Bookends

Award-winning graphic novelist Sonny Liew, 40.
Award-winning graphic novelist Sonny Liew, 40.PHOTO: ST FILE

Who: Award-winning graphic novelist Sonny Liew, 40.

Liew, an accomplished comic artist, released his acclaimed 2015 graphic novel The Art Of Charlie Chan Hock Chye overseas this year.

The book, a meta-fictional retelling of Singapore's history which also weaves in the life and career of the protagonist, made it to bestseller lists compiled by The New York Times and Amazon in March.

What are you reading now?

Jack Miles' God: A Biography and James Wood's How Fiction Works. Miles tries to offer an assessment of God as a literary character and Wood helps to break down how narratives work.

I suppose that's not too different from another book I've been dipping into - Tom Vanderbilt's Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (And What It Says About Us).

There's so much thought and analysis that go behind the choices made in structuring a story or figuring out the proper distance between lane divider markers. We tend to take it all for granted, but there's a craft and science behind everything.

What books would you save from a burning house?

My grandfather had one of his essays published in an anthology some years back.

I suppose everything is replaceable if you spend enough money and time on eBay, but a copy of this one would be particularly hard to find.

My grandpa and I are both bibliophiles, or possibly just pack rats seemingly in need of some serious Marie Kondo-ing. But every book is magic and I'd have a hard time finding any that didn't spark some sense of joy.

•How Fiction Works (2009, Vintage Publishing, $21.30); God: A Biography (1996, Vintage Books, $26.97) and Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (And What It Says About Us) (2009, Vintage Books, $26.97) are available from Books Kinokuniya.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on May 08, 2016, with the headline 'Bookends'. Print Edition | Subscribe