Library Loot (August 5 to August 11)

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! This week I’ve borrowed books that are fitting for August as it is Women in Translation month.

Don’t forget to link up your Library Loot post or comment below if you’d prefer. What did you get from your library this week?

 

Oh, Tama! by Mike Kanai, translated from the Japanese by Tomoko Aoyama and Paul McCarthy

Oh, Tama! A Mejiro Novel was written by Mieko Kanai and is a deeply eccentric novel about lives and connections—and a cat of course—in 1980’s Tokyo: witty, offbeat, and strangely profound. Oh, Tama! describes the haphazard lives of Natsuyuki Kanemitsu and his loosely connected circle of dysfunctional acquaintances and family. Natsuyuki is prevailed upon by his friend Alexandre, an occasional porn-film actor, to adopt the very pregnant cat Tama, who gives birth and remains throughout the novel as a silent observer of her human hosts. Further complications arise surrounding the mystery of who the father of Alexandre’s sister Tsuneko’s unborn child is, with Tsuneko (a bar owner) happy to collect money from anyone who may be responsible. One of these possible dads turns out to be Natsuyuki’s half-brother, abandoned and forgotten long ago as easily as Tama has parted with her kittens.A “fast and comedic novel,” Oh, Tama! plays out against a backdrop of cramped apartments and cheap food and drink where everyone seems to have an opinion on film, photography, and fashionable French art theory. It is part of the author’s esteemed series of “Meijiro” novels, named after the northwest area of Tokyo that so richly informs their urbanity and outlook.

Kim Jiyoung, Born 1962 by Cho Nam-Joo, translated from the Korean by Jamie Chang

In a small, tidy apartment on the outskirts of the frenzied metropolis of Seoul lives Kim Jiyoung. A thirtysomething-year-old “millennial everywoman,” she has recently left her white-collar desk job—in order to care for her newborn daughter full-time—as so many Korean women are expected to do. But she quickly begins to exhibit strange symptoms that alarm her husband, parents, and in-laws: Jiyoung impersonates the voices of other women—alive and even dead, both known and unknown to her. As she plunges deeper into this psychosis, her discomfited husband sends her to a male psychiatrist.

In a chilling, eerily truncated third-person voice, Jiyoung’s entire life is recounted to the psychiatrist—a narrative infused with disparate elements of frustration, perseverance, and submission. Born in 1982 and given the most common name for Korean baby girls, Jiyoung quickly becomes the unfavored sister to her princeling little brother. Always, her behavior is policed by the male figures around her—from the elementary school teachers who enforce strict uniforms for girls, to the coworkers who install a hidden camera in the women’s restroom and post their photos online. In her father’s eyes, it is Jiyoung’s fault that men harass her late at night; in her husband’s eyes, it is Jiyoung’s duty to forsake her career to take care of him and their child—to put them first.

Jiyoung’s painfully common life is juxtaposed against a backdrop of an advancing Korea, as it abandons “family planning” birth control policies and passes new legislation against gender discrimination. But can her doctor flawlessly, completely cure her, or even discover what truly ails her?

Rendered in minimalist yet lacerating prose, Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 sits at the center of our global #MeToo movement and announces the arrival of writer of international significance.

The Lonesome Bodybuilder by Yukiko Motoya, translated from the Japanese by Asa Yoneda

A housewife takes up bodybuilding and sees radical changes to her physique–which her workaholic husband fails to notice. A boy waits at a bus stop, mocking businessmen struggling to keep their umbrellas open in a typhoon–until an old man shows him that they hold the secret to flying. A woman working in a clothing boutique waits endlessly on a customer who won’t come out of the fitting room–and who may or may not be human. A newlywed notices that her husband’s features are beginning to slide around his face–to match her own.

In these eleven stories, the individuals who lift the curtains of their orderly homes and workplaces are confronted with the bizarre, the grotesque, the fantastic, the alien–and, through it, find a way to liberation. The English-language debut of one of Japan’s most fearlessly inventive young writers.

