It’s Monday (August 24, 2020)

The kids are back in school this Wednesday! Of course by school I mean that they’ll be at home, distance learning. The school district has mandated a 150 minutes of live instruction, and the teachers sent out a schedule on Friday, which shows the school day broken up into a few different Zoom sessions, with breaks in between. Hopefully it will all work out.

Meanwhile, it’s been a weird week. If you follow my blog, you may have seen my mention of the lightning storm we had – over 10,000 lightning strikes in the Bay Area in 72 hours the weekend before last, especially unusual in a place with almost no lightning at all. So what has resulted from that are several huge wildfires, so many that they are being grouped into “complexes”. The one that is closest to us is huge – it’s comprised of 20 fires and is over 335,000 acres. But there are also others north (in the  Napa/Sonoma area), and southwest (Santa Cruz), also south (Carmel area).

It’s become a habit to check Purpleair.com several times a day. The numbers keep fluctuating, and we have gone from the 50s to over 200 in just one day.

But we’ve been staying indoors, keeping our windows closed, fans on, and if it gets hot (as it has been last week), the AC comes on for a bit.

Luckily for my birthday last month, we got a Nintendo Switch fitness game called Ringfit and we’ve been using that to exercise. It’s surprisingly effective at exercising the arms (you can pull and push on the ring which holds one of the controller), legs (the other controller is strapped on your leg and quite a few of the games require squats and jogging in place as well as other types of exercise), even the abs and there are yoga poses. It’s come in handy when it’s too smoky outside.

Been a while since we’ve had pancakes! I tend to make waffles more these days since the kids prefer that.

It hasn’t been as hot as previously but still warm enough to have to turn on the ac to cool the house down in the afternoons. So I’d been reluctant to bake. But I missed the smell of fresh bread in the house. So I made the basic hearth bread from the Bread Bible, adding the overnight rise in the fridge of the dough for a better taste. Kneading the dough by hand can be quite therapeutic.

Currently…

Reading:

Watching:

The Umbrella Academy Season 2 – I’m trying to slowly watch this, so I’m also watching Midnight Diner.

Listening:

Nothing at the moment as I recently finished On the Come Up

Eating:

Leftover pancakes for breakfast

Drinking:

Tea

Cooking:

I picked up a nice cauliflower from the farmers market, so some kind of skillet cauliflower cheese.

Maybe a pad thai?

Last week:

I read:

On the Come Up – Angie Thomas (audiobook)

I posted:

Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 by Cho Nam-Joo

Library Loot (August 19 to 25)

Books that should be adapted #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

Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 by Cho Nam-Joo

Rain in August and a lightning storm to boot. Also we are in the middle of a heatwave. Isn’t 2020 crazy enough already?

But this strange weather on Sunday gave me the chance to sit down and think more about this interesting book by South Korean author Cho Nam-Joo, translated by Jamie Chang, and originally published in 2016

A story that begins with a 30-something-year-old “everywoman” who’s pressured to leave her job to care for her newborn. She begins to impersonate other women, both alive and dead. And her husband sends her to a psychiatrist.


The book focuses on the gender inequality experienced by Korean women – in their families, in schools, in the workplace, in society.


It’s told in a rather cold third-person voice and this may be a little difficult to get into, but it is a fascinating portrait of the life of this Korean everywoman, following all the sexism she faces, right from a very young age – when Kim Jiyoung is born, her mother even apologizes to her mother-in-law for not having had a boy instead!

It’s a short book but the 176 pages sure pack a punch.

Library Loot (August 19 to 25)


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Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Sharlene from Real Life Reading that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries.

Hello! It’s Wednesday again! Don’t forget to link-up or comment below.

My hold for this just came in! It’s been ages since I’ve read a David Mitchell book. Can’t wait. I’m especially excited as it’s a music story! I’m always intrigued when the covers are so different. I believe the one on the left is the American cover, and the right is the British one. And I am more drawn to the British one, I love the colours, but not the font. I get that the American one is trying to reference a vinyl but it’s a bit meh for me. Maybe the colour scheme is too muted.

Utopia Avenue by David Mitchell

Utopia Avenue is the strangest British band you’ve never heard of. Emerging from London’s psychedelic scene in 1967 and fronted by folk singer Elf Holloway, guitar demigod Jasper de Zoet, and blues bassist Dean Moss, Utopia Avenue released only two LPs during its brief, blazing journey from the clubs of Soho and drafty ballrooms to Top of the Pops and the cusp of chart success, and on to glory in Amsterdam, prison in Rome, and a fateful American fortnight in the autumn of 1968.

