Library Loot (November 30 to December 6)

badge-4

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.

Happy Wednesday! What did you get from your library this week?

Claire has the link-up this week.

What I got from the library this week:

The Dark Matter of Mona Starr – Laura Lee Gulledge

A YA graphic novel about a teen’s struggle with depression.

We Were Dreamers – Simu Liu (audiobook)

My hold for this audiobook finally came in! In case Liu is unfamiliar to you, he starred as the Marvel superhero Shang-Chi.

Dreamsnake – Vonda McIntyre

I first read this maybe 10 years ago? And I’m rereading it for a reading challenge – Read an award-winning book from the year you were born.

It’s Monday (November 28, 2022)

We are heading into December soon! I don’t quite feel ready yet….! How about you?

Some things last week:

It was Thanksgiving last Thursday and the kids were off school for the week. In last week’s post, I had mentioned that my 11yo went for a 3 day 2 night science camp in the mountains. He had a blast and loved all the nature stuff that they learnt. They took a night hike, had a campfire, caught aquatic bugs in the river, did a ropes course, and touched a snake. My younger son was especially envious about that part 🙂

On Thanksgiving, we did our usual hotpot. We bought meat from the Japanese supermarket on the way back from picking up the kid from camp. And the rest of the vegetables and three types of mushrooms were ordered from Weee, the online grocer that specialises in Asian goods. The mushrooms (enoki, beech, oyster) from Weee somehow always end up being cheaper than getting it from the Asian supermarket.

The kids helped make a brownie cheesecake (recipe from King Arthur). My younger boy loves cheesecake but no one else does (I quite like Japanese cheesecake though!), so this was a kind of compromise

We also tried a new-to-us ramen place, I had the crab ramen. Lots of fresh crab!
And also ate at the kids’ favourite Taiwanese beef noodle place, which also has good xiaolongbao.

Last night, we had Indian food. This is paneer butter masala and dal makhani with garlic naan.

Currently…

Reading:

The Many Daughters of Afong May – Jamie Ford (in case you’re wondering about the picture, I was just comparing how huge this cabbage was to that hardcover. It was a 3.5 kg (7.7 pound) cabbage although the order had stated that the cabbage would be about 2.5 to 3.2 pounds 😛

Savor – Fatima Ali

Remarkably Bright Creatures – Shelby Van Pelt

Watching:

The Crown

Listening:

Eating and Drinking:

Right now, just an oolong tea. I had sourdough toast with butter for breakfast.

Cooking:

Maybe a mushroom Alfredo as I still have some mushrooms to cook up. It will be a slightly chilly week so I wouldn’t mind some soup too. Maybe tomato soup.

Last week:

I read:

Below Zero – Ali Hazelwood

Hunt the Stars – Jessie Mihalik

I posted:

#WeekendCooking Spam Egg Rice Sandwich

Library Loot (November 23 to 29)

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 (November 23 to 29)

badge-4

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.

Happy Wednesday! What did you get from your library this week?

What I got from the library this week:

The Many Daughters of Afong Moy – Jamie Ford

From Bad to Cursed – Lana Harper (this is what happens when I take the younger son with me to the library – the older boy is at science camp. He gave me three minutes upstairs to check out the new adult fiction, and picked out this book for me).

Below Zero – Ali Hazelwood

A cute romcom novella set in the Arctic, featuring scientists of course.

Remarkably Bright Creatures – Shelby Van Pelt

A story about a widow who works the night shift at an aquarium, where she befriends an octopus. While I get the first cover with the octopus, I’m curious about the second cover. Why has the cover designer of the Bloomsbury edition completely avoided the octopus and gone with what looks like a wooden horse?

Hunt the Stars – Jessie Mihalik

Sounds like it’s a sci-fi romance of sorts that has an enemy to lovers trope. Not necessarily something I’m tending towards but who knows?

