Posts by Sharlene

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

It’s Monday and school is starting!

 

 

That long awaited (at least for parents) day is here again! It’s the first day of school! Our school year here starts on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, we’ve been doing our usual share of eating…

 

Super Duper burgers

Tried out a newly opened Korean restaurant and it was quite good. We ordered bibimbap, corn cheese, kimbap, kimchi fried rice.

 

Currently…

 

Reading:

The Chocolate Maker’s Wife – Karen Brooks

 

Watching:

Chef’s Line

Listening:

 

 

Undeniable – Bill Nye

 

 

Eating:

I had toast this morning for breakfast

Drinking:

Nespresso

Cooking:

It’s still pretty hot out here so I’m reluctant to turn the oven on! Maybe I’ll just use the rice cooker more or cook pasta.

 

Last week:

I read:

Book Love – Debbie Tung
Skim – Mariko Tamaki
Naturally Tan – Tan France (audiobook)
Rocket Raccoon – Vol 1 Skottie Young, Jake Parker
Rocket Raccoon – Vol 2 Skottie Young, Jake Parker
Hawkeye Vol 3: LA Woman – Matt Fraction et al
Hawkeye Vol 4: Rio Bravo – Matt Fraction et al
Hawkeye Vol 5:All-New Hawkeye – Jeff Lemire, Ramon Perez
The Adventures of Superhero Girl – Faith Erin Hicks

I posted:

Eating Singapore 2019 #WeekendCooking

The Dragon Republic by RF Kuang #tlcbooktours

Library Loot (August 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

 

Advertisements

Eating Singapore 2019 #WeekendCooking

Warning: This is a post full of photos!

Because Singapore is a country full of amazing things to eat. Not just the local food but cuisines from all over the world. And Singaporeans love to eat.

Something that has been very popular in Singapore over the past couple of years or so is the well-known hotpot chain from China called HaiDiLao. It’s known for its amazing service especially when you have to wait for a table (which we didn’t). While waiting for your table, they provide all kinds of snacks and fruits and drinks. And at some outlets you can even get a manicure while you wait. The service inside the restaurant is great too – for instance, they provide bags for your phone, cribs for your babies, and if you are dining alone, you can be seated with a large stuffed toy.

And you have to get the hand-pulled noodles just so you can watch the guy do his noodle dance!

 

 

 

 

A lovely salad from PS Cafe at Ann Siang Hill.

 

 

I have loved these egg tarts from Tong Heng for years. And now they’ve gone all fancy!

 

 

 

My friend took me to Hans Im GlĂĽck, a Munich burger chain that’s surprisingly popular in Singapore. They have a great meat-less (and also meat-y) burger menu. I got a beef burger and my friend got a burger with an olive patty. My side of choice was a German cabbage salad which was delicious.

 

 

 

Ramen is everywhere in Singapore. And this chain, Hototogisu Ramen, is from Japan. It has a Michelin star! Each outlet in Singapore seems to have a unique ramen – this one at Great World City has an oyster broth which was so delicious and briny.

 

 

 

 

I happened to find online a local izakaya, a few minutes from my in-laws’ place in the east of Singapore where we were staying. I adore izakaya style food, which are a lot of yakitori (grilled skewered meats) and other snack-like foods for eating while having drinks. This one, called IZA, has some more “Singapore” style dishes like a otak tamago. Otak is a spicy fish paste and tamago is the Japanese word for egg. So it’s an egg omelette wrapped around a spicy fish paste. Quite good. They also had a nasi lemak onigiri. Onigiri being a rice ball, this one grilled. And nasi lemak is a local coconut rice dish, often eaten at breakfast time, and it’s served with fried fish, (sometimes fried chicken), cucumbers, and delicious spicy sambal.

 

 

 

Another local flavour, this time from an ice-cream place. This is Creamier and it’s located in an old army barracks area that’s turned into art galleries. The ice-cream flavour is ‘white rabbit’ just like the White Rabbit candy I loved as a kid. White Rabbit candy is a milk-based candy that’s wrapped in an edible rice paper. I also had a kaya toast flavour – kaya toast being a toasted bread with coconut jam and butter inside. The ice-cream even had bits of toasted bread (or at least it tasted like toasted bread!) within.

 

 

One of the best eclairs ever. It seriously even beats the one from Bouchon. This is from Rive Gauche. 