David Mitchell’s captivating new novel tells the unexpurgated story of Utopia Avenue; of riots in the streets and revolutions in the head; of drugs, thugs, madness, love, sex, death, art; of the families we choose and the ones we don’t; of fame’s Faustian pact and stardom’s wobbly ladder. Can we change the world in turbulent times, or does the world change us?

aurorablazing

The first book was a fun read. But I must say that I am not really a fan of covers with half-faces like that. The first book’s cover had the woman with her back to the photographer (also admittedly, I have issues with book covers that only show women’s backs…but that’s another story for another time). And while I am not a fan of women’s backs on covers, maybe they should have stuck to that and kept it constant.

Aurora Rising (Consortium Rebellion #2) – Jessie Mihalik

Bianca von Hasenberg did her duty for High House von Hasenberg and ended up trapped in a terrible marriage. When her husband dies unexpectedly and leaves her a happy widow, she vows never to marry again. Instead, she uses her connections to save other young women. Information is power and Bianca has a network that would be the envy of the ’verse—if anyone knew about it.

After an attack, Bianca’s oldest brother, the House von Hasenberg heir, disappears from Earth without a trace. Determined to find him, Bianca leaves against orders. When she refuses to return, her father sends Ian Bishop, the director of House von Hasenberg security, to haul her home like a recalcitrant child.

Bianca leads Ian on a merry chase across the universe, but when their paths finally collide, she persuades him that they would be far more successful at finding her brother if they worked together. She will do anything to save her sibling, even if it means spending time alone on a small ship with the handsome, infuriating man who once broke her heart.

As clues lead them deep into rival House Rockhurst territory, Bianca must decide if she can trust Ian with the one piece of information that could destroy her completely. . .

jenniferhecate

I first learnt of this book from Well-Read Black Girl and thought it sounded like a fun read. It was interesting to learn that it was first published in 1967. And it made me wonder, why didn’t I read Konigsburg’s books when I was a kid? I only read From The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs Basil E Frankweiler a few years ago – which for some reason, I have the impression was because of Buried in Print?

Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, WIlliam McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth – E.L. Konigsburg

Elizabeth is an only child, new in town, and the shortest kid in her class. She’s also pretty lonely, until she meets Jennifer. Jennifer is…well, different. She’s read Macbeth. She never wears jeans or shorts. She never says please or thank you. And she says she is a witch. It’s not always easy being friends with a witch, but it’s never boring. At first an apprentice and then a journeyman witch, Elizabeth learns to eat raw ends and how to cast small spells. And she and Jennifer collaborate on cooking up an ointment that will enable them to fly. That’s when a marvelous toad, Hilary Ezra, enters their lives. And that’s when trouble starts to brew.

What did you get from your library this week?

It’s Monday (August 17, 2020)

Hi, guess it’s Monday again, huh.

We went for more Singapore/Malaysia food on Saturday, driving up to Pleasanton just for this takeout.

We had nasi lemak, mee siam goreng, and two types of kueh (kueh Talam with red bean and Pulut Wajik, which is glutinous rice cooked with coconut milk and gula melaka).

Saturday night saw an unusual occurrence – lightning and thunder! We have never seen so much lightning in all our ten years in California. Thunderstorms are a regular event in Singapore but not in CA. The kids were quite excited about it.

It set off quite a few fires unfortunately and a few traffic lights in our area were out too.

And there was rain. Actual rain in August!

Of course after that, it was back to the heatwave that we’ve been having since Friday – it’s hotter than in Singapore!

The boys had a piano recital on Sunday – over Zoom that is. And it went well

Since it was such a hot weekend, we had sushi for Sunday dinner.

Currently…

Reading:

Falling Free by Lois McMaster Bujold

Watching:

Umbrella Academy Season 2

Listening:

Yup still this one!

Eating:

I had a toasted bagel with Laughing Cow cheese for breakfast

Drinking:

Yorkshire Gold with milk

Cooking:

Maybe some taco rice this week

I also have some fresh chowmein-style noodles to cook up, so probably a fried noodle with fish cake, vegetables

Last week:

I read:

The Unicorn Whisperer – Dana Simpson

Camping with Unicorns – Dana Simpson

Oh, Tama! – Mieko Kanai

Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 – Cho Nam-Joo

I posted:

Singapore-style carrot cake #WeekendCooking

Library Loot (August 12 to 18)

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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 (August 12 to 18)

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!

