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Seven ways to ramp up your reading habit

The coming of a New Year inevitably brings about the desire to set fresh goals and resolutions. While detoxing, dieting and decluttering are all well and good, none of these can quite enrich your mind and soul the way reading a good book can. Do yourself a favour – make it a year of books.

Perhaps you’ve been stuck in a slump and want to get back to reading regularly, or you’re already a voracious reader who’s looking to change things up a bit. Wherever you fall on the spectrum, you’ll find something in this list of fun and entirely achievable ideas to get you going.

1. Read outside your comfort zone.

Exploring an unfamiliar genre, topic or experimental narrative can turn out to be an exhilarating journey of discovery. It exposes you to new things and allows you to think differently, if not critically. All that’s needed is an open mind, and of course, good recommendations. You may find yourself becoming absolutely enamoured with this new frontier, but even if you don’t, you would’ve expanded your literary horizons.

2. Tackle an author’s entire oeuvre.

This one’s for the goal-oriented and systematic reader among us, and those who’d like to become an authority of sorts on a specific writer and their works. Whether you pick an author you’re already familiar with or one whom you have not read before but have always been curious about, you would come away with a deeper appreciation for your chosen author’s storytelling prowess.

3. Revisit an old favourite in between reading new titles.

The wonderful thing about re-reading an old book – other than the sheer pleasure of it – is the unearthing of new revelations, either about the book or your experience of it. You’re a different person from when you first read the book, and revisiting it with different lenses will elicit fresh observations and interpretations.

4. Choose a topic or subject matter to focus on.

Ask yourself, what is one topic you want a deeper understanding of? A specific geographical region of the world, a hobby such as fly fishing or knitting, primitive art, a current social issue, the history of butter or of marine chronometers, perhaps? Whatever it is, make a reading list of books that explore that topic. Make it an expansive list that spans different genres: fiction, non-fiction, and poetry, even.

5. Set a numbers goal.

If you’re one who thrives on achievements, give yourself a tangible goal to strive for. Keep it realistic and achievable – a target of finishing one book a month is a good place to start, or you could go big and challenge yourself with a book or two a week. Then make it a point to put aside time in your day to do nothing but indulge in a spot of reading – set a reminder on your phone, if that helps.

6. Take on a reading challenge.

Try one of the various reading challenges by blogs like Book RiotPopsugar or the Reading Women podcast, which presents a list of specific types of books to read, but leaves the title to you to choose. Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge consists of things like “a book in which an animal or inanimate object is a point-of-view character” and “a book by or about someone that identifies as neurodiverse”. Popsugar‘s list includes “a book you see someone reading on TV or in a movie” and “a book published posthumously”. The Reading Women Challenge has “a book about a woman athlete” and “a book featuring a religion other than your own.”

7. Join a book club.

Becoming part of a book club is a sure-fire way to get you reading regularly. Getting together with other book aficionados to go over a book with a fine-toothed comb helps you widen your understanding and appreciation of a book and its themes. You’re bound to see the book in a different perspective. A great place to start is to do a search on Facebook and look for reading groups near you. You’re welcome to join our monthly club, Lit Social, which usually takes place every third Thursday of the month at the store at 8pm. Be sure to follow us on Facebook for the latest updates.

Need book recommendations? Visit us and let us match you with the perfect read.

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Our favourite reads of 2018

We’ve read more than we’ve had in years since opening the bookshop this past year. Granted, it’s partly for research purposes, but whatever the reason, it’s also the most pleasure we’ve had in reading in quite some time. Here are some of our favourite books of 2018.

Min Hun’s Picks

Favourite Fiction: Ali Smith’s Winter. Smith has one of the most unique voices in literature today and I am a huge fan of her seasonal quartet beginning with Autumn the year prior. Winter is possibly just as twisty and irreverent as Autumn, and fine evidence of Smith’s appreciation of the pun. As with Autumn, the central theme to Winter is that of change with characters in reminiscent mood with the coming of Christmas (a la A Christmas Carol). As with Smith’s previous novels, it is impossible to say exactly what it is one has previously read but it nonetheless leaves you breathless and empty at the end.

