Books of the Month


Stay up to date with our monthly book recommendations and curated collections of the best stories this planet has to offer.

June



 

When it feels like the world is changing faster than ever before, it is normal to feel uncomfortable or uncertain. This month’s selection of books will help you gain new perspectives on how to overcome any type of disruption, from everyday challenges to life-changing historical events. Even better, discover how to adapt, thrive, and evolve with strategies to live a happier and calmer life.

From mastering your thoughts to learning how to embrace the unexpected, and how to recognise and combat the inevitable information overload of today’s digital age, you’ll find that life has much to offer, provided we have the right mindset.

Title: Your Thoughts Matter: Change Your Thoughts and Change Your Destiny

Author: George Goh

Publisher: Partridge Publishing Singapore

 

Your thoughts are more powerful than you think. No matter how big or small, they could be stopping you from achieving your goals. With this book, learn how to master them and you could master your destiny.

Author, George Goh, explains that for most people, the one thing that gets in the way of the results we desire are simply our own thoughts. When a thought dominates our subconscious mind, it shapes our paradigm and feelings. These feelings affect our body’s energetic state which determines the way we behave. Simply put, our thoughts have the power to create our reality. So why not use it to our advantage?

Grab this book to learn how to control your thoughts, overcome your history, conditions and circumstances, and be the person you want to be!


 

Title: The New Long Life: A Framework for Flourishing in a Changing World

Author: Andrew J. Scott, Lynda Gratton

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC

 

These days, it feels like change is the only constant. On a daily basis, we experience ever-evolving technologies, jobs under threat, longer life spans, new ways of working, and lots more. For those who fear or resist unfamiliarity, there’s now a way and opportunity to flourish in this changing world.

Based on the fields of economics and psychology, The New Long Life provides a practical guide on how to positively adapt to these uncertain times. The authors, Scott and Gratton, have designed a simple three-part framework, “Narrate, Explore and Relate”, to help anyone navigate through challenges. Applicable to both your personal and work life, use this inspiring and insightful book as a guide to live a longer, smarter, and happier life.


 

Title: Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World

Author: Fareed Zakaria

Publisher: Allen Lane

 

If the future feels hopelessly unpredictable now, the pages from Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World can offer some solace. In this book, Zakaria, one of the ‘top ten global thinkers of the last decade’, predicts what the political, social, technological and economic climate in the post-pandemic world would look like, and provides ten surprisingly hopeful ‘lessons’ as he examines topics such as the acceleration of natural and biological risks, the rise of ‘digital life’, the future of globalisation, and more.

You’ll be invited to think about our fundamental nature as social animals and most importantly, be reminded that the future is truly in our own hands. Take a journey from past to future and immerse in Zakaria’s fascinating exploration of what to expect, and how to feel more prepared, in the post-pandemic world.


 

Title: Stop Reading the News: A Manifesto for a Happier, Calmer and Wiser Life

Author: Rolf Dobelli

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

 

If you have the habit of reading the news every morning, this book might convince you to change the way you’re doing it, for the better. Author Rolf Dobelli urges us to ask ourselves what we really gain after reading our daily dose of news. Beyond feeling like you know more useless trivia about the world, you usually learn not much else and even feel a little anxiety or agitation afterward.

Stop Reading the News reveals that in today’s information age, absorbing too much inaccurate, negative, or useless news can cause unnecessary confusion, unhappiness and even cause us to lose long-term focus. On the bright side, it provides a guide on how to cut through the clutter of useless information, save your brain capacity for experiences that truly matter, and gain more time, focus and insight as a result. Use this book to help you find more peace and wisdom in your life.


 

With a variety of practical strategies to cope with this volatile world at your fingertips, we hope you feel empowered to live a wiser, happier, and more fulfilling life, even during the most challenging of times.


 

May



 

It is perfectly understandable to feel anxious about things you can’t control, especially during uncertain times. This extends to managing money. However, while you should by no means ignore what’s going on in the world, you can’t let it hold you back from making positive steps forward.

So, if you’re looking to gain more self-confidence in money management matters amidst the current struggles and challenges, these books will prove very useful to you.

Title: Kiasunomics 2: Economic Insights for Everyday Life

Author: Sumit Agarwal

Publisher: World Scientific Publishing Co Pte Ltd

 

Some say that Singaporeans are ‘kiasu’, which in local slang means scared to lose or fear of missing out. We tend to be competitive, always aiming to earn more, experience more and achieve more. This book shows us how this can be a very good thing when it comes to money matters! Find out how to provide your kids with the best education, maximise your investments and own the latest technologies, at better prices. If this sounds like music to your ears, Kiasunomics 2 is for you.

