Library Loot January 16 to 22

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! The link-up is with Claire this week.

The Library Book – Susan Orlean

I’m intrigued by this one. Also it’s by Susan Orlean!

On the morning of April 28, 1986, a fire alarm sounded in the Los Angeles Public Library. As the moments passed, the patrons and staff who had been cleared out of the building realized this was not the usual fire alarm. As one fireman recounted, “Once that first stack got going, it was ‘Goodbye, Charlie.’” The fire was disastrous: it reached 2000 degrees and burned for more than seven hours. By the time it was extinguished, it had consumed four hundred thousand books and damaged seven hundred thousand more. Investigators descended on the scene, but more than thirty years later, the mystery remains: Did someone purposefully set fire to the library—and if so, who?

Weaving her lifelong love of books and reading into an investigation of the fire, award-winning New Yorker reporter and New York Times bestselling author Susan Orlean delivers a mesmerizing and uniquely compelling book that manages to tell the broader story of libraries and librarians in a way that has never been done before.

 

Check, Please! Vol 1 – Ngozi Ukazu

I came across this book via Jenny’s post and to be honest thought it might be a book about restaurants. Obviously it’s a book about hockey. And what do I know about hockey? NOTHING. But I am really liking this book because of its main character who’s a former figure skater and pie baker. It’s surprisingly cute for a hockey comic!

Helloooo, Internet Land. Bitty here!

Y’all… I might not be ready for this. I may be a former junior figure skating champion, vlogger extraordinaire, and very talented amateur pâtissier, but being a freshman on the Samwell University hockey team is a whole new challenge. It’s nothing like co-ed club hockey back in Georgia! First of all? There’s checking. And then, there is Jack—our very attractive but moody captain.

A collection of the first half of the megapopular webcomic series of the same name, Check, Please!: #Hockey is the first book of a hilarious and stirring two-volume coming-of-age story about hockey, bros, and trying to find yourself during the best four years of your life.

The kids’ loot this week:

 

Also, I borrowed the audiobook of Moon Rising by Tui T Sutherland, which is the sixth book in the Wings of Fire series, which they adore.

Have you read any of these books? What did you get from your library this week?

 

 

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Library Loot January 9 to 15

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!

I’m really excited as my library hold for the audiobook of Michelle Obama’s Becoming came in! It’s definitely one of the hottest books around, even at the library’s ebooks catalogue. I’m still on hold for the ebook version via the Singapore library – amazing there are 300 ebook copies there, with over 2400 people still waiting in total! I wonder if it’s the most ebook copies that the Singapore library has ever bought.

 

Also my hold for Crudo came in. Funnily, I’ve been on the holds list for Crudo a lot longer than for Becoming, but that’s because my library only has one copy of Crudo.

A brilliant, funny, and emphatically raw novel of love on the brink of the apocalypse, from the acclaimed author of The Lonely City.

“She had no idea what to do with love, she experienced it as invasion, as the prelude to loss and pain, she really didn’t have a clue.”

Kathy is a writer. Kathy is getting married. It’s the summer of 2017 and the whole world is falling apart. Fast-paced and frantic, Crudo unfolds in real time from the full-throttle perspective of a commitment-phobic artist who may or may not be Kathy Acker.

From a Tuscan hotel for the superrich to a Brexit-paralyzed United Kingdom, Kathy spends the first summer of her forties adjusting to the idea of a lifelong commitment. But it’s not only Kathy who’s changing. Fascism is on the rise, truth is dead, the planet is heating up, and Trump is tweeting the world ever-closer to nuclear war. How do you make art, let alone a life, when one rogue tweet could end it all?

In Crudo, her first work of fiction, Olivia Laing radically rewires the novel with a fierce, compassionate account of learning to love when the end of the world seems near

 

 

I’m working on several challenges this year (more here)

And one of them is the Reading Women Challenge, and one of the categories is Book by Jhumpa Lahiri.

 

 

 

Fruit of the Drunken Tree – Ingrid Rojas Contreras

This is on the Reading Women Award Fiction Shortlist

In the vein of Isabel Allende and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, a mesmerizing debut set against the backdrop of the devastating violence of 1990’s Colombia about a sheltered young girl and a teenage maid who strike an unlikely friendship that threatens to undo them both.