 

 

One of the most popular things to do in Singapore in 2019 was to visit the new Jewel at Changi Airport. It’s really just a mall but it has some unique places like the gorgeous waterfall and the country’s first ever Shake Shack. Now I know that Shake Shack is an American thing but it also just recently opened in the Bay Area in Palo Alto and we hadn’t been to it yet. So here we were in Singapore eating at an American chain. And it was, well, underwhelming. The burgers were not bad but I wasn’t a fan of the soft bun. Also I am not fond of crinkle cut fries.

 

 

Local kueh bought by a friend who invited us to their lovely home. All kinds of yummy coconuty and steamed goodness.

 

 

We last had some awesome Thai food in Los Angeles but I’m always up for more. This is in the Golden Mile Complex, a slightly more gritty shopping centre in Singapore that is full of Thai eateries and shops. I was excited to see green mango salad, which I can’t seem to find in the Bay Area.

 

A favourite local breakfast is at one of the kopitiams like this Killiney kopitiam.  They have a variety of dishes like noodles but my favourite is the kaya toast set with tea and soft-boiled eggs.

 

 

I was dying to have nasi Padang, which is a plethora of dishes one can pick to have with your rice. This is at Rumah Makan Minang in Tampines. And it was so good. We had sayur lodeh (a coconut gravy with vegetables like cabbage, carrots and green beans), beef rendang (a dry spicy beef curry of sorts), begedel (fried potato patties) and a tofu tempeh dish. Their green sambal is unique and very tasty. And strangely reminded me of tomatillo salsa.

 

 

Roti prata is a must-eat breakfast for me.

 

 

Satay! We ate so much satay over our three weeks. This one was the best – from Haroun Satay.

 

My family is part Teochew (also known as Chiu Chao), as in some of our ancestors originated from the Chaozhou prefecture of China. And we love Teochew food like braised goose and orhnee, a delicious yam paste dessert served sometimes with pumpkin or gingko nuts like in the photo. This was at Paradise Teochew at Vivocity.

 

 

See what else I’ve eaten in Singapore over the previous years’ visits:

Weekend Cooking: Eating Singapore part 1

#WeekendCooking Eating Singapore: Whitegrass at Chijmes

Eating Singapore: Set lunch at Grissini

Seafood high tea at The Westin Singapore

 

 

 

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

The Dragon Republic by RF Kuang #tlcbooktours

 

 

The Dragon Republic picks up where The Poppy War ends and the reader is thrown right back into the war zone.

(I’m trying to keep any spoilers for the first book out of this post, so please bear with me).

The Poppy War was, for me, an amazing read. For too long, much of the speculative fiction I read didn’t reflect myself or my culture, so to read this very Asian dark fantasy novel, it blew my mind. It made me think of all those (somewhat cheesy) myth-based Chinese TV series I grew up watching as a kid in Singapore – Journey to the West, Nezha – and all those Chinese movies like Red Cliff, Three Kingdoms, that my Dad watched.

So I definitely was excited to get my hands on the second book, The Dragon Republic. And it was just as awesome.

The focus here is very much on Rin, as she comes to terms with her actions in the first book. It’s still very much dark and war-centric (there are navy battles!) but the pace is less back-breaking than the first.

And Rin, well, she’s still Rin. She’s headstrong and determined. She makes horrible choices sometimes and terrible things happen to her. But that’s what makes her human, despite having a god’s powers. This second book is very much her story. It feels a little like the other characters are sidelined, and I was a bit disappointed with that, especially as the rest of the Cike don’t play much of a part.

Sometimes second books can be a big letdown and this one was absolutely not one of those. The Dragon Republic was exciting and complex, it was full of energy and passion and all kinds of darkness, and it kept me in good company on a 16-hour plane ride to Singapore.

 

 

 

Thanks to TLC Book Tours and

publisher Harper Voyage for sending me a copy of this book.

Check out the rest of the stops on the tour

Grab yourself a copy of this book: HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
 
Find out more about author RF Kuang: WebsiteTwitter, and Instagram

Library Loot (August 21 to 27)

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!

Here’s the link-up

Finally we are back into US time and this is the last week before school opens next Wednesday. I’m still not quite in the reading mode as much yet. So I’m hoping these selections will help!

