Saturday, September 24, 2011

Singapore Writers Festival 2011 contest

Select Books is pleased to be appointed as the official bookstore for Singapore Writers Festival 2011.

Singapore Writes Festival 2011 (SWF) is scheduled to be held from 22 October - 30 October. One of Asia’s premier literary events, SWF remains one of the few literary festivals in world that is multi-lingual, focusing on the official languages of Singapore – English, Malay, Chinese and Tamil.

The official bookstore, which will be managed by Select Books, will be located at a pavilion right in the middle of the Festival District, near the Singapore Management University.

This year's SWF will feature ticketing.

Select Books has 6 Festival Passes to give away.  They will be the prizes for a small competition we are running.  

Please tell us about the most "interesting" book you have purchased from Select Books.  It can be "interesting" in a number of ways - the content, or how you heard about the book, or how difficult it was for you to track down the book etc.

The 3 most well-written submissions will be given two Festival Passes each.

Please submit your entry to  The closing date for this contest will be 12 October 2011.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

These are recent additions to our wide collection of books on Ceramics:

Korean Buncheong Ceramics from the Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art by Soyoung Lee and Jeong Seung-Chang. Bold, sophisticated, engaging, and startlingly modern, Buncheong ceramics emerged as a distinct Korean art form in the 15th and 16th centuries, only to be eclipsed on its native ground for more than 400 years by the overwhelming demand for porcelain. Elements from the Buncheong idiom were later revived in Japan, where its spare yet sensual aesthetic was much admired and where descendants of Korean potters lived and worked. This innovative study features 60 masterpieces from the renowned Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art in Seoul, as well as objects from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and presents current scholarship on Buncheong's history, manufacture, use, and overall significance. The book illustrates why this historical art form continues to resonate with Korean and Japanese ceramists working today and with contemporary viewers worldwide.

Meiji Ceramics: The Art of Japanese Export Porcelain and Satsuma Ware 1868-1912 by Gisela  Jahn. This book examines the history of Japanese export porcelain in the Meiji era in the context of political, economic and cultural developments and with special emphasis on stylistic influence from the West. The more than 150 illustrations reproduce major items made in all the main centers of ceramic production by a wide variety of artists-craftsmen. The domestic market and national exhibitions, leading craftsmen, manufacturers and trading companies, inscriptions and marks are the subject of appendices. A detailed chronology, a glossary and a bibliography complete this first-ever comprehensive account of Japanese export ceramics in the Meiji era.

Scientific Research on Historic Asian Ceramics, Proceedings of the Fourth Forbes Symposium at the Freer Gallery Art by Blythe Mccarthy, Ellen Salzman Chase et al.. Asian ceramics in their many forms and functions - utilitarian, aesthetic, and religious - are the subject of this volume. Through analysis of their composition, technology, typology, and use, researchers from all over the world examine their similarities and differences, and explore broader questions regarding their historical and cultural context, such as trade and technology transfer between East and West Asia. Topics include Myanmar ceramics, Seljuq tiles, Korean and Chinese high-fired ceramics, Chinese and Japanese lead-glazed wares, Chinese funerary sculptures, Khmer kilns, and the study of ceramics through inscriptions. With colour plates.

New and Revised Handbook of Marks on Chinese Ceramics by Gerald Davison, Gerald. The 2010 publication of this revised handbook on markings is a major landmark for anyone concerned with Chinese ceramics. An illustrated introduction on the development of Chinese script, the usage, styles and symbolism of markings is followed by inset reproductions of all known markings, a total of 3392. These are all numbered in sections, according to the number of characters and also those in Zhuanshu script and marks which comprise symbols and not characters. The final section is a directory of marks in pinyin romanisation and in English translation with general notes on usage.

Chinese Ceramics by Stacey Pierson. This history of Chinese ceramic design draws on the major collections at the V&A Museum. The extensively illustrated chapters are on: patterns of production, manufacture and industry including blue-and-white ceramics; aesthetics, design and style including decoration and the meaning of dragons over the centuries; consumption in China and beyond including religious usages, global trade and evidences from shipwrecks; and Chinese ceramics in the modern world, including artist-designed and politically motivated post-Imperial artefacts. With map, chronology, bibliography and index.

Monday, September 19, 2011

New Distribution Title: Sanyu: Catalogue Raisonné Oil Paintings: Volume Two

Sanyu: Catalogue Raisonné Oil Paintings: Volume Two by Rita Wong.  Sanyu (1901-1966) was a Chinese artist from Sichuan province who lived and died in Paris. Integrating traditional Chinese aesthetics with Western modernist tenets, Sanyu has created a unique painterly language that is all his own. 

Dedicated to discovering as much as possible about Sanyu, the author has interviewed Sanyu's friends and gathered records pertaining to Sanyu's life. 

This is the second volume of her catalogue, which in addition to listing Sanyu's works, attempts to construct Sanyu's life in the form of an extended chronology.
You can find out more about Sanyu's life and works at: artofsanyu

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

New Distribution Title: The Path to Remittance

This is a new distribution title: The Path to Remittance: Tales of Pains and Gains of Overseas Filipino Workers by Papias Generale Banados.

