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Friday 1 March 2019

New Arrivals at The Penang Bookshelf in March 2019

New Arrivals at The Penang Bookshelf


March 2019

(Last Updated 26-3-19)

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 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

Bersama Exhibition Catalogue - Bank Negara Malaysia RM200

An exhibition catalogue highlighting the work of a group of Indonesian and Malaysian artists who have drawn inspiration from their respective countries' cultures. Please see the scan of the back cover for the list of artists included. 101 pages with colour plates of forty works of art  New First Edition Hardback in a New Dust Jacket

Sabah Crafts - Jennifer P Linggi (ed)   RM400

A wide ranging review of current examples of Sabah handicraft products, both traditional and modern, in bamboo and rattan, textiles, beads and wood. Each example is illustrated by at least one colour photograph and, in most cases, some explanatory text. The editor was the Manager and Curator of the Sabah Art Gallery at the time of publication. New Paperback. First Edition. 207 pages.

Malaysia & Singapore - Biography & Memoirs

Six Years in the Malay Jungle - Carveth Wells   RM50

A no nonsense account of a young man's experiences as a surveyor for roads and railways in Kedah and Kelantan between 1913 and 1918. Wells was an entertaining and observant writer mixing stories of recipes for gin slings with lots of information on the flora and fauna, much of which he presumably had to clear out of his way to get his job done. Good Paperback Reprint 255 pages with a bibliography.


A Guide to Begonias of Borneo - Joffre Ali Ahmad, J. Sang, Rimi Repin, R. Kiew  RM200

It is not well known that Bornean forests are hosts to almost 200 species of begonia, all of which are endemic. 134 of them are illustrated here together with habitat and distribution information. A complete list of all the known Borneo begonias is also provided together with an extensive bibliography.New Hardback in a New Dust Jacket  304 pages 

British Territories in Borneo: Annual Report of the Geological Survey Department 1955 - FW Roe   RM220

On taking over responsibility for North Borneo, Sarawak and Brunei after the Japanese occupation, the British carried out various activities aimed at bringing the area into the modern age. One the these tasks was to complete a geological survey. This report marks the progress after six years of surveying when, among other things, the team produced the area's first regional geological map. Very Good Hardback in a Good Dust Jacket. First Edition. 241 pages. with various pull out maps, tables, graphs, 50 black and white photographs, a bibliography and an index.

Malaysia & Singapore - Business, Economics & Labour

The Company Director's Handbook - Ismail Noor & Others  RM80

In this book, jointly published with the Malaysian Institute of Directors, the new Malaysian company director is expected to find most of what s/he needs to cope with the formalities of life in the board room. New Hardback. First Edition. 66 pages.

Malaysia & Singapore - Cooking & Food

Know Your Seafood: A Comprehensive Fish & Shellfish Guide with Recipes - Lim Chuan Fong & Johnson Lee   RM200

Since there are few parts of Southeast Asia that are very far from the sea,  fish turn up in meals with considerable regularity. In this book the authors, a biologist specialising in sea life and a gourmand, conduct the reader through the wealth of seafood that is to be found in 'wet markets' in Malaysia, Singapore and elsewhere. Each fish is illustrated with a colour picture and is identified by both its Malay and scientific names. Where appropriate, a reference is also given to one of the 44 recipes in the book. New Paperback First Edition. 131 pages. For further details, please see the scanned contents page.

Malaysia & Singapore - Dance & Drama

Traditional Malay Theatre - Mohamed Ghose Nasuruddin   SOLD

Malaysia & Singapore - Environment, Nature & Wildlife

Rain Forest Collectors and Traders - FL Dunn  RM60

This book is a detailed study of Malaysian rain forest over a period of 10 years starting from May 1962. The author discusses Malayan rain forest,  prehistory archaeology, methodology, geographical heterogeneity and diversity, biotic and non-biotic resources, ethnoecology and lastly forest product collection and trade.Near Fine Paperback.Reprint 151 pages with list of tables and figures

Malaysia & Singapore - Fiction

Malay Woman - AS Fleischman   RM150

Jack, on the run from "Inspector Kris' in Sumatra for a murder he didn't commit, manages to bluff his way into a Malaya seething with terrorists and beautiful, but dangerous, women. A racy pulp novel set in the Malayan 'Emergency.' Good Paperback. First Printing 155 pages.

PJ Confidential - Terence Toh (ed)   RM50

A collection of short stories inspired by Petaling Jaya, one of Kuala Lumpur's principal satellite towns. New Paperback. First Edition 316 pages. For further contributors' details, please see the scanned back cover.

