Books & Reviews

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Are books, internet about to merge?

2012-02-19 IT'S easy to forget that the world wide web as we know it today evolved from an early attempt to put books on the internet. When Tim Berners-Lee envisaged what would become the world wide web, it was with the idea of making academic papers and other...

Sunday, 12 February 2012

A biography with the First Lady at its heart

2012-02-12 IN HER acknowledgments to The Obamas, her account of the first couple's first three years in the White House, journalist Jodi Kantor thanks her New York Times editor for "a four-year conversation about ambition, power, gender and public life...

A who's who of Hong Kong

2012-02-12 HONG Kong has for many years been short of a reference work about the men and women who have shaped the cosmopolitan city.Since 2004, a project involving about 90 contributors academics, journalists and other experts has finally produced...

Sunday, 5 February 2012

The rise of new hate

2012-02-05 EXTREMIST political conspiracies such as "birthers" and "truthers" may be a dominant theme of post-9/11 America, but in a new book by Arthur Goldwag, he argues that modern conservative groups may be a product of history repeating itself.!In...

Shedding light on kitchen culture behind bars

2012-02-05 THESE women may not have an oven, refrigerator, stove, knife, or even the ability to boil water, but they do have plenty of time on their hands. Decades, in fact. And that, combined with a few (admittedly peculiar) ingredients and a desire to...

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Economic challenges and answers

2012-01-29 HAVE we truly achieved economic diversification for our beloved country? A book entitled Brunei Darussalam Challenges for Economic Diversification written by Pg Dr Hj Mohd Yakub Pg Hj Othman is one such book that makes an attempt to answer...

Dark doings in the Amazon

2012-01-29 ANN Patchett's seventh novel, State of Wonder made a big splash upon publication, with many critics comparing it to Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness. This is nonsense. Comparing Kurtz, the cruel conqueror of an African tribe in the heart of the...

Sunday, 22 January 2012

iBooks 2 will 'reinvent textbooks'

2012-01-22 APPLE has unveiled a glimpse of the classroom of the future, launching a new version of its iBooks software that will allow publishers to create interactive textbooks for iPad-owning students.The new textbooks offer a host of functions which experts...

'Thinking Small' tells big story of Volkswagen Beetle

2012-01-22 THE Volkswagen Beetle has a unique and colorful history, with principal characters that include the Nazi dictator who personified evil, the legendary designer of Germany's most celebrated race cars and the Jewish advertising executive who pioneered...

Sunday, 15 January 2012

New Chinese writing: One for ages

2012-01-15 THIS is a collector's item. And not just because of its obvious historical importance. The first edition of Pathlight: New Chinese Writing magazine is a metaphor of the cooperation between Chinese and Western agencies in this case, the influential...

Comedian Bill Cosby muses on life in latest book

2012-01-15 MEDIA icon Bill Cosby at 74 still looms larger than life over the American psyche. Emerging from a Philadelphia housing project, ultimately success followed success as a comedian, actor, producer, author, educator, musician and activist.Breaking US...

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Mind the elephants' feet

2012-01-08 THE rapid rise in Chinese power in East Asia is causing a re-examination of traditional attitudes and policies in the region. Thant Myint-U examines with an historian's eye the relations among India and China and the land in-between.That the...

The other side of Michelle Obama

2012-01-08 FIRST lady Michelle Obama is a behind-the-scenes force in the White House whose opinions on policy and politics drew her into conflict with presidential advisers and who bristled at some of the demands and constraints of life as the president's wife...

Sunday, 25 December 2011

In her grandfather's footsteps

2011-12-25 CHINESE-AMERICAN writer Yan Geling has written about various women with dramatic stories. Now, she has switched her subject matter to a man for Inmate Lu Yanshi. In her latest novel, Yan narrates the ups and downs of protagonist Lu Yanshi's life...

Soldier echoes Arabian Nights with Iraq novel

2011-12-25 ON Benjamin Buchholz's second day in Iraq as a US army officer, a young Iraqi girl was struck and killed by a military convoy while trying to catch a bottle of water thrown to children by the roadside as a gift.!The tragedy and its aftermath...

Sunday, 18 December 2011

New chapter in Asia's English writing

2011-12-18 ONE of the reasons why the otherwise peripatetic Xu Xi (pic) has been living mostly in Hong Kong for the last two years is her commitment to facilitating the rise of new writing from Asia.She helped design Asia's first low-residency master's in fine...

Philby hailed as 'great spy' in Russia

2011-12-18 NOTORIOUS British double agent Kim Philby may be regarded as a traitor in his home country but 20 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union he remains a hero in Russia for divulging Western secrets.A Russian publisher has unveiled a major new...

Fantasy writer Hoban dies

2011-12-18 RUSSELL Hoban (pic), the prolific fantasy and children's author perhaps best known for Riddley Walker, a post-apocalyptic novel that relied on a language he created, has died, his publisher said on Thursday. He was 86. The former illustrator,...

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Business as usual needs change

2011-12-11 RICHARD Branson swashbuckling billionaire entrepreneur, sportsman and activist is accustomed to speaking his mind. Ask the employees and customers of his Virgin group of more than 400 companies around the world.From records to airlines, mobile...

Gish Jen: Torchbearer of the great American novel

2011-12-11 IT'S A bit of a surprise meeting Gish Jen. One doesn't quite expect the writer to be so diminutive, almost bird-like in her demeanour, flighty, emotional and cheerful laughing and crying almost in the same breath as she talks. A little gravitas...

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