The Santiago family lives in a gated community in Bogotá, safe from the political upheaval terrorizing the country. Seven-year-old Chula and her older sister Cassandra enjoy carefree lives thanks to this protective bubble, but the threat of kidnappings, car bombs, and assassinations hover just outside the neighborhood walls, where the godlike drug lord Pablo Escobar continues to elude authorities and capture the attention of the nation.

When their mother hires Petrona, a live-in-maid from the city’s guerrilla-occupied slum, Chula makes it her mission to understand Petrona’s mysterious ways. But Petrona’s unusual behavior belies more than shyness. She is a young woman crumbling under the burden of providing for her family as the rip tide of first love pulls her in the opposite direction. As both girls’ families scramble to maintain stability amidst the rapidly escalating conflict, Petrona and Chula find themselves entangled in a web of secrecy that will force them both to choose between sacrifice and betrayal.

Inspired by the author’s own life, and told through the alternating perspectives of the willful Chula and the achingly hopeful Petrona, Fruit of the Drunken Tree contrasts two very different, but inextricable coming-of-age stories. In lush prose, Rojas Contreras sheds light on the impossible choices women are often forced to make in the face of violence and the unexpected connections that can blossom out of desperation.

 

I also picked up more Squirrel Girl comics. Comics and graphic novels are one thing that I borrow more print copies of, mostly because Overdrive and Libby don’t have many comics, and I don’t really want to join one of those Marvel subscription plan things.

 

 

Here’s my kids’ library loot this week:

 

Here’s the link-up!

Library Loot (January 2 to 8)

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 2019!

I hope you had a great time celebrating the new year!

Claire has the link-up this week

I’m excited to have caught sight of these books at my library!

The Poppy War (The Poppy War #1) – R.F. Kuang

I’ve heard lots of good reviews of this one!

When Rin aced the Keju, the Empire-wide test to find the most talented youth to learn at the Academies, it was a shock to everyone: to the test officials, who couldn’t believe a war orphan from Rooster Province could pass without cheating; to Rin’s guardians, who believed they’d finally be able to marry her off and further their criminal enterprise; and to Rin herself, who realized she was finally free of the servitude and despair that had made up her daily existence. That she got into Sinegard, the most elite military school in Nikan, was even more surprising.

But surprises aren’t always good.

Because being a dark-skinned peasant girl from the south is not an easy thing at Sinegard. Targeted from the outset by rival classmates for her color, poverty, and gender, Rin discovers she possesses a lethal, unearthly power—an aptitude for the nearly-mythical art of shamanism. Exploring the depths of her gift with the help of a seemingly insane teacher and psychoactive substances, Rin learns that gods long thought dead are very much alive—and that mastering control over those powers could mean more than just surviving school.

For while the Nikara Empire is at peace, the Federation of Mugen still lurks across a narrow sea. The militarily advanced Federation occupied Nikan for decades after the First Poppy War, and only barely lost the continent in the Second. And while most of the people are complacent to go about their lives, a few are aware that a Third Poppy War is just a spark away . . .

Rin’s shamanic powers may be the only way to save her people. But as she finds out more about the god that has chosen her, the vengeful Phoenix, she fears that winning the war may cost her humanity . . . and that it may already be too late.

 

Mary B – Katherine J Chen

To be honest, I’m a bit hesitant, P&P was the first Austen I ever read (and I studied it for my A level Literature paper no less) and it’s still my favourite, so what if this is a massacre? One waits with trepidation…

The overlooked middle sister in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice casts off her prim exterior and takes center stage in this fresh retelling of the classic novel.

I will tell you the story of how I knew myself to be plain and therefore devoid of the one virtue which it behooves every woman to have.

What is to be done with Mary Bennet? She possesses neither the beauty of her eldest sister, Jane, nor the high-spirited charm of Lizzy. Even compared to her frivolous younger siblings, Kitty and Lydia, Mary knows she is lacking in the ways that matter for single, not-so-well-to-do women in nineteenth-century England who must secure their futures through the finding of a husband. As her sisters wed, one by one, Mary pictures herself growing old, a spinster with no estate to run or children to mind, dependent on the charity of others. At least she has the silent rebellion and secret pleasures of reading and writing to keep her company.

