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Novel by Douglas Chua, a must read

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I read all this books by Douglas Chua. Indeed, very interesting to see Asian author in international market. Two of the books, The Missing Page and Ransom, have been restricted by KDN Johor Bahru, Johor. Want to know why, read his books.

The Missing Page (Prequel to the Crisis In The Straits)

Singapore’s sovereignty is at stake. An ancient document pushes Malaysia and Singapore to the brink of war. Chua has been described as “Singapore's Jeffrey Archer”.

Crisis In The Straits

Malaysian ambassador in Singapore is gunned down, triggering a crisis which threatens to escalate into a full-scale war between the two countries. At the heart of the row is a secret document, code-named The Missing Page. If authentic, the document would undermine Singapore’s existence as a sovereign nation.

Special agent Alex Han, a decorated hero, is the only one who knows the whereabouts of The Missing Page. Accused of murdering the vicious killer Othello and fanatical diplomat Mustapha ambassador, Alex is torn between country and family as he confronts two men, who will stop at nothing to possess the document.

The tension mounts and Malaysia invades Singapore, bringing to a head the Crisis In The Straits.

Something strange is happening to the water in Singapore. Kerosene is mysteriously found in water tanks, farm animals are dying drinking it and a mystery diver is spotted swimming in a reservoir under cover of darkness.

Special agent Alex Han is called out of retirement by the Prime Minister on another mission to save his country. When he agrees to negotiate with a terrorist who is holding the island nation to a US$100 billion ransom, Alex discovers there is more at stake than just money. A string of mysterious deaths occur around the island as Alex races against time to save Singapore and confront a faceless terrorist.

The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Publisher Comments:

In The Shock Doctrine, Naomi Klein explodes the myth that the global free market triumphed democratically. Exposing the thinking, the money trail and the puppet strings behind the world-changing crises and wars of the last four decades, The Shock Doctrine is the gripping story of how America's "free market" policies have come to dominate the world- — through the exploitation of disaster-shocked people and countries.

At the most chaotic juncture in Iraq's civil war, a new law is unveiled that would allow Shell and BP to claim the country's vast oil reserves.... Immediately following September 11, the Bush Administration quietly out-sources the running of the "War on Terror" to Halliburton and Blackwater.... After a tsunami wipes out the coasts of Southeast Asia, the pristine beaches are auctioned off to tourist resorts.... New Orleans's residents, scattered from Hurricane Katrina, discover that their public housing, hospitals and schools will never be reopened.... These events are examples of "the shock doctrine": using the public's disorientation following massive collective shocks — wars, terrorist attacks, or natural disasters — to achieve control by imposing economic shock therapy. Sometimes, when the first two shocks don't succeed in wiping out resistance, a third shock is employed: the electrode in the prison cell or the Taser gun on the streets.

Based on breakthrough historical research and four years of on-the-ground reporting in disaster zones, The Shock Doctrine vividly shows how disaster capitalism — the rapid-fire corporate reengineering of societies still reeling from shock — did not begin with September 11, 2001. The book traces its origins back fifty years, to the University of Chicago under Milton Friedman, which produced many of the leading neo-conservative and neo-liberal thinkers whose influence is still profound in Washington today. New, surprising connections are drawn between economic policy, "shock and awe" warfare and covert CIA-funded experiments in electroshock and sensory deprivation in the 1950s, research that helped write the torture manuals used today in Guantanamo Bay.

The Shock Doctrine follows the application of these ideas though our contemporary history, showing in riveting detail how well-known events of the recent past have been deliberate, active theatres for the shock doctrine, among them: Pinochet's coup in Chile in 1973, the Falklands War in 1982, the Tiananmen Square Massacre in 1989, the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Asian Financial crisis in 1997 and Hurricane Mitch in 1998.

Amazon Planning E-Book Debacle

Amazon is apparently planning to release a $399 e-book reading device called Kindle on Monday. I'd have thought that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos would know better since he was around at the turn of the century, during the first e-book flop.

If the pictures posted on Engadget are remotely close to the final form of the device, I have to say that Kindle is a thing of unsurpassed ugliness. The iPhone it is not. And that's a problem: The iPhone is, in my opinion, the best e-reading device currently available. Kindle's failure to learn any lessons from the iPhone will be its doom.

Back in 1999, I spoke with IDC analyst Sean Kaldor for a PC Computing Magazine article on e-books. He said basically that no one was buying e-book reading devices.

"The fact that we don't see consumers adopting these devices en masse tells me that it's not just a device issue," he said. "It's a fundamental shift in consumer attitudes and actions that needs to happen."

Eight years later, that shift still hasn't happened.

Full story:

Bigger book bonanza

IF you’re a book lover with groaning bookshelves at home, any store that sells books is a dangerous place to step into: because it’s so difficult to leave without buying an addition to those shelves.

Well, fellow book worms, it’s with trepidation I report that the Kinokuniya Bookstores in Suria KLCC has become even more dangerous than it used to be: it’s bigger! From about 2,000sq m, the store has expanded to more than 2,700sq m.

Full story: The Star Online