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Monday 10 December 2018

New Arrivals at The Penang Bookshelf in December 2018

New Arrivals at The Penang Bookshelf


December 2018

(Last Updated 31-12-18)

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

  • If you want any more information on any book, please click on the relevant link in blue
  • 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

 As gorgeous as it is, this book is not yet another coffee table book on Nyonya beadwork, the Straits Chinese equivalent of embroidery. Instead, in amidst a sumptuous colour illustrations of the best of such work, Cheah sets the craft within its social context. Amongst other things, she details the influences on styles and the effect of the craft on the position of women within the home and the community generally.    Near Fine Hardback in a Very Good Dust Jacket. The contents of the 384 pages include the following chapters - 1 - Approaching Nyonya Beadwork, 2 - The Changing Shape of Peranakan Society, 3 - Domesticated Daughters, Dutiful Wives: The Social Role of Nyonya Beadwork, 4 - Towards a Chronology of Nyonya Beadwork, 5 - Embroidering Culture: Early Nyonya Beadwork from 1870 to 1900, 6 - Crafting Identities: Tensions and Tradition in Nyonya Beadwork from 1900 to the 1970s, 7 - Tradition and the Peranakan Present and a glossary, bibliography and index. 
Phoenix Rising: Narratives In Nonya Beadwork From The Straits Settlements - Cheah Hwei-Fe'n  RM250
New Paperback

Malaysia & Singapore - Biography & Memoirs

This book is a a very personal account of the life of a prominent Ipoh lawyer who lived in Malaya from the late 1920s until his death in 1956. His two outstanding qualities were his contributions to poetry and literature and his ability to mix with people from all walks of life, backgrounds and races. He was also the founder and first president of the Badminton Association of Malaya.  The book traces his life from his early years in Dublin, through his practice and life in Ipoh, internment under the Japanese and the resumption of his Ipoh practice after the war. Good Hardback in a similar Dust Jacket. First edition 218 pages including appendices of his writings

Expedition to Trengganu and Kelantan - Hugh Clifford  RM200

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 Trengganu 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. Good Paperback 162 pages.For further details, please see the scanned contents page. 

The wife of the second Rajah of Sarawak gives her version of what it was like to be plucked from English society at the age of nineteen and deposited in one of the more strange outposts of British colonial endeavour. While she admires his work and policies, she found it difficult to bear his complete absence of a sense of humour. 308 pages with an index. 

Malaya's Grand Lady of Medicine: The Definitive Biography of Dr Soo Kim Lan - Jacquelyn Py Soo  RM70  SOLD

Malaysia & Singapore - Boats, Fishing & The Sea

The Pirate Wind: Tales of the Sea-Robbers of Malaya - Owen Rutter  RM120

This book provides an account of piracy in Malayan seas during the 18th and 19th centuries with accounts of the principal characters disrupting trade at the time. Eventually the pirates' ingenuity was no match for the might of British frigates who after a protracted struggle tamed the seas.A  292-page book including 18 picture illustrations and 5 maps

Malaysia & Singapore - Business, Economics & Labour

Malaysia@50: Economic Development, Distribution, Disparities - Jomo Kwame Sundaram & Wee Chong Hui  RM140

On the fiftieth anniversary of the country's independence, the authors assess how this unlikely conglomerate of regions has fared. They look at changes in development policy, what influenced those changes and how public policy has influenced and reacted to changes in economic distribution, public finance and economic federalism. They also take into account Government taxation policy on distribution and how the supposedly federal nature of the state has developed as well as looking at possible changes for the future. xvi and 198 pages with tables, figures, a bibliography and an index. New Hardback

The Architecture of Life and Death in Borneo - Robert L. Winzeler  RM120

Winzeler, one of the leading anthropologists to have devoted considerable study to the life of the indigenous people of Borneo, devotes this study to their buildings, both past and present. In the first section of the book he explains the traditional buildings, tools used and the social context in which they were set. In the second section he looks at what is left today either in its original or transformed state.  Please see scanned photos for a list of the chapters. 208 pages with a good selection of black and white photos.

