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JUDGE THE BOOK BY ITS COVER

This is a must have place if you intend to become a professional blogger.  The more you read the books, the more your knowledge base expand. (supposedly). I am not a general reader.  I could not remember how long  ago that I have taken the path of nonreadership.  In my early adolescent, I was an avid fan of the Enid Blyton series, the Nancy Drews, the Mills & Boons, Harlequin series and recently the Harry Potter series. Few years ago I read novels of John Grisham and  Tom Clancy.  Have to find the extra time to read these books (and extra money too!)  That was in the past, and these are the presence;

Recommendation by Raja Menangis


Riau Univ by you.

rm1

rm3 rm2


http://rajamenangis@gmail.com


1.0     Malay Issues


One EarthOne Earth

by Isa Kamari

Satu Bumi (One Earth) by Isa Kamari is a serious book which elevates Singapore Malay Literature with elements which are fresh and progressive. In many aspects this work has freed itself from the clutches which have restricted Singapore Malay Literature, either in terms of language, style, characterization and literary issues. Satu Bumi can be regarded as a successful attempt to widen the discussion and discourse in Singapore Malay Literature. – Dr. Shaharuddin Maaruf, Former Head, Malay Studies Department, NUS.

One Earth is a deeply insightful piece and puts the reader into the characters’ shoes, as they struggle to cope with the drastic changes in their lives. It offers an intimate look into their lives as the various characters either rise above their circumstances or fall into despondence.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about One Earth is its depiction of human nature. Set in such tumultuous times, both the best and the worst of humanity are shown.
Words by Brian Lee, Hype volume 27, Aug-Oct 2008

The Malays: Their Problems and Future

The Malays: Their Problems and Future

The Malays as an ethnic group has been defined on the basis of both legal-constitutional and historical-cultural factors. While it is difficult to speculate or visualise correctly the future of any country or people, it is possible to provide a general outline of the trends of the past and present, and probably attempt to at least indicate what should be avoided and promoted to ensure a better future. This is what Dr Syed Husin Ali attempts in this book. In nine chapters, he discusses the Malays and their origin, history, religion, economy, politics and development up to the present day. He connects all of these to the various changes in the forms of modernisation and development programmes which affected, and continue to impact upon, the Malays. Three decades have passed since the book was first published. During that time many changes have taken place in the country. But the basic problems facing the Malays, contends the writer, have remained the same. The current controversies on the declining power of the Malays, as perceived by some, affirm these problems, and make the book more relevant.

The Malay Dilemma Revisted: Race Dynamics in Modern MalaysiaThe Malay Dilemma Revisted: Race Dynamics in Modern Malaysia

by M. Bakri Musa

The Malay Dilemma Revisited is a critical and balanced analysis of MalaysiaÂ’s preferential race policy and its impact on the nationÂ’s delicate race dynamics and economy. Unlike AmericaÂ’s affirmative action, MalaysiaÂ’s version is far more aggressive and pervasive and has been remarkably successful in creating a sizable and stable Bumiputra (indigenous group) middle class. The price tag is significant: distortion of freemarket dynamics and consequent inefficiency. Perversely, the policy impairs rather than strengthens BumiputrasÂ’ ability to compete.</p>

In contrast to quotas and other set-aside programs that are the hallmark of the current policy, the writer presents an alternative strategy aimed primarily at enhancing Bumiputra competitiveness. The proposed approach would not negatively impact the economy nor interfere with the freemarket. Equally important, it would not arouse resentment from other Malaysians. The first objective would be to modernize the nationÂ’s archaic educational system to emphasize English, mathematics, the sciences, and technical training. Secondly, the influences of religious and royal institutions must be curtailed, and the rates of urbanization and population growth reduced.

The primary objective is in enhancing competitiveness, not on meeting arbitrarily picked numerical goals and targets.

Writing a New Society: Social Change Through the Novel in Malay (Southeast Asia Publications Series)Writing a New Society: Social Change Through the Novel in Malay

(Southeast Asia Publications Series)

by Virginia Matheson Hooker

Writing a New Society is the first extended study of the novel in Malay and is a groundbreaking study of the relationship between social change and literary practice. The book traces the emergence of the genre from the 1920s and, drawing on twenty-six of Malaysia’s best-known novels, argues that the form was developed as a vehicle for transforming Malay ideas about themselves and their society. Virginia Hooker focuses on the underlying anxiety about racial identity, which underpins much of Malay writing and examines how ethnic identity is constructed and expressed.


