Bookends

Jonathan Shin
Jonathan Shin

Who: Jonathan Shin, 23, pianist, guitarist and composer of local instrumental band Lorong Boys

Shin started playing the piano at the age of four. He has won prizes in the National Piano and Violin Competition here and the 18th Ibiza International Piano Competition, and performed in Thailand, England, Slovenia and Indonesia.

The full-time musician has a bachelor of music degree from the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music at the National University of Singapore, where he met his band members.

The five-member Lorong Boys, formed in 2013, will perform at Valentine's Day 2016: A Bandstand Music Series at the Singapore Botanic Gardens today.

What are you reading now?


The Noise Of Time by Julian Barnes (2016, Vintage Publishing, $15.35)

I have just finished The Noise Of Time by Julian Barnes, which is an excellent book I can see myself rereading. I'm always reading more than one book at a time. Currently, I'm also reading another Barnes book, Flaubert's Parrot, as well as The Plague by Albert Camus and Poetics Of Music: In The Form Of Six Lessons by Igor Stravinsky.


Flaubert's Parrot by Julian Barnes (1990, Vintage Publishing, $15.45)

What books would you save from a burning house?


The Plague by Albert Camus (1991, Vintage Publishing, $12.25)

I would probably start panicking, especially if it's my bedroom, which holds my entire book collection.


Poetics Of Music: In The Form Of Six Lessons by Igor Stravinsky (1942, Vintage Books, $29.29)

But I would grab my favourite book first, which is Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. To me, the story reads like a piece of music about humanity with its distinct voices, bold and incredible structure, recurring themes and universality.


Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell (2004, Random House Trade Paperbacks, $13.26)

The next one would definitely be On Grief And Reason, Essays by Joseph Brodsky. I read it in December last year and it gave me a profoundly different life perspective. After all, it's not every day that one reads something written by a Soviet emigre like Brodsky.


On Grief And Reason, Essays by Joseph Brodsky (1997, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $38.56)

Phoebe Low

  • The Noise Of Time by Julian Barnes (2016, Vintage Publishing, $15.35), Flaubert's Parrot by Julian Barnes (1990, Vintage Publishing, $15.45), The Plague by Albert Camus (1991, Vintage Publishing, $12.25), Poetics Of Music: In The Form Of Six Lessons by Igor Stravinsky (1942, Vintage Books, $29.29), Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell (2004, Random House Trade Paperbacks, $13.26) and On Grief And Reason, Essays by Joseph Brodsky (1997, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $38.56) are available at Amazon.com
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on February 14, 2016, with the headline 'Bookends'. Print Edition | Subscribe