It’s Monday (August 3)

It’s August already! And the kids will be back in school at the end of the month. How the summer has flown by. Of course, if we weren’t in a pandemic, we would still be vacationing in Singapore, eating all that yummy food, sweating in the heat and humidity, spending time with family we haven’t seen since last year…oh well…

Nasi Lemak

Perhaps to make up for that, we decided to try out a new-to-us Malaysian eatery. Well it’s not entirely new to us, but an “express” version of the sit-down Malaysian restaurant we’ve been to a few times. This branch only has a few meal choices, rice dishes and noodle dishes, not the big dishes served family-style that the sit-down restaurant has.

We went with:

Hainanese chicken rice, Nasi Lemak (coconut rice with beef rendang or a stewed beef with spices), Seafood Kari Mee (a spicy coconut milk broth with noodles, seafood, vegetables). 

Unfortunately, the chicken rice wasn’t very good. The rice wasn’t flavourful enough, and it was too wet. Disappointing! The Seafood Kari Mee was chockfull of ingredients but needed more coconut milk. The Nasi Lemak was probably the most tasty and authentic. 

Cocaine chicken bowl – a bit messy since I slid it from the takeout box into my bowl

Another new place we tried sells rice bowls and wraps but with a Korean twist – not the bulgogi taco route but they had things like meatloaf wraps served with either egg fried rice or kimchi fried rice and macaroni salad (all inside the wrap). 

I especially liked their “cocaine chicken bowl” which reminded me a bit of sweet and sour pork, full of little crispy nuggets of chicken that are coated in a spicy sauce.

Lovely and empty. Also cold.

Other than all this eating, we took a day trip to the beach, for a change of scenery, a chance to take a breather and do something different.

It’s about an hour plus drive to Pescadero beach, the tide was high, the pelicans flying, the wind gusting at us. The beach, this being Northern California after all, had lots of kelp and mussel shells. The seagulls kept pecking at things in the sand as the waves pulled back from the shore. 

We enjoyed some homemade sushi by the beach. 

It was cold and gusty in the morning, but as we drove further south to Davenport and Santa Cruz, the sun was out – NorCal microclimates! – the sea was a glorious azure, sparkling in the sun.

And there was Shark Fin Cove, the beach requiring quite a hike down a steep path, but from where we were we could see quite a few people in this small beach… not ideal…luckily the kids had had their beach fun earlier (on the cold Pescadero coast), digging in the sand and finding shells and stones, that they were fine not going down to this busy beach.

In these strange times, we wore masks when there were people around (some parts of the beach were empty, thankfully), made sure to bring a small bottle of soap and some water to wash our hands with (the beaches have vault toilets – ie no running water). 

Currently…

Reading:

Watching:

Umbrella Academy. 

Listening:

Eating:

I had homemade walnut bread for breakfast

Drinking:

Tea with milk

Cooking:

We still have some hotpot soup leftover from Saturday. 

I was thinking of cooking gyudon, a Japanese-style beef bowl

Last week:

I read:

Ghosts of Greenglass House – Kate Milford

Shuri Vol 1 – Nnedi Okorafor

Beach Read – Emily Henry

I posted:

Library Loot (July 20 to August 4)

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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 (July 29 to August 4)

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.

Claire has the link-up this week. 

Some holds for new books came in for me this week. Quite excited!

Oooh very excited to get this hold!

10 Things I Hate About Pinky – Sandhya Menon

The follow-up to When Dimple Met Rishi and There’s Something about Sweetie follows Pinky and Samir as they pretend to date—with disastrous and hilarious results.

Pinky Kumar wears the social justice warrior badge with pride. From raccoon hospitals to persecuted rock stars, no cause is too esoteric for her to champion. But a teeny-tiny part of her also really enjoys making her conservative, buttoned-up corporate lawyer parents cringe.

Samir Jha might have a few . . . quirks remaining from the time he had to take care of his sick mother, like the endless lists he makes in his planner and the way he schedules every minute of every day, but those are good things. They make life predictable and steady.

