Thursday, August 30, 2012

New Distribution Titles: Asian Art

These are recent additions to the rapidly expanding collection of art titles that we distribute.

Imagining Identities: Narratives in Malaysian Art Identities - Volume 1 by Nur Hanim Khairuddin and Beverly Yong et al.  Narratives in Malaysian Art Volume I: Imagining Identities brings together a collection of essays that looks at the many ways in which art has provided artists with the means of imagining themselves, and imagining Malaysia. Writing from different times and contexts, the 19 essays in this publication comprises 5 republished essays written between the 1970s to1990s and new commissioned essays by writers and artists that range across generations and groups. This publication includes 50 years of malaysian art, a visual summary of the Malaysian art through the decades and a timeline chart of key art and historical events.

Seeker of Hope: Works by Jia Aili.  Born in a time of open economy and increasing prosperity in China, Jia Aili represents a young generation worried about losing age old traditions and values in a fast evolving world, questioning the true meaning of life. The solitary figures in his epic-scale and visually stunning works, seem to be searching for hope amidst the ruins of modern civilisation. Seeker of Hope: Works by Jia Aili will showcase Jia Aili's works ranging from monumental oil paintings and installations, to delicate paper works. The catalogue includes an essay exploring Jia Aili's practice relating it to China's modern history and how it has impacted his work, as well as an interview with Jia Aili and Chinese curator and critic Zhu Zhu.

Lee Wen: Lucid Dreams in the Reverie of the Real.  This is is a richly illustrated publication that charts the wide oeuvre of one of Singapore's most internationally recognised artists. Motivated by a strong conviction of justice and idealism, Lee Wen has constantly teased out complex questions about the self in relation to authority and society. Best known for his Yellow Man series of works, Lee is also one of the pioneers of performance art in Singapore, and this publication features many of his iconic performances as well as rarely seen installation works.

The Collectors Show: Chimera - Asian Contemporary Art from Private Collections.  The Collectors Show brings together notable works of Asian contemporary art from private collections around the world. A tribute to the art patrons of today, the exhibition offers an insight into the breadth and remarkable richness of private art collections, and the unique and highly personal visions and passions that shape them. This edition of The Collectors Show is titled Chimera, a deliberately evocative word that references both the mythological hybrid monster and the idea of an illusion, fantasy, or delusion. The exhibition presents contemporary art in all its various and hybrid forms, from painting to sculpture, to new media and interactive multi-media. The works selected eschew conventional spectacle in favour of a reflection on vision and visuality, offering visually seductive surfaces tinged with undercurrents of anxiety. These artworks remind us of the spectres of our age - questions and issues that continue to haunt us and test our judgement at every turn and corner of our new millennium.

Eko (Space) Nugroxo edited by Adeline Ooi and Beverly Yong.  Eko Nugroho (b. 1977) is one of Indonesia's hottest rising stars. He is a member of the artistic and intellectual community that centres on the vibrant central Java city of Yogyakarta in Indonesia. Working across media, form and presentation, Eko's works often forces an interface between high art and street and popular culture. He works in diverse media, creating paintings, murals, videos, handmade zines with collage and drawings, and also collaborates with local machinists to produce beautiful embroideries. Eko has participated in numerous international shows. This is his first monograph, and documents the artist's career from the early 2000s up till 2011. Includes an in-depth interview by Enin Supriyanto with the artist.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Event: Face-to-Face with Josephine Chia

Photos from the Face-to-Face with Josephine Chia event on Saturday, August 25, 2012 at 3:00pm.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Night Festival 2012

In conjunction with Night Festival 2012, our bookstore and cafe will be will be open till 10pm on Wednesday, 29 August and Saturday, 1 September.

There will be a 10% discount storewide for books and wine from 6:30pm to 10pm on these two evenings!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Event Photos: Face-to-Face with Nigel Barley

Photos from the Face-to-Face event with Nigel Barley held on Thursday, August 23, 2012 at Select Books.

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Friday, August 24, 2012

Event: Book Launch - Apache Over Singapore: The Story of Singapore Sixties Music

Select Books is pleased to invite you to the book launch of Apache over Singapore: The Story of Singapore Sixties Music by Joseph Pereira, published by Select Books, on Friday, August 31, 2012 at 7:30pm.

