Blog Archive

Saturday 2 May 2020

New Arrivals at The Penang Bookshelf in May 2020

New Arrivals at The Penang Bookshelf


May 2020

(Last Updated 13-5-20)

  • 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 - Agriculture

A handbook setting out the range of ICI (Malaya) products available for zapping just about any pest that might enjoy your plants and for encouraging the growth of bright gleaming products of the soil. The book is intended for commercial planters with sections on soils, weeds, insect control, spraying and lots of other chemical applications. The information is in a ring binder and unpaginated but probably runs to at least 250 pages with other information leaflets laid in. Good Hardback. First  Revised Edition. Originally published in 1955


Keling of the Raised World - Jimmy Donald  RM70

The retelling of an Iban folk tale where Keling of the Raised World, the land between heaven and earth, courts Kuman, the Goddess of Beauty. Near Fine First Edition. Paperback. 162 pages with some line drawings. 

Sarawak Historical Events 1963 - Ho Ah Chon  RM120

Ho Ah Chon specialised in recording the 20th century history of Sarawak by republishing local newspaper reports of the time. Here he presents extracts from Sarawak by the Week for the year 1963. There was plenty going on as it was the year the territory became part of Malaysia. The text is accompanied by numerous black and white photographs. Near Fine Paperback First Edition. 151 pages.

Malaysia & Singapore - Business Economics & Labour

The Malaysia-Indonesia Remittance Corridor: Making Formal Transfers the Best Option for Women and Undocumented Migrants - World Bank  RM50

Much of Malaysia's economy is supported by migrant workers, particularly women, whose primary purpose is to remit money home to support their families. In this paper the World Bank team note how at the time of publication, many of these migrant workers, because they are in Malaysia illegally, relied on informal, rather than formal, means of remitting funds. While this preferred method offered less red tape, it was also less secure. The team sets out proposals for the formal sector to make it more attractive to expatriate workers in future. Very Good Paperback. First Edition 97 pages with a bibliography, tables and figures . 

Malaysia & Singapore - Cinema, Dance, Music & Drama

Bangsawan A Social and Stylistic History of Popular Malay Opera - Tan Sooi Beng  RM60

This study demonstrates what happens when a government decides to take over a popular adaptive and developing art form and ossify it so as to fit in with the government's message. Tan, one of Malaysia's leading musicologists, describes the evolution of bangsawan, the most popular form of multi ethnic entertainment in Malaya before the arrival of cinema, and how it was, from the 1970s onwards, transformed into a 'traditional' Malay theatre. 261 pages with a bibliography, index, some black and white plates and musical scores. Good Paperback. Reprint. First published in 1993. 

Malaysia & Singapore - Environment, Nature & Wildlife

The Tigers of Trengganu - A Locke   RM60

Originally published in the 1950s, this is a District Officer's account not only of his experiences in hunting tigers, but also one of the most readable works on the Malayan tiger as well. For Locke, rather than being a trophy hunter, was a conservationist, as keen to protect the rural population in his charge as the tigers and their threatened environment. 187 pages. Please see the scan of the contents page for further details.Near Fine Paperback. Reprint 

Malaysia & Singapore - Fiction

A collection of short stories centred around the lives of babas, the males of the Peranakan species, a Southeast Asian community descended from intermarriage between Chinese settlers and their host communities. The stories represent a change for the author, her previous collections having been about nonyas, babas' sisters, wives and daughters. New Paperback. First Edition. 188 pages with several colour and black and white photographs of the community and their artifacts.

The Rape of Martha Teoh and Other Chilling Stories - Tunku Halim  RM50

As the publisher's blurb says, " a collection of twelve tales to chill your blood and blacken your soul" from one of Malaysia's leading narrators of the creepy story. Please see the scan of the contents page for further details.

Malaysia & Singapore - Gender

Reason and Passion: Representations of Gender in a Malay Society - M. Peletz  RM70

Peletz discusses the history and ethnography of gender relations in a Malay society in Negeri Sembilan. He analyses the different ways of heavily gendered symbols of ‘reason’ and ‘passion’  that are set up by Malay Muslims. He also explains the cultural and political processes implicated in the constitution of feminine and masculine identity. Peletz’s study is historical and comparative. A valuable book that presents an interesting model for the analysis of gender and culture. Good Paperback  402 pages with notes, bibliography and index

Spirits of Resistance and Capitalist Discipline: Factory Women in Malaysia - Aihwa Ong  RM50

This book is an analysis of how Malay women from a agricultural district of Selangor coped with the demands of working in a Japanese factory. The transition form village to a regimented system provoked many disruptions and conflicts, which are are not surprising as a result of the author's application of history, ethnography and quantitative analysis, which demonstrate the particular pressures faced by village women when they come up against corporate culture and capitalist discipline. Very Good Paperback. 268 pages with a bibliography and an index.

