July 2016 Bestsellers

July 2016 BestsellerIn a fit of absent-mindedness we didn’t post about June’s bestsellers – so moving swiftly forwards here’s what happened last month. Thanks to a very lively appearance at our Nusantara Forum, Poh Soo Kai’s searing memoir, Living in a Time of Deception (Function 8) came out top of the pops – a forensic indictment of authoritarian politics in Singapore and the seminal role Soo Kai played in upholding progressive, egalitarian values – for which he did 17 years in Changi Prison. Making a welcome return in second place is Found in Translation, the innovative publication from the Si-Jin Poets – Yasmin Bathamanathan and Ooi Kee How. In fact it was a month for many longstanding favourites. The collection of essays, Young and Malay (SIRD) edited by Ooi Kee Beng and Wan Hamidi, and Rehman Rashid’s instant classic, Peninsula (Fergana Art) also did well. Once again – and for the fourth time this year – Tan Twan Eng’s two lovely novels, The Gift of Rain (Myrmidon Books) and The Garden of Evening Mists (Canongate Books), found new readers. By sheer coincidence three books on music also did well: Tan Sooi Beng’s study of the Malay popular opera, Bangsawan (The Asian Centre); Paul Augustin and James Lochhead’s evergreen Just for the Love of It (SIRD); and Marco Ferrarese’s spunky Banana Punk Rawk Trails (SIRD) show that music is in the air in this festive month. Finishing off the top-ten was Kua Kia Soong’s must-read collection of essays, Moderates & Extremists in Malaysia (SUARAM). Here’s the full list:


1    Poh Soo Kai, Living in a Time of Deception (Function 8)
2    Yasmin Bathamanathan and Ooi Kee How, Found in Translation (Si-Jin Poets)
3    Ooi Kee Beng and Wan Hamidi, eds, Young and Malay (SIRD)
4    Rehman Rashid, Peninsula (Fergana Art)
5    Tan Twan Eng, The Gift of Rain (Myrmidon Books)
6    Tan Twan Eng, The Garden of Evening Mists (Canongate Books)
7    Tan Sooi Beng, Bangsawan (The Asian Centre)
8    Paul Augustin and James Lochhead, Just for the Love of It (SIRD)
9    Marco Ferrarese, Banana Punk Rawk Trails (SIRD)
10  Kua Kia Soong, Moderates & Extremists in Malaysia (SUARAM).

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