It’s Monday (February 8, 2021)

Happy Monday!

D37FE662-2CBC-465C-A0E9-C759ECFFDBF5

Last Saturday, I felt like having some mushroom risotto! Luckily I also remembered that I had a half package of scallops (from Costco) in the freezer. I adore risotto. For a long time I had thought it was only a thing one could have in restaurants. Then I realised that it’s actually quite easy to cook. It’s a little like cooking rice porridge (which I cook quite often), except that it requires a bit more patience and stirring. And usually I cook rice porridge with just plain water, but with risotto, I use vegetable stock. Also the difference is in the adding of cheese, as that’s not something you eat with congee 😛

4AB86445-640F-42EA-867E-EB130C2AEA87

We also had dim sum over the weekend.  Mine was full of halves – half a charsiubao, half a spring roll, half a prawn ball, half a daikon cake. Full of deliciousness!

310A9392-C409-4299-B66F-BB3390EC9843

Last week’s bread making – honey walnut bread that somehow accidentally had a face on it.

82DA738B-C2EB-4955-9247-6B29CF323C86

Again, we had our opossum visitor. Aren’t these guys supposed to be nocturnal? Later in the afternoon, I came across a raccoon in the front yard of my opposite neighbour – I’ve never seen a racoon in our neighbourhood before.

Currently…

Reading:

19184599-6D7D-4A47-8C79-CB15D5D583CE

The husband went to pick up some groceries from the Japanese supermarket in San Jose, and I asked him to grab some stuff for lunch. It was a busy morning for me as I wanted to wet vacuum our carpets. I was spring cleaning before the Lunar New Year, the first day of which is Friday.

Watching:

Still catching up on my rewatch of The Magicians.

Eating and drinking:

Toast and tea as usual for breakfast.

Cooking:

Thursday is Lunar New Year eve, which is 团圆饭 tuanyuanfan or reunion dinner. The only family we have here is the four of us, so we always have a simple hotpot, but with really excellent quality sliced beef from the Japanese store. The hotpot usually lasts us another meal. I might also make some noodles another day.

Last week:

I read:

How to Love a Jamaican – Alexia Arthurs

Luisa: Now and Then – Carole Maurel, Mariko Tamaki

I posted:

Latitudes of Longing by Shubhangi Swarup

Breasts and Eggs by Mieko Kawakami

Library Loot (February 3 to 9)

Books Written Before I Was Born #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

Library Loot (February 3 to 9)

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 happy February to you! A new month means that I can borrow more comics on Hoopla. Hooray!

I just discovered that the Libby app has a whole lot of Noel Streatfeild ebooks, many of which I haven’t read. 

Judith by Noel Streatfeild

Passionately, as other children collect shells, stamps or bus tickets, Judith collected kind words and kind looks dropped by Mother.

Twelve-year-old Judith has been brought up in Europe by her mother, governess and highbrow uncles and aunts. She’s had her hand held all the way through life – even though that hand has often been cold and distant. Now she’s about to board a plane to England all alone to visit the father who abandoned her . . .

Although instead of despising her distant father, Judith finds she really likes him. He treats her as an adult, his side of the family seem to enjoy her company and she finally receives the appreciation she’s always craved from her mother. But is he really as wonderful as he seems?

Carnegie Medal winning author Noel Streatfield navigates through complicated family issues in this perceptive coming of age novel, Judith.

I’m reading this for the Read Harder challenge – read an LGBTQ+ history book

Queer: A Graphic History by Meg-John Barker

Activist-academic Meg-John Barker and cartoonist Julia Scheele illuminate the histories of queer thought and LGBTQ+ action in this groundbreaking non-fiction graphic novel.

From identity politics and gender roles to privilege and exclusion, Queer explores how we came to view sex, gender and sexuality in the ways that we do; how these ideas get tangled up with our culture and our understanding of biology, psychology and sexology; and how these views have been disputed and challenged.