Pinky loves lazy summers at her parents’ Cape Cod lake house, but after listening to them harangue her about the poor decisions (aka boyfriends) she’s made, she hatches a plan. Get her sorta-friend-sorta-enemy, Samir—who is a total Harvard-bound Mama’s boy—to pose as her perfect boyfriend for the summer. As they bicker their way through lighthouses and butterfly habitats, sparks fly, and they both realize this will be a summer they’ll never forget. 

Pizza Girl – Jean Kyoung Frazier

In the tradition of audacious and wryly funny novels like The Idiot and Convenience Store Woman comes the wildly original coming-of-age story of a pregnant pizza delivery girl who becomes obsessed with one of her customers.

Eighteen years old, pregnant, and working as a pizza delivery girl in suburban Los Angeles, our charmingly dysfunctional heroine is deeply lost and in complete denial about it all. She’s grieving the death of her father (who she has more in common with than she’d like to admit), avoiding her supportive mom and loving boyfriend, and flagrantly ignoring her future.

Her world is further upended when she becomes obsessed with Jenny, a stay-at-home mother new to the neighborhood, who comes to depend on weekly deliveries of pickled covered pizzas for her son’s happiness. As one woman looks toward motherhood and the other towards middle age, the relationship between the two begins to blur in strange, complicated, and ultimately heartbreaking ways.

Bold, tender, propulsive, and unexpected in countless ways, Jean Kyoung Frazier’s Pizza Girl is a moving and funny portrait of a flawed, unforgettable young woman as she tries to find her place in the world.

Beach Read – Emily Henry

A romance writer who no longer believes in love and a literary writer stuck in a rut engage in a summer-long challenge that may just upend everything they believe about happily ever afters.

Augustus Everett is an acclaimed author of literary fiction. January Andrews writes bestselling romance. When she pens a happily ever after, he kills off his entire cast.

They’re polar opposites.

In fact, the only thing they have in common is that for the next three months, they’re living in neighboring beach houses, broke, and bogged down with writer’s block.

Until, one hazy evening, one thing leads to another and they strike a deal designed to force them out of their creative ruts: Augustus will spend the summer writing something happy, and January will pen the next Great American Novel. She’ll take him on field trips worthy of any rom-com montage, and he’ll take her to interview surviving members of a backwoods death cult (obviously). Everyone will finish a book and no one will fall in love. Really.

What did you get from your library this week?

It’s Monday (July 27)

We had a busy Pokemon Go weekend as it was Go Fest, which is usually held in a particular city and thus would require airfare/hotel etc. But this year, because of the pandemic, Niantic decided it would be a so-called global event, one you could play from home.

I had no idea one sunflower plant could have so many flowers!

A new-to-me plant – San Marzano tomato. I’ve usually planted cherry tomatoes.

The photo below is of hyssop anise.

We hit a couple of parks over the weekend and this one was nice and empty. We were a bit uncomfortable at the main park, which is pretty and has a huge lake to walk around, as there were quite a few people there didn’t wear masks. And also there was one family who had their masks around their chins. I mean what’s the point of that? There are signs around the park that say face coverings are required. We have mainly been sticking to walks around our neighborhood and to our nearest two parks (one walkable, the other bikeable) and there, most of the people wear masks.

Finally made some masks for the husband and myself. I had made some for the kids earlier too.

Currently…

Reading:

Shards of Honor (Vorkosigan Saga #1) – Lois McMaster Bujold

Watching:

The Umbrella Academy Season 1

Listening:

On the Come Up – Angie Thomas

Eating:

Drinking:

Coffee – I woke up before 5 this morning…

Cooking:

Last week:

I read:

Ghosts of Greenglass House – Kate Milford

Frost Burned – Patricia Briggs

I posted:

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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 (July 22 to 28)

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. 