But even her fictional creations are no match for the scandal, tragedy, and romance that eventually visit Mary’s own life. In Mary B, readers are transported beyond the center of the ballroom to discover that wallflowers are sometimes the most intriguing guests at the party. Beneath Mary’s plain appearance and bookish demeanor simmers an inner life brimming with passion, humor, and imagination–and a voice that demands to be heard.

Set before, during, and after the events of Pride and Prejudice, Katherine J. Chen’s vividly original debut novel pays homage to a beloved classic while envisioning a life that is difficult to achieve in any era: that of a truly independent woman

 

The Lost Garden by Li Ang

An ebook I picked up while browsing for books in translation written by women. Li Ang is a Taiwanese writer.

In this eloquent and atmospheric novel, Li Ang further cements her reputation as one of our most sophisticated contemporary Chinese-language writers. “The Lost Garden” moves along two parallel lines. In one, we relive the family saga of Zhu Yinghong, whose father, Zhu Zuyan, was a gentry intellectual imprisoned for dissent in the early days of Chiang Kai-shek’s rule. After his release, Zhu Zuyan literally walled himself in his Lotus Garden, which he rebuilt according to his own desires.

Forever under suspicion, Zhu Zuyan indulged as much as he could in circumscribed pleasures, though they drained the family fortune. Eventually everything belonging to the household had to be sold, including the Lotus Garden. The second storyline picks up in modern-day Taipei as Zhu Yinghong meets Lin Xigeng, a real estate tycoon and playboy. Their cat-and-mouse courtship builds against the extravagant banquets and decadent entertainments of Taipei’s wealthy businessmen. Though the two ultimately marry, their high-styled romance dulls over time, forcing them on a quest to rediscover enchantment in the Lotus Garden. An expansive narrative rich with intimate detail, “The Lost Garden” is a moving portrait of the losses incurred as we struggle to hold on to our passions.

 

The kids’ loot this week:

 

 

 

What did you get from your library this week?

Library Loot December 26 to January 1

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.

It’s the last few days of 2018! Happy almost new year! Here’s to many more library visits and books – and don’t forget to come by and post your links.

We haven’t been able to visit the library this week but the virtual library is ALWAYS OPEN. Thank goodness!

So here’s what I borrowed this week:

Just one ebook! I have so many more that I’m still reading!!

I loved Ghost, the first book in this series and can’t wait to read this one.

Patina, “Patty” Jones is the fastest girl on the Defenders track team. A newbie to the track team, Patty must learn to rely on her family and teammates as she tries to outrun her problems. She runs to show the kids that taunt her at her fancy new school that she’s going to be someone some day. She runs for her fellow newbie teammates to make them proud. She runs to show her little sister Maddy how to be strong and brave. And she runs for her mother, who can never run again. Patty is out to prove herself, but when the pressure becomes too much, can she outdistance it? This is the second book in the Track series about a fiery group of kids who have a shot at the Junior Olympics, but have a lot to prove first- to one another, and to themselves.

We still have the previous week’s library books but I borrowed a extra few ebooks too.

What did you borrow from your library this week?

Here’s the link-up!

Library Loot December 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.

As we head into the last weeks of the year, I feel like I need to play catchup with all the 2018 publications that I’ve missed out on! Is that you too?


From Twinkle with Love – Sandhya Menon

I quite enjoyed When Dimple Met Rishi so I’ve been looking forward to this!

Aspiring filmmaker and wallflower Twinkle Mehra has stories to tell – if only the world would listen. So when nerdy classmate and fellow film-obsessive Sahil Roy approaches her to direct a film for the upcoming Summer Festival, Twinkle can’t wait.

The chance to showcase her artistic voice? Dream come true. The opportunity to get closer to longtime crush, Neil Roy – aka Sahil’s twin brother? Dream come even truer.

When Twinkle receives an email from a secret admirer – the mysterious ‘N’ – she is sure it’s Neil, finally ready for their happy ending. The only problem is that, in the course of their movie-making, she has found herself falling for Sahil – the wrong brother.

Twinkle soon realises that resistance is futile: the romance she’s got isn’t the one she scripted… But will it be enough?

The Pisces – Melissa Broder

There’s something about that cover that is just weird and attractive at the same time.

