Many people like to read about a country before visiting, or sometimes even after their trip to help them to understand more about a place that they have enjoyed. Lots of travellers like to have a good selection of reading material for whilst on the road. There are others who enjoy reading about different places around the world to escape their everyday routines for a while and travel effortlessly from their own comfortable armchairs. Whatever your reason is for reading more about Singapore, there is a diverse selection of books that are sure to inspire you.
Including local life and tales, following in the footsteps of Singapore’s founder, expat living, and one man’s relentless search for the elusive Sumatran rhino, you are sure to enjoy these books and get lots of inspiration and knowledge.
True Singapore Ghost Stories, Russell Lee
The True Singapore Ghost Stories series are amongst the bestselling books in all of Singapore. More than a million copies have been sold since the book began in the late 1980s, helping it to become a well-known name in the country. As the name suggests, it contains a haunting and, at times, amusing and bizarre collection of accounts of real people’s encounters with other-worldly entities.
Diary of an Expat in Singapore, Jennifer Gargiulo
A fairly recent release, this popular book details an expat’s experiences in Singapore in a very humorous and tongue-in-cheek manner. Meant to amuse rather than offend, readers may often find themselves nodding along in agreement with some of the writer’s observations.
Crazy Rich Asians, Kevin Kwan
Another book about expat living, but based on fiction rather than first-hand accounts, this fantastic read delves into the decadent and opulent lifestyles of uber-rich Chinese expats. It tells the story of an economics professor who joins her boyfriend at his best friend’s wedding in Singapore. Excited to meet her partner’s family and friends, she is later shocked by the social minefield she encounters.
Little Ironies: Short Stories of Singapore, Catherine Lim
A fairly classic book, it contains 17 short stories about regular men and women who are living their ordinary lives. It shows that there really is no such thing as “normal” life, with stories such as a woman that desperately wishes to give birth to a son in order to please her ultra-traditional husband, a young student who tragically took her own life after receiving bad exam results, and a clever taxi driver who bumps up his earnings by enticing male tourists to visit the city’s brothels.
The Singapore Grip, J. G. Farrell
A great choice for history-lovers, The Singapore Grip transports readers back in time to the days of Singapore pre-WWII. The main story is based around a conglomerate and their rubber plantations, also including other import and export issues and tales too. Singapore was originally founded to be a competitive and successful trading centre for the British Empire and, despite early problems within society, the plan succeeded far beyond what anyone could have predicted.