Posts by Sharlene

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

Library Loot (September 28 to October 4)

badge-4

Library 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?

What I got from the library this week:

The Fervor – Alma Katsu (audiobook)

I’m a fan of Katsu’s books, which are kinda like horror mixed with historical fiction. This one is set in a Japanese internment camp.

Counterfeit – Kirstin Chen

Two Asian American women band together to grow a counterfeit handbag scheme into a global enterprise. Interestingly, I had recently read in a Singapore newspaper that police reports had been made against a luxury handbag reseller that was collecting money from customers but not handing over the bags.

Finlay Donovan is Killing It – Elle Cosimano

A struggling writer is overheard discussing her plot and is mistaken for a contract killer. This is one mystery that definitely sounds fun.

The Charmed List by Julie Abe

The Charmed List is a fun magic-infused romcom that involves once-friends-now-enemies Ellie and Jack on a road trip to a magic convention in LA. Ellie was set to do this coastal California road trip with her best friend Lia, and work on her Anti-Wallflower list, such as riding rollercoasters, crashing weddings, and falling in love. Instead, she’s stuck with her former best friend Jack. He’s on her list: “Revenge on Jack Yasuda). That doesn’t exactly bode well for a long road trip.

The magical society they live in is kept hidden from the world and it was an interesting way to bring in magic – it’s infused into all kinds of things, even drinks and food. Like a Vietnamese coffee shop dusts their drinks and desserts with a magical powder for strength, either physical or emotional, depending on what’s needed. A stationery store sells bullet journals that are imbued with spells for fame and power.

Their charms are powered by raw magic dust that has to be collected. It comes out of raw emotions, and can be seen and collected by magicals when they wear charmed, rose-tinted spectacles. The magical charms they cast are small, such as a cleaning charm or a fix-it elixir.

I loved that this book is set around Northern California. It was fun to follow the characters as they visited places I’ve been to, like indie bookstore Books Inc in Palo Alto and Shuei-Do Manju Shop (which makes so many delicious flavours of mochi) in San Jose’s Japantown.

The Charmed List is a sweet and cute romance with a hint of magic. It was a nice summer read, great to enjoy with some popcorn, although I wouldn’t have minded some magic sprinkled onto my snacks.

It’s Monday (September 26, 2022)

Some things last week:

On Friday, the husband and I went to get our booster and flu shot. And as someone who had little or no reaction (other than the sore arm) to my three previous Pfizer shots, this Moderna booster really hit hard! I woke up in the middle of the night feeling cold and it was a warm night too. I had to go pull on long pants and warm socks and still felt miserable and shivering the rest of the night. I don’t know if it was lack of sleep or because of the booster, but the next day I had a bad headache for most of the day. It was definitely a day to rest at home and not do much.

Thankfully, felt so much better on Sunday. But then my younger son started getting a sore throat and mild fever. He tested negative for covid luckily but is having a bad runny nose today and is home from school for now. I had picked up some ribeye from Costco earlier, so since the rest of us were feeling ok on Sunday (and the sick kid was happy to have congee), I made ribeye, potatoes, and asparagus.

Currently…

Reading:

Husband Material – Alexis Hall

Watching:

Rings of Power on Amazon

Listening:

Eating and Drinking:

Pancakes for breakfast

Cooking:

I was thinking of making a baked oatmeal like this one (minus the nuts as I have a kid with slight allergies) so that there’s something quick for breakfast this week.

I’ll cook up some of the laksa paste I brought from Singapore. And maybe some chicken rice too.

Last week:

I read:

Amari and the Night Brothers – B.B. Alston (audiobook)

Garlic and the vampire – Bree Paulson

A Deadly Education – Naomi Novik

I posted:

Library Loot (September 21 to 27)

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 (September 21 to 27)

badge-4

Library 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?

Claire has the link-up this week.

What I got from the library this week:

Picked up some physical books at the library.

Love Marriage – Monica Ali

First line: “In the Ghorami household sex was never mentioned.”

Korean American – Eric Kim

We love Korean food and luckily, have some pretty good Korean eateries around us. Favourite things to order: spam and kimchi kimbap, kimchi fried rice, fried chicken wings, corn cheese. Recently I’ve been cooking more Korean food too, like tofu soup and japchae (sweet potato noodles). So I was especially interested to see Kim’s Korean-American recipes, like this gochujang zucchini recipe.

The Last Graduate – Naomi Novik

First line: “Keep far away from Orion Lake.”

(also it opens with a cross-section drawing of the Scholomance, which is a sorcery school).