The History of Wireless Telegraphy in British North Borneo - Uwe Aranas  RM170 SOLD, but more copies available

    The 19th century enterprise of The British North Borneo Company in present day Sabah was instigated mainly by investors in London, so communication between the headquarters and their staff on the ground was vital. In this book the author traces the history of telegraphic communication from the initial laying of cables through the forests to Labuan and then on to the Malay Peninsula. The story concludes with the restoration of communications in the immediate post World War II era. Aranas consulted archives in London and Sabah as well material held by Telefunken and others in Germany to produce this definitive history. New Hardback in a similar Dust Jacket. First edition. 254 pages

    The Old Kayan Religion and the Bungan Religious Reform - Lake' Baling  RM120 SOLD

    Vanishing World The Ibans of Borneo - Leigh Wright, Hedda Morrison & KF Wong  RM100

    Malaysia & Singapore - Chinese Community & Culture

    Culture, Identity & Foodways of the Terengganu Chinese - Tan Yao Sua & Kamarudin Ngah  RM50

    A study of the strains put on cultural identity in the midst of change. The Chinese community of Terengganu, with a history of more than two hundred years of settlement, are adapting to cope with two principal challenges, a growing Islamisation of society and a drain on community human resources, as the younger generation move to better paid jobs in Malaysia's cities and elsewhere. The authors, two sociologists, based their work on studies amongst the Terengganu community and compared their experiences with a similar community in nearby Kelantan. New Paperback. First edition. 130 pages. For further details, please see the scanned contents page.

    Histories, Cultures, Identities: Studies in Malaysian Chinese Worlds - Sharon A. Carstens RM60

    After more than 25 years studying the Chinese Malaysian community, Carstens has drawn together various elements of her published work in this wide ranging and informative book. All of the papers return to two principal questions - 1 - How has being Chinese shaped the responses of the community to a range of changes that have taken place since their first arrival? and 2 - How has this community's experience in Malaysia affected the way in which the community identifies itself as Chinese? 314 pages including an appendix with a media viewing questionnaire used in Carstens' research, 3 maps, 20 black and white illustrations, notes, a glossary, an index and a bibliography. Papers include - Chinese Culture and Polity in 19th century Malaya: The Case of Yap Ah Loy, From Myth to History: Yap Ah Aloy and the Heroic Past of Chinese Malaysians, Pulai, Hakka, Chinese, Malaysian: A Labyrinth of Cultural Identities, Form and Content in Malaysian Hakka Culture, Gender, Temple and Community in a Hakka Malaysian Settlement, Border Crossings: Hakka Chinese Lessons in Diasporic Identities, Dancing Lions and Disappearing History: The National Culture Debates and Chinese Malaysian Culture, Constructing Transnational Identities? Mass Media and the Malaysian Chinese Audience, What Does It Mean to be Chinese? Malaysian Chinese Identities in Motion. New Paperback Reprint
    Malaysia & Singapore - Chinese Community & Culture

    Malaysia & Singapore - Fiction

    A debut collection of short stories that are both 'heartfelt and sexy' by the fiction editor of Esquire (Singapore). The quirky prose seeks to make sense and fun of the Singapore of today. Now in its sixth printing!. 202 pages

    This is a supposedly true story of a Malay boy, rescued by an East India ship from the coast of Melaka. While a cabin boy on the ship, he saved the officers in a mutiny and was taken to London, where he was welcomed into a wealthy merchant's home and lived a wealth, 'virtues and charity' thereafter. The book was written for the edification of 'young persons.' Good Hardback First edition 143 pages

    The Wegwood Ladies Football Club and Other Stories - T. R. R. Raman  RM50

    A collection of short stories set in Malaysia. New Paperback. First edition. 191 pages. 

    Malaysia & Singapore - Language & Linguistics
    A Handbook of Malay Script - MB Lewis  RM220 

    Reputed still to be the best book for teaching oneself Jawi, the former Arabic based script used for the Malay language. The book was written before the 1972 spelling reforms for Rumi, the now standard Romanised spelling for the language. 192 pages with a small vocabulary. 

