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To understand Singapore, the path she took and the choices she made, one must read about her founding father - Mr. Lee Kuan Yew's autobiographies The Singapore Story and From Third World to First World. He is an amazing man with foresight and had made Singapore what it is today. Read his autobiography and discover this little island of wonder. You can't find another book with a more comprehensive view on the founding of Singapore
Other than that, other books also feature Singapore. For what Singapore used to be like, Paul Theroux's Saint Jack is a good book to read as he is a brilliant travel writer and it is a good contrast between what Singapore used to be like and the squeaky clean image that Singapore has now.
For an outsider's view of Singapore, Notes From An Even Smaller Island by Neil Humphrey is a good choice. He also has a "sequel" book so as to speak which is titled Scribbles from the Same Island. It is filled with short stories on his experience of living in the heartland of Singapore and not being a 'typical' expatriate. His last book before he leave for Australia is Final Notes from a Great Island. Inside was some descriptions of the 'road trips' he had taken in Singapore. Singaporeans will be impressed because he discovered places where a typical Singaporean might not even know of its existence in the first place! Inside this book has some great suggestion of walking tours in Singapore.
If you are looking for a quirky book filled with anecdoctal stories, Jason Hahn's book Asking For Trouble is quite a good one. He is a writer for a local popular magazine, 8 Days, and has this ongoing saga about sharing a flat with his two platonic female friends, Amanda and Saffy. It is quite hilarious.
Always browse any or all Travel Pictorial books about a country, region or a natural wonder of the world . You will find excellent photography to view at leisure. Check out any bookstore or library ( lending or reference ).
Always glance through any Travel Guide for the region you are planning to visit. You will always find some nuggat of useful information. The layout and content will always vary with the publisher. Every traveller should make it a priority to browse one or all of the guides listed below. It will be a great education to browse the layout and view the excellent photography. You decide which of the travel guide(s) you like the best.
Browse the children's or junior section of your local library for travel and geography guides. You will find a variety of guides to countries, regions or natural wonders of the world. The majority of these guides will be less than fifty pages in length. They will contain an excellent overview of a country etc. They are an excellent introduction to travel for a novice traveller.