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me – Mariko Tamaki

Laura Dean, the most popular girl in high school, was Frederica Riley’s dream girl: charming, confident, and SO cute. There’s just one problem: Laura Dean is maybe not the greatest girlfriend.

Reeling from her latest break up, Freddy’s best friend, Doodle, introduces her to the Seek-Her, a mysterious medium, who leaves Freddy some cryptic parting words: break up with her. But Laura Dean keeps coming back, and as their relationship spirals further out of her control, Freddy has to wonder if it’s really Laura Dean that’s the problem. Maybe it’s Freddy, who is rapidly losing her friends, including Doodle, who needs her now more than ever. Fortunately for Freddy, there are new friends, and the insight of advice columnists like Anna Vice to help her through being a teenager in love.

Mariko Tamaki and Rosemary Valero-O’Connell bring to life a sweet and spirited tale of young love that asks us to consider what happens when we ditch the toxic relationships we crave to embrace the healthy ones we need.

 

Skim – Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki

Heartbreakingly funny, moving and vibrantly drawn, Skim is an extraordinary book—a smart and sensitive graphic novel of the highest literary and artistic quality, by and about young women.

“Skim” is Kimberly Keiko Cameron, a not-slim, would-be Wiccan goth who goes to a private girls’ school. When Skim’s classmate Katie Matthews is dumped by her boyfriend, who then kills himself, the entire school goes into mourning overdrive. As concerned guidance counselors provide lectures on the “cycle of grief,” and the popular clique starts a new club (Girls Celebrate Life!) to bolster school spirit, Skim sinks into an ever-deepening depression.

And falling in love only makes things worse…

Suicide, depression, love, being gay or not, crushes, cliques, and finding a way to be your own fully human self—are all explored in this brilliant collaboration by cousins Mariko and Jillian Tamaki. An edgy, keenly observed and poignant glimpse into the heartache of being young.

Book Love – Debbie Tung

Bookworms rejoice! These charming comics capture exactly what it feels like to be head-over-heels for hardcovers. And paperbacks! And ebooks! And bookstores! And libraries!
 
Book Love is a gift book of comics tailor-made for tea-sipping, spine-sniffing, book-hoarding bibliophiles. Debbie Tung’s comics are humorous and instantly recognizable—making readers laugh while precisely conveying the thoughts and habits of book nerds. Book Love is the ideal gift to let a book lover know they’re understood and appreciated.

 

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 and we are in CA again

Hello hello. It’s been quite a few weeks since the last Monday post and well, I was on vacation. I know some people may still put up posts while on vacation, and yes, I did continue with my co-hosting of Library Loot  but other than that, this blog remained rather stagnant for a few weeks, for we were in Singapore visiting family, friends, doing all kinds of touristy things (although I’m not exactly a tourist but Singapore changes so fast and every year there’s something different, something new, something being torn down, something being built, roads changing etc). We also took a mini trip to Bintan island, Indonesia, which is a one-hour ferry ride away from Singapore.

Here are some random photos of Singapore.

 

 

 

 

The boys went rock climbing – and I tried it too but the height kind of freaked me out a bit and I didn’t dare go too high.

 

View of the skyline from the rooftop of the National Gallery.

 

The amazing fountain in the new Jewel at Changi airport. The fountain simply gets more amazing as you go further down the levels.

 

One of the newest libraries in Singapore is at the Vivocity mall. It faces Sentosa island and is largely volunteer-run.

 

Currently…

 

Reading:

 

Lily and the Octopus – Steve Rowley

 

Watching:

Chef’s Line

Listening:

Naturally Tan – Tan France

Eating:

I had some homemade walnut bread for breakfast

Drinking:

Green tea

Cooking:

Bak Kut Teh or literally translated, ‘meat bone tea’. Essentially a pork rib soup with herbs and spices, sometimes very peppery. And delicious.

 

Last week:

I read:

 

 

Jessica Jones Vol 1: Uncaged – Brian Michael Bendis, Michael Gaydos
Loki: Agent of Asgard vol 1 – Al Ewing, Lee Garbett, Jenny Frison
Loki: Agent of Asgard vol 2 – Al Ewing, Jorge Coelho
Puddin’ – Julie Murphy
Jessica Jones Vol 2: The Secrets of Maria Hill – Brian Michael Bendis, Michael Gaydos

 

 

 

 

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 (August 14 to 20)

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.