Malaysia & Singapore - Guide Books

Handbook to British Malaya - RL German   RM400

From the 1920s onwards the British colonial publicity machine was keen to extoll the triumphs of British administration in prewar Malaya. It would appear this is the last of several editions that were published before the Japanese invasion of Malaya. With lots of statistics and black and white photos as well as informative text. Very Good Hardback .201 pages. There is a 1937 map of Malaya in an inside pocket on the back cover and a further fold out geological map of the same date bound into the volume. Please see the scan of the contents page for further details

Papineau's Guide to Singapore and Spotlight on Malaya - Aristide Papineau   RM400

A colourful guide to Singapore during the Malayan 'Emergency'. The book is undated but from the topical information inside, it would appear to have been published in about 1954. The book is packed with information on the island's history, culture, hotels and commercial institutions mainly for the benefit of tourists. There are three pull out maps of the city  and many pages of period advertisements. 192 pages including a perfunctory 15 pages devoted to Malaya and a 43 page list of all the roads of Singapore and their corresponding postal districts . There are two black and white post cards of Singapore dated 1954 laid in the book Good Paperback

Malaysia & Singapore - History

The Development of British Malaya 1896-1909 - Chai Hon-Chan   RM140

In this book the author examines how various aspects of British policy, whether they be constitutional, economic, political, administrative or social, affected the Federated Malay States, i.e. Perak, Selangor, Pahang and Negeri Sembilan. He seeks to show how, when these disparate strands and how they interacted with each other are studied, one acquires a more holistic picture of the foundations of the country known as Malaysia today. Very Good Hardback. First Edition. 364 pages with a bibliography, index and five maps.

The Story of Malaya and Singapore - Joanna Moore & Phyllis Mackenzie RM140

A readable account of the Malay peninsula's history from the earliest times until Malayan independence intended for primary school children. The book not only outlines the major events but includes anecdotes about some of the major characters. There are line drawings by Phyllis Mackenzie on almost every page. Very Good Paperback. First Edition. 265 pages.

Malaysia & Singapore - Language & Linguistics

Malay for Mems - Maye Wood     RM200

A handbook for the newly arrived European housewife in Malaya. As the book says "There is practically no Grammar in "kitchen" Malay. It is mostly a matter of stringing words together, following the same order as English." As with most such books, their main purpose is to get the housework done, rather than to make casual conversation. Good Paperback Fifth edition. 43 pages.

Traveller's Malay Pronouncing Hand-Book – Fraser & Neave    RM220

This was one of the first books published for the ordinary Brit, who was not a scholar, to enable her/him to deal with "servants and other persons" in Malay.  Its unique feature was to attempt to transliterate Malay into some sort of a phonetic system that could be more easily grasped by the native English speaker. The phrase book has four columns for the English phrase, the translation into the Rumi script, the phonetic version and a blank column for notes. Good Paperback. Sixth Edition  317 pages with another 26 page index to words used in the text.

Malaysia & Singapore - Literature

A History of Classical Malay Literature - Richard Winstedt  RM200

This book looks at 13 different aspects of classical Malay literature including the Hindu period, the Javanese element, Muslims legends, poetry and Malay histories. The book ends with a synopsis of of twelve of the best known pieces of Malay Literature. This 323 page book  includes a bibliography and an index. Very Good Paperback. Reprint of the 1972 

Malaysia & Singapore - Malay Community and Culture

Adat Laws in Modern Malaya - MB Hooker  RM220

Unlike other colonisers, the British very often tried to fit their system of government into existing customary law. In Malaya the principal customary law was known as adat and applied to Malays only. In this book the author looks at how adat law had been adapted by the end of British rule in the country and how it affected the peasant social structure. Very Good Paperback. Reprint. Originally published in 1972. 294 pages with maps, cases, statutes, a bibliography and an index.

Readings in Malay Adat Laws - MB Hooker   RM450

Adat, or customary Malay law, has been codified widely throughout the Malay Archipelago over the centuries. This work gathers together writings by RJ Wilkinson on Malay Law generally and on the 99 Laws of Perak, JR Logan on the laws of Johor, EN Taylor on the law of Rembau and Inheritance Law in Negeri Sembilan, WE Maxwell on land tenure together with chapters on Negeri Sembilan Marriage Law and Harta Sapencharian,  in an attempt to better understand the core tenets of adat. There is also a bibliography of adat cases and an index. Very Good Hardback. First Edition  478 pages.

