It’s Monday and school is closed

 

Happy Monday to you! This is day one of COVID19 school closures. Our district’s schools have been closed for the next two weeks, although the surrounding school districts have planned longer closures of between 3 to 4 weeks so I suspect that this two week closure may end up being longer?? At any rate, we are waiting for more information from the school and teachers about what we are supposed to do, as the school closure announcement only came late Friday afternoon after school was out. Luckily my third grader’s teachers are very adept at online stuff, as they use Google Classroom in class, and they have been maintaining a class website for a few years now. But all the teachers sent the kids home with whatever workbooks they had in class so we will just await instructions!

Meanwhile, it was a very wet weekend, a much appreciated wet weekend! So a lot of staying in, Legos, baking, cooking, reading, and of course, Netflix.

 

Made some laksa using a premade paste and udon noodles

 

Currently…

 

Reading:

 

Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

 

The Final Empire (Mistborn #1) by Brandon Sanderson

 

 

Watching:

Ford vs Ferrari (the husband’s choice)

Listening:

Double Cup Love by Eddie Huang

Eating:

Chocolate olive oil cake

Drinking:

Nespresso

Cooking:

I’ve got some tangzhong-style milk bread in the oven and I made laksa for lunch.

This week, I plan on making shepherd’s pie, maybe some chicken curry. Pasta probably.

Browsing:

Observer critics suggest ways to while away the long days of self-isolation during the coronavirus crisis

24 new books we couldn’t put down (Buzzfeed)

Playing scrabble in a pandemic (Slate)

Marjan Kamali on visiting the homes of her readers (Lit Hub)

Last week:

I read:

The Right Swipe – Alisha Rai
Empty Hearts – Julie Zeh
The Threads of the Heart – Carole Martinez

I posted:

Library Loot (March 11 to 17)

Review: Know My Name by Chanel Miller

 

 

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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 (March 11 to 17)

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 cover doesn’t attract me, but the description does! Also, this is a “skip-the-line” ebook loan so I only have 7 days to read it! Oh the pressure…

Gideon the Ninth – Tamsyn Muir

Gideon the Ninth is the most fun you’ll ever have with a skeleton.

The Emperor needs necromancers.

The Ninth Necromancer needs a swordswoman.

Gideon has a sword, some dirty magazines, and no more time for undead bullshit.

Tamsyn Muir’s Gideon the Ninth unveils a solar system of swordplay, cut-throat politics, and lesbian necromancers. Her characters leap off the page, as skillfully animated as necromantic skeletons. The result is a heart-pounding epic science fantasy.

Brought up by unfriendly, ossifying nuns, ancient retainers, and countless skeletons, Gideon is ready to abandon a life of servitude and an afterlife as a reanimated corpse. She packs up her sword, her shoes, and her dirty magazines, and prepares to launch her daring escape. But her childhood nemesis won’t set her free without a service.

Harrowhark Nonagesimus, Reverend Daughter of the Ninth House and bone witch extraordinaire, has been summoned into action. The Emperor has invited the heirs to each of his loyal Houses to a deadly trial of wits and skill. If Harrowhark succeeds she will become an immortal, all-powerful servant of the Resurrection, but no necromancer can ascend without their cavalier. Without Gideon’s sword, Harrow will fail, and the Ninth House will die.

Of course, some things are better left dead.

 

The Sweetest Fruits – Monique Truong

A Greek woman tells of how she willed herself out of her father’s cloistered house, married an Irish officer in the British Army, and came to Ireland with her two-year-old son in 1852, only to be forced to leave without him soon after. An African American woman, born into slavery on a Kentucky plantation, makes her way to Cincinnati after the Civil War to work as a boarding house cook, where in 1872 she meets and marries an up-and-coming newspaper reporter. In Matsue, Japan, in 1891, a former samurai’s daughter is introduced to a newly arrived English teacher, and becomes the mother of his four children and his unsung literary collaborator.

