Monday, January 31, 2011

Books on Lee Kuan Yew

This is an updated selection of books on Lee Kuan Yew:

Lee Kuan Yew: Hard Truths to Keep Singapore Going by Han Fook Kwang and Zuraidah Ibrahim et al. Lee Kuan Yew is Singapore's most influential son but he is not without his critics. He has not flinched from taking them on, even now after almost 60 years in the political fray. Why is he so hard on his political opponents? Will Singapore become a democracy? Could the People's Action Party ever lose its grip on power? Are younger leaders up to the mark? Will growing religiosity change Singapore for the better or worse? How will rising giants China and India affect its fortunes? Lee fields these questions and more as he covers the terrain of the past and contemplates the expanse of the future for this island nation that he and his founding generation built on the hopes of a people. Based on 32 hours of interviews at the Istana, along with 64 pages of photographs and a DVD insert, the book features Lee in full flow, combative, thought-provoking, controversial.

Conversations With Lee Kuan Yew: Citizen Singapore - How To Build A Nation by Tom Plate. This account of informal July 2009 conversations between Mr Lee Kuan Yew and US political analyst and writer Tom Plate was intended to - and indeed does - shed light on the person behind the persona of Mr Lee. Many insights are offered into Mr Lee's rationales for past decisions and policies regarding national and international situations. Negative criticisms are also raised and discussed. And some of the conversations are laced with humour and wit.

The Singapore Story: Memoirs of Lee Kuan Yew (Volume 1) by Lee Kuan Yew. A major and significant work which will form a primary resource for historians and political analysts as well as for controversy. Meticulously researched and documented from local and international archives the path to independence is detailed in all its tightroping between communism, colonialism, factionalism, social discontents and pressures, and international and personal line ups. The reader will gain fresh understanding of international and national issues and personalities of the PAP leaders, and of the Senior Minister's roles and perceptions particularly in and on the Malaysia period 1963-65.

From Third World to First, The Singapore Story:1965-2000, Memoirs of Lee Kuan Yew (Volume 2) by Lee Kuan Yew. Lee Kuan Yew's second volume of his memoirs recounts experiences at home and abroad since Singapore started to go it alone as a nation in 1965. Character sketches, personal asides and succinct observations illuminate the discussion of national and international events and strategies in the period which included the Vietnam War, the decline of Maoism and many far reaching changes in regional and global weightings. Whether or not the reader agrees with or approves of Mr Lee's priorities or policies, it will be impossible to ignore this book, which will remain a primary text and an interpretation of a personality whose influence has stretched well beyond the 'little dot on the map' that is Singapore.

Days of Thunder: How Lee Kuan Yew Blazed The Freedom Trail by Anthony Oei. In the 1950s, disgruntled with the British ruling power, anti-colonial forces comprising nationalist freedom fighters and communists were calling for independence. The main contenders for ruling power were the People's Action Party led by nationalist Lee Kuan Yew and the Communist Party of Malaya headed by Chin Peng. The author explores Lee Kuan Yew's leadership during Singapore's first 31 years and poses the question: could Singapore have achieved as much without him? With two new chapters and updated information, this book is a revised edition of What If There Had Been No Lee Kuan Yew, which was first published in 1992.

Lee Kuan Yew: The Beliefs Behind the Man by Michael Barr, Michael. This 2009 second edition of the 2000 study of the beliefs of Lee Kuan Yew (b. 1923) includes a new afterword by the author. The extensively referenced material shows how Lee Kuan Yew's national priorities and worldview have changed and developed over the years as his remarkable career and acute perceptions have been fully engaged. Index and bibliography.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Books on Megatrends

These are a selection of recent titles that examine megatrends in the world in various fields:

Living Without Oil: Megatrends in a New Energy Era by Adkiedj Bakas and Rob Creemers. Well-known trendwatchers Adjiedj Bakas and Rob Creemers present the megatrends in the field of energy and climate transition in this inspirational, visionary, sometimes hilarious but genuinely insightful new book.