Malaysia - Orang Asli/Indigenous Peoples

The Peoples of Malaysia - Fay-Cooper Cole  RM50

In this book, Cole, an anthropologist from the University of Chicago, sets himself a large task, i.e. to describe the history, manners and customs of the Phillipines, present day Indonesia and Malaysia and some of the Pacific Islands. He confines himself to people of Malayic or pre-Malayic origin. The purpose of the book was to inform colonial decision makers in the immediate post World War II era as they weighed up their future. 354 pages including chapters on Prehistory of Malaysia and the Adjacent Mainland, Historical Review, The Pygmies, The Sakai, The Malay of the Peninsula, The Phillipines, Borneo, Bali, Java, Sumatra & Nias. There are about 40 illustrations and maps, three appendices on Tribal Maps, Physical Types and a Distribution Chart of Cultural Traits respectively as well as a bibliography and index. Fair First Edition Hardback


Pahang, 1880-1933: A Political History - Aruna Gopinath   RM450

This study concentrates mainly on the reign of Wan Ahmad who gradually managed to free the state from its traditional ties with the Melaka sultanate. This independence was short lived since shortly after it had been achieved, the British stepped up their encroachment on the peninsula. The book ends with a brief look at Sultan Ahmad's successors between 1915 and 1933. 262 pages. For further details, please see the scanned contents page. Very Good Hardback. 2nd Impression.


Jawi Peranakan di Pulau Pinang: Ekpresi Sebuah Identiti - Omar Yusoff & Jamaluddin Aziz (eds)   RM60

Jawi Peranakan adalah sebuah masyarakat yang sudah sekian lama terbentuk di Pulau Pinang, iaitu pada sektiar tahun 1700.  Buku ini sangat menarik untuk dibaca oleh semua lapisan masyarakat, kerana ia bukan sahaja membicarakan tentang asal usul pembentukan Jawi Peranakan, tetapi juga membicarakan tentang sumbangan Jawi Peranakan dalam pembangunan masyarakat Melayu di Pulau Pinang. New First Edition Paperback. 164 pages  with an index.

The Connection Phuket, Penang, and Adelaide - Ian Morson   RM200

Morson's account of the Light family, Francis and his son William, takes us from Phuket, Francis Light's base before taking over Penang, to Adelaide, founded by William. Near Fine Hardback in a Near Fine Dust Jacket. First Edition. 126 pages with some colour photos. Please see the scan of the contents page for further details. 

The Penang House and the Straits Architect, 1887-1941 - Jon Sun Hock Lim  RM220

A Penang born architect, having spent three decades lecturing at the National University of Singapore's School of Architecture, in this book presents his working life's work, i.e. a detailed study of the domestic architecture of the wealthy during the heyday of its colonial period. His informed text is supported by a wealth of current and historic photographs and building plans. 186 pages Please see the scan of the contents page for further details.


The Rise and Fall of Basha Felika: Captain Speedy, His Life and Times - Jean Southon & Robert Harper    RM180

An affectionate biography of one Britain's lesser known adventurers of the 19th century. Born in India, he just happened to turn up in  Abyssinia (Ethiopia), New Zealand and Malaya at important times in their history. In the case of each country he was at the centre of attempts to extend British influence. In Abyssinia and New Zealand he was decorated for his military activities and in Malaya he organised a force to put down disturbances in Larut, where he later became the British representative. He was also responsible for the naming of Taiping, a Malayan tin mining centre. First Edition Paperback Good. 274 pages For further details, please see the scanned contents page

Malaysia & Singapore - Poetry

Pulau Pinang ialah di antara pusat pantun multibudaya yang terpenting. Buku ini mengumpul bait-bait yang cemerlang daripada khazanah lisan dan juga tulisan negeri ini.  New Reprint Paperback. 297 pages For further details, please see the scanned contents page. 

Kuntum biru kembang lestari dipetik dari taman renungan dan fikiran sasterawan negara Muhammad Haji Salleh yang paling rimbun. Karya-karya yang memantau tamadun dan masalah zaman ini diukir dalam bahasa halus, padat dan menyentuh pusat kewujudan manusia mutakhir. Rentang pengalamannya luas - dari Pulau Pinang ke Semporna, dari New Zealand ke Tahiti dan Samoa, kerana kepada beliau inilah satu-satunya dunia yang dikongsi bersama, dan harus dijaga bersama  New First Edition Paperback. 141 pages .

