We’ve sorted out Christmas presents for your favourite bookworms, from artsy types to cynics, dreamers and thinkers.
We’re going to come right out and say it: we’re a bit bookish around here. What really presses our buttons? Lingering in a beautiful bookstore or reading room, browsing for longer than we should and swooning over beautiful cover illustrations. Yes we DO judge a book by its cover. Still haven’t gotten your act together with Christmas presents? We think you’ll never go wrong with a book: here’s what we loved (or would still love to get) this year…
For the Pinterest obsessive:
Singapore Colonial Style, Charles and Luli Orchard
This coffee table book is minimal design elegance meets visual throwback to Singapore’s history. The black and white colonial buildings (from homes and shophouses to clubs and hotels) photographed by Michael Freeman may have been built between 1900 and 1950, but the interiors are modern, lush and sometimes completely surprising. Sigh.
Get it from: Basheer Graphic Books
For the compulsive dreamer:
Your Dream Life Starts Here, Kristina Karlsson
A hybrid self-help book slash journal, this is Kristina Karlsson’s (she who created the deliciously adorable stationery from kikki.K) first title. Meant for those who need some assistance to dream without limitations, it’s an encouraging how-to filled with inspirational stories, exercises and advice, all wrapped up in a cheerful yellow exterior.
Get it from: kikki.K
For the romantic:
An American Marriage, Tayari Jones
Call it a modern love story without a fairy tale ending: a young black man is sentenced to 12 years of jail for a rape he did not commit, while his wife waits in despair. His life is forced to a standstill while hers takes on an entirely different trajectory. And if Oprah’s got behind it (it was her first pick for her book club reading list for 2018), you know it’s got the goods.
Get it from: all the usual suspects
For the kid in your life (or lovers of cool picture books):
Day of The Dinosaurs, Dr Steve Brusatte and Daniel Chester
Ostensibly for kids, but we’d wager even adults would go gaga over these gorgeous illustrations. Whether you’re a Jurassic Park fan who knows your dino lineages, or just want to broaden your knowledge past the T-Rex, this picture book is filled useful tidbits on sea monsters, herbivores and predators from the triassic to cretaceous period.
Get it from: The Moon and Books Kinokuniya
For the ultimate foodie:
Eat Up, Ruby Tandoh
In a climate where we police our diets in the spirit of wellness, Ruby Tandoh (first of Great British Bake Off fame but who has since come into her own) wants you to relish in the sensuality of food. Tandoh shares her personal musings on food, it’s social implications, and of course, throws in a handful of recipes. Reading Eat Up is a visceral reminder that food is joy, food is emotional, and you should eat up.
Get it from: Amazon and all good bookstores
For the one who roots for the underdog:
Educated, Tara Westover
Don’t just take it from us: do a quick Google and see how many bestseller lists this memoir has made it on (including Barack Obama’s summer reading list). Growing up with Mormon parents who insisted the end of days was nigh, Westover never saw a classroom till she was 17. After years of self-study, emancipation from her abusive family and eventually earning herself a PhD, this is her redemption. Get inspired.
For the sci-fi afficionado:
Dune, Frank Herbert
Got that special sci-fi lover in your life, or know someone dipping their toes into the genre? Frank Herbert’s epic 1965 novel set in the desert planet of Arrakis is essential stuff. Known as one of the most sweeping dramas you’ll ever find in science fiction, Dune was a springboard for a complex canon of works, and a controversial film adaption that director David Lynch disowned. The Barnes & Noble collectible hardcover is your way to major brownie points for fans, and it’s only available in Singapore at one bookstore…
Get it from: The Moon
For the cynic:
One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter, Scaachi Koul
It’s pretty high praise for any writer to be compared to Mindy Kaling. Buzzfeed culture writer Scaachi Koul lends her acerbic humour to a collection of personal essays about the trials of growing up as a woman of colour in Canada. It’s a witty turn to some heavyweight issues like racial discrimination, anxiety and discrimination, but Koul succeeds with charm.
Get it from: Books Actually
Like this story? Check these out:
Cafes and reading rooms: fave spots for the bookish
That time we had a chat with Abdul Nasser of Basheer Graphic Books
Sarah Naeem opened The Moon bookstore and cafe and we want her life
And here are all the bookstores in Singapore you’ll find us in