2.0     Heritage Discovery

Among Malay Pirates: And Other StoriesAmong Malay Pirates: a Tale of Adventure and Peril

by G.A. Henty

The man at the tiller was in fact, looking, with mingled curiosity and hostility, at the gunboat that he was passing but a few yards away, and did not notice a canoe, manned by six rowers, that was coming down with the stream, taking an oblique course across the bows of the Serpent, and was indeed hidden from his view by the hull of the vessel, until he had passed beyond her.

Early Kingdoms of the Indonesian Archipelago and the Malay PeninsulaEarly Kingdoms of the Indonesian Archipelago and the Malay Peninsula

by Paul Michel Monoz

During a time when sea travel and navigation depended more on the skill and courage of sailors than on technology, people were still able to build huge maritime empires that stretched from indochina to the Indonesian Archipelago. “Early Kingdoms” provides an extensive overview of the history of the Malay Peninsula and South East Asia from the earliest of times up to the 16th century. It also includes an in-depth analysis of the international context of the political, economic, and social evolution of these kingdoms – providing essential background knowledge to the region’s turbulent modern history. This informative and accessible volume also features an impressive collection of reproductions of major stone inscriptions, as well as an extensive glossary of Sanskrit, old Malay, Javanese, and Tamil words, names, and phrases.

The Malay ArchipelagoThe Malay Archipelago

by Alfred Russell Wallace

The Malay Archipelago is an extraordinarily accessible book written by noted British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace. A century and a half after it was published, this book remains one of the great classics of natural history and travel, on par with Charles Darwin’s work. Full of a wealth of detail about pre-modern life in the Indonesian archipelago, The Malay Archipelago is a fascinating look at natural selection.

Spirit of Wood: The Art of Malay WoodcarvingSpirit of Wood: The Art of Malay Woodcarving

by F. A. Noor

In Malaysia, woodcarvers are venerated as artists who have a mystical affinity with wood. This collection of over 250 photographs and line drawings explores the mystical connection between Malaysian woodcarvers and their craft.

Contesting Malayness: Malay Identity Across BoundariesContesting Malayness: Malay Identity Across Boundaries

by Timothy P. Barnard

We Are Playing Relatives: A Survey of Malay WritingWe Are Playing Relatives: A Survey of Malay Writing

by Henk Maier

We Are Playing Relatives offers a comprehensive survey of literary writing in the Malay language. It starts with the playful evocations of language and reality in the Hikayat Hang Tuah, a work that circulated on the Malay Peninsula in the eighteenth century, and follows the Malay literary impulse up to the beginning of the twenty-first century, a time when the dominant notions of Malay literature seem to fade away in the cyberspace created on the island of Java, and the Hikayat Hang Tuah’s play and dance on the sounds of Malay words seem to be infused with a new vitality.

We are Playing Relatives covers a highly heterogeneous group of texts published over a long period of time in many places in Southeast Asia. The book is organized around a discussion of related texts that are crucial in the rise of the notion of Malay literature.

History Malay Kingdom Patani: Mis Sea#68 (Ohio RIS Southeast Asia Series)History Malay Kingdom Patani

by Ibrahim Syukri

Legacy of the Barang People, The: An Exploration into the Puzzling Similarities of the Hungarian and Malay LanguagesLegacy of the Barang People

The: An Exploration into the Puzzling Similarities of the Hungarian and Malay Languages

by György Busztin

The Malay language, one of the most widely used in Southeast Asia, is commonly assumed to be relatively young. In the course of its development it incorporated a great number of loan words, galvanising them into an organic unit so successfully that it became the chief linguistic vehicle of regional trade. Easy to use and understand, Malay soon functioned as a kind of merchants’ Esperanto across the vast archipelago. With this groundbreaking piece of research, Dr György Busztin postulates that the roots of Malay extend much deeper in time than previously thought. This study uncovers over one hundred words that tie the precursor of the Malay language – as we know it today – to languages spoken three thousand years ago on the steppes of Central Asia and its puzzling similarities to the Hungarian (Magyar) language. The Legacy of the Barang People is a must-read work for anyone interested in linguistics and the history of two unlikely cultural relatives. György Busztin, a career diplomat, has spent over a decade in Indonesia, beginning as a grade school student and most recently as the Ambassador of Hungary. With an academic background in linguistics, Dr. Busztin has held positions in both Europe and the Middle East and is fluent in five languages. The Legacy of the Barang People is his first book.

