A Happy First Birthday and Library Loot

badge-4Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Linda from Silly Little Mischief that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. 

Wee Reader’s off from school this week so it’s been a bit of a struggle wrestling with two kids on my own. Today we ventured to the library, where we bumped into a friend who was also there to attend the bilingual (English/Mandarin) storytime. I wasn’t sure if the baby could sit through it, but he did pretty well. The kids enjoyed the stories and the singing. And best of all was the stay and play time after, with a variety of toys and stickers after.


And most importantly, a very happy birthday to my one-year-old! He had a day of giggles, crawling around after his big brother, ball throwing, door opening (I bought this wooden toy with hinged doors for him and he loves it), book reading (some new books from his auntie), eating his favourite pasta for lunch, storytime at the library, and then a very uncharacteristic fussing over naptime.

One of my favourite things is getting him up in the morning. He’s never without a smile on his face. I zip down his sleep sack and he immediately pops up and stands up holding onto the crib railing. Then he bounces up and down and chats to me as I get his clothes ready and make his bed. He’s too fond of squirming around the changing table these days so it makes diaper changing tricky, but he loves a good tickle and when I hand him his favourite Lego Duplo pieces (a fire hydrant and a fire hose) he will chew one and wave the other around while I try to change him as efficiently as possible!

He’s such a smiler and a giggler. He loves to eat, especially fruits and bread but is adventurous with pretty anything, especially when we are out at restaurants! He has had all manner of foods from miso soup and Japanese rice, risotto, soft tacos and guacamole, dim sum and more. He still kicks up a fuss whenever his nose is being cleaned (right now that happens quite a bit as he has a runny nose). He adores his big brother and they have such fun together (and at other times ‘fight’ a little over toys). It’s funny how different the two of them are. His brother at this age was far more cautious and didn’t crawl very much. This one, he’s off whenever my back is turned, usually standing holding onto the safety gate and bouncing against it. Or trying to grab something behind the gate. Or banging against a door. Or pulling down a box of toys. Or banging toy pots and pans together. Sometimes it’s less destructive like shaking his head to music. Or ‘reading’ his board books. Or pulling his fire truck around.

I just can’t believe he’s one.

A very happy first birthday to my speedy, giggly, not-so-little one!

Boy, Snow, Bird – Helen Oyeyemi


In the winter of 1953, Boy Novak arrives by chance in a small town in Massachusetts, looking, she believes, for beauty—the opposite of the life she’s left behind in New York. She marries a local widower and becomes stepmother to his winsome daughter, Snow Whitman.

A wicked stepmother is a creature Boy never imagined she’d become, but elements of the familiar tale of aesthetic obsession begin to play themselves out when the birth of Boy’s daughter, Bird, who is dark-skinned, exposes the Whitmans as light-skinned African Americans passing for white. Among them, Boy, Snow, and Bird confront the tyranny of the mirror to ask how much power surfaces really hold.

Dazzlingly inventive and powerfully moving, Boy, Snow, Bird is an astonishing and enchanting novel. With breathtaking feats of imagination, Helen Oyeyemi confirms her place as one of the most original and dynamic literary voices of our time

The Sons of Heaven – Kage Baker
I’ve had far too long a break between Kage Baker’s books. If you’ve not read Kage Baker before, I highly recommend her Company series, this being the 8th book.

This is the Kage Baker novel everyone has been waiting for: the conclusion to the story of Mendoza and The Company.
In The Sons of Heaven, the forces gathering to seize power finally move on the Company. The immortal Lewis wakes to find himself blinded, crippled, and left with no weapons but his voice, his memory, and the friendship of one extraordinary little girl. Edward Alton Bell-Fairfax, resurrected Victorian superman, plans for world domination. The immortal Mendoza makes a desperate bargain to delay him. Enforcer Budu, assisted by Joseph, enlists an unexpected ally in his plans to free his old warriors and bring judgment on his former masters.
Executive Facilitator Suleyman uses his intelligence operation to uncover the secret of Alpha-Omega, vital to the mortals’ survival. The mortal masters of the Company, terrified of a coup, invest in a plan they believe will terminate their immortal servants. And they awaken a powerful AI whom they call Dr Zeus.
This web of a story is filled with great climaxes, wonderful surprises, and gripping characters many readers have grown to love or hate. It’s a triumph of SF!

Morning Glories Volume 1 – Nick Spencer

I first heard of this series from Debi when she was reading for Graphic Novels Month. 

One of the most prestigious prep schools in the country…But behind it’s hallowed doors something sinister and deadly lurks. When six brilliant but troubled new students arrive, they find themselves trapped and desperately seeking answers…and escape from a place where nothing is what it seems to be!

Morning Glories Volume 2 – Nick Spencer



Morning Glory Academy

One of the most prestigious prep schools in the country…But behind it’s hallowed doors something sinister and deadly lurks. When six brilliant but troubled new students arrive, they find themselves trapped and desperately seeking answers…and escape from a place where nothing is what it seems to be! Learn the dark secrets of the Glories’ past lives as the mystery of the Academy unfolds.

With this volume each of the six Glories (Zoe, Hunter, Jun, Jade, Ike and Casey) are spotlighted, revealing secrets of their past and questions about their future


Johnny Hiro: Half Asian, All Hero – Fred Chao


Johnny Hiro, a hardworking busboy, lives in Brooklyn with his flighty but lovable girlfriend Mayumi. Every day, he struggles to make ends meet while fighting giant monsters, running over rooftops from crazed waiters, fending off businessmen-turned-samurai, or having the occasional conversation with Judge Judy, Coolio, or Alton Brown. With Fred Chao’s signature style and laugh-out-loud humor, Johnny Hiro presents the quirky trials and misadventures of a modern-day hero trying to find his slice of the good life.

This delightfully absurdist romp through the trials and chores of living in New York was nominated for four Eisner Awards, including for best new series, and for the Russ Manning Award. It was selected for the anthology Best American Comics 2010. Prepare to be blown away by the greatest adventure of them all: being an adult.

I picked up some great e-books too!

The Golem and the Jinni – Helene Wecker

Aha, finally, this e-book is mine. Well, for three weeks that is, since it’s a library e-book that I placed a request for some weeks back. I’m so looking forward to this!

Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life by a disgraced rabbi who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic. When her master, the husband who commissioned her, dies at sea on the voyage from Poland, she is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York in 1899.

Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire, born in the ancient Syrian desert. Trapped in an old copper flask by a Bedouin wizard centuries ago, he is released accidentally by a tinsmith in a Lower Manhattan shop. Though he is no longer imprisoned, Ahmad is not entirely free – an unbreakable band of iron binds him to the physical world.

The Golem and the Jinni is their magical, unforgettable story; unlikely friends whose tenuous attachment challenges their opposing natures – until the night a terrifying incident drives them back into their separate worlds. But a powerful threat will soon bring Chava and Ahmad together again, challenging their existence and forcing them to make a fateful choice.

The Outsiders – S.E. Hinton

I figure it’s time for me to read this book


According to Ponyboy, there are two kinds of people in the world: greasers and socs. A soc (short for “social”) has money, can get away with just about anything, and has an attitude longer than a limousine. A greaser, on the other hand, always lives on the outside and needs to watch his back. Ponyboy is a greaser, and he’s always been proud of it, even willing to rumble against a gang of socs for the sake of his fellow greasers–until one terrible night when his friend Johnny kills a soc. The murder gets under Ponyboy’s skin, causing his bifurcated world to crumble and teaching him that pain feels the same whether a soc or a greaser

The kids’ loot:

What did you get from the library this week?