Posts by Sharlene

Reader. Book blogger. Parent. Eater of foods aplenty. Tea drinker. Crocheter

Library Loot (July 1 to 7)

badge-4Library 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 welcome to the first Library Loot of July.

Claire has the link-up this week. 

A Taste of Sage – Yaffa S. Santos

Lumi Santana is a chef with a gift: she can perceive a person’s emotions by tasting their cooking. Despite being raised by a mother who taught her that dreams and true love were silly fairy tales, she puts her heart and savings into opening her own fusion restaurant in Upper Manhattan. The restaurant offers a mix of the Dominican cuisine she grew up with and other world cuisines she is inspired by.

When her eclectic venture fails, she is forced to take a position as sous chef at a staid, traditional French restaurant owned by Julien Dax, a celebrated chef known for his acid tongue as well as his brilliant smile. After he goes out of his way to bake a tart to prove her wrong in a dispute, she is so irritated by his smug attitude that she vows to herself never to taste his cooking.

But after she succumbs to the temptation and takes a bite one day and is overcome with shocking emotion, she finds herself beginning to crave his cooking and struggling to stay on task with her plan to save up and move on as soon as possible. Meanwhile, Julien’s obsessed secretary watches with gnashed teeth as they grow closer and becomes determined to get Lumi out of her way permanently.

Polaris Rising – Jessie Mihalik

A space princess on the run and a notorious outlaw soldier become unlikely allies in this imaginative, sexy space opera adventure—the first in an exciting science fiction trilogy.

In the far distant future, the universe is officially ruled by the Royal Consortium, but the High Councillors, the heads of the three High Houses, wield the true power. As the fifth of six children, Ada von Hasenberg has no authority; her only value to her High House is as a pawn in a political marriage. When her father arranges for her to wed a noble from House Rockhurst, a man she neither wants nor loves, Ada seizes control of her own destiny. The spirited princess flees before the betrothal ceremony and disappears among the stars.

Ada eluded her father’s forces for two years, but now her luck has run out. To ensure she cannot escape again, the fiery princess is thrown into a prison cell with Marcus Loch. Known as the Devil of Fornax Zero, Loch is rumored to have killed his entire chain of command during the Fornax Rebellion, and the Consortium wants his head.

When the ship returning them to Earth is attacked by a battle cruiser from rival House Rockhurst, Ada realizes that if her jilted fiancé captures her, she’ll become a political prisoner and a liability to her House. Her only hope is to strike a deal with the dangerous fugitive: a fortune if he helps her escape.

But when you make a deal with an irresistibly attractive Devil, you may lose more than you bargained for . .

Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin

Author and photographer Susan Kuklin met and interviewed six transgender or gender-neutral young adults and used her considerable skills to represent them thoughtfully and respectfully before, during, and after their personal acknowledgment of gender preference. Portraits, family photographs, and candid images grace the pages, augmenting the emotional and physical journey each youth has taken. Each honest discussion and disclosure, whether joyful or heartbreaking, is completely different from the other because of family dynamics, living situations, gender, and the transition these teens make in recognition of their true selves.

What did you get from your library this week?

It’s Monday (June 29, 2020)

Monday again huh. The weekend sure passed us by quick. And just like that, it’s the end of June!

Here’s what we did last week…

Ate some Cambodian noodles. That pork bone broth is so heavenly! So light and refreshing and not porky at all (I don’t know about you, but some pork broths can be too much for me).

Met up with some friends to go cycling in a neighbourhood park – masks included, although sometimes after they got hot, the kids took theirs off….making me wonder, how will they be able to keep it on for the whole day if school reopens??

It was Dragonboat Festival the other day – I had forgotten all about it, but my neighbour kindly gave us some dumplings. There is glutinous rice and pork inside.

The kids took a free creativity online class last week, and one of the things they did was painting. I kind of like this pineapple the 7yo did.



Braised Pork by An Yu

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson


The kids started watching Floor is Lava


More of Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky


For breakfast, I had toast.




Maybe I’ll try making oyako don 

How about some pizza balls?