 

Favourite Non-Fiction: GJ Meyer’s A World Undone. Meyer’s book is probably the best single-volume on WWI I’ve come across, and it stands up pretty well despite being published more than a decade ago in 2006. What comes across most clearly from Meyer’s account is just what a comedy of errors it was with the entire enterprise and yet inevitable at the same time. Providing sufficient history without bogging down the narrative, and present-minded enough to make for a ripping yarn, A World Undone is a must for any war history buffs.

 

Favourite Verse: Leonard Cohen’s The Flame. Cohen has been such a large part of my life — since my days of existential crisis at university to my now more sobered self — that it was impossible to pass on his last collection of poetry, self-portrait and lyric. The Flame is unabashedly romantic but also voiced from a place of resignation in recognition, at last, that all is vanity. This final collection of works was put together by his son and stands as a proper testimonial to a life of work and art.

Elaine’s Picks

Favourite Children’s Book: Jakob Wegelius’ The Murderer’s Ape. This middle-grade novel by Swedish award-winning writer and illustrator is an old-timey, epic adventure tale, with equal parts mystery, action, intrigue, and the exotic, but also imbued with a lot of heart. The protagonist is an extraordinary gorilla named Sally Jones who can understand human language, is able to read and write, and is a handy engineer to boot. The main plot of the novel is about how Sally Jones goes about trying to exonerate her Chief, Henry Koskela the sea captain, who becomes entangled in a chain of events that results in him becoming falsely accused of murder. Her efforts take her from Lisbon, Portugal to Bhapur, India and brings her in contact with a sea of colourful and fascinating characters.

There are various themes presented in the story, but what I found particularly moving is how it beautifully depicts the unbreakable bond formed between animals and humans. This is ultimately a tale of friendship and the lengths you would go for the ones you love. Rich in detail, the wonderfully imaginative story takes many unexpected turns, leaving the reader breathless as to what will happen next.

 

Favourite Fiction: John Boyne’s A Ladder to the Sky. A dark tale of literary ambition from a master storyteller, this novel chronicles the rise and fall of Maurice Swift and the depths of depravity he descends into to achieve his goal. I really enjoyed how the story is told from different perspectives with multiple narrators. The novel begins with Maurice as a young aspiring writer who has a fortuitous encounter with celebrated novelist Erich Ackerman with whom he ingratiates himself with — this is told from Erich’s perspective. Part two picks up a few years after Maurice’s successful debut but he is now experiencing a mid-career slump and getting desperate by the day. He is married to Edith, also a novelist, and the story is told from her point of view. In the third and final portion of the book, we finally get inside Maurice’s head and learn that his is a pattern of behaviour established from young. Riveting and brilliantly crafted, this thrilling and captivating book about people and their stories will stay with you long after you’re done.

 

Favourite Non-Fiction: Katherine Reid’s The Landscapes of Anne of Green Gables. The Anne of Green Gables series by Canadian author LM Montgomery is my all-time favourite childhood series. As such, I absolutely adored this gem of a book, as it brought new life and meaning to Montgomery’s novels. This coffeetable book portrays with stunning photography the gorgeous landscape of Prince Edward Island, the setting for all but one of Montgomery’s novels. What gives this book added substance are the biographical anecdotes of Montgomery’s life and writing career, seamlessly weaved into the descriptions of the land that so inspired her. There are also travel tips for those of us — including yours truly — who want to plan a trip to PEI. This is a truly beautiful tribute to Montgomery’s writings and the island she loved with all her heart.

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Lit Gift Guide 2018: Books for Little Readers

Storybooks that evoke wonder and factual tomes that feed curious minds — our picks of good reads for little readers are bound to delight the young and young at heart.

 

Ladybird Tales of Adventurous Girls
With a special introduction from award-winning author Jacqueline Wilson, this gorgeous tome comprises beautifully illustrated stories of six adventurous girls from around the world who use their wits, courage and strength to overcome the odds.

