Originally published: Aug 2008
Original Title: Fridays with Philip
Author: Philip Lee
Page count: 196 pages (Paperback)
Publisher: Epigram Books
Subjects: Political Science, History, Weekly column
Product Dimensions: 133 x 203mm
100 Word Book Review:
A compilation of weekly column by Philip on Streats during 2000 to 2005. The writings are arranged by subject matter namely, Language, People, Nostalgia, Anecdotes. It compromises largely on local (Singapore) trends and Philip’s observation and thoughts, such as the Speak Good English campaign, American Idol’s William Hung and dignity, why Singapore women go for ang mohs (non-Asians), our youth, local’s perception of foreign workers and etc. The content is very much close to heart, expressed in a sharp witty manner, much from local’s perspectives. It is a great book for short reading and reminisces Singapore in the 2000s.
About the Author:
Philip Lee has been a journalist since 1974 when he left the civil service to join The Straits Times as a reporter. He spent the first seven years covering politics, the civil service and reviewed local plays. He rose over the years to become Associate News Editor, News Editor (The Sunday Times) and Chief Copy Editor of The Straits Times.
In 1990, he left for a new life in Vancouver, Canada but returned in 2000 to work again as Copy Editor with The Straits Times. He also had stints as a copy editor with the tabloids, Streats, and The New Paper. He works as a writer with the Special Projects Unit in the Marketing Division of Singapore Press Holdings. He cooks, enjoys The New York Times crossword puzzles and sings the oldies when in the company of songloving friends.
Originally published: 12 September 2012
Original Title: The Singapore Story: Memoirs of Lee Kuan Yew
Authors: Lee Kuan Yew
Page count: 680 pages (Hardcopy)
Publisher: Prentice Hall; 1st edition (October 14, 1998)
Subjects: AutoBiography, Political Science, History
Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 2 inches
100 Word Book Review:
A factual and concise book documenting Singapore’s history from Lee Kuan Yew’s perspective, illustrating his challenges, frustrations as well as personal observations of people and events. From a brief background of his childhood through the colonial days, the Japanese Occupation, then the post war and internal self-government, then finally the merger with Malaysia and subsequent Singapore’s Separation from Malaysia. Each chapter details the dangers and opportunities, the hardship that Lee Kuan Yew and his team faced internally and externally. It brings clarity to historical events during the forming years, documenting Singapore’s arrival in the global village of nations.
Originally published: 1997
Original title: Чернобыльская молитва
Authors: Svetlana Alexievich
Page count: 256 pages (Paperback)
Publisher: Picador; 1 edition (April 18, 2006)
Subjects: Political Science
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
Awards: National Book Critics Circle Award for General Nonfiction
100 Word Book Review:
An extremely depressing and devasting book that compiles 500 eyewitnesses, including firefighters, rescuers, cleanup crews, politicians, physicians, physicists and ordinary citizens over a period of 10 years. The author has effectively captured the details of misery, confusion and misinformation on the effects of radiation from the terrible disaster. From the narrations from various parties, it gives different experience and perspectives through the victims/survivors’ eyes. It is clear at that point of time that there was a horrible lack of information of radiation effects on humans. Lives were lost right after the explosion, and many, many, more after that.
Originally published: 21 December 2016
Authors: Ho, Peter / Shroff, Anuradha / Tan, Codey / See, Hazel / Leong, Lena
Page count: 136
Publisher: Straits Times Press
Subjects: Political Science
Size: 129 mm x 196 mm (portrait)
Estimated weight: 175 grams
100 Word Book Review:
This is a 50 volume series documenting the challenges that Singapore faced after Independence, shaped by its leaders’ long-term vision. The main key aspects of Singapore’s governance – incorruptibility, pragmatism and meritocracy. It also elaborates the roles played by institutions, strategies and policies in place to counter check any deviations. While Singapore has inherited part of the British System, it poses pragmatic problems too. There is a need to depart from welfarism because it saps people’s self-reliance and the need to excel and succeed. A good concise reference book for understanding the basis of Singapore’s public policy and principles of governance.