Taming the Wind of Desire: Psychology, Medicine, and Aesthetics in Malay Shamanistic Performance (Comparative Studies of Health Systems and Medical)Taming the Wind of Desire

Psychology, Medicine, and Aesthetics in Malay Shamanistic Performance (Comparative Studies of Health Systems and Medical)

by Carol Laderman

Charged with restoring harmony and relieving pain, the Malay shaman places his patients in trance and encourages them to express their talents, drives, personality traits–the “Inner Winds” of Malay medical lore–in a kind of performance. These healing ceremonies, formerly viewed by Western anthropologists as exotic curiosities, actually reveal complex multicultural origins and a unique indigenous medical tradition whose psychological content is remarkably relevant to contemporary Western concerns.
Accepted as apprentice to a Malay shaman, Carol Laderman learned and recorded every aspect of the healing seance and found it comparable in many ways to the traditional dramas of Southeast Asia and of other cultures such as ancient Greece, Japan, and India. The Malay seance is a total performance, complete with audience, stage, props, plot, music, and dance. The players include the patient along with the shaman and his troupe. At the center of the drama are pivotal relationships–among people, between humans and spirits, and within the self. The best of the Malay shamans are superb poets, dramatists, and performers as well as effective healers of body and soul.

A Merry Senhor in the Malay World: Four Texts of the Syair Sinyor Kosta (Bibliotheca Indonesica)A Merry Senhor in the Malay World

Four Texts of the Syair Sinyor Kosta (Bibliotheca Indonesica)

by M. J. Van Yperen

Around a century ago a Malay poem which tells of a foreigner, always indicated as Sinyor, in Southeast Asia who elopes with Lela Mayang, the wife of a wealthy Chinaman. The latter sets out in pursuit of the couple and engages in a naval battle with the Sinyor in an attempt to get his wife back. The Syair Sinyor Kosta, as the poem is known, presents us with fascinating pictures and glimpses of Malay society, in this case a nineteenth-century society in transition. It reflects changing literary tastes, a pluriform society and the beginning modernization of Malay culture. In its variegated transmission, through both manuscripts and early printings, it is an illustration of the continuous interaction between Malay authors and audiences. In particular it is a remarkable piece of early evidence of literary coexistence between Malays and Chinese, who must have enjoyed this story of the merry Sinyor each in their own way, as is apparent from the continuing process of creation, reception and recreation of the text. This book presents editions of four versions of the Syair Sinyor Kosta, of which two are translated into English. The texts are preceded by a lengthy introduction which deals with the manuscripts, their history and provenance, and their writers. The book closes with a detailed chapter with a comparative study of the four versions, an investigation of the historical setting, and an analysis of the language used in the texts.

Colonial Image of Malay Adat Laws: A Critical Appraisal of Studies on Adat Laws in the Malay Peninsula During the Colonial Era And Some Continuities (Social Sciences in Asia) (Social Sciences in Asia)Adat Laws in the Malay Peninsula During the Colonial Era And Some Continuities

by Noor Aisha Abdul Rahman

This book is a study of conceptions of Malay adat laws by several prominent colonial writers and some continuities, whose works are generally acknowledged and long regarded as pioneering and authoritative expositions of the subject. Some of the central problems explored in this study are as follows: how are Malay adat laws understood and portrayed by the authors?, what are some of the problems raised and possible factors which influence their selection?, what are the unquestioned assumptions and sources which condition their perceptions?, to what extent can their ideas be considered as accurate portrayals of adat law and what implications do they have not only on the image of the laws but Malay society and culture generally. By addressing these problems, this book hopes to contribute to a more accurate and balanced understanding of Malay laws.

Chinese Business in the Making of a Malay State, 1882-1941: Kedah and Penang (Chinese Worlds)Chinese Business in the Making of a Malay State, 1882-1941: Kedah and Penang

by Wu Xiao An

This book examines how Chinese family and business networks, focused around activities such as revenue farming, including opium, the rice trade, and pawnbroking, and related legal and labour organization activities, were highly influential in the process of state formation in Malaya. It shows how Chinese family and business networks were flexible and dynamic, and were closely interlocked with economic and social structures, around which government, and states, developed. It considers the crucial role of wealth and power in the process of state formation, and challenges accepted view.

3.0     Islam & Related

Islam in FocusIslam in Focus

by Hammudah Abd Al-Ati

Newest available publication of this now famous book, thoroughly updated and edited, approved for sale by the Abdulati family. Published by amana publications. This book is the most popular written document on Islam. With its living and resourceful style, the book addresses both the young educated and the adult intellectual in a scholarly yet fresh and simple mode of thinking and presentation.