Gretel and Hansel (A tale from Brothers Grimm)
Tamasha and the Troll (A tale from Zanzibar)
Tokoyo and the Sea Serpent (A tale from Japan)
Chandra and the Elephants (A tale from India)
Sea Girl and the Golden Key (A tale from China)
The Snow Queen (A tale from Hans Christian Andersen)

Perfect for bedtime, to read aloud or enjoy alone, these empowering tales show that girls can be the heroes of any story. (Hardback, RM79.95)

 

The Real Boat by Marina Aromshtam, illustrated by Victoria Semykina
When the paper boat learns that there is such a place as the ocean, he is determined to go there so he can be a real boat. On his journey he meets all sorts of friends, from the strong little tug boat to the glittering ocean liner. But he also learns that the real ocean is huge and deep and full of dangers. The lyrical text and illustrations of this modern fable create a world of wonder. (Hardback, RM82.90)

 

Poems To Live Your Life By, chosen and illustrated by Chris Riddell
Selected by illustrator Chris Riddell, this beautiful anthology brings together 46 poems covering musings, youth, family, love, imaginings, nature, war and endings by poets old and new. Classic verses from William Shakespeare, Lewis Carroll, W. B. Yeats and Christina Rossetti sit alongside poems from Nick Cave, Leonard Cohen, Carol Ann Duffy, Neil Gaiman and Roger McGough. Riddell brings them to life with his exquisite, intricate artwork. (Hardback, RM69.90)

 

A World of Discovery by Richard Platt, illustrated by James Brown
This stylish book covers more than 30 diverse and fascinating topics of amazing breakthroughs past and present in science and technology that have changed our lives forever. Discover fascinating facts and figures about space travel, the human body, time, the computer and much more with James Brown’s bold, bright colours and beautiful contemporary designs. Each illustration is presented alongside an engaging fact-filled explanation by celebrated author Richard Platt. (Hardback, RM94.90)

 

Little People, Big Dreams Series
These biographical picture books profile inspiring women, from primatologist Jane Goodall and diarist Anne Frank to painter Georgia O’Keefe and jazz songstress Ella Fitzgerald. (Hardback, RM44.50 each)

 

The Good Guys: 50 Heroes Who Changed the World with Kindness by Rob Kemp, illustrated by Paul Blow
A gloriously illustrated celebration of heroes who have changed the world with kindness and compassion, The Good Guys introduces us to 50 heroes who have showed that changing the world doesn’t require a sword or a corporate jet. Readers will find stories of extraordinary men including David Attenborough, Nelson Mandela, Professor Green, Patrick Stewart, Oskar Schindler and Lionel Messi, as well as unsung heroes such as James Harrison, who has spent 50 years donating his rare blood to save millions of babies. There’s even a section celebrating 10 boys who didn’t let their young age stop them from helping others, such as Matthew Kaplan, who responded to his brother’s bullies by setting up an anti-bullying programme for schools. The Good Guys celebrates the feats of heroes and everyday men, and will show kids that it really is cool to be kind. (Hardback, RM69.90)

 

The Human Body: A Pop-Up Guide to Anatomy by Richard Walker, illustrated by Rachel Caldwell
In this fun pop-up book, Victorian-inspired illustrations meet with medical notes and sketches to give a complete in-depth exploration of how the human body works. Peel the flaps back to reveal the inner workings of the human body, from bone and muscle, to the brain, eyes, heart, lungs and everything in-between. (Hardback, RM99.90)

 

Rebel Cats! Brave Tales of Feisty Felines by Kimberlie Hamilton
Discover secrets, stories and facts about history’s most fascinating felines in this engaging collection about cats who are the heroes of their own stories. With profiles of over 30 real-life felines, including WWII heroes, courageous adventurers, a Guinness World Record holder and even an astrocat that travelled in space (and made it back to Earth to tell the tale), Rebel Cats introduces us to fur-raising facts and adventures from around the world and across the centuries. Plus tons of information on cat activism, feline myths and more! (Paperback, RM52.90)

 

Tails of Ae’tann: A Sunset Story Part 1, 2 & 3
Follow the adventures of Red, Olive and Ollie, three adorable puppies eagerly awaiting to be born into the World. When a silly decision leads to tragic and unintended consequences, they are drawn into a mysterious realm filled with wonder and awe, new friends and allies, but also evil, unimaginable to their young minds. (Hardback, from RM29.90 to RM39.90. Free Christmas gift pack with every purchase.)

