Newsflash: LocalBooks.sg, Singapore’s online bookstore, is offering 30% off all the Christmas Reads below! And, for domestic Singapore orders, the store is offering FREE shipping & FREE gift wrapping. Wow, Christmas has come early! Head over to LocalBooks.sg now …
The books are also available from other leading bookstores worldwide.
Top 10 Christmas Fiction Reads
All visitors to Singapore have heard of Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles but few know the two women who shared his life: first wife Olivia, a raffish beauty with a scandalous past, and second wife Sophia, no beauty, but curious and intelligent. Through the fictionalised diaries of these two audacious women, readers learn more about Raffles, his wives and the lives of early 19th-century colonial women.
John Greet’s gritty, fast-paced novel Shaman of Bali offers a riveting insight into a world of drug smuggling, cockfighting, bribery and imprisonment. Based on the experiences of the author, this powerful crime thriller does for Bali what Shantaram did for Bombay. Author Greet spent five years in an Asian prison on a drug charge, two of them in solitary confinement in leg irons.
In this blend of fiction and heart-wrenching history, Laura Ellis visits Singapore, Penang and Thailand to unravel the truth about her WWII father and his experiences as a prisoner of war on the Burma Railway and as a rubber planter in prewar Malaya. It is a story of a soldier’s strength and a daughter’s journey of discovery about her father and herself.
Juliet Crosby has lived a reclusive life on her Malayan rubber plantation since WWII robbed her of everyone she loved. However, the sudden appearance of a young woman from Indonesia disrupts her lonely existence and stirs up unsettling memories. Juliet is forced to recollect her prewar marriage, her wartime ordeals in Japanese-occupied Singapore and the loss of those she once held dear.
What does it mean to love and be loved in Singapore? Seventeen leading Singaporean and expat writers explore the best and worst of the human condition called love, including grief, duplicity and revenge, self-love, filial love, homesickness and tragic past relationships. Collectively, the stories in this anthology reveal the many ways in which love can be both a salve and a wound in life.
Wang Bin, an ornithologist from Beijing, travels to rural Pingyang to photograph a rare Chinese bird, but falls foul of the town’s corrupt police chief. He plots the crooked police chief’s downfall and concocts a plan that is so far-fetched all agree it might just work. An exquisitely crafted tale of morality and corruption in smalltown China.
Beneath Singapore’s sparkling veneer is a country teeming with shadows. Explore the city-state’s forgotten back alleys, red-light districts, kelongs and gambling dens with 14 illustrious writers, three of them Singapore Literature Prize winners. This exciting anthology uncovers a side of Singapore rarely explored in literature.
Dutch expat Julia de Rijck uses husband Paul’s telescope to spy on Dave across the pool in their luxury Singapore condominium. Despite their mutual attraction there is something about the man that makes Julia uneasy. When Dave’s maid, Angelica, dies in suspicious circumstances, Julia gets pulled into a world of secrets and discovers a less visible Singapore of exploitation and prostitution.
Singapore’s most passionate series of historical fiction draws on real personalities from Olde Singapore, where piracy, crime, triads and tigers are commonplace. This intense 4-volume romance follows the struggle of two lovers: Charlotte Macleod and Zhen. Opium, murder, incest, suicide, passion and love … a heady combination in the sin city of the south seas.
The affair of the planter’s wife running off with her driver had been a burning topic in the British High Commission … It is 1930s Malaya and Valerie Mitchell, desperate to escape an unhappy marriage to Stuart, a rubber planter, a loner and a difficult man, instigates an adulterous affair with her Muslim chauffeur. Osman, already married, struggles to spurn the advances of his boss’s wife as she offers herself up to him at the plantation bungalow.
Six Military Memoirs for Men
‘I was editor of a daily newspaper in Singapore when 17 Japanese Zero bombers shattered the night. It was December 8, 1941. Having been fed daily stories full of optimism from London, we in Singapore hadn’t an inkling that war with Japan was imminent … I sneaked out when there was a pause in the bombing. Limbs of every description – European, Indian, Chinese, Malay and Eurasian – were everywhere.’ The memoir of a career journalist forced to write for the Japanese.
The true account of how 17 British and Australian POWs broke out from Pasir Panjang camp and made an epic 2,000-mile, 5-month escape from Singapore, through the jungles of Indonesia to Australia on foot. With no compass or map, and only the goodwill of villagers and their own wits to rely on, just two out of the original 17 men survived. One of the most horrifying and amazing escapes in WWII. #1 bestseller on Amazon UK ‘WWII / Prisoners of War’.
Based on the most extensive use yet of primary documents in Britain, Japan, Australia and Singapore, Professor Brian Farrell provides the fullest picture of how and why Singapore fell and its real significance to the outcome of WWII.
‘Excellent’ Times Literary Supplement, UK
‘An exhaustive account’ BBC History Magazine
‘Chinese New Year 1915 will long be remembered in the Straits Settlements,’ write Edwin and Mary Brown in their extraordinary account of an unexpected and terrifying episode in Singapore’s history that saw 850 Indian soldiers revolt and slaughter 47 British and Singaporean soldiers and civilians. ‘A compelling memoir … the only known personal account of the Singapore mutiny.’ The Times, UK
The career of John Davis was inextricably and paradoxically intertwined with that of Chin Peng, the leader of the Malayan Communist Party and the man who was to become Britain’s chief enemy in the long Communist struggle for the soul of Malaya. When the Japanese invaded Malaya, Davis escaped to Ceylon, sailing 1,700 miles in a Malay fishing boat, before planning the infiltration of Chinese intelligence agents back into the Malayan peninsula. An important biography of a WWII and Malayan Emergency hero, with an afterword by Chin Peng.
Through memoirs, letters and interviews, Margaret Shennan chronicles the story of British Malaya and Singapore, the quixotic characters of that now quite vanished world, as well as the bizarre and often terrible annals of colonial administration.
‘An exceptional investigation … and an engrossing portrait of the Englishman in his topee and pale linen jacket standing firm in the midday sun’ The Sunday Times, UK
‘A fine book’ Allan Massie, Literary Review, UK
Books to Inspire Reluctant Younger Readers
Orphaned as a young boy in the rainforests of Borneo, Bujang is brought up by a family of orangutans, but his adult future has already been decided for him: he must serve the warpath god as a warrior and a headhunter. In this work of fantasy fiction, author Golda Mowe — herself an Iban from Borneo — uses real beliefs, taboos and terminology of the Iban to weave an epic tale of good versus evil.
A curse hangs over Nuing’s life, the youngest son of the great headhunter Bujang. Iban Journey is a work of fantasy fiction based on the folklore and existing superstitions of the Ibans of Sarawak. This much-anticipated follow-up to Iban Dream is in itself a journey into the customs and taboos of a rainforest culture. Many of these fears continue to exist today.
Volumes 1-4 of Asian Spine Chillers by Andrew Lee feature fantastic spooky stories set in Singapore and SE Asia. Bring these print books to life with augmented reality by using your smartphone or tablet and a free app (for iOS and Android) and watch as a hidden story is retold in 3D animation and video before your eyes!
Join 11-year-old Romy as she talks to monkeys and solves crimes against nature with her ape accomplices.
‘A beautifully written tale of good vs evil’ National Geographic Kids, USA
‘Cleverly woven with delicious subplots – parents, teachers and librarians will be enthralled’ Kids Book Review, USA