Library Loot (June 19 to 25)

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.

Just got back from LA yesterday afternoon and oops forgot to set up my Library Loot post for this week!

Not to worry, I had stocked my e-reader with some library ebooks – most of which I haven’t gotten to yet.

Claire has the link-up this week

 

This is the kind of book that has me wanting to read it, but also not wanting to read it.

Vox – Christine Dalcher

 

 

Set in an America where half the population has been silenced, VOX is the harrowing, unforgettable story of what one woman will do to protect herself and her daughter.

On the day the government decrees that women are no longer allowed to speak more than 100 words daily, Dr. Jean McClellan is in denial—this can’t happen here. Not in America. Not to her.

This is just the beginning.

Soon women can no longer hold jobs. Girls are no longer taught to read or write. Females no longer have a voice. Before, the average person spoke sixteen thousand words a day, but now women only have one hundred to make themselves heard.

But this is not the end.

For herself, her daughter, and every woman silenced, Jean will reclaim her voice.

Don’t you just love this cover? Don’t you just love this cover? 

Don’t you just love this cover? Definitely a judge by the cover book for me. I hadn’t a clue what the story was about before I made this post.

Sadie – Courtney Summers

A missing girl on a journey of revenge. A Serial―like podcast following the clues she’s left behind. And an ending you won’t be able to stop talking about.

Sadie hasn’t had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she’s been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water.

But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie’s entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister’s killer to justice and hits the road following a few meager clues to find him.

When West McCray―a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America―overhears Sadie’s story at a local gas station, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie’s journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it’s too late.

Courtney Summers has written the breakout book of her career. Sadie is propulsive and harrowing and will keep you riveted until the last page.

 

I’m excited to get the third book in the series. Love the title!

Record of a Spaceborn Few (Wayfarers #3) – Becky Chambers

From the ground, we stand. From our ship, we live. By the stars, we hope

Centuries after the last humans left Earth, the Exodus Fleet is a living relic, a place many are from but few outsiders have seen. Humanity has finally been accepted into the galactic community, but while this has opened doors for many, those who have not yet left for alien cities fear that their carefully cultivated way of life is under threat.

Tessa chose to stay home when her brother Ashby left for the stars, but has to question that decision when her position in the Fleet is threatened.

Kip, a reluctant young apprentice, itches for change but doesn’t know where to find it.

Sawyer, a lost and lonely newcomer, is just looking for a place to belong.

When a disaster rocks this already fragile community, those Exodans who still call the Fleet their home can no longer avoid the inescapable question:

What is the purpose of a ship that has reached its destination?

 

I had fun reading The Wedding Date (and feeling a bit sick by the amount of junk food they eat) so I’m looking forward to this (and clutching my stomach)

The Proposal – Jasmine Guillory

When someone asks you to spend your life with him, it shouldn’t come as a surprise–or happen in front of 45,000 people.

When freelance writer Nikole Paterson goes to a Dodgers game with her actor boyfriend, his man bun, and his bros, the last thing she expects is a scoreboard proposal. Saying no isn’t the hard part–they’ve only been dating for five months, and he can’t even spell her name correctly. The hard part is having to face a stadium full of disappointed fans…

At the game with his sister, Carlos Ibarra comes to Nik’s rescue and rushes her away from a camera crew. He’s even there for her when the video goes viral and Nik’s social media blows up–in a bad way. Nik knows that in the wilds of LA, a handsome doctor like Carlos can’t be looking for anything serious, so she embarks on an epic rebound with him, filled with food, fun, and fantastic sex. But when their glorified hookups start breaking the rules, one of them has to be smart enough to put on the brakes.

 

 

 

The kids’ loot:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What did you get from your library this week?

 

This post contains affiliate links from Book Depository.  If you buy via these links it means I receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you). 

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Library Loot (June 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 Wednesday! It’s the last day of school for my two boys. If I had it my way we’d celebrate by sitting down and reading. But no, of course that’s not going to happen…so think of me while you read this because I’m probably standing by some playground melting in this ridiculous heat that has me hating on summer. Meanwhile, go add your Library Loot link right here:

The Aftermath – Rhidian Brook

I saw this while browsing the Libby catalogue and thought it sounded interesting.

Set in post-war Germany, the international bestseller The Aftermath by Rhidian Brook is a stunning emotional thriller about our fiercest loyalties and our deepest desires. In the bitter winter of 1946, Rachael Morgan arrives with her only remaining son Edmund in the ruins of Hamburg. Here she is reunited with her husband Lewis, a British colonel charged with rebuilding the shattered city. But as they set off for their new home, Rachael is stunned to discover that Lewis has made an extraordinary decision: they will be sharing the grand house with its previous owners, a German widower and his troubled daughter. In this charged atmosphere, enmity and grief give way to passion and betrayal.