Along the way we look at key landmarks which shift our perspective of what’s ‘normal’ – Alfred Kinsey’s view of sexuality as a spectrum, Judith Butler’s view of gendered behaviour as a performance, the play Wicked, or moments in Casino Royale when we’re invited to view James Bond with the kind of desiring gaze usually directed at female bodies in mainstream media.

Presented in a brilliantly engaging and witty style, this is a unique portrait of the universe of queer thinking.

All these are Hoopla titles

The Heart of the Beast – Dean Motter, Judith Dupre

Dynamite Entertainment celebrates the 20th Anniversary of this hauntingly evocative graphic novel, written by Dean Motter and Judith Dupre, and featuring lavishly painted artwork by superstar Sean Phillips (Fatale, Criminal). “Science transformed his body, artistry inspired his soul.” The Heart of the Beast explores the timeless themes of classic horror literature, set against the backdrop of New York City’s decadent art world in the Nineties. Sandra, a beautiful and young bartender, meets the enigmatic Victor, a man with strange scars and stranger secrets. A critically acclaimed tale of gothic love and modern horror, this digitally remastered hardcover edition features additional scrapbook material and commentary by the creators.

 

 

Luisa: Now and Then – Carole Maurel

At 32, Luisa encounters her 15-year-old self in this sensitive, bold story about self-acceptance and sexuality. Single, and having left behind her dream to become a renowned photographer, she is struggling to find out who she is and what she wants. In order to help and guide her younger self, she must finally face herself and her past. When Luisa finds herself attracted to a female neighbor, things become even more complicated… Insightful and funny, this is a feel-good coming-of-age story.

Rascal – Jean-Luc Deglin

Rascal is a cat. My cat. I didn’t ask for him, he just sort of… happened to me. But that’s just how it works sometimes, isn’t it?

When a mysterious mewling package arrives in the mail, one busy young woman’s life changes forever. Rascal lives up to his name, filling every day with wild adventures and long naps: brave expeditions into closets, fierce battles with curtains, and wrestling with slumbering giants… Sometimes she’s tempted to throw him out the window. He’s lucky he’s cute.

Over 128 pages, Jean-Luc Deglin paints a purring portrait of one unforgettable black cat, an elegant inky swirl in a world of striking blue tones. Hilarious and heartwarming, exasperating and enchanting, Rascal captures the full range of emotions that come with keeping God’s cutest killing machine as a pet.

If you love cats, or dream of having one, this book is dedicated to you. Once you bring Rascal into your life, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without him.

Billie Holiday – Carlos Sampayo

Born in Philadelphua in 1915, and dead too early in New York in 1959, Billie Holiday became a legendary jazz singer, even mythical. With her voice even now managing to touch so many people, we follow a reporter on the trail of the artist on behalf of a New York daily. Beyond the public scandals that marred the life of the star (alcohol, drugs, violence…), he seeks to restore the truth, revisiting the memory of Billie. Through this investigation, Muñoz and Sampayo trace, through the undertones of racism, and in the wake of the blues, the slow drift of a singer who expressed the deepest emotions in jazz. By internationally renowned Argentine artists, featuring Muñoz’ strikingly raw heavy blacks, this is not just a biography but a spell-binding art book tribute.

A Gift for a Ghost – Borja Gonzalez

In Borja González’s stunning graphic novel, two parallel stories reflect and intertwine in a tale of youthful dreams and desires. In 1856, Teresa, a young aristocrat, is more interested in writing avantgarde horror poetry than making a suitable marriage. In 2016, three teenage girls, Gloria, Laura, and Cristina, want to start a punk band called the Black Holes. They have everything they need: attitude, looks, instinct . . . and an alarming lack of musical talent. They’ve barely started rehearsing when strange things begin to happen. As their world and Teresa’s intersect, they’re haunted by the echo of something that happened 160 years ago.

 

The kids’ loot:

6FF25A29-4050-42C8-9C67-2294216929E5

What did you get from your library this week?

It’s Monday (February 1, 2020)

What? It’s February already? How did that happen?

