It’s Monday and I’m reading Mr Splitfoot (finally!)


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

We had a lovely day out at Carmel, for an early Mother’s Day lunch. Carmel is always so pretty even on a drizzly day. (Also it is pretty expensive). I always marvel at the number of art galleries that line the streets. That is, I marvel at how one tiny town can support that many art galleries, then I run smack into a busload of Chinese tourists although I cannot picture any of them buying any of the art and bringing it back with them on the bus. Or maybe the galleries ship them back. Then I walk past a man pushing two Chihuahuas in a dog stroller and think, ok, he’s definitely buying that ridiculous painting of dogs. Or maybe he already has one. (I have a lot of fun in Carmel thinking of these things as I walk down the streets).

Also there is a hat shop. And a fancy ‘loungewear’ shop. And lots of real estate agencies.

But there is also pretty decent food, of the calibre you get in bigger cities, but definitely not what you find in my suburban city.

Squid ink spaghetti with clams and a kind of tuna ceviche on top

Mushroom and asparagus gnocchi

Meatballs. Arugula and shaved asparagus salad

And giant chocolate-drizzled pretzels.

Also a cute bookstore with a secret garden behind.


And on Mother’s Day, flowers, fruits, fish (sashimi that is) made my day. And because that wasn’t enough feasting or to be exact, no one bought me any chocolate (travesty!), I made a flourless chocolate cake. The dense rich chocolatey kind. It is so dark and black I couldn’t figure out how to take a nice picture of it. So you’ll just have to trust me when I say it’s good. Or, you know, come over and have a slice!





Mr Splitfoot – Samantha Hunt


Bluets – Maggie Nelson (via Scribd)





Last night we watched Burnt, starring Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Omar Sy, Daniel Brühl etc. I am not really a fan of Bradley Cooper but he did ok, I like Omar Sy and Daniel Bruhl. Oh and hey there was Matthew Rhys who looked so familiar, then I realized he’s in Brothers and Sisters (of which I watched the first couple of seasons. And apparently he’s Welsh!). The film was a culinary delight really, lots of good looking food and all that. But the story was a bit meh. I wish they had told us more about the other cooks’ background (which they hint a little bit at in the beginning but then after that they are just people in the kitchen).



Why Not Me? – Mindy Kaling

She’s so fun to listen to.


I just made crispy waffles this morning. Yup I made my own Mother’s Day breakfast.


Tea. But maybe I will make myself a Nespresso in a bit.


Sayur lodeh. A vegetable (usually carrots, cabbage and green beans) and tofu curry full of coconut milk. Yum.

Beef horfun. Sliced beef, bok choy or other leafy greens, sliced ginger, and a thick gravy with rice noodles.

Some mac and cheese with bacon or something.


I’m a little curious as to why Zen Cho’s Sorcerer to the Crown wasn’t included in this list of 100 Must-read books by Asian authors, although they did list her novelette, The Terracotta Bride. Also, if I were writing this list, I would include at least something by Eileen Chang and Wang Anyi. Hmm maybe I should just write my own list! (Anyone up for reading that?) While you are waiting for said list, please go ahead and have a look at this introduction to Southeast Asian lit that I wrote for Shiny New Books last month.

Over at A Good Stopping Point, three books about bullying

I’m not much of a historical fiction reader, but Literary Lindsey writes about Hanging Mary, a story about Mary Surratt, one of several people tried as conspirators in the assassination of President Lincoln.

I’ve only recently discovered Furrowed Middlebrow, a blog about lesser-known British women writers (1910-1960), and it’s always fun to learn of all these writers I’ve never heard of before.

I am always happy to read anything that Kerry of Pickle Me This writes. And on Mother’s Day she shared a lovely Grace Paley poem. 

Another recipe goes on my to-make list: This soft chocolate swiss roll from Bake for Happy Kids


Bout of Books

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 9th and runs through Sunday, May 15th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 16 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

Sign up here! It’s not too late!

Last week:

I read:

Fresh off the boat – Eddie Huang
The Creative Habit: Learn it and use it for life – Twyla Tharp
Princess Bari – Hwang Sok-Yong
I posted:

(ok so I went from posting every day last month to barely posting so far this month. I am going to change this, yes I am!)



  1. Look like good dishes. I figured one was clams, not sure what the others were. I’m afraid I only skim your blogs because I don’t have time to read them fully. Enjoyed the pictures though.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks Sharlene. Interesting combinations. Not sure about the squid ink pasta. All the rest sounded good though. Loved those roses too.


    1. I’ve added captions! It was squid ink spaghetti with clams and a tuna ceviche-like thing on top. It was really good. Somehow that ceviche really made it pop

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for the link to my post! I love your picture of Carmel – overcast days give photos more texture. It’s the clouds. Matthew Rhys is also in The Americans. I didn’t get far into that show, but I liked him.

    I didn’t realize that Zen Cho had a novelette called The Terracotta Bride. I’ve read Sorcerer to the Crown and The Perilous Life of Jade Yeo.


  3. So glad you’re finding good things via me! And I love Carmel—I spent an afternoon there once in 2008, and it was pretty magical.


  4. Hey, we just bought a waffle maker. Made cheese first time round, then chocolate for pudding, but it is definitely syrup next now I have seen yours.
    You have to go to London for food as varied and original as the dishes in your pictures. Makes me feel hungry.


  5. A flourless chocolate cake, wow! Well done you! I have a vegan chocolate cake that I’m pretty happy with, but flourless is an even tougher challenge. Many props.

    I cracked up imagining a dude pushing two chihuahuas in a stroller. ARE THEIR LEGS BROKEN. (Oh, gosh, if their legs are actually broken I’m going to feel like a bad person.) Did you get anything at the hat shop? I adore hats, but can never justify the cost of them — in my imagination, when I am rich, I will have a hat for every outfit in my closet!


    1. Apparently the tv show is different fr the book! And Huang has decided that he doesn’t like it! (To be honest I’m not sure that I like Huang…)


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