| Sunday Times (Singapore) Bookends
READER: Kishore Mahbubani, 56, is Singapore's former ambassador to the United Nations and is now
Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy here. His latest book, Beyond The Age Of Innocence,
about the impact of American power on the world, was selected by the editor of the Foreign Policy
Association as a notable tome. It also made it to Life!'s bestsellers list when it was released here in
What are you reading now?
Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough To Live Forever (2004) by Ray Kurzweil and Terry Grossman. It's
non-fiction and its theme is basically that immortality is within our grasp.
I don't believe that, but what's remarkable about this book is that its authors have collected all the up-todate
scientific information on the human body and tried to put it together. It explains how you can
extend your life.
Although immortality doesn't appeal to me, living a bit longer does, and so does living well as one ages.
As you get older, your body needs more care and attention. I'm at an age where I need to pay more
attention to my body. This book is good because it talks about both the physical and psychological side of
If your house was burning down, what's the one book you'd save?
I'd save my loved ones first. Most books are replaceable. But if I had time to grab any books, I'd save
those autographed for me by Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew, Henry Kissinger, Samuel Huntington and
other favourite authors. Those signatures are priceless.
The novel that has moved me the most was Tolstoy's War And Peace. That was the novel that gave me a
real love for literature. I was entranced reading it, and discovered Russian literature soon thereafter. I
find that Russian literature offers better insights into the human condition.
The sad part is, I have less and less time to read fiction these days.
Beyond The Age Of Innocence and War And Peace are available at Borders; Fantastic Voyage is available
at Books Kinokuniya.