Friday, November 30, 2012

Event: Face-to-Face with Pankaj Mishra

Select Books
is pleased to invite you to meet
Pankaj Mishra
Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 7:00pm

About Pankaj Mishra
Pankaj Mishra is a renowned writer and intellectual, and a regular presence in the pages of publications such as The New York Review of Books, The New Yorker, The London Review of Books and The Guardian. His books, which include An End to Suffering: The Buddha in the World, Butter Chicken in Ludhiana: Travels in Small Town India, The Romantics and Temptations of the West: How to Be Modern in India, Pakistan, Tibet, and Beyond, have received wide global acclaim. His latest work From the Ruins of Empire: The Revolt against the West and the Remaking of Asia has just been published to rave reviews:

“Subtle, erudite and entertaining”–The Economist

“Enormously ambitious but thoroughly readable, this book is essential reading for everyone who is interested in the processes of change that have led to the emergence of today’s Asia”—Amitav Ghosh, Wall Street Journal

“In his brilliant new book Pankaj Mishra reverses the long gaze of the West upon the East, showing modern history as it has been felt by the majority of the world’s population from Turkey to China. These are the amazing stories of the grandfathers of today’s angry Asians. Excellent!” —Orhan Pamuk

“Compelling…Invaluable..Its detailed and rigorous historical emphasis..stands in stark contrast to some of the more superficial instant analyses of what the ‘rise of Asia’ might mean for the world”—Rana Mitter, Times Literary Supplement

“Deeply researched and arrestingly original…this penetrating and disquieting book should be on the reading list of anybody who wants to understand where we are today”—John Gray, Independent

About the Moderator
The event will be moderated by Simon Long.

Simon Long is the Banyan Columnist and former Asia Editor for The Economist, based in Singapore and is leading journalist and commentator on the Asia region. In his column, he touches on many of the critical issues shaping Asia’s future, including economic and political integration, climate change and competition for resources. He was previously the Asia Editor for The Economist based in London, and before spent an extended period posted in New Delhi with the newspaper, where he is still very well respected as a writer on India and its economy. He is the author of various Economist surveys on Asia, India, China-India, Indonesia, Hong Kong and Online Finance.

Date and Time
Wednesday, December 5, 2012, 7pm

Select Books
51 Armenian Street, Singapore 179939

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Event: Talk on Mistletoes by Francis Lim, author of The Singapore Mistletoe Story

Select Books is pleased to invite you to a Talk on Mistletoes by Francis Lim, author of The Singapore Mistletoe Story on Saturday, December 8, 2012 at 3:00pm.

Not many people are aware that a unique family of plants, the mistletoes, can be found in tropical Singapore. Francis Lim, a former curator of zoology at the Singapore Zoo and nature lover, began his study of the mistletoes in 2008. He will uncover the mistletoe magic and their colourful lives in his talk, and touch on the myths and legends surrounding these semi-parasitic plants as well as their purported medicinal value. He will also relate his many encounters and adventures in his quest to find some of the elusive mistletoes, and summarize the distribution of the 8 mistletoe species currently existing in Singapore, of which several are critically endangered.

He will also talk about the many small communities of animals that rely on the mistletoes for food and shelter, ranging from mammals, birds to numerous invertebrates. Lastly, Francis will touch on the general status of the mistletoe conservation, and how one can collect, preserve and display mistletoe specimens, which will be valuable for the garden hobbyists and botany classes.

About Francis Lim
Francis Lim is, foremost, a zoologist at heart, having spent almost four decades working in the zoology department at the Singapore Zoo. Though he retired in 2010, his passion for all things of Nature remains undiminished as he pursues his dream of writing and conducting outreach programs for educational institutions in Singapore. Francis has published a number of scientific papers and articles in journals and magazines as well as several books, including Once a Zookeeper.

About The Singapore Mistletoe Story
The Singapore Mistletoe Story is an account of a personal quest to seek out and document the varieties and lives of mistletoes. It is a journey of discovery of the many fascinating features of this enduring species—their semi-parasitic nature, where they are found, how they reproduce and the myriad remarkable communities whose lives have become intertwined with it.  The author’s numerous mistletoe-spotting adventures present an infectious read. Lavishly illustrated with nearly a hundred pictures, this volume is like a botanical novel. Gardeners, field botanists, teachers and students will find it a valuable and fruitful addition to their collection.

Date and Time
Saturday, 8 December 2012

Select Books
51 Armenian Street
Singapore 179939
Tel: 6337 9319

Event: CakapHeritage - Let’s Talk About Heritage!