Reap insights as you follow the story of a Singaporean taxi driver, Teng, struggling against the competition of rising ride hailing services, while trying to make smart financial decisions to achieve his ultimate goal of moving his family up the socio-economic ladder.

Written in a light-hearted way, this book reveals the often unknown economic consequences of the daily decisions we make in today’s fast-moving world. Every topic is timely and highly relatable to Singaporeans — such as dealing with risks during the coronavirus pandemic, the falling prices of old Housing Development Board flats, rising land prices, the Central Provident Fund retirement policy, regulation of car population, and even an explanation on the reasons why the temperature rises when we shop more!

From transportation and health, to housing and retirement, discover how to make smarter and more well-informed financial decisions in your everyday life!


 

Title: Managing Personal Finance: From Start of Career to Retirement and More

Author: Benedict Koh and Wai Mun Fong

Publisher: World Scientific Publishing Co Pte Ltd

 

If you’re looking towards an early and comfortable retirement, it’s time to get smarter about making your savings work for you! Instead of letting your money sit idly in the bank, pave your way to financial freedom by learning how to manage it wisely from the start of your career all the way to retirement!

Don’t worry, if you’re someone who feels queasy from technical or financial jargon. This book keeps it minimal and covers a wide range of complex financial ideas in a simple and easy-to-understand manner. The authors do this with a series of letters between a father and son, that teaches useful strategies such as financial goal setting, how to use financial tools, and how to plan one’s future.

Finally, a beginner-friendly guide to managing personal finance!


 

Title: Your Money Your Investments: Preserving and Growing Your Wealth in Good and Tough Times

Author: Dr Ben Fok

Publisher: Marshall Cavendish International (Asia) Pte Ltd

 

Whether you’re in the midst of your investment journey or just starting out, you’ll want to read about these tips and insights, from veteran financial adviser Dr Ben Fok, on how to maximise the returns of your hard-earned money. Beyond learning how to make wise investments, you’ll also understand how to protect them during uncertain times.

This book features 36 articles, previously published in The Sunday Times and The Business Times, during the ups and downs in the stock market. They reveal useful tips such as how to not let your emotions sway your decisions when investing, no matter how hard it can be. Walk away with a better understanding of the investment world, learn how to manage your money through better financial planning, and discover strategies that can protect your investments from any crisis.


 

Title: 100 Things Millionaires Do: Little Lessons in Creating Wealth

Author: Nigel Cumberland

Publisher: John Murray Press

 

If one of your life goals is to earn your first million dollars, or create long-term wealth for you and your loved ones, this book might help steer you in the right direction and get there faster!

100 Things Millionaires Do is not about getting rich quick. It’s a guide on how you can begin your journey towards a prosperous future, by equipping you with the right habits, techniques and mentality. Explore 100 snappy chapters filled with advice, wisdom and tips on how to build and retain sustainable wealth, all based on Cumberland’s lifetime’s worth of experience starting and selling businesses, and coaching hundreds of wealthy leaders.

Packed with fantastic ideas, activities and exercises, discover the real habits of self-made millionaires and start applying them to your own life right now!


 

Title: The Way of Achievers: How to Live a Successful Life, Gain Financial Freedom, and Create Your Own Business

Author: Maitha J Alshamsi

Publisher: Partridge Publishing Singapore

 

Launching a start-up during a global pandemic is challenging, but it's not impossible. This book will inspire you to finally leave your fears and doubts behind, accomplish your goals, discover success, and embrace the way of achievers.

Just like having your own personal guide right beside you, the author takes you through coaching exercises, worksheets and tips to help you discover your own path for success. Alshamsi also shares her own powerful story on how she achieved financial freedom, by revealing her failures, successes and lessons learnt in the form of candid anecdotes.

Throughout the book, you will learn how to create your vision, plan and achieve your goals by using the “effortless formula”, become financially free, create your own business and other income generating machines, and so much more!


 

In unpredictable times, it’s ever more important to manage, grow and protect your finances effectively and efficiently. From making wiser spending and investment choices, to having your hard-earned dollars work for you, it’s never too late to start equipping yourself with the proper knowledge to begin your journey towards a wealthier and brighter future.


 

March



 

Whether it’s read out loud by a parent, or covertly read under the covers with a flashlight after bedtime — children’s books have the ability to capture imaginations, perhaps more than any other genre.

From George and Harold's time-travelling adventure to Wimpy Kid - Greg Heffley’s family misadventure; from Cornucopia’s mysterious “boogie monster” to the heroic Princess Incognito: here are March’s top five children’s books to be enjoyed during the upcoming March school holidays.

Title: Captain Underpants #08 The Preposterous Plight Of The Purple Potty People

Author: Dav Pilkey

Publisher: Scholastic Inc

 

George and Harold's time-travelling Purple Potty lands them in a crazy place in the eighth book of this #1 New York Times best-selling series.

