Book ends

Actress Judee Tan makes an appearance in Chestnuts, a live parody sketch show.
Actress Judee Tan makes an appearance in Chestnuts, a live parody sketch show.PHOTO: KELLY FAN
Actress Judee Tan makes an appearance in Chestnuts, a live parody sketch show.
Men In White: The Untold Stories Of Singapore’s Ruling Political Party.PHOTO: BOOKS KINOKUNIYA
Actress Judee Tan makes an appearance in Chestnuts, a live parody sketch show.
Strictly Bipolar by Darian Leader.PHOTO: AMAZON
Actress Judee Tan makes an appearance in Chestnuts, a live parody sketch show.
Conversations With God by Neale Donald Walsch.PHOTO: AMAZON

Who: Judee Tan, 34, actress

Her well-known roles include aspiring getai singer Big Papaya in 881 The Musical (2011) and North Korean correspondent Kim Bong Cha in Channel 5's news parody show The Noose.

She is in Chestnuts, Singapore's longest running live parody sketch show, which runs till next Sunday at the Drama Centre Theatre.

She reprises her role as traditional Chinese doctor Teo Chew Moi in theatre show Crazy Christmas in December.

Ticketing details for both shows are at www.sistic.com.sg.

What are you reading now?

I recently finished Men In White: The Untold Stories Of Singapore's Ruling Political Party. The book chronicles PAP's struggles during its early years, its eventual rise to power and current success.

While the book could have been less repetitive and edited for a better read, it is a fascinating read and sparked my imagination. It makes great material for a movie. I do not usually read political materials, but I read this book because of a production I was initially a part of.

I also like reading about the study of the human mind and psyche, one of my favourite subjects. A bipolar friend gave me books that he knew I would love. The first book in that stack is a tiny one titled Strictly Bipolar by Darian Leader. It strikes at the heart of mental illness. Society in general does not understand mental illnesses well enough. This book challenges readers to rethink the way they view it.

What books would you save from a burning house?

I would save all three books of Conversations With God by Neale Donald Walsch, but, in particular the first book, because it saw me through a difficult period in life.

The first time I read the book, I did so with no expectations and had a big "aha" moment because it echoed every sentiment I had since I was a child.

Each time I encounter difficulties, I re-read the book to re-focus.

I would also save This Is Water: Some Thoughts, Delivered On A Significant Occasion, About Living A Compassionate Life by David Foster Wallace.

He writes about the value of critical thinking or perhaps metacognition, which is the art of thinking about how people think. The text was from a commencement speech he made as well as the last essay he wrote before he took his life. He was suffering from depression.

•Men In White: The Untold Stories Of Singapore's Ruling Political Party. ($42.69, 2009, Singapore Press Holdings ) is available from Books Kinokuniya. Strictly Bipolar ($14.20, 2013, Penguin ) and Conversations With God ($12.80, 1997, Hodder Paperbacks ) are available from Amazon.com

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 20, 2015, with the headline 'Bookends'. Print Edition | Subscribe