 

Once Upon a World Collection by Chloe Perkins
Once Upon a World offers a multicultural take on the fairytales we all know and love. Because fairy tales are for everyone, everywhere! Take a magical tour around the world with these four fairytale board books now available together in an enchanting box set. Read along as Snow White flees her castle in Japan and meets seven mysterious dwarves and Cinderella attends a ball in Mexico and loses her glass slipper. And delight as Rapunzel escapes her tower in India and a princess in Russia proves herself with one tiny pea. (RM171.90)

The Children’s Classics Collection: 16 of the Best Children’s Stories Ever Written
This fantastic box-set brings together 16 much-loved children’s classics. The stories have been abridged and retold in modern English by respected children’s authors, making them accessible to readers as young as 6 while retaining all the charm, atmosphere, and sense of adventure that made the original tales world-famous. These dramatic, easy-to-follow stories, charmingly illustrated with verve and humour by specially commissioned artists, deserve to find a home on every child’s bookshelf. The following stories make up the box-set: Alice in Wonderland, Anne of Green Gables, Black Beauty, Heidi, Little Women, Oliver Twist, Peter Pan, Robin Hood, Robinson Crusoe, The Call of the Wild, The Jungle Book, The Secret Garden, The Wizard of Oz, Tom Sawyer, Treasure Island, and Wind in the Willows. (RM120)

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Lit Gift Guide 2018: Inspiring Nonfiction

Looking for inspiring and thought-provoking reads? Or perhaps something compelling for the foodie in your life? We’ve got something here that will fit the bill.

 

Becoming by Michelle Obama
This intimate, powerful, and inspiring memoir by the former First Lady of the US is a work of deep reflection and mesmerising storytelling. Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her — from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it — in her own words and on her own terms. Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations and whose story inspires us to do the same. (Hardback, RM139.95)

 

Ali: A Life by Jonathan Eig
Winner of the 2018 PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sports Writing and winner of The Times Sports Biography of the Year, this is the definitive biography of an American icon from a New York Times bestselling author with unique access to Mohammad Ali’s inner circle. Jonathan Eig radically reshapes our understanding of the complicated man who was Ali. Eig had access to all the key people in Ali’s life, including his three surviving wives and his managers. He conducted more than 500 interviews and uncovered thousands of pages of previously unreleased FBI and Justice Department files, as well dozens of hours of newly discovered audiotaped interviews from the 1960s. Collectively, they tell Ali’s story like never before — the story of a man who was flawed and uncertain and brave beyond belief. (Trade paperback, RM82.90)

 

21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari
Yuval Noah Harari’s new book is a probing and visionary investigation into today’s most urgent issues as we move into the uncharted territory of the future. As technology advances faster than our understanding of it, hacking becomes a tactic of war, and the world feels more polarized than ever, Harari addresses the challenge of navigating life in the face of constant and disorienting change and raises the important questions we need to ask ourselves in order to survive.

In 21 accessible chapters that are both provocative and profound, Harari builds on the ideas explored in his previous books, untangling political, technological, social, and existential issues and offering advice on how to prepare for a very different future from the world we now live in. Harari’s unique ability to make sense of where we have come from and where we are going has captured the imaginations of millions of readers. Here he invites us to consider values, meaning, and personal engagement in a world full of noise and uncertainty. (Hardback, RM104.90; trade paperback, RM79.90)

 

