Archive for May, 2010

I’m taking the programme on the road again to meet up with prolific author Shamini Flint, who is launching the third installment of her witty mystery series starring the lovable but oh-so-flawed Inspector Singh. ( It is a private launch at the Singapore Cricket Club, but tune in at 6.40 pm on the 13 May in Talking Books on 938LIVE, and you will have a front-row seat).

This time, the good inspector is working on his home turf; crimebusting right here in oh-so-proper Singapore. The book promises that Singh will “rip apart the fabric of Singapore society and expose the rotten core beneath”.  So it makes perfect sense that the action is centred around  a law firm!

Far from being a 2-dimensional caricature, three books on, and the lovable, always-sweaty, always-hungry character of Inspector Singh comes even more alive in this installment. Which is great since the entire series depends largely on the popularity of its star character.

I think Shamini is among the most relevant authors of fiction that Singapore can lay claim to in recent history ( she is Malaysian born but is a Singapore PR). It is a constant marvel how she manages to breathe life to the rarely talked about in Singapore; showing up  the subtle almost unconsious racism that drifts casually into conversation, the precarious social footing of maids in Singapore (and the sometimes devastating results of that postition), she even  even tackles the links of corruption stretching off the island. All themes that are neatly packaged in a fictional murder mystery, that seethes with a withering wit and is served with a warm sense of humour.

It’s always enjoyable to recognise a familiar world in a work of fiction. Don’t miss Inspector Singh Investigates: The Singapore School of Villany. It is great fun.

Read about Shamini here


Rarely have I picked up a book about grieving that has been as touching and riveting a read as this true-life account by Kristine Carlson.

Kristine Carlson lived an idyllic life as loving mother to two daughters, and life partner of Richard Carlson. Richard was the man behind the bestselling self-help book “Don’t sweat the small stuff’. Kristine’s life was shattered when her husband Richard unexpectedly suffered a pulmonary embolism on a typical flight to New York.

The sudden loss catapulted Kristine into heartbreak and uncertainly. This book , which she describes as a ” memoir through loss to self-discovery” is a look back at her journey into the underworld of mourning.

How do you pick up the pieces of life when death robs you of a loved one?

After the loss Kristine discovered she not only had to deal with her own personal grief but she had to learn to be a single parent, learn to love herself and allow herself to love deeply again. And she had to do all this as she struggled to rebuild a sense of self confidence that collapsed after her loss.

This is a courageous, honest and wise book with a central message -that loss too is a passage in life that one can emerge from with new life-lessons.

For Kristine, the mantra, “surrender, trust, accept” became a guiding light.

This lyrical book reads like a personal diary, and has an important message of inspiration for anyone who has suffered any loss of any kind.

If you have lost someone you love and want to hear from someone who has emerged from the other side of grief that feels it has blown a hole in your heart forever, pick up this book by Kristine Carlson who has learnt to survive and thrive through grief no one wishes on anyone else.