Welcome to another Library Loot Wednesday! Please share with us your recent library haul, in the link-up or the comments below!

onthecomeup

On the Come Up – Angie Thomas (audiobook)

Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Or at least make it out of her neighborhood one day. As the daughter of an underground rap legend who died before he hit big, Bri’s got big shoes to fill. But now that her mom has unexpectedly lost her job, food banks and shutoff notices are as much a part of Bri’s life as beats and rhymes. With bills piling up and homelessness staring her family down, Bri no longer just wants to make it—she has to make it.

On the Come Up is Angie Thomas’s homage to hip-hop, the art that sparked her passion for storytelling and continues to inspire her to this day. It is the story of fighting for your dreams, even as the odds are stacked against you; of the struggle to become who you are and not who everyone expects you to be; and of the desperate realities of poor and working-class black families.

shardsofhonor

Shards of Honor – Lois McMaster Bujold (Vorkosigan Saga #1 – Publication Order)

When Cordelia Naismith and her survey crew are attacked by a renegade group from Barrayar, she is taken prisoner by Aral Vorkosigan, commander of the Barrayan ship that has been taken over by an ambitious and ruthless crew member. Aral and Cordelia survive countless mishaps while their mutual admiration and even stronger feelings emerge.

fallingfree

So in the ebook edition (cover above), this book was labeled as the first book in the saga. It was only after I downloaded it that I realised this was technically a standalone story, and in publication order was #4.

Falling Free – Lois McMaster Bujold (Vorkosigan Saga #4 – Publication Order)

Leo Graf was an effective engineer…Safety Regs weren’t just the rule book he swore by; he’d helped write them. All that changed on his assignment to the Cay Habitat. Leo was profoundly uneasy with the corporate exploitation of his bright new students—till that exploitation turned to something much worse. He hadn’t anticipated a situation where the right thing to do was neither safe, nor in the rules…

Leo Graf adopted 1000 quaddies—now all he had to do was teach them to be free.

This hold just came in yesterday!

Party of Two (The Wedding Date #5) – Jasmine Guillory

A chance meeting with a handsome stranger turns into a whirlwind affair that gets everyone talking.

Dating is the last thing on Olivia Monroe’s mind when she moves to LA to start her own law firm. But when she meets a gorgeous man at a hotel bar and they spend the entire night flirting, she discovers too late that he is none other than hotshot junior senator Max Powell. Olivia has zero interest in dating a politician, but when a cake arrives at her office with the cutest message, she can’t resist–it is chocolate cake, after all.

Olivia is surprised to find that Max is sweet, funny, and noble–not just some privileged white politician she assumed him to be. Because of Max’s high-profile job, they start seeing each other secretly, which leads to clandestine dates and silly disguises. But when they finally go public, the intense media scrutiny means people are now digging up her rocky past and criticizing her job, even her suitability as a trophy girlfriend. Olivia knows what she has with Max is something special, but is it strong enough to survive the heat of the spotlight?

What did you get from your library this week?

It’s Monday (July 20, 2020)

I feel like we are speeding through July!

Here’s what we did last week…

I made Lemon Bliss Cake and chocolate chip doughnuts

The kids had a playdate with friends in the neighbouring park. It’s how birthdays are celebrated these days! A few hours spent outdoors, masks on, scootering, biking, snacking, climbing trees, playing with frisbees and stomp rockets

Currently…

Reading:

I feel like I’m reading more again!

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Heart Berries – Terese Marie Mailhot

Watching:

J-Style Trip on Netflix – Taiwanese singer Jay Chou and his magician buddies travel the world. The kids love watching this, surprisingly, despite it all being in Mandarin.

Listening:

onthecomeup

I just downloaded the audiobook of On the Come Up by Angie Thomas

Eating:

For lunch, leftover paneer masala pizza!

Drinking:

Coffee

Cooking:

Maybe some Mac and cheese because we could all use some comfort food.

Claypot rice too!

