Singapore Shelf

Vital Possessions
Vital Possessions

POETRY

VITAL POSSESSIONS

By Marc Nair

Ethos Books/Paperback/83 pages/ $16.82 before GST/Books Kinokuniya and ethosbooks.com.sg

"Nature never fails," writes poetphotographer Nair, "to push against the grain/of forgotten cities." In his ninth collection, the 2016 Young Artist Award recipient asks through poetic forms such as haiku and ghazal what it really means to be a "garden city", as the natural and manmade strive to co-exist in one small space. He first conceived this collection during a 2015 writing residency at Gardens by the Bay and, yes, there is a poem in the shape of a Supertree.


FICTION

THIS IS WHERE I WON'T BE ALONE

By Inez Tan

Epigram Books/Paperback/159 pages/ $18.90 before GST/Major bookstores and epigrambooks.sg

Tan takes it old school with the title of her debut short-story collection, which references Kit Chan's well-loved National Day song Home. The stories are fresh and often morbidly funny, from a sentient dried oyster observing the mother and daughter who plan to cook and eat it, to the plight of a social studies teacher whose students start answering every question with "Lee Kuan Yew", Singapore's founding prime minister.

WITHOUT

By Michele Koh Morollo

Self-published/Paperback/187 pages/ $14.90 before GST/Books Kinokuniya, Popular and Times

Koh Morollo looks at lack and longing in these short stories that take place around the world, from a chance encounter on the Athens Metro that evolves into a debate on the migrant crisis, to a ferry ride in a futuristic Hong Kong, to a global survey on female friendships.


NON-FICTION

LATE-NIGHT THOUGHTS OF A JAZZ MUSICIAN

By Jeremy Monteiro

Marshall Cavendish/Paperback/ 196 pages/$28 before GST/ Major bookstores

Singapore's "King of Swing" and Cultural Medallion recipient pens his memoir, with anecdotes from a jazz career that spans more than four decades - brushing shoulders with music greats such as Sammy Davis Jr and Tony Bennett and even signing a contract with a "mafia clause" for a musician with ties to the Mob as well as his thoughts on the industry.


COMICS

ALL THAT REMAINS

By James Tan

Lien Foundation and Alzheimer's Disease Association/Paperback/72 pages/Free/ E-mail info@forgetusnot.sg

In three frank, poignant stories, comic artist Tan explores what life is like for those with dementia and their caregivers, from the various tricks a daughter uses to occupy her mother despite the disease, to the love story between an elderly man and the wife who flares up at him in her forgetfulness. Tan draws on the experiences of his own family and friends for these stories.

The book is being distributed free to spread awareness of dementia.

MR KIASU #10: EVERYTHING ALSO FIRST CLASS

By Johnny Lau

Shogakukan Asia/Paperback/ 128 pages/$13.80/Books Kinokuniya, MPH, Popular, Action City and TOG

In the latest instalment of the popular cartoon, Mr Kiasu tries living in the futuristic Terminal City, a utopia under Changi Airport, and also travels to Tokyo, Japan.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 25, 2018, with the headline 'Singapore Shelf'. Print Edition | Subscribe