How was your week? California finally moved out of lockdown last week and so outdoor dining, hair salons and the like are opening again (with restrictions that is). Of course that didn’t exactly mean much, the lockdown, it’s not like it’s strictly enforced – I’m comparing it to Singapore where people get fined for breaching quarantine, for having too many people over, where restaurants are forced to close for a couple of weeks if their customers don’t follow the rules (no more than 8 people to a table, no mixing between tables etc). In California, sure they say not to mix with others outside your household or go out unnecessarily, but I’m not sure that can be enforced in any way.

We didn’t do much this past weekend but here are a few things…

8E8F4B2A-2540-427C-B770-EF8018B77956

There was a nice sunset yesterday.

05646F94-46B5-45FF-8BF4-BD32E25BBC8C

The second graders made Lunar New Year crafts (there’s a New Year saying, 年年有余 nián nián yǒu yú, which means to have abundance year after year).

43EB6F86-8504-451A-96AC-717D4BC17375

The 9yo made a flourless chocolate cake. Very rich very delicious!

Currently…

Reading:

Before the Ever After – Jacqueline Woodson

How to Love a Jamaican – Alexia Arthurs

Watching:

The Magicians on Netflix

Listening:

Still trying to listen to A Tale of Two Cities!

Eating:

Had a few slices of baguette for breakfast, as well as mozzarella cheese.

Drinking:

Tea earlier, might drink a coffee next.

Cooking:

Not so sure about what to cook yet. Maybe I’ll make a baked Mac and cheese. I do have some cauliflower and broccoli to cook up, so probably will roast them in the oven, maybe with some sausages and potatoes.

Last week:

I read:

71A935AA-36E6-49A6-852D-2CD2D01258AA

Breasts and Eggs – Mieko Kawakami

Fly on the Wall – Remy Lai

I Love You So Mochi – Sarah Kuhn

I posted:

Library Loot (January 27 to February 2)

New-to-me authors of 2020 #TopTenTuesday

Guess I didn’t post much last week!

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 (January 27 to February 2)

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! Claire has the link-up this week

A mix of different types of reads this week, including some works that are not prose for a change!

Also on Instagram there’s a #readtheworld21 challenge, and in February the focus is on southern and Eastern Africa, and I’ve not read much African lit, so I want to try to read more. 

The First Wife – Paulina Chiziane

After twenty years of marriage, Rami discovers that her husband has been living a double–or rather, a quintuple–life. Tony, a senior police officer in Maputo, has apparently been supporting four other families for many years. Rami remains calm in the face of her husband’s duplicity and plots to make an honest man out of him. After Tony is forced to marry the four other women–as well as an additional lover–according to polygamist custom, the rival lovers join together to declare their voices and demand their rights. In this brilliantly funny and feverishly scathing critique, a major work from Mozambique’s first published female novelist, Paulina Chiziane explores her country’s traditional culture, its values and hypocrisy, and the subjection of women the world over.

 

Before the Ever After – Jacqueline Woodson

National Book Award winner Jacqueline Woodson’s stirring novel-in-verse explores how a family moves forward when their glory days have passed and the cost of professional sports on Black bodies.

For as long as ZJ can remember, his dad has been everyone’s hero. As a charming, talented pro football star, he’s as beloved to the neighborhood kids he plays with as he is to his millions of adoring sports fans. But lately life at ZJ’s house is anything but charming. His dad is having trouble remembering things and seems to be angry all the time. ZJ’s mom explains it’s because of all the head injuries his dad sustained during his career. ZJ can understand that–but it doesn’t make the sting any less real when his own father forgets his name. As ZJ contemplates his new reality, he has to figure out how to hold on tight to family traditions and recollections of the glory days, all the while wondering what their past amounts to if his father can’t remember it. And most importantly, can those happy feelings ever be reclaimed when they are all so busy aching for the past?

Rent a Boyfriend – Gloria Chao

Chloe Wang is nervous to introduce her parents to her boyfriend, because the truth is, she hasn’t met him yet either. She hired him from Rent for Your ’Rents, a company specializing in providing fake boyfriends trained to impress even the most traditional Asian parents.