Feel Free: Essays by Zadie Smith
Since she burst spectacularly into view with her debut novel almost two decades ago, Zadie Smith has established herself not just as one of the world’s preeminent fiction writers, but also a brilliant and singular essayist. She contributes regularly to The New Yorker and the New York Review of Books on a range of subjects, and each piece of hers is a literary event in its own right. Gathering in one place for the first time previously unpublished work, as well as already classic essays such as Joy and Find Your Beach, Feel Free offers a survey of important recent events in culture and politics, as well as Smith’s own life. Equally at home in the world of good books and bad politics, Brooklyn-born rappers and the work of Swiss novelists, she is by turns wry, heartfelt, indignant, and incisive — and never any less than perfect company. This is literary journalism at its finest. (Trade paperback, RM86.90)

 

The Rub of Time by Martin Amis
As a journalist, critic and novelist, Martin Amis has always turned his keen intellect and unrivalled prose loose on an astonishing range of topics — politics, sports, celebrity, America, and, of course, literature. Collected here is some of his best nonfiction work from over two decades. Amis writes about finally confronting the effects of aging on his athletic prowess. He revisits the worlds of Bellow and Nabokov, his “twin peaks,” masters who have obsessed and inspired him. And he turns his piercingly observant eye on Donald Trump, whom he finds “scowling out from under an omelette of makeup” in the run-up to the 2016 Republican Convention, and at a post-election rally, regarding his crowd of supporters with a “flat sneer of Ozymandian hauteur”. Overflowing with startling and singular turns of phrase, and complete with new commentary by the author, The Rub of Time is a vital addition to any bookshelf, and the perfect primer for readers discovering Amis’ fierce talents for the first time. (Hardback, RM136.50)

 

History of the World Map by Map by DK, foreword by Peter Snow
With a foreword by renowned historian Peter Snow and 130 detailed maps that tell the story of pivotal episodes in world history, this coffeetable tome is much more than a history atlas. Purpose-made regional and global maps present the history of the world as it happened, charting how events traced patterns on land and ocean — patterns of exploration, discovery, or conquest that created powerful empires, fragile colonies, or terrifying theatres of war. An interplay of text and graphics leads you around the page so that you can follow the story of civilisations through ancient, medieval, and modern times. At key points in History of the World Map by Map, broad, sweeping introductions provide a chance to step back and look at entire periods, such as World War 2, or to explore overarching themes, such as the Industrial Revolution. Picture spreads, meanwhile, focus on epoch-defining moments or developments, such as fascism and communism, and the invention of printing. (Hardback, RM145)

 

The Art of War & Other Classics of Eastern Philosophy by Sun Tzu, Lao-Tzu, Confucius, Mencius
The words of ancient Chinese philosophers have influenced other thinkers across the world for more than 2,000 years and continue to shape our ideas today. This beautiful tome includes translations of Sun Tzu’s Art of War, Lao-Tzu’s Tao Te Ching, the teachings of the master sage Confucius, and the writings of Mencius. From insights on warfare and diplomacy to advice on how to deal with one’s neighbours and colleagues, this collection of classical Eastern philosophy will provide readers with countless nuggets of wisdom. (Leather bound, RM129.90)

 

Mastering the Art of French Cooking (2-volume Set) by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle, and Simone Beck
The perfect gift for any follower of Julia Child — and any lover of French food — this boxed set brings together Mastering the Art of French Cooking, first published in 1961, and its sequel, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume Two, published in 1970.

Mastering the Art of French Cooking is for both seasoned cooks and beginners who love good food and long to reproduce at home the savoury delights of the classic cuisine, from the historic Gallic masterpieces to the seemingly artless perfection of a dish of spring-green peas. The techniques learned in this beautiful book, with more than one hundred instructive illustrations, can be applied to recipes in all other French cookbooks, making them infinitely usable. Each recipe is worked out step-by-step, with clarity and precision. (Hardback, RM469.95)

 

