Posts by Sharlene

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

Recently read: Pigs Might Fly; Lying is Pretending #comics

Pigs Might Fly is a fun, pig-filled comic involving magic and engineering. Lily Leanchops is the daughter of an inventor and has built something her father hasn’t – an airplane that works using science (with maybe a protection spell to help it along). But the enemy Warthogs have flying machines full of powerful dark magic and they’re planning to take over Pigdom Plains. Can Lily and her aircraft stop them? A fun read!

 

 

 

Lying is Pretending by Dominique Goblet

This atmospheric, moody graphic memoir is full of beautiful and emotional illustrations that tells of a dysfunctional family. The illustrations feel very organic, in a way, the colors bleed into one another, the text is handwritten in different styles, the colors are muted and sepia-toned. For me, the storyline was a bit hard to follow in parts, a bit disjointed but still haunting. Goblet is a Belgian visual artist and I happened to come across this graphic memoir while browsing the ebook catalogue. I hadn’t heard of her before and after looking her up, learnt that she has quite a few graphic novels but it doesn’t look like any others have been translated into English. Pretending is Lying was translated into English by NYR Comics in 2016. Hopefully they will publish her other books?

#TopTenTuesday: Ten Signs You’re a Book Lover

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is:

Ten Signs You’re a Book Lover

 

 

  1. A reading retreat or a book festival sounds like the perfect vacation
  2. You know your library card number by heart
  3. You carry a book (print, digital, audio) wherever you go
  4. Your idea of a great date involves wandering around a bookstore – true story, this is what my husband and I did on our first date, after he took me out to a really nice lunch!
  5. You pack too many books with you on a vacation (or pack your e-reader full of ebooks)
  6. You check out the bookshelves when you’re at someone’s house
  7. You;re familiar with book hangovesrs
  8. You own a variety of literary paraphernalia
  9. Most of the blogs you read are book blogs, most of your Instagram feed is #bookstagram
  10. You despair at the number of books that are being published and that you’ve not read yet


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 and my boy is almost 9!

 

 

 

And we are entering week 3 of school closures and shelter-in-place. The first grade teacher has started conducting Zoom sessions – the first one didn’t go all that well as you can imagine with 28 kids and 1 teacher on a conference call, and the teacher wasn’t completely familiar enough with Zoom and didn’t remove the ability for those on the call to chat so some of them were sending chat messages to each other. The session on Friday was so much better, and she even managed to do some simple math quizzes with them, as well as a Chinese spelling test (听写).

Third grade Zoom sessions are in smaller groups, about 10 kids and the teacher is more tech savvy, so no issues there. But my third grader said that English work seems to be more than what they usually do in class! The teacher likes to assign them things in Seesaw, where they have to present a compare and contrast between the stories she assigned, or retell the stories from the different characters’ points of view. Hopefully things will be less hectic next week.

 

I’m luckily regularly a good sleeper but last night I woke at 1.55am with all these thoughts in my mind:

Could I be asymptomatic? Could my husband be? What about the kids? What would happen to them if something happened to me?

Did I not wash my hands for long enough yesterday when I handled the groceries? What if those 5 seconds made a difference?

What if something happens to my parents in Singapore? My sister lives in Singapore but I can’t help worrying about their health too.

I tried to go back to sleep, thinking of peaceful images, trying to put my racing brain to rest. I tossed and turned for a while, answering my own questions in my head, knowing that these are things (except the hand washing, and that I know I probably do for long enough) that I cannot do anything about. I concentrated on my breath, I relaxed my shoulders, visualised a calm space (for me, it’s usually a beach). It worked, a little, I fell asleep but I don’t think it was an entirely deep one as I felt so tired and my eyes felt tired when I finally awoke at 620.

Have you been more anxious of late? I have been trying to avoid reading the news after dinnertime. It doesn’t help matters, it just makes me more worried. How have you been trying to adjust to this new world we all live in?

Some photos from last week:

 

Making sushi for dinner

 

Currently…

 

Reading:

Darius the Great is Not Okay – Adib Khorram

 

 

Watching:

 

Making the Cut on Amazon Video

Listening:

 

Eating:

I had scrambled eggs and homemade bread for breakfast

Drinking:

Coffee

Cooking:

Slow-roasted salmon in the oven – I love this recipe and how the fish always comes out beautifully soft. The oven temp is only 275F (135C) and takes about 15-25 minutes depending on how thick your fillet is.

I might try making a chicken biryani

Also, since my boy’s birthday is tomorrow, I’ll be finishing up his cake today, and making some homemade hamburger buns for his birthday meal tomorrow.

 

Last week:

I read:

Mistborn – Brandon Sanderson
Pretending is Lying – Dominique Goblet
Black Canary Vol 1 – Brandon Fletcher
I posted:

#WeekendCooking Lockdown week 2 meals

Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson

Library Loot (March 25 to 31)

 

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

 

#WeekendCooking Lockdown week 2 meals

Basmati Bolognese

This was a lunch of leftovers. I had leftover basmati rice and leftover bolognese sauce. I combined them in a bowl and topped it with shredded cheddar. Zap it in a microwave and there’s lunch.

Sliced fish horfun

Horfun is a popular Singapore rice noodle dish with lots of yummy gravy. Typically there is beef horfun or seafood horfun but I had tilapia fillets I wanted to cook up, as well as spinach. The rice noodles used in Singapore tends to be the wider type, also freshly made, but I only had this medium-width dried rice noodles. So I soaked it in hot water until it softened a bit. Then fried it in a hot wok with some dark soy sauce for color and some regular soy sauce for flavor. Remove from pan. Stirfry some ginger then the fish slices which I had marinated in some soy sauce and white pepper. Remove from wok. Then add in some stock. I used bonito stock powder I had then added in some cornflour slurry to thicken. Then some baby spinach and beaten up egg to form a nice gravy. Dish out the noodles, pour out the gravy, top with fish slices. For a proper recipe, check out What to Cook Today. 