The Future of Finance: Megatrends Beyond the Crisis by Adjiedj Bakas and Roger Peverelli. In The Future of Finance, futurologist Adjiedj Bakas and international marketing guru Roger Peverlli reveal what the future has in store for the financial industry. Inside, the authors provide detailed analyses of the four megatrends which will bring about radical changes across the sector in the coming decades and readers will discover how, by understanding these changes, businesses and individuals can look forward to a bright financial future.The areas covered include a new Economic World Order; Dramatic Demographic Changes; New Marketplace Dynamics; an Emphasis on Health and Happiness; and a Revival of Ethics. With bibliography and index.

China's Megatrends: The 8 Pillars of a New Society by John Naisbitt and Doris Naisbitt. John and Doris Naisbitt, long-time China observers, provide an in-depth study of the fundamental changes in China's social, political, and economic life, and their impact on the West. With extraordinary access, the Naisbitts have travelled the country, interviewing journalists, entrepreneurs, academics, politicians, artists, dissidents, and expatriates. With the help of the Naisbitt China Institute in Tianjin, they have monitored local newspapers in all of China's provinces to identify the evolving perspectives and deep forces underlying China's transformation. Their research reveals that China is not only undergoing fundamental changes but also creating an entirely new social and economic model - what the Naisbitts call a "vertical democracy" - that is changing the rules of global trade and challenging Western democracy as the only acceptable form of governing. The Naisbitts have identified 8 "pillars" as the foundation and drivers of China's new society. Examining each of these in great detail, China's Megatrends describes the new China for the knowledgeable and the newly curious, offering fresh and provocative insights and lessons to be learned.

World Megatrends: Towards the Renewal of Humanity by Adjiedj Bakas. Many of us fear the future. However, Adjiedj Bakas shows us that we are on the brink of an inspiring new age. Twelve megatrends from different realms are explored, allowing the whole picture of the future to be revealed. Illustrated with inspiring examples from all over the world the book reaches beyond today's problems; it is highly accessible and transcends hype. It is provocative and ambitious in its scope.

Fault Lines: How Hidden Fractures Still Threaten the World Economy by Raghuram G. Rajan. The author R. G. Rajan, former senior economist with the IMF and now at the Chicago Booth Business School was one of the few who, against criticism, foresaw the global economic crisis. He here sets out the reasons why unresolved pressures and problems within the US and outside still put the world at risk of another and worse crisis. The last chapters consider remedial actions and policies which could be applied by the US and other governments, and by international bodies.

Friday, January 21, 2011

New Distribution Title: Fluid World

Fluid World by Yee I-Lann is a new distribution title.

It is a collaborative project by Valentine Willie Fine Art and RogueArt, and
is published in conjunction with Yee I-Lann’s latest exhibition ‘Boogeyman’. This book charts the development of the artist’s practice over the past fifteen years of her career.

Yee I-Lann was born in 1971 in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia. She graduated from the University of South Australia (Adelaide, Australia) with a Bachelor of Arts (Visual Arts) in 1992. In 1996 she founded art collective labDNA with architect Nani Kahar, initiating projects targeted at urban youth around the notions of the culture of consumption and the consumption of culture. She also co-owns the Ricecooker Shop with Joe Kidd, which promotes and documents DIY+indie culture in the Southeast Asian region. Outside of her art practice, she works in production design for feature film and television, and lectured in production design at ASWARA (National Arts Culture and Heritage Academy), Kuala Lumpur from 2004-2008.

Writers for this book include Anthony Milner, Dave Lumenta (Indonesia), Huzir Sulaiman and Isobel Crombie (Australia). With bibliography.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Select Books is pleased to announce publication of its latest title: Chinese Muslims in Indonesia. The title is available in both hardcover and paperback editions.

The contributions that Chinese Muslims have made to Indonesia since the 15th century have been largely obscured for socio-political reasons, particularly during the New Order regime of the Suharto era.

Using the evocative and provocative medium of photography, Zhuang Wubin examines the histories of the Chinese Muslims in Indonesia and the lives that they lead today.

