It’s Monday and wait a minute, it’s my birthday!

 

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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

 

 

Sigh. So much terrible happened last week. So much has been said. I wish I knew what to say. Sometimes it just seems so much better to hide in books than to get out into the world.

 

  


So that’s kind of what I did on Saturday. The dear Husband took care of the kids while I went to shop at the library book sale and got a whole lot of books for under $20. I was especially excited to get the Ozeki. I’d already read Americanah and On Beauty but thought I’d get those anyhow. 

Got my birthday presents a day early. The husband got me the Sandman box set and had helped my mum to order this Kitchn cookbook for me. 

The Husband definitely won the day with this decadent chocolate mousse cake from Alexander’s Patisserie in Mountain View. So chocolatey, so rich, and yet not too sweet. The birthday sign by the way is a solid block of chocolate. I am going to be dreaming of this cake forever. 

Currently…

 

Reading:

monstress1
Monstress Vol 1 – Marjorie Liu, Sana Takeda

laoshe

Rickshaw Boy – Lao She

 

Someone Knows My Name/The Book of Negroes – Lawrence Hill

 Next up: one of these. Or all of these!

 

Watching:

Orange is the New Black. Always.

 

Listening:

yearofyes

Year of Yes – Shonda Rhimes 

Still loving it!

 

Eating:

Did you see that cake above? It is heavenly.  

Drinking:

Tea. Yeah I am still drinking hot tea in summer because this summer has been a surprisingly cool one! Apart from one or two weeks where it was really hot and we had to turn the AC on in the evenings, it has been nice and cool.

Cooking:

Pasta

Fried noodles 

 

Browsing:

Vote for the next book at the Diverse SFF Book Club! Some really great reads there.

The Millions’ Great Second-Half 2016 Book Preview

For a long time I didn’t like coleslaw. I think it’s probably because the ones I was eating were all chopped up too fine. I started making my own recently and realize that slaws are awesome things. They’re fresh and tangy and best of all, my kids are happy to eat them, yes even my 3yo who is very selective about greens and often says “no more vegetables!!’. Anyway, here is a link to 7 slaws from Food52

Last week:

I read:
Where Angels Fear to Tread – EM Forster
I posted:


Flight by Oona Frawley

TLC Book Tours: Run the World by Becky Wade

Books I’ve Loved With Under 2000 Ratings On Goodreads

 

Flight by Oona Frawley

“She wonders if these same business people, these men and women that she pushes past on the paths – did they vote yes, vote to change the constitution and keep people like Sandrine out? It scares her, in a way, that this baby is about to arrive in a country that only this week has voted to disallow her citizenship. She will be born placeless on this day, an unwelcome baby.”

 

This book is set in Ireland in 2004 (and written in 2006) but could not be more relevant today, in the time of the Brexit referendum, and Donald *ass* Trump’s call for the removal of birthright citizenship in the US. 

Sandrine is from Zimbabwe. She’s in Ireland on a student visa, supposedly to learn, but she is really there to work, to find a better life for herself, her husband and child back home, and her unborn child that she is keeping secret. She finds a job caring for Tom and Clare, an elderly couple who can no longer manage on their own. Their daughter Elizabeth doesn’t live with them and has a bit of an awkward relationship with her mother. The family used to live in Vietnam and America, where Tom worked in the spice trade.

It’s a very emotional read. It’s hard to see one’s parents fade away in terms of health, both physical and mental. As Tom becomes a mere shadow of himself, his story is unraveled through his memories and recollections of their time in Vietnam and America. My late grandfather had dementia and the last time I saw him, I don’t think he knew who any of us were. I was living away from Singapore by then, and learnt of his death via Skype. So it was hard to read of Tom’s decline.

“His hair is softer than she expected, thinning, and the scalp pulses like a newborn’s. She senses this pulsing in her hands. He is living, his mind is moving, and he is looking up at her with surprised, glazing green eyes. Her tears are for nothing. There is nothing to weep for, since he is unaware, gazing at her crying or laughing with the same indifferent emptiness in his look which seems always surprised now, because everything lacks for him the context of memory.”