The Philippines is the world’s largest exporter of labour – both male and female – and their remittances have helped to keep afloat the Philippines economy for the past three decades.  Successful Filipino leaders have praised the Overseas Filipino Workers – or the OFWs as they are popularly known – as modern heroes of the nation.  Yet exploitation of OFWs by unscrupulous employment agencies at home and abroad; and by ruthless employers abroad goes on unabated.

The Path to Remittance is a book which sheds light on the hidden issues of the OFW phenomena, which political leaders and government agencies tend to ignore at best or condone at its worse.

About the Author

Papias Generale Banados has been a OFW working in both the Middle East and Southeast Asia for the past 16 years.  She has gone through the experience of obtaining overseas employment through recruitment agencies herself, and remitting money to support her family back home.  Thus, she has seen exploitation of OFWs first hand.   

Papias was born in 1972 and raised in the southern Philippines island of Mindanao.  She graduated from high school and learned additional skills completing a nursing aide course in Singapore.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Books on Business in Asia

Here are five titles on doing business in Asia

Financial Services and Wealth Management in Singapore by Tan Chwee Huat. During the last decade, many changes have taken place in the Singapore financial marketplace. The Monetary Authority of Singapore has implemented numerous reforms to liberalise the financial services sector. Since 2002, two new laws have come into effect. The Securities and Futures Act and the Financial Advisors Act have important impact on the financial community. Institutions must hold the Capital Market Services (CMS) licence and the Financial Advisors licence and their representatives must pass the CMFAS examinations.This book discusses the changes in detail. Part A provides details of the reforms and discusses the impact of the new laws and regulations. Part B highlights the wide range of financial services and products provided by the institutions. In this edition, two new chapters have been added. They focus on issues related to wealth management which has become the recent focus of many banks that provide services to high net worth individuals or HNWIs.

Beyond the Myth: Indian Business Communities in Singapore by Jayati Bhattacharya. This book is a macro-study of Indian business communities in Singapore through different phases of their growth since colonial times. It goes beyond the conventional labour-history approach to study Indian immigrants to Southeast Asia, both in terms of themselves and their connections with the peoples' movements. It looks at how Indian business communities negotiated with others in the environments in which they found themselves and adapted to them in novel ways. It especially brings into focus the patterns and integration of the Indian networks in the large-scale transnational flows of capital, one of the least-studied aspects of the diaspora history in this part of the world. The complexities and overlapping interests of different groups of traders and businessmen form an interesting study of various aspects of these trading bodies, their methods of operation and their trade links, both within and outside Singapore. The book also charts their mobility and progress, in terms of both business and social status. The research aims to construct linear threads of linkages through generations and situate them in the larger framework and broader paradigms of business networks in Singapore. In shedding light on aspects of Indian connectivities to Southeast Asia, the narrative is particularly relevant in the context of India's economic rise. This study raises economic, social and cultural issues regarding the transition.

Ladies who Launch in Hong Kong: How Twelve Women Started Million-Dollar Businesses by Maseena Ziegler. How did 12 women with no previous experience as entrepreneurs go on to create million-dollar businesses in Hong Kong? Ladies Who Launch in Hong Kong captures their journey to success - from start-up challenges to lessons learned - and shows how you, too, can create a hugely successful business of your own.

Emerging Market Real Estate Investment: Investing in China, India, and Brazil by David Lynn and Tim Wang. Focusing primarily on private equity real estate investment in China, India, and Brazil this resource develops a general approach to commercial real estate investment in emerging markets, and illustrates some common strategies and analytical methods that can be implemented within this arena. Filled with in-depth insights and expert advice, Emerging Market Real Estate Investment focuses on broad investment themes and strategies as well as economic and legal/institutional factors, rather than the minute details of local market analyses. Opening with two informative chapters that provide an overview of the fundamentals of commercial and international real estate investment, this practical guide then moves on to the country-specific chapters of China, India, and Brazil. This book outlines various real estate investment options and strategies for emerging markets such as China, India, and Brazil; discusses the main features of each real estate market, including real estate foreign direct investment (FDI); and analyses several primary real estate sectors in each country: office, retail, residential, industrial, and hotel where applicable. Written with both institutional and private investors in mind, Emerging Market Real Estate Investment will put you in a better position to excel in emerging real estate markets.

