Bestsellers 2015

Just for the Love of It

A final look back at the old year brings us to the bestselling titles of 2015. As a comparison, the top title in Britain was the execrable EL James’s Grey: Fifty Shades of Grey as Told by Christian, which sold over a million copies! We can’t offer you anything so titillating but the list makes for fascinating reading nonetheless. It’s no surprise whatsoever that Paul Augustin and James Lochhead’s Just for the Love of It: Popular Music in Penang, 1930s-1960s (SIRD) was easily top of the pops, selling more than twice the number of copies as the runner-up, Ariffin Omar’s fine history, Bangsa Melayu (SIRD). Books that reflected a radical and progressive critique of Malaysian politics also did well – Azmi Sharom’s Brave New World (SIRD), Parthiban Muniandy’s The Politics of the Temporary (SIRD), Lukas Straumann’s Money Logging (Bergli Books) and Ooi Kee Beng and Wan Hamidi’s Young and Malay (Gerakbudaya) – which surely signals a widespread desire for new ways of changing society. Mark Trowell’s The Prosecution of Anwar Ibrahim (Marshall Cavendish International (Asia) provided a sobering assessment of the baleful state of the Malaysian judicial and political class, while Tan Kim Hong’s The Story of Ghee Hin Kongsi (走近义兴公司) and Tan Yeow Wooi’s Penang Shophouses offered insights into George Town’s cultural history. Last, but not least, Marco Ferrarese’s Nazi Goreng (Monsoon Books) made the top ten for the second year running, despite being banned in July. You can’t keep a good monkey down. Here’s the top ten:
1. Paul Augustin and James Lochhead, Just for the Love of It: Popular Music in Penang, 1930s-1960s (SIRD)
2. Ariffin Omar, Bangsa Melayu: Malay Concepts of Democracy and Community, 1945-1950 (SIRD)
3. Mark Trowell, The Prosecution of Anwar Ibrahim: The Final Play (Marshall Cavendish)
4. Azmi Sharom, Brave New World (SIRD)
5. Parthiban Muniandy, The Politics of the Temporary: An Ethnography of Migrant Life in Urban Malaysia (SIRD)
6. Tan Kim Hong, The Story of Ghee Hin Kongsi (走近义兴公司)
7. Tan Yeow Wooi, Penang Shophouses: A Handbook of Features and Materials (Tan Yeow Wooi Culture & Heritage Research Studio)
8. Lukas Straumann, Money Logging: On the Trail of the Asian Timber Mafia (Bergli Books)
9. Marco Ferrarese, Nazi Goreng (Monsoon Books)
10. Ooi Kee Beng and Wan Hamidi, Young and Malay: Growing Up in Multicultural Malaysa (Gerakbudaya)

bestselling 2015

Charis Loke
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