Last week:

I read:

The Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo

A Duke by Default by Alyssa Cole

The Glass Hotel by Emily St John Mandel

DNF : My Summer of Love and Misfortune by Lindsay Wong (ugh what an annoying main character, and then she gets thrown into the arms of rich relatives in China? Really?)

I posted:

Strawberry milk, Gula Melaka chiffon cake #WeekendCooking

Library Loot (June 24 to 30)

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

Strawberry milk, Gula Melaka chiffon cake #WeekendCooking

The husband was watching something on YouTube the other day and I happened to look over his shoulder and saw this video about Korean strawberry milk and thought, hey the kids would love that.

It was simply a kind of strawberry jam (mashed strawberries cooked with sugar then cooled), and milk, also, some small diced strawberries. I’ve also seen recipes which macerate the sugar and strawberries for an hour. There are other recipes which blitz the strawberries into a puree. But the one I tried was just a simple mashed and cooked strawberry jam, and an additional chopped fresh strawberries.

The kids loved it! They’ve never had fresh strawberry milk – and really, the commercial strawberry milk is quite disgusting and is just pink-coloured sweetened milk.

And since it was Father’s Day, I made a Gula Melaka Pandan chiffon cake. I’ve made quite a few pandan cakes before – and wrote a detailed post here. 

But if those ingredients are new to you, pandan is a fragrant leaf that is used in Southeast Asian foods and sweets – you can use it to flavour rice, curries, make refreshing drinks, it’s also added to cakes and kuehs. It’s very aromatic and somewhat floral despite the fact that it’s just a long thin leaf.

Gula Melaka is palm sugar popular in Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore. It usually comes in a small cylinder block as it is traditionally formed using bamboo moulds. They are usually dark brown in colour and has hints of toffee, caramel. In Singapore, Gula Melaka is in the form of a syrup in many desserts like Ondeh-ondeh, Sago Gula Melaka, Chendol.

This Gula Melaka Pandan cake (recipe here) uses Gula Melaka in place of the sugar, except for the sugar in the whisked egg whites. It wasn’t the easiest thing to do, whisking the egg yolks and the Gula Melaka together, as the Gula Melaka tends to clump together and doesn’t fully dissolve into the whisked yolks as caster sugar would. The recipe does suggest that the egg and Gula Melaka batter can be sieved, to remove the lumps, but I felt that would be such a waste of Gula Melaka (which my parents had brought over from Singapore for me, as it’s not the easiest thing to find in the US). So I left it in, lumps and all.

Usually, lumps would not be a welcome sight in chiffon cakes, but I think this one, with its little bits of undissolved Gula Melaka, was quite unique and delicious. (You can see a small Gula Melaka bit in the cut cake)

Weekend Cooking was started by Beth Fish Reads and is now hosted by The Intrepid Reader and is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, beer, wine, photographs

Library Loot (June 24 to 30)

badge-4Library 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.



Oh wow, we’re heading into the last week of June already! How has your month been so far?

I’ve got my usual random mix of books this week, one romance, one that seems more literary fiction, and one non-fiction.

Clever me, I had borrowed the novella that was #2.5 last week..

A Duke by Default by Alyssa Cole

Award-winning author Alyssa Cole’s Reluctant Royals series continues with a woman on a quest to be the heroine of her own story and the duke in shining armor she rescues along the way

New York City socialite and perpetual hot mess Portia Hobbs is tired of disappointing her family, friends, and—most importantly—herself. An apprenticeship with a struggling swordmaker in Scotland is a chance to use her expertise and discover what she’s capable of. Turns out she excels at aggravating her gruff silver fox boss…when she’s not having inappropriate fantasies about his sexy Scottish burr.

Tavish McKenzie doesn’t need a rich, spoiled American telling him how to run his armory…even if she is infuriatingly good at it. Tav tries to rebuff his apprentice, and his attraction to her, but when Portia accidentally discovers that he’s the secret son of a duke, rough-around-the-edges Tav becomes her newest makeover project.

Forging metal into weapons and armor is one thing, but when desire burns out of control and the media spotlight gets too hot to bear, can a commoner turned duke and his posh apprentice find lasting love?



