The Book Savor series is new to this blog and grew out of my passion for good books, good friends, and great discussions about what we are reading.

And what is the best way to get those great book discussions going? With some thought-provoking questions of course!

This week Singapore-based thriller author Khaled Talib shares the books he savors.

1.Carmen Amato: What was the first book you read that marked the transition from reading kids’ books to grown-up fare?

Bourne IdentityKhaled Talib: Answer: Robert Ludlum’s The Bourne Identity. I was fascinated by the idea of someone losing his memory, and yet knows how to deploy survival skills when required to do so. For me, it was a new kind of thrill. A unique thriller that does away with the cliches.

2. CA: You are shipwrecked with a crate labeled “Books.” What 3 books do you hope are in it?

KT: The Quran for hope, Robert Fulgham’s All I Really Need To Know, I learned In Kindergarten for humor, and Nick Schade’s Building Strip-Planked Boats for getting out of the island. There’s an old Arab saying: Have faith in God, but tie your camel. Besides, the idea of staying too long on an island and ending up with my very own ‘Wilson’ scares me.

3. CA: What book would you give as a housewarming gift and why?

KT: The Great Book of Chocolate by David Lebovitz. It’s always politically incorrect to talk about chocolates, even if someone doesn’t like chocolates. Hopefully, it might entice the host to bring out some sinful delights for me on a plate.

4. CA: You can invite any author, living or dead, to dinner at your home. What are you serving and what will the conversation be about?

KT: Mary Shelley. I’ll be serving saffron-based beryani rice with mango chutney, salad, stuffed chicken and various accompaniments. This would be followed by custard cake for dessert with chocolate sauce and Turkish coffee. I’d like to probe her mind about the soul of man, and on the light side, we’ll talk about her travels and adventure. The conversation will be electrifying!

5. CA: Can you leave us with a quote, a place, or a concept from a book that inspired you?

KT: “People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for.” – Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird.

This is so true. Many people in the world tend to see, but they do not observe. They hear, but they do not listen. I suppose that’s why magicians,  illusionists, and politicians are still in business.

Khaled TalibTell us about yourself in 3 sentences or less.

I was born and raised in Singapore. I am a former journalist with local and international experience.My debut novel, Smokescreen, a political thriller, is scheduled to be published early 2014. I never wake up grumpy in the morning.    

More about this week’s guest. Khaled Talib’s novel SMOKESCREEN is due out in January 2014. Connect with him on Twitter  @KhaledTalib.

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