Guest Speakers
The following will be guest speakers at the book launch:
- Lim Cheng Tju
- Sudhir Menon
- Casey Soo Wai Cheong

About Apache Over Singapore
The Cliff Richard and the Shadows concert in 1961 opened the floodgates for Singapore pop music as youngsters who attended the concert got the blueprint for pop music: a four-piece backing group fronted by a singer, male or female. Soon hundreds of groups were formed.  These developments made for a very exciting pop scene in Singapore as there were releases to look forward to every week. With shows almost nightly and tea dances to welcome the week it was pop heaven.

This book examines why it was so. Individual profiles of the bigger acts study their careers in details and trends like rhythm and blues, the blues movement and pyschedelia are examined.

About the Author
Joseph Pereira was involved in pop music for 20 years. The music ranged from pop, to hard rock, blues, jazz rock, top 40 pop, rock and finally blues.

In 1999, his first book, Legends Of The Golden Venus, was published. Then followed work as producer of Singapore Sixties reissues – Treasures From The Past (Universal), Remember The Dukes (private), The Trailers (private), Steam Kodok (Grey Past Records), 100 Greatest (Universal) and More Singapore Sixties (Universal). He has also written extensively on music and non-music related subjects for publications and magazines in Singapore and five other countries.

31st August 2012

Select Books
51 Armenian Street
Singapore 179939
Tel: (65) 6337 9319

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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Event: Face-to-Face with Josephine Chia

We will be hosting a Face-to-Face event with Josephine Chia on Saturday, August 25, 2012 at 3:00pm.

Do join us for this session with a fascinating speaker.  As an added incentive - Peranakan kueh will be served at the reception!

About Josephine Chia
Josephine Chia graduated from Singapore University with an Honours Degree in Philosophy in 1979, and worked for many years in marketing, advertising and public relations in hotels, before emigrating to England in 1985. She has a MA In Creative Writing from Bath Spa University, UK.

Her first short stories were published in various issues of SINGA, the literary journal of Singapore. In 1992, she became one of the twelve winners of the Ian St. James Awards for short fiction in 1992, the first Singaporean to win the award. Since then, she has been published by UK, Singapore and Malaysia publishers and won other awards and prizes.

Josephine is a mentor with MOE’s Creative Arts Programme and teaches Creative Writing both in Singapore and UK and runs Creative Writing Workshops for NAC & NBDCS.

She is a member of Society of Authors, UK; and Society of Women Writers & Journalists, UK.

Her website is at

Books by Josephine include
- Frog Under A Coconut Shell
- Shadows Across the Sun
- Your Body Gateway To The Divine
- Body And Mind Sculpture
- Isn’t Singapore Somewhere In China
- Rasa Singapura/Taste Of Singapore
- My Mother-In-Law’s Son

Saturday, 25th August 2012, 3:00pm

Select Books, 51 Armenian Street, Singapore 179939
Tel: (65) 6337 9319

Select Books is on Facebook. 
Please "like" our Facebook page to keep up to date with books and events!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Event: Face-to-Face with Nigel Barley

Select Books is pleased to invite you to a Face-to-Face event with Nigel Barley, author of The Devil’s Garden, published by Monsoon Books.

The event will be held on Thursday, August 23, 2012 at our bookstore at Armenian Street.

About Nigel Barley

Nigel Barley is the author of twenty books with Penguin, Time Warner and Little, Brown. He originally trained as an anthropologist and worked in West Africa, spending time with the Dowayo people of North Cameroon. He survived to move to the Ethnography Department of the British Museum and it was in this connection that he first travelled to Southeast Asia. After forrays into Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan and Burma, Barley settled on Indonesia as his principal research interest and has worked on both the history and contemporary culture of that area. After escaping from the museum, he is now a writer and broadcaster and divides his time between London and Indonesia.

About The Devil’s Garden: Love and War in Singapore under the Japanese Flag

Gardens are magical places – images of Nature and Culture, models of paradise, spaces where plants live in war and peace, co-operation and competition. It is 1942 and Singapore is Syonanto, part of the Japanese Empire, where violence and starvation stalk the streets but in the Singapore Botanic Gardens a bizarre tranquillity reigns between warring nations and even love awakes as old identities melt away in the heady atmosphere of the Orchid House.

