5 by 5

5×5: Daphne Lee

This started out from a random conversation with my friend Kit about book covers. Kit and I are both particular about book covers, and we both love lists – we had even started a tumblr once just for making Top Ten Lists, but then work just got too busy to continue making lists. Anyway, somehow after all that I thought of doing a simple monthly thing where I ask different people to make lists. And Daphne Lee gets to be the first victim.

Daphne is one of my favourite people, and one of the ones I know that reads widely. We don’t always agree on books, but I think that’s part of what makes conversations interesting. She’s an editor and writer and reviewer, and currently writes a column about local fiction. I asked Kit to describe her, and this is what Kit said: “Annoying. Assertive. Angsty. But also adorable, and ascerbic.”

Daphne’s Top 5 Book Covers 

draculalady Cthe comforterslistening to treeslotr

​Daphne’s Top 5 Picture Books

  • Zen Shorts by Jon Muth
  • Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers
  • Grandfather’s Journey by Allen Say
  • Why Mosquitos Buzz in People’s Ears by Verna Aardema, illus by Leo Dillon, Diane Dillon
  • Very Far Away by Maurice Sendak

Daphne’s Top 5 Middle Grade Fiction

  • Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor
  • The Mozart Season by Virginia Euwer Wolff
  • The Time of the Ghost by Diana Wynne Jones
  • The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • The Railway Children by E. Nesbit

Daphne’s Top 5 Local Fairy Tales/Folklore

  • Batu Berbelah Batu Bertangkup
  • Puteri Gunung Ledang
  • Puteri Sa’adong
  • Raja Bersiong
  • Singapura dilanggar todak and the closely linked legend of Bukit Merah

Daphne’s Top 5 authors that are not “dead white women”
(I’ll take this literally and leave Diana Wynne Jones out)

  • Ursula Le Guin
  • Nnedi Okorafor
  • Banana Yoshimoto
  • Alice Munro
  • A.S. Byatt

Daphne’s Top 5 cliches or tropes (that she LIKES)

  • ​Talented child doesn’t end up being the star dancer/actor/musician but turns out to be something equally interesting, eg a brilliant character actor, or a technically brilliant figure skater, or a mechanic! (I’m not sure if this only happens in Noel Streatfeild’s books.) ​
  • Cinderella stories
  • Underdog triumphs
  • Pretender to the throne turns out to a suitable ruler
  • Romeo & Juliet-type star-crossed lovers

So there you have it, Daphne’s fivesix Top Fives! You can find her online at her site Heads Shoulders Knees and Toes, or at Local.


4 thoughts on “5×5: Daphne Lee

  1. Wonderful lists – Daphne is definitely the perfect person to have do this – I think she’s also B for Brave – i am too much of a ditherer to make that kind of list. I have had to stop describing books as being in my Top 10 becasue there are now too many of them…

    Liked by 1 person

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