Drew Chan’s passion is art, but after his parents cut him off for dropping out of college to pursue his dreams, he became a Rent for Your ’Rents employee to keep a roof over his head. Luckily, learning protocols like “Type C parents prefer quiet, kind, zero-PDA gestures” comes naturally to him.

When Chloe rents Drew, the mission is simple: convince her parents fake Drew is worthy of their approval so they’ll stop pressuring her to accept a proposal from Hongbo, the wealthiest (and slimiest) young bachelor in their tight-knit Asian American community.

But when Chloe starts to fall for the real Drew—who, unlike his fake persona, is definitely not ’rent-worthy—her carefully curated life begins to unravel. Can she figure out what she wants before she loses everything?

 

I’m going to try reading this for the Back to the Classics challenge 

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – Ken Kesey

Boisterous, ribald, and ultimately shattering, this is the unforgettable story of a mental ward and its inhabitants, especially the tyrannical Big Nurse and Randle Patrick McMurphy, the brawling, life-loving new inmate who resolves to oppose her. We see the struggle through the eyes of Chief Bromden, the seemingly mute half-Indian patient, who witnesses and understands McMurphy’s heroic attempt to do battle with the awesome power of The Combine.

Citizen: an American Lyric – Claudia Rankine

Claudia Rankine’s bold new book recounts mounting racial aggressions in ongoing encounters in twenty-first-century daily life and in the media. Some of these encounters are slights, seeming slips of the tongue, and some are intentional offensives in the classroom, at the supermarket, at home, on the tennis court with Serena Williams and the soccer field with Zinedine Zidane, online, on TV-everywhere, all the time. The accumulative stresses come to bear on a person’s ability to speak, perform, and stay alive. Our addressability is tied to the state of our belonging, Rankine argues, as are our assumptions and expectations of citizenship. In essay, image, and poetry, Citizen is a powerful testament to the individual and collective effects of racism in our contemporary, often named “post-race” society.

I thought the first book by Lai, Pie in the Sky, was adorable!

Fly on the Wall – Remy Lai

Henry Khoo’s family treats him like a baby. He’s not allowed to go anywhere without his sister/chaperone/bodyguard. His (former) best friend knows to expect his family’s mafia-style interrogation when Henry’s actually allowed to hang out at her house. And he definitely CAN’T take a journey halfway around the world all by himself!

But that’s exactly his plan. After his family’s annual trip to visit his father in Singapore is cancelled, Henry decides he doesn’t want to be cooped up at home with his overprotective family and BFF turned NRFF (Not Really Friend Forever). Plus, he’s hiding a your-life-is-over-if-you’re-caught secret: he’s the creator of an anonymous gossip cartoon, and he’s on the verge of getting caught. Determined to prove his independence and avoid punishment for his crimes, Henry embarks on the greatest adventure everrr. . . hoping it won’t turn into the greatest disaster ever.

Remy Lai takes readers on an adventure filled with humor, heart, and hijinks that’s a sure bet for fans of Jerry Craft, Terri Libenson, and Shannon Hale!

This hold just came in! Hooray! I’ve been eyeing this ever since I spotted the cover. 

Grown – Tiffany D Jackson

Korey Fields is dead.

When Enchanted Jones wakes with blood on her hands and zero memory of the previous night, no one—the police and Korey’s fans included—has more questions than she does. All she really knows is that this isn’t how things are supposed to be. Korey was Enchanted’s ticket to stardom.

Before there was a dead body, Enchanted was an aspiring singer, struggling with her tight knit family’s recent move to the suburbs while trying to find her place as the lone Black girl in high school. But then legendary R&B artist Korey Fields spots her at an audition. And suddenly her dream of being a professional singer takes flight.

Enchanted is dazzled by Korey’s luxurious life but soon her dream turns into a nightmare. Behind Korey’s charm and star power hides a dark side, one that wants to control her every move, with rage and consequences. Except now he’s dead and the police are at the door. Who killed Korey Fields?

All signs point to Enchanted.

 

What did you get from your library this week?