 

The Siren Depths (The Raksura #3) – Martha Wells

Ugh I do not like that cover. But I do adore this series. So if you can get past that cover, you’ll find amazing world building and great characters! Also, a matriarchy.

All his life, Moon roamed the Three Worlds, a solitary wanderer forced to hide his true nature–until he was reunited with his own kind, the Raksura, and found a new life as consort to Jade, sister queen of the Indigo Cloud court.

But now a rival court has laid claim to Moon, and Jade may or may not be willing to fight for him. Beset by doubts, Moon must travel in the company of strangers to a distant realm where he will finally face the forgotten secrets of his past, even as an old enemy returns with a vengeance.

The Fell, a vicious race of shapeshifting predators, menaces groundlings and Raksura alike. Determined to crossbreed with the Raksura for arcane purposes, they are driven by an ancient voice that cries out from…THE SIREN DEPTHS

 

BraveTart: Iconic American Desserts – Stella Parks

I’m not all that fond of e-cookbooks but they are just so convenient – also, not at all heavy tomes.

From One-Bowl Devil’s Food Layer Cake to a flawless Cherry Pie that’s crisp even on the very bottom, BraveTart is a celebration of classic American desserts. Whether down-home delights like Blueberry Muffins and Glossy Fudge Brownies or supermarket mainstays such as Vanilla Wafers and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream, your favorites are all here. These meticulously tested recipes bring an award-winning pastry chef’s expertise into your kitchen, along with advice on how to “mix it up” with over 200 customizable variations—in short, exactly what you’d expect from a cookbook penned by a senior editor at Serious Eats. Yet BraveTart is much more than a cookbook, as Stella Parks delves into the surprising stories of how our favorite desserts came to be, from chocolate chip cookies that predate the Tollhouse Inn to the prohibition-era origins of ice cream sodas and floats. With a foreword by The Food Lab’s J. Kenji López-Alt, vintage advertisements for these historical desserts, and breathtaking photography from Penny De Los Santos, BraveTartis sure to become an American classic.

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home – Jeni Britton Bauer

In case you haven’t seen my previous posts, I’ve been making ice-cream at home! And I’m intrigued by these ice-creams from this cookbook which do not have eggs and instead use corn starch.

Addictive flavors—and a breakthrough method for making creamy, scoopable ice cream at home.

Unique flavors, prepared from top-quality ingredients combined with minimally processed milk from grass-fed cows, transformed Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, a small artisanal scoopery in Columbus, Ohio, into a nationally acclaimed (and beloved) brand.

Now with her debut cookbook, Jeni Britton Bauer is on a mission to help foodies create perfect ice creams, yogurts, and sorbets—ones that are every bit as perfect as hers—in their own kitchens. Frustrated by icy and crumbly homemade ice cream, Bauer invested in a $59 ice cream maker and proceeded to test and retest recipes until she devised a formula to make creamy, sturdy, lickable ice cream at home. Her recipe for a milk-based American-style ice cream contains no eggs, which allows her amazing flavor combinations to shine. Filled with irresistible color photographs, this cone-tastic book contains 100 of Jeni’s signature recipes—from her Goat Cheese with Roasted Cherries to her Salty Caramel to her Bourbon with Toasted Buttered Pecans. Fans of easy-to-prepare desserts with star quality will scoop this book up. How cool is that?

The kids’ loot:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What did you get from your library this week?

 

This post contains affiliate links from Book Depository.  If you buy via these links it means I receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you). 

Moon Rush: The new Space Race by Leonard David #TLCBookTours

 

I’ve read many works of fiction that are set in space, watched many movies and TV shows set in space, but I’ve never really read much nonfiction about space.

And you can rest assured that you are in good hands here with journalist Leonard David, who has been reporting on space-related news for over 50 years.

The race to the moon began in the 1960s, between the Soviet Union and the US. But today it is a very different landscape – in January, the Chinese landed a spacecraft on the far side of the moon; a spacecraft from an Israeli nonprofit crash-landed on the moon in April; India’s moon-lander is scheduled to take off later this year; or how about Japan, which plans its own lunar rover to land next year? The race to space is definitely back on and this book is published just at the right time to tell us all about the history behind it all, as well as what’s upcoming developments that we can expect in lunar exploration.

 

Some fascinating tidbits of information were gathered from my reading of this book.