 

This is also Elizabeth’s story, one of belonging and fitting in – or not. Her childhood in Vietnam and America, then moving back to Ireland, then back again to Vietnam. Where does she belong? Is she Irish? Is she American? It’s similar with my own family. We are from Singapore, but the kids, being born in the US, are American citizens. We travel to Singapore once a year, and both sets of grandparents travel up here at least once or twice a year. My five-year-old once described himself as a Singapore American. I wonder how he will feel in the future. Will he still have a connection to Singapore?

Although we don’t really learn much about Sandrine’s life in Zimbabwe, her experiences in Ireland are the key to this book. Her struggle to adapt to life in Ireland, to learn to be a caregiver for these elderly people she now lives with. The racism she experiences, because of the colour of her skin.

“She does not know that it doesn’t matter how she perceives herself to fit in. What she feels, how she might work to become part of this new society, it makes no difference. Sandrine has been spat and cursed at, has peered with shock into women’s faces as they have sneered at hers – she expected better of women, and has been disappointed. At moments the desire to commiserate with another black Zimbabwean is overwhelming. She knows of the news that instances of assault are on the rise, the country is increasingly angry about non-nationals, and there is a referendum coming up that scares the life out of her.”

Flight takes time to get into. But when you do get into it, it is a gem. It is a story about feeling lost, both within the world and within themselves. It is unsettling, it is emotional. It is a thoughtful story that makes you examine your own life, your own situation, and where you belong.

Flight by Oona Frawley is published by Tramp Press, an indie Irish publishing company. 

 

 

 

TLC Book Tours: Run the World by Becky Wade

Run the World cover

Let’s begin at the beginning. Here is where I tell you I don’t run.

(And there you go, with a horrified “what?” and go find a book blogger-runner whose review you’d rather read.)

Yes I don’t run but I sometimes read running-related things. So this is a review from a non-runner’s point of view. I hope you will bear with me!

So Becky Wade is an American. A young American runner. Who has never left the country. I always am fascinated by that. But that’s probably because the country I’m from is so tiny you can drive from one end to the other and still be in time for breakfast.

But Wade is a resourceful one. She gets hold of a yearlong fellowship (the Watson Fellowship) which gives its recipients money and then tells them to get lost. Really. As in they are not allowed to enter the US (or their home country if they’re not from the US) for a year. They don’t get a whole lot of money though so it’s not about living it up in fancy hotels but it’s enough to buy some plane tickets and do some traveling and pursue their interests. What a truly amazing thing to be able to do!

It is brave of her to do this. Not everyone would be willing to give up a year in which they could be starting a career for instance, which most college graduates are looking to do, or, in her case, putting her training on hold, to go out into the world for a year. When I first heard of this I had thought woah how fantastic, wish I could have done this! But as I thought about it more, traveling the world for a whole year isn’t easy. You have to be able to adapt to your always changing situation, to be ok with living out of hotels/motels/strangers’ homes. And be content living out of a backpack. I can imagine that being extroverted would really help too! (So not me).

Also here I should add that Wade was a very successful athlete already when she left on her yearlong adventure. She had multiple NCAA All-American Honours and two Olympic Trials qualifiers to her name. But she wasn’t contented with that. She wanted to learn how runners in other countries train.

So Wade wants to Run the World. She visits 22 countries including Nigeria, Ethiopia, New Zealand, Japan, Switzerland and more over 12 months.

Runners will definitely gain some insights from this book. When she runs with some Kenyans, they start off at a stroll, oh about 20 minutes or so, then a leisurely jog, not much faster than a walk, then all of a sudden, break into a run. That is, they run by feel and warm up naturally, something that Wade wasn’t used to at first. It is interesting to learn of how runners are so well-respected in Japan, how important races are broadcast on public TV, and some athletes and events can even bring Super Bowl-like ratings.

But non-runners like me will also find it a pretty good read as she delves into different cultures, learns about different cuisines around the world, and even provides some recipes from her new friends, like brown soda bread from Ireland, Rosti from Switzerland, and Anza biscuits.

I especially enjoyed reading about her stay in Ethiopia, where running is once again, by feel. Time, distances, speed is rarely predetermined. And the line leader uses snaps and finger points to warn of obstacles such as roots and cracks were in the way. And their coffee ceremonies, a wonderful tradition that revealed their communal culture.