From its unique perspective and with a mixture of humour and romance, The Devil’s Garden pictures a formative moment in the emergence of Singapore, where loyalties are less secure than those of the official histories and truth is anything but simple.

Love and war in Singapore under the Japanese flag.

Thursday, 23 August 2012, 7:00pm - 9:00pm

Select Books
51 Armenian Street
Singapore 179939

Tel: 63379319

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Select Book Sale

Select Books is pleased to invite you to 
Friday, 17 August to Monday, 20 August 2012

Select has finally moved to a new location after 36 years. We are now at 51 Armenian Street, a gazetted national monument that was founded as the United Chinese Library by Dr Sun Yat Sen in 1910.

In appreciation of your support and help, Select Books would like to invite you to the SELECT BOOK SALE. Thousands of quality titles that you have come to associate with Select will be offered at discounts of up to 70%.

The books on sale will include hard-to-find books on the history, politics, society, arts, economy and culture of Southeast Asia.

The sale will be held over four days - from Friday, 17 August to Monday, 20 August 2012.

We look forward to seeing you at our new location.

Select Books
51 Armenian Street
Singapore 179939
Telephone: 6337 9319

Select Books is on Facebook. 
Please "like" our Facebook page to keep up to date with books and events!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Event: subTEXT @ Select Books on Saturday, 11 August, 2012

Photos from subTEXT @ Select Books on Saturday, 11 August, 2012.

Friday, August 10, 2012

subTEXT @ Select Books

Select Books will be hosting subTEXT @ Select Books on Saturday, 11 August, 3pm - 4:30pm.

subTEXT returns after an absence, with an eclectic line-up of writers enlivening the just-opened new location of Select Books in the historical Armenian Street precinct. Expect different voices – foreign and local, poetry and fiction, established and new... and a spot of multimedia to open the show.

About subTEXT
Between May 2001 and January 2008, the subTEXT literary readings took place every month at Gallery Hotel, the Book Cafe and Central Lending Library. It now takes place on an ad-hoc basis at venues like The Arts House and Select Books. Its regular readings and special events have featured many Singapore writers, as well as international guests like Alexander McCall Smith (UK), Robert Olen Butler (USA), Paul Theroux (USA), Anchee Min (China/USA), John Mateer (Australia), Alfred Yuson (Philippines) and Marjorie Evasco (Philippines).

Featured Readers
(not in order of appearance during the event)

Vincent Clay
Vincent lives and works in Brussels where he has, so far, avoided being run over by the speeding motorcades of any European leaders. Having studied at the University of Cambridge and University College London, he set up Thane Salon ( for artists, writers, and people who normally don't go to readings. He has had poems included in anthologies from Friary Road House Editions and in Introducing Art magazine. This is his first visit to Singapore.

Heng Siok Tian
Siok Tian has published five collections of poetry: Crossing The Chopsticks And Other Poems (1993), My City, My Canvas (1999), Contouring (2004), Is My Body A Myth (2011) and Mixing Tongues (2011). Her poems have been anthologised in publications such as Journeys: Words, Home And Nation, No Other City: An Anthology Of Urban Poetry and Moving Worlds. A participant of the Iowa International Writing Program in 2000, she has also participated in literary events in China, USA, Sweden, Denmark, the Philippines and, most recently, France.

Krishna Udayasankar
Krishna is the author of Govinda: Book 1 of The Aryavarta Chronicles, published by Hachette India. A graduate of the National Law School of India University (NLSIU), Bangalore, Krishna also holds a PhD in Strategic Management from the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, where she presently works as a lecturer.

Govinda is Krishna's first book. She is currently working on the second and third books of The Aryavarta Chronicles and a collection of prose-poems entitled Objects Of Affection. When she's not busy writing and teaching, Krishna loves to watch Rajinikanth movies first-day, first-show, complete with applause and whistles, and to go on long drives with her husband, Jai, and two Siberian Huskies, Boozo and Zana.

Stephanie Ye
Stephanie's first solo publication is The Billion Shop, a chapbook of four stories, published by Math Paper Press in 2012. Her short stories have been published in journals such as the Quarterly Literary Review Singapore and Mascara Literary Review (Australia), as well as in several anthologies. She is a graduate of the University of Chicago, and will be a resident of the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa in Fall 2012.