It’s Monday (January 25, 2020)

That was a weird week in terms of weather. We had a very sunny Monday (Martin Luther King Jr Day) then it became a very windy Monday night. The kind of howling battering wind that makes you wonder if a tree is going to come crashing down and take out power lines with it. Luckily, it didn’t happen in my neighbourhood, but quite a lot of the Bay Area was affected by power outages and downed power lines. The wind kept up pretty much all night and then into the day as well. I guess it’s a good thing everyone’s at distance learning so the kids didn’t have to go out in that crazy wind.

Some things from last week…

CD6D40A8-9C66-43B2-BE8A-BD0633B4CE23

Sunday sushi lunch!

5AB96745-0497-4789-A098-AF4783786AE5

Tried out a garlic rosemary bread (recipe here)

E1AED3C3-0285-4193-863C-9AB951F76936

Made linguini carbonara on Saturday – I just used bacon as that’s what I have at home.

Currently…

Reading:

Citizen by Claudia Rankine

Watching:

James May’s Oh Cook on Amazon video. James May is probably most famous for being one of the Top Gear/The Grand Tour presenters. He’s also done a few other shows of his own, and this one is actually a cooking show. It’s quite amusing as he’s not much of a cook, and definitely not a baker, so this show has him trying new things with the help of a home economist who regularly emerges from the pantry cupboard to help him out. I reckon it’s quite a decent show that encourages complete beginners to try out cooking some simple recipes.

Listening:

I’ve been trying to listen to A Tale of Two Cities but I keep getting distracted…

Eating:

I had homemade waffles for breakfast (made them on the weekend and I always make a couple of extra batches for the next day and the freezer).

Drinking:

Earl Gray

Cooking:

It looks like it’s going to be a colder week with some rain and wind. I’m thinking of making a baked pasta, maybe some tomato soup too.

Last week:

I read:

C3555AAB-91EC-4EDA-BB63-9454DEEA976C

Majesty – Katherine McGee

Parade – Shuichi Yoshida

The Stonekeeper – Kazu Kibuishi

I posted:

Parade by Shuichi Yoshida

Library Loot (January 20 to 26)

Books I meant to read in 2020 #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

Library Loot (January 20 to 26)

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 Library Loot day! Let us know what you borrowed from your library this week. Here’s the link-up or leave a comment.

 

 

Specifically borrowed for the Reading Women challenge – Longlisted for the JCB Prize. This book was on the 2018 short list.

Latitudes of Longing – Shubhangi Swarup

A sweeping, lyrical debut about the love and longing between humanity and the earth itself, by a major new literary talent from India

A spellbinding work of literature, Latitudes of Longing follows the interconnected lives of characters searching for true intimacy. The novel sweeps across India, from an island, to a valley, a city, and a snow desert to tell a love story of epic proportions. We follow a scientist who studies trees and a clairvoyant who speaks to them; a geologist working to end futile wars over a glacier; octogenarian lovers; a mother struggling to free her revolutionary son; a yeti who seeks human companionship; a turtle who transforms first into a boat and then a woman; and the ghost of an evaporated ocean as restless as the continents. Binding them all together is a vision of life as vast as the universe itself.

A young writer awarded one of the most prestigious prizes in India for this novel, Shubhangi Swarup is a storyteller of extraordinary talent and insight. Richly imaginative and wryly perceptive, Latitudes of Longing offers a soaring view of humanity: our beauty and ugliness, our capacity to harm and love each other, and our mysterious and sacred relationship with nature.

 

Cat Town – Sakutarō Hagiwara

Modernist poet Sakutarō Hagiwara’s first published book, Howling at the Moon, shattered conventional verse forms and transformed the poetic landscape of Japan. Two of its poems were removed on order of the Ministry of the Interior for “disturbing social customs.” Along with the entirety of Howling, this volume includes all of Blue Cat, Hagiwara’s second major collection, together with Cat Town, a prose-poem novella, and a substantial selection of verse from the rest of his books, giving readers the full breadth and depth of this pioneering poet’s extraordinary work.

The graphic novel version of the YA book. Although I have no idea now why I decided to borrow this one instead of the novel. 