Braised Pork by An Yu

One morning in autumn, Jia Jia walks into the bathroom of her Beijing apartment to find her husband – with whom she had been breakfasting barely an hour before – dead in the bathtub. Next to him a piece of paper unfolds like the wings of a butterfly, and on it is an image that Jia Jia can’t forget.

Profoundly troubled by what she has seen, even while she is abruptly released from a marriage that had constrained her, Jia Jia embarks on a journey to discover the truth of the sketch. Starting at her neighbourhood bar, with its brandy and vinyl, and fuelled by anger, bewilderment, curiosity and love, Jia Jia travels deep into her past in order to arrive at her future.

Braised Pork is a cinematic, often dreamlike evocation of nocturnal Beijing and the high plains of Tibet, and an exploration of myth-making, loss, and a world beyond words, which ultimately sees a young woman find a new and deeper sense of herself.



Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

A powerful true story about the potential for mercy to redeem us, and a clarion call to fix our broken system of justice—from one of the most brilliant and influential lawyers of our time.

Bryan Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of our criminal justice system. One of his first cases was that of Walter McMillian, a young man who was sentenced to die for a notorious murder he insisted he didn’t commit. The case drew Bryan into a tangle of conspiracy, political machination, and legal brinksmanship—and transformed his understanding of mercy and justice forever.

Just Mercy is at once an unforgettable account of an idealistic, gifted young lawyer’s coming of age, a moving window into the lives of those he has defended, and an inspiring argument for compassion in the pursuit of true justice.


What did you get from your library this week?


It’s Monday (June 22, 2020)

Whee! Week one of summer break is done with…nine (I think) weeks to go!

How have we filled our days? With some baking and cooking, some chores, lots of reading and screen time (the boys are into Minecraft, Pokemon Go, they also like to do some coding games, and I get to work on some educational websites like Brainpop and IXL).

We actually met up with classmates at a park. It was very proper, we kept it to under 12 people (4 families), wore masks, stay outdoors, tried to keep our distance (at least the adults managed, it was a bit harder for the kids. The 9-year-olds joked about how they could play 6 feet tag or get the parents to tag the kids. The 7-year-olds were off doing their own thing under the trees, trying to climb trees, running around, tiring themselves out). It was nice to have them spend a couple of hours with their friends, and also for me to hang out with the parents (we all have two kids in the same grades, and in the same Mandarin immersion programme, of which there are only two classes in each grade, so it’s a close-knit community).

This week, the kids are doing a free virtual art camp. Hope they’ll find it fun.

Meanwhile, last week…


One thing we’ve been doing every day (or almost every day) is taking a walk together.


One of their friends had a Minecraft birthday party. The kids played Minecraft together for 2+ hours while also on Zoom. They had a blast!



Saturday night sushi



Picked up some beauties from the farmers market.







The Glass Hotel – Emily St John Mandel



Upload on Amazon Video.

After seeing the trailer a few times (Amazon likes to put them in front of other shows you’re watching), I decided to watch the first episode and I was surprised to discover that I really liked it. It’s an interesting concept – when people die, they get “uploaded” to a virtual community, kinda like a retirement village of sorts. The main character is a woman working as an “angel” or customer service rep for the company, helping out the various uploads in the community. Her latest client is a young guy who died mysteriously in a self-driving-car crash. The new tech is all relatively relatable, something I could easily see in our nearish future although the show is set in 2033 and I doubt a lot of it will be available by then! The show is admittedly a bit bleak (since it’s full of characters that are essentially dead), but then again I was a fan of things like Dead Like Me and Pushing Daisies (featuring reapers, a guy with the ability to revive dead things – including people). 


Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. I’m really enjoying this audiobook, narrated by Anthony Heald who delivers it very much like a stage play.


Homemade pandan cake


Tea with milk

Last week:

I read:

Once Ghosted, Twice Shy – Alyssa Cole
Mooncakes – Suzanne Walker

I posted:

Library Loot (June 17 to 23)

Books on my summer TBR #TopTenTuesday

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 (June 17 to 23)

badge-4Library 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 Wednesday again, and that means it’s time to share your Library Loot with us! Claire has the link-up this week. 


Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky (audiobook)

What was I thinking really? I don’t know. I already have talked about how I’ve been finding it hard to read more serious books and here I am, having borrowed this classic. But it is an audiobook so I have hopes, and also I wanted to have something to listen to while I crochet.

