Colorful Book Covers #TopTenTuesday

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is:

Colorful Book Covers

Ugh. So I had planned some weeks ago to do this in a different way. Highlighting books from before 2000. But then I didn’t finish the post. And now I have no time to do it properly. Maybe another time then!

Instead, here are colourful book covers that I’ve recently read. It’s a mix of books that have to do with….historical fiction, translated fiction, cookbook, wuxia-inspired, pandemic-related, comics, ghosts, young love, and all that crazy fun sparkly stuff that come with the Lumberjanes.

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Untold Night and Day by Bae Suah

Indian(-ish) by Priya Krishna

The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water by Zen Cho

Latitudes of Longing by Shubhangi Swarup

Lumberjanes by Shannon Waters etc

The Shadow King by Maaza Mengiste

The Down Days by Ilze Hugo

Love Is For Losers by Wibke Brueggemann

Delicates by Brenna Thummler


Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018.

It’s Monday (April 19, 2021)

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Latest online grocery order (from Weee) – pea sprouts, two types of mushrooms, a lot of broccoli, Chinese pears, grapes, and Korean noodles

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Made some Hawaiian-style macaroni salad
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My plant has exploded with purple blooms. The bees are loving it.
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We first played this game last week. It’s a cooperative game similar to Pandemic, but slightly easier I think. At least the 7yo was more willing to try it compared to his dislike for Pandemic.

Currently…

Reading:

The Inland Sea – Madeleine Watts

Watching:

I just finished watching Knives Out on Amazon video. The plot was more amusing and clever than I thought it would be! It was also a really great cast too. 

Listening: Nothing at the moment.

Eating and drinking:

I had oatmeal for breakfast. The usual tea too.

Cooking:

Well I have no idea. But I’ll have to cook up the broccoli and mushrooms from last week’s buys.

Last week:

I read:

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I posted:

Library Loot (April 14 to 20)

Crayola Color-like Titles #TopTenTuesday

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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

Library Loot (April 14 to 20)

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Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Sharlene from Real Life Reading that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries.

Happy Wednesday!

Link up below!

Sharks in the Time of Saviours – Kawai Strong Washburn

In 1995 Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, on a rare family vacation, seven-year-old Nainoa Flores falls overboard a cruise ship into the Pacific Ocean. When a shiver of sharks appears in the water, everyone fears for the worst. But instead, Noa is gingerly delivered to his mother in the jaws of a shark, marking his story as the stuff of legends.

Nainoa’s family, struggling amidst the collapse of the sugarcane industry, hails his rescue as a sign of favor from ancient Hawaiian gods – a belief that appears validated after he exhibits puzzling new abilities. But as time passes, this supposed divine favor begins to drive the family apart: Nainoa, working now as a paramedic on the streets of Portland, struggles to fathom the full measure of his expanding abilities; further north in Washington, his older brother Dean hurtles into the world of elite college athletics, obsessed with wealth and fame; while in California, risk-obsessed younger sister Kaui navigates an unforgiving academic workload in an attempt to forge her independence from the family’s legacy.

When supernatural events revisit the Flores family in Hawaii – with tragic consequences – they are all forced to reckon with the bonds of family, the meaning of heritage, and the cost of survival. 

The Aosawa Murders Riku Onda

The novel starts in the 1960s when 17 people die of cyanide poisoning at a party given by the owners of a prominent clinic in a town on the coast of the Sea of Japan. The only surviving links to what might have happened are a cryptic verse that could be the killer’s, and the physician’s bewitching blind daughter, Hisako, the only person spared injury. The youth who emerges as the prime suspect commits suicide that October, effectively sealing his guilt while consigning his motives to mystery. 

The police are convinced Hisako had a role in the crime, as are many in the town, including the author of a bestselling book about the murders written a decade after the incident, who was herself a childhood friend of Hisako’s and witness to the discovery of the killings. The truth is revealed through a skillful juggling of testimony by different voices: family members, witnesses and neighbors, police investigators and of course the mesmerizing Hisako herself. 

I was looking for a cute and fun read. This sounds like that.

Fake It Till You Break It – Jenn P Nguyen

Mia and Jake have known each other their whole lives. They’ve endured summer vacations, Sunday brunches, even dentist visits together. Their mothers, who are best friends, are convinced that Mia and Jake would be the perfect couple, even though they can’t stand to be in the same room together.

After Mia’s mom turns away yet another cute boy, Mia and Jake decide they’ve have had enough. Together, they hatch a plan to get their moms off their backs. Permanently. All they have to do is pretend to date and then stage the worst breakup of all time—and then they’ll be free.

The only problem is, maybe Jake and Mia don’t hate each other as much as they once thought…

What did you get from your library this week?