The 40 finely detailed colour photographs in this book, and their accompanying captions, attempt to counter the cultural and historical erasure by zooming in on the faces and names of this minute yet significant community in Indonesia.

Additional essays by Charles Coppel, Enin Supriyanto, and Yenny Zannuba Wahid reflect upon Zhuang’s work, adding to the research with personal anecdotes and historical insights.

About the Author and Contributors

Zhuang Wubin uses photography to understand the cultures and histories of the Chinese communities in Southeast Asia. He is also a researcher focusing on contemporary photographic practices in Southeast Asia.

Charles Antony Coppel worked briefly as a barrister before becoming a specialist in the modern history of Indonesia and its ethnic Chinese minority. He lectured in these fields at the University of Melbourne for 30 years. His publications include Indonesian Chinese in Crisis, Studying Ethnic Chinese in Indonesia, and the edited volume Violent Conflicts in Indonesia: Analysis, Representation, Resolution.

Enin Supriyanto, independent curator and writer focusing on Indonesian contemporary art, studied at the Fine Art and Design Department, Bandung Institute of Technology. He has curated various contemporary art shows and projects in Indonesia and around the world. He is a member of the Academic Advisory Board of Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong, and a guest editor of C-Arts Magazine, Jakarta. His essays and writings have been published in local and international publications.

Yenny Zannuba Wahid is the director of Wahid Institute, a foundation that promotes a peaceful message of Islam. An alumnus of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, Wahid served under two Indonesian presidents as political communication officer. Honoured by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader, she spends her time nowadays spreading the message of tolerance at the grassroots level.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Books on Sigapore Culture

This is a selection of recent titles on Singapore culture:

Choi! Touchwood! - A Walk Through Singapore's Chinatown: A Journey In Chinese Traditions Superstitions, Myths And Taboos edited by Liew Jie Ni and Jesvin Yeo. In this unusual small book vivid paintings and drawings bring to life not only the central streets of Singapore's old Chinatown but also customs and superstitions which have considerable influence well beyond this small area. In the insert, the pedestrian is offered useful tips, noteworthy trivia and stimulating questions which will make for an interesting and unusual experience. Bibliography and sketch map.

Short Pants No Underwear by Sarmukh Singh. The author tells chatty tales of events in his 1960s childhood in West Malaysia, where his police officer father's postings meant the family was often shuttled to new homes in urban or rural areas. The incidents related of his experiences and dramas uncover vivid insights into ways of childhood thinking and family life of the recent past, which probably differ substantially from those of today.

The Complete Eh, Goondu! by Sylvia Toh Paik Choo. The bestselling "Eh, Goodu!" and "Lagi Goodu!" appeared in 1982 and 1986 and famously crystallised many of the words and phrases which form Singapore's expressive patois, Singlish. This "vernacular" is now a subject of serious study as well as controversy and is often an ever-evolving feature of Singaporean identity. These two publications have now been made available again in this welcome 2011 single-volume reissue.

Yan Lun 81 by Koh Eng Soon. Koh Eng Soon is Singapore-born writer. This is a compilation of his letters that have seen publication in various local Chinese-language newspapers and journals between 1970 and 2010. The letters reflect his opinions about literature, films, art, music and society. In Chinese.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Books on East Timor

Here are a number of recent additions to our collection of books on East Timor:

New Nation: United Nations Peace-Building in East Timor by Geoffrey C. Gunn and Reyko Huang. The UN's 1999-2005 pioneer peace-building efforts in East Timor had to deal with major political, linguistic and anthropological differences which were (or are) major factors in any attempts to build Timor Leste as a functioning nation. The authors were involved in various areas of the post-1999 reconstruction efforts. Using their experiences, they detail the East Timor scenario and also highlight principles of democratic peacemaking and nation-building which could be applied in other situations. With bibliography, website details and index.

