Book Reviews

SingLit For When You Feel… 

Reading Time: 6 minutes

By Claire Jow (23A01B), Faith Ho (22A01A), Lara Tan (22A01B) and Saara Katyal (23S05A)

Singaporean Literature – you know it, you (maybe) love it, you probably remember it from that one Sec 2 Lit lesson on poetry analysis when everyone still took all three Humanities subjects. 

Maybe you want to get back into it after all this time, like reconnecting with an old friend. Maybe you’re curious about it and want to diversify your library. Or maybe, just maybe, you happen to know an awful lot more about SingLit than us and are just here for sport. 

In any case, SingLit can come across as an intimidating genre; after all, there’s so much our local literary scene has to offer! But fret not: we have compiled our favourite short story anthologies, fiction novels, poetry collections and plays that we recommend (based on how you feel, of course). 

Without further ado, here is our list.

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Raffles Reads: Pony

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Raffles Reads is a collaboration between Raffles Press and Times Reads which aims to promote a reading culture among Singaporean students.

By Keiran Koh (22S06M)

Rating : 4.5/5

After her critically-acclaimed work  “Wonder” achieved stupendous success, R.J Palacio released her newest work outside the Wonder universe in 2021, titled ‘Pony’.

Set in the 1800s in Ohio, USA, Pony follows the story of a 12 year-old with odd talents, Silas Bird, who lives with his father, Martin Bird, a boot maker and brilliant inventor. Silas is also accompanied by Mittenwool, a ghost, whom he shares banters with. Their cloistered and tranquil lifestyle is soon upended, however, when Roscoe Ollerenshaw and his henchmen take Martin Bird away to conduct some dubious business, unbeknownst to Silas. The following morning, a pony with a shimmering black coat, white head and piercing blue eyes surprises him at Silas doorstep, probing him to embark on a treacherous journey to find his father. 

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Raffles Reads: Instructions for Dancing

Reading Time: 2 minutes

By Shermaine Lim (22S03N)

Raffles Reads is a collaboration between Raffles Press and Times Reads which aims to promote a reading culture among Singaporean students.

Rating: 3.5/5  

“Not everybody can dance good, but everybody can dance.”

For Evie, the spirited protagonist of this story, love is a wasted concept. After a shocking revelation that left her family divided and her belief in love shaken, the once hopeless romantic finds herself forsaking her collection of romance novels at a nearby mobile library. There, she meets an enigmatic stranger who gifts her a mysterious book eponymously titled ‘Instructions for Dancing’ and an inexplicable gift: to see the past, present and future of any couple—including their inevitable end. 

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Raffles Reads: Around the World in 68 Days

Reading Time: 4 minutes

By Mei Feifei (22A13A)

Raffles Reads is a collaboration between Raffles Press and Times Reads which aims to promote a reading culture among Singaporean students.

Rating: 3.5/5

Koh Buck Song’s Around the World in 68 Days is a travelogue featuring 13 countries he visited in the span of 68 days in 2018, the golden days pre-Covid-19. Around the World promises “insights into 13 countries’ ancient and modern cultures, national identities and brands, and their place in the world today”.

The 13 stations of Koh’s voyage.

 Around the World is easily intriguing for anyone who stumbles across it in a bookstore: what better way to cure wanderlust than to read about another person’s travels, especially with an itinerary as extensive and unconventional as Koh’s? As an experienced national brand advisor, Koh’s book also offers more than a mere collection of #travelholic moments. 

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Raffles Reads: Mistbound: How to Glue Back Grandpa

Reading Time: 4 minutes

By Lim Yong Le (22S03M) and Mirella Ang (22A01C)

Raffles Reads is a collaboration between Raffles Press and Times Reads which aims to promote a reading culture among Singaporean students.

Rating: 3.5/5

When you think of fairytale adventures, what do you imagine? Pixies, gnomes, dragons, unicorns—basically any creature from Western mythology—usually come to mind, thanks to the popularity of works from the likes of the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen. 

Casting these aside, Mist-Bound: How to Glue Back Grandpa daringly taps into a repository of lesser-known, yet equally interesting mythical creatures hailing from legends originating in South-East Asia.

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