Posts by Sharlene

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

It’s Monday! (let’s do this again)

 

So I forgot to actually update the post with things that did happen. And then I forgot that I had scheduled the post to be posted at 7am as I always do. And I forgot that it was indeed a school holiday and I wouldn’t be up at the usual 6am and checking my phone. Instead it was a leisurely breakfast of leftovers from our Sunday breakfast out at a local diner. It wasn’t the usual rush-rush-rush to get kids ready and eating breakfast and getting them to get their bags ready and lunch ready and out the door by 8.

What I’m trying to say is, OOPS.

And so here’s some stuff we did last week!

 

At the kids’ favourite playground, the 6yo decided to take advantage of the lack of kids (it was before 9 on a Saturday) and “meditate” on top of the sabercat. He cracks me up.

 

 

An article about ramen eateries in the Bay Area had us all longing for ramen. It was also a suitably chilly day and so ramen it was! This ramen has the usual chashu pork and onsen egg as well as butter clams and prawns. My kids love clams and so I only got to eat one.

It’s been feeling a lot more autumn-ish this past week!

 

Back at our local xiaolongbao place. Not as delicate and perfect as Din Tai Fung but hey there’s no ridiculous queue and it’s so much cheaper!

Currently…

 

Reading:

 

 

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory – Caitlin Doughty

Here And Now and Then – Mike Chen

Watching:

The Great Festive Baking Show (Netflix)

This is where they bring back past GBBO contestants for a fun Christmassy special!

Listening:

Nothing at the moment. Just finished Ariel Levy’s The Rules do not Apply

 

Eating:

Pancakes and French toast

Drinking:

Coffee

Cooking:

Last night I made a cabbage and sausage Mac and cheese. It was delicious!

Last week:

I read:

Royal Holiday – Jasmine Guillory
The Avant Guards vol 1 – Carly Usdin
A Breath of Snow and Ashes – Diane Gabaldon
Rules do not apply – Ariel Levy

I posted:

Library Loot (November 6 to 12)

 

 

badge
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 (November 6 to 12)

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! What did you get from your library this week? Share it in the link-up that Claire has this week!

 

 

I’m a sucker for a good Korean thriller. Some of the most bizarre moments in movies I’ve seen are from Korean movies.

The Good Son – You-Jeong Jeong

‘The Talented Mr. Ripley meets The Bad Seed in this breathless, chilling psychological thriller by the bestselling novelist known as “Korea’s Stephen King” Who can you trust if you can’t trust yourself? Early one morning, twenty-six-year-old Yu-jin wakes up to a strange metallic smell, and a phone call from his brother asking if everything’s all right at home – he missed a call from their mother in the middle of the night. Yu-jin soon discovers her murdered body, lying in a pool of blood at the bottom of the stairs of their stylish Seoul duplex. He can’t remember much about the night before; having suffered from seizures for most of his life, Yu-jin often has trouble with his memory. All he has is a faint impression of his mother calling his name. But was she calling for help? Or begging for her life? Thus begins Yu-jin’s frantic three-day search to uncover what happened that night, and to finally learn the truth about himself and his family. A shocking and addictive psychological thriller, The Good Son explores the mysteries of mind and memory, and the twisted relationship between a mother and son, with incredible urgency.

Here and Now and Then – Mike Chen 

To save his daughter, he’ll go anywhere—and any-when…

Kin Stewart is an everyday family man: working in I.T., trying to keep the spark in his marriage, and struggling to connect with his teenage daughter, Miranda. But his current life is a far cry from his previous career as a time-traveling secret agent from 2142.

Stranded in suburban San Francisco since the 1990s after a botched mission, Kin has kept his past hidden from everyone around him, despite the increasing blackouts and memory loss affecting his time-traveler’s brain. Until one afternoon, his “rescue” team arrives—eighteen years too late.

Their mission: return Kin to 2142 where he’s only been gone weeks, not years, and where another family is waiting for him. A family he can’t remember.

Torn between two lives, Kin is desperate for a way to stay connected to both. But when his best efforts threaten to destroy the agency and even history itself, his daughter’s very existence is at risk. It’ll take one final trip across time to save Miranda—even if it means breaking all the rules of time travel in the process.

A uniquely emotional genre-bending debut, Here and Now and Then captures the perfect balance of heart, playfulness, and imagination, offering an intimate glimpse into the crevices of a father’s heart, and its capacity to stretch across both space and time to protect the people that mean the most.

 

I was so excited to see this book on the “new arrivals” shelves I quickly grabbed it before anyone else could. Ok so it was a Tuesday afternoon and the only other person near these shelves was an elderly man but who knows, he might be in the mood for a romance novel. Because Guillory’s books are AWESOME. And it’s got mistletoe and England and happy sigh, that sounds superbly perfect.