Juliet Takes a Breath: The Graphic Novel – Gabby Rivera, illustrated by Celia Moscote

Juliet Milagros Palante is leaving the Bronx and headed to Portland, Oregon. She just came out to her family and isn’t sure if her mom will ever speak to her again. But don’t worry, Juliet has something kinda resembling a plan that’ll help her figure out what it means to be Puerto Rican, lesbian and out. See, she’s going to intern with Harlowe Brisbane – her favorite feminist author, someone’s who’s the last work on feminism, self-love and lots of of ther things that will help Juliet find her ever elusive epiphany. There’s just one problem – Harlowe’s white, not from the Bronx and doesn’t have the answers. Okay, maybe that’s more than one problem but Juliet never said it was a perfect plan… Critically-acclaimed writer Gabby Rivera adapts her bestselling novel alongside artist Celia Moscote in an unforgettable queer coming-of-age story exploring race, idenrity and what it means to be true to your amazing self. even when the rest of the world doesn’t understand.

How to Love a Jamaican – Alexia Arthurs

Tenderness and cruelty, loyalty and betrayal, ambition and regret—Alexia Arthurs navigates these tensions to extraordinary effect in her debut collection about Jamaican immigrants and their families back home. Sweeping from close-knit island communities to the streets of New York City and midwestern university towns, these eleven stories form a portrait of a nation, a people, and a way of life.

In “Light Skinned Girls and Kelly Rowlands,” an NYU student befriends a fellow Jamaican whose privileged West Coast upbringing has blinded her to the hard realities of race. In “Mash Up Love,” a twin’s chance sighting of his estranged brother—the prodigal son of the family—stirs up unresolved feelings of resentment. In “Bad Behavior,” a mother and father leave their wild teenage daughter with her grandmother in Jamaica, hoping the old ways will straighten her out. In “Mermaid River,” a Jamaican teenage boy is reunited with his mother in New York after eight years apart. In “The Ghost of Jia Yi,” a recently murdered international student haunts a despairing Jamaican athlete recruited to an Iowa college. And in “Shirley from a Small Place,” a world-famous pop star retreats to her mother’s big new house in Jamaica, which still holds the power to restore something vital.

The winner of The Paris Review’s Plimpton Prize for “Bad Behavior,” Alexia Arthurs emerges in this vibrant, lyrical, intimate collection as one of fiction’s most dynamic and essential young authors.

 

What did you get from your library this week?

 

It’s Monday (January 18, 2021)

It’s Martin Luther King Jr Day in the US today so the kids don’t have school. But the fourth grader has his California missions presentation on Wednesday so he’s going to have to spend some time preparing for that.

Some things from last week.

Galbi rice bowl (with kimchi fried rice), macaroni salad

Made some sourdough bread

And laksa.

Currently…

Reading:

Felix Ever After – Kacen Callender

Watching:

Westworld

Listening:

Not really listening to any audiobooks at the moment

Eating and drinking:

Sourdough toast for breakfast and tea, as usual

Cooking:

We ate mostly Singapore-style food last week, so maybe this week, I’ll make some pasta.

Last week:

I read:

Eat Joy – edited by Natalie Eve Garrett

Girl Gone Viral – Alisha Rai

The Gun – Fuminori Nakamura

Henshin – J.M. Ken Niimura

I posted:

The Gun by Fuminori Nakamura; The Stranger by Albert Camus

Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton

Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

Library Loot (January 13 to 19)

Resolutions for 2021 #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

Library Loot (January 13 to 19)

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! Some comics and some Japanese lit for this week. How about you?

Let us know in the link-up (it’s over at Captive Reader this week).

The Invisible Kingdom Vol 2 – G Willow Wilson, Christian Ward (illustrator)

The explosive aftermath of their shocking discovery has pushed captain Grix and acolyte Vess to the furthest reaches of their solar system.

Once unknowing pawns of the most ubiquitous religion and pervasive mega-corporation, the now-renegade team is alone after revealing to the world that these “enemy” groups are in cahoots–but not for long. And when their crew encounters a group of ruthless spacefaring privateers, they might not be safe for long either.