I was a bit disappointed that her stay in Japan was mostly via Japanese expatriates. She did stay with a Japanese family in Kyoto  for a few nights but her experience in Japan was largely through the expat (i.e. white) scene. It sounds like it may have been hard for her to break into the Japanese running scene and that is a pity.

Five months after her year-long world adventure, Wade  won the California International Marathon in 2 hours, 30 minutes and 48 seconds, gaining her a qualifying time for the Olympic Trials and a sponsorship from Asics. So all that knowledge and insight she gained from her world tour may have helped in her success!

Run the World is a bit of a different read for me, and while I may not really fall into its target audience, it was an enjoyable read. It allowed me to marvel at the passion people have for running. And to realize that what had always seemed to me like a simple sport can differ in so many ways around the world. From the way warmups happen, to the food that fuels runners, to the different styles of running. It was definitely an eye-opener.

Go Becky!

tlc logo

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

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the tour stops

Becky Wade AP photo by Deborah Kellogg-1Becky Wade is a professional long-distance runner who competes for Asics. At Rice University she was a four-time All-American and the winner of the Joyce Pounds Hardy Award, Rice’s highest athletic honor, and the Conference USA honoree for the NCAA Woman of the Year award. After graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Rice with a triple major in history, psychology, and sociology, Becky traveled the world on a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship and visited 22 countries to explore long-distance running cultures.

In her 26.2-mile debut in December 2013, Becky won the California International Marathon, qualifying for the 2016 Olympic Trials. Currently, she is fulfilling her dream of running professionally and chasing Olympic aspirations, while coaching and working part-time at a shelter for homeless youth.

Connect with Becky on Instagram and Twitter.

 

Books I’ve Loved With Under 2000 Ratings On Goodreads

 

 Top Ten Books We Enjoyed That Have Under 2000 Ratings On Goodreads 

Oh this was a different topic!

So first of all, I didn’t realise one can easily add a column for ‘number of ratings’ when you’re looking at “My Books” in Goodreads.

Already I’ve noticed just how large some of the differences can be! Take Flight by Oona Frawley (which I’ve raved about on Instagram and Litsy, and will be posting about later this week). It only has 36 ratings! Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson, on the other hand, has 28,823! If you’re curious, the book on my list with the highest number of ratings is The Hunger Games with a whopping 4,275,981 ratings!

Anyway, so here are some great books with under 2000 Goodreads ratings

 

Flight  – Oona Frawley (36 ratings)

A beautiful book published by an independent Irish press. It’s set in Ireland, Vietnam, America and discusses immigration, citizenship, belonging and more.

 The Song Poet: A Memoir of My Father – Kao Kalia Yang (36 ratings)

I loved this book- and you can read my thoughts here – and it really deserves more attention!

The Cosmopolites: The Coming of the Global Citizen – Atossa Araxia Abrahamian (62 ratings)

A short book of non-fiction and would make a great companion read for Flight as it discusses buying citizenship (my thoughts)

Who Ate Up All the Shinga?: An Autobiographical Novel – Park Wan-Suh (72 ratings)

A look into life in rural Korea in the 1930s, during the Japanese Occupation and its aftermath (my thoughts)

Inheritance – Balli Kaur Jaswal (97 ratings)

I loved this book, probably one of my favourite books set in Singapore.

The Song of Everlasting Sorrow: A Novel of Shanghai – Wang Anyi (203 ratings)

An unforgettable melancholic story set in Shanghai and moves from 1940s to 1980s (my thoughts)

The Dead Ladies Project: Exiles, Expats, and Ex-Countries – Jessa Crispin (293 ratings)

As a Bookslut fan, I loved this nonfiction book by Crispin, who travels Europe researching and learning about the lives of writers and their lovers. And also, learning about herself and her relationship with her lover.

The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye – Sonny Liew (419 ratings)

I know I keep talking about this graphic novel but I really do love it (my thoughts)

Pleasantville – Attica Locke (647 ratings)

I have loved everything Attica Locke has written. Smart, thrilling, exciting reads (my thoughts)

Sunny – Taiyo Matsumoto (667 ratings)

I don’t read that much manga, a lot of it can be a bit too weird for me. But I really adored this series set in a home for children. Many of them have parents but they aren’t able to take care of their kids (alcohol, poverty etc). It’s kinda sad.

toptentues

It’s Monday, Happy 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

 

Happy 4th of July everyone! What are your plans for the day? What did you do? Let me know!