The lives of writers can often best be understood through the eyes of those who nurtured them and made their work possible. In The Sweetest Fruits, these three women tell the story of their time with Lafcadio Hearn, a globetrotting writer best known for his books about Meiji-era Japan. In their own unorthodox ways, these women are also intrepid travelers and explorers. Their accounts witness Hearn’s remarkable life but also seek to witness their own existence and luminous will to live unbounded by gender, race, and the mores of their time. Each is a gifted storyteller with her own precise reason for sharing her story, and together their voices offer a revealing, often contradictory portrait of Hearn. With brilliant sensitivity and an unstinting eye, Truong illuminates the women’s tenacity and their struggles in a novel that circumnavigates the globe in the search for love, family, home, and belonging.

I found this on the New Arrivals shelves.

Dear Scarlet: The Story of my Postpartum Depression – Teresa Wong

In this intimate and moving graphic memoir, Teresa Wong writes and illustrates the story of her struggle with postpartum depression in the form of a letter to her daughter Scarlet. Equal parts heartbreaking and funny, Dear Scarlet perfectly captures the quiet desperation of those suffering from PPD and the profound feelings of inadequacy and loss. As Teresa grapples with her fears and anxieties and grasps at potential remedies, coping mechanisms, and her mother’s Chinese elixirs, we come to understand one woman’s battle against the cruel dynamics of postpartum depression.

Dear Scarlet is a poignant and deeply personal journey through the complexities of new motherhood, offering hope to those affected by PPD, as well as reassurance that they are not alone.

Double Cup Love: On the Trail of Family, Food, and Broken Hearts in China – Eddie Huang (audiobook, read by the author)

In the follow-up to his bestselling coming-of-age memoir Fresh Off the Boat, now a hit show on ABC, celebrity chef Eddie Huang tells a powerful story about love and family and what really makes us who we are. After growing up in a wild first-generation immigrant family in the comically hostile world of suburban America, Huang begins to wonder just how authentic his Chinese identity really is. So he enlists his brothers Emery and Evan and returns to the country his ancestors abandoned. His immediate goal is to sample China’s best food and see if his cooking measures up to local tastes—but his deeper goals are to reconnect with his homeland, repair his frayed family relationships, decide whether to marry his all-American (well, all-Italian-American) girlfriend, and figure out just where to find meaning in his life.

The kids’ loot:

What did you get from your library this week?

 

Review: Know My Name by Chanel Miller

I’ve been struggling with this, trying to figure out the best way to write about this book.

What can one say, what should one say, when reading this? It’s not an easy book to read, but it is such a brave and powerful book.

I soon learned that I couldn’t read this in bed, I couldn’t read this before falling asleep as it made me very tense, it made me grit my teeth while reading it, it made my head full of thoughts, angry thoughts, swirling around and keeping me awake instead of lulling me into a deep sleep. I learned to read it in the daylight.

“They were deciding whether I’d make a good victim: is her character upstanding, does she seem durable, will the jury find her likeable, while she stay with us moving forward. I walked out feeling like, You got the job! I did not want this job. I wanted my old life. But let him walk away? I could not let it happen. Pressing charges was my choice, they’d say, but sometimes you feel you don’t have one.”

As I read it, I kept thinking, but this is so readable. It reads so easily, it reads so beautifully. But really, why am I reading this at all? Why did this book exist? Because of Brock Turner, a man, a vile person who sexually assaulted an unconscious woman behind a dumpster on the campus at Stanford University. And a judge, who decided that putting this man in jail for six months was enough punishment for such a deed. He was released three months early.

As a review in The Atlantic put it: “When trauma is transformed into art, there will always be a paradox at play: The art’s existence is beautiful. But it shouldn’t have to exist at all.”

So many people have written about this book more eloquently than I can. So I’ll point you to Book Marks, which has already put together links to reviews of this book.

“His fault, her fault. How quickly victims must begin fighting, converting feelings into logic, navigating the legal system, the intrusion of strangers, the relentless judgment. How do I protect my life? From the investigators? The reporters? I was being equipped with a prosecutor, going into battle, but no one could tell me how to hold all this hostility, this wrecking sadness.”