Wine Food: New Adventures in Drinking and Cooking by Dana Frank and Andrea Slonecker
Natural wine bar and winery owner Dana Frank partners with author and stylist Andrea Slonecker to deliver 75 recipes for brunches, salads, vegetable dishes, picnics, weeknight dinners, and feasts with friends, all inspired by delicious, affordable wines that go with them beautifully. Each recipe opens with a succinct overview of the wine style that inspired it, describing the grapes and naming the countries the wine comes from, followed by a brief explanation of how it complements the flavours and textures in the recipe. Frank and Slonecker also include a wine flavours cheat sheet, a label lexicon lesson, a short course on wine tasting like a pro, and illustrated features on matching wine with types of favourite foods. With more than 75 atmospheric and recipe photos and 20 watercolour illustrations, Wine Food makes wine education experiential, fun, and especially delicious for wine drinkers of all knowledge levels. (Hardback, RM112.90)

 

The Joy of Mixology: The Consummate Guide to the Bartender’s Craft Revised and Updated Edition by Gary Regan
This is a thoroughly updated edition of the 2003 classic that home and professional bartenders alike refer to as their cocktail bible. Gary Regan, the “most-read cocktail expert around”, has revised his original tome for the 15th anniversary with new material: many more cocktail recipes — including smart revisions to the originals — and fascinating information on the drink making revival that has popped up in the past decade, confirming once again that this is the only cocktail reference you need. (Hardback, RM139.90)

 

A Sidecar Named Desire: Great Writers and the Booze That Stirred Them by Greg Clarke and Monte Beauchamp
This is a rollicking illustrated history of alcohol and its literary imbibers, from Jane Austen’s beer brewing to James Joyce’s passion for Guinness to E.B. White’s cure for writers’ block — a dry martini — by celebrated illustrator Greg Clarke and award-winning editor/art director Monte Beauchamp.

Throughout history, there has been no greater catalyst for creativity among writers, so they claim, than a good, stiff drink. In this graphic volume, the authors take us on an unforgettable literary bar crawl, packed with historical factoids, anecdotes, booze trivia, and fascinating detours into the lives of our favourite writers, along with literary-themed cocktail recipes such as Ernest Hemingway’s Death in the Afternoon and Philip Larkin’s Gin and Tonic set to verse. For the literary-minded drinker, whether wine, gin, vodka, beer, whiskey, or tequila is your elixir of choice, A Sidecar Named Desire will whet your appetite. (Hardback, RM77.90)

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Lit Gift Guide 2018: Fiction for Keeps

Our selection of riveting fiction comprises stories that span the entire gamut of human experience. These are sure to become cherished books to revisit time and again.

 

Heroes: Mortals and Monsters, Quests and Adventures by Stephen Fry
In this companion to his bestselling Mythos, Stephen Fry brilliantly retells the dramatic, funny, tragic and timeless tales of Greek heroes. Join Jason aboard the Argo as he quests for the Golden Fleece. See Atalanta — who was raised by bears — outrun any man before being tricked with golden apples. Witness wily Oedipus solve the riddle of the Sphinx and discover how Bellerophon captures the winged horse Pegasus to help him slay the monster Chimera. Filled with white-knuckle chases and battles, impossible puzzles and riddles, acts of base cowardice and real bravery, not to mention murders and selfless sacrifices, Heroes is the story of what we mortals are truly capable of — at our worst and our very best. (Trade paperback, RM89.95)

 

The Penguin Book of Japanese Short Stories, translated by Jay Rubin with an introduction by Haruki Murakami
This is a major new collection of Japanese short stories, many appearing in English for the first time, with an introduction by Haruki Murakami. This fantastically varied and exciting collection celebrates the art of the Japanese short story, from its origins in the 19th century to the remarkable practitioners writing today. Stories by writers already well known to English-language readers are included — like Tanizaki, Akutagawa, Murakami, Mishima, Kawabata, and Yoshimoto — as well as many surprising new finds. (Hardback, RM145)

 

The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa, translated by Philip Gabriel
This beloved tale is now available in a hardback gifting edition, which includes a ribbon bookmark and six beautiful line drawings. Set against the backdrop of Japan’s changing seasons and narrated with a rare gentleness and humour, Nana’s story explores the wonder and thrill of life’s unexpected detours. It is about the value of friendship and solitude, and knowing when to give and when to take. Travelling Cat has already demonstrated its power to move thousands of readers with a message of kindness and truth. It shows, above all, how acts of love, both great and small, can transform our lives. (Hardback, RM57.95)