Such as:

“Three sealed samples, one each from Apollo 15, 16, and 17, remain unopened, intentionally saved until technology and instrumentation has advanced to the point that investigators can maximize the scientific return on these unique specimens.”

I couldn’t help wondering when exactly that would be. How, for instance, could anyone decide, oh we should open this year, when who knows what kind of scientific advancement could happen next year? It’s not like science and technology is going to stop improving (or at least I hope not) so who makes that decision and how do they make such a decision?

Reading this book made me wonder, would I go to space if that were an option in the future? Would I want to go to the moon? I don’t know if I would. I don’t think I like the idea of hurtling up in a spacecraft powered by rockets (that’s probably why the first astronauts were pilots). How about you? Would you want to be a space tourist?

 

I received this book from the publisher and TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review

 

Pick up a copy of the book: National Geographic | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Library Loot (June 5 to 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 you guys! It’s almost the end of the school year and that means all the summer reading programs are starting. It’s a great way to encourage kids to keep reading all through the summer. We plan on doing several – one from Barnes and Noble (that gives kids one free book), Half-Price Books (kids can get a $5 coupon to use in store), and the library (which also gives the kids a free book and some other little things).

 Claire has the link-up this week

The Calligrapher’s Daughter – Eugenia Kim

Thanks to the focus on Asian authors in May for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, I added so many new authors and books to my TBR list. This is one of them.

In early-twentieth-century Korea, Najin Han, the privileged daughter of a calligrapher, longs to choose her own destiny. Smart and headstrong, she is encouraged by her mother—but her stern father is determined to maintain tradition, especially as the Japanese steadily gain control of his beloved country. When he seeks to marry Najin into an aristocratic family, her mother defies generations of obedient wives and instead sends her to serve in the king’s court as a companion to a young princess. But the king is soon assassinated, and the centuries-old dynastic culture comes to its end.

In the shadow of the dying monarchy, Najin begins a journey through increasing oppression that will forever change her world. As she desperately seeks to continue her education, will the unexpected love she finds along the way be enough to sustain her through the violence and subjugation her country continues to face? Spanning thirty years, The Calligrapher’s Daughter is a richly drawn novel in the tradition of Lisa See and Amy Tan about a country torn between ancient customs and modern possibilities, a family ultimately united by love, and a woman who never gives up her search for freedom.

 

 

Beijing comrades – Bei Tong; translated by Scott E. Myers

I can’t remember where I first heard of this book, but I was wandering the shelves and spotted this and thought the cover looked so familiar. I looked it up on Goodreads just to make sure I hadn’t read it yet – it was on my TBR though! Are you good at keeping track of where you learn about books from?

When Handong, a ruthless and wealthy businessman, is introduced to Lan Yu, a naïve, working-class architectural student—the attraction is all consuming.

Arrogant and privileged, Handong is unsettled by this desire, while Lan Yu quietly submits. Despite divergent lives, the two men spend their nights together, establishing a deep connection. When loyalties are tested, Handong is left questioning his secrets, his choices, and his very identity.

Beijing Comrades is the story of a torrid love affair set against the sociopolitical unrest of late-eighties China. Due to its depiction of gay sexuality and its critique of the totalitarian government, it was originally published anonymously on an underground gay website within mainland China. This riveting and heartbreaking novel, circulated throughout China in 1998, quickly developed a cult following, and remains a central work of queer literature from the People’s Republic of China. This is the first English-language translation of Beijing Comrades.

Bei Tong is the anonymous author of Beijing Comrades. The author’s real-world identity has been a subject of ongoing debate since the novel was first published.

The totally awesome Hulk. Vol. 1, Cho time – Greg Pak, Frank Cho (Artist), Mike Choi (Artist), Takeshi Miyazawa (Artist)

I did not know there was a new Hulk! Ok not like I read Hulk comics (although I think I am kinda interested in reading She-Hulk) but I was curious about the new Hulk, a 19yo Korean-American!

There’s a brand-new Hulk in town, and his name is Amadeus Cho! Get ready for gamma-fueled entertainment as the kid genius decides he’s gonna be the best Hulk ever -and just possibly brings the entire world crashing down into chaos! Cho is taking on the biggest monsters in the Marvel Universe, but can he handle the danger posed by Lady Hellbender? What will She-Hulk and Spider-Man make of this very different Green Goliath? And what exactly happened to Bruce Banner? With monster mayhem in the Mighty Marvel Manner, all from the wild and crazy minds of Planet Hulk writer Greg Pak and superstar artist Frank Cho, this is better than incredible, it’s totally awesome! Plus: Amazing Science during Secret Wars featuring the Amadeus Cho of Battleworld!