Husband Material – Alexis Hall

Also, an ebook hold came in. This is the sequel to Boyfriend Material.

The kids’ loot:

It’s Monday (September 19, 2022)

Some things last week:

Some things I made last week!

Made a Japanese-style dinner the other day. Grilled hamachi Kama (yellowtail cheek), pork katsu, garlicky spinach, rice, and miso soup.

It was raining on Sunday and that’s the best weather for hotpot! Lots of vegetables, three types of mushrooms, fish cake and fish balls, some thinly sliced pork and beef.

I finished this Wrapped in Diamonds shawl (Ravelry pattern here). Fun to make!

Currently…

Reading:

The Marvellers – Dhonielle Clayton

Watching:

Rings of Power on Amazon

Listening:

Amari and the Night Brothers – B.B. Alston

Eating and Drinking:

I had a slice of toast and tea for breakfast. For lunch later, leftover Singapore-style Hainan chicken rice.

Cooking:

Haven’t quite figured it out yet! But I do have a bag of chicken drumsticks in the freezer, so I’ll probably marinate them and grill them. Maybe I’ll bake some potatoes too.

Last week:

I read:

Grave Reservations – Cherie Priest

Over The Top – Jonathan van Ness (audiobook)

Temple Alley Summer – Sachiko Kashiwaba

I posted:

Library Loot (September 14 to 20)

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 (September 14 to 20)

badge-4

Library 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? Let us know in the link-up or comments below.

What I got from the library this week:

Chef’s Kiss – Jarrett Melendez

Funnily, this is the second book called Chef’s Kiss in my Libby shelf.

Grave Reservations – Cherie Priest

A psychic and a travel agent solve a murder together. Sounds interesting.

All Together Now – Hope Larson

The sequel to the graphic novel All Summer Long.

The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea – Axie Oh

A feminist retelling of a Korean fairytale.

It’s Monday (September 12, 2022)

Happy Monday! Hope you have a great week ahead. Last week featured a long heatwave here in California, with temperatures hitting 41C (105F). So I’m looking forward to a much cooler week!

Some things last week:

I didn’t get to post last week as we were on a road trip. We made it to Crater Lake in Oregon and Lassen Volcanic National Park. Crater Lake is a long 7-hour drive from us, and it was made even longer when we had to take a detour due to the Mill Fire, which exploded off the highway that we were supposed to drive through. They closed the highway shortly before we got there, so we quickly had to plot another route that took an extra hour. Sadly, homes were destroyed and two people died in the fire.

In Oregon, the skies were smoky due to that fire and a few others burning in the area. But luckily, when we made it up to Crater Lake, the skies cleared up and it was gorgeous. Crater Lake is, as you might have guessed, a lake in a volcano crater. A volcano erupted and then collapsed some 7,700 years ago. It’s the deepest lake in America and interestingly, it has no inlets or outlets so it’s one of the clearest and cleanest lakes. We drove around the rim, stopping to see the viewpoints.

There’s also a short hike out to see the Pinnacles. After the eruption, these valleys were filled with ash and pumice. Essentially these are ancient gas vents that hardened. The streams eroded the softer material and we are left with these towering pinnacles. Fascinating!

At Lassen, the major attraction is Bumpass Hell, named after the person who found it – and unfortunately stepped right into one of the boiling mud pots, resulting in the amputation of his leg. Today, a rough trail lets you reach the boardwalk where you can safely view the boiling waters and bubbling mud pots. It’s definitely quite a sight to see (and smell).

Luckily right by the Bumpass trailhead parking lot is Lake Helen and it is cool and clear. It would have been more reflective if not for several people swimming in it!

Near the north entrance of Lassen is the Subway Lava Tube. About 1/3 mile long and completely pitch dark, you’ll need proper flashlights to make it through safely. As we left, one group was walking with just their cellphone light on and it was hardly providing light!

Currently…

Reading:

The Charmed List – Julie Abe

Watching:

Rings of Power on Amazon. Well, I’ve only watched the first episode so far. And it was not bad, dramatic, exciting. But somehow at the end, what I couldn’t help thinking was, oh they took the humour out of it. Not like the LOTR movies were all hahaha funny, but some parts were at least fun or amusing, like the competition between Gimli and Legolas on their number of kills. Granted, this was the first episode, so maybe there will be some joy sometime in the future?

