The following books are my non-fiction titles. They are all written under my previous surname of Lesley Layton, before I remarried and became Lesley Jackson.
Writing these books taught me how to sell an idea to a publisher; how to research, plan and deliver a much larger project than I had been used to before; to impose my own deadlines and pace myself to meet them; to help market the book, speak in public, appear on the radio and a lot more besides.
– An examination of the importance of songbird keeping in Singapore and the complex and dynamic relationship between the Singaporean and his bird. This book was one of the Images of Asia series published by Oxford University Press in 1991 (A review, appearing in the New Sunday Times soon after the book’s publication, declares that “Songbirds in Singapore gives an interesting and informative overview of a pastime which brings together people of all races and classes in a way few other hobbies can…..what really lifts the book are the many anecdotes and snippets of information throughout.”) Click on the image of the above book to read a review on Amazon.
– One of a series of books about different countries, written by different authors and commissioned by Times Editions for American High School Children. This s.particular title was published in 1990. (A review in the U.S. School Library Journal claims that of the series… “Singapore is the most successful, presenting a cornucopia of aspects of this multiracial, multicultural nation, doing justice to each group… the best all rounder for this age, greatly outflanking its competitors in cultural coverage.”)
Parrots as Pets: A Beginners Guide
– My first book, sponsored by the Jurong Bird Park in Singapore (where I worked as a volunteer) and published in 1989. The book was intended as a guide to keeping parrots in the tropics, as opposed to the more usual books about bird care in the northern hemisphere.
Entertaining in Singapore
– A book published by the American Women’s Association in 1986, for expatriates in Singapore. I contributed three chapters: English Tea, Garden Party and Turkish Coffee. The book was intended to be a “useful and practical aid” towards showcasing the hostess as artist, suggesting ways that she might use elements of colour, theme, setting, timing and mood across a variety of possible occasions. (Between each chapter there is a single page with a tip or suggestion. Here is one: “To keep cookies crisp, place crushed tissue paper in the bottom of the cookie jar.”)