East Timor - A Country at the Crossroads of Asia and the Pacific: A Geo-Historical Atlas by Frederic Durand. Originally published in 2002 in French, this geo-historical atlas of East Timor is not just a set of maps but will be an invaluable resource for anyone concerned with the country's past or its present needs and development. One hundred and thirty-six colourful maps, tabulated data are incorporated in chapters on East Timor's geography and demography, its ethnolinguistic mosaic, the Portuguese colonisation period, the Indonesian invasion and the associated violence and death tolls and also national development 1974-1999, and the United Nations Supervision period 1999-2002. With a chronology, bibliography, and glossary.

Gender and Transitional Justice: The Women of East Timor by Susan Harris Rimmer. Gender and Transitional Justice provides the first comprehensive feminist analysis of the role of international law in formal transitional justice mechanisms. Using East Timor as a case study, it offers reflections on transitional justice administered by a UN transitional administration. Often presented as a UN success story, the author demonstrates that, in spite of women and children's rights programmes of the UN and other donors, justice for women has deteriorated in post-conflict Timor, and violence has remained a constant in their lives. This book provides a gendered analysis of transitional justice as a discipline. It is also one of the first studies to offer a comprehensive case study of how women engaged in the whole range of transitional mechanisms in a post-conflict state, i.e. domestic trials, internationalised trials and truth commissions. The book reveals the political dynamics in a post-conflict setting around gender and questions of justice, and reframes of the meanings of success and failure of international interventions in the light of them.

A Dirty Little War by John Martinkus. In 1994 Australian journalist John Martinkus went to East Timor to report on Indonesia's brutal repression of the province's independence movement. It was a conflict that gave rise to the highest per capita death toll of any conflict in the 20th century. He subsequently made many return visits before deciding to move to Dili in 1998, becoming the only foreign journalist in East Timor for many years. Martinkus travelled with the guerrillas and unearthed the secret war Indonesia was waging against this fledgling nation - a war that eventually erupted and led to Australia's troops being called in. This is the insider's view of that 'dirty little war'; a first-hand and deeply personal account of a shocking period in this region's history told in a gripping fashion.

Timor: 1250-2005, 750 Ans De Cartographie & Et De Voyages (In French) by Frederic Durand. Timor island has figured in many expeditions throughout history: in the quest for precious wood by Chinese merchants in the 13th century, Magellan's first voyage around the world between 1519-1521, the Bounty epic in 1789, the discovery of Australia towards the end of the 18th century, and in the vague expansionist plans of Indonesia's General Suharto. While many primary sources have for the most part been lost, the outline of Timor's ancient history can be retraced through maps, drawings, engravings and the testimony of travellers over the years. This book attempts a chronology of this history, explores some of the myths of the origins of Timor, and explores the island's contacts with the outside world in more recent times. Illustrated with more than 200 maps, drawings and engravings, the book is based on several narrations and previously unpublished documents. In French.

Friday, January 7, 2011

New Asian Art titles

Here is a selection of recent additions to our Asian Art titles:

Asian Modernities: Chinese and Thai Art Compared, 1980 To 1999 by John Clark. This is the first analysis that defines a space for Asian modernity without direct reference to Euramerica. Based on John Clark's extensive primary research using vernacular written and interview materials in Chinese and Thai, Asian Modernities also develops theoretical perspectives on genealogies of modernity, and the twin phenomena of globalisation and transnational artistic identity. This highly illustrated book combines institutional examination with a close attention to art works and to the way artists have positioned themselves through them at home and abroad.

Working. Working is a project by 10 leading contemporary Malaysian artists. It is a book about the events that take place in an artist's studio and the thinking behind the artistic process. What exactly does an artist do? Where does he or she work? What materials do they use? What are the problems an artist faces when making a work? What goes on in their head when they are making work? This publication explores the working processes of 10 local practitioners and their relationship with their respective working environments through a series of interviews and artists' self-documentation, recording their individual progress of making of a specific work for the project.

Still Crazy After All These Years by Agus Suwage. Still Crazy After All These Years is a much-anticipated monograph of the career and works of Agus Suwage, the great leading light in contemporary art in Indonesia. Edited by Enin Supriyanto, this beautifully designed tome is a comprehensive documentation of Agus Suwage's work over the past three decades, compiling existing and newly commissioned writing on the artist. It aspires to be as huge, wonderful and crazy as the artist's own output, while being fantastically light to carry and post. A must for contemporary art enthusiasts.

