Thursday, January 7, 2010

A sneak preview: The Natural Heritage of Singapore 3rd Edition

The Natural Heritage of Singapore is out again! Revised and better than its previous two predecessors! I am not sure whether it is for sale yet, but at least, it should be available in the NUS Co-op bookstore now or within the next few days since I have seen cartons of them packed inside the shop. (Update: the book is on sale now in NUS Co-op)

This is my complementary copy which I got from the main author Prof Hugh Tan, for giving some contributions to the book. This time, the highlight in the cover page is our critically endangered Banded Leaf Monkeys (Presbytis femoralis).

I thought the publisher did a great job in revamping this new edition. The aesthetics has dramatically improved – from the black and white in the 1st edition to colour photos in the 2nd edition. Now, in the 3rd edition, the beginning of each chapter has a nice design and a nice symbol accompanies the page number. Word spacing is wider now and the font is changed from Times New Roman to this new font, which increases the ease of reading, at least for me & RY. The picture layout are neater also but some pictures I thought, could be bigger for better illustrations.

Content-wise, most of facts and figures have been updated, together with more information being added in several portions. Some erroneous text and organisation issues have also been corrected. A good improvement is that the references have now been placed after each chapter, reducing the ease of searching aimlessly among the lot in the past edition.

There is also an effort to put more pictures in the book. About 60 more photos are added and a lot of the old photos are also replaced with better quality ones. Alex also kindly helped to draw some nice maps using his superb skills with the GIS.

Some hardcore nature bloggers might find several pictures familiar, like KS’s sea fans in his East Coast post in his God’s wonderful creations blog.

Or RY’s mud lobster posting in his Tiderchaser blog.

This picture at the last page might be confusing but there is a meaning behind it. Can you guess it? For a hint, part of the answer is bolded in that chapter.

One thing to lament about is that this edition (Right) is much heavier and thicker than the last one (Left)! But then again, this shows how much our Singapore’s natural heritage has to offer right?

I will highly recommend this book for any lay person or student of biology as this is probably one of the most comprehensive and updated publication to learn about our natural history. I don’t make any money for making this post and the above remarks btw. :)

Lastly, as a contributor, I will naturally be slightly bias to praise it and would probably have miss out other things that could have made this book better. Looking forward to other reviews after this book is out.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Can't wait to get my hands on this 3rd edition. Good thing I didn't buy the 2nd. I have the 1st ed and its all black and white. Hahaha!

An honour to have my photos inside :)

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