Volume two of the sweeping sci-fi saga is beautifully crafted by Hugo Award winner G. Willow Wilson (Wonder Woman, Ms. Marvel, acclaimed novelist of The Bird King and Alif the Unseen), and realized through the bold and singular art of Eisner winner Christian Ward (Black Bolt).

Henshin – J.M. Ken Niimura

I Kill Giants co-creator Ken Nimura (International Manga Award winner and Eisner nominee) brings a unique vision of life in Japan to the page in Henshin. The lives of a kid with peculiar superpowers, a lonely girl discovering herself in the big city, and a businessman on a long night out are some of the short stories included in this collection that will make you laugh, and even maybe shed a tear. Explore Tokyo as you’ve never seen it before under Nimura’s masterful and imaginative storytelling, printed here for the first time in English.

Felix Ever After – Kacen Callender

Felix Love has never been in love—and, yes, he’s painfully aware of the irony. He desperately wants to know what it’s like and why it seems so easy for everyone but him to find someone. What’s worse is that, even though he is proud of his identity, Felix also secretly fears that he’s one marginalization too many—Black, queer, and transgender—to ever get his own happily-ever-after.

When an anonymous student begins sending him transphobic messages—after publicly posting Felix’s deadname alongside images of him before he transitioned—Felix comes up with a plan for revenge. What he didn’t count on: his catfish scenario landing him in a quasi–love triangle….

But as he navigates his complicated feelings, Felix begins a journey of questioning and self-discovery that helps redefine his most important relationship: how he feels about himself.

Felix Ever After is an honest and layered story about identity, falling in love, and recognizing the love you deserve.

Schoolgirl – Osamu Dazai

‘Schoolgirl’ is the novella that first established Dazai as a member of Japan’s literary elite. Essentially the start of Dazai’s career, the 1933 work gained notoriety for its ironic and inventive use of language, and how it illuminated the prevalent social structures of a lost time.

Parade – Shuichi Yoshida

In a crowded two-bedroom apartment in Tokyo, four Japanese twenty-somethings are waiting for their lives to begin. They have come from all over Japan, bringing with them dreams of success and romance, but life isn’t exactly going as planned. Kotomi waits by the phone for a boyfriend who never calls, Ryosuke is sleeping with his best friend’s girlfriend, and Mirai’s drinking has become a serious problem. Only Naoki, an aspiring filmmaker and the glue that keeps them all together, seems to be on the right track. Meanwhile, their next door neighbors are up to something suspicious, and a mysterious attacker is terrorizing the neighborhood.

When a homeless teenager suddenly appears, his arrival sets off a chain of events that will bring to light dark secrets the tenants of Apt. 401 have kept from one another—and from themselves.

The Gun – Fuminori Nakamura

On a nighttime walk along a Tokyo riverbank, a young man named Nishikawa stumbles on a dead body, beside which lies a gun. From the moment Nishikawa decides to take the gun, the world around him blurs. Knowing he possesses the weapon brings an intoxicating sense of purpose to his dull university life.

But soon Nishikawa’s personal entanglements become unexpectedly complicated: he finds himself romantically involved with two women while his biological father, whom he’s never met, lies dying in a hospital. Through it all, he can’t stop thinking about the gun—and the four bullets loaded in its chamber. As he spirals into obsession, his focus is consumed by one idea: that possessing the gun is no longer enough—he must fire it.

What did you get from your library this week?

It’s Monday (January 11, 2021)

Happy Monday to you!

That was one crazy week, wasn’t it?

And I’m not talking about this past week being the first time an opossum visited my backyard.

Well, at any rate, we did some fun things like making dumplings for dinner. I forgot to buy cabbage when I bought the ground pork! So I made do with green onions and spinach instead. It worked out well!

We also picked up fresh noodles from the Asian supermarket. Boil it and mix your own sauce (I like soy sauce, sesame oil, white pepper, ketchup. Yes ketchup!).

We also picked up Singapore-style Hainanese chicken rice.

