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11 Singapore books that should be on your reading list

Featuring winners and finalists from the Singapore Book Awards 2016.

By SG Staff | Mar 30, 2016

  • 11 Singapore books that should be on your reading list
    Best of Singapore books

The Singapore Book Awards 2016 were handed out on May 11, rewarding some of the best Singapore-made books published between Jan 1, 2013, and Nov 1, 2015, across eight categories. Here are the highlights from the Best Fiction Title and Best Non-Fiction Title categories, and the winner of Book of the Year.

BOOK OF THE YEAR

Winner

The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye by Sonny Liew, Epigram Books

No Singaporean book has made more news in the last year than The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye, from having its publishing grant withdrawn by the National Arts Council for its "sensitive content" to making the Amazon and New York Times bestseller lists. Sonny Liew's graphic novel recounts the Singapore story in a remarkable new way and is a worthy Book of the Year.

BEST FICTION TITLE

Winner

The Ministry of Moral Panic by Amanda Lee Koe, Epigram Books

Amanda Lee Koe's debut collection of stories has already racked up the accolades, winning the Singapore Literature Prize for Fiction 2014 and a place on The Business Times' list of the Top 10 English Singapore books from 1965–2015. It's a unique take on the Singaporean psyche starring everyone from Maria Hertogh to the Merlion.

Finalists

Bamboo Heart by Ann Bennett, Monsoon Books

The second book of Ann Bennett's South East Asian World War II trilogy tells the story of a British rubber planter's wife caught up in the Japanese invasion of Malaya and Singapore.
 

Big Mole by Ming Cher, Epigram Books

The titular Big Mole, an orphan running an ornamental fish shop, enters the underbelly of 1950s Singapore to seek revenge for her friend's murder.
 

The Dictator’s Eyebrow by Cyril Wong, Pagesetters Services

A surreal, poetic account of how a dictator's eyebrow influenced history with its thirst for power and delusions of grandeur.
 

As the Heart Bones Break by Audrey Chin, Marshall Cavendish

A Vietnam War refugee continues his search for independence and happiness, even as he lives out his reinvented life as an American aerospace engineer.

BEST NON-FICTION TITLE

Winner

Through the Lens of Lee Kip Lin: Photographs of Singapore 1965-1995 by Lai Chee Kien, National Library Board and Editions Didier Millet

Revisit Singapore's forgotten places with this collection of 500 photographs taken by the late Lee Kip Lin.

Finalists

Larger than Life: Celebrating the Human Spirit by Belinda Lee and Juleen Shaw, Marshall Cavendish

A collection of heart-warming stories uncovered by TV actress and host Belinda Lee on her travels.
 

Growing up in the era of Lee Kuan Yew (成长在李光耀时代) by Lee Hui Min, Lingzi Media

Lee Kuan Yew's time as Prime Minister of Singapore, and his legacy, seen through the eyes of an everyday Singaporean.
 

Secrets of Singapore by Lesley-Anne Tan and Monica Lim, Epigram Books

If you've ever asked questions like, "Which animals have escaped from the Singapore Zoo?" and "How long was the very first MRT ride?", this is the book for you.
 

Keep Calm and Mother On: 21 Stories from Mothers with Children Aged 1 to 21 by Pauline Loh (Editor), Armour Publishing

Funny, thought-provoking and reassuring, this book follows the ups and downs of motherhood from changing nappies to planning nuptials.
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