Library Loot (16 August 2012)

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Marg from The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library.

I’m continuing my accumulation of Southeast Asian books for this month.
The Singapore School of Villainy: Inspector Singh Investigates – Shamini Flint
This is book three of the series. I’m currently on the first book and it’s quite fun.

Homicide detective Inspector Singh has returned home to Singapore to rest his weary feet after time spent globe-trotting and crime-solving in Malaysia and Bali. But it’s not long before he wishes he would be sent off to another foreign locale. With his wife nagging him and his boss lecturing him about his unconventional work habits, he’s thrilled when a new case comes across his desk.

A senior partner at an international law firm has been murdered, and it’s up to Singh to catch the killer and solve the case. There’s no shortage of suspects, from the victim’s fellow partners, many of whom are hiding secrets, as well as the dead man’s wife and ex-wife. Soon, Inspector Singh is poised to expose the treachery that lies beneath Singapore’s high society. Fast-paced, funny, and highly original, Shamini Flint’s The Singapore School of Villainy: Inspector Singh Investigates is a fabulous mystery featuring everybody’s favorite turbaned detective.

The Gift of Rain: A Novel – Tan Twan Eng

The recipient of extraordinary acclaim from critics and the bookselling community, Tan Twan Eng’s debut novel casts a powerful spell and has garnered comparisons to celebrated wartime storytellers Somerset Maugham and Graham Greene. Set during the tumult of World War II, on the lush Malayan island of Penang, The Gift of Rain tells a riveting and poignant tale about a young man caught in the tangle of wartime loyalties and deceits.

In 1939, sixteen-year-old Philip Hutton-the half-Chinese, half-English youngest
child of the head of one of Penang’s great trading families-feels alienated from both the Chinese and British communities. He at last discovers a sense of belonging in his unexpected friendship with Hayato Endo, a Japanese diplomat. Philip proudly shows his new friend around his adored island, and in return Endo teaches him about Japanese language and culture and trains him in the art and discipline of aikido. But such knowledge comes at a terrible price. When the Japanese savagely invade Malaya, Philip realizes that his mentor and sensei-to whom he owes absolute loyalty-is a Japanese spy. Young Philip has been an unwitting traitor, and must now work in secret to save as many lives as possible, even as his own family is brought to its knees.

97 Orchard: An Edible History of Five Immigrant Families in One New York Tenement – Jane Ziegelman
I’ve been neglecting the Foodies Challenge, and this book so happened to be prominently featured on the shelves as the library is showcasing food-related books this month. I couldn’t help but grab it!

In 97 Orchard, Jane Ziegelman explores the culinary life that was the heart and soul of New York’s Lower East Side around the turn of the twentieth century—a city within a city, where Germans, Irish, Italians, and Eastern European Jews attempted to forge a new life. Through the experiences of five families, all of them residents of 97 Orchard Street, Ziegelman takes readers on a vivid and unforgettable tour, from impossibly cramped tenement apartments, down dimly lit stairwells, beyond the front stoops where housewives congregated, and out into the hubbub of the dirty, teeming streets. Ziegelman shows how immigrant cooks brought their ingenuity to the daily task of feeding their families, preserving traditions from home but always ready to improvise. 97 Orchard lays bare the roots of our collective culinary heritage.

Burma Chronicles – Guy Delisle
I’ve been wanting to read Delisle’s graphic novels but my library system doesn’t have any of them, so this was an inter-library loan from the SF library. And it’s about Southeast Asia.

From the author of Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea and Shenzhen: A Travelogue from China comes Burma Chronicles, an informative look at a country that uses concealment and isolation as social control. It is drawn with Guy Delisle’s minimal line, interspersed with wordless vignettes and moments of his distinctive slapstick humor.

Locke & Key Volume 5: Clockworks – Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez
Woohoo! Yet another installment of this creepy series. Not SEAsia-related obviously, but I’ve been on hold for months while the library was acquiring this book….

The sprawling tale of the Locke family and their mastery of the ‘whispering steel’ thunders to new heights as the true history of the family is revealed to Tyler and Kinsey. Zack Wells assumes a new form, Tyler and Kinsey travel through time, and surprises beyond imagination will be revealed before the sixth issue ends!

I’m excited to get reading! Erm that is, after I read all the other books that I’ve borrowed previously.
What did you get from the library this week?


  1. 97 Orchard is on my tbr list. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.
    I’m waiting for that Locke & Key from my library. I’m glad it’s got quite a queue but anxious to read the next installment.
    Enjoy your loot.


  2. I would like to read the book by Tan Twan Eng. Ha! Glad to see you’re liking Shamini Flint’s book 🙂 I’ve got book 5 to read, but saving it for later this year. Today, I happened to drop by my library as well, but I was good and only brought home three books: Pleasures of Men, The End of Mr. Y and The Storyteller of Marrakech. Alright, maybe not so good, because I’m hoarding more library books at home 😉 It seems to be an affliction more people suffer from 😀 Happy reading!


  3. You make me want to go out and get Inspector Singh’s series now! I hope you enjoy The Gift of Rain…such wonderful loot, Enjoy yourself!


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