 

Penguin Modern Classics box set
This box set of the 50 books in the new Penguin Modern series celebrates the pioneering spirit of the Penguin Modern Classics list and its iconic authors. Including avant-garde essays, radical polemics, newly translated poetry and great fiction, here are brilliant and diverse voices from across the globe. Ground-breaking and original in their day, their words still have the power to move, challenge and inspire. (RM360)

 

Sea Prayer by Khaled Hosseini
A short, powerful, illustrated book written by beloved novelist Khaled Hosseini in response to the current refugee crisis, Sea Prayer is composed in the form of a letter, from a father to his son, on the eve of their journey. Watching over his sleeping son, the father reflects on the dangerous sea-crossing that lies before them. It is also a vivid portrait of their life in Homs, Syria, before the war, and of that city’s swift transformation from a home into a deadly war zone. Author proceeds from this book will go to the UNHCR (the UN Refugee Agency) and The Khaled Hosseini Foundation to help fund lifesaving relief efforts to help refugees around the globe. (Hardback, RM54.90)

 

Tales of Horror by H. P. Lovecraft
The stories of H. P. Lovecraft have been a source of fascination for readers since they were published in the early 20th century, and legions of fans continue to reinvent his dark and fantastical world to this day. This collection of short stories by the master of the macabre contains more than 20 of his most popular works, including The Call of Cthulhu, The Shadow Over Innsmouth, and The Dunwich Horror. Each story will leave the reader feeling unsettled and uncertain, but also appreciative of the unique elements that Lovecraft introduced to the literary world. (Leather bound, RM121.90)

 

The Hainish Novels and Stories by Ursula K. Le Guin
In such visionary masterworks as the Nebula and Hugo Award winners The Left Hand of Darkness and The Dispossessed, Ursula K. Le Guin redrew the map of modern science fiction, imagining a galactic confederation of human colonies founded by the planet Hain, an array of worlds whose divergent societies — the result of both evolution and genetic engineering — allow her to speculate on what is intrinsic in human nature. Now, for the first time, the complete Hainish novels and stories are collected in a deluxe two-volume Library of America boxed set, with new introductions by the author.

Volume one gathers the first five Hainish novels: Rocannon’s World, in which an ethnologist sent to a bronze-age planet must help defeat an intergalactic enemy; Planet of Exile, the story of human colonists stranded on a planet that is slowly killing them; City of Illusions, which finds a future Earth ruled by the mysterious Shing; and the Hugo and Nebula Award-winning masterpieces The Left Hand of Darkness and The Dispossessed — as well as four short stories.

Volume two presents Le Guin’s final two Hainish novels, The Word for World Is Forest, in which Earth enslaves another planet to strip its natural resources, and The Telling, the harrowing story of a society which has suppressed its own cultural heritage. Rounding out the volume are seven short stories and the story suite Five Ways to Forgiveness, published here in full for the first time. The endpapers feature Le Guin’s own hand-drawn map of Gethen, the planet that is the setting for The Left Hand of Darkness, and a full-colour chart of the known worlds of Hainish descent. (Hardback, RM376)

 

Penguin Galaxy Series
The Penguin Galaxy Series comprises collectible hardcover editions of four masterworks of science fiction and fantasy with a series introduction by bestselling author Neil Gaiman.

2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke (RM99.95)
Neuromancer by William Gibson (RM99.95)
Dune by Frank Herbert (RM119)
Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein (RM119)

 

Creatures of Near Kingdoms by Zedeck Siew, with illustrations by Sharon Chin
Zedeck Siew’s feverishly imaginative prose intertwines with Sharon Chin’s stunning lino prints and pattern designs. Sometimes fantastical fancy, at other times of nightmarish quality, the book catalogues the flora and fauna in and around Malaysia. From worms that live in your digital devices, to ants and crows that explode — these 75 creatures surely do not exist, but they should. Because they explain so much of what we are and where we came from. (Paperback, RM20)