What I can tell you is what I took away from this piece of writing. This is an important book by a brave young woman. This is also a brutal read. It is precise, unflinching, as Miller takes us through the whole process – being swabbed, photographed, examined all over at the rape processing rooms; and that ridiculously time-consuming legal process. I didn’t really follow the news at the time, so it was disheartening to see how the media portrayed both Miller and Turner.

“They counted my drinks and counted the seconds Brock could swim two hundred yards, topped the article with a picture of Brock wearing a tie; it could’ve doubled as his LinkedIn profile.”

Know my Name is powerful, heartbreaking and infuriating (teeth-clenching and all), and I am full of admiration for Miller who writes her story with such wit and determination.

 

 

It’s Monday (March 9)

 

 

 

Shopping in the time of COVID-19: very little rice left at the Asian supermarket on a Sunday. Luckily I was only looking to pick up some brown rice (which I didn’t find the right brand of) as I have enough jasmine rice and short grain rice at home (for now!).

I did however have problems finding the kind of noodles I wanted. There were still instant noodles but not the rice noodles I wanted.

We had some rain on Saturday after weeks of dry weather. February is usually the wet month but it was so dry. The gorgeous rainbow (actually a double but I couldn’t quite capture that in the car) was a nice end to a rainy day.

 

 

Currently…

 

Reading:

The Right Swipe – Alisha Rai

 

 

Watching:

Parks & Recreation. I’ve never seen it!

Eating:

Homemade raisin bread

Drinking:

Tea

 

Last week:

I read:

Know My Name – Chanel Miller

Night Sky with Exit Wounds – Ocean Vuong

I posted:

 

Library Loot (March 4 to 10)

#TopTenTuesday: Single-word Titles

 

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 (March 4 to 10)

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 everyone!

Hope your week’s been going great (or at least ok!). Did you get to the library this week? Or borrowed any books online? Share your post here (or let me know in the comments!)

 

This week I’ve picked up two very polar opposites kind of reads. One is an intense memoir. The other, perhaps to balance it out, is a light romance.

 

 

 

Know My Name – Chanel Miller

She was known to the world as Emily Doe when she stunned millions with a letter. Brock Turner had been sentenced to just six months in county jail after he was found sexually assaulting her on Stanford’s campus. Her victim impact statement was posted on BuzzFeed, where it instantly went viral–viewed by eleven million people within four days, it was translated globally and read on the floor of Congress; it inspired changes in California law and the recall of the judge in the case. Thousands wrote to say that she had given them the courage to share their own experiences of assault for the first time.

Now she reclaims her identity to tell her story of trauma, transcendence, and the power of words. It was the perfect case, in many ways–there were eyewitnesses, Turner ran away, physical evidence was immediately secured. But her struggles with isolation and shame during the aftermath and the trial reveal the oppression victims face in even the best-case scenarios. Her story illuminates a culture biased to protect perpetrators, indicts a criminal justice system designed to fail the most vulnerable, and, ultimately, shines with the courage required to move through suffering and live a full and beautiful life.

Know My Name will forever transform the way we think about sexual assault, challenging our beliefs about what is acceptable and speaking truth to the tumultuous reality of healing. It also introduces readers to an extraordinary writer, one whose words have already changed our world. Entwining pain, resilience, and humor, this memoir will stand as a modern classic.

 

 

The Right Swipe – Alisha Rai

Alisha Rai returns with the first book in her sizzling new Modern Love series, in which two rival dating app creators find themselves at odds in the boardroom but in sync in the bedroom.

Rhiannon Hunter may have revolutionized romance in the digital world, but in real life she only swipes right on her career—and the occasional hookup. The cynical dating app creator controls her love life with a few key rules:

– Nude pics are by invitation only

– If someone stands you up, block them with extreme prejudice

– Protect your heart

Only there aren’t any rules to govern her attraction to her newest match, former pro-football player Samson Lima. The sexy and seemingly sweet hunk woos her one magical night… and disappears.