Yong Shu Hoong has published four books of poetry: Isaac (1997), dowhile (2002), Frottage (2005), which won the Singapore Literature Prize in 2006, and From Within The Marrow (2010). His poems have been included in literary journals like Asia Literary Review (Hong Kong) and Ars Interpres (Sweden), as well as anthologies like Language For A New Century: Contemporary Poetry From The Middle East, Asia, And Beyond (W.W. Norton, 2008).

Date and Time
Saturday, 11 August 2012
3pm - 4:30pm

Select Books
51 Armenian Street
Singapore 179939
Telephone: 6337 9319

Monday, August 6, 2012

Books on the History of China

This is a selection of titles from our wide-ranging collection of books on China’s history:

Mission to China: Matteo Ricci and the Jesuit Encounter with the East by Mary Laven. This is a new study of the life and impact of the Italian Jesuit Matteo Ricci (1552-1610) and his mission to the Emperor and people of China. The first and abortive mission of the Jesuits in China started in 1551 and in 1583. Ricci and others came to Macao then Zhaoqing. Ricci's knowledge of prisms and clockmaking, his writings on friendship and philosophical subjects and his presentations of Christian doctrines are described. After his death in 1610, the Emperor Wanli granted land for a Jesuit cemetery and there is a brief mention of the controversies which then arose in Rome over Ricci the Jesuit's teachings and presentation of Christian doctrines. Index and archival illustrations.

The Scramble for China: Foreign Devils in the Qing Empire 1832-1914 by Robert Bickers. In the early 19th century China remained almost untouched by Britain and other European powers - ferocious laws forbade all trade with the West outside one tiny area of Canton. Anyone teaching a European to speak Chinese was executed. But as new technology began to unbalance the relationship, foreigners gathered like wolves around the weakening Qing Empire. Would the Chinese suffer the fate of much of the rest of the world, carved into pieces by the Europeans? Or could they adapt rapidly enough to maintain their independence? Humiliated by military disaster, racked by rebellions that cost millions of lives and ultimately invaded during the Boxer Rebellion by thousands of foreign soldiers, it looked as though the colonial Scramble for Africa was about to be followed by the Scramble for China. This extraordinary new book tells this epic story both from the European (mainly British) point of view and the Chinese. The degradation of China in this period is crucially important to understanding China today, whose government and people are steeped in stories of this terrible time and never wish to appear weak again. The Scramble for China is both highly original and brilliantly written - it reimagines these encounters between two equally arrogant and scornful civilizations, whether from the point of view of a Chinese governor or a British soldier. It is an epic of squalor, romance, brutality and exoticism, and it changed the world.

Annotated Sources of Ming History: Including Southern Ming and Works on Neighbouring Lands 1368-1661 - Vol. 1 & 2 by Wolfgang Franke. This is a completely revised and substantially enlarged edition of Wolfgang Franke's 1968 edition of An Introduction to the Sources of Ming History (ISMH). It provides annotations to almost 2,500 salient texts pertaining to the history and society of the Ming dynasty, in addition to two detailed introductions dealing with Ming historiography in general. It is an indispensable source-guide to students and researchers of Ming China and borderlands. When works are known to have been translated into other languages or made use of in Doctoral dissertations, the relevant translations and dissertations are indicated. This extensive collection of annotated sources should be of interest to historiographers as well as to those in the sphere of comparative history.

Mao Zedong and China in the Twentieth-Century World: A Concise History by Rebecca E. Karl. Throughout this lively and concise historical account of Mao Zedong's life and thought, Rebecca E. Karl places the revolutionary leader's personal experiences, social visions and theory, military strategies, and developmental and foreign policies in a dynamic narrative of the Chinese revolution. She situates Mao and the revolution in a global setting informed by imperialism, decolonisation, and third worldism, and discusses worldwide trends in politics, the economy, military power, and territorial sovereignty. Karl begins with Mao's early life in a small village in Hunan province, documenting his relationships with his parents, passion for education, and political awakening during the fall of the Qing dynasty in late 1911. She traces his transition from liberal to Communist over the course of the next decade, his early critiques of the subjugation of women, and the gathering force of the May 4th movement for reform and radical change. Describing Mao's rise to power, she delves into the dynamics of Communist organising in an overwhelmingly agrarian society, and Mao's confrontations with Chiang Kaishek and other nationalist conservatives. She also considers his marriages and romantic liaisons and their relation to Mao as the revolutionary founder of Communism in China. After analyzing Mao's stormy tenure as chairman of the People's Republic of China, Karl concludes by examining his legacy in China from his death in 1976 through the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

