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12 May 2017: I, KKK ― The Autobiography of a Historian June 15, 2017 – Posted in: Newsletters

I have never strayed from the belief that the foundations of history lie in empirical evidence. I have spent a lifetime gathering facts, making sense of them, piecing them together, so that I may portray a true representation of the times I am writing about in all its complexity. ― Khoo Kay Kim Our featured book this week dispels the adage that historians have an aversion to penning their autobiographies. Indeed, the country’s most well-known…

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07 May 2017: Penang Hill – A Journey Through Time – Posted in: Newsletters

Mike Gibby has captured – for the first time – not only the fascinating ‘journey through time‘ of Penang Hill but also what it means to visitors, residents, Penang and the world, including a discussion of its possible futures and a helpful walker’s guide for discovering many of its hidden gems. History credits Francis Light as the first European to open up Penang Hill for settlement when he plotted a horse track from the Penang…

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22 April 2017: Memoirs of a Malaysian Eco-Activist April 25, 2017 – Posted in: Newsletters

Gurmit Singh needs little introduction to most Malaysians. His passion and concerns for the environment have won him several monikers, all well-deserved, but that of being an Eco-Activist fits him well. His unpretentious, yet colourful, story matches the nation’s peaceful struggle to be part of the emergent developing world and the march towards independence. – Mano Maniam, actor, director and writer How did environmental activism begin in Malaysia? Who were the key players back in…

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28 Feb 2017: Thaipusam in Malaysia – A Hindu Festival in the Tamil Diaspora March 16, 2017 – Posted in: Newsletters

This is an important book which argues that Hinduism and its manifestations in the diaspora have important significance in binding not only the Hindus but also encourages others to revisit Hinduism, especially in a multicultural society like Malaysia which is dominated by communally infused discourses structured upon race and religion. – Ajaya K. Sahoo, Editor, Journal of South Asian Diaspora Dr Carl Vadivella Belle may not be a familiar name (yet) among Malaysian readers, but…

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07 Feb 2017: Tunku – An Odyssey of a Life Well-Lived and Well-Loved – Posted in: Newsletters

Tunku’s unswerving and consistent efforts to establish racial harmony have earned him a permanent place of affection in the hearts and minds of Malaysians. This affection lifts Tunku the politician to become Tunku, the one and only national hero of all Malaysians. The announcement of our featured book couldn’t be more appropriate ― come February 8, the nation will commemorate Tunku’s 114th birthday. Among his myriad achievements, many will remember him as the Prime Minister…

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26 Jan 2017: Areca Books celebrates the year of the rooster – Posted in: Newsletters

Areca Books celebrates the year of the rooster with all its friends and customers! It’s the perfect time to pick up a few good titles from our store, for yourself or as gifts. Sun Yat Sen in Penang, authored by Khoo Salma Nasution, tells the story of how the Second Guangzhou Uprising, a turning point of the 1911 Chinese Revolution, was planned from a place 2,400 km away – in Penang in present-day Malaysia. Dr.…

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25 Dec 2016: Nonya Heritage Kitchen: Origins, Utensils and Recipes December 29, 2016 – Posted in: Newsletters

Here is an extraordinary and practical cookbook that reveals new information about the wide-spread and global roots of Nyonya food. What makes a cookbook great is its total package, combining practical recipes, sublime photography, narratives that entertain, educate and inspire, but most important of all is that it features food that people love to eat. When it comes to Nonya (also spelled Nyonya*) cuisine, there’s so much to choose from you’ll definitely be spoilt for…

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17 Dec 2016: Yangon Echoes: Inside Heritage Homes – Posted in: Newsletters

“The rich tapestry of multicultural Yangon is reflected wonderfully in this brilliant book, a fusion of intangible and tangible heritage that is often overlooked in architectural studies of cities.” – William Logan, Professor Emeritus, Deakin University, Melbourne My first reaction to Rangoon, now a sad and skeletal city renamed Yangon, was disbelief. There was a human pathos in a city that had faded in the years I’d been away, something more elderly, almost senile… The decrepitude…

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10 Dec 2016: Megat Terawis – Journey to Our Roots December 14, 2016 – Posted in: Newsletters

There have been insinuations that Megat Terawis was ‘a soldier of fortune’, someone who would do anything for reward, or that he acquired the office of Perak Bendahara by force of arms, as told by R. O. Winstedt and R. Wilkinson in their 1934 work, A History of Perak. The author of this week’s featured book, Megat Terawis: Journey to Our Roots, contends that this description is unlikely. Her search to uncover the history of her…

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01 Dec 2016: The Sustainability Shift – Refashioning Malaysia’s Future December 5, 2016 – Posted in: Newsletters

Following the successful launch on 29 November of its latest publication The Sustainability Shift: Refashioning Malaysia’s Future in Kuala Lumpur, Areca Books hosted the Penang launch on 4 December with Emeritus Professor Mohd. Nordin Hasan, Director, International Council for Science Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (ICSU–ROAP). About the book The threats of environmental degradation, climate change and imminent ecological collapse faced by humanity today demand an urgent response from individuals, industries and national governments. Yet, in most countries,…

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