I went to the National Library to write some snail mail in peace and quiet. When the mail was ready, I went next door to drop it in the postbox at Bras Basah Complex. Then I got snared by the used book bookshop on the corner there. It must have been at least an hour later that I re-emerged with SG$20 less in my wallet and these six books in my backpack.
More on these books below.
(1) Who doesn’t need a copy of The English-Uighur Dictionary (for the students)? Only those rare people who don’t collect exotic pocket dictionaries… Yet even if you don’t collect exotic pocket dictionaries, aren’t you just the least bit curious about this Muslim minority group in China, who speak a Turkic language written in an Arabic script? Does it not intrigue you that this book was published by a publisher called The Xinjiang People’s Hygienic Press? I think that publisher is also called Xinjiang Science & Technology & Hygiene Publishing House, which makes slightly more sense. I guess.
(2) Just Listen by Sarah Dessen. I bought a copy online but its cover didn’t match my other Sarah Dessen books, and this one’s does.
(3) Six Thinking Hats by Edward de Bono is one of the best books I’ve read this year. Bought this copy as a gift.
(4) First, Break all the Rules by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coleman. I feel slightly odd having read Buckingham’s Now, Discover Your Strengths without having read his book about what to do first.
(5) The Amazing Thought-Reading Machine by Annabel Seargeant. This book is part of the I Can Read curriculum, which I used to teach. Have you ever tried explaining to an Asian kid why getting good grades (high marks) would make you a “nerd” and cause you to be picked on by stupid bullies with names like Muttonhead? No? I have. The book’s main character (a genius inventor, age 10) is named Duncan, has freckles, and lives in a house that has a porch. Could you dream up anything that would be more opaque to a Singaporean five-year-old? Oh, and I love how the covers and spine of this edition (unlike the title page) omit the hyphen in “thought-reading”. Pfft.
(6) What You Need to Know about British and American English by George Davidson. Lay it on me, George. What do I need to know? Take me beyond color/colour, organize/organise, chips/crisps, vacation/holiday. Sometimes I think I could write a book like this; other times I think the Atlantic will forever remain uncrossable.