A History of China by Roberts, J. A. G. Roberts. Third 2011 revised edition of the 1999 one-volume history of China which traces the main course of the country's development to its present burgeoning Communist structure under a technocratic leadership corps. For pre-university student or general reader. With chronology, reading lists and index.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Books on Pakistan

This is a selection of books on Pakistan:

Pakistan: A Hard Country by Anatol Lieven. In the wake of Pakistan's development of nuclear weapons, unpoliceable border areas, shelter of the Afghan Taliban and Bin Laden, and the spread of terrorist attacks by groups based in Pakistan to London, Bombay and New York, there is a clear need to look further than the simple image of a failed state so often portrayed in the media, and to see instead a country of immense complexity and importance. Lieven's profound and sophisticated analysis paves the way for clearer understanding of this remarkable and highly contradictory country.

Unraveling: Pakistan in the Age of Jihad by John R. Schmidt. The forms of Islam found in today's Pakistan are of course not the same as those of the country's leaders at its foundation in 1947. A senior US specialist explores the complexities of the ongoing interactions of Pakistan's leaders and power centres with jihadist groups and influences both inside and outside the country. Among the jihadi linkages with developments in Pakistan explored are: the anti-Soviet jihad in Afghanistan; Jihad-India conflicts in Kashmir; bin Laden and the road to 1911; the Tribal Areas, 9/11 and the Pakistani Taliban; domestication, the Red Mosque in Islamabad and army failures; and the Mumbai terror of 2008. Future scenarios and pressures are discussed in the last two chapters. With sketch map, bibliography and index.

Pakistan: Deep inside the World's Most Frightening State by Mary Anne Weaver. No nation is more critical to US foreign policy than nuclear-armed Pakistan. Wedged between India and Afghanistan, it is the second largest country in the Islamic world. But with militant Islamists now expanding their control over some of the country's most strategically sensitive areas, there is a growing fear that Washington's most stolid ally in South Asia - at least ostensibly - is unravelling, and perhaps is even on the verge of collapse. With a dozen or so private Islamist armies, a hundred or so nuclear weapons, and a dysfunctional government, Pakistan is considered one of the most dangerous places on earth. Its disintegration would pose an unthinkable threat to the United States and the West, including the prospect of its nuclear arsenal being captured by religious extremists. In Pakistan, Mary Anne Weaver presents her personal journey through a country in turmoil, reconstructing, largely in the voices of the key participants themselves -General Pervez Musharraf, General Muhammed Zia, and the assassinated former prime minister Benazir Bhutto - the legacies now haunting Pakistan in the aftermath of the US-sponsored jihad in the 1980s in Afghanistan.

Pakistan: Eye of the Storm by Owen Bennett Jones. First published in 2002, Bennett Jones's account of Pakistan's history provides wide-ranging insights into this critical modern state. This thoroughly revised and updated edition includes fresh material on the Taliban insurgency, the Musharraf years, the return and subsequent assassination of Benazir Bhutto and the unlikely election as president of Asif Ali Zardari. With notes, bibliography and index.

Routledge Handbook of South Asian Politics: India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Nepal edited by Paul R. Brass. The Routledge Handbook of South Asian Politics examines key issues in politics of the five independent states of the South Asian region: India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Nepal. Written by experts in their respective areas, this book introduces the reader to the politics of South Asia by presenting the prevailing agreements and disagreements in the literature. In the first two sections, the handbook provides a comprehensive introduction to the modern political history of the states of the region and an overview of the independence movements in the former colonial states. The other sections focus on the political changes that have occurred in the postcolonial states since independence, as well as the successive political changes in Nepal during the same period, and the structure and functioning of the main governmental and non-governmental institutions, including the structure of the state itself (unitary or federal), political parties, the judiciary, and the military. Further, the contributors explore several aspects of the political process and political and economic change, especially issues of pluralism and national integration, political economy, corruption and criminalisation of politics, radical and violent political movements, and the international politics of the region as a whole.