Savor – Fatima Ali

If you’ve watched Top Chef, you might know of Fatima Ali, who was on season 15. She was one of my favourites of that season! Sadly, she died a couple of years ago of cancer at the age of 29. She wrote about her diagnosis in this essay for Bon Appetit.

It’s Monday (November 21, 2022)

Happy Monday! The kids are off school this week as it’s Thanksgiving break. This morning, we dropped my older son at a two-night science camp in the mountains. It’s about an hour’s drive from us through some very windy roads. But he was super excited to hang out with his friends. They’re going to do a night hike tomorrow and hopefully lots of other fun stuff. My younger one was sad that his big brother is going to be away though!

Some things last week:

Over the weekend, we picked up takeout from our favourite Singapore/Malaysia eatery. There’s beef rendang on top, a red vegetable curry and a green chicken curry, satay chicken cutlets, and horfun (rice noodles with a soupy gravy).
I’ve finally been feeling better enough to take walks outside without coughing too much. So I had to take some photos of the lovely colours around the neighbourhood.

I made granola with coconut chips, banana chips, raisins, and sliced almonds.

Currently…

Reading:

Made waffles for Sunday breakfast. And this is one of my current reads – The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock

Watching:

White Lotus Season 2

Listening:

Buzz, Sting, Bite – Anne Sverdrup-Thygeson

Eating and Drinking:

Granola with yogurt.

Cooking:

The kid wants to make a spam egg sushi sandwich tomorrow. So we will see how that goes!

Last week:

I read:

Fish Swimming in Dappled Sunlight – Riku Onda

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 (November 16 to 22)

badge-4

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.

Happy Wednesday! What did you get from your library this week?

What I got from the library this week:

Buzz, Sting, Bite: Why We Need Insects – Anne Sverdrup-Thygeson

Well, it’s Nonfiction November after all, so why not another nonfiction audiobook.

Food IQ – Daniel Holzman, Matt Rodbard

I just liked the cover, which made me think of the Netflix food series, The Chef Show, starring Roy Choi and Jon Favreau.

Dopesick – Beth Macy

I started reading a sample of the book and was drawn into the first chapter, which talks about a dealer in Virginia.

The Smell of Other People’s Houses – Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock

I came across this on a list on Libby, and was attracted to its setting – Alaska.

It’s Monday (November 14, 2022)

Some things last week:

Unfortunately, this past weekend has been one of not sleeping well due to a cough.

The husband picked up some Japanese cheesecake from an Asian supermarket. I’m not a big fan of regular cheesecake and prefer the much lighter texture of Japanese cheesecake. I believe it has less sugar and the whipped egg whites make for a less dense cake. The 9yo though tried the Japanese cheesecake and declared the regular type is better!
The husband also picked up some sushi from that supermarket. Our go-to sushi takeout place that was run by the nicest family closed down recently after five years. Some new owners are taking over so hopefully they will have similar food. Meanwhile, this supermarket sushi is quite a decent (and easy) substitute.

The kids were watching Cooking Haru YouTuber (a Korean food channel) recently, and the 9yo decided he wanted to have the egg toasts (here’s the video) for breakfast. It was fun to make it with them.

Currently…

Reading:

Watching:

I started watching the first season of White Lotus on HBO Max and sadly, finished Extraordinary Attorney Woo, which I grew to adore.

Listening:

Buzz, Sting, Bite: Why We Need Insects – Anne Sverdrup-Thygeson

Eating and Drinking:

A few slices of baguette, tea for breakfast

Cooking:

Not sure yet, but I have some zucchini and broccoli to cook up. Maybe I’ll put them into a baked pasta as I also have lots of cheddar cheese. Or some type of vegetable fritters would be nice, if I can bother with the frying!

Last week:

I read:

Wash Day Diaries – Jamila Rowser

The Book Eaters – Sunyi Dean

Messy Roots – Laura Gao

I posted:

Library Loot (November 9 to 15)

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 (November 9 to 15)

badge-4

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.

Happy Wednesday! What did you get from your library this week? Let us know in the link-up or comments below.

