Series I’ve been meaning to start

toptentues

Top Ten Series I’ve Been Meaning To Start But Haven’t

I started with a few in mind then looked up some lists on Goodreads for more. And there are just so very many series out there that I want to read! Let me know which you’ve read and enjoyed.



Game of Thrones by George R R Martin

Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas 


The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare

Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson


The Fionavar Tapestry by Guy Gavriel Kay (I’ve loved some of his standalones!)


The Abhorsen Trilogy by Garth Nix (haven’t read anything by Nix before!)

The Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb (haven’t read anything by Hobb before!)


Mercy Thompson by Patricia Briggs (another new-to-me author)


The Others by Anne Bishop (new-to-me author)


Darkest Powers by Kelley Armstrong

Cainsville by Kelley Armstrong (I love her Women of the Otherworld series but haven’t read her other books) 

It’s Monday and it’s summer vacation!

 

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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

 

 

Thursday was the last day of school and the Kindergarten class had a class party with performances, awards and more. My boy received a “good citizen” award. Every kid got a different award and a medal. They were all so excited. About half of the class joined us in an after-school picnic at a nearby park. I brought the 4yo along too – he’s always joined in at their Friday after-school playground play so it’s almost like he’s part of the class. He knows many of the kids already!

I’ve signed up the 6yo for some summer camps in the area (mostly sports related), and the 4yo’s preschool is a year-round one so phew! one less thing to worry about for now.

A proud moment for me – the 6yo sat down and read most of this chapter book on his own accord! 


On Saturday we went out for an early Father’s Day lunch at Black Angus. And with Sunday being so hot, there’s nothing much to do except stay home and build Lego!

 

 

 

Currently…

 

Reading:

 

 

 

 

Watching:

Bones Season 5

 

Eating:

Waffles

Drinking:

Nespresso

Cooking:

Well this week is all about lunch – I have to pack lunches every day for the 6yo while he’s off for his sports camp! Luckily he’s happy to eat sandwiches (quite a few of his friends aren’t bread eaters!).

Maybe I’ll try my hand at onigirazu (sushi sandwiches)

Browsing:

Fun post – a book playlist for Want by Cindy Pon

Book covers of note June 2017 (The Casual Optimist)

This review of The Mountain by Paul Yoon 

Last week:

I read:
Unicorn vs Goblins – Dana Simpson
I Kissed a Squirrel and I Liked It (Squirrel Girl Vol 4) – Ryan North (Writer), Erica Henderson (Artist)
Frostbitten – (Women of the Otherworld #10) Kelley Armstrong
Paper Girls Vol 2 – Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chiang (Illustrator)
Jesus’s Son – Denis Johnson
The Dew Breaker – Edwidge Danticat
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Beats Up the Marvel Universe – Ryan North (Writer), Erica Henderson (Artist)

I posted:

 

 

It’s Monday and I’m reading Jesus’ Son

 

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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

 

It’s the last week of school for my 6yo!! He will be finishing off his year as a kindergartner and will be in first grade next year. And finally (finally!) I will have my mornings to myself again. It’s definitely been a challenging school year for us – he’s the first in the family to attend an American elementary school and it’s so different from what primary school is like in Singapore. For starters, the Singapore school year is January to December! And there are lots of tests, mid-year and end-year exams, even in Primary One.

Here, my boy attends Kindergarten in the afternoon, and it is Mandarin immersion so his main teacher speaks to the class in Mandarin only, while the AM class teacher takes over and handles the English half hour of the class. So very different! But he loves school and his friends and the fact that on Thursdays and Fridays he gets to stay after school and play in the playground with some of his classmates. And so it has been a successful year!

Anyway, this weekend…I seem to have caught a bit of a cold/itchy throat/cough thing. But I still managed to make a pandan cake, pasta salad and luckily the husband helped with making sandwiches – all for a picnic on a strangely chilly and blustery Sunday. We found a new-to-us park convenient for our friends too and for a while there it was like we had reserved the whole place for ourselves. The playground was empty and we had our pick of picnic spots. Of course some families arrived later but it was a lovely place that wasn’t as busy as the central park on a weekend. And there was even a nice field for the kids to play soccer. We are definitely coming back to this park!