We do the same thing that we do every year, we go catch the parade! Coming from a place like Singapore, where our National Day Parade is a highly orchestrated, thoroughly coordinated one (and lots of military precision), it is always kinda heartwarming to see this very American parade which begins with fire trucks, police cars, includes kids, dogs, bikers, politicians, veterans, farmers, dancers, the disabled, and Elvis. There are vintage fire trucks and police cars, tractors, fancy cars and floats. It’s all gonna happen a few hours after this post is published, but I’ll put up some pictures (and also on Instagram if you’re there).

Otherwise, it was a slightly better week. Once again hit with some sickness, but that thankfully lasted only one night (although that was a horrendous night with a lot of changing of sheets and a terrified kid who kept throwing up. An anti-vomit pill the doctor prescribed really helped and he was so much better after that.) And the rest of the week went ok! Swimming lessons every day. The weather wasn’t as hot as last week so that helped.


On Saturday, our neighbours came over for dinner and the kids had a blast with their kids (aged 1 and 4). And we all ate and drank ourselves merry. Sunday was more of a hang out at home and relax day, so I got some reading done as the kids played at their sand table and ran around the backyard.

 

Also I put up a photo of some of my books by Canadian authors on Canada Day on Instagram  and Litsy (and I know not everyone is on these apps so thought I’d share it here). Especially important to me is Carol Shields’ The Stone Diaries which my A-Level English Lit teacher in Singapore introduced to us. And it made me realize what great writing was. A-Level English Lit was also where I first read Pride and Prejudice!
 

Currently…

 

Reading:

 

The Book of Negroes/Someone Knows My Name – Lawrence Hill

I’ve just started it but it’s really engrossing.

  

 

Watching:

The new Top Gear. Can’t figure out whether I like it or not!

Listening:

 

Year of Yes – Shonda Rimes

I really love listening to her talk! Especially when it’s about her family and how they don’t really give a damn about her shows and her Hollywood business.

 

Eating:


It’s 8pm on Sunday as I’m typing this up but earlier we had some icebox cake. My first ever! I experimented with Oreos (regular and birthday cake Oreos), and lots of berries, with layers of fresh whipped cream. Yum.

Drinking:

Just water

Cooking:

Something in the slow cooker, maybe a chicken stew. I have some celery to use up!

The kids love coleslaw and they are so happy to eat lots of it so I may make some and serve it with pork chops or something like that.

 

 

Browsing:

Sign up for 24in48 Readathon here!

Read Diverse Books Year-Round – July 2016 Link-Up

I don’t know if you’ve seen this graphic by The Strand Bookstore but it’s so fun to follow along and figure out what book to read this summer!

Lonesome Reader lists his Best Books of 2016 so far

Added to the TBR:

Marriage Material by Sathnam Sanghera (thanks to Jenny @ Reading the End)

Thanks to River City Reading, so many books to add via her Follow-up with Your Favourite Authors post!

 

Last week:

I read:


Flight – Oona Frawley
The Time in Between – Maria Duenas
Everything is teeth – Evie Wyld
The Fox and the Star – Coralie Bickford-Smith
 

I posted:

I feel like I have been posting more on Litsy and Instagram more these days. It’s just so much easier to write something short and quick on my phone, than to sit down at the computer to compose a proper post. But I really do want to talk about a few books of late. So hopefully soon!

 

It’s Monday and I would like a weekend do-over

 

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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

 

 

So somehow Book Riot decided to include my Litsy account (RealLifeReading) in a post called ’10 Wonderful People to Follow on Litsy’! And woah, so many new followers in just a few hours. Such is the power of Book Riot! Thank you Book Riot for that! It was a really nice surprise! And as a result of that, Litsy added my account to the ‘suggested’ accounts for new users! So if you are new to Litsy, come say hi! (Think they’re working on getting an Android version up soon.)

So some of you probably know I am a full-time mum. The husband works in the city which is a long Bart ride away so he leaves at 630 and gets home hopefully before 7. It is often a long trying day with two boys. If it is not one boy it is the other. That’s probably why I immerse myself in books when I can.