Rhi thought she’d buried her hurt over Samson ghosting her, until he suddenly surfaces months later, still big, still beautiful—and in league with a business rival. He says he won’t fumble their second chance, but she’s wary. A temporary physical partnership is one thing, but a merger of hearts? Surely that’s too high a risk…
 

What did you get from your library this week?

 

#TopTenTuesday: Single-word Titles

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is: 

Books With Single-Word Titles

 

Books have such long titles (and subtitles) these days, don’t they? So it’s kind of refreshing to figure out what books have single-word titles. These are books that I have read in 2019.

Pet by Akwaeke Emezi

A fascinating YA book about Jam, a young girl who meets Pet, a beast that emerges from her mother’s painting. Pet has come to hunt a monster, something that lurks in Jam’s friend’s house.

 

Cantoras by Carolina De Robertis

I loved this one that’s set in 1970s Uruguay, when a dictatorship has crushed the freedom of its people, and features five women who find a place to be themselves when they holiday in a remote seaside village.

Abbott by Saladin Ahmed, Sami Kivelä (Illustrator)

Comics time! This one is set in 1970s Detroit and Abbott is a black female reporter investigating crimes that seem to be the work of supernatural forces.

Skim by Mariko Tamaki, Jillian Tamaki (Illustrator)

I am a big fan of the Tamaki cousins’ work! Skim is the nickname of a Japanese-Canadian schoolgirl at an all-girls school.

Edinburgh by Alexander Chee

Here’s my review of this book

 

Internment by Samira Ahmed

Ugh. Well my ugh is for the premise of this book, as it is set in the near-future, where Muslim Americans are forced into an internment camp.

 

 

Lu (Track #4) by Jason Reynolds

Oh I love this YA series that revolves around members of a track team. Reynolds is a master storyteller and I want to read everything he writes. Actually, all the titles in the series are one-word titles: Ghost; Patina; Sunny but this was the latest one of this I had read.

 

Becoming by Michelle Obama

It was an absolute delight listening to her narrate the audiobook!

 


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 (March 2, 2020)

 

Panic buying has started in the Bay Area. There have been a few cases, not in the county where I live but in the neighboring ones. But people have been doing crazy Costco hauls. I watched amazed as a couple lugged a cart full of bottled water – at least four or five Costco-sizes cartons worth. I just hope all these panicked shoppers don’t try to return all their excess food once they’ve calmed down a bit.

I turned to the husband and asked, do you think we need to stock up on stuff?

We do have extras toilet paper, tissue paper, frozen food etc. Maybe not so much of canned goods, but do I really need so much of that? Or am I getting caught up in all this mass fear and panic?

As some of you may know, I’m from Singapore, and Singapore had some cases of Covid-19 quite early on, causing the government to raise their Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (DORSCON) to Orange which meant travel restrictions, quarantine measures etc (they even stripped someone’s PR status and banned him from entering Singapore after he breached stay-home orders).

When that happened, there was panic buying in Singapore with long queues at supermarkets and people stocking up on instant noodles and other supplies. But things seem to be heading back towards more normal times, or at least from what I’ve seen on friends’ social media feeds.

Anyway, don’t forget to wash your hands regularly. And meanwhile, here’s something more calming to look at…

 

 

The husband and I tried this new-to-us ramen place. This is their “entry level” spiciness and yet boy it as quite spicy already! There are two levels above this one and I think you would need a metal mouth to eat them. Also, I don’t like when food is too spicy as then everything tastes only of the spiciness and you can’t taste how the broth is like.

 

 

 

Currently…

 

Reading:

 

 

I’m really enjoying this read!

Watching:

The Chef Show. Watching this show is such a delight. Roy Choi and John Favreau seem to have such a blast cooking alongside each other – and their guests.

Listening:

Still listening to Five Days at Memorial!

 

Eating:

Drinking:

Tea

Cooking:

 

 

 

 

Last week:

I read:


Stargazing – Jen Wang
Bloom – Kevin Panetta

I posted:

Baguette-r be good #weekendcooking

Stargazing by Jen Wang

Dystopian near-future or present? Reading A Song for a New Day

Library Loot (February 26 to March 3)

 

 

 

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