What I got from the library this week:

Fish Swimming in Dappled Sunlight – Riku Onda

Onda also wrote The Aosawa Murders. This story is told over one night in Tokyo.

Wash Day Diaries – Jamila Rowser

I love how the synopsis describes this comic as a “loving tribute to Black joy and the resilience of Black women”.

These Impossible Things – Salma El-Wardany

A coming-of-age story of three Muslim women as their university years come to an end.

Made in China – Anna Qu

I borrowed this as an audiobook. The author was made to work in a sweatshop in New York when she was a young girl. The interesting thing is that the sweatshop is owned by her mother and stepfather.

Kids’ loot:

It’s Monday (November 7, 2022)

Hello, Monday!

Some things last week:

We tried a new-to-us eatery, which has food that comes on sizzling plates. It’s fittingly called Sizzling Lunch. I had pork belly with rice. I was surprised as the meat wasn’t seasoned, but they do provide garlic shoyu and teriyaki sauces. So you can season it after. The kids had fun cooking their meat, and enjoyed the crispy rice at the bottom.
Made some tangzhong bread.
It felt like we haven’t had laksa for a while, and luckily I had two more packets of the laksa paste from Singapore. I added prawns, fish cake and fish balls. Didn’t have bean sprouts so had to make do with cabbage.
Also, working on a C2C (corner to corner) moss stitch blanket in a bid to use up some stash.

Currently…

Reading:

The Golden Enclaves – Naomi Novik

Watching:

Listening:

Made in China – Anna Qu

Eating and Drinking:

Coffee and toast for breakfast. The clocks changed on Sunday but alas my body clock hasn’t so I was up at 515am.

Cooking:

Chicken rice – at least I plan to cook the rice, I may just serve it with a roast chicken from Costco.

Last week:

I read:

Back to the Garden – Laurie R King

I posted:

If You Could See the Sun

Black Forest Birthday Cake #WeekendCooking

Library Loot (November 2 to 8)

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

If You Could See the Sun



I’ve loved stories set in boarding schools since I was a kid reading Enid Blyton’s Malory Towers (did you read that too?). But many of these boarding school stories often take place in western countries like the UK. So when I learnt that If You Could See the Sun by Ann Liang was set in an international boarding school in Beijing, I quickly put a hold on the library ebook. 

Alice Sun discovers that she has the power of invisibility. And she uses it to do favors and secret tasks for the other students – for a fee. She needs that money to pay for her school fees as her parents are no longer able to afford it. She enlists the help of academic rival Henry to build her an app, Beijing Ghost. (Which would have made a great title for the book, I reckon). She does make some questionable choices, and learns more about herself along the way. 

I like how Liang uses the invisibility power to illustrate the idea of Alice feeling unseen by her peers, who are children of the wealthy and powerful of Beijing. But as she gets to know some of them better, she too realizes that these classmates are more than just the daughter of a famous model, the son of a rich businessman. The best part is that her rival Henry maybe doesn’t really see her as a rival at all? For me, their relationship was the best part of this book.  

When it comes to her invisibility power, she can’t seem to control it and it just turns on and off without any explanation. Maybe I’m overthinking it but I would have preferred more details about this magical ability. 

Still, this was a unique story in one of my favorite settings, the boarding school. And better still, a boarding school in Asia. It’s a story that my teenaged self would have lived, but as an adult I definitely appreciate it too.  

Library Loot (November 2 to 8)

badge-4

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.

Happy Wednesday! What did you get from your library this week?

Claire has the link-up this week.

What I got from the library this week:

The Golden Enclaves – Naomi Novik

After devouring the first two books of this series recently, I was glad to learn that I wouldn’t have to wait long for the third book. And finally got my hold in!

The Book Eaters – Sunyi Dean

Another hold came in! This one’s as it’s title goes – about a clan of people who eat books.

Messy Roots – Laura Gao

A graphic memoir about a Chinese -American immigrant