Mr Peter Ho was Head of Singapore’s civil service, concurrent with his other appointments as Permanent Secretary (Foreign Affairs), Permanent Secretary (National Security and Intelligence Coordination), and Permanent Secretary (Special Duties) in the Prime Minister’s Office. Before that, he was Permanent Secretary (Defence). He is now the Senior Advisor to the Centre for Strategic Futures, where he continues to pursue his interests in good governance and strategic foresight. He is also Chairman of the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Singapore, and a Senior Fellow in the Civil Service College Singapore.
Ms Anuradha Shroff is a Lead Researcher in the Institute of Governance and Policy in the Civil Service College (CSC) Singapore. She is also a facilitator and trainer for the CSC’s leadership and public policy programmes. Her current research focus is on the relevance and application of complexity theories to public policy and leadership. She was previously a lead strategist and facilitator with the Strategic Policy Office, Public Service Division.
Mr Codey Tan is an Assistant Manager in the Institute of Public Sector Leadership in the Civil Service College (CSC) Singapore. He is also a facilitator for the CSC’s public policy programmes. His research interest lies in public sector governance and the application of complexity theories to public policy. He was previously with the Centre for Public Economics, CSC.
Ms Hazel See is a Senior Manager in the Strategic Planning and Development unit in the Civil Service College (CSC) Singapore. Besides writing thought articles and case studies, she has led training consultancy projects for public sector organisations and regularly facilitates leadership and policy milestone training programmes. Her research interests include public-sector governance, policy and service management. She has been with the CSC since 2010 and was previously with the Ministry of Education.
Ms Lena Leong is a Deputy Director and Principal Learning and Development Specialist in the Civil Service College International in the Civil Service College (CSC) Singapore. She has facilitated Public Administration and Reform programmes for international participants. Her research interests are in public administration and management, organisation change and leadership. She was previously with the Institute of Leadership and Organisation Development and the Centre for Governance and Leadership, CSC.
Originally published: June 29, 2010
Authors: Christopher Ryan, Cacilda Jethá
Page count: 384
Country: United States of America
Subjects: Human sexuality, Anthropology
100 Word Book Review:
Humans evolved but primal instincts remain. Men and women are wired to seek different objectives. Sex is viewed differently across societies, cultures and species; chimpanzees, gorilla, orangutan and gibbon. Sex was an expression of friendship, with no coercion and was offered willingly. For some, it is a transaction, a barter trade by sex as a means to gain access to resources and/or social standing. ‘Make love not war’ is especially true for bonobos who have sex to ensure close bondings among the group. A light-hearted book that explores sexuality from then till now across all human and apes.
Originally published: October 20, 2009
Authors: Stephen J. Dubner, Steven Levitt
Publisher: William Morrow and Company
100 Word Book Review:
Economics is the science which studies human behaviour through motivation and choices. Through the authors, economist Levitt and journalist Dubner, they explore and demystify social issues that yield bizarre and interesting results. Social questions such as how are street prostitutes like a department-store Santa, why blow jobs are much less expensive now compared to the past, why terrorists are usually from middle class but not from the poorer families as commonly thought, and etc. These issues are presented in a concise yet detailed manner, allowing anyone with zero economic knowledge to understand the possibilities, and rationale behind such societal phenomenon.
Originally published: April 6, 2010
Author: David Remnick
Page count: 672
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
Nominations: Goodreads Choice Awards Best History & Biography
100 Word Book Review:
The Bridge refers to the police attack on demonstrators at at Edmund Pettus Bridge in 1965, during the marches of Selma to Montgomery. Some viewed as a bridging of people of different races. Detailing key people (Jack Ryan, Blair Hull) that contribute to the outcome. It describles the course of campaigning, networking, and every challenge that comes along the way. At the end, a reader will get a sense of elation and epiphany of how things come to fruition. Giving birth to a first African American, born outside the contiguous United States, serving as 44th President of the United States.
Came across this list of genre definitions. It is very concise yet detailed. This is by far one of the most accurate and summarised versions of the literature genre.
Taken from: https://catonthebookshelf.wordpress.com/genres/
(California Department of Education)
Drama — Stories composed in verse or prose, usually for theatrical performance, where conflicts and emotion are expressed through dialogue and action.
Fable — Narration demonstrating a useful truth, especially in which animals speak as humans; legendary, supernatural tale.
Fairy Tale — Story about fairies or other magical creatures, usually for children.
