September 2016 Bestsellers

september-2016-bestsellersThe months seem to be passing by all too quickly, and it’s already time to look back at the bestsellers for September. It’s pretty cool that three of the top four are books that we’ve edited – that that, of course, may be down to the prejudices of the bookshop team! Top of the pops is Tan Yeow Wooi’s excellent Penang Shophouses: A Handbook of Features and Materials (Tan Yeow Wooi Culture & Heritage Research Studio), a state-of-the-art introduction for George Town’s iconic built form. And in second and third places came two hardy perennials: Paul Augustin and James Lochhead’s brilliant Just for the Love of It (SIRD), their affectionate and engaging look at Penang’s popular music scene; and then Rehman Rashid’s contemporary classic, Peninsula (Fergana Art), which combines acute observation with deeply personal reflections, and more besides. The continuing presence of the brand-new edition of Anthony Milner’s classic Kerajaan: Malay Political Culture on the Eve of Colonial Rule (SIRD) shows there’s a ready readership for first-class history, and much the same could be said of Anthony Burgess’s The Malayan Trilogy (Vintage) in relation to modern fiction. (His centenary next year promises some brilliant celebrations here in Malaysia. Watch this space.) A newcomer to the list is Chor Lin Lee and May Khuen Chung’s In the Mood for Cheongsam (Editions Didier Millet), a lovely book that examines the origins and development of the cheongsam in the social context of Singapore and Malaya since its introduction from Shanghai in the 1920s to the present day. Mike Gibby’s splendid new book, Street Art: Penang Style (Entrepot Publishing), offering a beautifully illustrated guide to the work of the muralists of George Town and beyond, continues to do well. Another book with local connections is Tan Siew Imm’s Penang Hokkien-English Dictionary, surely a first for a dictionary making a bestsellers’ list. Both the final two titles concern the late Bruno Manser. Rainforest Hero by Ruedi Suter (Bergli Books) is a sympathetic biography by someone who knew him well, while Voices from the Rainforest (SIRD) is Bruno’s own rendering of his and the indigenous peoples’ fight against the rape of Sarawak. Here’s the full top ten:


1  Tan Yeow Wooi, Penang Shophouses: A Handbook of Features and Materials (Tan Yeow Wooi Culture & Heritage Research Studio)
2  Paul Augustin and James Lochhead, Just for the Love of It (SIRD)
3  Rehman Rashid, Peninsula (Fergana Art)
4  Anthony Milner, Kerajaan: Malay Political Culture on the Eve of Colonial Rule (SIRD)
5  Anthony Burgess, The Malayan Trilogy (Vintage)
6  Chor Lin Lee and May Khuen Chung, In the Mood for Cheongsam (EDM)
7  Mike Gibby, Street Art: Penang Style (Entrepot Publishing)
8  Tan Siew Imm, Penang Hokkien-English Dictionary (Sunway)
9  Ruedi Suter, Rainforest Hero (Bergli Books)
10  Bruno Manser, Voices from the Rainforest (SIRD)

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