 

 

Tori no Karaage

My kids love to eat ramen and one thing they love to order at ramen restaurants is the karaage or fried chicken. Since we are stuck at home, might as well try a new-to-me recipe. I used this recipe from RecipeTin Japan, I had not realised that karaage is marinated in grated ginger. I didn’t have mirin so added some honey instead. It is deep fried twice, which apparently makes it juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside. The family loved it!

Leftover short-grain rice = onigiri for dinner the next day. I mixed the rice with some chopped up bacon and furikake.

 

Weekend Cooking at Beth Fish Reads 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

 

 

 

Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson

It can sometimes be intimidating starting a new-to-me writer, especially one with a huge collection of series and books written. And perhaps even more so for speculative fiction, where the worlds are strange and may take some time to sink into.

So admittedly the first chapter didn’t really do it for me, but as we moved on and met Vin, the young girl with a tough life and some strange power she calls Luck, it began to grow on me and I realized that I did not want to stop reading. And at the same time, I didn’t want to read it too fast because that would mean the end of the book. This was an amazing read. It was exciting and immersive and had this kind of Ocean’s Eleven kind of feel in parts – not in the smooth, Vegas way but in that great camaraderie among the crew and how they all played unique roles that came together as a whole.

And Allomancy, I mean, how clever that is. To introduce this use of metals, metals we are all familiar with, yet use them in this almost wuxia kind of way (all that leaping about especially).

And well, as you can see, I did bring myself to finish it, much as I didn’t want this story to end. But Sanderson has so many books (including more in this Mistborn series) that will make this newfound fan thrilled for many more reads to come

Library Loot (March 25 to 31)

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 everyone! Hope you all are staying safe and healthy.

As I mentioned last week, we are under lockdown, and all libraries are closed. I wrote a little bit about how we are doing in this post here. 

But thankfully, ebooks and audiobooks are always available!

Claire has the link-up this week

Here’s what I got from our virtual library this week!

Pigs Might Fly – Nick Abadzis

All the sensible hogfolk in Pigdom Plains know that if pigs were meant to fly, they’d have been born with wings but there’s no convincing Lily Leanchops. The daughter of renowned inventor Hercules Fatchops, Lily has watched her father’s flying machines fail time and time again. Working in secret, Lily is trying to build what her father couldn’t: an aircraft that actually works. And of course, she’s following his example and employing scientific principals alone, not magic. (Well, a protection spell or two doesn’t count, right?)

Lily’s secret project takes on a new sense of urgency when a mysterious enemy emerges from beyond the mountains. The Warthogs are coming, and they’re piloting flying machines powered by dangerous magic spells. To save Pigdom Plains, Lily must take to the skies in her own experimental aircraft and there’s no time for a test run.

Darius the Great is Not Okay – Adib Khorram

Darius Kellner speaks better Klingon than Farsi, and he knows more about Hobbit social cues than Persian ones. He’s about to take his first-ever trip to Iran, and it’s pretty overwhelming–especially when he’s also dealing with clinical depression, a disapproving dad, and a chronically anemic social life. In Iran, he gets to know his ailing but still formidable grandfather, his loving grandmother, and the rest of his mom’s family for the first time. And he meets Sohrab, the boy next door who changes everything.

Sohrab makes sure people speak English so Darius can understand what’s going on. He gets Darius an Iranian National Football Team jersey that makes him feel like a True Persian for the first time. And he understands that sometimes, best friends don’t have to talk. Darius has never had a true friend before, but now he’s spending his days with Sohrab playing soccer, eating rosewater ice cream, and sitting together for hours in their special place, a rooftop overlooking the Yazdi skyline.

Sohrab calls him Darioush–the original Persian version of his name–and Darius has never felt more like himself than he does now that he’s Darioush to Sohrab. When it’s time to go home to America, he’ll have to find a way to be Darioush on his own.

 

What did you get from your library this week?

 

It’s Monday and it’s the start of week two of shelter-in-place

 

Week one got off to a slightly rocky start with us all getting used to homeschooling (the husband had already started working from home the week before that).

I posted a little bit about that here. 

As I write this on Monday 9am, the third grader is working on an English assignment and the 6yo is grumbling about doing his English schoolwork. The third grader is more used to more independent-style learning and online learning too, but it’s not been easy for the first grader.

The husband braved the supermarket over the weekend so we now have some more snacks (very important to these hungry kids), more flour and sugar (I was running out! Also I have to make a birthday cake for my 8yo will be 9 next week!) and I feel better about having a bit more supplies.

 

An unofficial home economics class

 

Trying to get a slight semblance of regular life but buying take out from the Kebab Shop. This was just a portion of their family pack! Delicious!

 

Currently…

 

Reading:

Mistborn – Brandon Sanderson

Ok I am LOVING this

 

 

Watching:

Ugly Delicious

Listening:

Nothing at the moment. I just finished Double Cup Love yesterday and am looking out for a new audiobook.

 

Eating:

A chocolate oatmeal cookie

Drinking:

Coffee

Cooking:

 

I made some freezer baked pasta (topped it with bechamel after taking the photo)

Maybe some chicken rice made in the rice cooker and with a premade Singapore – style Hainanese chicken rice paste.

Noodles

 

Last week:

I read:

 

I posted:

 

Meals under a week of lockdown #WeekendCooking

Library Loot (March 18 to 24)

Spring TBR list #TopTenTuesday

 

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