Royal Holiday – Jasmine Guillory

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Proposaland “rising star in the romance genre” (Entertainment Weekly) comes a dazzling new novel about a spontaneous holiday vacation that turns into an unforgettable romance.

Vivian Forest has been out of the country a grand total of one time, so when she gets the chance to tag along on her daughter Maddie’s work trip to England to style a royal family member, she can’t refuse. She’s excited to spend the holidays taking in the magnificent British sights, but what she doesn’t expect is to become instantly attracted to a certain private secretary, his charming accent, and unyielding formality.

Malcolm Hudson has worked for the Queen for years and has never given a personal, private tour—until now. He is intrigued by Vivian the moment he meets her and finds himself making excuses just to spend time with her. When flirtatious banter turns into a kiss under the mistletoe, things snowball into a full-on fling.

Despite a ticking timer on their holiday romance, they are completely fine with ending their short, steamy affair come New Year’s Day. . .or are they?

 

The kids’ loot:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What did you get from your library this week?

 

This post contains affiliate links from Book Depository.  If you buy via these links it means I receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you). 

It Would Be Night in Caracas by Karina Sainz Borgo

The description of this book ticked lots of boxes for me.

It’s a translated book, written by a woman, and it’s set in South America, specifically Venezuela, a country I have never been to and don’t know very much of, and sadly haven’t read much about. So I was thrilled to receive this book and immediately set myself to read it.

And while it is heavy, while it is full of sadness and grief (it begins with the death of the main character’s mother and the difficulty in giving her a proper funeral, fearing thieves will descend on the grave before night falls), it was an absorbing read.

Life in Venezuela is a continuous struggle. Supplies are scarce. Rationing is so bad that sanitary napkins are more valuable than toilet paper. Cash is worthless. The banking system “a complete fiction”. Protesters on the street. The air constantly filled with tear gas.

“That’s the way we were all living: peering at what was in each other’s shopping bag. Sniffing out when a neighbour came home with something in short supply, so we could investigate where to get hold of it. We were all becoming suspicious and watchful. We would distort solidarity into predation.”

 

Adelaida falls into more trouble. The apartment that she lives in gets taken over by a gang of armed women. Luckily (and perhaps a little bit too conveniently), the death of a neighbour offers her an opening, a possible way out.

The story moves from present to past and the happier memories that Adelaida has of her childhood in the city.

It Would Be Night in Caracas is an intense read. It brings a personal narrative to all that is going on in Venezuela, what I’ve seen as headlines and news articles take on new meaning in this debut.

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks to TLC Book Tours and

publisher HarperVia for sending me a copy of this book.

 

 
Find out more about Karina Sainz Borgo: Twitter

Check out the rest of the tour stops

Library Loot (October 30 to November 5)

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.

 

 

I grabbed some nonfiction this week!

 

 

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory – Caitlin Doughty

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes tells an unusual coming-of-age story full of bizarre encounters and unforgettable scenes. Caring for dead bodies of every color, shape, and affliction, Caitlin soon becomes an intrepid explorer in the world of the dead. She describes how she swept ashes from the machines (and sometimes onto her clothes) and reveals the strange history of cremation and undertaking, marveling at bizarre and wonderful funeral practices from different cultures.

Her eye-opening, candid, and often hilarious story is like going on a journey with your bravest friend to the cemetery at midnight. She demystifies death, leading us behind the black curtain of her unique profession. And she answers questions you didn’t know you had: Can you catch a disease from a corpse? How many dead bodies can you fit in a Dodge van? What exactly does a flaming skull look like?

Honest and heartfelt, self-deprecating and ironic, Caitlin’s engaging style makes this otherwise taboo topic both approachable and engrossing. Now a licensed mortician with an alternative funeral practice, Caitlin argues that our fear of dying warps our culture and society, and she calls for better ways of dealing with death (and our dead).

 

 

 

Rules do not apply – Ariel Levy (audiobook)

When thirty-eight-year-old New Yorker writer Ariel Levy left for a reporting trip to Mongolia in 2012, she was pregnant, married, financially secure, and successful on her own terms. A month later, none of that was true.

Levy picks you up and hurls you through the story of how she built an unconventional life and then watched it fall apart with astonishing speed. Like much of her generation, she was raised to resist traditional rules–about work, about love, and about womanhood.

“I wanted what we all want: everything. We want a mate who feels like family and a lover who is exotic, surprising. We want to be youthful adventurers and middle-aged mothers. We want intimacy and autonomy, safety and stimulation, reassurance and novelty, coziness and thrills. But we can’t have it all.”