Lucy has been writing her dissertation for nine years when she and her boyfriend have a dramatic break up. After she hits rock bottom, her sister in Los Angeles insists that Lucy dog-sit for the summer. Staying in a gorgeous house on Venice Beach, Lucy can find little relief from her anxiety – not in the Greek chorus of women in her love addiction therapy group, not in her frequent Tinder excursions, not even in Dominic the dog’s easy affection. Everything changes when Lucy becomes entranced by an eerily attractive swimmer while sitting alone on the beach rocks one night. But when Lucy learns the truth about his identity, their relationship, and Lucy’s understanding of what love should look like, take a very unexpected turn.

Warlight – Michael Ondaatje

In a narrative as mysterious as memory itself – at once both shadowed and luminous – Warlight is a vivid, thrilling novel of violence and love, intrigue and desire. It is 1945, and London is still reeling from the Blitz and years of war. 14-year-old Nathaniel and his sister, Rachel, are apparently abandoned by their parents, left in the care of an enigmatic figure named The Moth. They suspect he might be a criminal, and grow both more convinced and less concerned as they get to know his eccentric crew of friends: men and women with a shared history, all of whom seem determined now to protect, and educate (in rather unusual ways) Rachel and Nathaniel. But are they really what and who they claim to be? A dozen years later, Nathaniel begins to uncover all he didn’t know or understand in that time, and it is this journey – through reality, recollection, and imagination – that is told in this magnificent novel.

I also borrowed a new audiobook for the kids to listen to in the car.

The kids’ loot:

Have you read any of these books? What did you get from your library this week?

The link-up is over at Claire’s blog this week!

Library Loot December 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.

Hello! And welcome to Library Loot!

As Claire mentioned last week, I’m the new co-host for Library Loot. If you’re new to my blog, hi there! Thanks for coming by! Hope you’ll have a look around.

A little bit about myself, I’ve been blogging for quite a while now, and I’ve been a fan of the library since I was a little girl. I’ve had library memberships in 3 different countries so far – Singapore (where I was born and grew up), the UK (where I did graduate school), and now in the US where I live. I have two boys, aged 5 and 7, and they love going to the library too!

Here’s my library loot this week:

I love cookbooks but I don’t love lugging them around when I already have two big tote bags full of kids’ books. So while I don’t really love e-cookbooks, sometimes they’re all I can manage. I’ve been wanting to check out Chrissy Teigen’s cookbook, and also, I am a big fan of Smitten Kitchen! I own her first cookbook and wanted to see what was in this one.

My hold for this book came in. This book won the Kirkus Prize for fiction and while I am not a fan of the cover, I am intrigued by the synopsis.

An offbeat office novel turns apocalyptic satire as a young woman transforms from orphan to worker bee to survivor

Candace Chen, a millennial drone self-sequestered in a Manhattan office tower, is devoted to routine. With the recent passing of her Chinese immigrant parents, she’s had her fill of uncertainty. She’s content just to carry on: She goes to work, troubleshoots the teen-targeted Gemstone Bible, watches movies in a Greenpoint basement with her boyfriend.

So Candace barely notices when a plague of biblical proportions sweeps New York. Then Shen Fever spreads. Families flee. Companies halt operations. The subways squeak to a halt. Her bosses enlist her as part of a dwindling skeleton crew with a big end-date payoff. Soon entirely alone, still unfevered, she photographs the eerie, abandoned city as the anonymous blogger NY Ghost.

Candace won’t be able to make it on her own forever, though. Enter a group of survivors, led by the power-hungry IT tech Bob. They’re traveling to a place called the Facility, where, Bob promises, they will have everything they need to start society anew. But Candace is carrying a secret she knows Bob will exploit. Should she escape from her rescuers?

A send-up and takedown of the rituals, routines, and missed opportunities of contemporary life, Ling Ma’s Severance is a moving family story, a quirky coming-of-adulthood tale, and a hilarious, deadpan satire. Most important, it’s a heartfelt tribute to the connections that drive us to do more than survive.  

Kids’ loot:

What did you get from your library this week?

Library Loot December 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.

I’m so thrilled to let you all know that I’m the new co-host for Library Loot! The lovely Claire from The Captive Reader has been helming it for a while now and I’m really excited to be t. I’ll be hosting next week, so please see her post for the details!

Also, hello! Hello to you new readers and subscribers, thanks for popping over here to check out my blog. A little bit about me – I love libraries and visit our local library with my two boys (ages 5 and 7) every week. We borrow lots of books – chapter books for the 7yo, beginning readers and picture books for the 5yo. As a result, my tote bags are full of kids books and my shoulders are aching. So pretty much all the library books I get for myself these days are ebooks via the Libby app!