Fantasy — Fiction with strange or other worldly settings or characters; fiction which invites suspension of reality.
Fiction — Narrative literary works whose content is produced by the imagination and is not necessarily based on fact.
Fiction in Verse — Full-length novels with plot, subplot(s), theme(s), major and minor characters, in which the narrative is presented in (usually blank) verse form.
Folklore — The songs, stories, myths, and proverbs of a people or “folk” as handed down by word of mouth.
Historical Fiction — Stories with fictional characters and events in a historical setting.
Horror — Fiction in which events evoke a feeling of dread in both the characters and the reader.
Humor — Fiction full of un, fancy, and excitement, meant to entertain; but can be contained in all genres.
Legend — Story, sometimes of a national or folk hero, which has a basis in fact but also includes imaginative material.
Mystery — Fiction dealing with the solution of a crime or the unraveling of secrets.
Mythology — Legend or traditional narrative, often based in part on historical events, that reveals human behavior and natural phenomena by its symbolism; often pertaining to the actions of the gods.
Poetry — Verse and rhythmic writing with imagery that creates emotional responses.
Realistic Fiction — Story that can actually happen and is true to life.
Science Fiction — Story based on impact of actual, imagined, or potential science, usually set in the future or on other planets.
Short Story — Fiction of such brevity that it supports no subplots.
Tall Tale — Humorous story with blatant exaggerations, swaggering heroes who do the impossible with nonchalance.
Biography/Autobiography — Narrative of a person’s life, a true story about a real person.
Essay — A short literary composition that reflects the author’s outlook or point.
Narrative Nonfiction — Factual information presented in a format which tells a story.
Nonfiction — Informational text dealing with an actual, real-life subject.
Speech — Public address or discourse.
Action – Usually include high energy, big-budget physical stunts and chases, possibly with rescues, battles, fights, escapes, destructive crises (floods, explosions, natural disasters, fires, etc.), non-stop motion, spectacular rhythm and pacing, and adventurous, often two-dimensional ‘good-guy’ heroes (or recently, heroines) battling ‘bad guys’ – all designed for pure audience escapism.
Adventure – Exciting stories, with new experiences or exotic locales, very similar to or often paired with the action film genre.
Comedy – Light-hearted plots consistently and deliberately designed to amuse and provoke laughter (with one-liners, jokes, etc.) by exaggerating the situation, the language, action, relationships and characters.
Crime & Gangster – Developed around the sinister actions of criminals or mobsters, particularly bankrobbers, underworld figures, or ruthless hoodlums who operate outside the law, stealing and murdering their way through life.
Drama – Serious, plot-driven presentations, portraying realistic characters, settings, life situations, and stories involving intense character development and interaction. Usually, they are not focused on special-effects, comedy, or action.
Epics/Historical – Take a historical or imagined event, mythic, legendary, or heroic figure, and add an extravagant setting and lavish costumes, accompanied by grandeur and spectacle, dramatic scope, high production values, and a sweeping musical score.
Horror – Designed to frighten and to invoke our hidden worst fears, often in a terrifying, shocking finale, while captivating and entertaining us at the same time in a cathartic experience.
Musicals/Dance – Cinematic forms that emphasize full-scale scores or song and dance routines in a significant way (usually with a musical or dance performance integrated as part of the film narrative), or they are films that are centered on combinations of music, dance, song or choreography.
Science Fiction – Often quasi-scientific, visionary and imaginative – complete with heroes, aliens, distant planets, impossible quests, improbable settings, fantastic places, great dark and shadowy villains, futuristic technology, unknown and unknowable forces, and extraordinary monsters (‘things or creatures from space’), either created by mad scientists or by nuclear havoc.
War – Acknowledge the horror and heartbreak of war, letting the actual combat fighting (against nations or humankind) on land, sea, or in the air provide the primary plot or background for the action of the film.
Westerns – A eulogy to the early days of the expansive American frontier.
Biopics. . These films depict the life of an important historical personage (or group) from the past or present era. It covers many other genres.
