We are often asked to recommend books about Singapore. Our guides read an eclectic mix of memoirs by Singaporean authors, novels about Singapore from the early days to modern times, reference books about art, architecture and history…plus everything in between. We’ve been trying for a while to put together a comprehensive list for our guests. It’s definitely an ongoing process. Here are a few books, along with recommendations for the tours that bring their stories to life.
Up first…books we have a personal connection to.
Read This: Forbidden Hill and Chasing the Dragon, both by Scottish-born, NYC-based professor John Greenwood. The first two parts of a historical fiction trilogy. We did a literary tour with him in 2019 and eagerly await the last book.
Take A Walk: Interested in learning more about the founding of Singapore? Take a walk with us through Ft. Canning and let it reveal its secrets and history from the Malay kings through the Japanese Invasion to its current incarnation as a city park and reservoir.
Read This: Our Name is Mutiny, by Singapore’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Office in Geneva Umej Bhatia. A non-fiction book about the global events leading up to the Singapore Mutiny of 1915. We liaised with him over details for our Dempsey/Tanglin Barracks tours for Halloween.
Take A Walk: We’re planning more tours of Dempsey/Tanglin Barracks in 2021. Meantime, if you’re curious about Singapore’s wartime past, check out our Japanese Surrender Tours.
Read This: The Swan and Maclaren: A Story of Singapore Architecture, by historian and writer Julian Davison. A non-fiction account of colonial Singapore’s leading architects. We’ve collaborated on many architectural walks and talks with Julian.
Take A Walk: Our architectural walks around Singapore’s colonial core are some of our most popular tours. Join us and see Swan and Maclaren’s work, such as the Victoria Theatre.
Or come along on our Saris, Sultans & Shophouses walk around Kampong Glam where you’ll spot the Swan and Maclaren-designed Sultan Mosque.