paperback. Reprint. 332 pages. 

The Golden Chersonese - Isabella Bird RM50

A facsimile of the 1883 edition. Bird was anything but a casual visitor when she reached Malaya in 1879. She was a tough and experienced traveller in many parts of the world. She therefore had enough of a keen eye for the Malayans, their colonial masters and the environment to produce one of the more evocative accounts of the country in the late 19th century. Good Paperback. Reprint. 384 pages with an index, fold out maps of Perak and the peninsula and appendices of letters written by by Hugh Low and Frank Swettenham. With an introduction by Wang Gangwu


Musical Instruments of South-East Asia - Eric Taylor  RM50

Taylor, a Music Professor at the University of Durham at the time of writing this book, seeks to introduce the reader to the variety of Southeast Asian music by concentrating on the instruments played in the region. By emphasising each instrument's significance in the context of its musical function and the attendant history, beliefs and customs, he manages to avoid the more technical aspects of the art. Good Hardback. First edition. 84 pages with 16 coloured plates and a few other black and white ones For further details, please see the scanned contents page.


Wu Chu Chuan Wu Chi Chuan and Therapeutic Exercises - Mah Chai Soon  RM70

 In 1991 Professor Roland Werner together with the University of Malaya Press started their ambitious project to record  practices of healing prevalent in Malaysia in the Malay, Chinese, Indian and Indigenous  Cultures. This work on the role of Chinese martial arts in personal healing is the first of a planned eleven volumes for the Chinese section of the series.The exercises are explained by detailed written and graphic illustrations. The benefits of each exercise are also detailed. 336 pages.


Unbeaten Tracks in Islands of the Far East: Experiences of a Naturalist's Wife in the 1880s - Anna Forbes   RM50

Originally published in 1887, this is the account of the wife of the naturalist, Henry O Forbes, as she travelled with him, with enjoyment and in despair, through many parts of the Indonesian Archipelago towards the end of the 19th century. While she delighted in the social life of the Netherlands East Indies capital, Batavia (now Jakarta), she also had to endure bouts of fever and uncomfortable journeys to places that even today are difficult for the traveller to reach. Very Good Paperback. Reprint 305 pages


Philippine Emergency and Guerrilla Currency of World War II - Neil Shafer   RM400

A comprehensive list of currency issued by forces opposing the Japanese in the Philippines during World War II. The book also includes valuations at the date of publication and information on the volume of each note issued and, where applicable, where they were redeemed. Very Good Hardback in a Good Dust Jacket. First edition. 464 pages with black and white photographs of most of the notes and a bibliography


Patpong: Bangkok's Big Little Street - Alan Dawson  RM90

This book is not so much a guide to Bangkok's famed red light district, but a history of how the area was transformed from being a few fields into being a magnet for tourists to the city. In amongst a host of anecdotes, Dawson tells the extraordinary history of the area from before World War II until the date of publication. Very Good Paperback. First edition. 148 pages with several black and white and colour photographs. For further details, please see the scanned contents page.


Inside the VC and the NVA: The Real Story of North Vietnam's Armed Forces - Michael Lee Lanning & Dan Cragg  RM50

A US infantryman and a military historian join forces to explain how the North Vietnamese managed to overcome the superior firepower of the US and their allies to take over the whole of Vietnam. Fair Paperback. Reprint 392 pages


Tales of the South Pacific - James A Michener  RM50

Michener's award winning tales of a young wartime naval officer's adventures in the Pacific, Fair Paperback. Reprint. 351 pages. 

The Bookshop Book - Jen Campbell  RM60
A tour of bookshops in five continents with names from the humdrum to the quirky together with stories about them and those who frequent them." A love letter to bookshops all over the world", according to the publisher's blurb. New Hard Back in a Dust Jacket First Edition 274 pages with an index of bookshops and another one of people.