Nathan's view of history one of Singapore's most popular books among readers

50 Stories From My Life, a book of personal anecdotes and tales from former president SR Nathan's front-row view of history, is one of Singapore's most popular books. -- FILE PHOTO: EDN
50 Stories From My Life, a book of personal anecdotes and tales from former president SR Nathan's front-row view of history, is one of Singapore's most popular books. -- FILE PHOTO: EDN

A book of personal anecdotes and tales from former president SR Nathan's front-row view of history is one of Singapore's most popular books.

50 Stories From My Life topped a list of 10 readers' picks in the English-language adult category of the Popular Readers' Choice Awards this year, organised by bookstore chain Popular.

The awards are meant to recognise local writing; to qualify, authors must be residing in Singapore when their books are published and the books must have made it to the Popular best-seller list.

Other top-three books in the children's and Chinese categories were a book in husband and wife team AJ Low's Sherlock Sam series and the Chinese-language graphic-novel version of the Jack Neo movie Ah Boys To Men.

The awards were given out on Saturday at the annual BookFest fair, in a hall bigger than a football field at the Suntec convention centre. Assessment books, stationery, electronics, self-help books, DVDs and children's fiction were also on offer.

At lunchtime on Saturday the hall was filled with families with preschoolers and primary-school pupils.

Two primary-school boys were overheard demanding "storybooks" after their parents had loaded up on armfuls of assessment books, some of which were half price on Saturday.

Other parents were like housewife Edwina Tan, 38, whose cart held assessment books amidst layers of DVDs and Taiwanese novels.

"My son has only Chinese tuition," she said. "So I buy maths books for him to practice."

Ms Felicia Low and Mr Adan Jimenez, who make up AJ Low, also gave a scheduled authors' talk on creative writing for kids.

The most important thing, said Ms Low, 35, is "to read a lot and not be too worried about the educational aspects of the book, but read because it's fun and because you love it".