It’s Monday (October 31, 2022)

Happy Halloween!

It’s also my husband’s birthday today. So we went out for lunch yesterday, and I made his favourite Black Forest cake.

It’s a five layer cake. Fresh cherries aren’t in season so I decorated with raspberries. I used frozen cherries to make the cherry filling. And for the chocolate cake I used this recipe by King Arthur, which makes for a delicious, light and moist cake.

Later today, we will go out for trick or treating around the neighbourhood.

But last Friday, the school held a Trunk or Treat in the parking lot, where families decorated their car trunks, some with little games and everyone with candy to give away.

The kids wanted these Halloween costume hoodies – one is a Minecraft creeper and the other, a velociraptor. But today, the velociraptor decided to be a velociraptor Hogwarts student, so he wore his Ravenclaw cape and tie with his dinosaur hoodie.

Currently…

Reading:

Leech by Hiron Ennes

Watching:

The K-drama Extraordinary Attorney Woo on Netflix

Listening:

Eating and Drinking:

I’m about to have some coffee.

Cooking:

Tonight, I was thinking of cooking either risotto or linguine with scallops.

Last week:

I read:

Cultish: The Language of Fanaticism – Amanda Montell

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow – Gabrielle Zevin

I posted:

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin

Library Loot (October 26 to November 1)

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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 (October 26 to November 1)

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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:

I picked up e-comics – volumes 1 to 5 of The Mighty Thor

The Thursday Murder Club – Richard Oseman

Four retired friends meet up to solve mysteries. Sounds fun.

Leech – Hiron Ennes

I’m not sure what to call this, medical horror? Medical sci-fi horror? Whatever it is, it sounds delightfully weird.

The Eagle with no Claws – Christian Lax

A comic about a man and his passion for Tour de France.

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin

“SADIE MIRANDA GREEN. YOU HAVE DIED OF DYSENTERY!”

Sam Masur yells across a crowded subway platform to get the attention of a girl he once knew a long time ago, when they were both in hospital. He was recovering very slowly from a bad car accident and she at first because her sister was sick, then later for community service hours for time spent with Sam.

Sadie is studying video game design at MIT and Sam is a math student at Harvard. They work together on a game called Ichigo, which turns out to be a hit, and this kicks off their successful gaming work together, along with Sam’s roommate, Marx, an acting student who’s talent, it turns out, is as a video game producer.

Despite not knowing what the story was about when I started it, I loved this book. This was a love letter to video games. But it was also about the struggle of being a woman in the male-dominated video game world, disability, issues of cultural appropriation etc. Sam and Sadie were great, flawed characters. Their relationship which would often blow up from time to time, but I just couldn’t help but root for them.

“If this were a game, he could hit pause. He could restart, say different things, the right ones this time. He could search his inventory for the item that would make Sadie not leave.”

Zevin made the design and creation of a video game so absorbing and immersive that I wanted to be part of it. But it’s really due to the strength of her storytelling and character building that ties it all together. And she has created this brilliant, layered story that kept me going through these 401 pages and even wanting more.

I have to admit that I probably have too many games on my phone/tablet. I check in with In The Seom every day. I tried to play Animal Crossing: New Horizons on the kids’ Nintendo switch but decided that I would rather play the Pocket Camp version on my phone. I recently started playing Cookie Run Kingdom because of the BTS tie-up. Since my kids started playing that too, it’s a game the three of us play together. So while I can’t deal with the other games they love (Minecraft, Roblox etc), I kinda like playing Cookie Run Kingdom with them (they only get to play on Fridays and the weekends though!). Of course, as a parent, I can’t help but wonder about the effects of video games on their young minds. But that’s another discussion for another time. Do you play video games? What are your favourites?

It’s Monday (October 24, 2022)

Some things last week:

We went to a local haunted house with friends. It’s an actual historic carriage house built in the late 1800s (I believe). It was donated to the city some decades ago and every fall is turned into a haunted house and Halloween fair with games for the kids and treats like caramel apples. The proceeds go to local community projects.

We had lunch at our favourite ramen place. This is butter miso, and you can request to have a spicy sesame paste that makes it spicy and even more delicious.
I made aglio olio with mushrooms, seared scallops, pan roasted chicken, steamed asparagus, and cucumber and tomato salad.

Currently…

Reading:


I’m trying to read I Want to Die But I Want to Eat Tteokbokki by Baek Sehee but I’m not enjoying it. Is it something I’m meant to “enjoy”? since it is supposed to be about Baek’s struggle with her maybe-it’s-depression-maybe-it’s-not?

Watching:

The Great British Bake Off. I decided to skip the Mexico week episode, as it sounded incredibly horrendous. Luckily, Halloween week was fun. I’m rooting for Syabira, who’s from Malaysia.

Listening:

Cultish: The Language of Fanaticism – Amanda Montell

Eating and Drinking:

I had some baked oatmeal with tea for breakfast.

Cooking:

I made some baked oatmeal with blueberries and coconut chips

Last week:

I read:

I just finished If You Could See the Sun by Ann Liang, a story set in an elite international school in China.

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow – Gabrielle Zevin

I posted:

Library Loot (October 19 to 25)

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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 (October 19 to 25)

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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:

If You Could See the Sun – Ann Liang

A story set in a Beijing boarding school. Alice Sun is the only scholarship student in this elite school and she somehow can turn invisible.

I Want to Die but I want to Eat Tteokbokki – Baek Sehee (translated from the Korean by Anton Hur)

I saw this book at different bookstores in Singapore when I was back in the summer, and it was a rather curious title, so I wanted to borrow it. It’s not exactly my typical read, especially as the description includes this “part memoir, part self-help book”. And I steer far away from anything that resembles self-help, but we will see…

Back to the Garden – Laurie R King

This is a standalone book from King, about a mansion and its secrets after a skull is found during restoration work.

