Library Loot (December 4 to 10, 2020)

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 first Library Loot in December!

Claire has the link-up this week

A Long Petal of the Sea – Isabel Allende

In the late 1930s, civil war gripped Spain. When General Franco and his Fascists succeed in overthrowing the government, hundreds of thousands are forced to flee in a treacherous journey over the mountains to the French border. Among them is Roser, a pregnant young widow, who finds her life irreversibly intertwined with that of Victor Dalmau, an army doctor and the brother of her deceased love. In order to survive, the two must unite in a marriage neither of them wants, and together are sponsored by poet Pablo Neruda to embark on the SS Winnipeg along with 2,200 other refugees in search of a new life. As unlikely partners, they embrace exile and emigrate to Chile as the rest of Europe erupts in World War.

Starting over on a new continent, their trials are just beginning. Over the course of their lives, they will face test after test. But they will also find joy as they wait patiently for a day when they are exiles no more, and will find friends in the most unlikely of places. Through it all, it is that hope of being reunited with their home that keeps them going. And in the end, they will find that home might have been closer than they thought all along.

Splash! – Howard Means

rom man’s first recorded dip into what’s now the driest spot on earth to the splashing, sparkling pool party in your backyard, humans have been getting wet for 10,000 years. And for most of modern history, swimming has caused a ripple that touches us all–the heroes and the ordinary folk; the real and the mythic.

Splash! dives into Egypt, winds through ancient Greece and Rome, flows mostly underground through the Dark and Middle Ages (at least in Europe), and then reemerges in the wake of the Renaissance before taking its final lap at today’s Olympic games. Along the way, it kicks away the idea that swimming is just about moving through water, about speed or great feats of aquatic endurance, and shows you how much more it can be. Its history offers a multi-tiered tour through religion, fashion, architecture, sanitation and public health, colonialism, segregation and integration, sexism, sexiness, guts, glory, and much, much more.

The Forgotten Smile – Margaret Kennedy

Kate is bored of being overlooked by her grown-up children and decides to escape on an Aegean cruise. She ends up in Keritha – a mysterious Greek island all but forgotten by the modern world. There she encounters her childhood friends, the Challoners, returned to the island of their birth to claim their heritage. When another stray arrives: the unattractive, foolish Selwyn Potter, Kate is irritated. But under the spell of this strange and beautiful island both visitors find themselves, and each other, cast in a new light.

 

 

Through Lya’s Eyes vol 1 – Carbone, Justine Cunha

The day before her seventeenth birthday, Lya’s life changed forever. Hit by a speeding car and left for dead, she lost the use of her legs as well as some of her faith in the world… Lya learned to live again with the support of her parents. But having discovered that someone bought their silence, Lya is determined to unmask the perpetrator and obtain justice. Her search for the truth takes her to a famous law firm… and down a dangerous path. With the help of her friend Antoine, she’ll stop at nothing to get to the bottom of it all…

What did you get from your library this week?

Books I want to read again #TopTenTuesday

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is:

Books I Want to Read Again

(the truth though is I’ve probably reread these books a few times over already!)

The Earthsea Quartet by Ursula K Le Guin

Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild

The Sandman series by Neil Gaiman

Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson – I only just read this series in 2020 but I want to read it again!

Beastie Boys Book – I listened to this one and it such an awesome audiobook (so many amazing narrators!). I do however want to read the actual book so I can see all the photos

The Kingkiller Chronicle series by Patrick Rothfuss – is Rothfuss even still writing? What’s going on? He gave us book 2.5 but then nothing after that. I have kinda forgotten a lot of the first two books now…and so if the third ever comes out, a reread is definitely required.

My Brother’s Husband by Gengoroh Tagame

The Makioka Sisters by Junichiro Tanizaki

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen – I reread every so often. I guess I’m due for a reread!

His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman

The Gormenghast series by Mervyn Peake – a series I haven’t read in ages. I don’t know how long it has been but it feels very long…


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.

It’s Monday (November 30, 2020)

It’s the last day of November! The last couple of months of the year always just fly by, don’t they?

If you’re in the US, hope you had a lovely thanksgiving weekend.

My kids will only grudgingly eat the enoki (the long thin mushrooms at the back of the photo). But I love the Bunashimeji the best.

We had our usual hot pot. One side is spicy kimchi broth (from a package) and the other is a homemade vegetable miso broth.

And I made a chocolate pie. We had purchased all our hotpot ingredients a few days before, and it doesn’t require much prep work. But I kept feeling like something was missing, and really, the answer was to make some pie.

It was also time to put up the Christmas tree!

As we buy our hotpot meats from the Japanese supermarket in San Jose (a little bit of a drive), we make the most of it by picking up some fresh sashimi (not the pre-cut kind). This salmon and the otoro were really delicious. The husband made the California rolls (he does all the rolling, I do the prep).

Currently…

Reading:

Efren Divided – Ernesto Cisneros

Watching:

The Great British Bake-Off. I’m a bit behind! So don’t spoil it for me!

Listening:

Lots of BTS. The kids have decided they love BTS so we listen to them a lot. I’m kinda liking some of their songs too, like Spring Day and Life Goes On.

