It’s Monday and I recently gave up on a book


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 was the last week of school before spring break and the preschool had an Easter egg hunt. They were very pleased to come home and ‘crack’ open all the plastic eggs and find the stickers and little trinkets inside. The school has a no candy policy, which is fantastic for nut-allergic older son.

I made lemon cupcakes with salted vanilla frosting (and dinosaur sprinkles)

And ate chirashi.

My in-laws arrived from Singapore on Saturday bearing all sorts of packets and pastes and kuehs. These pastes are the most convenient way to make a lot of Singapore-style dishes as they’re kind of like spice blends. There is laksa, Mee soto, lontong. Mostly spicy stuff! My m-i-l made pineapple tarts and brought pineapple paste to make more tarts when she’s here!


Easter Sunday was my father-in-law’s birthday, so we had a Korean lunch, then a lovely Black Forest cake at home. Then a fancy (but early!) dinner at Sundance the Steakhouse in Palo Alto.  


And without hesitation, I signed up for the Dewey’s 24-hour Readathon! It’s on April 23 and you can sign up here. 





On Hawthorn Time – Melissa Harrison


The Wrath and the Dawn – Renee Ahdieh


Wild Girl – Kate Forsyth

DNF: Now I tend not to talk about DNF-ed books but I think I may mention them once in a while. Like A Dictionary of Mutual Understanding by Wendy Copleton which was longlisted for the Baileys Women’s prize and seems to have decent reviews on Goodreads. It started ok. It’s set largely in Japan, a Japanese woman learns that her grandson, thought to have died in the Nagasaki bombing, may still be alive. Sounds promising but there were some details in the book that just seemed a bit too modern for Japan at the time. Like when a 16-year-old Japanese girl (in the 1930s) goes to see a male doctor on her own. I find that odd as I had recently read Junichiro Tanizaki’s Makioka Sisters about four sisters who live in Osaka in the late 1930s and early 1940s. Their lives are very cloistered, the third sister, unmarried, doesn’t seem to do much on her own. If she goes anywhere it is often with a sister. And she is 30 years old. Ok so maybe not every family was like that but some of the details of the lives of these Japanese people in Copleton’s book seemed more modern than the 1930s and 1940s Japan.


The L Word


Still listening to Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari. Yup it takes me ages to listen to an audiobook!


Chocolate batons from Royce. It has some coconut in it and it is so addictive! Royce is a Japanese chocolate brand and they (like many other Japanese companies/stores) offer a fukubukuo or Lucky Bag on New Year’s Day. So we grabbed a Royce fukubukuro at Mitsuwa in January and other than these chocolate batons, there was chocolate too. Yum.


Green tea


Probably from one of those many pastes from Singapore. I’m looking forward to some soto ayam (a kind of spiced chicken soup)


Erased from history: Too many women writers — like Constance Fenimore Woolson — are left to languish in moldy archives. What will it take to bring them back? (Salon)

Kerry at Pickle Me This always highlights such interesting picture books! Love the sound of these two.

Over at Lit Hub, the Grumpy Librarian makes suggestions for books: just send over two books you love, and one you… don’t. The Grumpy Librarian will do the math and provide you with the ideal next read.

How to Make the Crispiest, Dreamiest Macaroni and Cheese (Food 52)

Also, I definitely need to give most of the recipes in Food 52’s essential guide of brownies a try (except the ones with nuts and cheesecake. I do not like cheesecake. I love nuts in brownies but my son is allergic).
Added to my TBR list: Half a Lifelong Romance by Eileen Chang (thanks to Shelf Love)


Last week:

I read:


Arcadia – Lauren Groff
(oh my word! This book is filled with SUCH AWESOMENESS. I was on the fence about Fates and Furies but with this book – published in 2012 – Groff has me sold. I will now read everything she writes. Or at least that’s on my to do list.)


Ivar, Timewalker Vol 1 

One of the best things about this series is that one of the main characters is an Indian woman, a scientist named Neela Sethi.

I posted:


Weekend Cooking: Lemon cupcakes with salted vanilla frosting

More #weirdathon comics like Faith and Starve!

A Day in the Life with two little boys

Ten books I love but haven’t talked about in a while


What are you reading this week?


  1. I’ve read the Monsters of Templeton, now I’m defiantly going to have to read Arcadia! Thanks for the suggestion. I’m currently reading At the Water’s Edge by Sara Gruen, can’t comment on it yet as I’ve only got through the first 2 chapters 😉


  2. Happy easter! Your boys look happy 🙂 Still jealous over their dinosaur sprinkles.
    I enjoyed Groff’s first book, too, so I’ll put this one on my tbr! Heh audiobooks take me ages, too! I just don’t have a handy regular commute right now. Also, might put the Anzari on my tbr, funny sociology sounds really good.


  3. Hmmm… I have to decide what restaurant to take my dad to in summer for his 70th birthday. I’m thinking about either high end dim sum or Korean. I have never been Korean before, but your pictures have definitely put it on the list. I’ll be doing some enjoyable research i order to make my decision.
    Isn’t a badly researched historical book annoying? One of my favourite books is Philip Hensher’s The Emperor Waltz, set in historical Rome and pre-Nazi Germany and the gay 80s scene. Everything is so subtly and meticulous researched, I went to a talk where he described all the reading he did around those periods. It’s just lazy for people to produce out of context historical novels.


    1. Korean food is great! In the Bay Area at least there’s a pretty wide variety of more honestly “tofu house” and a couple of more fancy barbecue meats places (that also serve tofu and other dishes). If you guys enjoy grilled meats, kalbi (short ribs) or bulgogi (sliced beef) is also good.

      I will have to look for The Emperor Waltz. It sounds great!


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