#ripxiii Death by Dumpling by Vivien Chien

A fun cosy foodie mystery series set in an Asian mall in Ohio. The main character is a young woman working in her parents’ Chinese restaurant (thanks to a bad breakup, a lost job ie desperation and bills to pay). She delivers the mall owner’s usual lunch order only to find later that he had a fatal allergic reaction to the shrimp in it – where was his epipen? Who would want him dead? Lots of fun to read & I especially liked the setting!


Crochet pumpkins, shawls and ripple blankets, oh my

I’m attempting to keep track of my crochet projects each month!

Crochet pumpkin

I used this crochet pumpkin pattern from Petals to Picots

This was a first for me, using a sport weight (yarn category 2) yarn which is called Ombre Life from Lion Brand. It’s a very gentle transition from dark blue to light blue and was perfect for this rectangular shawl called Lacey Arches Stole (pattern from Cascade Yarns)

And I finally finished my first of two ripple blankets. This one is for the 5yo who picked the colours of his own blanket. I somehow managed to figure out how to do a border for it and I’m quite happy I did! I’m still in the process of making the second blanket for my 7yo. I love making these ripples but it’s a lot of weaving in of ends!

#ripxiii – Death Notice by Zhou HaoHui

An action-packed crime thriller set in China that sold more than 1 million print copies and is now published in English. The killer styles himself as an avenger of unpunished crimes, calling himself Eumenides & sending out death notices listing their crimes and date of execution. This is the first book in a trilogy has a complicated plot & sometimes stilted dialogue but it was a pretty exciting page turner!

I read this for RIP XIII

RIPXIII – Tangerine by Christine Mangan

I wasn’t expecting this plot line. I thought it would just be a more generic expat story and what attracted me was its setting – Morocco. Instead it has echoes of The Talented Mr Ripley, an obsessive friendship told in alternating viewpoints. Dark and twisted, this book was a bit uneven and I wish the women were more distinguishable and the Morocco setting utilized more. Still, a decent read. .

Unthinkable: What The World’s Most Extraordinary Brains Can Teach Us About Our Own

A science journalist’s interest in rare brain disorders takes her around the world as she meets people with lycanthropy, audio hallucinations, Cotard delusion or Walking Corpse Syndrome (ie thinking you’re dead). I listened to the audiobook, read by Thomson herself, & I felt all the earnestness and hard work that she poured into her research as well as her fascination for the subject.

It’s Monday and it’s been ages since an It’s Monday post

Hello hello!

It’s been a long time since I’ve gone and done one of these posts. Why? Utter laziness perhaps.

What’s been happening lately? School is back in full swing. The kids go at different times (kindergarten is half-day and my younger boy is in the afternoon class) so it means a lot of driving to and from school. Luckily we don’t live too far. We had Back to School night last Tuesday where things like homework and all the online apps were discussed. And homework begins again this week!

Some stuff we did last week…

Tin Pot Creamery

Gott’s Roadside fish tacos and fries

And a wander around Books Inc

The kids have been taking tennis lessons for a while now but we have only just started playing tennis together as a family. And the kids are having fun.

We were heading to lunch in Los Altos on Sunday and they happened to have a Corvette car show on! The boys were pleased.

What The Duck Pizza at State of Mind Pub House

A mango coconut cake from Satura Bakery




The Great British Bake Off – not the latest latest version that’s currently being shown in the UK but instead I’m rewatching the latest version that’s on Netflix




No-knead baguette that the 5yo and I made


Water at the moment but I’m thinking of having a Nespresso


Thinking of making gyudon- a Japanese-style beef rice bowl

I’ve still got a Romanesco broccoli to cook up, maybe just oven-roasted with some pork chops

Last week:

I read:

I posted:

#ripxiii – Unbury Carol

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

#RIPXIII – Graveyard Apartment by Mariko Koike

Graveyard Apartment doesn’t bring on the creep factor early on. Instead it opens very much like a typical domestic story. A family moves into a new apartment. But this apartment so happens to be located next to a graveyard. Which is of course the main reason why it’s so affordable – and thus attractive to this young family buying their first home.

And it does seem pleasant enough at first, with some beautiful daphne flowers blooming, and even cherry blossoms bordering the graveyard. The family sets about getting routines down, like getting kindergarten uniforms for their daughter and meeting the neighbors. A couple of unusual things does happen, like their pet bird dies and there seems to be a strange image on the TV but nothing to ruffle feathers. That is, until their daughter gets injured while playing in the basement, and things start getting weird from then on.

Graveyard Apartment is rather slow-moving as horror fiction goes. It was originally published in 1986 and perhaps the pacing of the storyline reflects that.

But when it got going, it did get pretty creepy for me – but then I am a big chicken when it comes to horror fiction – and found myself wishing I weren’t alone at home (and I live in a very quiet neighborhood).

Would you live near a cemetery? I wouldn’t.