Malaysia & Singapore - Health & Medicine

Nature and Traditional Healing - Darlina Md Naim & Others (Eds)  RM80

A collection of seven articles on traditional Malay healing methods based on the therapeutic use of plants, animals and minerals. New Paperback. First Edition. 67 pages with an index.

Malaysia & Singapore - History

British Malaya - Frank Swettenham   RM550

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. Very Good Hardback  Reprint  Originally published in 1906\

The Singapore Story: From Raffles to Lee Kuan Yew - Noel Barber  RM120

Barber, the author of two bestsellers about the Malaya and Singapore of the 1940s and 1950s, Sinister Twilight and The War of the Running Dogs, turns his hand in this book to producing a complete popular history of the city state. 224 pages. Please see the scan of the contents page for further details. Good Paperback. First Edition 

Malaysia & Singapore - Malay Community & Culture

Melayu, Nasionalisme Radikal dan Pembinaan Bangsa - Ahmat Adam  RM60

Buku ini menghimpun kan beberapa esei yang ditulis berdasarkan penyelidikan, untuk cuba membicarakan sejarah asal-usul bangsa Melayu dalam konteks gugusan kepulauan Melayu, pembentukan jati diri, dan kaitannya dengan gagasan” kemelayuan”, serta kesedaran kebangsaan yang lahir sebelum Perang Dunia Kedua akibat sentuhan pengaruh dari seberang Selat Melaka. New Paperback. First Edition 200 pages with a bibliography and an index

Perkahwinan Melayu - Amran Kasimin  RM150

A description of the preparations for and conduct of a traditional Malay wedding. The author also explains the historical reasons behind various aspects of the process. Very Good Hardback in a Near Fine Dust Jacket. First Edition. 95 pages with many colour photographs and a bibliography. 

Malaysia & Singapore - Media & Journalism

The Straits Times Annual for 1962  RM400

A glossy reminder of life in Malaya just after independence and just before the formation of the state of Malaysia. With numerous black and white and colour photos, 80 pages of articles by well known writers of the time and 40 pages of advertisements.  Please see scanned photo of the contents page for a list of the chapters

The Straits Times Annual of 1967 - Eric Jennings (ed)   RM200

Although Malaysia and Singapore had been two separate countries for a couple of years when this magazine was published, it would be difficult to tell on reading the contents, most of which deal with Malaysian life and countryside. Many of the articles were written by distinguished contributors in including Tom Harrisson, Gerald Hawkins, Ivan Polunin,  Mubin Sheppard, Frank Sullivan and Wang Gungwu.  148 pages including many colour and black and white photographs and advertisements of the time Very Good Magazine. First Edition


Architecture and Heritage Buildings in George Town Penang - Ahmad Sanusi Hassan & Shaiful Rizal Che Yahya  RM120

A review of some of the main architectural sites and styles to be found in George Town, the capital of Penang. The authors are architects, so provide some professional insights into the design and construction of a range of commercial,domestic, educational, government and religious buildings. New Paperback. First Edition. 160 pages with colour photographic illustrations of the buildings and some line drawings.

Malaysia & Singapore - Race Relations

Race Relations in Malaysia - Wan Hashim  RM120

A Malaysian academic reviews the history of race relations in the country from the beginning of the 20th century onwards. Good Paperback. First Edition. 127 pages with a bibliography and an index. 


A handy pocket guide to primates throughout most parts of Asia. New Paperback. First Edition. 176 pages. For further details, please see the scanned contents page. 

Buddhist Pilgrim-Monks as Agents of Cultural and Artistic Transmission: International Buddhist Art Style in East Asia, ca. 645-770 - Dorothy C Wong  RM200

Buddhist Pilgrim-Monks have provided us with some of the earliest written records of societies throughout Asia. In this book the author demonstrates their influence in encouraging the development of an art style that emerged in China, Japan and Korea in the mid seventh century and lasted for about a century. The common theme was the idealisation of Buddhist kingship and statecraft resulting in a cosmopolitan art form that characterised Northeast Asia at the time. New Hardback in a New Dust Jacket. First Edition. 354 pages with many black and white and colour photographs, maps and tables. For further details, please see the scanned contents page.  


Machinery Markets of the Netherlands East Indies - JF van Wickel   RM100

This pamphlet was published at a time when the export from the United Sates to the Netherlands East Indies of industrial machinery had almost tripled in value between 1923 and 1925. So the pamphlet, written by the US Trade Commissioner in Batavia, was designed to give potential US exporters background information on the economy by providing a range of economic statistics of the Netherlands East Indies. Good Paperback. 43 pages with many tables.