Raskolnikov, a destitute and desperate former student, wanders through the slums of St Petersburg and commits a random murder without remorse or regret. He imagines himself to be a great man, a Napoleon: acting for a higher purpose beyond conventional moral law. But as he embarks on a dangerous game of cat and mouse with a suspicious police investigator, Raskolnikov is pursued by the growing voice of his conscience and finds the noose of his own guilt tightening around his neck. Only Sonya, a downtrodden prostitute, can offer the chance of redemption.


My Summer of Love and Misfortune – Lindsay Wong

Unfortunately, it was only after I got this hold that I realised this book doesn’t have great ratings on Goodreads. A pity, as it looks cute and also, it’s a Chinese-American YA tale, definitely something that I would read. Well, I’m just going to give it a go anyway!

Iris Wang is having a bit of a rough start to her summer. In an attempt to snap her out of her funk, Iris’s parents send her away to visit family in Beijing, with the hopes that Iris will “reconnect with her culture” and “find herself.” Iris resents her parents’ high-handedness, but even she admits that this might be a good opportunity to hit the reset button.

Iris expects to eat a few dumplings, meet some of her family, and visit a tourist hotspot or two. What she doesn’t expect is to meet a handsome Mandarin-language tutor named Frank and to be swept up in the ridiculous, opulent world of Beijing’s wealthy elite, leading her to unexpected and extraordinary discoveries about her family, her future, and herself.

Books on my summer TBR #TopTenTuesday

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is:

Books on My Summer 2020 TBR


Well, summer is pretty much a stay-home edition this year, our flight to Singapore has been canceled (and there would be a two-week quarantine period anyway, which renders the holiday a stay-home version too), and we have no other plans for travel as we are still cautious about how things are going.

So the best way to spend summer is to armchair travel!

Here are some books that will take me around the world. And as you may know, I tend to have an interest in books by Asian authors so there may be more books set in Asia here.

What are some of your favourite places to armchair travel to?



Everything Inside by Edwidge Danticat

I love Danticat’s writing. And this one is a collection of short stories set in a variety of places like Miami, Haiti.


Bangkok Wakes to Rain by Pitchaya Sudbanthad

Thailand is one of my favourite places to visit. I’ve been to quite a few cities – Bangkok, Koh Samui, Phuket, Chiang Mai



Record of a Night Too Brief by Hiromi Kawakami

Japanese short stories



If I Had Your Face by Frances Cha

Set in South Korea



The Weight of our Sky by Hanna Alkaf

A Malaysian story

Sharks in the Time of Saviors by Kawai Strong Washburn

Set in Hawaii

And the Stars were Burning Brightly by Danielle Jawando

By a British author


Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018.

It’s Monday (June 15)

Hello and it’s Monday again!

News from the Bay Area – we are gradually opening up. Childcare, summer camps, social bubbles! Essentially, childcare is now available for everyone, not just essential workers, of course centres have to abide by lots of rules. Same for summer camps. And social bubbles are a group of 12 or fewer people from different households, maintained for at least 3 weeks eg 3 different families of four can meet up. I think restaurants will be allowed to start outdoor dining this week, along with retail, but with limited crowd sizes.

But so far, my family has not done things any different from the past few months. Our county has over 4,000 cases and I’m still not sure about how things are, since testing is still limited. Also, following news in Asia and reading about how lockdown measures have returned to Beijing,  I don’t feel comfortable yet about going about and doing all these things.

How are things where you are?

Meanwhile, some things from last week..

The kids and I made pizza for Friday dinner.

Our usual Pakistani-Indian takeout – mixed veg curry, lamb curry, saag dal, saag paneer. Also tandoori fish and tandoori chicken leg. And garlic and plain naan.

We picked up some Beyond Burgers from Costco – not bad! We’ve also tried the Impossible Burger (at a burger joint), and burgers from The Meatless Farm (bought at Whole Foods). The Beyond Burgers were not too bad!