    Malaysia & Singapore - Literature
    Letters and Books of Sir Stamford Raffles and Lady Raffles: The Tang Holding Collection   RM200

    John Bastin, the world's leading expert on Raffles, through his commentary on this collection of letters, books and other personal effects of Sir Stamford and Lady Raffles, gives the reader an usual opportunity to get to know the personal side of a man whose life has generated so much myth. 480 pages with many illustrations For further details, please see the scanned contents page.

    The Oldest Known Malay Manuscript - Syed Al-Attas Muhammad Naquib  RM180

    Malaysia & Singapore - Malay Community & Culture
    Malay Proverbs: A Compilation of Proverbs and Proverbial Expressions, with Some 'Pantuns' and Riddles, Taken from Earlier Publications – ES Hose  RM490                                                                                                This is one of the earliest attempts to provide a comprehensive picture of a wide range of Malay proverbs and pantuns with proverbial connotations. As Hose states in his preface, almost all of the entries had been published before, mainly in the journals of the Straits Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society. Each entry, listed alphabetically, has a translation into English and sometimes some further comment. The book was intended for newly arrived expatriates in Malaya  and two pages of notes of a previous owner are laid in. Good Board Book. 174 pages.

    Muslims in Singapore: Piety, Politics and Policies - Kamaludeen Mohamed Nasir, Alexius A Pereira & Bryan S Turner  RM250

    The Malay Magician: Being Shaman, Saiva & Sufi - Richard Winstedt  RM150    SOLD
    The Malay Art of Self-Defense: Silat Seni Gayong - Sheikh Shamsuddin  RM130

    Silat, a Malay martial art, widely practiced since at least the seventh century, was generally suppressed by British, Dutch and Portuguese colonists and so has only recently seen a revival. This book is one of the few written in English to detail the practice of one particular branch of silat, i.e. gayong. The 247 page book which has numerous black and white photographs demonstrating the art has, amongst others chapters on Silat, its meaning and history; Gayong, its meaning and history, Gayong customs; Gayong Philosophy; Gayong Forms & Curriculum; Kebatinan - Spirituality; The Distinction of the Keris in Silat; Gayong Techniques; Training Centre Rules; Gayong from an American Perspective and a section of Hang Tuah, thought to be one of the earliest practitioners. Very Good Paperback 

    Winstedt, one of the foremost English scholars in Malay affairs at the end of the British colonial period, demonstrates his learning, in this very readable introduction to Malay culture, as he observed it on the peninsula, rather than in the Malay world as a whole. His broad sweep not only looks at culture in the mid-20th century, but also at its roots in Hinduism, animism and other influences prevalent before the arrival of Islam. In this 162 page book there are chapters on Origins, Migrations and Language, Beliefs and Religion, Social, Political, Legal and Economic Systems, Literature and Arts and Crafts and his predictions for the future. There is also a Bibliography.  Very Good First Edition. Paperback.   Please see the scan of the contents page for further details.     

    Originally published in 1953, this book was for many years the gardening bible for English readers in Malaya. Written by the former Director of the Botanic Gardens of Singapore and the most prolific author on Malayan botany in the first half of the 20th century, the book covers almost anything the Malayan gardener might want to know from flowering plants, trees and hedges to fruit, vegetables an diseases. Very Good Hardback in a Good Dust Jacket. Reprint. 323 pages with 18 black and white and 16 colour illustrations and an index.

