Monday, November 9, 2009

Book Review : The Good Women of China by Xinran

The Good Women of China is a memoir relating the stories the author heard while hosting her radio show called ‘Words on the Night Breeze’ for Radio Nanjing in China. The program started in 1990 and it run for seven years. Xinran hosted the daily program in which she discussed women’s lives and invited women to call in and talk about themselves. The program became popular all over China for its honest revelation of Chinese women’s thoughts and experiences that took place both during and after the Cultural Revolution when Chairman Mao and Communism ruled the land.

Xinran received over two hundred letters a day from women who wanted to tell her their stories. Later, she embarked on a journey to discover and collect the stories of Chinese women. Xinran interviewed them on what it meant to be female in modern China. The women opened up to Xinran and they speak honestly about their lives, their roles as wives, mothers, daughters, secretaries and escorts. Most of the stories presented in this book tell about suffering which includes sexual abuse, ill-treatment of women, separation of parents and children and suppression of human emotion. The book gently tells us the pain and heartbreak women in China have to accept and endure in their everyday lives.

Among others, it tells about a girl who was sexually abused by her father. She escaped him by making herself ill until she slowly dies of blood poisoning in a hospital. Xinran also heard a confession by a student who admits that many university students from poor background act as escorts to businessmen for money and attention. However, they are left frustrated as they cannot find the love they are searching for.

One of the many letters Xinran received was from a peasant boy describing the plight of a 12-year-old girl, kidnapped and sold into marriage. To prevent her from fleeing, her elderly husband keeps her in chains. The boy asks Xinran’s help, but when she calls the police they shrug and tell her it is a common occurrence. The police however, seeing Xinran’s determination, decided to help her. In the end, the girl was set free and returned to her worried parents on the other side of the country. However, Xinran was not praised for her efforts. Instead, she was criticized for troubling the police and stirring up the people.

Another story came from a woman who was forced into marriage. At a young age, she joined the Communist Party, determined to shape the future of China. Without her knowledge, the party married her off to one of the senior officers. Since then, she was trapped in an emotionless political marriage, like many others. Her two children were separated from her soon after they were born and sent to the army nursery.

This shocking collection of stories offers a significant insight into the lives of Chinese women. Xinran has given a voice to many women who were unable to use their own voices to tell their plight.

The Good Women of China was published in 2002 and has been translated into over thirty languages.

This sad but inspiring read is available at Tan Sri Loy Hean Heong Library, Main Campus. Call No: 305.420951 XIN.

About the author:
Xinran was born in Bejing in 1958. She began working for Chinese Radio in late 1980s and went on to become one of China’s most successful journalists. She moved to London in 1997 where she started writing The Good Women of China. Xinran also authored Sky Burial, What the Chinese don’t eat, Miss Chopsticks and China witness: voices from a silent generation. Xinran now lives in London.

Reviewed by Irma Indayu Omar, Tan Sri Loy Hean Heong Library, Subang Jaya.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Latest Updates for CAL Past Year Examination Papers. Now available June 2009 exam papers

Dear Students and Staff,

Latest Updates : June 2009 CAL Past Year Examination Papers has been added to the Taylor’s Library Website’s online resources. Currently we have available CAL papers from year 2002 to June 2009 for all 14 subjects. We hope that this resource would prove useful for ease of access to the CAL past year papers.

To access the CAL Past Year Examination papers from the Library Website
1. Go to Taylor’s Libraries:
2. Go to Library Resources section and click on the "More" link
3. Click on "Past Examination Papers" link on the left side of the screen
4. Click on the “Pre-U Studies” link
5. Click on “Cambridge A-Levels” and you will see the 14 CAL subjects which you can choose from.
6. Click on the subject of your choice, followed by the year and month

Thank you.

Library Management

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Trial E-Journals : 13 Hart Publishing Law E-Journals now Available until 1 January 2010. It can be accessed from years 2007 - current

We are pleased to announce that 13 Law E-journals published by Hart Publishing through IngentaConnect are currently available for your trial and access until 1 January 2010. The years accessible for each e-journal are from 2007 – current. The 13 Law E-journal titles are

  • European Competition Journal

  • European Law Reports

  • Journal of Corporate Law Studies

  • Journal of Media Law

  • Journal of Private International Law

  • Judicial Review

  • King's Law Journal

  • Law and Financial Markets Review

  • Law and Humanities

  • Law, Innovation and Technology

  • Legal Ethics

  • Legisprudence

  • Oxford University Commonwealth Law Journal

The trial period for this trial database is until 1 January 2009. Your feedback on this trial database is greatly appreciated. Please use the online survey given for this database.

You may access the 13 Law E-journals on the E-journals page using the following steps:

  1. Go to

  2. Go to the “Library Resources” section and click on the “More” link,

  3. At the left hand side of the screen, click on the “E-journals” link

  4. Select the e-journal under the title Hart Publishing ( as shown in the diagram below ) which you wish to try out (For remote access or from home, please use your computer network login and password. Campus access does not require any username and password)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Book Review : Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom

Morrie Schwartz was a college professor in philosophy at Brandeis University for many years. One of his students in the 1970's was Mitch Albom. Morrie and Mitch became good friends over those years. Then Mitch graduated and went on with his life, too busy to keep in contact with his professor.