Dari Beirut ke JerusalemDari Beirut ke Jerusalem

by Ang Swee Chai

Reviews

  • I ever hear about Lebanon before but after I read this book, I really realise how cruel they destroy lebanon, and what is that for? nothing……But I admire the struggle of Swee Ang Chai, Lebanon and Palestina people, the destroyed but they rise again and again…Salute swee Ang Chai for what did you done
  • This book contains the very personal reflections of a Malaysian-born orthopaedic surgeon who travelled to Lebanon to work in the refugee camp hospitals that came under fire during the 1982 and 1985 invasions. Her vivid, no-holds-barred descriptions of the devastation and inhumanity that ruled there is contrasted with her tales of heroism and hope against all odds.
  • Keistimewaan orang palestina yang paling mengagumkan adalah –> ga peduli berapa kali pun dihancurkan mereka akan bangkit kembali, membangun bata demi bata… Mungkin kata2 “what doesn’t kill you will make you stronger” bisa merepresentasikan kekuatan palestina..
New Tawassul “Barangsiapa memuja Muhammad, Ketahuilah Muhammad telah wafat. Tetapi barangsiapa memuja Allah, Allah sentiasa hidup. Mana mungkin Nabi datang menolong umatnya setelah baginda wafat? Mana mungkin? Atau inikah yang dimaksudkan mereka dengan syafaat yang telah dijanjikan baginda kepada umatnya?”
“Dipandukan mantera-mantera purba, Orang Imorot pula menanti kedatangan manusia istimewa mereka. Mungkinkah manusia istimewa itu telah tiba dan hidup di kalangan mereka? Siapakah manusia istimewa itu? Sejauh keterangan datukku sejarah hidupnya mengimbas sejarah suci yang aku kenali. Mungkinkah dia telah datang setelah sekian lama diseru dan dijemput? Mungkinkah?”Novel Tawasul pasti menggegarkan dunia kesusasteraan dan keagamaan masakini dengan penerokaannya yang berani, penting dan mencabar untuk direnungkan. Ia memancing minat pembaca dengan meneroka pertalian di antara institusi kenabian, sains pengklonan dan penafsiran sejarah.

INTERCESSION

The genesis of his book lay in the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Thinking about what could trigger such terror, he decided that the issue was history – that interpretations of the past were hindering the future. He wants his faith to be adaptive, inclusive and progressive, drawing on principles established in the past but made relevant to the present.   “That’s why actually I created this character – the clone of the Prophet. In my story I put him in a community. Biologically he has all the traits of the Prophet but the question is, could historical man be repeated? I try to portray this person using experiences from the past and trying to adapt to the current situation,” Isa said. The question of why clones are O.K. but cartoons are not, referred to the controversy sparked by the publication in Denmark in 2005 of cartoons of the Prophet.   “The basic distinction is this,” said Sardar. “The cartoons were commissioned, designed and produced both to ridicule, disparage and abuse not just the Prophet but the whole community. That kind of demonization undermines my humanity. The clone idea was a very specific idea to explore certain problems which are very deep problems within Islam using a literary device,” he argued.   He said Muslims regard themselves as a historic community, but that this has become a kind of baggage.    “It is very, very important for us to understand and appreciate what aspects of the Prophet’s life, who is supposed to be a model for us, are purely historic and should be left in history and what part of his examples are the examples that we should emulate and that will take us forward,” said Sardar.

International Herald Tribune,
14 March 2008

4.0     Others on Wishlist

The Measure of a Man: A Spiritual Autobiography (Oprah's Book Club)The Measure of a Man: A Spiritual Autobiography

In this candid spiritual memoir, legendary actor Sidney Poitier reflects on life itself as he reveals the spiritual depth, passion, and intellectual fervor that has driven his remarkable life. Poitier credits his childhood of poverty on idyllic Cat Island in the Bahamas for equipping him with the unflinching sense of self-worth, family values, and simple ethics that he has never since surrendered and that have dramatically shaped his world. Just a few years after his introduction to indoor plumbing and the automobile, Poitier broke countless barriers to launch a pioneering career portraying important, dignified characters in some of the most morally significant films of the late 20th century. Drawing on his personal journey, Poitier explores such themes as sacrifice and commitment, pride and humility, rage and survival, and paying the price for artistic integrity. His engaging memoir spans a time in history from Jim Crow segregation through the early Civil Rights conflicts to present-day cultural struggles and spiritual seeking. Poitier shares his provocative thoughts on racism in Hollywood, consumerism and the media, child-rearing, illness and mortality, honoring a higher consciousness, and realizing how fully a part of “the grand scheme” each of us is. This book is a powerful testament to the rewards of being true to one’s self, acting passionately on one’s convictions, and boldly walking on the edge.

