5 by 5

5 x 5: Seto Kit Sau

I remember the first words Kit said to me – or they may be just the first words I remember her saying to me – “have you read The Pinhoe Egg yet?” It surprised me because at the time I read mostly Asian Lit and fantasy war gaming books, and I didn’t think I talked about DWJ much. It was much later when I joined our store’s merchandising team and got to know her better.

Anyone at our store will tell you that Kit is a hard person to work with. I would agree, but I also think that is one of my favourite things about her – she’s passionate about her work, and is very good at it. She also does most of the buying at our store, covering picture books and children’s non-fiction, toys, lifestyle, graphic novels and music scores, among others. Before working at our store, she had worked at a library and a comic book shop, so she really is a know-it-all, and I mean that in the best way possible.

Because of this, I had given Kit pretty generic Top Fives to choose, and let her define the questions however she wanted.

Bone Cooked Seraphina Strange Tales of Liaozhai Mulan

Top Five Graphic Novels/Manga… that changed the way I saw/thought how comics should be

  • The Sandman by Neil Gaiman (and various illustrators)
  • Mermaid Saga by Rumiko Takahashi
  • Bone, Jeff Smith
  • Johnny the Homicidal Maniac by Jhonen Vasquez
  • A Contract With God by Will Eisner

Kit’s note: There are so many and I did not want to choose favourite ones as some are not available in English

Top Five Asian Books… that have contributed to my meager education on Chinese culture

  • Chronicle of Chinese Emperors
  • The Strange Tales of Liao Zhai by Pu Song Ling
  • Myths of China by T.Werner
  • Journey to the West (a graphic edition)
  • The Strange Cases of Magistrate Pao by Leon Comber

Kit’s note: Why? I’m not an expert. Yes, I’m Asian and sadly-uninformed-about-my-own-culture Chinese, and although much is being done to rectify it … I have not reached the end yet, nor seen the light.

Top Five Fantasy Worlds… I like to read about but don’t want to live in

  • Pellinor
  • Discworld
  • Old Kingdom and its environs
  • Middluns, the seven Kingdoms and its neighbours
  • Goredd

Kit’s note: This was getting pretty bad. I was clueless at this point … the best ones (have not read enough), the worse ones (have not read enough, plus if were bad, not worth reading).

Top Five Books I’d Recommend to Foodies… who need a little dose of reality

  • Cooked by Michael Pollan
  • Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer
  • A Bone to Pick by Mark Bittman
  • Grain of Truth by Stephen Yafa
  • The Coconut Oil Miracle by Bruce Fife

Kit’s note: Although I have been buying cookbooks for at least 5 years now, but I don’t own many across cuisines. Partly because I mostly like to eat Asian, and more importantly, the husband prefers. And recommending cookbooks means you recommend the ones which work and taste good. Hard. So, here’s my cop-out.

Top Five Stories About Girls Pretending to be Boys

  • Huang Rong, Legend of the Condor Heroes (any version, except original book as I have not read it)
  • Hua Mulan (both the Chinese TV serial played by Anita Yuen, and the film version by Vicki Zhao)
  • Leonie Saint Vire (These Old Shades, Georgette Heyer, book)
  • Go Eun-Chan (1st Shop of Coffee Prince, K-Drama)
  • Haruhi Fujioka (Ouran High School Host Club by Bisco Hatori, manga)

Kit’s note: The easiest one to do!!! No sweat, this one.

Also check out Kit’s interview with Malaysian picture book writer/illustrator Wen Dee Tan at Local, and Kit’s blog, Minding the Gaps in Between.

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