Almost twenty years later, Mitch is now a sports newscaster and writer. He and his wife are part of America's fast lane of life, doing well and striving for yet more. Then he watches Nightline one night. Ted Koppel is interviewing Morrie. And Mitch is surprised to discover Morrie is dying. Morrie is dying from Lou Gehrig's disease, a crippling illness that diminished his activities daily. When in college, Mitch met with Morrie on Tuesdays. So he, takes the initiative to reconnect with his long lost friend.

Morrie is delighted to hear from Mitch again, and immediately invites him to visit. Thus begins a fourteen week meet, every Tuesday, visit and life lesson. Morrie tells Mitch that in life you have to find out what is important to you, and not let society make those choices for you. Mitch realized that society puts a value on stuff that shimmers and glistens, not on the things that really matter. Morrie is able to take a look at life not only from the philosophical view he has taught over the years, but now also from the "end of life" viewpoint. He is a peace with himself and can share that peace and knowledge with Mitch and the others around him. This made Mitch see how Morrie was a man of great wisdom and valued the little thing in life. He taught Mitch so much, and allowed him to see the things that usually go unnoticed.

This book is a collaboration between Morrie and Mitch. They taped their visits each time Mitch visited. They discussed the big questions of life (what is love, living, death, marriage, a relationship) to the small ones (what's for lunch, how's your wife, how's your son, and the war in Bosnia). Mitch rediscovered the relationship that had never been broken. Morrie rediscovered his old friend. Also, Morrie was able to use this time to do what he loved, teach.

This book is a wonderful chronicling of friendship and life questions. Mitch is able to portray Morrie so that the professor once again is alive (and dying) for the reader.

This beautiful little book will remind you of the importance of counting your blessings daily and having the wisdom to honor life’s simplest pleasures no matter how busy your life becomes.

Mitch Albom is the author of the international bestseller The Five People You Meet in Heaven as well as six other books. A nationally syndicated columinist for the Detroit Free Press and a nationally syndicated radio host for ABC and WJR-AM, Albom has, for over a decade, been named top sports columnist in the nation by the Sports Editors of America, the highest honor in the field. A panelist on ESPN’s Sports Reporters, Albom also regularly serves as a commentator for that network. He serves on numerous charitable boards and has founded two charities in metropolitan Detroit : The Dream Fund, which help under-privileged youth study the arts, and A Time to Help, a monthly volunteer program. He lives with his wife, Janine, in Michigan.

Reviewed by Komathi Somasundaram, Taylor’s College Sri Hartamas Library.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

CAL Past Year Examination Papers now available online on Taylor's Library Website

Dear Students and Staff,

In line with meeting your needs for online resources, we are pleased to announce that we have the digitized version of the Cambridge A-Levels (CAL) Past Year Examination papers for 2002 – 2008 now available on the Taylor’s Library Website.

Past Year papers are now available for all 14 subjects namely :

  • Accounting
  • Biology
  • Business Studies
  • Chemistry
  • Computing
  • Economics
  • Further Mathematics
  • Law
  • Literature in English
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Thinking Skills

To access the CAL Past Year Examination papers from the Library Website :

1. Go to Taylor’s Libraries:

2. Go to Library Resources section and click on the "More" link

3. Click on "Past Examination Papers" link on the left side of the screen

4. Click on the “Pre-U Studies” link

5. Click on “Cambridge A-Levels” and you will see the 14 CAL subjects which you can choose from.

6. Click on the subject of your choice, followed by the year and month

With the past year papers available online, access is only a click away.

Thank you.

Library Management

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Past Year Examination Papers now available from 3 schools

Now online, the past year examination papers for the various schools from as early as year 2006 to 2009. More online past year examination papers on the way.

  • School of Architecture, Building and Design
  • School of Communication
  • School of Communication and Information Technology

Please click here to go to past year examination papers main page

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Institution of Engineering and Technology's (IET) Digital Library and InspecDirect now Available as Trial Databases

IET Digital Library. The Institution of Engineering and Technology was formed by the joining together of two great institutions; the IEE (Institution of Electrical Engineers) and the IIE (The Institution of Incorporated Engineers). The IET is the inheritor of the IEE Digital Library service. The IET Digital Library holds more than 90,000 technical papers from all IET journals, magazines, conference publications and seminar digests. Highly cited journals such as Electronics Letters are available alongside 20 IET Research Journal titles, the IET's member magazine Engineering & Technology, plus seminar digests and conference publications. Also available on the IET Digital Library is the IET's online only journal Micro & Nano Letters.

IET InspecDirect will give you comprehensive coverage of global scientific and engineering literature, essential for all your research and academic projects.

These two trial databases will be available until 30 August 2009. Your feedback on the databases is greatly appreciated. Please use the online surveys given as links in the trial databases page.

To access IET Digital Library or IET InspecDirect
  1. Go to Taylor’s Libraries:
  2. Go to Library Resources section and click on the "More" link.
  3. Click on Trial Database link at the left hand side of the screen

  4. Click on IET Digital Library or IET InspecDirect

Do you know how to use the Self Check Machine to Borrow and Renew books?