To Kill a MockingbirdTo Kill a Mockingbird

by Harper Lee

A gripping, heart-wrenching, and wholly remarkable tale of coming-of-age in a South poisoned by virulent prejudice, it views a world of great beauty and savage inequities through the eyes of a young girl, as her father—a crusading local lawyer—risks everything to defend a black man unjustly accused of a terrible crime.

Synopsis

At the age of eight, Scout Finch is an entrenched free-thinker. She can accept her father’s warning that it is a sin to kill a mockingbird, because mockingbirds harm no one and give great pleasure. The benefits said to be gained from going to school and keeping her temper elude her.

The place of this enchanting, intensely moving story is Maycomb, Alabama. The time is the Depression, but Scout and her brother, Jem, are seldom depressed. They have appalling gifts for entertaining themselves—appalling, that is, to almost everyone except their wise lawyer father, Atticus.

Atticus is a man of unfaltering good will and humor, and partly because of this, the children become involved in some disturbing adult mysteries: fascinating Boo Radley, who never leaves his house; the terrible temper of Mrs. Dubose down the street; the fine distinctions that make the Finch family “quality”; the forces that cause the people of Maycomb to show compassion in one crisis and unreasoning cruelty in another.

Also because Atticus is what he is, and because he lives where he does, he and his children are plunged into a conflict that indelibly marks their lives—and gives Scout some basis for thinking she knows just about as much about the world as she needs to.

Norwegian Wood (Vintage East)Norwegian Wood (Vintage East)

by Haruki MurakamiJay Rubin, trans.

In 1987, when Norwegian Wood was first published in Japan, it promptly sold more than 4 million copies and transformed Haruki Murakami into a pop-culture icon. The horrified author fled his native land for Europe and the United States, returning only in 1995, by which time the celebrity spotlight had found some fresher targets. And now he’s finally authorized a translation for the English-speaking audience, turning to the estimable Jay Rubin, who did a fine job with his big-canvas production The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. Readers of Murakami’s later work will discover an affecting if atypical novel, and while the author himself has denied the book’s autobiographical import–“If I had simply written the literal truth of my own life, the novel would have been no more than fifteen pages long”–it’s hard not to read as at least a partial portrait of the artist as a young man.

Norwegian Wood is a simple coming-of-age tale, primarily set in 1969-70, when the author was attending university. The political upheavals and student strikes of the period form the novel’s backdrop. But the focus here is the young Watanabe’s love affairs, and the pain and pleasure and attendant losses of growing up. The collapse of a romance (and this is one among many!) leaves him in a metaphysical shambles:

Ayat-ayat Cinta Ayat-Ayat Cinta

by Habiburrahman El Shirazy

Ayat Ayat Cinta is a beautifully portrayed Islamic love story — a tale of a virtuous Muslim protagonist who overcomes all obstacles of life maintaining pure ideals.  Fahri bin Abdillah is a poor, intelligent student who wins a scholarship to complete his graduate degree at Egypt’s esteemed Al Azhar University. Very disciplined and dedicated by nature, Fahri embraces his life in Cairo, completing his studies and translation of religious books with full enthusiasm, exactly according to pre-determined targets.    Only one goal is left unattempted: the pursuit of marriage.

The plotline is actually quite simple, these four women are fascinated by Fahri’s honest way of life, and how he respect women very highly in islamic context. Aisha fell for him and they are eventually married.  It’s getting complicated in middleway when Naora was raped, and she accussed Fahri as the rapist. This led the Egyptian polices threw him in jail, and treating him very inhumanly as possible.  This is probably one of the most culture shock, Egyptians polices are pretty cruel and inhumane, they tortured the verdicts so badly. The strongest point in this book probably is the setting. Not much people has experienced living in Egypt before, it’s a good book to know the glimpse of how Egyptian live. The narration is pretty much flowing and enjoyable.

Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a TimeThree Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a Time

by Greg MortensonDavid Oliver Relin

The astonishing, uplifting story of a real-life Indiana Jones and his humanitarian campaign to use education to combat terrorism in the Taliban’s backyard. Anyone who despairs of the individual’s power to change lives has to read the story of Greg Mortenson, a homeless mountaineer who, following a 1993 climb of Pakistan’s treacherous K2, was inspired by a chance encounter with impoverished mountain villagers and promised to build them a school. Over the next decade he built fifty-five schools;especially for girls;that offer a balanced education in one of the most isolated and dangerous regions on earth. As it chronicles Mortenson’s quest, which has brought him into conflict with both enraged Islamists and uncomprehending Americans,Three Cups of Tea combines adventure with a celebration of the humanitarian spirit.

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