It’s Monday (October 17, 2022)

Some things last week:

Hey, it’s Monday again. Hope you had a good week!

I woke up early Saturday morning to catch the BTS Yet to Come concert in Busan. 6pm Korea time is 2am California time. It was full of their older songs (and some new ones). As always, they are truly amazing on stage. Today, the news of their decision to enlist in the Korean military finally came. They expect to reconvene in 2025.

The concert did put me in the mood for Korean food, so we put in an order for chicken wings, bibimbap, kimbap, and Budae Jjigae (or Army stew, which has sausage, spam, kimchi, noodles, vegetables, and cheese).

On Sunday, we had lunch at a Taiwanese eatery that we hadn’t been to since before the pandemic! The food was as good as ever. The kids loved the beef noodles, xiaolongbao, and more.

Currently…

Reading:

Hana Hsu and the Ghost Crab Nation by Sylvia Liu

Watching:

The Resident on Hulu

Listening:

I just downloaded Cultish by Amanda Montell

Eating and Drinking:

Toast and tea for breakfast as usual

Cooking:

Claypot rice – a kind of flavoured rice cooked with chicken and Chinese sausage (lap Cheong). Traditionally made in a claypot but I just cook it in a rice cooker. I sear the chicken and lap cheong on the stove first and add it later to the rice cooker when the rice is about half cooked. Here’s a recipe that’s similar to what I do in the rice cooker, except I don’t add the dried shrimp.

Last week:

I read:

Counterfeit – Kirstin Chen

Mika in Real Life – Emiko Jean

I posted:

Library Loot (October 12 to 18)

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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 (October 12 to 18)

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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:

Rainbow Rainbow: Stories – Lydia Conklin

In this delightful debut collection of prize-winning stories, queer, gender-nonconforming, and trans characters struggle to find love and forgiveness, despite their sometimes comic, sometimes tragic mistakes.

Gods of Want: Stories – K-Ming Chang

Startling stories that center the bodies, memories, myths, and relationships of Asian American women, from the National Book Award “5 Under 35” honoree and author of Bestiary

The American Roommate Experiment – Elena Armas

First line:

Someone was trying to break into my apartment.

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow – Gabrielle Zevin

First line:

Before Mazer invented himself as Mazer, he was Samson Mazer and before he was Samson Mazer, he was Samson Masur – a change of two letters that transformed him from a nice ostensibly Jewish boy to a Professional Builder of Worlds – and for most of his youth, he was Sam, S.A.M. on the hall of fame of his grandfather’s Donkey Kong machine, but mainly Sam.

Kids’ library loot:

It’s Monday (October 10, 2022)

Some things last week:

Made some cheddar and green onion scones (recipe here)
As you may recall, I was sick last weekend, and this pesky cough is still hanging around. So my diet has mostly been soupy, healthy stuff. But I got a bit tired of all that, so the husband picked up some biryani and tandoori chicken leg, and I ordered a dal makhani (black lentils) that came with naan.

Over the weekend, we made sushi at home. And also picked up some salmon, tuna, and amberjack from the Japanese supermarket.

Currently…

Reading:

The Fortunes of Jaded Women – Carolyn Huynh

Watching:

The Resident on Hulu

Listening:

I am almost done with The Fervor by Alma Katsu.

Eating and Drinking:

I had toast and tea for breakfast

Cooking:

Chicken stew tomorrow. Maybe a shepherd’s pie after that.

Last week:

I read:

Loveless – Alice Oseman
Finlay Donovan is Killing It – Elle Cosimano

Drunk on Love – Jasmine Guillory

I posted:

Library Loot (October 5 to 11)

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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 (October 5 to 11)

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:

Drunk on Love – Jasmine Guillory

I always look forward to a new book by Jasmine Guillory!

Loveless – Alice Oseman

Loved Oseman’s Heartstopper series. This one’s about Georgia, who’s never been in love.

The Fortunes of Jaded Women – Carolyn Huynh

First line: “Everyone in Orange County’s Little Saigon knew the Duong sisters were cursed.”

Otto – Jon Agee

Borrowed this graphic novel for a reading challenge –  A book with a palindromic title.

It’s Monday (October 3, 2022)

Some things last week:

Ugh wasn’t the best weekend for me as I had a sore throat that turned into a bad cough. I did however test negative for covid though, so that’s a plus, I guess?

Dinner yesterday – while the rest of the family got to have some delicious dumplings (xiaolongbao, panfried dumplings, green onion pancakes and more), I had just one xiaolongbao and also this sliced beef noodles. The noodles and beef were fine but eh that soup wasn’t very good.
Rice porridge is always a good thing to eat when sick. I made stock with dashi powder, cooked some rice porridge in it. I recently watched a YouTube video where they stirred the porridge with a whisk to break down the rice grains more – after cooking for 20 minutes. And hey, that worked well. I’ve always made rice porridge the way my mum taught me, which was to add the washed rice grains in with cold water and cook it until the rice has broken down. So to watch that YouTube video, where the water is boiled first then the rice grains added after, was interesting.
Earlier in the week, I made vanilla ice-cream (using this recipe). Yup, it’s autumn, but it’s still warm enough here for t-shirts and ice-cream.

Currently…

Reading:

Love Marriage – Monica Ali

Watching:

Great British Bakeoff

Listening:

Fervor – Alma Katsu

Eating and Drinking:

Lots and lots of tea

Cooking:

We have leftovers from yesterday, thankfully. I am thinking of very simple meals the next couple of days. Tuna mayo rice with salad maybe?

Last week:

I read:

The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea – Axie Oh

Husband Material – Alexis Hall

I posted:

Library Loot (September 28 to October 4)

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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