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The contents of this year’s NDP funpacks have been unveiled, the flags are out in full force, and someone has set up a petition to make "Mr. Brightside" the 2020 National Day Parade theme song.

Yes, it's that time of year once again. We’re getting to close to the massive celebrations for Singapore's 54th birthday, and what better way to get in the mood than getting some Singaporean reads?

Here’s our recommendation of top books to get for this National Day long weekend.

This Could Be Home by Pico Iyer. 
Considered by many to be the world’s greatest travel writer alive, bestselling author Pico Iyer latest offering draws on his belief that there is no “hotel anywhere so inseparably linked with the city around it as Raffles”.
Can one really say they have been to Singapore until they’ve stepped through the columned corridors of the "Grand Old Lady" herself, the Raffles Hotel Singapore?
Pico not only reflects on the Raffles' literary legacy and the mark it has made on writers everywhere – from Joan Didion to Somerset Maugham; but he also raises a key  question: has Singapore and its iconic monument evolved to meet the needs of an ever-changing world?

 

150 Best Kept Secrets of the Istana (book series)
Find out little-known facts in this special book series that commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Istana. Split into three books covering its heritage, history, natural biodiversity and more, these books offer nuggets of information – some of which have never been revealed before – that will surprise many. 
For instance, did you know that the Istana was originally called Government House by the British. It was called Istana Negara Singapura (Palace of the state of Singapore) after Singapore attained self-governance in 1959, Istana. Also, the Singapore Government, under the auspices of President Yusof bin Ishak, declared that the Istana should "belong to the people of Singapore". 
Learn about the unique spaces within its grounds, the incredible wildlife that call the Istana home, and who really keeps the Istana in tip-top shape!

 

 

Secrets of Singapore: Changi Airport by Monica Lim and Lesley-Anne Tan. 
Changi Airport holds a special place in the heart of most Singaporeans. But no matter how familiar you think you are with the iconic airport, there’s always more to discover. Have you ever wondered what that "ball" on top of the Changi Airport control tower is for? Or why food on board a plane can taste ... plain? Or what are the coolest things to do at the exciting new Jewel?
Our two favourite local superheroes, Danger Dan and Gadget Girl, answer these questions and more in Secrets of Singapore: Changi Airport, the fourth book in the bestselling Secrets of Singapore series.  Follow along as they go behind the scenes of the world's best airport, and reveal fascinating nuggets about Singapore's aviation history along the way.

 

Understanding Singaporeans (book series)
Whether you’re from Singapore or a visiting tourist, this collection of books will open your eyes to the people you’ll encounter here in the Lion City.
Within these easy to read pages, learn what sort of food is "Eurasian"; why Malays use the word "bin" or "binte" in their names; why Indians hang mango leaves on their doorways; and why Chinese give red packets on Chinese New Year. 
Every child will certainly enjoy these books filled with fun facts, but adults can also learn something they never knew about the culture that abounds on this little island. Immerse yourself in the interesting practices and traditions of Malays, Chinese, Indians and Eurasians who’ve all made their home in sunny Singapore. 

 

9th of August by Andre Yeo
From the name alone, you know you have to be reading this on National Day! Andre Yeo's debut novel is a dark and exciting thriller exploring the threat of terrorism through the story of six suicide bombers who slip into Singapore with plans to set off explosives on the country’s 55th National Day.
Hot on their trail is ISD Inspector Rahim who has taken it upon himself to stop them, but caught in the crossfire is Henry, who's trying to come to grips with his life? 
Painting an uncompromising picture of what our world would look like if terror did strike our small nation-state, this novel is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat.

  

The Prominent Singaporeans book series. This picture book series is a quick and easy way for the young ones to get caught up on Singaporeans who have made a mark in our nation's history.
Comprising seven picture books, this series shines a light on the lives of Olympic champ Joseph Schooling; former president SR Nathan; war hero Elizabeth Choy; creator of the Vanda Miss Joaquim, Agnes Joaquim; former head of the HDB Lim Kim San; the man who dreamt up the idea of Jurong Island, Philip Yeo; and former Deputy Prime Minister Goh Keng Swee. 
Accompanied by some lovely illustrations, the books reveal fun facts about these people. For instance: did you know that SR Nathan used to run away from school? And that Joseph Schooling first met Michael Phelps at the Singapore Island Country Club? (The American swim team were training there before the 2008 Olympics.)

 

July 31, 2019 by Accounts Team EB