Non-fiction & Biography


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Founding Fathers (combined)
What do we know of the Singapore story today? We often tend
to dismiss the past as dry history, a list of dates or milestones of
How many people actually know:
• the huge effort to relocate our people from farms to flats?
• the secretive efforts to build Singapore’s defence force?
• Singapore’s industrialisation drive – once called “Goh’s folly”?

FOUNDING FATHERS is a handy series featuring 10 must-know individuals who were at the beginning of the Great Adventure of Independent Singapore. It offers a comprehensive guide for busy readers. Hear their words. Read insiders’ comments. Get a glimpse of their lives through pictures and cartoons. Understand their legacy.

Our price: US$16.00
Founding Fathers (GREAT SINGAPORE STORIES series)

The first in the Great Singapore Stories series comprises 10 books in an attractive collection on the “FOUNDING FATHERS” who were at the start of the Great Adventure of Independent Singapore. What do we know of the Singapore story today?

We dismiss the past as dry history, a list of dates or milestones of events. How many people know:

  • the huge effort to relocate our people from farms to flats?
  • the secretive efforts to build Singapore’s defence force?
  • Singapore’s industrialisation drive – once called “Goh’s folly”?

Our price: US$24.00
From Clementi To Carnegie
From Clementi to Carnegie is an inspirational autobiography of
Singaporean violinist Siow Lee Chin. The story of one of Singapore’s favorite
daughters of classical music began at age 15 when, against the odds,
Lee Chin made the leap from her humble Clementi HDB flat to become
the first Singaporean talent-spotted to study at America’s prestigious
Curtis Institute of Music, which has produced musical giants the likes of
conductor Leonard Bernstein. Single-handedly, she carved a name as one
of the most distinguished violinists of her generation, at a time when
classical music was not the popular career choice in Singapore. But success
was by no means smooth sailing.
In 2012, she faced her biggest setback – a career-threatening injury from
a car accident which broke both bones in her left arm – the arm which
holds her violin. Surgery could not guarantee that she would ever regain
the fine motor skills needed to make her violin sing again. But through
faith and determination, she worked note by note, scale by scale to put
her life together again. A year after her accident, she made her comeback
as a soloist performing the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto, considered one
of the most technically demanding pieces for a violinist. Today, Lee Chin
is 100% back on track (with titanium-reinforced arms), honoured to share
her inspirational journey with the world.

Our price: US$16.00
Keeping the Faith- Syed Isa Semait, Mufti of Singapore 1972-2010
His role to forge a Singapore Muslim identity has helped the community to thrive in a multi-religious, modern and cosmopolitan Singapore. — Tariq Ramadan, Professor of Contemporary Islamic, Studies, Oxford University, UK. Mufti Syed Isa has played a very significant role in providing, leadership and inspiration in enhancing the bond of relationship, among the many faith communities for the greater good of Singapore, and beyond. — Retired Revd Dr John Chew, Bishop of Singapore. Syed Isa Semait worked as a typist, welder, bookseller and marriage registrar before being appointed Mufti of Singapore in 1972 at the age of 33. He soon found his decisions aimed at improving the religious life of Singapore’s Muslim community challenged by many. Some called him a government lackey. But backed by his peers and older religious leaders, he persevered and gradually won the hearts and minds of many Muslim Singaporeans round to what he was convinced was the best way for them to organise their religious affairs in the midst of rapid development. Keeping the Faith tells the story of Syed Isa, the Mufti of Singapore for almost40 years, and how with his guidance, the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis, or Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura) oversaw improvements to the collection and administration of zakat or tithes, the fixing of Islamic calendar dates, the administration of wakaf or endowments, and the revamping of religious education to keep up with changing times. By the time he stepped down from the post of Mufti at the end of 2010, Syed Isa had helped see to a more confident and progressive Muslim community that was no less religious but more conscious of the role it could play in a cosmopolitan, multi-religious Singapore. As an active member of the Inter-Religious Organisation, Syed Isa also led the way in fostering friendships with leaders of the various faiths in Singapore.
Keeping the Faith shows how Syed Isa applied his knowledge and convictions to help shape what he believed would lead to the best outcomes for his community.

Our price: US$29.90
Lee Kuan Yew: a tribute
LEE KUAN YEW: a tribute is a keepsake collection of stories on Singapore’s first prime minister, initially published in The Straits Times from 23 to 27 March 2015. It captures Lee Kuan Yew’s impact on Singaporeans and on the geopolitical stage, in tributes from his colleagues, family and friends, and essays by the newspaper’s most seasoned political journalists.

Our price: US$20.00
Living The Singapore Story Celebrating our 50 years 1965 - 2015
Living The Singapore Story is about Singapore, all 50 years of it as an independent nation. It is not a history book, or about its politics or its national leaders. It is about the people of Singapore and the stories they have to tell, in their own words. They come from all walks of life - policeman, soldier, doctor, nurse, car salesman, bus driver, teacher, businessman, architect and more - reflecting the diversity that is Singapore. Some are well-known personalities you may recognise but many are ordinary folks.

