It’s Monday and we went hiking again!

 

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. This meme started with J Kaye’s Blog   and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date

 

 

The kids always ask on Saturday mornings: “are we going hiking today?”

So yes, we did.

 

 

 

Currently…

 

Reading:

 

 

Chemistry – Weike Wang

 

The Lost Ones – Sheena Kamal

 

 

Watching:

The same – Bones and Gossip Girl. Although we just watched the first episode of the new season of Sherlock Holmes too.

 

Eating:


Just had pancakes for breakfast

Drinking:

Yorkshire Gold with milk

Browsing:

The Millions’ most anticipated book preview (second-half of 2017) 

Review of Hello, Sunshine by Laura Dave (Beth Fish Reads)

Review of Epic Crush by Genie Lo (Huntress of Diverse Books)

Review of Joyride to Jupiter by Nuala O’Connor (746 Books)

Last week:

I read:


Batgirl Vol 4: Wanted – Gail Simone (Writer), Fernando Pasarín (Illustrator), Jonathan Glapion (Illustrator)
Silk – Alessandro Baricco

Master Keaton Vol 4 – Naoki Urasawa
 

Exit West – Mohsin Hamid

 

5 things this week

  1. The 6yo is practicing two songs for his piano recital in August. He’s very excited!
  2. He also attended a Mad Science summer camp and among the things they made is chalk, slime, a bouncy ball, and they’re growing crystals
  3. I can’t figure out if it’s easier to have the older boy in a full-day camp (i.e. 9 to 3) or half-day (usually 9-12). The 4yo attends half-day preschool so he finishes at noon. When his brother is around, the two of them are happy to play together – most of the time. But the 4yo doesn’t really enjoy playing by himself so he will always ask me to play with him and that really is quite exhausting!
  4. I have been reading books, but you really wouldn’t know it by the state of this blog.
  5. Something new is that I’m learning to crochet. I always lumped crochet into the “things grannies do” box but there is something kinda fun and fascinating about creating these pieces. Ironically perhaps (or not) I am working on a granny square blanket. I tend to be a rather fidgety person and a bit of a phone addict so working on this while helping the kids with piano/homework or while I’m listening to an audiobook or watching a show with the husband has helped me look at my phone less, keeps my fingers busy. And it’s kinda fun too.

It’s Monday and I’m getting old

 

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. This meme started with J Kaye’s Blog   and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date

 

Well, sort of behaving


It’s my birthday tomorrow and so my three guys took me out to a rare dinner out on Saturday. We ate super early at 530 but it was nice to sit with my family and enjoy some Italian food. And best of all, the kids were well behaved and they enjoyed their dinner out too. The husband had also ordered me a sinfully rich chocolate cake from a bakery not too far from the restaurant.

On Sunday, we met some good friends and their kids for a picnic in the park. Everyone had a great time. It was a warm sunny weekend but the picnic area is up on a hill and caught some nice breeze so it was very pleasant. The kids all ran around the two playgrounds, tired themselves out and fell asleep easily after bathtime!

 

And the books I bought at the recent Book Outlet sale finally arrived!

Currently…

 

Reading:

 

 

 

Watching:

I’m kinda switching back and forth between Gossip Girl and Bones. Because you just don’t want to be watching Bones while eating lunch.

Listening:

Nothing at the moment. Recently finished Dear Mr You and haven’t downloaded a new audiobook yet although I recently got some great recs on Litsy.

 

Eating:

I had a slice of ciabatta and a tiny slice of chocolate cake. I emphasize the tiny because really, all that is manageable is a tiny slice. It is SO rich.

Drinking:

PG Tips with milk.