Claire has the link-up this week

The Unicorn Whisperer by Dana Simpson

For 9-year-old Phoebe Howell and her sparkling companion, Marigold Heavenly Nostrils, every day is an adventure. In this latest installation of Dana Simpson’s award-winning Phoebe and Her Unicorn series, Phoebe navigates the challenges of school life with a little help from her unicorn friend, who is always ready with the perfect spell for the occasion. But as the magic spells mount up, both Phoebe and Marigold find themselves wondering if sometimes they might be taking things just a little too far..

 

Camping with Unicorns by Dana Simpson

School’s out, so Phoebe and her unicorn best friend, Marigold Heavenly Nostrils, have the entire summer to play games, visit the pool, and even go camping. Unicorn horns are excellent utensils for roasting things over the campfire, too, even if Marigold prefers toasted apples to s’mores. While exploring in the woods, Phoebe and friends meet a unicorn named Alabaster, who uses a special video game console that’s powered by plants. Throughout her summer adventures, Phoebe learns that being cool isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and that it’s much better to be your true self. It’s all part of the unforgettable experience of Camping with Unicorns.

Refuge by Dina Nayeri

Finally, a moving immigrant story that looks at the larger contemporary refugee experience.

An Iranian girl escapes to America as a child, but her father stays behind. Over twenty years, as she transforms from confused immigrant to overachieving Westerner to sophisticated European transplant, daughter and father know each other only from their visits: four crucial visits over two decades, each in a different international city. The longer they are apart, the more their lives diverge, but also the more each comes to need the other’s wisdom and, ultimately, rescue.

Meanwhile, refugees of all nationalities are flowing into Europe under troubling conditions. Wanting to help, but also looking for a lost sense of home, our grown-up transplant finds herself quickly entranced by a world that is at once everything she has missed and nothing that she has ever known. Will her immersion in the lives of these new refugees allow her the grace to save her father?

Refuge charts the deeply moving lifetime relationship between a father and a daughter, seen through the prism of global immigration. Beautifully written, full of insight, charm, and humor, the novel subtly exposes the parts of ourselves that get left behind in the wake of diaspora and ultimately asks: Must home always be a physical place, or can we find it in another person?

 

 

What did you get from your library this week?

It’s Monday (August 10, 2020)

Good Monday to you. How was your weekend?

We had a rather busy one, with Magikarp Community Day on Pokemon Go on Saturday, the reverse readathon (which started 5pm Friday PST instead of Saturday 5am) as well as a National Day-in-Place, organised by a Singapore group here in the Bay Area.

National Day (August 9) commemorates Singapore’s independence from Malaysia in 1965. In Singapore, this means a huge parade, complete with flypasts, gun salutes, lots of military-related demonstrations, also performances and fireworks. The photos above were taken in during our visit back in 2018 – this was one of several rehearsal performances which come complete with fireworks and also allow for more people to watch – if I’m not wrong every year primary school students of a particular grade get to attend a rehearsal.

In the Bay Area, a party with food and games usually is held, usually at a hotel somewhere, with a few hundred people in attendance.

This year, of course, things were different. Instead of the in-person party, it was a virtual one. But the organisers had arranged for some Singaporean/Malaysian eateries and coordinated with a grocery delivery service so that we could order what we wanted and have it sent to our house. And there was also a Zoom party too.

The food was delicious!

We had satay (came with all the works – ketupat or rice cake, peanut dipping sauce, onions and cucumbers), nonya kueh (steamed desserts), Hokkien mee, ngoh hiang (shrimp, carrots, chestnuts wrapped in tofu skin, steamed, then fried till the skin is crispy). They even threw in some freebies like tote bags and face masks.

Currently…

Reading:

Oh, Tama! – Mieko Kanai

Watching:

Midnight Diner on Netflix

Listening:

I haven’t been doing much audiobook listening lately, so I’m still on this one!

Eating:

I had a toasted bagel with butter for breakfast

 

Drinking:

Coffee – haven’t been sleeping well lately! Maybe it’s been too hot…

Cooking:

The husband wants mushroom pasta tonight. Maybe I’ll add in some bacon. And some skillet cauliflower cheese on the side for vegetables.

Last week:

I read:

Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass – Mariko Tamaki

Pizza Girl – Jean Kyoung Frazier

10 Things I Hate About Pinky – Sandhya Menon

I posted:

Library Loot (August 5 to August 11)

Colourful titles #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 (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