There are personal stories, of the lives they led, the jobs they did, the challenges they faced, the things they enjoyed doing. Collectively, they tell the story of a people overcoming the odds to build a nation. As Singapore marks its 50th anniversary, their stories, in this book commissioned by the National Library Board and produced by Straits Times Press, are worth celebrating.

Our price: US$15.00
Malaysia & Singapore- The Land Reclamation Case- From Dispute to Settlement
This book tells the story of Singapore’s first experience of defending its legal rights before an international tribunal, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS).

In April 2002, Malaysia lodged a protest against Singapore’s reclamation works around Pulau Tekong and Pulau Ubin on the grounds that they were causing trans-boundary environmental harm to Malaysia’s territorial waters. Just a year later, after one unsuccessful meeting between the parties, Malaysia initiated proceedings against Singapore, to stop its reclamation works around these islands. Malaysia’s claim for provisional measures to stop the Pulau Tekong reclamation works until the disposal of the dispute raised the larger issue of conflicting legal rights – Singapore’s right to reclaim part of its territorial sea for national needs, and Malaysia’s concern to protect its maritime environment from harm.

The authors, who were part of the multidisciplinary and multi-agency team tasked with presenting Singapore’s case at ITLOS, recount the facts of the reclamation dispute and the ITLOS proceedings culminating in a pragmatic outcome, one that paves the way for future cases of this nature to be resolved in a similar way. This book would be of interest to students and readers of international relations, international law and the peaceful settlement of disputes.

Our price: US$20.00
Married Life - Getting Along With Your Significant Other

We've all heard of marriage being the grave of love, end of freedom, and other such undesirable things. According to Straits Times journalist Leong Ching, however, there is hope for after the wedding!

This collection of 24 stories from Leong Ching's "Married Life" column are episodes and anecdotes from her days with the Significant Other. How (not) to get along, what to say, what to do, what to buy. At once warm and sensitive, the articles touch on many aspects of being half of a whole in Singapore - from courtship to babies, from romance to family policies. And in between, there's the Singapore Dream....

And then there are the true stories, all from the heart of Singapore: the old, windowed birdcage-maker in his lonely room, the forklift driver who makes a clock out of an old LD...

Married Life is the book to get for your own Significant Other.

Five Singaporean personalities give their opinion on what it means to be married as do readers of the column.

Our price: US$8.00
More Talk Money

More Talk Money is a new compilation of Lorna Tan’s articles on personal finance which were published in the Invest section of The Sunday Times from 2009 till 2011.

It covers a wide range of personal finance topics from consumer protection,savings and insurance planning to stock investing and retirement. Written in an easy to understand manner, the book will appeal to anyone at any stage of his life cycle. The articles provide information on many finance-related issues and highlight the potential pitfalls of investing, as well as give tips on how we can stretch our dollars and invest to grow our nest eggs. The chapters are arranged to begin with financial topics that one is concerned when starting to earn a livelihood, then address those issues when starting a family, before ending with retirement.

Those who have enjoyed reading Lorna’s articles every Sunday and those who have missed them would find this book a must-have.

Our price: US$16.95
My 1000 Days' Ordeal (Chinese)
Journalists are always taught to cover the news, and not become the news.
On April 21, 2005, Straits Times correspondent Ching Cheong broke that
rule: he crossed the border into Shenzhen to investigate a manuscript of
the memoirs of the late Chinese leader, Zhao Ziyang. That was the start of
his nightmare. The next day, he was detained in isolation for more than
three months, as the Public Security Bureau tried all manner of ways short
of physical violence to get him to confess to spying for Taiwan. He was later
“tried” in a Beijing court, his 20,000-word so-called “confession” the only
evidence the State Prosecutor produced, and was summarily convicted of
spying for “foreign powers” and sentenced to five years’ jail.
His book re-counts in detail the emotional turmoil he felt at being “betrayed”
by his desire to see China and Taiwan peacefully reunified, the tortuous
circumstances under which he was compelled to write a “confession” of
his alleged crime, and his struggle to come to terms with what he – albeit
unwittingly – brought upon himself. He decided to write it “to contribute
in a small way to wiping out the soil that produces such miscarriages of
justice” in China, to make sure that he “had not gone to jail for nothing”.
For the international legions of human rights activists, Ching’s Ordeal describes,
in very ordinary terms, how the Chinese authorities — or any other
undemocratic regime — use “logic” and forms of mental torture to obtain
“confessions”. It shows up, without drama, the huge distance China needs
to cover to become a country where the rule of law is not subject to politics.
Most of all, it shows the “patriots” in the Chinese diaspora the gradient they
have to walk to separate communist dictates from a culture of which there
is much to be proud. Ching puts it simply: “I hope through the recounting
of my story to bring attention to the situation of China’s judicial system, so
that we can together build a country that respects and protects the rights
of a quarter of the world’s population.”

Our price: US$19.00