Cooking:

I am trying to figure out what to do with stew meat (beef) other than you know, beef stew. I would do a rendang  but my kids can’t eat spicy. I may try using this cut of beef to do a slow cooker version of stroganoff (which perhaps may defeat the purpose of doing a stroganoff? But maybe it’s worth a try)

The 6yo is in a full-day science camp this week (9-3) so I have to pack him lunch! Yesterday I made some ‘Hot Pocket’-like pastries, filled with salami/ham and cheese and some pizza sauce. So will pop one in his lunch bag later. And maybe a sandwich tomorrow, quesadilla another day. It’s good practice for when the school year starts and I have to actually pack him lunch!

 

Last week:

I read:

 

 

 

TLC Book Tours: News of the World by Paulette Jiles

I’m so glad I didn’t read the blurb on the cover of this book before I decided to join the tour. It reads:

“A powerful, richly realized journey… Captain Kidd belongs in the pantheon of great Western characters along with True Grit‘s Rooster Coburn and Lonesome Dove‘s Gus and Call.”

Except for the first five words in that quote, this would have put me off entirely. I am not a reader of Westerns. Nor a viewer, TV or movie-wise. In fact, while I am happy to wander into most shelves of the library, like SF, fantasy, graphic novels, non-fiction, YA, mystery, there is one aisle that I have never walked into, and that is ‘Westerns’.

So why did I pick up this book? The strength of Paulette Jiles’ name. I haven’t read her books but I’ve seen her books around and have heard plenty of good reviews.

This book is set in the aftermath of the American Civil War. Captain Kidd is a news reader – that is, he moves from town to town, reading out loud from newspapers, charging a fee of course. He’s a widower, aged 71, and fought in two wars.

At a reading in Wichita Falls, he is offered fifty dollars in gold to take a young girl back to her relatives in San Antonio, it is a three-week journey one-way. Johanna is no ordinary ten-year-old girl. When she was six, she was kidnapped by Kiowa raiders, who killed her parents and sister, and raised her as one of their own. She was recently ‘rescued’ by the US Army, and the Kiowa had begun to realize that having a white captive made life more difficult for them – so they traded her in for blankets and silver dinnerware.

“What was it that made the girl so strange? She had none of the gestures or expressions of white people. White people’s faces were mobile and open. They were unguarded. They flung their hands about, they slanted and leaned on things, tossed their heads and their hats. Her faultless silence made her seem strangely not present. She had the carriage of every Indian he had ever seen and there was a sort of kinetic stillness about them and yet she was a ten-year-old girl with dark blond hair in streaks and blue eyes and freckles.”

It’s not an easy job, for Johanna is like no girl Captain Kidd knows – she speaks no English, doesn’t wear shoes, doesn’t know how to use utensils etc. It’s also a dangerous road out there, one that the two of them will have to  travel along for three weeks. But you know that in a story like this a bond will form, strange as it may seem, between a young girl who thinks herself Kiowa and an old man who reads newspapers to make money.

“Torn from her parents, adopted by a strange culture, given new parents, then sold for a few blankets and some old silverware, now sent to stranger after stranger, crushed into peculiar clothing, surrounded by people of an unknown language and an unknown culture, only ten years old, and now she could not even eat her food without having to use outlandish instruments.”

News of the World offered such insights into life in Texas after the American Civil War. I love all the research that went into this book – it was especially intriguing to learn of how these child captives barely readjusted to life with their non-native families and how they wished to return to their adoptive families. Jiles writes such detailed settings and authentic characters – both major and minor. Her background as a poet shines through with her evocative prose. A moving, memorable read that has made me reconsider this genre of the Old West. Maybe I will wander in the ‘Western’ aisle one day!

 

 

 

Paulette Jiles is a novelist, poet, and memoirist. She is the author of Cousins, a memoir, and the novels Enemy Women, Stormy Weather, The Color of LightningLighthouse Island, and News of the World. She lives on a ranch near San Antonio, TX.

Find out more about Paulette at her website.

I received this book from its publisher and TLC Book Tours in exchange for a review.

Check out the rest of the tour stops

You can purchase a copy of the book here:  HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

It’s Monday – Happy (almost) 4th of July!