 

Not much of a Library Loot this week guys! I just got back from Singapore and haven’t quite gotten into our usual schedule yet. Then again, it’s still summer break and what really is a usual schedule when it comes to summer anyway?

But I’ve did pick up some library ebooks! Isn’t it wonderful how accessible ebooks can be?

Hopefully we will get back to our actual library visits soon!

Meanwhile, *yawn*, I am going to have a lie-down. And don’t forget to stop by Claire’s for the link-up!

Naturally Tan – Tan France (audiobook)

Oh I adore Queer Eye and these new seasons have made me so happy with all the incredible people they’re featuring. So many episodes have had me tearing up!

In this heartfelt, funny, touching memoir, Tan France, star of Netflix’s smash-hit QUEER EYE, tells his origin story for the first time. With his trademark wit, humor, and radical compassion, Tan reveals what it was like to grow up gay in a traditional Muslim family, as one of the few people of color in Doncaster, England. He illuminates his winding journey of coming of age, finding his voice (and style!), and how he finally came out to his family at the age of 34, revealing that he was happily married to the love of his life–a Mormon cowboy from Salt Lake City.

In Tan’s own words, “The book is meant to spread joy, personal acceptance, and most of all understanding. Each of us is living our own private journey, and the more we know about each other, the healthier and happier the world will be.”

From Scratch: A Memoir of Love, Sicily, and Finding Home – Tembi Locke

Found this when scrolling through the library ebook catalogue

It was love at first sight when Tembi met professional chef, Saro, on a street in Florence. There was just one problem: Saro’s traditional Sicilian family did not approve of him marrying a black American woman, an actress no less. However, the couple, heartbroken but undeterred, forges on. They build a happy life in Los Angeles, with fulfilling careers, deep friendships and the love of their lives: a baby girl they adopt at birth. Eventually, they reconcile with Saro’s family just as he faces a formidable cancer that will consume all their dreams.

From Scratch chronicles three summers Tembi spends in Sicily with her daughter, Zoela, as she begins to piece together a life without her husband in his tiny hometown hamlet of farmers. Where once Tembi was estranged from Saro’s family and his origins, now she finds solace and nourishment—literally and spiritually—at her mother in law’s table. In the Sicilian countryside, she discovers the healing gifts of simple fresh food, the embrace of a close knit community, and timeless traditions and wisdom that light a path forward. All along the way she reflects on her and Saro’s incredible romance—an indelible love story that leaps off the pages.

In Sicily, it is said that every story begins with a marriage or a death—in Tembi Locke’s case, it is both. Her story is about loss, but it’s really about love found. Her story is about travel, but it’s really about finding a home. It is about food, but it’s really about chasing flavor as an act of remembrance. From Scratch is for anyone who has dared to reach for big love, fought for what mattered most, and needed a powerful reminder that life is…delicious.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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). 

Library Loot (August 7 to 13)

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!

Just a couple of books from me this week. But first, here are more photos from one of the libraries in Singapore!

This is the library@Orchard, along the busy shopping street of Orchard Road. It’s located in a popular mall (one of many along Orchard Road) and a nice quiet place to sit among all the noise.

 

Dear Martin – Nic Stone

Raw, captivating, and undeniably real, Nic Stone joins industry giants Jason Reynolds and Walter Dean Myers as she boldly tackles American race relations in this stunning debut.

Justyce McAllister is top of his class and set for the Ivy League—but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. And despite leaving his rough neighborhood behind, he can’t escape the scorn of his former peers or the ridicule of his new classmates. Justyce looks to the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for answers. But do they hold up anymore? He starts a journal to Dr. King to find out.

Then comes the day Justyce goes driving with his best friend, Manny, windows rolled down, music turned up—way up, sparking the fury of a white off-duty cop beside them. Words fly. Shots are fired. Justyce and Manny are caught in the crosshairs. In the media fallout, it’s Justyce who is under attack.

 

 

Puddin’ – Julie Murphy

Millie Michalchuk has gone to fat camp every year since she was a girl. Not this year. This year she has new plans to chase her secret dream—and to kiss her crush. Callie Reyes is the pretty girl who is next in line for dance team captain and has the popular boyfriend. But when it comes to other girls, she’s more frenemy than friend. When circumstances bring the girls together over the course of a semester, they will surprise everyone (especially themselves) by realizing they might have more in common than they ever imagined.

 

 

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).