 


 

 

 

 

Currently…

 

Reading:

 

 

 

 

Watching:

Bloodline on Netflix – I have a weakness for Kyle Chandler and there’s the bonus of Linda Cardellini (you may know her from Freaks and Geeks and Mad Men)

Eating:

Leftover sandwiches for dinner

Drinking:

A glass of warm milk

Browsing:

Review of The Good Immigrant (Huntress of Diverse Reads)

Not typically a book I would reach for but I’m intrigued by Deb’s description of how she was sucked into the story – White Fur by Jardine Libaire (Kahakai Kitchen)

Where are the great Italian women writers? (Lit Hub)

Last week:

I read:


The Dispossessed – Ursula K Le Guin (Loved it but may have been too heavy a book, coming from my marathon Asian Lit Bingo reading session last month which led to a book hangover).


Phantom Pains – Mishell Baker (LOVED IT)

 

 

 

It’s Monday and I’m reading The Dispossessed

 

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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

 

 

Last week saw the wrap-up of Asian Lit Bingo and I am so grateful for the organizers of this challenge! It’s an awesome way to promote and encourage the reading of books by Asian authors and I loved that the bingo topics made me challenge myself to read books I may not have tried or heard of, if not for the challenge! I didn’t do too badly with my challenge and I do want to continue finding and reading books to fill up the rest of the squares!

 



Also, we went hiking again! This time to the lovely Coyote Hills which overlooks the Dumbarton bridge and the bay. It was a bit more challenging than last week’s hike and I’m proud to say the kids did great! At last week’s hike, the 6yo declared he was tired after climbing up the hill (the 4yo wanted to keep going!). This time the path was quite steep (if not steeper), a lot further and had a lot of loose stones on the downward path. But they were raring to go and still had energy after to check out the park’s Bird and Butterfly Festival where they made butterfly pins and bee houses. It was definitely a fun Sunday.

(Saturday though, was unfortunately for me, a migraine day. I usually can manage my migraines – I get them every so often – but this one just came out of nowhere and hit me hard and I had to go lie down and close my eyes in a darkened room).

 

 

 

Currently…

 

Reading:

The Dispossessed by Ursula K Le Guin

Mind MGMT Vol 2

 

 

 

Watching:

More Gilmore Girls. The last episode of Top Gear (I must say that the season has definitely improved a lot and while I’m still not a fan of Matt LeBlanc, I don’t cringe anymore when I see him)

Listening:
The BBC Radio adaptation of Twelfth Night (I was listening to it while trying to conquer my migraine).

 

Eating:

A bagel


Drinking:

PG Tips

Cooking:

 

Browsing:

This interview with Madeleine Thien (Lit Hub)

Secrets of the Book Designer: how to design for a feminist icon (Lit Hub)

Added to my TBR list:

Shattered Minds by Laura Lam (via The Illustrated Page)

Eva Sleeps by Francesca Melandri (via Word by Word)

Not A Scientist: How Politicians Mistake, Misrepresent, and Utterly Mangle Science by Dave Levitan (via We Be Reading)

All Systems Red by Martha Wells (via SFF Book Reviews)

Last week:

I read:
Mind MGMT Vol 1 Matt Kindt
Funny Boy Shyam Selvadurai
A Time to Dance Padma Venkatraman
I posted:

#AsianLitBingo: Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai

#AsianLitBingo wrap-up

#AsianLitBingo: A Time to Dance by Padma Venkataraman

TLC Book Tours: The View from the Cheap Seats by Neil Gaiman

#AsianLitBingo: Pioneer Girl by Bich Minh Nguyen

#AsianLitBingo: The Goddess Chronicle by Natsuo Kirino

#AsianLitBingo: Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai


I’ve been wondering why I’ve not read Selvadurai’s works before. Why have his books escaped my eye? It’s such a pity because he is such a great writer.

I knew that this book was a gay coming-of-age story but didn’t know that a big part of the story would be about the riots in Sri Lanka.

“But we are a minority, and that’s a fact of life,” my father said placatingly. “As a Tamil you have to learn how to play the game. Play it right and you can do very well for yourself. The trick is not to make yourself conspicuous. Go around quietly, make your money, and don’t step on anyone’s toes.”

Funny Boy is also a story about Sri Lanka and the ethnic violence that erupted in the 1980s – which is what drove the author and his family to flee Sri Lanka for Canada. Selvadurai’s mother is Sinhalese (the majority group) and his father is Tamil. The 1983 “Black July” riots resulted in the deaths of an estimated 400 to 3,000, thousands of shops and homes destroyed, and some 150,000 people were made homeless.

What seemed disturbing, now that I thought about those 1981 riots, was that there had been no warning, no hint that they were going to happen. I looked all around me at the deserted beach, so calm in the hot sun. What was to prevent a riot from happening right now?