In this memoir, Levy chronicles the adventure and heartbreak of being “a woman who is free to do whatever she chooses.” Her own story of resilience becomes an unforgettable portrait of the shifting forces in our culture, of what has changed–and of what is eternal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What did you get from your library this week?

 

It’s Monday

 

 

 

Happy almost Halloween!

 

The kids hit a couple of Halloween-related events over the weekend and so the candy haul has started accumulating.

There was candy corn bowling, inflatable slides, spooky dances, lots of little games and other fall fun festivities.

 

We tried out a newly opened udon eatery and they make the udon fresh in the kitchen. So delicious!

 

Currently…

 

Reading:

 

 

 

 

Watching:

Terrace House!

Listening:

 

Eating:

Had waffles for breakfast

Drinking:

Yorkshire Gold with milk

Cooking:

 

Last week:

I read:

Hit-Girl in Rome – Rafael Albuquerque, Rafael Scavone
The Fifth Season – NK Jemisin

 

badge
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 (October 23 to 29)

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!

Claire has the link-up this week.

 

I grabbed some comics from the library this week!

Diary of a Tokyo Teen – Christine Mari Inzer
Born in Tokyo to a Japanese mother and an American father in 1997, Christine Mari Inzer spent her early years in Japan and relocated to the United States in 2003. The summer before she turned sixteen, she returned to Tokyo, making a solo journey to get reacquainted with her birthplace. Through illustrations, photos, and musings, Inzer documented her journey.

In Diary of a Tokyo Teen, Inzer explores the cutting-edge fashions of Tokyo’s trendy Harajuku district, eats the best sushi of her life at the renowned Tsukiji fish market, and hunts down geisha in the ancient city of Kyoto. As she shares the trials and pleasures of travel from one end of a trip to the other, Inzer introduces the host of interesting characters she meets and offers a unique—and often hilarious—look at a fascinating country and an engaging tale of one girl rediscovering her roots.

 

 

I hadn’t seen this series before and unfortunately the first volume wasn’t on the shelves. But I just grabbed whatever was available.

Hit-Girl in Canada – Jeff Lemire, Eduardo Risso

Our adolescent assassin is locked, loaded, and ready to seriously mess up some Canadians. JEFF LEMIRE and EDUARDO RISSO take on MARK MILLAR’S psychotic, 12-year-old Hit-Girl for the next stop in her blood-soaked world tour. No amount of ice, snow, or Mounties will prevent Mindy from slaughtering her latest enemies.

Hit-Girl in Rome – Rafael Albuquerque, Rafael Scavone

Mindy’s racing around the Italian city, in hot pursuit of a cargo thief. When she finally gets hold of the stolen package — a bejewelled human skull — she uncovers a macabre story that leads her deep into the dark, criminal underbelly of Rome.

This is a reread. I first read these a few years ago but didn’t keep up with the series. So I was thrilled to find what looks like the whole set? At least volumes one to ten.

Giant Days volumes 1 to 5 – John Allison, Lissa Treiman (Illustrator), Whitney Cogar (Colors)

Susan, Esther, and Daisy started at university three weeks ago and became fast friends. Now, away from home for the first time, all three want to reinvent themselves. But in the face of handwringing boys, “personal experimentation,” influenza, mystery-mold, nu-chauvinism, and the willful, unwanted intrusion of “academia,” they may be lucky just to make it to spring alive. Going off to university is always a time of change and growth, but for Esther, Susan, and Daisy, things are about to get a little weird.

 

 

The kids’ loot:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What did you get from your library this week?

 

This post contains affiliate links from Book Depository.  If you buy via these links it means I receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you). 

It’s Monday

 

 

Where did that weekend go?

 

We tried out a new-to-us restaurant in Palo Alto, and a new cuisine – Caribbean food. We had oxtail stew which came with fried plantain and beans and rice. Jerk chicken. And a roasted sea bass that had a yummy coconut milk sauce with okra and spinach. Also the top photo is a sampler platter of spicy beef patties, coconut shrimp, jerk wings.

Made more walnut bread this week!

Some recent finished projects – a Magikarp hat!

Working on some African flower hexagons to use up leftover yarn. Haven’t quite figured out what to do with it yet.

 

Currently…

 

Reading:

 

 

 

Watching:

Terrace House Tokyo

Listening:

I Am I Am I Am by Maggie O’Farrell

I am slowly listening to this one

Eating:

Had walnut bread for breakfast

Drinking:

Yorkshire Gold with milk

Cooking:

Japanese chicken curry

It’s going to be a much warmer week so won’t do so much baked stuff. Maybe noodles. Rice and dishes.

Last week:

I read:

Sudden Traveler – Sarah Hall
The Overdue Life of Amy Byler – Kelly Harms

 

I posted:

Sudden Traveler by Sarah Hall

Library Loot (October 16 to 22)

 

badge
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