Eating:

Breakfast was toasted homemade sourdough bread and tea

Cooking:

It’s back to school again so I’ll have to come up with a plan for some easy lunches and dinners… any thoughts?

Last week:

I read:

I feel like I finally finished a lot of books last week!! Hooray!

The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe – Kij Johnson

Dear Girls – Ali Wong (audiobook which Wong herself narrates – really enjoyed this one, despite it being full of words not suitable for young ears)

In the Year of The Virus – Felix Cheong

The Kingdom of Back – Marie Lu

I posted:

Sourdough, finally (and Tartine Bread) #WeekendCooking

Library Loot (November 25 to December 2)

I’m thankful for…#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 (November 25 to December 2)

badge-4Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Sharlene from Real Life Reading that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries.

Happy Library Loot day! If you’re in the US, have a happy Thanksgiving!

Just a couple of books this week. 

 

 

Efrén Divided by Ernesto Cisneros

Efrén Nava’s Amá is his Superwoman – or Soperwoman, named after the delicious Mexican sopes his mother often prepares. Both Amá and Apá work hard all day to provide for the family, making sure Efrén and his younger siblings Max and Mía feel safe and loved.

But Efrén worries about his parents; although he’s American-born, his parents are undocumented. His worst nightmare comes true one day when Amá doesn’t return from work and is deported across the border to Tijuana, México.

Now more than ever, Efrén must channel his inner Soperboy to help take care of and try to reunite his family.

Such a Fun Age – Kiley Reid

In the midst of a family crisis one late evening, white blogger Alix Chamberlain calls her African American babysitter, Emira, asking her to take toddler Briar to the local market for distraction. There, the security guard accuses Emira of kidnapping Briar, and Alix’s efforts to right the situation turn out to be good intentions selfishly mismanaged.

What did you get from your library this week?

 

I’m thankful for…#TopTenTuesday

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is:

I’m Thankful for…

Gosh, this year… this year is a year to be thankful for all the little things.

I’m Thankful for…

Good health

I’m so glad that none of us have been sick, including our families in Singapore – which of today’s writing (November 22, 2020) had no local transmissions for more than a week now. Also, a total of just 28 deaths from this virus (the county I live in has 490 deaths – it also has a population of 1.67 million, compared to Singapore’s 5.6 million).

Good teachers

Our teachers have been working hard to teach the kids. They’ve been using fun online tools to teach, coming up with crafts that are doable at home and prepping the materials so parents can pick them up from school. It’s not easy having to teach 20+ students (my kids are in 2nd and 4th) via the Internet so I am grateful for them.

Good Internet

Speaking of which, I am grateful for the Internet, or specifically, good Internet. We recently switched to AT&T and hooray it comes with HBO Max so that’s a bonus!

A roof over our heads and food in the fridge

It’s so sad to see those news articles and news photos of cars in line for supplies given away at food banks. This Bay Area article is from a few months ago, but I can only imagine that the lines are the same, if not longer. And here’s one from Texas with thousands of cars in line. So I am grateful that we have a home and can afford to go grocery shopping.

Ebooks

Most of my reading is via ebooks these days. Our libraries are still closed although open for contact-free pick-ups, but I still haven’t yet used that service.

Getting a break from distance learning this week

Distance learning is HARD, you guys. It is hard to keep two boys motivated to stay on track, to pay attention to their Zoom classes. I am so glad we don’t have to do that this week!

All the streaming things

Netflix. HBO Max. Disney+ (I pre-signed up for this at a great discount!).

All the baking and cooking

I was already a person who baked and cooked before the pandemic started but in the past few months I have been trying out new recipes, such as:

Chocolate cherry loaf

Plum cake

Singapore-style carrot cake

Lemon Meringue Pie

Strawberry milk, and gula Melaka chiffon cake

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.

It’s Monday (November 23, 2020)

Happy Monday!

The kids are on break this week. We don’t have any plans but to hang out at home, maybe hit the park, lots of reading and video game time.

If you’re in the US, what are your Thanksgiving plans?

Here’s some of what we did last week…

Some crafts done in second grade distance learning. The top one is corn. The fourth grader made a basket out of a paper plate and yarn (which I forgot to take a photo of)

The 7yo and I started working on a 500 piece puzzle that’s all about books.

Currently…

Reading:

The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe – Kij Johnson

Watching:

Listening:

Still listening to Dear Girls by Ali Wong. A delight!

Eating and drinking:

I had oatmeal with raisins for breakfast. Cold mornings always make me want oatmeal.

Cooking:

Our usual Thanksgiving meal is hot pot. We didn’t grow up here and none of us (except my youngest) likes turkey anyway, plus hot pot is always a great idea for cold weather!

Last week:

I read:

My Fake Rake – Eva Leigh

I posted:

Keeping track of Best Books of 2020 links

Library Loot (November 18 to 24)

10 (ok maybe more) characters I’d name a cat after #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 (November 18 to 24)

badge-4Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Sharlene from Real Life Reading that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries.

Happy Wednesday!