Crayola Color-like Titles #TopTenTuesday

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is:

Book Titles That Sound Like They Could Be Crayola Crayon Colors

Ok this was a fun one! I did not realise that Crayola had so many unusual colour names! Here’s the wikipedia for examples. 

Also, let me know if you’d recommend any of the following titles. The only one I’ve read is Latitudes of Longing.

Here are some titles that could make great crayon colours

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Latitudes of Longing – Shubhangi Swarup (blueish green of a sea and jungle)

Fugitive Telemetry – Martha Wells (some kind of greyish-red-brown like metal that’s rusted beyond any hope)

Concrete Rose – Angie Thomas (a dusty grey pink)

Tweet Cute  – Emma Lord (an aqua turquoise like the Twitter icon)

The Snow Tourist – Charlie English (white-grey like a whiteout)

Fireheart Tiger – Aliette de Bodars (a reddish orange with hints of black)

These Violent Delights – Chloe Gong (blood-red that feels heavy)

Sharks in the Time of Saviours – Kawai Strong Washburn (that kind of whitish grey)

Darkdawn – Jay Kristoff (a deep purple)

Are We There Yet? – Kathleen West (a muddy brown of despair)


Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018.

It’s Monday (April 12, 2012)

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Happy Monday!

The kids were on spring break last week and we managed a short weekend getaway.

So many firsts this past weekend…

The first time we’ve been out of the Bay Area in over a year.

The first time we’ve been to Tulare County.

The first time we’ve stayed in a hotel in over a year.

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Prawn pasta

The first time we’ve eaten out in over a year.

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Also, the first dose of covid-19 vaccine for the adults. A drive through one, no less.
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Driving towards the tent where we’ll wait for 15 minutes.
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And a first time to Sequoia National Park for us. What a lovely place!
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The General Sherman Tree is the most famous landmark in Sequoia – a height of 83.8 metres (275 ft), a diameter of 7.7 m (25 ft), and it’s about 2,300–2,700 years old
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The kids said that this tree near General Sherman is General Sherman’s nose

I have to admit being a bit anxious at a few points during the trip. While at the hotel, the staff were all masked and the place was very clean. But there were some guests who weren’t masked…And also at the national park, although they ask you to wear masks, there were still quite a few people who didn’t wear them. It made me realise that being in the Bay Area, where everyone wears a mask, it does make me so uncomfortable when I come across people who don’t. Especially when indoors!

Currently…

Reading:

The Absolute Book – Elizabeth Knox

Watching:

The Promised Neverland – an anime available on Netflix

Listening:

Nothing at the moment!

Eating and drinking:

Blueberry muffin and tea for breakfast

Cooking:

I ordered some groceries from Weee! to be delivered tomorrow. It includes pea sprouts (dou miao 豆苗) which I adore. From the photo on the app, I believe it’s the da dou miao or the more grown version of the pea sprouts. I believe they are snow pea sprouts? Anyway, one of my absolute favourite vegetables. Sweet, a little bit crunchy, and delicious when simply stir-fried. There are some photos on this Serious Eats page, if you’re curious. I’ll serve it maybe with some stir-fried soy sauce chicken and potatoes, and rice of course.

Also, last week I bought some lamb loin chops from Costco, and will try to cook that up. Maybe serve it with Brussels sprouts.

Last week:

I read:

The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water – Zen Cho

I posted:

Library Loot (April 7 to 13)

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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

Library Loot (April 7 to 13)

badge-4Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Sharlene from Real Life Reading that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries.

Happy Library Loot day!

Claire has the link-up this week.

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If you may recall, I take part in these Instagram reading challenges (look up #readtheworld21) and this month’s region is Australia and New Zealand. So here is a book from an Australian woman writer. She’s based in the US but grew up in Sydney.

The Inland Sea – Madeleine Watts

A young Australian woman unable to find her footing in the world begins to break down when the emergencies she hears working as a 911 operator and the troubles within her own life gradually blur together, forcing her to grapple with how the past has shaped her present.

Drifting after her final year in college, a young writer begins working part-time as an emergency dispatch operator in Sydney. Over the course of an eight-hour shift, she is dropped into hundreds of crises, hearing only pieces of each. Callers report car accidents and violent spouses and homes caught up in flame.

The work becomes monotonous: answer, transfer, repeat. And yet the stress of listening to far-off disasters seeps into her personal life, and she begins walking home with keys in hand, ready to fight off men disappointed by what they find in neighboring bars. During her free time, she gets black-out drunk, hooks up with strangers, and navigates an affair with an ex-lover whose girlfriend is in their circle of friends.

Two centuries earlier, her great-great-great-great-grandfather—the British explorer John Oxley—traversed the wilderness of Australia in search of water. Oxley never found the inland sea, but the myth was taken up by other men, and over the years, search parties walked out into the desert, dying as they tried to find it.

Interweaving a woman’s self-destructive unraveling with the gradual worsening of the climate crisis, The Inland Sea is charged with unflinching insight into our age of anxiety. At a time when wildfires have swept an entire continent, this novel asks what refuge and comfort looks like in a constant state of emergency.

Not typically the kind of book I read, but I dunno, somehow my finger clicked the “borrow” button on Libby! Let’s see how this goes!

The Guest List – Lucy Foley

The bride ‧ The plus one ‧ The best man ‧ The wedding planner ‧ The bridesmaid ‧ The body

On an island off the coast of Ireland, guests gather to celebrate two people joining their lives together as one. The groom: handsome and charming, a rising television star. The bride: smart and ambitious, a magazine publisher. It’s a wedding for a magazine, or for a celebrity: the designer dress, the remote location, the luxe party favors, the boutique whiskey. The cell phone service may be spotty and the waves may be rough, but every detail has been expertly planned and will be expertly executed.

But perfection is for plans, and people are all too human. As the champagne is popped and the festivities begin, resentments and petty jealousies begin to mingle with the reminiscences and well wishes. The groomsmen begin the drinking game from their school days. The bridesmaid not-so-accidentally ruins her dress. The bride’s oldest (male) friend gives an uncomfortably caring toast.

And then someone turns up dead. Who didn’t wish the happy couple well? And perhaps more important, why?

It’s Monday (April 5, 2021)

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Last week my older son turned 10! That seems so very old…

 

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He loves burgers so I made him one!

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Some bookish gifts for the 10yo

 

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I always think that birthday cakes should be at least three layers 🙂

Also, the kids are on spring break this week so I have to figure out what to do with them….

 

Currently…

Reading:

The Absolute Book – Elizabeth Knox

Watching:

Run BTS

Listening:

Still on Shuggie Bain! Hopefully by next Monday I can say that I’m done…!

Eating and drinking:

Toast and tea for breakfast

Cooking:

Since the kids are on break, I’m going to try to get them to do some cooking with me. Not sure what to do yet but since they love to eat pasta, I’m sure they’d want to learn how to cook some kind of pasta.

 

Last week:

I read:

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Banned Book Club – Kim Hyun Sook and Ko Hyung-Ju

Sour Heart – Jenny Zhang

Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome

I posted:

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Library Loot (March 31 to April 6)

Places In Books I Wouldn’t Want to Live In #TopTenTuesday

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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

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

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What is a funfetti cake? Pretty much a vanilla cake with sprinkles in it (in this case, I used candy quins which are disc-like sprinkles). What is a cupcake? Pretty much just a small cake with a mound of frosting on the top. 

And what is this book? Adorable. With a side of snarkiness and a hint of politics. Just that fun read that brightens up your day, just like these funfetti cupcakes I made for the 9yo’s (almost 10!) mini early birthday celebration with some friends. 

And just like a funfetti cupcake, it leaves you with a sugar high from how fun and cute a read this is. 

Just like a sweet treat, it’s not something you have all the time but in times like these, it’s the best remedy for a not so good, not so terrible day, or sometimes just random meh days in between. 

Library Loot (March 31 to April 6)

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Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Sharlene from Real Life Reading that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries.

Happy Wednesday!

The very excellent library-related news is that the library is open! Right now only the main branch of the library is open, but hey, that’s the one that’s closest to me anyway.

So it was with excitement (and a bit of anxiety, as I always feel a bit anxious when heading indoors these days), that I went to the library on a Wednesday morning, just when they opened. The husband works from home and the kids were in remote learning – I usually have to keep an eye on them but I figured, a quick half hour or so would be ok, all for the love of books!

They’ve changed things, adding someone to man the front entrance to answer questions and probably make sure everyone is masked up etc. They’ve spaced out the machines, the holds section, pushed out some children’s books shelves so that the space isn’t so tight. There’s still no-contact pick-up for those who don’t want to venture inside.

But it was a lovely 15 minutes spent inside picking up my holds, talking to a librarian because I couldn’t find one of my holds (looks like it’s still in quarantine), then grabbing a few books for the kids off the new children’s books section.

Ok, so here’s what I got this week:

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The Absolute Book – Elizabeth Knox

Taryn Cornick believes that the past–her sister’s violent death, and her own ill-conceived revenge–is behind her, and she can get on with her life. She has written a successful book about the things that threaten libraries: insects, damp, light, fire, carelessness and uncaring . . . but not all of the attention it brings her is good.

A policeman, Jacob Berger, questions her about a cold case. Then there are questions about a fire in the library at her grandparents’ house and an ancient scroll box known as the Firestarter, as well as threatening phone calls and a mysterious illness. Finally a shadowy young man named Shift appears, forcing Taryn and Jacob toward a reckoning felt in more than one world.

The Absolute Book is epic, action-packed fantasy in which hidden treasures are recovered, wicked things resurface, birds can talk, and dead sisters are a living force. It is a book of journeys and returns, from contemporary England to Auckland, New Zealand; from a magical fairyland to Purgatory. Above all, it is a declaration of love for stories and the ways in which they shape our worlds and create gods out of morals.

Banned Book Club – Kim Hyun Sook and Ko Hyung-Ju 

When Kim Hyun Sook started college in 1983 she was ready for her world to open up. After acing her exams and sort-of convincing her traditional mother that it was a good idea for a woman to go to college, she looked forward to soaking up the ideas of Western Literature far from the drudgery she was promised at her family’s restaurant. But literature class would prove to be just the start of a massive turning point, still focused on reading but with life-or-death stakes she never could have imagined.

This was during South Korea’s Fifth Republic, a military regime that entrenched its power through censorship, torture, and the murder of protestors. In this charged political climate, with Molotov cocktails flying and fellow students disappearing for hours and returning with bruises, Hyun Sook sought refuge in the comfort of books. When the handsome young editor of the school newspaper invited her to his reading group, she expected to pop into the cafeteria to talk about Moby Dick, Hamlet, and The Scarlet Letter. Instead she found herself hiding in a basement as the youngest member of an underground banned book club. And as Hyun Sook soon discovered, in a totalitarian regime, the delights of discovering great works of illicit literature are quickly overshadowed by fear and violence as the walls close in.

In BANNED BOOK CLUB, Hyun Sook shares a dramatic true story of political division, fear-mongering, anti-intellectualism, the death of democratic institutions, and the relentless rebellion of reading. 

The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water – Zen Cho

Zen Cho returns with a found family wuxia fantasy that combines the vibrancy of old school martial arts movies with characters drawn from the margins of history.

A bandit walks into a coffeehouse, and it all goes downhill from there. Guet Imm, a young votary of the Order of the Pure Moon, joins up with an eclectic group of thieves (whether they like it or not) in order to protect a sacred object, and finds herself in a far more complicated situation than she could have ever imagined.

Anna K: A Love Story – Jenny Lee

Every happy teenage girl is the same, while every unhappy teenage girl is miserable in her own special way.

Meet Anna K. At seventeen, she is at the top of Manhattan and Greenwich society (even if she prefers the company of her horses and Newfoundland dogs); she has the perfect (if perfectly boring) boyfriend, Alexander W.; and she has always made her Korean-American father proud (even if he can be a little controlling). Meanwhile, Anna’s brother, Steven, and his girlfriend, Lolly, are trying to weather a sexting scandal; Lolly’s little sister, Kimmie, is struggling to recalibrate to normal life after an injury derails her ice dancing career; and Steven’s best friend, Dustin, is madly (and one-sidedly) in love with Kimmie.

As her friends struggle with the pitfalls of ordinary teenage life, Anna always seems to be able to sail gracefully above it all. That is…until the night she meets Alexia “Count” Vronsky at Grand Central. A notorious playboy who has bounced around boarding schools and who lives for his own pleasure, Alexia is everything Anna is not. But he has never been in love until he meets Anna, and maybe she hasn’t, either. As Alexia and Anna are pulled irresistibly together, she has to decide how much of her life she is willing to let go for the chance to be with him. And when a shocking revelation threatens to shatter their relationship, she is forced to question if she has ever known herself at all.

Dazzlingly opulent and emotionally riveting, Anna K.: A Love Storyis a brilliant reimagining of Leo Tolstoy’s timeless love story, Anna Karenina―but above all, it is a novel about the dizzying, glorious, heart-stopping experience of first love and first heartbreak.

The kids’ loot:

What did you get from your library this week?

Places In Books I Wouldn’t Want to Live In #TopTenTuesday

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is:

Places In Books I’d Love to Live

I wasn’t really feeling this topic (I imagine I would give answers that everyone else would have. Rivendell? New Zealand? Narnia?). So I decided to turn it upside down and go with….

Places In Books I Wouldn’t Want to Live In

Panem (The Hunger Games). Being made to watch death matches aren’t my thing, no thanks.

Mordor (Lord of the Rings). Orcs and giant spiders and that creepy eye always staring at you. I’ll pass.

The alternate timeline world of 1984 (1984). Big Brother is always watching.

The world of Fahrenheit 451. No books!! Sadness…

The America of Vox by Christina Dalcher. Women get an electric shock once they exceed 100 words a day! Also, once again, no books.

Similarly, the America of The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood.  Whether as a handmaid, aunt, or a wife. It all sounds horrible.

Hill House (The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson). Ugh, creepy.

The California of Gold Fame Citrus by Claire Watkins. I feel like we’re already heading there, since we have once again had a very dry winter. So I definitely hope this isn’t out real future.

The society in Blindness by Jose Saramago. It was published in 1995 and it looks like I read it in 2007.


Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018.