Sunday, August 2, 2009

Nature in Southeast Asia

Books on nature in Southeast Asia is another area in which Select Books has slowly established a niche in. We were approached by National Parks to help to manage the books gift section in the 2008 Singapore Garden Festival. It was a good experience for us, and we've gone on to establish a respectable collection of book on nature and gardening. Here is a list of our popular books on nature in Southeast Asia:
  • Raffles' Ark Redrawn: Natural History Drawings from the Collection of Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles by H.J. Noltie. An illustrated catalogue of the 123 colourful natural history drawings of the Raffles Family Collection, acquired by the British Library in 2007. In February 1824, Sir Stamford Raffles and his wife Sophia set sail for Britain on the Fame, with the collections made during his years of the Indonesian island of Sumatra. These included two to three thousand drawings, priceless Malay manuscripts and living animals, including a tiger specially tamed for the trip. Tragically the ship caught fire with the loss of all the collections. During the next ten weeks until the next boat sailed, a Chinese and a French artist managed to replace about 80 of the drawings that, with earlier drawings, including some made on the Malaysian island of Penang for the East India Company surgeon William Hunter, form the core of the collection.
  • Private Lives: An Exposé Of Singapore's Mangroves edited by Peter Ng and Wang Luan Keng et al. The immense ecological importance of mangroves is increasingly being recognised by planners but perhaps not by the general public. Singapore has already lost 90% of its mangroves. Scientists and photographers have worked together in this study of the inhabitants of the remaining 10%. The need for replanting and diversity of endurance of the many inhabitants of the mangroves is made clear. The many parts they play in the maintenance of ecological health even in today's largely urban situations are highlighted. With colour photographs, scientific identification data, bibliography and index.
  • Pitcher Plants of Borneo by Anthea Phillipps; Anthony Lamb and Chien C Lee. All the 36 species of pitcher plants currently known from Borneo are covered in this lavishly illustrated second edition. There are detailed accounts of each species, written in an accessible style and including quotes from the works of old explorers and collectors. The non-scientific but informative style of the first edition, published in 1996, has been maintained, whilst new species have been added, and information and taxonomy updated. With excellent colour photographs, references and index.
  • Brighten Your Life With Orchids: A Beginner's Guide to Growing Orchids in the Tropics by Eric Simon. A former officer of the Selangor Agriculture Department, Eric Simon is these days a horticulture consultant and an orchid show judge. He has more than 40 years of experience with orchids under his belt. In this fully illustrated handbook, he gives orchid fanciers a chance to successfully grow their own vandas, dendobriums, cattleyas, phalaenopsis, oncidiums and terrestrials. He offers instructions and advice in layman language on orchid type, growing conditions, propagation methods, fertilizers, potting, pests, and other crucial factors for getting the best out of orchids in a tropical climate.
  • A Photographic Guide to Birds of Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore by G. Davison and Chew Yen Fook. The forests and coastline of Peninsula Malaysia and Singapore are home to a fantastic and vast array of birds, and offer many outstanding and easily accessible birdwatching locations. This text is a compact, easy-to-use bird identification guide designed to suit any birdwatcher visiting Malaysia and Singapore. It features thumbnail silhouettes, two regional distribution maps showing the best birding localities, tips on birdwatching and information on bird biology and behaviour. A total of 252 species of the commoner and more conspicuous birds from a wide range of habitats are featured.

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