The book begins with the boys pulling their usual pranks on the mean-spirited teachers at their school. When they plan to send their pet pterodactyl to the past in the Purple Potty, they accidentally plop into another reality where everything is the opposite of normal.

There, they discover they have evil twins — Evil George and Evil Harold — who plan to unleash some preposterous plans. There’s also an Evil Captain Underpants, known as Captain Blunderpants, who steals pizza and expensive electronic devices at the evil boys’ bidding.

Discover what happens when George and Harold come face-to-face with the alternate versions of themselves, and how the lovable Captain Underpants defeats his evil match, Captain Blunderpants in this pun-tastic, fun-filled adventure.


 

Title: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Deep End (Book 15)

Author: Jeff Kinney

Publisher: Amulet Books

 

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Deep End is the 15th book in the best-selling Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney.

Greg Heffley, better known as Wimpy Kid, and his family hit the road for a cross-country camping trip. This time the Heffleys need a budget-friendly vacation and borrow their uncle's abandoned recreational vehicle (RV). Soon, their visions of camp-topia turn into camp-ageddon when they’re met with a series of unfortunate events

Outdoor hijinks ensue with capsized canoes, hair-raising animal encounters, flaming marshmallow burns, and a panicked run to the camp store when the RV park gets cut off from civilization. As the misadventures start to add up, the Heffleys wonder if they should have left home at all.

Stranded in the RV park, things only get worse for the Heffleys when the skies open up and the water starts to rise, making them wonder if they can save their vacation — or if they're already in too deep.


 

Title: Princess Incognito #3: Wrong Time to Fight Crime

Author: NJ Humphreys

Publisher: Marshall Cavendish International (Asia)

 

Singapore’s best-selling author Neil Humphrey returns with his third book in this beloved children's series.

Undercover Princess, Sabrina, and her friend Charlie, accidentally stop a crime from happening outside an ice-cream shop. This accident turns an otherwise heroic endeavour into one of the worst days ever for Princess Incognito.

Being a crime-stopper in a small town makes her the local hero, but it also means Sabrina has to come up with one ingenious scheme after another to protect her true identity. But then, the Man in Black with the Long, Deep Scar shows up, recognises Sabrina, and things take a darker turn.

For Sabrina, it’s one lucky escape after another, until a mysterious policeman appears, which leads to the princess making some tough decisions.


 

Title: Rowley Jefferson’s Awesome Friendly Adventure

Author: Jeff Kinney

Publisher: Amulet Books

 

Rowley Jefferson's Awesome Friendly Adventure is the second spin-off story starring Rowley, the gullibly sweet best friend of Greg, aka Wimpy Kid.

The well-meaning Rowley is imaginative and creative, and he’s just decided to write his own book about a character named Roland and his muscleman sidekick, Garg the Barbarian, on a quest to save Roland’s mom from the wicked White Warlock.

Rowley just wants to write the story he wants to write, but much to his annoyance, his best friend Greg is determined to help by insisting on merchandising opportunities, big-budget–movie adaptations, and fast-food tie-ins.

The result is a hilarious peek into friendship and the inner workings of what does and doesn’t make a story work.


 

Title: The Ickabog

Author: JK Rowling

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

 

The Ickabog marks JK Rowling's much-anticipated return to the children's literature genre, and is her first children's book since Harry Potter.

The tale is set in the mythical land of Cornucopia, the happiest kingdom in the world, where everything is perfect. Adults tell tall tales about the mythical Ickabog to scare children into behaving. However, this myth starts to take on a life of its own, and the foolish King Fred the Fearless begins to trust the wrong people.

When all sorts of calamitous events unfold, casting a shadow over the kingdom, two children — best friends Bert and Daisy — embark on a great adventure to untangle the truth and find out where the real monster lies, bringing hope and happiness to Cornucopia once more.


 

The March school holidays are meant to be a time of play and relaxation for the kids. But don’t hit the pause button on your child’s reading, as spending a portion each day reading can take your kids on adventures, and introduce them to characters and places they would otherwise never come into contact with. Yes, children do need this time to unwind and relax, but they also need to keep their minds sharp and ready to go once they start school.


 

February



 

Get ready to level up this February by diving into some of the best self-help books. From memoirs to mental decluttering guides, here is your go-to list of self-care literature, to help your mind, body and beliefs.

Title: Joy at Work: Organising Your Professional Life

Author: Marie Kondo

Publisher: Little, Brown Spark

 

If you thought Marie Kondo was done tidying up, think again. For within the pages of Joy at Work: Organising Your Professional Life, she tackles a whole new realm of clutter and confusion.