Listening:

Nothing at the moment

Eating and Drinking:

I had coffee and toast for breakfast

Cooking:

The kids want to have Japanese curry sometime this week. And it’s definitely looking to be a cooler week than last week’s ridiculous heatwave. So I’m also thinking I’ll bake some sourdough bread and cake. My starter seems to have survived my 5-week absence. It looked a bit sad last week but I’m trying to feed it more often (usually it’s kept in the fridge and fed once a week) and give it more time at room temperature, so it seems to be on the mend. I hope!

Last week:

I read:

Long Distance – Whitney Gardner

Tokyo Ueno Station – Yu Miri

My Berlin Kitchen – Luisa Weiss

I posted:

Library Loot (September 7 to 13)

Library Loot (September 7 to 13)

badge-4

Library 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?

Claire has the link-up this week.

What I got from the library this week:

The Charmed List – Julie Abe

Something to do with magic, romance, and a road trip? Sounds cute!

Also, it’s RIPXVII (Readers Imbibing Peril) season so here are some spooky reads…

The Resting Place – Camilla Sten, translated by Alexandra Fleming

I enjoyed Sten’s The Lost Village and am looking forward to another creepy story from her.


Cackle – Rachel Harrison

Ok I want that tea cup.

Kids’ loot:

Library Loot (August 31 to September 6)

badge-4

Library 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? Let us know in the link-up or comments!

What I got from the library this week:

Hooray! Some physical books from the library for a change.

The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina – Zoraida Cordova

Spotted this on the New Arrivals shelves and quickly grabbed it! I enjoyed the author’s previous book, Labyrinth Lost.

Meanwhile in San Francisco – Wendy Macnaughton

I had some time to kill as I had stopped by the library before picking up the kids from school. So I wandered around the adult nonfiction. And happened to come across this book.

Black Girl, Call Home – Jasmine Mans

This was on a display called “Read With Pride!” and the cover caught my eye. I picked it up and realised it’s a book of poetry. To be honest, I hesitate when it comes to poetry but when I turned to a random page and read the poem, I felt like I had to take it home.

I also got some ebook holds that came in.

Temple Alley Summer – Sachiko Kashiwaba, illustrated by Miho Satake, translated by Avery Fischer Udagawa

I guess this may be middle grade fiction? It’s described as a mysterious adventure that features the” living dead, a magical pearl, and a suspiciously nosy black cat named Kiriko“.

Long Distance – Whitney Gardner

A graphic novel set at summer camp.

Chef’s Kiss – TJ Alexander

A romance starring a pastry chef.

My Berlin Kitchen – Luisa Weiss

Somehow this popped up during my Libby catalogue browse.

The kids’ loot – since I had borrowed a large stack for them last week, I was here to just pick up a few holds that came in.

It’s Monday (August 29, 2022)

Hello, it’s been ages since an “It’s Monday” post from me. How are you? How’s your summer/winter going? I took a super long break from my Monday postings mostly because we were in Singapore for the month of July and I didn’t bring my computer with me. That’s no excuse for having missed a lot of August posts though! Can I blame it on jet lag?

Anyway, the kids have been back in school. They’re on a brand new campus as the school district decided to finally open this new campus that was built a couple of years ago in a new neighbourhood. It’s the first new school that’s been in this school district for 20 plus years. The mandarin immersion program was moved to this new school campus as the previous school wasn’t big enough for the program’s expansion.

And as the middle school expansion hasn’t been completed due to pandemic delays, my sixth grader will be the first and last sixth grade class in this new school. This is also one of the few (only?) elementary schools with more than one floor. The upper grades (my kids are in 4th and 6th) are all on the second floor.

(In Singapore, where I grew up, schools are all multi-storeyed, with at least 4 or more storeys. So it always amuses me when the kids talk about their classroom on the second storey.)

Meanwhile, it’s back to our usual routine. Hope you have a great week ahead!

Some things last week:

Currently…

Reading:

Farewell, Ghosts by Nadia Terranova

Watching:

The Sandman on Netflix

Listening:

Gathering Moss – Robin Wall Kimmerer

Eating and Drinking:

A peach almond cake and barley tea

Cooking:

Today we have some leftovers from the weekend.

Tomorrow, I’ll cook some pork katsu and maybe have it with rice and Sigeumchi-namul (blanched spinach seasoned with soy sauce and sesame oil).

It’s going to be a hotter week I think, so I’ll keep the baking to a minimum.

Last week:

I read:

Moshi Moshi – Banana Yoshimoto

When Women Were Dragons – Kelly Barnhill

I posted:

Moshi Moshi by Banana Yoshimoto

Library Loot (August 24 to 30)

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