Chick Flicks. Include formulated romantic comedies (with mis-matched lovers or female relationships), tearjerkers and gal-pal films, movies about family crises and emotional carthasis, some traditional ‘weepies’ and fantasy-action adventures, sometimes with foul-mouthed and empowered females, and female bonding situations involving families, mothers, daughters, children, women, and women’s issues. These films are often told from the female P-O-V, and star a female protagonist or heroine.
Detective/Mystery. Focuses on the unsolved crime (usually the murder or disappearance of one or more of the characters, or a theft), and on the central character – the hard-boiled detective-hero, as he/she meets various adventures and challenges in the cold and methodical pursuit of the criminal or the solution to the crime.
Disaster. Big-budget disaster films provided all-star casts and interlocking, Grand Hotel-type stories, with suspenseful action and impending crises (man-made or natural) in locales such as aboard imperiled airliners, trains, dirigibles, sinking or wrecked ocean-liners, or in towering burning skyscrapers, crowded stadiums or earthquake zones. Often noted for their visual and special effects, but not their acting performances.
Fantasy. Fantasies take the audience to netherworld places (or another dimension) where events are unlikely to occur in real life – they transcend the bounds of human possibility and physical laws. They often have an element of magic, myth, wonder, and the extraordinary.
Film Noir. Strictly speaking, film noir is not a genre, but rather the mood, style or tone of various American film. Noirs are usually black and white films with primary moods of melancholy, alienation, bleakness, disillusionment, disenchantment, pessimism, ambiguity, moral corruption, evil, guilt and paranoia.
Guy Films. Composed of macho films that are often packed with sophomoric humor, action, cartoon violence, competition, mean-spirited putdowns and gratuitous nudity and sex.
Melodramas/Weepers. Characterized by a plot to appeal to the emotions of the audience.
Road Films. An episodic journey on the open road (or undiscovered trail), to search for escape or to engage in a quest for some kind of goal — either a distinct destination, or the attainment of love, freedom, mobility, redemption, the finding or rediscovering of onself, or coming-of-age (psychologically or spiritually).
Romance. These are love stories, or affairs of the heart that center on passion, emotion, and the romantic, affectionate involvement of the main characters (usually a leading man and lady), and the journey that their love takes through courtship or marriage. Romance films make the love story the main plot focus.
Sports. Films that have a sports setting (football or baseball stadium, arena, or the Olympics, etc.), event (the ‘big game,’ ‘fight,’ ‘race,’ or ‘competition’), and/or athlete (boxer, racer, surfer, etc.) that are central and predominant in the story.
Supernatural. They have themes including gods or goddesses, ghosts, apparitions, spirits, miracles, and other similar ideas or depictions of extraordinary phenomena. Interestingly however, until recently, supernatural films were usually presented in a comical, whimsical, or a romantic fashion, and were not designed to frighten the audience.
Thriller/Suspense. They are types of films known to promote intense excitement, suspense, a high level of anticipation, ultra-heightened expectation, uncertainty, anxiety, and nerve-wracking tension.
This idea went into cold storage about 3 years ago. Back then, we were focused on book sales, book swaps, sourcing and delivering books. And being a uber small team to run BooksAvenue, we didn’t want to burden ourselves with additional tasks. After all, there are sites like goodreads.com and the local SG review site, singaporereviewofbooks.org.
Now that we have revamped the model to focus on book swaps only, it’s the right time for us to do up an additional section for book reviews. Getting book reviews from international sites gives an assurance and a certain degree of preview and expectation of a particular title. Wouldn’t it be better if there is another local perspective for consideration?
Indisputably, it is not our aim to compete with international major sites as mentioned above. It is, however, our humble efforts to contribute and to give everyone a great reading experience.
And so we started this 100 Words Book Review today. This 100 words Book Review allows everyone to contribute and write a review on any titles that you have finished. Certainly, this is not revenue or sales driven. Our fans can be assured that all the reviews are unbiased and not motivated by publishers or whatsoever. The only condition is it has to be 100 words. Literally.
As usual, we do not ask anything in return. We only want you to have a great and terrific reading experience. Afterall, BooksAvenue is all about bringing people closer to Literature and Art.
To read or post a book review, go to:
Reviews will be subsequently posted on this website Booksavenue.co
Studio C got nearly 500.000 views with their sketch about men hitting on women in the gym. It may got a little too long and some jokes are highly predictable, but it is entertaining.