Meanwhile, here’s what I got from the library this week.

The Cloud Roads – Martha Wells

I’ve heard of Wells’ Murderbot series and that’s on my tbr list but when I saw the cover of this one, I just wanted to start with this.

Moon has spent his life hiding what he is — a shape-shifter able to transform himself into a winged creature of flight. An orphan with only vague memories of his own kind, Moon tries to fit in among the tribes of his river valley, with mixed success. Just as Moon is once again cast out by his adopted tribe, he discovers a shape-shifter like himself… someone who seems to know exactly what he is, who promises that Moon will be welcomed into his community. What this stranger doesn’t tell Moon is that his presence will tip the balance of power… that his extraordinary lineage is crucial to the colony’s survival… and that his people face extinction at the hands of the dreaded Fell! Now Moon must overcome a lifetime of conditioning in order to save himself… and his newfound kin.

A Princess in Theory  – Alyssa Cole

Reading romance novels is quite a new thing for me. I had long turned my nose up at them, but I’ve since found some really smart writing, great characters, and fun reads. I enjoyed Cole’s An Extraordinary Union and was curious about this one.

Between grad school and multiple jobs, Naledi Smith doesn’t have time for fairy tales…or patience for the constant e-mails claiming she’s betrothed to an African prince. Sure. Right. Delete! As a former foster kid, she’s learned that the only things she can depend on are herself and the scientific method, and a silly e-mail won’t convince her otherwise.

Prince Thabiso is the sole heir to the throne of Thesolo, shouldering the hopes of his parents and his people. At the top of their list? His marriage. Ever dutiful, he tracks down his missing betrothed. When Naledi mistakes the prince for a pauper, Thabiso can’t resist the chance to experience life—and love—without the burden of his crown.

The chemistry between them is instant and irresistible, and flirty friendship quickly evolves into passionate nights. But when the truth is revealed, can a princess in theory become a princess ever after?

 

 

Some holds came in for me just this morning!

Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows – Balli Kaur Jaswal

I’ve enjoyed Jaswal’s other stories like Sugarbread and Inheritance, both which are set in Singapore. So I’ve been looking forward to reading her latest.

Nikki lives in cosmopolitan West London, where she tends bar at the local pub. The daughter of Indian immigrants, she’s spent most of her twenty-odd years distancing herself from the traditional Sikh community of her childhood, preferring a more independent (that is, Western) life. When her father’s death leaves the family financially strapped, Nikki, a law school dropout, impulsively takes a job teaching a “creative writing” course at the community center in the beating heart of London’s close-knit Punjabi community.

Because of a miscommunication, the proper Sikh widows who show up are expecting to learn basic English literacy, not the art of short-story writing. When one of the widows finds a book of sexy stories in English and shares it with the class, Nikki realizes that beneath their white dupattas, her students have a wealth of fantasies and memories. Eager to liberate these modest women, she teaches them how to express their untold stories, unleashing creativity of the most unexpected—and exciting—kind.

As more women are drawn to the class, Nikki warns her students to keep their work secret from the Brotherhood, a group of highly conservative young men who have appointed themselves the community’s “moral police.” But when the widows’ gossip offers shocking insights into the death of a young wife—a modern woman like Nikki—and some of the class erotica is shared among friends, it sparks a scandal that threatens them all.

 

Normal People – Sally Rooney

Silly me, I had started this book a few months ago, then somehow my library ebook was due and I didn’t realize that, and of course it disappeared from my Libby app! I know you can do that Airplane Mode thing, but well, I just forgot. Surprisingly there was quite a bit of a wait on this book so I only just got my grubby hands back on it this week.

 

Connell and Marianne both grow up in the same town in rural Ireland. The similarities end there; they are from very different worlds. But they both get places to study at university in Dublin, and a connection that has grown between them despite the social tangle of school lasts long into the following years.

Sally Rooney’s second novel is a deeply political novel, just as it’s also a novel about love. It’s about how difficult it is to speak to what you feel and how difficult it is to change. It’s wry and seductive; perceptive and bold. It will make you cry and you will know yourself through it.

Books from previous weeks

 

I’m still listening – and enjoying – this audiobook

And I’m also working on Stay With Me

What did you get from your library this week?