SINGAPORE - The Straits Times is releasing the country's first SG50 book this Friday, ahead of a busy programme of events being planned by many organisations and groups to celebrate the nation's Golden Jubilee next year.
Published by Straits Times Press, '50 Things To Love About Singapore' gives a fresh and quirky take on Singapore 50 years after its independence.
The book will be launched at the Singapore Writers Festival (SWF) on Nov 7 at 8.30 pm at the SWF Festival Pavillion, Singapore Management University (SMU) campus green.
Some of the book writers will be at the launch to sign the book, which will also be on sale there.
The 248-page, 50-chapter book is edited by The Straits Times senior correspondent Susan Long and written by the paper's most authoritative beat reporters, including political correspondent Rachel Chang, senior Sport correspondent Rohit Brijnath, senior Health correspondent Salma Khalik and Senior Education correspondent Sandra Davie.
It is a study of Singapore's most unique contributions to the world and studies the little quirks of life in Singapore.
Topics range from the unheralded, such as Singapore's quiet renown on the diplomatic stage, to the offbeat, such as the national obsession with football.
While much has been said over the years about the Singapore economic miracle, readers will learn new aspects to this success, such as policies delivering welfare that works, multi-racialism that is legislated, and trade unionism minus the strikes in the book.
Ms Susan Long, editor of 50 Things To Love About Singapore, said: "This is a book about love. But it is a love not of an easy nature, but of the complicated, conscientious, constantly classifying variety we know so well here. It is an intimate study of Singapore's most unique institutions, inventions, innovations and contributions to the world, written by our best beat reporters.
"It is a dossier of modern Singapore half way through her first century, a time some characterise as Singapore losing her bloom, others as hitting her straps. It is a composite portrait of the little quirks, incongruities and rhythms of life in Singapore, which we chortle and worry over, with familial affection and exasperation."
Ms Long, a senior writer at The Straits Times, which itself turns 170 on 15 July 2015, added that readers will be surprised by new insights into a country many think they already know well.
Food-lovers will find much to get their teeth into, as foodie Chris Tan delves into the mystery of a now-iconic treat, the pineapple tart. Popular film reviewer John Lui thinks outside the box (office) in delivering his affectionate verdict on Singapore's movie-making.
Mr Warren Fernandez, Editor of The Straits Times, sees 50 Things To Love About Singapore as a must-read for Singaporeans and foreigners in providing a new perspective on where Singapore is at, aged 50.
He said: "Susan and the ST team have produced a highly readable and engaging book which celebrates Singapore in a loving way. It highlights our successes, ponders our complexity and even laughs at idiosyncracies. This is a book to savour for. Singaporeans and foreigners friends alike."
The book is available at all leading bookstores at $25 each (inclusive of GST) and online at email@example.com from Nov 7. For orders, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 63198347 from Monday to Friday (9am - 6pm).