Last week:

I read:

noughts&crosses

Fence Vol 1, 2, 3 – C.S. Pacat

The Old Guard Book 1 – Greg Rucka

Noughts and Crosses – Marjorie Blackman

I posted:

Library Loot (July 15 to 21)

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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 (July 15 to 21)

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! And welcome to another Library Loot post.

Claire has the link-up this week. 

Heart Berries by Terese Marie Hailhot

Heart Berries is a powerful, poetic memoir of a woman’s coming of age on the Seabird Island Indian Reservation in the Pacific Northwest. Having survived a profoundly dysfunctional upbringing only to find herself hospitalized and facing a dual diagnosis of post traumatic stress disorder and bipolar II disorder; Terese Marie Mailhot is given a notebook and begins to write her way out of trauma. The triumphant result is Heart Berries, a memorial for Mailhot’s mother, a social worker and activist who had a thing for prisoners; a story of reconciliation with her father―an abusive drunk and a brilliant artist―who was murdered under mysterious circumstances; and an elegy on how difficult it is to love someone while dragging the long shadows of shame.

Mailhot trusts the reader to understand that memory isn’t exact, but melded to imagination, pain, and what we can bring ourselves to accept. Her unique and at times unsettling voice graphically illustrates her mental state. As she writes, she discovers her own true voice, seizes control of her story, and, in so doing, reestablishes her connection to her family, to her people, and to her place in the world.

Noughts & Crosses (Noughts & Crosses #1) – Marjorie Blackman

Sephy is a Cross: she lives a life of privilege and power. But she’s lonely, and burns with injustice at the world she sees around her.

Callum is a nought: he’s considered to be less than nothing – a blanker, there to serve Crosses – but he dreams of a better life.

They’ve been friends since they were children, and they both know that’s as far as it can ever go. Noughts and Crosses are fated to be bitter enemies – love is out of the question.

Then – in spite of a world that is fiercely against them – these star-crossed lovers choose each other.

But this is love story that will lead both of them into terrible danger . . . and which will have shocking repercussions for generations to come.

Voted as one of the UK’s best-loved books, Malorie Blackman’s Noughts & Crosses is a seminal piece of YA fiction; a true modern classic.

I was excited to have my hold come in! I loved the first book!

Take a Hint, Dani Brown – Talia Hibbert

Talia Hibbert returns with another charming romantic comedy about a young woman who agrees to fake date her friend after a video of him “rescuing” her from their office building goes viral…

Danika Brown knows what she wants: professional success, academic renown, and an occasional roll in the hay to relieve all that career-driven tension. But romance? Been there, done that, burned the T-shirt. Romantic partners, whatever their gender, are a distraction at best and a drain at worst. So Dani asks the universe for the perfect friend-with-benefits—someone who knows the score and knows their way around the bedroom.

When brooding security guard Zafir Ansari rescues Dani from a workplace fire drill gone wrong, it’s an obvious sign: PhD student Dani and ex-rugby player Zaf are destined to sleep together. But before she can explain that fact, a video of the heroic rescue goes viral. Now half the internet is shipping #DrRugbae—and Zaf is begging Dani to play along. Turns out, his sports charity for kids could really use the publicity. Lying to help children? Who on earth would refuse?

Dani’s plan is simple: fake a relationship in public, seduce Zaf behind the scenes. The trouble is, grumpy Zaf’s secretly a hopeless romantic—and he’s determined to corrupt Dani’s stone-cold realism. Before long, he’s tackling her fears into the dirt. But the former sports star has issues of his own, and the walls around his heart are as thick as his… um, thighs.

Suddenly, the easy lay Dani dreamed of is more complex than her thesis. Has her wish backfired? Is her focus being tested? Or is the universe just waiting for her to take a hint?

Next up are some comics via Hoopla. As you may have seen, I only recently discovered that my library had a Hoopla subscription that started earlier this year. Then, I realised that Hoopla has a limit of six per month, which is so hard because I want to read SO MANY!