I consider it a successful day if (1) no one is made to stand in a corner; (2) I didn’t raise my voice and shout at anyone; (3) and you know, all those basic things like survival. And somehow I made it through most of last week without anything untoward happening. Except for Friday. When both boys were sent to their corners because of pushing and shoving that kept happening and later the 3yo went upstairs way before bedtime because he refused to eat dinner. He of course wailed and wailed and wailed. Then proceeded to throw up on the carpet. And then again on another part of the carpet. And had to have yet another change of PJs. Of course when something like that happens, I thought, crap, why didn’t I stop to think that the reason he was not eating dinner was because his stomach wasn’t well? Why didn’t I do anything earlier? But really what could I have done about it? He would have thrown up anyway. The amazing thing about kids is  that despite his having thrown up twice in a span of 30 minutes, he was his usual cheerful self, and after I changed his pajamas for the second time, he looked at me and said, “what a lovely day”. I doubt a 3yo knows what sarcasm is, so I think he really meant it. Children are so strange and wonderful. They frustrate you by fussing over the silliest things like socks and then the next minute will give you all the warm fuzzies when they give you a big hug and kiss for no reason.

(Added to note. He was ok on Saturday. We kept things easy and didn’t do much. So since he was fine we decided to go out for lunch on Sunday. Dim sum lunch where he had fish porridge which is good for queasy stomachs. But on the way home he threw up in the car. Yeah. Luckily it was a ten minute drive. And he was fine again after that. The car seat was a different matter! But after a wash and a sunning in the backyard it’s all good.)

The kids have been enjoying their summer swim sessions. Mondays to Thursdays for four weeks. Love that it’s outdoors – it’s at a high school. Their regular swim school is indoors. 

We bought strawberry plants for the first time. The kids are so excited and go check on their strawberries every evening.

And on Saturday my Book Outlet purchase arrived. I wanted to buy some books for the kids during their 15% off sale and also saw these beautiful Puffin classics going for $6 each. And also some books for myself, most of them I’ve read already but wanted to own. (Do you do that too?)

Currently…

 

Reading:

 

Flight – Oona Frawley

I wasn’t expecting that part of this book is set in Vietnam (and also Ireland). Pretty good so far.

The Time in Between – Maria Duenas

Yes it is taking me a while to read this. It is my nightstand book and I try to read a bit each night but some nights I am tired and the only thing my brain wants to do is watch Netflix. 

Watching:

Orange is the New Black

Also, the kids watched How To Train A Dragon for the first time on Sunday. They were iffy at first but when Hiccup and Toothless started bonding, they really enjoyed it (although some parts were a bit scary for them). At the end of the show, 3yo said, “I want to ride the blue one!” And the 5yo pretended he was Toothless for the rest of the evening. I’ll have to get hold of the books for them but from what I’ve seen on Goodreads, they are very very different from the movie! Have you read the series?

Listening:


Year of Yes – Shonda Rimes

So good.

 

Eating:

Just had that pain au chocolat above.

Drinking:

Black tea with milk is always how I start my day.

Cooking:

I have this packet of beef rendang spice paste from Singapore that I probably should cook up. May consider making meatballs or meatloaf or something like that.

Browsing:

Publisher Weekly’s Fall 2016 literary fiction line-up

Breastfeeding in Literature (The Millions)

LGBTQ books for kids (Brightly)

Did you hear that Margaret Atwood is writing a YA graphic novel? (Buzzfeed)

At The Reading Desk, a fascinating exploration of the diversity in what India reads (or doesn’t read). 

Non-bookish:

This Olive and farro salad sounds delightful (Food 52)

Pan-fried pork buns (No-frills recipes)

 

 

Last week:

I read:




The Descender Vol 1: Tin Stars – Jeff Lemire

Run the World  – Becky Wade (for an upcoming book tour)

I posted:

The Song Poet – Kao Kalia Yang

Favourite 2016 releases so far

 

The Song Poet – Kao Kalia Yang

 

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I have so much love for this book that I don’t know how to write about it. Will you just bypass it because, it’s a book that you haven’t heard of? Or maybe you don’t read memoirs? Or non-fiction? Why am I being so negative? Maybe instead you are excited because it is a book you’ve not heard much of! Maybe it’s interesting because it is memoir! Non-fiction! Hurrah!