Photos from CakapHeritage - Let’s Talk About Heritage!, jointly organised by Singapore Heritage Society and Select Books, on Sunday, November 25, 2012, at 3:00pm at Select Books.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

[Select Conversations] Sudhir Thomas Vadaketh and Sharon Siddique

In Select Conversations, two (or more) authors and thinkers engage each other and the audience on books and related topics. Come join us for a thought-provoking and interesting experience in this free-flowing and spontaneous session.

The first Select Conversations features Sudhir Thomas Vadaketh and Sharon Siddique, two keen observers of Southeast Asia.

Sudhir is Senior Editor with the Economist Intelligence Unit. A Singaporean, he spent six years at Berkeley and Harvard. His literary and research interests are about the way grand political and social systems influence ordinary people's lives, their worldviews, and their interactions with each other. He has written for a variety of publications, including The Economist and The Straits Times. His first book, Floating on a Malayan Breeze, was published in 2012 and has drawn excellent reviews for its observations about Singapore and Malaysia.

Sharon is a noted authority on religion and social issues in Southeast Asia and has published extensively on these and other topics. Formerly Deputy Director of the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, she now consults for governments and business enterprises. Her latest book - Batam: Whose Hinterland? - has just been published. 

She has over 35 years of experience in research and analysis of critical issues on Southeast Asia and her works include not just influential academic texts but also popular books on local heritage. Her recent books include Southeast Asia: The Diversity Dilemma, Mind the Gaps: Singapore Business in China, and Singapore Shifting Boundaries: Social Change in the 21st Century.

Saturday, 1 December 2012
Time: 4:00pm

Select Books and Cafe 
51 Armenian Street
Singapore 179939
Tel: 6337 9319

Book Launch: Volcanoes of Indonesia

Editions Didier Millet and Select Books are pleased to invite you to the book launch of Volcanoes of Indonesia, on Friday, November 30, 2012 at 7:00pm at Select Books.

About Volcanoes of Indonesia
As part of the Ring of Fire, Indonesia is home to some of the world’s most active volcanoes and Volcanoes of Indonesia pays tribute to these mighty forces that have dramatically determined the landscape of Indonesia.
Combining the poignant images of Carl-Bernd Kaehlig with the prose and poems of Andrew Wight and Chris Smith, this beautiful photo album showcases the many faces and moods of the volcanoes as well as the life that revolves around them. From sunset and sunrise scenes of brooding volcanoes to tortured rock formations shaped by centuries of erosion, from steaming lakes and craters to isolated flowering plants in sheltered niches, sacred mountain temples and bathing places, this awe-inspiring album will strike a chord in all who respond to the allure of the mystical and the sublime.

About the Photographer
Carl-Bernd Kaehlig was born in Hannover, Germany, in 1951 and has lived in Indonesia for about 19 years. His interest in outdoor photography started with a backpacking tour through South-east Asia in 1977. His photographs have appeared in group and single exhibitions in Germany and Indonesia. He has also contributed travel photo essays to magazines such as Silver Kris, the Singapore Airlines inflight magazine, and Garuda, the inflight magazine of Garuda Indonesia Airlines. The combination of his keen interest in photography with his love for hiking resulted in this photo book on Indonesian volcanoes. His other photo books are Chinatown Rhythm & Blues on Singapore’s Chinatown and Art in Hindsight: Indonesian Truck Paintings. 

Friday, November 30, 2012

Select Books
51, Armenian Street
Singapore 179939
Tel: 63379319

Friday, November 23, 2012

Architecture Titles from Selections 110

Selections 110, the latest issue of our monthly catalogue of new titles, has just been released. This is a selection of titles on architecture from it:

The Splendid Chinese Garden: Origins, Aesthetics, and Architecture by Hu Jie. This wide-ranging study of the history, styles and significance of Chinese gardens is by the international authority who designed Beijing's Olympic Park. The traditions and beliefs which underpin the layout and contents of China's classic gardens are explored, living examples of ancient and modern gardens in Northern and Southern China are described and discussed with some 300 photographs and layout plans. With an illustrated glossary, list of overseas Chinese gardens, bibliography, dynastic chronology and index.

Talking Architecture: Interviews with Architects by Hanno Rauterberg, Hanno. Here such distinguished figures as Cecil Balmond, Norman Foster, Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, Philip Johnson, Rem Koolhaas, Daniel Libeskind, I. M. Pei, and others offer a wide-ranging assortment of perspectives on contemporary architecture and the architects' roles in shaping the state of the art today. Each interview focuses on the unique contributions of its subject, and is accompanied by images of their most important works. With a no-holds-barred approach the author obtains interesting details about their ideas on architecture in general, from where they get their inspiration to what formative experiences led them to become architects in the first place.