Joy at Work offers readers practical tips for maintaining a tidy workspace, as well as life-changing advice on finding a career that actually sparks joy. “This book offers stories, studies and strategies to help you eliminate clutter and make space for work that really matters,” Kondo wrote on Instagram. Marie Kondo hopes to help free readers from those countless paper piles and crumbs caught in the keyboard.

Whether you work from home or go into the office every morning, this book will provide you the tools to maximise your professional life. Get ready to KonMari not just your work desk, but your career, too.


 

Title: Letter to My Younger Self

Author: Jane Graham

Publisher: Blink Publishing

 

The book brings together 100 of the best weekly Letter To My Younger Self interviews that has been running in the UK newspaper publication, The Big Issue, for 12 years.

Conceived by books editor, Jane Graham, who also compiled the book and conducted the majority of the interviews, it sees some hugely known global figures provide advice to their 16-year-old self based on what they know now.

According to the synopsis, Letter to My Younger Self features “some of the most brilliant and successful people from the worlds of entertainment, politics, food, sport and business, including Paul McCartney writing on how he found inspiration, Olivia Colman on overcoming confidence problems, Mo Farah on the importance of losing, Arianna Huffington on knowing your motivations and Jamie Oliver on trusting your instinct”.

This book is a profound exploration into the wit and wisdom that age brings, and of the unique insights that looking back can reveal.


 

Title: The Ikigai Journey: A Practical Guide to Finding Happiness and Purpose the Japanese Way

Author: Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles

Publisher: Tuttle Publishing

 

This book is a follow-up to Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles international bestseller, Ikigai: the Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life and goes into the question of how we can develop the mindset and habits that help us find and live our best life.

Ikigai stands for the meaning of life, the thing that makes you get out of bed each day in eager anticipation. Our ikigai might change over time, but it’s important to tune in and be in harmony with our ikigai at every stage to feel meaning in our lives. Otherwise, according to the writers, we will feel as though we have strayed from our own path and outside forces have taken control of our everyday life.

The Ikigai Journey takes us on an adventure through the future (resembled by the city of Tokyo — a symbol of modernity and innovation), the past (the city of Kyoto — an ancient capital moored in tradition) and the present (the coastal city of Ise — with its ancient shrine that is destroyed and rebuilt every twenty years) and shows us practical steps we can take to seek a balance between these stops. At the end of the book, you will have all the tools to achieve complete personal fulfilment.


 

Title: The Psychology of Stupidity

Author: Jean-François Marmion

Publisher: Penguin Books

 

Are people getting dumber, or does it just look that way? That question underlies this collection of essays by and interviews with American and European psychologists, neurologists, philosophers, and other well-credentialed intellectuals.

Most of Jean-François Marmion’s contributors acknowledge the obvious fact that stupidity, rather than being a fixed characteristic of an irreducible segment of humanity, is instead a migrating condition that all of us blunder into once in a while; some farther and more frequently than others. It’s true but still an inescapable shortcoming of the species.

Among the wealth of insights, one of the salient takeaways is the importance of humility and self-skepticism, acutely stated by social psychologist Ewa Drozda-Senkowska: “Ignorance is a strong engine of knowledge, provided that you know you’re ignorant, and that you know what you don’t know.” Urgent and transformative, this anthology will leave readers equally amused, appalled, and enlightened.


 

Title: The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down: How to Be Calm in a Busy World

Author: Haemin Sunim

Publisher: Penguin Books

 

Haemin Sunim is a Buddhist monk and former professor, so when it comes to calming your mind and finding peace — he is most certainly your guy. Sunim started answering people’s questions about life and mindfulness on social media (he has over 1m followers on Twitter and Facebook), and was contacted by a publisher to turn his writings into a book.

This book is focused on ways to embrace and appreciate everyday moments. It has eight short chapters with topics including rest, relationships, life and spirituality. Each chapter is introduced with the author’s experience and perspective, followed by a collection of observations and thoughts like this one: “My dear young friend, please don’t feel discouraged just because you are slightly behind. Life isn’t a hundred-meter race against your friends, but a lifelong marathon against yourself. Rather than focusing on getting ahead of your friends, first try to discover your unique color.”

Written with a touch of humour and a lot of insight, reading it invokes feelings similar to those when engaging with a wise older relative. The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down is as thought-provoking as it is practical! It is an easy read filled with bite-sized chunks of wisdom and poignant insights. These are accompanied by beautiful illustrations by Youngcheol Lee, which provide excellent pauses for thought in themselves.


 

Sometimes it’s a particular teacher’s words, or even a life experience that explodes your conception of what’s possible in the world or what’s possible in you. And sometimes it’s a book (or five) that shapes how you think, forever. We hope that these books will continually spark new ideas and led to moments of reinvention.

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