Crowded Vol 2 – Christopher Sebela 

Eleven minutes into the future, Charlie Ellison is the subject of a million dollar crowdfunded REAPR campaign on her head. Low-rated DFEND bodyguard Vita is keeping her safe for 30 days from a desperate population looking to get rich quick with a gun and a dream.

After escaping a big, televised attempt on their lives and the Reapr campaign blowing past two million bucks, Charlie and Vita abandon Los Angeles for the utopian desert paradise of Las Vegas in search of who started the Reapr campaign and how to shut it down. In the process, the human debris of Charlie’s past and the well-kept secrets of Vita’s old life will come spilling out too. As tensions rise and the attempted murderers keep coming, the only thing more unlikely than Charlie and Vita surviving their Reapr killers is them surviving each other.

Fence Vol 1 and 2 – C.S. Pacat, Johana the Mad 

Nicholas, the illegitimate son of a retired fencing champion, is a scrappy fencing wunderkind, and dreams of getting the chance and the training to actually compete. After getting accepted to the prodigious Kings Row private school, Nicholas is thrust into a cut-throat world, and finds himself facing not only his golden-boy half-brother, but the unbeatable, mysterious Seiji Katayama…

Through clashes, rivalries, and romance between teammates, Nicholas and the boys of Kings Row will discover there’s much more to fencing than just foils and lunges.

Ooh I was excited to find this one!

Shuri Vol 1: The Search for Black Panther – Nnedi Okorafor

The world fell in love with her in Marvel’s Black Panther. Now, T’Challa’s techno-genius sister launches her own adventures — written by best-selling Afrofuturist author Nnedi Okorafor and drawn by Eisner Award-nominated artist Leonardo Romero! T’Challa has disappeared, and everyone is looking at the next in line for the throne. Wakanda expects Shuri to take on the mantle of Black Panther once more and lead their great nation — but she’s happiest in a lab, surrounded by her own inventions. She’d rather be testing gauntlets than throwing them down! So it’s time for Shuri to go rescue her brother yet again — with a little help from Storm, Rocket Raccoon and Groot, of course! But when her outer-space adventure puts the entire cultural history of her continent at risk from an energy-sapping alien threat, can Shuri and Iron Man save Africa?

What did you get from your library this week?

 

It’s Monday (July 13, 2020)

It was my birthday this past weekend!

Well, with the situation as it is, we kept it simple, but did go a bit further to pick up lunch and the cake the husband had ordered. We went into Mountain View, where one of the main roads has been closed to traffic and turned into a large outdoor dining area. We didn’t eat there but took the food home to eat, as we are still being extra cautious about being out.

We had lunch from Doppio Zero:

  • squid ink pasta with seafood
  • oxtail rigatoni
  • pizza with rapini, burrata, Calabrian chili
  • pizza with burrata, arugula, prosciutto
  • fried calamari and shrimp

Also, this cake from Alexander’s Patisserie which may look familiar if you’ve followed this blog for a while, as the husband has ordered it three years in a row for my birthday. It’s that good – and that sinful, so only a small slice for each of us.

For dinner, we had delicious Malaysian/Singaporean food, as well as Burmese food.

What a delightful birthday!

Currently…

Reading:

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Watching:

Old Guard on Netflix

Eating:

A bagel for breakfast

Drinking:

Coffee

Cooking:

For dinner tonight, spinach and meatball pasta

Last week:

I read:

Beyond Magenta – Susan Kuklin

Braised Pork – An Yu

I posted:

Library Loot (July 8 to 14)

Most-Read Authors #TopTenTuesday

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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 (July 8 to 14)

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 July! We are into the second half of 2020. And what a year it has been… and I’m going to just leave it at that, and just hope that things improve as we move further into 2020.

But we will always have books. Meanwhile, if you have Library Loot to share, join in the fun below!

I quite enjoyed the first book in this series but it was a while ago, so maybe I should reread that one first!