The New Asian City: Three-Dimensional Fictions of Space and Urban Form by Jini Kim Watson. Under Jini Kim Watson's scrutiny, the Asian Tiger metropolises of Seoul, Taipei, and Singapore reveal a surprising residue of the colonial environment. Drawing on a wide array of literary, filmic, and political works, and juxtaposing close readings of the built environment, Watson demonstrates how processes of migration and construction in the hypergrowth urbanscapes of the Pacific Rim crystallize the psychic and political dramas of their colonized past and globalized present. Tracing the way newly constructed spaces-including expressways, high-rises, factory zones, and department stores-become figured within cultural texts, The New Asian City explores how urban transformations were rationalized, perceived, and fictionalized. Watson shows how literature, film, and poetry have described and challenged contemporary Asian metropolises, especially around the formation of gendered and laboring subjects in these new spaces. She suggests that by embracing the postwar growth-at-any-cost imperative, they have buttressed the nationalist enterprise along neocolonial lines. The New Asian City provides an innovative approach to how we might better understand the gleaming metropolises of the Pacific Rim. In doing so, it demonstrates how reading cultural production in conjunction with built environments can enrich our knowledge of the lived consequences of rapid economic and urban development.

Casa Boholana: Vintage Houses of Bohol by Erik Akpedonu and Czarina Saloma. This is a historico-architectural illustrated study of vintage houses of several traditions and in different state of repair on the island of Bohol, Central Philippines. Some 500 homes form the basis of the study. Part 1 looks at the methodology and data of the architectural survey and factors governing the nature and distribution of Boholano houses since the early 19th century. Part 2 features 300 of the 508 houses identified, with inset colour photographs, construction details, and relevant social profiles. With glossary, bibliography and index.

Zen Gardens: The Complete Works of Shunmyo Masuno, Japan's Leading Garden Designer by Mira Locher. Shunmyo Masuno, Japan's leading garden designer, is at once Japan's most highly acclaimed landscape architect and an 18th-generation Zen Buddhist priest, presiding over daily ceremonies at the Kenkoji Temple in Yokohama. This beautiful book, illustrated with more than 400 drawings and color photographs, is the first complete retrospective of Masuno's work to be published in English. It presents 37 major gardens around the world in a wide variety of types and settings.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Books on Marine Biology, Birds and Plants

This is a small selection of titles from our Nature shelf:

Guide to Freshwater Phytoplankton in Singapore Reservoirs by Wong Yueat Tin; Lim Yin Mei et al. The Science Centre and Public Utilities Board have together produced this pocket guide to the freshwater phytoplankton found in Singapore reservoirs. These are present in any sunlit freshwater; microscopic in size they are of great importance as environmental monitors, indicating water change and pollution levels. They are also used to absorb heavy metals, and in sewage conversion. Magnifiers have produced these photographs of some 80 species cyanobacteria, green algae and other groups. With glossary, references, and species index.

A Guide to Snails and Other Non-Marine Molluscs of Singapore by Tan Siong Kiat; Chan Sow Yan et al. The widely used Science Centre/BP series of pocketbooks now includes this guide to local snails and other non-marine molluscs. After an illustrated introductory section on identification, on gastropods, their sub-groupings and their basic ways of life, scientific details and illustrations are given for some 55 terrestrial gastropods of various sub-species, some 15 aquatic gastropods and 6 bivalves. With glossary and index of scientific names.

Naturalist's Guide to the Birds of Borneo - Sabah, Sarawak, Brunei and Kalimantan by Wong Tsu Shi. This handy guide to the birds of Borneo gives background information on the geography and vegetation of this the world's third largest island, and guidance on national park and nature reserves of particular interest to naturalists. Details are then given of 280 of the 643 bird species recorded in Borneo. An inset colour photo with notes on appearance, distribution, habits and habitat is given for each species plus local and scientific names. With distribution and global status list, sketch maps, reading and resource list, and index.

Bulbophyllum of Sulawesi by Jaap Vermeulen and Peter O'byrne. Bulbophyllum of Sulawesi is a scientific revision of the 123 species and 4 subspecies of Bulbophyllum that are found in Sulawesi. It contains descriptions of all 127 taxa, and illustrates the majority of them with colour photographs, line drawings, or both. The book is organised into sections according to the latest developments in orchid taxonomy; 24 Bulbophyllum sections are represented in Sulawesi. Keys to the sections and species are provided. There is a chapter on the biogeography of Sulawesi and chapters dealing with the island's forests and orchid habitats. Unlike many orchid books which are dependent on recycling old material, Bulbophyllum of Sulawesi is the product of original research and fieldwork. This is how 60 of the species in this book came to be discovered during the course of this investigation.