Tiare in bloom – Celestine Vaite

The cover really attracted me when I spotted it on the library shelves. Haven’t heard of this book or the author before but I liked that it’s set in Tahiti. I only later realized that it was the third book in the series – there were no other books by the same author on the shelf.

Now that Materena is a big star with her radio talk show, Pito can’t help noticing some changes in his wife. She’s spending more and more time at work and with her girlfriends instead of coming home to cook for him. And why does a Tahitian woman need to know how to drive, anyway? He tries to shrug it off, but when Materena gives him the silent treatment and doesn’t come home after a night of dancing, Pito has had enough! How is he supposed to fix things with Materena when she doesn’t even give him a chance?

Luckily for Pito, his opportunity comes when a threemonth-old girl named Tiare–rumored to be their son Tomatoa’s daughter–is left on the Mahis’ doorstep. Anxious to pull his weight and set things right, Pito embarks on a hilarious and noble mission to prove himself to his granddaughter, his wife, and–most importantly–himself. TIARE IN BLOOM is the heartwarming story of a couple facing big changes on a small island–and a love that outlasts it all.

 

The kids’ loot:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What did you get from your library this week?

 

This post contains affiliate links from Book Depository.  If you buy via these links it means I receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you). 

Top Books From My Favorite Genre #toptentuesday

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is:

 

Books From My Favorite Genre

Favourite genre is a tricky one! Is there any genre I don’t really read?

I ended up going with speculative fiction which is kind of an umbrella genre encompassing a variety like science fiction, fantasy, supernatural, dystopian and more.

So here are my favourites!

 

The Earthsea series – Ursula K Le Guin

One of the first more serious fantasy books I ever read. It’s such an important book to me that I brought it with me from Singapore to the US. When I was a kid, someone (I wish I knew who!) bought me a copy of The Wizard of Earthsea, the first book in the series. And I read it over and over, not realizing that it was a series. So it was only when I was in…maybe my late teens or so that I read the rest of the books. In fact, because the book I bought was just the first four books, I didn’t read The Other Wind until maybe about 7 years ago.

 

  • The Wizard of Earthsea
  • The Tombs of Atuan
  • The Farthest Shore
  • Tehanu
  • The Other Wind

The Chronicles of Prydain – Lloyd Alexander

Another series I loved as a kid! But this one is more of a children’s book so I never saw it as more serious ‘fantasy’.

 

 

Temeraire series – Naomi Novik

Novik may have become more well-known thanks to her latest books Uprooted and Spinning Silver, but my favourite of hers is still the Temeraire series which I am still very slowly making my way through. There are 9 books in total (I think?) and I’ve read 5 so far. It’s a great setting – the Napoleonic wars but fought with dragons!

 

The Lady Astronaut series – Mary Robinette Kowal

You may have already read my review of The Calculating Stars but in case you haven’t, this is one fun series (just two books though!) that isn’t set in the future but in a slightly different past. The race to space takes on a different, more significant purpose.

The Inheritance series – NK Jemisin

The world building in this is exceptional. And it was also one of the first few speculative fiction series that was far more diverse than those I used to read. Loved the strong main character and the fascinating world of gods and mortals.

 

What are some of your favorite speculative fiction reads?

 


Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018.

 

 

 

Emergency Contact by Mary H K Choi #AsianLitBingo

 

It was thanks to being laid up in bed due to a minor procedure that I borrowed this book. All the other books on my tablet were just too serious and heavy reading for that day and I was looking for something that would be fun and lighthearted and so I reached for YA.

I love how there is so much diversity going on in YA and while I had said earlier in a previous post, how I wished I could be a teen and reading all this, I’m just going to go ahead and get my diverse YA fix now.

Emergency Contact is definitely one book my teenaged self would have approved of. Because Penny is that kind of awkward, cynical, and not very sociable person I was (and sometimes still am). She is introduced to Sam as he is her roommate’s uncle of sorts (his mom and her grandfather were married for a quick minute). But only really talks to him after she notices him having a panic attack in the street one day. She makes sure he’s ok, gives him a ride back to the cafe where he works (and unknown to her, where he lives) and adds her number to his phone to make sure he gets home safe. She’s now his “emergency contact”.

This book has been on the back of my TBR list for a while, but I think that I’ve always been a bit hesitant because I didn’t think I wanted to read a book in which texting seems to be at the forefront. But in the end, the text conversations actually felt quite natural and comfortable to read.

And I found myself just hanging on to every word in this book. I read it in one sitting.

