What's new in the New Year?
FAREWELL 2017 ...
It’s getting very near the end of the year as we know it, and wow, have we had some really special moments this year!
From Sonny Liew bagging not one, but three, surprise wins at the Eisner Awards for his graphic novel The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye, to Sebastian Sim bagging the 2017 Epigram Books Fiction Prize for his new novel, The Riot Act.
And let's not forget the slew of books released throughout the year by the likes of AJ Low, Bernice Chauly, Boey Kim Cheng, Catherine Khoo, Jennani Durai, Jeremy Tiang, Low Ying Ping, Paul Callan, Peter Tan, Ruth Wan-Lau, Shelly Bryant, Warran Kalasegaran and many more.
But of course, all this means nothing without YOU, the lovers of literature, the BBFs of books. You, who have shown your support time and time again. Thank you very much. We really couldn't have made it without you.
... HELLO, 2018
So what can you expect for 2018? Well, books, books and ... more books, that’s what!
We have slated a slew of books for the first quarter of 2018. Right off the blocks, we have the latest novel by author Lau Siew Mei, who made headlines around the world with her debut novel, Playing Madame Mao, all those years ago. Now, she returns with The Last Immigrant (out in Jan), a tale of Ismael, who migrated to Australia but now finds the peaceful life he led in the land Down Under under threat after a series of unexpected, and seemingly unconnected, events occur in this bucolic cul-de-sac. Will he come out of it unscathed? Only one way to find out!
Tales of creativity and imagination can be found in two books for the young ones. The Trampolines that Nadia Built (out in Jan) is a delightful tale by author Darren Ong that tells the story of young Nadia’s dream to build a trampoline big enough to bounce her to the moon. With a little help from her friends, Nadia learns all about getting things done through the power of cooperation. In The Incredible Basket (out in Feb) – author Quek Hong Shin’s sequel of sorts to his popular picture book, The Amazing Sarong – sees how we are limited only by our imagination. This time, we follow Xiaoming as he finds new and inventive ways to use a simple basket – from turning it into a lion dance prop to making it into a hat.
Singapore's history is seen from a certain point of view in Sisters & Senang: The Island Plays (out in Feb) a two-play compendium by playwright Jean Tay that sees her exploring the rather turbulent pasts of two off-shore islands, Sisters Islands and Pulau Senang, back in the 1960s. Back on the mainland, Secrets of Singapore: Botanic Gardens (out in March), by Lesley-Anne and Monica Lim, unveils more hidden treasures about Singapore’s most famous park. For instance, did you know that it was founded in 1874 and that it is the only tropical garden that is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site? True story!
Speaking of true stories, the lives of two prominent Singaporeans are examined in two very different books. The picture book Race to Rio (out in March), see the rise of Singapore’s first Olympic gold medallist Joseph Schooling from a different perspective, showing how his parents’ love and encouragement, as well as the friendships he forges, spurred him on to be the best swimmer he can be.
Meanwhile, veteran politician Chiam See Tong's years in politics are examined in Chiam: The Opposition – 1985-2011 (out in Jan). From his election as an MP to his days facing adversity not just from political opponents outside his party, but also from within, the book shows what the long-serving politician had to endure to get to where he wanted to be.
For young adults, there is Lion Boy and Drummer Girl (out in March) by award-winning author Pauline Loh. Longlisted for the 2016 Epigram Books Fiction Prize, hers is a tale of love in a time of lion dance mania or "Leo-pop". While everyone else seems to be going ga-ga over lion dancers like the charming and handsome Ricky Ang, drummer girl Ong Ying Ying isn't falling for such folly.
In Misdirection by Ning Cai (out in March), young Maxine Schooling (no relation to Joseph) has a lot more to think about when she wakes up having no memory of her parents' deaths and finds herself embroiled in a conspiracy involving magic and murder. This book, which was Longlisted for the 2016 Epigram Books Fiction Prize, is the first of a new series called The Savant Trilogy by the author, who has penned other books such as Adventures of 2 Girls, Magicienne, and her 2014 autobiography Who Is Magic Babe Ning?, which was shortlisted for the Singapore Literature Prize.
And finally, to leave things on a sweet note, there's The Domestic Goddess Wannabe: Bakes (out in March). This cookbook is chock-a-block with easy-to-follow recipes from author Diana Gale (whom some have dubbed "Singapore's Baking Guru") that are ideal for kitchen novices and experienced cooks alike.
What's more, she has included treats with an interesting twist, like Satay Chicken Pie, Char Siew Pulled Chicken Quiche and Cheesy Bak Kwa Twists. (We'd like to say more, but our mouths are already watering just thinking about them!)
Hopefully, these will keep you all satiated for now – don't worry, this is just the proverbial tip of the iceberg; we have loads more which we are bursting to tell you about! But that's another story for another time.
In the meantime, we hope that YOU will have a grand New Year and a great 2018 and may peace and love follow you all through your days.
HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!