Ghosts of Greenglass House by Kate Milford

Welcome back to the irresistible world of Greenglass House where thirteen-year-old Milo is, once again, spending the winter holidays stuck in a house full of strange guests who are not what they seem. There are fresh clues to uncover as friends old and new join in his search for a mysterious map and a famous smuggler’s lost haul.

The Inflatable Woman by Rachael Ball

Iris (or balletgirl_42 as she’s known on the Internet dating circuit) is a zookeeper looking for love when she is diagnosed with breast cancer. Overnight, her life becomes populated by a carnival of daunting hospital characters. Despite the attempts of her friends–Maud, Grandma Suggs, Larry the Monkey, and a group of singing penguins–to comfort her, her fears begin to encircle her, and she clings to the attention of a lighthouse keeper called sailor_buoy_39.

The Inflatable Woman combines magical realism with the grit of everyday life to create a poignant and surreal journey inside the human psyche.

Well-Read Black Girl – edited by Glory Edim

Remember that moment when you first encountered a character who seemed to be written just for you? That feeling of belonging can stick with readers the rest of their lives–but it doesn’t come around as frequently for all of us. In this timely anthology, “well-read black girl” Glory Edim brings together original essays by some of our best black female writers and creative voices to shine a light on how we search for ourselves in literature, and how important it is that everyone–no matter their gender, race, religion, or abilities–can find themselves there. Whether it’s learning about the complexities of femalehood from Their Eyes Were Watching God, seeing a new type of love in The Color Purple, or using mythology to craft an alternative black future, each essay reminds us why we turn to books in times of both struggle and relaxation. As she has done with her incredible book-club-turned-online-community Well-Read Black Girl, in this book, Edim has created a space where black women’s writing and knowledge and life experiences are lifted up, to be shared with all readers who value the power of a story to help us understand the world, and ourselves.

Contributors include: Jesmyn Ward (Sing Unburied Sing), Lynn Nottage (Sweat), Jacqueline Woodson (Another Brooklyn), Gabourey Sidibe (This Is Just My Face), Morgan Jerkins (This Will Be My Undoing), Zinzi Clemmons (What We Lose), N. K. Jemisin (The Fifth Season), Tayari Jones (An American Marriage), Nicole Dennis-Benn (Here Comes the Sun), Rebecca Walker (Black, White and Jewish), and more.

What did you get from your library this week?

It’s Monday (July 6, 2020)

It was a long weekend for the husband, whose office was closed from Thursday, to celebrate Independence Day. Usually my city has a parade down the Main Street, featuring motorbikes, gymnasts, school bands, wushu performances, floats and more. But this year, of course, that could not take place! The flyby still did happen though, and the kids loved watching the propeller planes go by in formation – three times!

For July 4th, we did a backyard barbecue with ribeye steak, sausages, asparagus, mini peppers, potatoes, and corn. And I had made my first ever lemon meringue pie! 

 

 

 

Other things this past week – tired of waiting for the masks we ordered to arrive (they don’t seem to have shipped still!), I pulled out some old clothes, that small sewing kit tucked away for mending, and checked out a Youtube video for making face masks without a sewing machine 

 

 

 

 

Currently…

Reading:

Polaris Rising by Jessie Mihalik

Watching:

Crazy Delicious on Netflix – love the fun set and the way the contestants get to “forage” for the ingredients instead of that silly race to the pantry that most cooking competitions have.

Listening:

Crime and Punishment – yes, still

Eating:

I had toast for breakfast. And we will have dim sum leftovers for lunch. Char siew bao, here I come.

 

Drinking:

Strawberry and clementine water. That is, I chopped some fruits up, and popped into a glass jug filled with cold water. It sat there overnight. And is nice and refreshing.

Cooking:

I have lots of vegetables to cook up – broccoli in the oven, perhaps, if it’s not too hot.

I was considering making some lemon bars or my favourite lemon bliss cake 

Last week:

I read:

A Taste of Sage – Yaffa S. Santos

Just Mercy- Bryan Stevenson

I posted:

Library Loot (July 1 to 7)

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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