It seems like this is the kind of book that you either detest or love (at least judging from the polarizing Goodreads reviews). I loved it. I can see why some people may not like it but for me, this was a thumbs up.

 

 

I read this for Asian Lit Bingo – romance with POC love interest

Library Loot May 29 to June 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.

 

Oh boy, it’s the end of May already!

 

What did you get from your library this week?

Here’s the link-up!

 

 

Save Me the Plums: My Gourmet Memoir by Ruth Reichl

I’ve read all of Reichl’s previous books and was excited to learn that she had a new book out. I borrowed this as an audiobook which Reichl herself reads.

Trailblazing food writer and beloved restaurant critic Ruth Reichl took the risk (and the job) of a lifetime when she entered the glamorous, high-stakes world of magazine publishing. Now, for the first time, she chronicles her groundbreaking tenure as editor in chief of Gourmet, during which she spearheaded a revolution in the way we think about food.
When Condé Nast offered Ruth Reichl the top position at America’s oldest epicurean magazine, she declined. She was a writer, not a manager, and had no inclination to be anyone’s boss. And yet . . . Reichl had been reading Gourmet since she was eight; it had inspired her career. How could she say no?

This is the story of a former Berkeley hippie entering the corporate world and worrying about losing her soul. It is the story of the moment restaurants became an important part of popular culture, a time when the rise of the farm-to-table movement changed, forever, the way we eat. Readers will meet legendary chefs like David Chang and Eric Ripert, idiosyncratic writers like David Foster Wallace, and a colorful group of editors and art directors who, under Reichl’s leadership, transformed stately Gourmet into a cutting-edge publication. This was the golden age of print media–the last spendthrift gasp before the Internet turned the magazine world upside down.

 

Dragon Pearl – Yoon Ha Lee

To keep the family safe, Min’s mother insists that none of them use any fox-magic, such as Charm or shape-shifting. They must appear human at all times. Min feels hemmed in by the household rules and resents the endless chores, the cousins who crowd her, and the aunties who judge her. She would like nothing more than to escape Jinju, her neglected, dust-ridden, and impoverished planet. She’s counting the days until she can follow her older brother, Jun, into the Space Forces and see more of the Thousand Worlds.

When word arrives that Jun is suspected of leaving his post to go in search of the Dragon Pearl, Min knows that something is wrong. Jun would never desert his battle cruiser, even for a mystical object rumored to have tremendous power. She decides to run away to find him and clear his name.

Min’s quest will have her meeting gamblers, pirates, and vengeful ghosts. It will involve deception, lies, and sabotage. She will be forced to use more fox-magic than ever before, and to rely on all of her cleverness and bravery. The outcome may not be what she had hoped, but it has the potential to exceed her wildest dreams.

 

My So-Called Bollywood Life – Nisha Sharma

Winnie Mehta was never really convinced that Raj was her soulmate, but their love was written in the stars. Literally, a pandit predicted Winnie would find the love of her life before her 18th birthday, and Raj meets all of the qualifications. Which is why Winnie is shocked to return from her summer at film camp to find her boyfriend of three years hooking up with Jenny Dickens. Worse, Raj is crowned chair of the student film festival, a spot Winnie was counting on for her film school applications. As a self-proclaimed Bollywood expert, Winnie knows this is not how her perfect ending is scripted.

Then there’s Dev, a fellow film geek, and one of the few people Winnie can count on to help her reclaim control of her story. Dev is smart, charming, and challenges Winnie to look beyond her horoscope to find someone she’d pick for herself. But does falling for Dev mean giving up on her prophecy, and her chance to live happily ever after? To get her Bollywood-like life on track, Winnie will need a little bit of help from fate, family, and of course, a Bollywood movie star.

Peasprout Chen, Future Legend of Skate and Sword – Henry Lien

 

Welcome to Pearl Famous Academy of Skate and Sword, where the blades are sharp and the competition is fierce.

Peasprout Chen dreams of becoming a legend of wu liu, the deadly and beautiful art of martial arts figure skating.

As the first students from the rural country of Shin to attend Pearl Famous Academy of Skate and Sword, Peasprout and her little brother Cricket have some pretty big skates to fill. They soon find themselves in a heated competition for top ranking.

Tensions rise when the dazzling pearl buildings of the Academy are vandalized and outsider Peasprout is blamed for the attacks by her rivals … and even some friends.

Now, she must uncover the true vandal to ensure peace between Shin and Pearl – all while becoming a champion.

The kids’ loot:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What did you get from your library this week?

 

This post contains affiliate links from Book Depository.  If you buy via these links it means I receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you).