Arjie and his cousins spend one Sunday a month at their grandparents’ house, free of their parents. The boys play cricket for hours in the front and the field, the girls play in the back garden and porch. Arjie plays with the girls, mostly “bride-bride”, where he, being the leader of the group, plays the bride.

“I was able to leave the constraints of my self and ascent into another, more brilliant, more beautiful self, a self to whom this day was dedicated, and around whom the world, represented by my cousins putting flowers in my hair, draping the palu, seemed to revolve.”

But his “funny” ways are soon discovered and the adults insist that he stick to the boys’ games.

“I would be caught between the boys’ and the girls’ worlds, not belonging or wanted in either.”

Arjie starts to attend a new school, as his father explains, it will force him to “become a man”. It is at this academy that Arjie meets Shehan, who is rumored to be gay. They become friendly and then, more than friends, but even that is something of a risk, as Arjie is Tamil while Shehan is Sinhalese.

Throughout the book, ethnic identity is brought to the fore. Arjie’s aunt falls for a Sinhalese man. But the community’s prejudice tears them apart. His mother meets an old friend, a reporter investigating police abuses of power, who disappears in Jaffna, where violence erupted.

Funny Boy is a moving, engaging read about a young boy’s journey into adulthood in Sri Lanka.

 


I read this for Asian Lit Bingo – South Asian MC

#AsianLitBingo wrap-up

Boy did this challenge fly by.

I loved pushing myself to read – and more importantly, review! – these books in a month!

Here’s what I read. All are #ownvoices

A Time to Dance by Padma Venkataraman 

 Pioneer Girl by Bich Minh Nguyen  (South East Asian MC)

The Goddess Chronicle by Natsuo Kirino (Retelling with Asian MC)

The Boy in the Earth by Fuminori Nakamura (Translated Work by an Asian Author)

Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee  (SFF with Asian MC)

Malice by Keigo Higashino (East Asian MC)

The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig (Multiethnic Asian MC)

Does My Head Look Big In This? by Randa Abdel-Fatah (Asian Muslim MC)

Bright Lines by Tanwi Nandini Islam  (LGBTQIAP+ Asian MC)

 Goat Days by Benjamin (Poor or working class Asian MC)

Ms Marvel: Civil War II by G. Willow Wilson, Takeshi Miyazawa (Artist), Adrian Alphona (Artist) (Asian Superhero MC)

Turning Japanese by MariNaomi (Graphic novel with Asian MC)

A House Without Windows by Nadia Hashimi (Central Asian MC)

The Best We Could Do – Thi Bui (Asian Refugee MC)

#AsianLitBingo: A Time to Dance by Padma Venkataraman

I wasn’t expecting a novel in verse. And really, I didn’t know what to expect except that this book nicely fit into the Asian Lit Bingo category of “Asian MC with Disability”. And of course, dance.

“Both feet on the ground again, I pirouette and leap,

rejoicing in the speed at which

the body obeys my mind’s commands,

celebrating my strong, skilled body — 

the center and source of my joy,

the one thing I can count on,

the one thing that never fails me.”

Growing up in Singapore, I knew a little (just a little) about Indian dance. In Singapore, ‘Indians’ (that is, anyone of South Asian ethnicity) make up about 7% of the population. And at my all-girls secondary school, there was a strong Indian dance group that performed at many occasions. I remember watching them walk on stage, the bells on their legs jingling. And all the many whirling and strenuous vibrant movements they made. It was such a huge contrast to the more gentle movements that the Chinese dance troupe performed. 

Veda is a dancer. A Bharatanatyam dancer. It is her life, it is her passion, it is her world. She lives and breathes dance. 

But her world comes crashing down when she loses her leg in a car accident. She now has to figure out how to walk again with a prosthetic leg. 

“It feels like Shiva destroyed my universes of possibility,

like He’s dancing

on the ashes 

of my snatched-away dreams.”

Somehow she finds the strength in herself to learn to dance again. She finds a new teacher and begins at the beginning with the youngest dancers. 

Veda is such a great character. She’s strong and resilient yet also very vulnerable and innocent. I love that she has a great relationship with her grandmother, who encourages her dancing, while her relationship with her mother is much more constrained. 

A Time to Dance is a sweet and beautiful story with dance at its heart and a courageous inspiring young woman at its soul. 

 

I read this for Asian Lit Bingo – Asian MC with Disability