Singapore Biodiversity: An Encyclopedia of the Natural Environment and Sustainable Development by Peter K.L. Ng; Richard T. Corlett et al. Amidst Singapore's glistening urban landscape there is an amazing diversity of life - wildlife that continues to thrive and flourish in spite of multiple threats to the island's fragile ecosystem. This groundbreaking encyclopedia represents the first-ever comprehensive guide to nature in Singapore and is written by the city's foremost authorities on the natural environment, who describe in detail more than 40,000 species of flora and fauna that make up the island's biodiversity. The encyclopedia comprises two parts: the first is a fine collection of essays outlining issues relating to biodiversity, ecosystems and sustainability; the second part of the book is a comprehensive A-Z directory of over 1,500 entries, covering virtually every known organism found in Singapore. This unique reference work is not only academically rigorous - based as it is on the latest cutting-edge data and fieldwork - but its richly illustrated presentation is eminently suitable for a wider, non-specialist readership.

Event: Meet-the-Author, Ian Burnet, author of Spice Islands

Photos from the Meet-the-Author session with Ian Burnet, author of Spice Islands, on Friday, 9 November 2012.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Event: CakapHeritage - Let’s Talk About Heritage!

Singapore Heritage Society and Select Books are pleased to invite you to CakapHeritage - Let’s Talk About Heritage! on Sunday, November 25, 2012, at 3:00pm at Select Books.

Girls, Gangsters and Gentlemen's Club
Alex Tan on the 3G’s of life in Singapore in the 1950s & 1960s
What was life like in Singapore when the Maria Hertogh riots of December 1950 broke out; when Mr Lee Kuan Yew became the Prime Minister in June 1959; and when the Beatles emerged as the leading pop group in 1964? 

Alex Tan, the treasure trove of tales from bygone times, will bring us back in time, and indulge us with, among other things: 
  • the glitzy world of the gentlemen’s clubs at Club street: Singapore Chinese Weekly Entertainment Club, Goh Loo Club and Ee Ho Hean; and
  • the social life of youths in the 50s and 60s – the dating scene, ferocious gangster scene, popular music and more.

About Alex Tan
Alex Tan Tiong Hee is the second son of Tan Yeok Seong a man with a deep interest in Nanyang or Overseas Chinese history and who in 1964 gave his entire book collection known as the Ya Yin Kwan Collection to the National Library for the purpose of (in his words) “reaching out to the minds of future generations of Singaporeans that they would know more about who they are and how they come to be where they are today”.

Alex graduated with a law degree in England and for a time was managing the legal and financial affairs of his family’s estate. He is also the Trustee of the Settlement of Dr Lim Boon Keng (1921) as well as the legal officer of the Trust Fund. Alex maintains that having reached almost seven decades of his life on this planet and hence a senior citizen (de jure and de facto), his one desire is to continue the tradition of “gossiping the past” thereby bringing back memories, and it was a tradition when as a silent listener he heard tales and accounts from his father and uncles and their friends who had shared amongst themselves their fortunes and misfortunes, as well as misadventures, during leisure hours in the days when there was no TV; no Karaoke; no Marina Bay Sands; no Facebook; no Miss Singapore contest; no Lady Gaga…a time when fathers were dominant and the woman’s place is in the kitchen!

Sunday, November 25, 2012
3:00pm to 5:00pm

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

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Book Launch: Telling It Straight by Marina Mahathir

Photos from the book launch of Telling It Straight by Marina Mahathir, published by Editions Didier Millet, on Saturday, November 3, 2012, at 7pm at Select Books.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Meet-the-Author: Aimee Dawis, author of Portraits of Inspiring Chinese-Indonesian Women

Select Books is pleased to invite you to a Meet-the-Author event with Aimee Dawis, author of Portraits of Inspiring Chinese-Indonesian Women on Friday, November 16, 2012 at 7:00pm.

About Aimee Dawis
Aimee Dawis is a lecturer at the University of Indonesia's Department of Communication within the School of Social and Political Sciences and the Department of Literature within the School of Humanities.  

Her doctoral dissertation on collective memory, the media and the search for Chinese-Indonesian identity has been published by Cambria Press, New York in May, 2009, as The Chinese of Indonesia and their Search for Identity. This book has been translated into Bahasa Indonesia and was launched in April, 2010.

She currently writes and publishes her work on China and the cultural identity of the Chinese in Indonesia, Chinese education in Indonesia, the evolution of Chinese organizations in Indonesia, and the changing role of Chinese-Indonesian women.