    This book giving details of about 100 of the most attractive and easily found flowers claims to be the first one published on the subject in full colour. The author, an agronomy and horticultural academic, is particularly keen to see greater propagation of plants, so the book also contains information on propagation and maintenance.  171 pages whose contents include chapters on Flowering Trees, Ornamental Shrubs, Tropical Climbers, Orchids, Miscellaneous Plants, Propagation, Planting and Maintenance, Bibliography for Further Readings, Index to Common Names and Index to Botanical Names
    Malaysia & Singapore - Photography
    Malaysia & Singapore - Politics

    Malaysia & Singapore - Pre-Colonial History

    Indigenous Political Systems of Western Malaya - J.M Gullick   RM180

    The Singapore and Melaka Straits: Violence, Security and Diplomacy in the 17th Century - Peter Borschberg  RM70

    Borschberg is back in familiar territory again, the beginnings of the Dutch East Indies adventure. Here he traces the effect of the Dutch incursion on the waning Portuguese empire and the challenge of the Acehnese empire as they and others wrestle for control of the vital trade routes. His researches have enriched this work with much new information. New Paperback. Reprint 394 pages. Please see the scan of the contents page for further details

    Malaysia & Singapore - Pre-Independence History

    Anglo-Dutch Rivalry in the Malay World, 1780-1824 - Nicholas Tarling   RM300

    This book looks at the interactions between the Dutch, established in the Malay Archipelago for more than a century, and the British, beginning with their interference from the acquisition of Penang until the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824, which sought to bring some regulation to their rivalry. Tarling not only analyses the powers' actions on the ground, but also sets them within a wider global context of international diplomacy which often affected decision making in the colonies. First edition. 189 pages For further details, please see the scanned contents page. Very Good Hardback in a Good Dust Jacket. Signed by the Author with a dedication to Percival Spear, the late British historian.

    British Malaya - Frank Swettenham   RM330

    Swettenham, one of the architects of British Malaya, sets out in this book to show what the country was like before the British intervention in Malay affairs, how the intervention came about and what happened afterwards. Naturally, having been in the thick of it all, he feels that the British made a good job of their task. Here he argues why. Fair Hardback 354 pages. Chapters include I - The Outward Appearance of the British Possessions in the Straits of Malacca, II - Malacca - Early History, III -Pinang - Early History - Lord Minto's Expedition to Java, IV - Singapore - Sir Stamford Raffles, V - The Straits from 1825-67 - The Arrangements made to Settle the Claims of the Sultan and Temenggong in Regard to Johore, VI - The Straits from 1867-73 - Sir Harry Ord's Administration - Anarchy in the Malay States, VII - The Malay; His Customs, Prejudices, Arts ,Language and Literature, VIII - 1874 - Sir Andrew Clarke - British Intervention in the Affairs of the Western Malay States, IX - 1875-6 - Sir William Jervois - British Resident of Perak Assassinated - Punitive Expedition, X - The Evolution of the Residential System - Tin Mining - What the Malay States Owe to Chinese Labour and Enterprise - Roads- Railways, XI - The Continued Evolution of the Residential System - Revenue Farms - Education - Land Settlement - Irrigation - Rubber Cultivation - Currency - Pahang, XII - 1895-1907 - Federation and its Results, XIII - Concerning the Malay States which are not included in the Federation, XIV - How the Development of the Malay States has Affected the neighbouring British Colony and the Relations of both with the Colonial Office. There is a fold out colour map, 56 black and white photographs and an index

    More Old Singapore - Donald Davies  RM180

    This is a follow up to the author's Old Singapore, where his has collected a variety of portraits of the characters who came to the new British outpost to make their living and lay the foundations for a successful commercial hub for the area. Very Good Paperback. First Edition. 47 pages with several black and white plates. For further details, please see the scanned contents page.


    John Russell 1855-1930 : A Tale of Early Days in the Malay States - Peter Clague  RM150
    Russell, a printer with the prestigious London Illustrated News, was tempted by an offer from the British Government's Crown Agent to set up peninsula Malaya's first printing press in 1890. The result was the publication of the Selangor Journal, the State's first newspaper. Clague recounts Russell's life which gives interesting glimpses of some of the more colourful characters of the time as well as insights into how British entrepreneurship fitted into the developing colonial grip on the country. The book was published by one of Russell's descendants, who allowed the author access to family material. 215 pages. The book also has some black and white photographs of the time and a skeleton index.