Currently…

Reading:

The Stranger by Albert Camus

Watching:

I finished Bridgerton and am finishing up Away. I’m disappointed to learn that they canceled Away! There were definitely some flaws with the show, but I really appreciated how they had a diverse cast and also were not afraid to have their actors speak different languages! There was Russian, Hindi, Mandarin, and Fante.

I didn’t know about the Fante language before this show. It’s mainly spoken in Ghana and I think it’s really awesome that the actor Ato Essandoh, who plays Kwesi, said Fante is the language his family speaks. They had previously created Kwesi’s character as Nigerian but changed it to Ghanaian after they learnt of Essandoh’s background. I mean, how often does that happen?

Listening:

I’m hoping to finish with this today!

Eating and drinking:

I had toast and tea for breakfast.

Cooking:

I have plans to cook bak kut teh (肉骨茶) – literally “meat bone tea”. A very comforting soup made of spices and pork ribs. And we even bought some frozen dough fritters (油条 youtiao) to go with it.

I didn’t buy enough dumpling wrappers for the amount of ground pork I had, so um, I will use the rest of the marinated pork to put into rice porridge I think.

Last week:

I read:

I posted:

Gimme Everything You Got by Iva-Marie Palmer

Earthlings by Sayaka Murata

Library Loot (January 6 to 12, 2021)

Looking forward to these 2021 reads #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

Library Loot (January 6 to 12, 2021)

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 Library Loot day! Add your link below or drop a comment with your latest library haul.

As with the start of every new year, I love to promise myself that I’ll read more classic lit. Also more non-fiction and books in translation (I did do a pretty good job with that last one, reading 26 translated books. See more stats in this post!). Also, a new month means I can borrow more Hoopla comics! 

 

thestranger

The Stranger – Albert Camus

Through the story of an ordinary man unwittingly drawn into a senseless murder on an Algerian beach, Camus explored what he termed “the nakedness of man faced with the absurd.” First published in English in 1946; now in a new translation by Matthew Ward.

onetowatch

My friend E recommended this one. 

One to Watch – Kate Stayman-London

Bea Schumacher is a devastatingly stylish plus-size fashion blogger who has amazing friends, a devoted family, legions of Insta followers–and a massively broken heart. Like the rest of America, Bea indulges in her weekly obsession: the hit reality show Main Squeeze. The fantasy dates! The kiss-off rejections! The surprising amount of guys named Chad! But Bea is sick and tired of the lack of body diversity on the show. Since when is being a size zero a prerequisite for getting engaged on television?

Just when Bea has sworn off dating altogether, she gets an intriguing call: Main Squeeze wants her to be its next star, surrounded by men vying for her affections. Bea agrees, on one condition–under no circumstances will she actually fall in love. She’s in this to supercharge her career, subvert harmful anti-fat beauty standards, inspire women across America, and get a free hot air balloon ride. That’s it.

But when the cameras start rolling, Bea realizes things are more complicated than she anticipated. She’s in a whirlwind of sumptuous couture, Internet culture wars, sexy suitors, and an opportunity (or two, or five) to find messy, real-life love in the midst of a made-for-TV fairy tale.

Sentient – Jeff Lemire and Gabriel Walta

When an attack kills the adults on a colony ship, the on-board A.I. VALERIE must help the ship’s children survive the perils of space. Can Valerie rise to the task?

Family Tree Vol 1 and 2 – Jeff Lemire and Phil Hester

When an eight-year-old girl literally begins to transform into a tree, her single Mom, troubled brother and possibly insane Grandfather embark on a bizarre, and heart-wrenching odyssey across the back roads of America desperately searching for a way to cure her horrifying transformation before it’s too late.
But the further they get from home, and the closer the girl gets to completely losing her humanity, the more external forces threaten to tear the family apart as fanatical cults, mercenaries and tabloid Paparazzi close in. determined to destroy the girl or use her for themselves.
A new genre-defying ongoing series FAMILY TREE will combine mystery, action and Cronenbergian body horror into an epic story about the lengths a mother will go to keep her children safe in the face of an increasingly unstable world and unspeakable horrors.

The kids’ loot:

Again, some of the books are part of the random books the librarian pops into the bag

librarybooks

What did you get from your library this week?