Claire has the link-up this week

The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe – Kij Johnson

One of NPR‘s Best Books of 2016 and a Hugo, Nebula, John W. Campbell, and Locus Award finalist for Best Novella

Professor Vellitt Boe teaches at the prestigious Ulthar Women’s College. When one of her most gifted students elopes with a dreamer from the waking world, Vellitt must retrieve her.

This poetry/comic from Singapore sounds interesting

In the Year of the Virus – Felix Cheong

In the Year of the Virus is an innovative poetry comic book inspired by the Covid-19 pandemic. The story revolves around several characters affected ― and infected ―- by the viral outbreak. The poetry by award-winning writer Felix Cheong, adapted beautifully by artist Eko, examines our humanity as our lives are upended and ended.

This is a ground-breaking work that marries text with artwork and aptly captures the wild swings of emotion we all felt after the pandemic hit and the lockdown began.

That is one gorgeous cover. Also I am fond of books that have to do with music.

The Kingdom of Back – Marie Lu

Two siblings. Two brilliant talents. But only one Mozart. 

Born with a gift for music, Nannerl Mozart has just one wish–to be remembered forever. But even as she delights audiences with her masterful playing, she has little hope she’ll ever become the acclaimed composer she longs to be. She is a young woman in 18th century Europe, and that means composing is forbidden to her. She will perform only until she reaches a marriageable age–her tyrannical father has made that much clear.

And as Nannerl’s hope grows dimmer with each passing year, the talents of her beloved younger brother, Wolfgang, only seem to shine brighter. His brilliance begins to eclipse her own, until one day a mysterious stranger from a magical land appears with an irresistible offer. He has the power to make her wish come true–but his help may cost her everything.

In her first work of historical fiction, #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu spins a lush, lyrically-told story of music, magic, and the unbreakable bond between a brother and sister.

What did you get from your library this week?

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10 (ok maybe more) characters I’d name a cat after #TopTenTuesday

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is:

Characters I’d Name a Pet After

We don’t have pets! But if I did, I’d have a cat, so here are top ten cat names!

Count Fosco (The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins) – because he has pet rats that he’s trained…

Inigo Montoya (The Princess Bride by William Goldman) – I just love the name and the book!

Merry, Pippin, Bilbo, Frodo, Samwise Gamgee (The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien) – really all the hobbits names make great pet names, but I’m partial to the Tooks, so I can say “Fool of a Took!”

Nicodemus, Mrs Frisby (Mrs Frisby and the Rats of Nimh) – I loved this book when I was a kid, although it might be odd naming a cat after a rat or mouse character!

Peregrine Overmantel (The Borrowers by Mary Norton) – Another series I loved as a kid. And I always secretly loved this character’s name!

Tybalt (Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare) – The “King of Cats”!

Serafina Pekkala (His Dark Materials series by Phillip Pullman) – her name sounds like a song

Octavian (The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing series by M.T. Anderson) – ok so partly because one of my favourite Animal Crossing characters is the grumpy octopus Octavian.

Buffy (Buffy the Vampire Slayer comics) – well they are comics right, so they kinda count??? I love Buffy and the rest of the Scooby gang.

Flavia de Luce (The Flavia de Luce series) – The precocious solver of murders with a fondness for poisons has a good cat name, also there was even a cat-related title in this series! 

 


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.

It’s Monday (November 16, 2020)

Oh boy, it’s Monday. The kids are on minimum schedule this week (until 120pm), as the teachers are doing parent-teacher conferences (via zoom that is). And it’s the week before Thanksgiving break. For which we have…no plans!

Here’s some of what we did last week…

I made some red bean soup and red bean paste. Hopefully I’ll be able to get it together and make some red bean buns (an pan)

We had our favourite Indian-Pakistani food. Tandoori chicken legs, tandoori fish, four types of vegetable curry, garlic naan and plain naan.

The last Meyer lemons (my tiny tree had tiny lemons). And some last San Marzano tomatoes, although there are still a few left on the vine.

Also, I decided to break out the Christmas mugs…

Currently…

Reading:

The Golden Thread by Kassia St Clair

Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

Watching:

As a family, we’ve been watching Long Way Up. And we’re down to the last episode! The kids really love it and I think it’s an interesting look into places that we’ve never been to (South and Central America). Especially since the guys occasionally stop by Unicef centres. This season is all about electric vehicles – electric motorbikes and two electric trucks. So it’s quite unlike the first two seasons. Also, the first two seasons aren’t all that little kid-friendly as the two guys sometimes use the F-word, and are seen smoking on screen. The husband was guessing that since Long Way Up is for Apple TV, maybe they had to make sure all the cursing was edited out.

Listening:

Dear Girls by Ali Wong  (listening with headphones is important if you have little kids!)

Eating: 

I had a slice of walnut bread and a mug of milky tea for breakfast

Cooking:

Oh boy I have no idea.

Last week:

I read:

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Legacy Edition book one and book two

I Will Judge You By Your Bookshelf – Grant Snider

I posted:

Chocolate Cherry Loaf Cake #WeekendCooking

Library Loot (November 11 to 17)

Book titles that would make great song titles #TopTenTuesday

badge
It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. This meme started with J Kaye’s Blog   and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date