Amazingly, I won The Song Poet from a Library Thing giveaway. (I seriously have the worst of luck when it comes to book giveaways). And what is perhaps more amazing is that I picked up the book and read it, within a few weeks of receiving it. I am a bit of a hoarder when it comes to physical books. I buy them and then, save them for the end of the world or something.

Anyway, the book must have called out to me. It was meant to be. And it was one of the most beautiful things I have ever read. A book that sings and cries, a book that laughs and shudders. A book I brought along on a Bart ride to the city to pick up my passport from the Singapore consulate. It sat with me on the crowded train, it rocketed up many storeys up to the consulate building, then it basked in the sunlight at Ferry Building where I sipped a tiny and expensive mocha and watched the traffic on the Bay Bridge.

This may sound silly but I first learnt of the Hmong on the TV series Grey’s Anatomy. Grey’s Anatomy may be overdramatic and too many ridiculous things happen to one doctor at one hospital (she puts her hand in a body with a bomb, she steps in front of a gunman etc). But it was also one of the very very few popular primetime TV series to have a lead Asian character, and it wasn’t about Christina Yang being Korean. Or Asian. She was just a doctor. A friend. A crazy, intense, very intelligent person. But still. She was a person. But this episode has nothing to do with Yang. An episode in Season Two featured a patient, a young woman, who needed surgery but because she is Hmong, her father refuses. They decide to call in a shaman before surgery. I hadn’t the faintest idea if this was a good portrayal of the Hmong culture or not (the blog Petite Hmong Mommy found it kinda ridiculous) but it made me wonder about the Hmong culture. I later learnt more by reading Anne Fadiman’s The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, published in 1997, a work of non-fiction about a young Hmong girl living in Merced, California, who suffers from epilepsy. It is a moving, tragic book, in case you haven’t yet read it. But it is not by a Hmong so it’s still from the point of view of an outsider looking in.

The Song Poet seemed to me like your typical refugee in America kind of memoir at first. But the prologue opens with ‘Album Notes’, in which Yang writes about calling her father, Bee, a poet.

“I grew up hearing my father digging into words for images that will stretch the limits of life for my siblings and me. In my father’s mouth, bitter, rigid words become sweet and elastic like taffy candy. His poetry shields us from the poverty of our lives.”

His song poetry is hard to explain, and Yang describes it as such:

“The only way I know how to describe it as a form in English is to say: my father raps, jazzes, and sings the blues when he dwells in the landscape of traditional Hmong song poetry.”

It sounds fascinating.

The Song Poet is a story of struggle, of hardship, of determination, and quite simply of back-breaking, hardworking parents trying to make enough money to put a roof over their family’s heads, to put food in their kids’ mouths. This is a story that moves from Laos, to Thailand, to Minneapolis. And it is so very very difficult, to read of all the pain that other people put this family through, because they are different, because they are Hmong. They were driven from the Laos because of war and communism. In Thailand they lived in refugee camps, where the author was born. Then wanting to be more than just refugees, the family traveled to America. But in America, their lives are still difficult – Bee takes on backbreaking, dangerous work at a factory in order to make ends meet. His wife works the morning shift, he works the night shift. Just so that there is a parent around for their children.

Yang’s voice is just beautiful. My favourite part of the book is ‘Side A, Track 4: Love Song’, where she writes from her father’s perspective of his love for his wife Chue Moua, and all the many things that they have gone through, many miscarriages, across countries. I read and reread that chapter, trying to find something to quote here, but it is a chapter to be read as a whole. A few sentences, a paragraph, wouldn’t do justice to this emotional chapter.

Instead, I will leave you here with a quote from another part of the book. Equally unforgettable.

 

“In America, my voice is only powerful within our home. The moment I exit our front door and enter the paved roads, my deep voice loses its volume and its strength. When I speak English, I become like a leaf in the wind. I cannot control the direction my words will fly in the ear of the other person. I try to soften my landing in the language by leaving pauses between each word. I wrestle my accent until it is a line of breath in the tightness of my throat. I greet people. I ask for directions. I say thank you. I say goodbye. I only speak English at work when it is necessary. I don’t like the weakness of my voice in English, but what I struggle with most is the weakness of my words.”

 

You can read an excerpt of The Song Poet over at Literary Hub

 

diversity

I read this for Akilah’s Diversity on the Shelf challenge

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Read Diverse Books Year-Round