It was the last day of third grade and first grade last Wednesday. Both classes had virtual class parties. The third graders had each done a home diary video, highlighting some things they had done over the past few months’ Shelter-in-Place. They spent the time watching everyone’s videos together, then at the end they each had a “surprise” treat (prepared by the parents that is), sang a Chinese song together (it’s a Mandarin immersion program in a public school), and then blew out the candle. It was both a sweet and sad ending to this unusual school year.




Once Ghosted, Twice Shy – Alyssa Cole


The latest season of Queer Eye


Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky


Homemade tangzhong raisin bread



Last week:

I read:
Stepping Stones – Lucy Knisley
This is Paradise – Kristiana Kahakauwila


I posted:

Library Loot (June 10 to 16)

Now why are these books on my TBR? #TopTenTuesday


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 (June 10 to 16)

badge-4Library 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 Library Loot Day!

I just discovered that my library picked up Hoopla a few months ago! I’m really excited by that because the Hoopla subscription has a lot of e-comics! But with just SO MANY new comics to go through, I was just happy browsing through them. I picked a couple of them for this week.

Don’t forget to link up your Library Loot post, or share your loot in the comments below.


Here’s what I got via Hoopla:

Mooncakes – Suzanne Walker

A story of love and demons, family and witchcraft.

Nova Huang knows more about magic than your average teen witch. She works at her grandmothers’ bookshop, where she helps them loan out spell books and investigate any supernatural occurrences in their New England town.

One fateful night, she follows reports of a white wolf into the woods, and she comes across the unexpected: her childhood crush, Tam Lang, battling a horse demon in the woods. As a werewolf, Tam has been wandering from place to place for years, unable to call any town home.

Pursued by dark forces eager to claim the magic of wolves and out of options, Tam turns to Nova for help. Their latent feelings are rekindled against the backdrop of witchcraft, untested magic, occult rituals, and family ties both new and old in this enchanting tale of self-discovery.

Husbands Vol 1 – Jane Espenson

Written by Husbands creators Jane Espenson (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and Brad Bell, this is the comic-book continuation of the sitcom phenom. Husbands tells the story of famous gay newlyweds Brady and Cheeks, who sparked a media firestorm when they woke up legally wed after a drunken Vegas weekend. Now, a mystical wedding gift launches the couple on a series of adventures-a tongue-in-cheek journey through iconic genre realms-filled with obstacles that threaten to tear them apart. Follow Brady and Cheeks into a superhero showdown, a fairytale fantasy, a Holmesian mystery, an epic galactic battle, a madcap high school romp, and a saucy secret-spy thrill ride. Includes bonus “making of” material and a special introduction.

The rest are from Libby




I Was Their American Dream – Malaka Gharib

One part Mari Andrew, one part Marjane Satrapi, I Was Their American Dream: A Graphic Memoir is a triumphant tale of self-discovery, a celebration of a family’s rich heritage, and a love letter to American immigrant freedom. Malaka Gharib’s illustrations come alive with teenage antics and earnest questions about identity and culture, while providing thoughtful insight into the lives of modern immigrants and the generation of millennial children they raised.

Malaka’s upbringing will look familiar to anyone who grew up in the pre-internet era, but her particular story is a heartfelt tribute to the American immigrants who have invested their future in the promise of the American dream.

The daughter of parents with unfulfilled dreams themselves, Malaka navigates her childhood chasing her parents’ ideals, learning to code-switch between her family’s Filipino and Egyptian customs, adapting to white culture to fit in, crushing on skater boys, and trying to understand the tension between holding onto cultural values and trying to be an all-American kid.

I Was Their American Dream is at once a journal of growing up and a reminder of the thousands of immigrants who come to America in search for a better life for themselves and their children.


American Royals – Katharine McGee

What if America had a royal family?

When America won the Revolutionary War, its people offered General George Washington a crown. Two and a half centuries later, the House of Washington still sits on the throne.

As Princess Beatrice gets closer to becoming America’s first queen regnant, the duty she has embraced her entire life suddenly feels stifling.

Nobody cares about the spare except when she’s breaking the rules, so Princess Samantha doesn’t care much about anything, either . . . except the one boy who is distinctly off-limits to her.