Selling Big to China: Negotiating Principles for the World's Largest Market by Morry Morgan. This book is a complete sales and negotiating guide for mainland China and includes practical and measurable techniques that have been tested and proven to work with Fortune 500 companies operating in the 'Middle Kingdom'. The book includes a collection of anecdotes from this experience, as well as case studies developed by working closely with leading companies in China. Some of these companies include Rockwell Automation, Microsoft, Thomson, SAP, and NBC. Sales and negotiating is not easy, particularly when done in a country with completely new values and rules of engagement. The purpose of this book is to lay the rules out clearly, and provide the reader with an easy to understand strategy to doing business in mainland China.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Titles from Selections 105

The latest edition of our catalogue of new titles, Selections 105, has just been released. Here are six titles from the catalogue:

Palace, Political Party and Power: A Story of the Socio-Political Development of Malay Kingship by Kobkua Suwannathat-Pian. After independence in 1957, the Malay monarchy was compelled to embrace Westminster-style constitutional monarchy, under which the role of the monarch is symbolic and affairs of the nation are run by Parliament and the executive branch. Palace, Political Party and Power: A Story of the Socio-Political Development of Malay Kingship, traces the history of the Malay rulers from the late colonial period to the first decade of the 21st century, considering the implications of the decline of the Malay rulers under colonial rule, the role of the Japanese Occupation of Malaya in defining postwar Malay identity. A key element of that identity was the relation between the Malays and their Rulers, and UMNO - the United Malays National Organisation - positioned itself the "official" voice of the Malays and the Rulers. The postwar settlement underwent a significant change after the shocking outcome of the March 2008 General Election weakened UMNO's hold on power. Subsequently, the Malay Rulers have "reinvented" themselves as active players in the affairs of the nation and have recovered some of their traditional rights. This book describes socio-political developments since the departure of Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad have that worked in favour of a royal resurgence, and shows how the rulers have become a power to be reckoned with.

Between Eden & Earth: Gardens of the Islamic World by Heba Nayel Barakat. A book that explores the history and philosophies behind the greatest Islamic gardens. In a visual journey through the colourful array of photographic images, the major surviving Islamic gardens are vividly brought to life, illustrating the glories of the past. Examined here are the splendours of the gardens of Spain, the marvels of Morocco, the courtyard gardens of Syria and Egypt, the enchantment of Ottoman Turkey and much more. This book was published in conjunction with a photography exhibition of the same name. With notes and bibliography.

Contemporary Art + Philanthropy: Private Foundations: Asia-Pacific Focus edited by Nicholas Jose. Why support contemporary art? What role does art play in defining cultural values? How does today's Australia measure up in terms of cultural giving? What international models exist for private support of contemporary art in public spaces? These questions and many more are answered in Contemporary Art and Philanthropy, a book of papers given by key cultural players in the contemporary art scene at a form held at Sherman Galleries. Of particular use is a list of organisations and institutions such as art foundations, private museums, privately funded art galleries and not-for-profit art institutions and art centres.

Jewels without Crowns: Mughal Gems in Miniatures edited by Lucien De Guise, Lucien. India and gemstones are inseparable. Among the subcontinent's most prolific patrons of the jewelled arts were the Mughal emperors, whose adornments dazzled visitors centuries ago and continue to excite viewers today. Complementing the brilliance of these creations were the miniature paintings of the time. Often likened to jewels, these works on paper do more than entertain the eye; they illuminate as well. By comparing the paintings and the objects depicted in them, the world of Mughal opulence is opened to the reader. Jewels without Crowns brings together two fields of artistic accomplishment by one of the most visionary dynasties of the Islamic world. With bibliography.

Erotic Triangles: Sundanese Dance and Masculinity in West Java by Henry Spiller. In West Java, Indonesia, all it takes is a woman's voice and a drum beat to make a man get up and dance. Every day, men there - be they students, pedicab drivers, civil servants, or businessmen - breach ordinary standards of decorum and succumb to the rhythm at village ceremonies, weddings, political rallies, and nightclubs. The music the men dance to varies from traditional gong ensembles to the contemporary pop known as dangdut, but they consistently dance with great enthusiasm. In Erotic Triangles, Henry Spiller draws on decades of ethnographic research to explore the reasons behind this phenomenon, arguing that Sundanese men use dance to explore and enact contradictions in their gender identities. Framing the three crucial elements of Sundanese dance - the female entertainer, the drumming, and men's sense of freedom - as a triangle, Spiller connects them to a range of other theoretical perspectives, drawing on thinkers from Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Lévi-Strauss, and Freud to Euclid. By granting men permission to literally perform their masculinity, Spiller ultimately concludes, dance provides a crucial space for both reinforcing and resisting orthodox gender ideologies.

Education in Vietnam edited by Jonathan D. London. Vietnam is a country on the move. Yet contemporary Vietnam's education system is at a crossroads. Rapid economic growth has permitted rapid increases in the scale and scope of formal schooling, but there is a prevailing sense that the current education system is inadequate to the country's needs. Sunny assessments of Vietnam's achievements in the sphere of education have given way to a realisation that the country lacks skilled workers. Some have even spoken of an "education crisis". These are not abstract concerns. What is occurring in Vietnam's education system today has broad implications for the country's social, political, economic, and cultural development. Featuring contributions from scholars and policy analysts from within and outside Vietnam, Education in Vietnam addresses key issues pertaining to the political economy of education, the provision and payment for primary and secondary education, and the development of vocational and tertiary education.