 

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. This meme started with J Kaye’s Blog   and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date

 

Another Saturday, another hike! This time we hit the Sunol Regional Wilderness and it was a lot more ‘wild’ than our previous hikes – we didn’t see other hikers for quite a bit of the hike and the kids spotted wild turkeys, lots of ground squirrels, and on the drive in, some deer.


We hiked for two hours! Then returned to the picnic area for some lunch.

 


Later for dinner, we tried out a new Korean fusion eatery.


Cheese corn! Kimbap and chicken wings. Also ordered kimchi fried rice and bulgogi

Currently…

 

Reading:

 

 

 

Watching:

Gossip Girl

Listening:

I’m really enjoying this audiobook!

 

Eating:

Chocolate banana bread

Drinking:

PG Tips

Cooking:

Oyako don

Fried noodles

Pasta

Browsing:

This review of The Whale Rider (ANZ Lit Lovers) 

That review of Jubilee by Margaret Walker (Reading the End)

lots of new-to-me books here – Mid-Year Book Freak Out (Reading (As)(i)an (Am)erica)

16 books you should read this July (Lit Hub)

Last week:

I read:

Wonder Woman Vol 2 Guts – Brian Azzarello (Writer), Cliff Chiang (Artist),
Deep Red – Hisashi Nozawa
The Mothers – Brit Bennett
Night Work – Laurie R King
LaDivine – Marie NDiaye

Mercury- Hope Larson

I posted:

Best Books Read In 2017 So Far

 

Best Books Read In 2017 So Far

toptentues

 

 

Best Books You’ve Read In 2017 So Far

 

 

I am terrible at this kind of post! How to pick??? Especially since I’ve read 118 books so far.

I decided to just run through my list of books and see what stands out. I’ll try to break it up into some categories…let’s see!

Literature

Gabi, A Girl in Pieces – Isabel Quintero
I’m not much of a YA reader but loved this spunky determined Gabi


The Woman Next Door – Yewande Omotoso
Great story of a reluctant friendship between two women in South Africa

Funny Boy – Shyam Selvadurai

So glad I read this coming-of-age story set in Sri Lanka.

Comics/graphic novels

El Deafo – Cece Bell
Such a great story for all ages about what it’s like growing up deaf

Captain Marvel – Kelly Sue DeConnick
I love DeConnick’s Captain Marvel!

Spider Woman – Dennis Hopeless, Javier Rodriguez
Coincidentally, Spider Woman is Captain Marvel’s best friend!

Audiobooks


Lab Girl – Hope Jahren
Wasn’t sure at first about this writer narrating her own book but I loved the passion she put into it.

Classics


The Dollmaker – Harriette Simpson Arnow
This classic really surprised me. Loved it.

Nonfiction


In the country we love: My family divided – Diane Guerrero, Michelle Buford
For me it was really interesting – and heartbreaking – to read of how Guerrero survived after her parents were deported.

It’s Monday and I’m finally reading The Mothers

 

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. This meme started with J Kaye’s Blog   and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date

 

 

On a lovely overcast morning – such a relief from the heatwave of the past week! – we took a hike in Coyote Hills again. 

Our friend introduced us to an Indonesian restaurant in Berkeley. I got the Ayam Penyet (smashed chicken), served with tempeh and tofu. So good! Of course everything is fried so…

 

 

 

Currently…

 

Reading:

 

 

A bit of a strange book this one

 

 

Watching:

Gossip Girl. For some reason I decided to try watching it and I’ve watched the first few episodes!

 

Eating:

Takeout from the Kebab Shop – mixed meat with green lentils and hummus

Drinking:

A very delightful Gewürztraminer

Cooking:

Oyako don 

Maybe some pork chops and potatoes with zucchini

Browsing:

Last week:

I read:

Also,
Lady Killer – Joëlle Jones, Jamie S. Rich
Moving Sideways like a Crab – Shani Mootoo
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl and the Great Lakes Avengers – Steve Ditko

I posted: