Library Loot (December 1 to 7)

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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. And happy December! How is it that we’re already in the last month of the year? I am so not ready for this….!

Claire has the link-up this week.

What I got from the library this week:

The synopsis of this book sounded interesting! Also, I really liked Ozeki’s A Tale for the Time Being and My Year of Meats

The Book of Form and Emptiness – Ruth Ozeki

After the tragic death of his beloved musician father, fourteen-year-old Benny Oh begins to hear voices. The voices belong to the things in his house–a sneaker, a broken Christmas ornament, a piece of wilted lettuce. Although Benny doesn’t understand what these things are saying, he can sense their emotional tone; some are pleasant, a gentle hum or coo, but others are snide, angry and full of pain. When his mother, Annabelle, develops a hoarding problem, the voices grow more clamorous.

At first, Benny tries to ignore them, but soon the voices follow him outside the house, onto the street and at school, driving him at last to seek refuge in the silence of a large public library, where objects are well-behaved and know to speak in whispers. There, Benny discovers a strange new world, where “things happen.” He falls in love with a mesmerizing street artist with a smug pet ferret, who uses the library as her performance space. He meets a homeless philosopher-poet, who encourages him to ask important questions and find his own voice amongst the many.

And he meets his very own Book–a talking thing–who narrates Benny’s life and teaches him to listen to the things that truly matter.

With its blend of sympathetic characters, riveting plot, and vibrant engagement with everything from jazz, to climate change, to our attachment to material possessions, The Book of Form and Emptiness is classic Ruth Ozeki–bold, wise, poignant, playful, humane and heartbreaking.

Hey I also got some physical books! The only author I’ve read here is Zen Cho. The rest are new to me. But I’ve had my eye on Folklorn for a while. The rest were randomly picked up browsing the shelves. And yes, I was browsing the middle grade fiction shelves looking for books for the 10yo, and decided that this book’s title sounded just right for me.

Black Water Sister – Zen Cho

Jessamyn Teoh is closeted, broke and moving back to Malaysia, a country she left when she was a toddler. So when Jess starts hearing voices, she chalks it up to stress. But there’s only one voice in her head, and it claims to be the ghost of her estranged grandmother, Ah Ma. In life Ah Ma was a spirit medium, the avatar of a mysterious deity called the Black Water Sister. Now she’s determined to settle a score against a gang boss who has offended the god–and she’s decided Jess is going to help her do it.

Drawn into a world of gods, ghosts, and family secrets, Jess finds that making deals with capricious spirits is a dangerous business. As Jess fights for retribution for Ah Ma, she’ll also need to regain control of her body and destiny. If she fails, the Black Water Sister may finish her off for good.

Folklorn – Angela Mi Young Hur

Elsa Park is a particle physicist at the top of her game, stationed at a neutrino observatory in the Antarctic, confident she’s put enough distance between her ambitions and the family ghosts she’s run from all her life. But it isn’t long before her childhood imaginary friend—an achingly familiar, spectral woman in the snow—comes to claim her at last.

Years ago, Elsa’s now-catatonic mother had warned her that the women of their line were doomed to repeat the narrative lives of their ancestors from Korean myth and legend. But beyond these ghosts, Elsa also faces a more earthly fate: the mental illness and generational trauma that run in her immigrant family, a sickness no less ravenous than the ancestral curse hunting her.

When her mother breaks her decade-long silence and tragedy strikes, Elsa must return to her childhood home in California. There, among family wrestling with their own demons, she unravels the secrets hidden in the handwritten pages of her mother’s dark stories: of women’s desire and fury; of magic suppressed, stolen, or punished; of the hunger for vengeance.

From Sparks Fellow, Tin House alumna, and Harvard graduate Angela Mi Young Hur, Folklorn is a wondrous and necessary exploration of the myths we inherit and those we fashion for ourselves.

The Truth About Twinkie Pie – Kat Yeh

Take two sisters making it on their own: brainy twelve-year-old GiGi and junior-high-dropout-turned-hairstylist DiDi. Add a million dollars in prize money from a national cooking contest and a move from the trailer parks of South Carolina to the North Shore of Long Island. Mix in a fancy new school, new friends and enemies, a first crush, and a generous sprinkling of family secrets.

That’s the recipe for The Truth About Twinkie Pie, a voice-driven middle-grade debut about the true meaning of family and friendship.

The Queer Principles of Kit Webb – Cat Sebastian

Kit Webb has left his stand-and-deliver days behind him. But dreary days at his coffee shop have begun to make him pine for the heady rush of thievery. When a handsome yet arrogant aristocrat storms into his shop, Kit quickly realizes he may be unable to deny whatever this highborn man desires.

In order to save himself and a beloved friend, Percy, Lord Holland must go against every gentlemanly behavior he holds dear to gain what he needs most: a book that once belonged to his mother, a book his father never lets out of his sight and could be Percy’s savior. More comfortable in silk-filled ballrooms than coffee shops frequented by criminals, his attempts to hire the roughly hewn highwayman, formerly known as Gladhand Jack, proves equal parts frustrating and electrifying.

Kit refuses to participate in the robbery but agrees to teach Percy how to do the deed. Percy knows he has little choice but to submit and as the lessons in thievery begin, he discovers thievery isn’t the only crime he’s desperate to commit with Kit.

But when their careful plan goes dangerously wrong and shocking revelations threaten to tear them apart, can these stolen hearts withstand the impediments in their path? 

The kids’ loot:

Library Loot (November 24 to 30)

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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! What did you get from your library this week? Link-up below or let us know in the comments!

What I got from the library this week:

Lovely Castle in the Mirror – Mizuki Tsujimura

Seven students are avoiding going to school, hiding in their darkened bedrooms, unable to face their family and friends, until the moment they discover a portal into another world that offers temporary escape from their stressful lives. Passing through a glowing mirror, they gather in a magnifcent castle which becomes their playground and refuge during school hours. The students are tasked with locating a key, hidden somewhere in the castle, that will allow whoever finds it to be granted one wish. At this moment, the castle will vanish, along with all memories they may have of their adventure. If they fail to leave the castle by 5 pm every afternoon, they will be eaten by the keeper of the castle, an easily provoked and shrill creature named the Wolf Queen.

Delving into their emotional lives with sympathy and a generous warmth, Lonely Castle in the Mirror shows the unexpected rewards of reaching out to others. Exploring vivid human stories with a twisty and puzzle-like plot, this heart-warming novel is full of joy and hope for anyone touched by sadness and vulnerability.

This book and the next one are from the Tournament of Books longlist.

How to Wrestle a Girl – Venita Blackburn

Venita Blackburn’s characters bully and suffer, spit and tease, mope and blame. They’re hyperaware of their bodies and fiercely observant, fending off the failures and advances of adults with indifferent ease. In “Biology Class,” they torment a teacher to the point of near insanity, while in “Bear Bear Harvest(TM),” they prepare to sell their excess fat and skin for food processing. Stark and sharp, hilarious and ominous, these pieces are scabbed, bruised, and prone to scarring.

Many of the stories, set in Southern California, follow a teenage girl in the aftermath of her beloved father’s death and capture her sister’s and mother’s encounters with men of all ages, as well as the girl’s budding attraction to her best friend, Esperanza. In and out of school, participating in wrestling and softball, attending church with her hysterically complicated family, and dominating boys in arm wrestling, she grapples with her burgeoning queerness and her emerging body, becoming wary of clarity rather than hoping for it.

A rising star, Blackburn is a trailblazing stylist, and in How to Wrestle a Girl she masterfully shakes loose a vision of girlhood that is raw, vulnerable, and never at ease.

I thought it was interesting how different these two book covers are. I believe the bottom image is the British cover.

The Other Black Girl – Zakiya Dalila Harris

Twenty-six-year-old editorial assistant Nella Rogers is tired of being the only Black employee at Wagner Books. Fed up with the isolation and microaggressions, she’s thrilled when Harlem-born and bred Hazel starts working in the cubicle beside hers. They’ve only just started comparing natural hair care regimens, though, when a string of uncomfortable events elevates Hazel to Office Darling, and Nella is left in the dust.

Then the notes begin to appear on Nella’s desk: LEAVE WAGNER. NOW.

It’s hard to believe Hazel is behind these hostile messages. But as Nella starts to spiral and obsess over the sinister forces at play, she soon realizes that there’s a lot more at stake than just her career.

A whip-smart and dynamic thriller and sly social commentary that is perfect for anyone who has ever felt manipulated, threatened, or overlooked in the workplace, The Other Black Girlwill keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last twist.

It’s Monday (November 22, 2021)

The kids are on break this whole week!

Currently…

Reading:

Iron Widow – Xiran Jay Zhao
Race to the Sun – Rebecca Roanhorse

Watching:

Baking Impossible. I’m enjoying this show that combines a baker and an engineer for really fun baking challenges like making a boat – that can actually float on water and make it to the end of the water course.

Listening:

The Storyteller – Dave Grohl

Eating and Drinking:

I’m eating a digestive biscuit and having lemongrass tea. I’m actually writing this on Sunday afternoon for a change!

Cooking:

Well, if you’re in the US, hope you have a lovely and safe Thanksgiving! We don’t do your traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Except for one year when my mom came to visit us and I actually ordered a turkey, cooking all the different sides too. Our typical thanksgiving feast is hotpot!

Last week:

I read:

The Love Hypothesis – Ali Hazelwood

I posted:

Library Loot (November 17 to 23)

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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 (November 17 to 23)

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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. Oh boy, November is going by fast! Claire has the link-up this week.

What I got from the library this week:

The Storyteller – Dave Grohl

So, I’ve written a book.

Having entertained the idea for years, and even offered a few questionable opportunities (‘It’s a piece of cake! Just do four hours of interviews, find someone else to write it, put your face on the cover, and voila!’), I have decided to write these stories just as I have always done, in my own hand. The joy that I have felt from chronicling these tales is not unlike listening back to a song that I’ve recorded and can’t wait to share with the world, or reading a primitive journal entry from a stained notebook, or even hearing my voice bounce between the Kiss posters on my wall as a child. 

This certainly doesn’t mean that I’m quitting my day job, but it does give me a place to shed a little light on what it’s like to be a kid from Springfield, Virginia, walking through life while living out the crazy dreams I had as young musician. From hitting the road with Scream at 18 years old, to my time in Nirvana and the Foo Fighters, jamming with Iggy Pop or playing at the Academy Awards or dancing with AC/DC and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, drumming for Tom Petty or meeting Sir Paul McCartney at Royal Albert Hall, bedtime stories with Joan Jett or a chance meeting with Little Richard, to flying halfway around the world for one epic night with my daughters…the list goes on. I look forward to focusing the lens through which I see these memories a little sharper for you with much excitement.

Ah that good old fake boyfriend trope! I kept seeing this book everywhere. So I had put a hold on it, and the library gave me a “skip the line” loan for 7 days. Luckily it’s probably a quick read.

The Love Hypothesis – Ali Hazelwood

As a third-year Ph.D. candidate, Olive Smith doesn’t believe in lasting romantic relationships–but her best friend does, and that’s what got her into this situation. Convincing Anh that Olive is dating and well on her way to a happily ever after was always going to take more than hand-wavy Jedi mind tricks: Scientists require proof. So, like any self-respecting biologist, Olive panics and kisses the first man she sees.

That man is none other than Adam Carlsen, a young hotshot professor–and well-known ass. Which is why Olive is positively floored when Stanford’s reigning lab tyrant agrees to keep her charade a secret and be her fake boyfriend. But when a big science conference goes haywire, putting Olive’s career on the Bunsen burner, Adam surprises her again with his unyielding support and even more unyielding…six-pack abs.

Suddenly their little experiment feels dangerously close to combustion. And Olive discovers that the only thing more complicated than a hypothesis on love is putting her own heart under the microscope.

This book sounds a bit like that movie with the giant mech, Pacific Rim. Love that it’s a female main character.

Iron Widow – Xiran Jay Zhao

The boys of Huaxia dream of pairing up with girls to pilot Chrysalises, giant transforming robots that can battle the mecha aliens that lurk beyond the Great Wall. It doesn’t matter that the girls often die from the mental strain. 

When 18-year-old Zetian offers herself up as a concubine-pilot, it’s to assassinate the ace male pilot responsible for her sister’s death. But she gets her vengeance in a way nobody expected—she kills him through the psychic link between pilots and emerges from the cockpit unscathed. She is labeled an Iron Widow, a much-feared and much-silenced kind of female pilot who can sacrifice boys to power up Chrysalises instead.​ 

To tame her unnerving yet invaluable mental strength, she is paired up with Li Shimin, the strongest and most controversial male pilot in Huaxia​. But now that Zetian has had a taste of power, she will not cower so easily. She will miss no opportunity to leverage their combined might and infamy to survive attempt after attempt on her life, until she can figure out exactly why the pilot system works in its misogynist way—and stop more girls from being sacrificed. 

I’ve been meaning to read this book for a while now.

The Marrow Thieves – Cherie Dimaline

In a futuristic world ravaged by global warming, people have lost the ability to dream, and the dreamlessness has led to widespread madness. The only people still able to dream are North America’s Indigenous people, and it is their marrow that holds the cure for the rest of the world. But getting the marrow, and dreams, means death for the unwilling donors. Driven to flight, a fifteen-year-old and his companions struggle for survival, attempt to reunite with loved ones and take refuge from the “recruiters” who seek them out to bring them to the marrow-stealing “factories.” 

Black Forest Cake 2021 #WeekendCooking

The husband’s favourite cake is Black Forest cake. And I’ve been making one for him for his birthday every October since at least 2013. And this year’s was the tallest one yet.

Here is last year’s Black Forest cake.

As I’ve done for the past couple of years, the cake layers are made using this King Arthur Flour recipe. It’s a hot water chocolate cake and it’s simple and nice and light. This is important in Black Forest cake. The layers of cake sandwich whipped cream and cherry preserve, so a rich cake is just too much.

For the cherry preserve, I used frozen cherries since they’re not in season in autumn. I use this recipe for the cherries and the whipped cream, slightly reducing the icing sugar in the cream to about 200grams. I didn’t add the chocolate ganache but instead topped the cake with chocolate shavings that I peeled from a bar of dark chocolate.

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Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog’s home page

Library Loot (November 10 to 16)

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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 and happy Library Loot day. What did you get from your library this week? Let us know in the link-up or comment below!

Also, this week’s loot is safe to look at. No horror!

What I got from the library this week:

Ms Marvel Team-Up – Eve L Ewing, Joey Vazquez

Kamala Khan steps into the starring role of one of Marvel’s all-time classic comic book titles – yes, she’s putting the “Ms.” into Marvel Team-Up! And, fittingly, the ever-sociable Spider-Man swings by to hand over the mantle! After a science demonstration at Empire State University goes awry, Ms. Marvel and Spidey find themselves tangled up in the same chaotic adventure. Is it destiny? Or disaster?! And can the two heroes put their heads together and find a way to save the day? The Marvel Universe awaits Kamala in this mind-bending and magnificent new series!

Race to the Sun – Rebecca Roanhorse

Lately, seventh grader Nizhoni Begay has been able to detect monsters, like that man in the fancy suit who was in the bleachers at her basketball game. Turns out he’s Mr. Charles, her dad’s new boss at the oil and gas company, and he’s alarmingly interested in Nizhoni and her brother, Mac, their Navajo heritage, and the legend of the Hero Twins. Nizhoni knows he’s a threat, but her father won’t believe her.

When Dad disappears the next day, leaving behind a message that says “Run!”, the siblings and Nizhoni’s best friend, Davery, are thrust into a rescue mission that can only be accomplished with the help of Diné Holy People, all disguised as quirky characters. Their aid will come at a price: the kids must pass a series of trials in which it seems like nature itself is out to kill them. If Nizhoni, Mac, and Davery can reach the House of the Sun, they will be outfitted with what they need to defeat the ancient monsters Mr. Charles has unleashed. But it will take more than weapons for Nizhoni to become the hero she was destined to be . . .

I’m drawn to books written by or set in Southeast Asia, and this one sounds interesting.

The Majesties – Tiffany Tsao

In this riveting tale about the secrets and betrayals that can accompany exorbitant wealth, two sisters from a Chinese-Indonesian family grapple with the past after one of them poisons their entire family. 

Gwendolyn and Estella have always been as close as sisters can be. Growing up in a wealthy, eminent, and sometimes deceitful family, they’ve relied on each other for support and confidence. But now Gwendolyn is lying in a coma, the sole survivor of Estella’s poisoning of their whole clan. 

As Gwendolyn struggles to regain consciousness, she desperately retraces her memories, trying to uncover the moment that led to this shocking and brutal act. Was it their aunt’s mysterious death at sea? Estella’s unhappy marriage to a dangerously brutish man? Or were the shifting loyalties and unspoken resentments at the heart of their opulent world too much to bear? Can Gwendolyn, at last, confront the carefully buried mysteries in their family’s past and the truth about who she and her sister really are? 

Traveling from the luxurious world of the rich and powerful in Indonesia to the most spectacular shows at Paris Fashion Week, from the sunny coasts of California to the melting pot of Melbourne’s university scene, The Majesties is a haunting and deeply evocative novel about the dark secrets that can build a family empire—and also bring it crashing down.

It’s Monday (November 8, 2021)

Hey, it’s Monday again.

Once again, I’m not prepared for Monday…and am writing this post on Monday itself ^O^

Some things last week:

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Found these cute pyrex bowls at Costco!
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First time making vegetable pajeon (Korean pancakes). Need to get it crispier next time!
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Visited an indie bookstore and picked up some books for the kids

Currently…

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The Hand on the Wall – Maureen Johnson

Sal and Gabi Break the Universe – Carlos Hernandez

Watching:

Still slowly watching Record of Youth

Listening:

Summer – Edith Wharton

Eating and Drinking:

I made a butter mocha cake (with added pandan paste to give it a more Singapore flavour). And that’s what I had at teatime.

Cooking:

We actually turned on the heater this morning! It was about 7 C so the house was chilly. So I may want to do some baked pasta this week.

Then again, the 8yo has asked for spaghetti bolognese. Is that too much pasta for one week?

Last week:

I read:

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The Best American Travel Writing 2020

Nothing But Blackened Teeth – Cassandra Khaw

Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur volumes 1 to 4

I posted:

Library Loot (November 3 to 9)

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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 (November 3 to 9)

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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.

Hey, it’s the first Library Loot of November!

Claire has the link-up this week.

What I got from the library this week:

The Hand on the Wall – Maureen Johnson (book 3 in the Truly Devious series)

I won’t add the synopsis here since it’s the third book, and may have spoilers if you haven’t read the previous books. But I have to say that this series is a really fun read!

I don’t think I’ve read anything by Sarah Vaughan before this.

Anatomy of a Scandal – Sarah Vaughan

An astonishingly incisive and suspenseful novel about a scandal amongst Britain’s privileged elite and the women caught up in its wake. Sophie’s husband James is a loving father, a handsome man, a charismatic and successful public figure. And yet he stands accused of a terrible crime. Sophie is convinced he is innocent and desperate to protect her precious family from the lies that threaten to rip them apart. Kate is the lawyer hired to prosecute the case: an experienced professional who knows that the law is all about winning the argument. And yet Kate seeks the truth at all times. She is certain James is guilty and is determined he will pay for his crimes. Who is right about James? Sophie or Kate? And is either of them informed by anything more than instinct and personal experience? Despite her privileged upbringing, Sophie is well aware that her beautiful life is not inviolable. She has known it since she and James were first lovers, at Oxford, and she witnessed how easily pleasure could tip into tragedy. Most people would prefer not to try to understand what passes between a man and a woman when they are alone: alone in bed, alone in an embrace, alone in an elevator…Or alone in the moonlit courtyard of an Oxford college, where a girl once stood before a boy, heart pounding with excitement, then fear. Sophie never understood why her tutorial partner Holly left Oxford so abruptly. What would she think, if she knew the truth?

Gaaahhhhh…that cover….

Nothing But Blackened Teeth – Cassandra Khaw

A Heian-era mansion stands abandoned, its foundations resting on the bones of a bride and its walls packed with the remains of the girls sacrificed to keep her company.

It’s the perfect wedding venue for a group of thrill-seeking friends.

But a night of food, drinks, and games quickly spirals into a nightmare. For lurking in the shadows is the ghost bride with a black smile and a hungry heart.

And she gets lonely down there in the dirt. 

It’s Monday (November 1, 2021)

Oh boy, we are in the final two months of the year. I am not ready for this.

Some things last week:

Well, that was an exciting week. It was the husband’s birthday. Also, Halloween and the lead-up to Halloween which was Friday at school when the kids got to wear their costumes to school and have a mini school parade. Unfortunately, parents aren’t allowed on the campus when school is in session so we had to rely on photos taken before school, and photos from the teachers.

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The kids went trick-or-treating around our neighbourhood, hitting up a few more houses than last time. We skipped last year’s Halloween. So the kids really were looking forward to this year.
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The kids had fun trading their candy. And because none of them like chocolate with nuts or mint, I got a ziplock bag full of that for myself 🙂
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Since 2013, I’ve made Black Forest cakes for the husband’s birthday! Here’s last year’s cake. I’ll put up a post later this week about this year’s cake.
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He wanted to have KBBQ so we got sliced meats from HMart. Bulgogi, wagyu short rib, and pork belly. Also we had mushrooms, asparagus, and lettuce.

Currently…

Reading:

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It’s Nonfiction November. So I’m reading a few different nonfiction collections.

Watching:

Record of Youth

Listening:

Summer – Edith Wharton

Eating and Drinking:

Coffee and a slice of Black Forest cake.

Cooking:

We have some extra bulgogi, so I’ll just cook some rice and bulgogi for dinner tonight. And then the asparagus since I have some leftover.

Later this week, maybe pork chops. Also, we might be getting more rain later today and Thursday? I want to make some soup!

Last week:

I read:

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Broken Girls – Simone St James
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Oh the Truly Devious series is truly brilliant. This is the second book, and I can’t wait to start the third. .

I posted:

Library Loot (October 27 to November 2)

Recent creepy reads #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 (October 27 to November 2)

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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. How’s your week going?

What did you get from your library this week? Use the link-up above or let us known in the comments!

What I got from the library this week:

A random mix this week. Middle-grade fiction, nonfiction, and a classic!

Sal and Gabi Break the Universe – Carlos Hernandez

What would you do if you had the power to reach through time and space and retrieve anything you want, including your mother, who is no longer living (in this universe, anyway)? 
When Sal Vidon meets Gabi Real for the first time, it isn’t under the best of circumstances. Sal is in the principal’s office for the third time in three days, and it’s still the first week of school. Gabi, student council president and editor of the school paper, is there to support her friend Yasmany, who just picked a fight with Sal. She is determined to prove that somehow, Sal planted a raw chicken in Yasmany’s locker, even though nobody saw him do it and the bloody poultry has since mysteriously disappeared. 
Sal prides himself on being an excellent magician, but for this sleight of hand, he relied on a talent no one would guess . . . except maybe Gabi, whose sharp eyes never miss a trick. When Gabi learns that he’s capable of conjuring things much bigger than a chicken–including his dead mother–and she takes it all in stride, Sal knows that she is someone he can work with. There’s only one slight problem: their manipulation of time and space could put the entire universe at risk.
A sassy entropy sweeper, a documentary about wedgies, a principal who wears a Venetian bauta mask, and heaping platefuls of Cuban food are just some of the delights that await in his mind-blowing novel gift-wrapped in love and laughter.

The Best American Travel Writing 2020 – edited by Robert MacFarlane

The year’s best travel writing, as chosen by series editor Jason Wilson and guest editor Robert Macfarlane.

An eclectic compendium of the best travel writing essays published in 2019, collected by esteemed guest editor Robert Macfarlane, author of Mountains of the Mind and UnderlandThe Best American Travel Writing gathers together a satisfyingly varied medley of perspectives, all exploring what it means to travel somewhere new. For the past two decades, readers have come to recognize this annual volume as the gold standard for excellence in travel writing.

Train to Pakistan – Khushwant Singh

“In the summer of 1947, when the creation of the state of Pakistan was formally announced, ten million people—Muslims and Hindus and Sikhs—were in flight. By the time the monsoon broke, almost a million of them were dead, and all of northern India was in arms, in terror, or in hiding. The only remaining oases of peace were a scatter of little villages lost in the remote reaches of the frontier. One of these villages was Mano Majra.”

It is a place, Khushwant Singh goes on to tell us at the beginning of this classic novel, where Sikhs and Muslims have lived together in peace for hundreds of years. Then one day, at the end of the summer, the “ghost train” arrives, a silent, incredible funeral train loaded with the bodies of thousands of refugees, bringing the village its first taste of the horrors of the civil war. Train to Pakistan is the story of this isolated village that is plunged into the abyss of religious hate. It is also the story of a Sikh boy and a Muslim girl whose love endured and transcends the ravages of war.

Nonfiction November’s coming up! Also, this fits a prompt in the Read Harder Challenge –  Read a nonfiction book about anti-racism 

The Good Immigrant – edited by Nikesh Shukla

How does it feel to be constantly regarded as a potential threat, strip-searched at every airport?

Or be told that, as an actress, the part you’re most fitted to play is ‘wife of a terrorist’? How does it feel to have words from your native language misused, misappropriated and used aggressively towards you? How does it feel to hear a child of colour say in a classroom that stories can only be about white people? How does it feel to go ‘home’ to India when your home is really London? What is it like to feel you always have to be an ambassador for your race? How does it feel to always tick ‘Other’?

Bringing together 21 exciting black, Asian and minority ethnic voices emerging in Britain today, The Good Immigrant explores why immigrants come to the UK, why they stay and what it means to be ‘other’ in a country that doesn’t seem to want you, doesn’t truly accept you – however many generations you’ve been here – but still needs you for its diversity monitoring forms.

Inspired by discussion around why society appears to deem people of colour as bad immigrants – job stealers, benefit scroungers, undeserving refugees – until, by winning Olympic races or baking good cakes, or being conscientious doctors, they cross over and become good immigrants, editor Nikesh Shukla has compiled a collection of essays that are poignant, challenging, angry, humorous, heartbreaking, polemic, weary and – most importantly – real.