And then there’s Samantha’s twin, Prince Jefferson. If he’d been born a generation earlier, he would have stood first in line for the throne, but the new laws of succession make him third. Most of America adores their devastatingly handsome prince . . . but two very different girls are vying to capture his heart.


Also some of my ebook holds just came in!

The Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo

With the heart of an Atwood tale and the visuals of a classic Asian period drama The Empress of Salt and Fortune is a tightly and lushly written narrative about empire, storytelling, and the anger of women.

A young royal from the far north is sent south for a political marriage. Alone and sometimes reviled, she has only her servants on her side. This evocative debut chronicles her rise to power through the eyes of her handmaiden, at once feminist high fantasy and a thrilling indictment of monarchy

The Glass Hotel – Emily St John Mandel

From the award-winning author of Station Eleven, a captivating novel of money, beauty, white-collar crime, ghosts, and moral compromise in which a woman disappears from a container ship off the coast of Mauritania and a massive Ponzi scheme implodes in New York, dragging countless fortunes with it.

Vincent is a bartender at the Hotel Caiette, a five-star glass and cedar palace on an island in British Columbia. Jonathan Alkaitis works in finance and owns the hotel. When he passes Vincent his card with a tip, it’s the beginning of their life together. That same day, Vincent’s half-brother, Paul, scrawls a note on the windowed wall of the hotel: “Why don’t you swallow broken glass.” Leon Prevant, a shipping executive for a company called Neptune-Avramidis, sees the note from the hotel bar and is shaken to his core. Thirteen years later Vincent mysteriously disappears from the deck of a Neptune-Avramidis ship. Weaving together the lives of these characters, The Glass Hotel moves between the ship, the skyscrapers of Manhattan, and the wilderness of northern Vancouver Island, painting a breathtaking picture of greed and guilt, fantasy and delusion, art and the ghosts of our pasts


Now why are these books on my TBR? #TopTenTuesday

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is:

Books I’ve Added to my TBR and Forgotten Why



My TBR list on Goodreads stands at 2779 books at the moment of writing. And some of these titles have been on the list since 2007! (Are you on Goodreads too?) Actually, as I was looking over my Goodreads TBR list, I realised that I did indeed know why quite a few were on that list – some are classics so I had probably added them in an attempt to read more classics (so much for that happening). And some are books that have been on my physical shelves for a while.

But here are some I’m puzzled by:


Madness under the Royal Palms: Love and Death behind the Gates of Palm Beach – Laurence Leamer

Eh, I decided to remove it from my list. I really have no idea why this is here, at all! I added it in 2009. I am so not going to read it.


Things Kept, Things Left Behind – Jim Tomlinson

This is a short story collection, and now that I’m reading its synopsis, it does sound interesting – working-class, small-town America. I’m going to hang on to this one.


Three Trapped Tigers – Guillermo Cabrera Infante, translated from the Spanish by Donald Gardner and Suzanne Jill Levine

Another interesting one that I do not remember anything about, but is somehow on my list. I’m intrigued enough by this “more modern, sexier, funnier, Cuban Ulysses” to leave it on my list, but I doubt I’d ever read it. I’ll probably make another list like this in 2030 and go, huh, what is this now?


The Drop Edge of Yonder – Rudolph Wurlitzer

There is nothing really in the synopsis that would make me go, huh, I’m going to read this. Instead there is the dreaded (at least in my view) term “Western”. I’m saying bye to this one.


The Bolter: Edwardian Heartbreak and High Society Scandal in Kenya – Frances Osborne

Now this apparently has to do with Nancy Mitford’s novels so I guess that may have been why I put this on the list? Hey so maybe I do know the reason for some of these after all… but I am still taking this off the list.


Angels of the Universe – Einar Már Guðmundsson, translated from the Icelandic by Bernard Scudder

Another interesting one. An Icelandic novel first published in 1993. I added this in 2009 so maybe it was because of the Icelandic financial crisis??


Listen: 29 Short Conversations – Corey Mesler

Wow this book has 5 reviews on Goodreads. Now how did I ever learn about this book? I wish I knew!

One thing I’ve learnt after going over my old list is I should do this more often, weeding out the strays, but also trying to read some of them!

Have you read (or even heard of) any of these? Let me know!


Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018.