Emperor's Private Paradise: Treasures from the Forbidden City by Nancy Berliner. This account with some 300 illustrations of the Qianlong Garden in Beijing's Forbidden City (Palace Museum) is published to complement the ongoing exhibition at the Peabody Essex Museum. Ninety artefacts which have never before left Beijing are illustrated. These include screens, furnishings and paintings chosen by or for the Emperor who ruled 1732-95. There are illustrated articles on: the Garden and on other gardens of the Emperor Qianlong; timelines; the work and plans of the World Monuments Fund; on the surviving records and Coda; a glossary and translation guide; a catalogue of the exhibition; bibliography and index.

Contemporary Asian Art by Melissa Chiu and Benjamin Genocchio. This major study of contemporary Asian art presents and discusses works by some 180 artists. Accounts are given of the artistic trends and achievements which are emerging from the interplay of contemporary politics, urban development and consumerism with art traditions and the new media and stereotypes. The 235 illustrations indicate the range of artistic works in calligraphy, painting, sculpture, photography, and in installation, performance and internet art. With some 200 artists, summary, biographies, bibliography, listing of museums and galleries, and index.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Asian Cookbooks

Cookery books is a perennial bestselling genre on our online bookstore ( Here are several Asian cookbooks that stand out:

Classic Asian Rice by Lee Geok Boi. Savour the many delicious ways in which rice can be prepared for the table whatever the occasion with this collection of more than 150 recipes. From hearty flavoured rice dishes and quick fried rice to comforting porridges and mouth-watering desserts and snacks, this exhaustive volume of Asian rice recipes is perfect for rice lovers and cooks looking for new ways with this nutritional grain. This cookbook provides authentic recipes from all over Asia; indispensable tips and techniques to cooking various types of rice; additional recipes for accompaniments to rice dishes; a comprehensive glossary of ingredients; and informative headnotes that demystify the origins of the dishes and explain how they can be enjoyed.

Rawfully Good: 'Living' Flavours of Southeast Asia by Diana Von Cranach. This colourfully presented book is both a travelogue in Southeast Asia and an exploration of the delights of local raw food. The author describes life at her hotel in North Bali where only "living" (i.e. raw) food is on the menu. Ninety-nine raw food recipes from the cuisines of Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Myanmar, and Singapore are illustrated and clearly set out.

Southeast Asia's Best Recipes from Bangkok to Bali by Wendy Hutton. These 120 recipes for Southeast Asian dishes have been culled from the vast experience of one of Southeast Asia's leading culinary experts. An illustrated introduction on ingredients, equipment and method is followed by the clearly set-out recipes, each accompanied by a personal comment and colour photograph. Index.

Miss Masala: Real Indian Cooking for Busy Living by Mallika Basu. Cookery goddess and girl about town Mallika Basu reveals her secrets for cooking gorgeous Indian food in this highly covetable book, inspired by her blog. Her no-nonsense kitchen advice demystifies all those glorious, exotic ingredients and spices, and shows just how easy and rewarding it is to cook Indian cuisine at home. Alongside easy instructions for making aromatic Kerala Chicken or the best Seekh Kebabs, Mallika shares witty anecdotes about her high-flying city life, and gives handy hints on how to cook a jalfrezi and still head to the bar an hour later without reeking of eau de curry. With glossary and index.

Awakening the Appetite: Simple and Essential Recipes for Asian Cancer Patients and Their Loved Ones by Vivian Pei. While this attractively-presented illustrated recipe book is planned to meet the needs and tastes of Asian cancer patients, its dishes would also appeal to the whole family. The first chapter on ingredients and dietetic principles, dietary needs and problems of people with cancer is followed by some 60 recipes contributed by ten of Singapore's better known chefs. A nutrition analysis is given for each dish. With notes on cancer support resources and vocabulary, bibliography and index.