About Portraits of Inspiring Chinese-Indonesian Women
Portraits of Inspiring Chinese-Indonesian Women presents the profiles of eight prominent Chinese-Indonesian women who have demonstrated tremendous success in their careers and garnered international recognition  for their work.  

These women are: Dr. Mari Elka Pangestu, Susi Susanti, Professor Melani Budianta, Dr. Kuei Pin Yeo, Myra Sidharta, Dr. Mely G. Tan, Josephine Kowara (Obin), and Dian Muljadi.

Richly illustrated by remarkable portraits taken by Indra Leonardi, an acclaimed photographer, this book highlights each woman’s achievements and their contributions to the process of nation-building in Indonesia. 

Friday, 16th November 2012, 7:00pm

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

Monday, November 5, 2012

Book Launch: My Burning Hill by Rosaly Puthucheary

Photos from the book launch of My Burning Hill by Rosaly Puthucheary, published by Ethos Books, on Saturday, November 3, 2012, at 5pm at Select Books.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Books on Migration in Asia

This is a selection of books on migration in Asia:

Climate Change, Migration and Human Security in Southeast Asia (RSIS Mono. No. 24) edited by Lorraine Elliot, Lorraine. The proposition that migration as a result of climate change has consequences for regional and global security has become prominent in public discourse over the last few years. Yet much of that debate in the Southeast Asian context is not sufficiently well informed by current knowledge on the demographics of migration and the kinds of choices that people and communities make about mobility; nor does it pay adequate attention to the human insecurities that result from climate change in general and climate change-induced migration in particular. This volume seeks to overcome some of those limitations, drawing on insights from international relations, international law, demography, public policy, geography, environmental studies and climate science. It shows how a human security approach can sustain the tactical attractions of a security discourse in bringing urgent attention to a problem such as climate change and migration, while also redirecting security policy to protecting and empowering those who are most vulnerable to the threats of climate change.

Costs and Benefits of Cross-Country Labour Migration in the GMS edited by Jalilian Hossein Jalilian. International labour migration can be characterized in three ways - as human aspiration, tradition, and necessity. Greater Mekong Subregion worker movements to Thailand typify all three characterizations of international labour mobility. While this book focuses on the economic dimensions of international labour emigration, principally from Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam to Thailand, it recognizes at the very outset the equal standing of non-economic motivations for migration.

Eating Bitterness: Stories from the Front Lines of China's Great Urban Migration by Michelle Dammon Loyalka. Aaward-winning journalist Michelle Loyalka follows the trials and triumphs of eight Chinese migrant workers-including a vegetable vendor, an itinerant knife sharpener, a free-spirited recycler, and a cash-strapped mother-offering an inside look at the pain, self-sacrifice, and uncertainty underlying China's dramatic national transformation. These stories illustrate why China continues to advance, even as the rest of the world remains embroiled in financial turmoil. At the same time, Eating Bitterness demonstrates how dealing with the issues facing this class of people constitutes China's most pressing domestic challenge.

The Family in Flux in Southeast Asia: Institution Ideology, Practice edited by Yoko Hayami, Junko Koizumi et al. The Family in Flux in Southeast Asia fills a gap in studies of the modern family. With much talk about the "family in crisis" in the industrialized world, new trends are affecting basic family structures in Southeast Asia as well: decreases in fertility rates, aging populations, a rise in divorce rates, increase in female-headed households, smaller families with a heavier burden on caregivers, and increasing mobility due to labour migration. While there has been abundant research on the historical evolution of the "family" in the West and much theorizing about the "family" in the industrialized world, accounts of the family in Southeast Asia are uneven, and understanding is still inadequate. This volume, with contributions from leading scholars from Southeast Asia and Japan, covers a wide range of topics, such as legal institutionalization, polygamy, national identity, nationalism and ideology, gender roles, migration, and trans-national marriage. The disciplinary backgrounds of the authors range across history, political science, economics, sociology, literary studies, and anthropology. The authors present cases of complementary, alternative, or parallel developments from Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. They provide a critical look at how notions of the family are negotiated amidst worries over the family's disintegration in the face of globalizing trends and increasing mobility, and how it is affected by increasing flows in the globalizing world.

Migration and Diaspora in Modern Asia by Sunil S. Amrith. Asian countries have both been the source and destination for vast numbers of its inhabitants over the last 150 years. This is a readable introductory account and analysis of the human dramas and traumas and the economic developments which have been involved in this dimension of the world's history and globalization. With timeline, glossary, black-and-white illustrations, sketch maps, reading guide and index.