Layarkan Kapal Dalam Embun: Sepilihan Pantun Minangkabau - Muhammad Haji Salleh & Ivan Adilla (eds)   RM50

Pantun Minangkabau ini menyediakan sebuah transkripsi dialek Minangkabau baku dan sebuah transkripsi bahasa Indonesia/Malaysia baku. Pantun ini menjadi alat pendidikan tradisional di kampung-kampung dan digunakan untuk semus keadaan. Dalam kumpulan van Ophuijsen ini kita menemukan berbagai-bagai bentuk pantun; dari 2 hinggalah 20 dan 22 baris, di samping beberapa pantun berkait. New First Edition Paperback. 239 pages  with an index.

Buku ini mengumpul untaian daripada bakat pemantun terkenal Abdul Halim R , yang sudah menyerikan dunia pantun tidak kurang daripada 40 tahun. New First Edition Hardback in a New Dust Jacket. 465 pages For further details, please see the scanned contents page

Buku ini mengumpul untaian untaian pantun tradisional daripada khazanah lisan Kedah, sebagai contoh kepada suatu warisan yang tua dan langka New First Edition Paperback. 411 pages For further details, please see the scanned contents page.

Malaysia & Singapore - Postal History

Japanese Occupation Postmarks of Malaya - Patrick Kearney    RM250

This work is the result of the author's attempt to collect at least one postmark from every post office in Malaya between 1942 and 1945. In the case of each post office there are tracings of postmarks at the time of the invasion together with further examples of how they changed as the occupation took hold. Each mark is annotated and there are many black and white photographic examples. Very Good First Edition Hardback in a Very Good Dust Jacket. 118 pages. For further details, please see the scanned contents page.

Malaysia & Singapore - Race Relations

The Myth of the Lazy Native - Syed Hussein Alatas    RM350

The classic and withering exposition of a myth that was used time and time again by colonial powers to justify their rule. The myth has the simple premise that 'the natives' do not behave and think like we do, so they need help - from outsiders. Alatas looks briefly at the image of Malays held by outsiders and then in more depth at how it was transformed into being the raison d'ĂȘtre of colonial rule. Very Good Hardback in a Good Dust Jacket. First Edition 267 pages. Please see the scan of the contents page for further details.


Papers Relating to Trengganu - MC ff Sheppard, AH Hill & CA Gibson-Hill   RM160

Published as Volume XXII, part 3, June 1949 of the Journal of the Malayan Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society. 125 pages. Please see the scan of the contents page for further details. Very Good First Edition Paperback

Malaysia & Singapore - The 'Emergency'

Guerrilla Communism in Malaya - Lucian W Pye  RM120

Having just got rid of one threat to their interests at the end of World War II, the West was a bit taken aback to be confronted with another one - guerrilla Communism. Soldiers fought it and academics puzzled over its significance. This book is the result of several months of interviews with ex-Communists, by the author, a US academic to try to find out what on earth made the Commies tick. Very Good Hardback. Second Printing 369 pages with an index.


At Home in Asia: Expatriates in Southeast Asia and Their Stories - Harold Stephens  RM50

After twenty five years as a travel writer, the author turns to interviewing a wide range of expatriates who have lived for some years in Asia and made it their home. The biographical sketches of a dozen or so artists, entrepreneurs and others reveal common themes that explain why each of them set down new roots far from where they were born. Very Good Paperback. 317 pages. For further details, please see the scanned contents page. 

Classical Dance and Theatre in South-East Asia - Jukka O. Miettinen   RM370

A well illustrated introduction to the wide variety of classical theatre and dance still thriving when the book was written as well traditions which were disappearing. The book also includes the puppet theatre traditions from various parts of the region as well as the dance and theatre traditions of the Chinese diaspora. First Edition Fine Hardback in a Fine Dust Jacket. 175 pages. For further details, please see the scanned contents page. 

Growing Carnivorous Plants in the Tropics - Cindy Chiang Lih Pyng   RM80

Although the Venus Fly Trap might be the best known carnivorous plant, it is not a native of Southeast Asia, where most of such plants are pitcher plants or Nepenthes. Nevertheless in this book the author, an experienced moderator of internet forums on the subject, provides masses of useful information as to how a whole range of these plants can be cultivated both indoors, on balconies or in gardens. New Paperback First edition. 115 pages with many colour photographs and an index.

East Timor

Three Centuries of Conflict in East Timor - Douglas Kammen   RM70

A depressing, but instructive, account of how violence just kept on returning to the small district of Maubara, East Timor, as the Dutch, Portuguese, Japanese and Indonesians refused to leave them alone. New Paperback Reprint. 231 pages. For further details, please see the scanned contents page.