Blog Archive

Tuesday 1 February 2022


New Arrivals at The Penang Bookshelf


February 2022

(Last Updated 01-2-2022)

  • 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 orders under 2 kg to Singapore.

Malaysia & Singapore - Arts & Crafts

An authoritative review of the production and variety of batik sarongs in Malaysia. The authors both have long careers in promoting handicrafts and fashion design. The examples of sarongs chosen for this book range from the 1970s when handmade batik waxing reached its peak to more contemporary examples. New Hardback. 190 pages with many colour photographs, a bibliography and an index.

Malaysia & Singapore - Business, Economics & Labour

A lay person's introduction to the production of tin and its uses with photographs of tin mining in Malaysia. Good Paperback. First Edition. 64 pages. 

Malaysia & Singapore - Constitution, Laws & Legal System

The joint author of one of the standard works on the Malaysian constitution looks at the constitution's history from the formation of the Federation of Malaya onwards. He lays particular emphasis on the constitutional crisis of 1983, threats to the judiciary and the battle over royal immunity. Very Good Hardback in a Very Good Dust Jacket Hardback. First Edition 155 pages.


Malaysia & Singapore - Environment, Nature & Wildlife

A guide to the park, along the middle reaches of the Rajang River, Sarawak. The park of approximately 2,000 hectares was only given protected status about ten years prior to publication. The work is based on the results of a joint Universiti Malaysia Sarawak and Sarawak Energy Berhad project to provide information on key groups of plants and animals in this area of of pristine and old secondary forests. New Paperback. First Edition. 83 pages with numerous colour photographs. 

Rimba Herba Perlis is a herbal forest established by the Forestry Department Peninsular Malaysia. The contributors to this book highlight 25 species of medicinal plants in the forest. The plants each are described with a colour photograph and scientific information relating to their medicinal and other uses. New Hardback. First Edition. 150 pages with an index. 

Malaysia & Singapore - Fiction

One of Singapore's leading novelists tells the story of a respected Chinese patriarch who comes across a village group acting out a comic song and dance act based on gossip about him. One of their number, Silver Frond, catches his attention and an unusual relationship develops. New Paperback. Reprint. 438 pages. 


Possibly the first novel of a novelist who was fairly prolific in the the 1950s and 1960s. The book is in the Jawi script. Good Paperback. First Edition. 68 pages. 

A Malay novel. The text is in the Jawi script. Good Paperback. 69 pages. 

A novel from one of the more prolific writers of the 1940s and 1950s. The book is in the Jawi script. Good Paperback. 95 pages. 

A Malay novel about how villagers were adjusting themselves to the changes the country experienced following independence. Very Good Paperback. 252 pages. 

Malaysia & Singapore - History (Pre 18th Century)

Brown, a specialist in trade ceramics and Sjostrand, a naval architect and diver, both experts in their fields collaborated to produce this catalogue to an exhibition of 14th to 19th century ceramics found in shipwrecks off Malaysia. The book not only includes information about the finds, but also includes essays on ancient shipping, Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese trade ceramics as well as information on about a dozen wrecks which have been excavated. New Hardback in a New Dust Jacket. 75 pages of text and approximately 120 colour plates of the exhibits and a bibliography. 

Tamadun Prasejarah Malaysia/Prehistoric Civilization of Malaysia - Adi Haji Taha (ed)  RM300

The contributors to this book describe the archaeological work that has been carried out in Malaysia into the prehistoric conditions and communities in the country. This is done by highlighting various items in Malaysia's National Museum in terms of the known ecological and historical situation known to be prevailing at the time. The book covers the Permian, Prehistoric and Proto Historic Eras. The text is in Bahasa Malaysia and English. New Hardback in a New Dust Jacket. Second Edition. Originally published in 2011 131 pages with many colour photographs. 

Archaeology of Ulu Kelantan - Adi Haji Taha  RM150

Ulu Kelantan is an area drained by several rivers featuring limestone caves and underground streams where evidence of early human habitation has been found. This book describes excavations that have found signs of ancestors of Malaysia's indigenous people, the Orang Asli, religious sites from Srivijayan times and signs of Hoabinhian occupation. Details of two particular excavations at Gua Chawas and Gua Peraling are highlighted. Near Fine Paperback. First Edition. 277 pages with figures, tables, black and white and colour plates and an index. 

There is little or no evidence of glassware produced in Southeast Asia prior to the 16th century, yet thousands of glass shards predating this period have been found all over the region. One of the most extensively excavated sites such examples have been unearthed is at Lembah Bujang, in the state of Kedah, Malaysia. The contributors to this book describe several of the items now housed at the Archeological Museum at the site with photographs, technical information and details of the provenance of several pieces indicating direct or indirect contact with the Mediterranean to the East and China to the East. Near Fine Paperback. First Edition with figures, tables, an index and several colour plates and line drawings. 203 pages

Malaysia & Singapore - History (20th Century)

A nostalgic look at everyday items  including photographs, food dining accessories, toys, clothes and home decor and furnishings from the immediate post war years in Singapore. The book highlights the collection at the National Museum of Singapore. New Hardback. First Edition. 192 pages.

Malaysia & Singapore - Literature

Six essays of criticism on Malay culture and literature, both in Indonesia and Malaya. The text is in Malay. Good Paperback. First Edition. 93 pages. 

Malaysia & Singapore - Minorities

Singapore's economy, like those of many countries in Asia and the Middle East, is highly dependant on cheap immigrant labour. Here we have an account of an immigrant's life during his ten years in Singapore. His home sickness obviously shows, but at the same time he has no axe to grind against either his home or host country. With emotion, but without self-absorption, he gives voice to the feelings of so many that are seldom heard in this arresting way. New Paperback. Reprint. Originally published in 2017. 176 pages. 

The Chitties are the descendants of Indian traders who from the 14th century onwards settled in Melaka intermarrying with the host community. This book explores the unique history and customs of this community which have maintained their distinct language, food and religious beliefs to this day. New Paperback.  243 pages with a bibliography. 

Malaysia & Singapore - World War II

Although the book mainly has its focus on The Battle of Kampar, which the author witnessed as a 12 year old boy, it also serves as one of the more useful records of British and Japanese military action from the Japanese invasion of Malaya to the fall of Singapore. Seven years of research have produced a detailed, factual and fairly dispassionate account of how the two armies tussled their way through the peninsula before one of Britain's greatest military defeats. New Paperback Revised Edition xxii and 389 pages with an index, several maps and some black and white photographs. 


An English translation by JH Jackson of this classic Chinese novel  with an introduction by Edwin Lowe  Near Fine Paperback 798 pages. 

Sri Lanka

Gregory came to Ceylon after a mainly political career in the UK. This book describes his governorship at a time when British rule was being consolidated following on from Hercules Robinson who had overseen the establishment of local government, the building of the island's first railway and various other improvements. Good Paperback in a Good Dust Jacket. First Edition. 188 pages.