    Malaysia & Singapore - Sports & Recreation

    Sports and Recreation: Where Fitness Fits In - Mohd Salleh Aman  RM50


    Bali's First People: The Untold Story - Richard Mann  RM120
    This is an account of what has been discovered about the history of Bali's inhabitants before the Hindu Majapahit period. Using existing sites and artifacts as a reference, the author explains the lives of the island's first settlers and explorers. Very Good Paperback. First edition. 236 pages with many colour pictures

    A collection of essays, previously published elsewhere, mainly on Indonesian history in the early 19th century together with a couple of essays on Western influence in the region. Very Good Hardback in a Good Dust Jacket. First edition. 202 pages . For further details, please see the scanned contents page. 

    Sukarno A Political Biography - John David Legge RM80                   Legge, a recognised authority on recent Indonesian history, traces Sukarno's remarkable rise to be Indonesia's most charismatic leader and an energetic force behind the Non-Aligned Movement of African, Asian and Latin American nations. The book concludes with the many years of tortuous political machinations that eventually lead to Sukarno's removal from power and death. Good Paperback. Reprint 431 pages. For further details, please see the scanned contents page.

    A Guide to The Orchids of Laos - Stephan Gale, Pankaj Kumar & Thatsaphone Phaxaysombath RM70

    A with many countries in Southeast Asia, Laos has suffered a tremendous loss to its tropical lowland and montane forest to meet the demand for timber, wildlife, agricultural products and mineral resources. Nevertheless 683 orchid species, at least 13% of the country's known flora, have been recorded there. In this book the authors introduce the reader to 125 native species with colour illustrations and the key morphological and ecological features that distinguish them. 212 pages. New Paperback. First edition.


    Arts and Crafts of Thailand - William Warren  RM90

    Both the author and the photographer, Luca Invernizzi Tettoni, as long term residents of Thailand, introduce the reader to the wide range of arts and crafts created  not only for everyday use in the village, but for ceremonial use in the palace and temple as well. New Paperback. Reprint. 160 pages with 230 illustrations of which 177 are in colour. For further details, please see the scanned contents page. 

    Thursday 1 November 2018

    New Arrivals at The Penang Bookshelf in November 2018

    New Arrivals at The Penang Bookshelf


    November 2018

    (Last Updated 28-11-18)

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

    • If you want any more information on any book, please click on the relevant link in blue
    • 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

    Malaysia & Singapore - Biography & Memoirs

    Malaysia & Singapore - Boats & Fishing


    Malaysia & Singapore - Business, Economics & Labour

    Malaysia & Singapore - Fiction

    Malaysia & Singapore - Indian Community and Culture


    Muar: Tributaries And Transitions - Ho Weng Hin & Others (eds)  RM150

    Malaysia & Singapore - Journalism & The Media


    Kelantan: Religion, Society and Politics in a Malay State - W.R. Roff (ed)  RM200

    Malaysia & Singapore - Language & Linguistics

    Malaysia & Singapore - Law & The Legal System
    Malaysia & Singapore - Literature
    Malaysia & Singapore - Magic & Popular Religion

    Malaysia & Singapore - Malay Community & Culture

    Malaysia & Singapore - Maritime, Boats & Fishing


    Historic Malacca Postcards - Wong Yun Chii  RM200

    Malaysia & Singapore - Nature & Wildlife

    Malaysia & Singapore - Numismatics

    Malaysia & Singapore - Orang Asli/Indigenous Peoples

    Malaysia & Singapore - Poetry
    Malaysia & Singapore - Pre-Independence History
    Malaysia & Singapore - Race Relations

    Malaysia & Singapore - World War II


    Islam and the Malay-Indonesian World: Transmission and Responses - Peter Riddell  RM60  SOLD



    Birds of Thailand - Roland Eve & Anne-Marie Guigue  RM110


    Karst and Caves of South Vietnam, Part 1: Provinces of Kien Gang, An Giang and Da Nang - Michael Laumanns (ed)  RM100


    The Muslim Community in Britain: An Historical Account - Muhammad Mumtaz Ali  RM200