Library Loot (April 22 to 28)

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.

 

 

Hi! It’s Wednesday again. Welcome to Library Loot! How are you all doing?

It’s National Library Week! 

While I can’t physically visit my library at the moment, I am eternally grateful for its ebook (and audiobook and e-magazine) catalogue. The library is where my son (now 9) met some of his first baby friends, during the wonderful baby music and storytelling sessions.

From CNN, 7 digital libraries you can visit from home.

Also, the world’s most beautiful libraries (CN Traveler)

It’s not listed above but I think that the Singapore library@orchard (it’s in a shopping mall along Singapore’s Orchard Road, a busy shopping street) is a gorgeous one too, with its curving lighted shelves.

 


 

 

And the newer Library @ Harbourfront (also within another shopping mall)

 

 

 

The children’s section. Love the use of lights!

Reading area with a view of Sentosa island

 

 

Don’t forget to link up with us, or let me know in the comments what you’ve recently borrowed from your library!

 

Claire has the link-up this week.

 

Here’s what I borrowed this week, and they’re all ebooks of course!

Dreamin’ Sun Vol 8 – Ichigo Takano

The synopsis talks about the series in general, which is about a teenaged girl moving into a house with 3 guys. More innocent than it sounds.

 

The audiobook is read by Vuong, and is beautiful.

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous – Ocean Vuong (Audiobook)

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is a letter from a son to a mother who cannot read. Written when the speaker, Little Dog, is in his late twenties, the letter unearths a family’s history that began before he was born — a history whose epicenter is rooted in Vietnam — and serves as a doorway into parts of his life his mother has never known, all of it leading to an unforgettable revelation. At once a witness to the fraught yet undeniable love between a single mother and her son, it is also a brutally honest exploration of race, class, and masculinity. Asking questions central to our American moment, immersed as we are in addiction, violence, and trauma, but undergirded by compassion and tenderness, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is as much about the power of telling one’s own story as it is about the obliterating silence of not being heard.

With stunning urgency and grace, Ocean Vuong writes of people caught between disparate worlds, and asks how we heal and rescue one another without forsaking who we are. The question of how to survive, and how to make of it a kind of joy, powers the most important debut novel of many years.

 

Sounds like a fun read?

The Bromance Book Club – Lyssa Kay Adams

The first rule of book club: You don’t talk about book club.

Nashville Legends second baseman Gavin Scott’s marriage is in major league trouble. He’s recently discovered a humiliating secret: his wife Thea has always faked the Big O. When he loses his cool at the revelation, it’s the final straw on their already strained relationship. Thea asks for a divorce, and Gavin realizes he’s let his pride and fear get the better of him.

Welcome to the Bromance Book Club.

Distraught and desperate, Gavin finds help from an unlikely source: a secret romance book club made up of Nashville’s top alpha men. With the help of their current read, a steamy Regency titled Courting the Countess, the guys coach Gavin on saving his marriage. But it’ll take a lot more than flowery words and grand gestures for this hapless Romeo to find his inner hero and win back the trust of his wife

 

I actually saw the cover of this book on Instagram first, and thought, that sounds fun, then I realised that it is book 2 in the series, hence the first book borrowed.

Undercover Bromance (Bromance Book Club #2) – Lyssa Kay Adams

Liv Papandreas has a dream job as a sous chef at Nashville’s hottest restaurant. Too bad the celebrity chef owner is less than charming behind kitchen doors. After she catches him harassing a young hostess, she confronts him and gets fired. Liv vows revenge, but she’ll need assistance to take on the powerful chef.

Unfortunately, that means turning to Braden Mack. When Liv’s blackballed from the restaurant scene, the charismatic nightclub entrepreneur offers to help expose her ex-boss, but she is suspicious of his motives. He’ll need to call in reinforcements: the Bromance Book Club.

Inspired by the romantic suspense novel they’re reading, the book club assists Liv in setting up a sting operation to take down the chef. But they’re just as eager to help Mack figure out the way to Liv’s heart… even though she’s determined to squelch the sparks between them before she gets burned.

 

Titles that would make great band names #TopTenTuesday

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is:

Titles That Would Make Good Band Names

This was a fun one. Where I can, I’m going to try to add names of actual bands so you can have an idea of what type of band this might be, with links to Youtube.

 

Bloodlust and Bonnets – Emily McGovern

Rilo Kiley

They Called Us Enemy – George Takei

Sharon Van Etten

An Elderly Lady is Up to No Good – Helene Tursten

I have no clue, but I still think this would be an awesome band name! Any suggestions?

Machines Like Me – Ian McEwan

The New Pornographers

Not Your Sidekick – CB Lee

Paramore

The Siren Depths – Martha Wells

Florence and the Machine

The Beast Player – Nahoko Uehashi

My Morning Jacket

The next few seem like they would fit some kind of death metal or heavy metal, which I don’t listen to.

The Shadow Land – Elizabeth Kostova

Pumpkinheads – Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks

All Systems Red – Martha Wells

 


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 (April 20, 2020)

Oh it’s Monday again. Hello hello. How are you?

The kids had Spring Break last week. Of course it was Stay-Home-Spring-Break so we did a lot of at-home things like watching TV, playing Nintendo Switch, colouring, doing crafts, reading, scootering around, cycling, board games, and Lego.

We also watched the 25th anniversary Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall over the weekend. What fun! Well the kids watched part of it – it’s very long after all. They do know some of the songs. And on Monday, the 9yo took out his piano book and started playing Phantom of the Opera which he had played for piano class last year.

Otherwise the weekend was the usual, with us trying to support local restaurants with takeout, doing some cycling (I jog while the kids cycle – I am not fond of jogging but ah well, I’m trying something to incorporate more exercise and get them out of the house sometimes).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Currently…

 

Reading:



The Well of Ascension – Brandon Sanderson
Hungry Hearts – Elsie Chapman and Caroline Tung Richmond (eds)

 

 

 

Watching:

The Good Fight – I’m on to Season 3 now.

Listening:

 

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous – Ocean Vuong

 

Eating:

Homemade waffles for breakfast

Drinking:

Coffee

Cooking:

 

It’s my younger boy’s birthday this Friday so I’m guessing he’ll ask for burgers or pizza (probably both). So I’ll be making pizza probably and we can get burgers as takeout.

Browsing:

Last week:

I read:

Unicorn Bowling (Phoebe and her Unicorn #9) – Dana Simpson
Tomboy – Liz Prince
There’s Something about Sweetie –  Sandhya Menon
Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know – Samira Ahmed

I posted:

 

Gideon the Ninth

 

Library Loot (April 15 to 21)

 

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

 

Gideon the Ninth

This book is an absolutely brilliant, soul-sucking, bloody, batshit crazy yet completely absorbing read that has you holding your breath with every insane twist and turn of this roller coaster of reading ride.

It is impossible to really describe this book accurately but I’ll try.

Gideon the Ninth is set in a very distant future (perhaps?) in which there are nine houses and all of them deal in a kind of death-related magic. 

And there is to be a tournament in which each House sends a necromancer and a cavalier who is an expert at sword fighting (although there are clearly more advanced technologies around, these Houses feel very ancient somehow, including the tournament’s preference for the cavaliers to use rapiers). 

Gideon Nav is the cavalier (well, sort of, more like a sub really) to the Ninth House, to Harrowhark, with whom she has had a mutual hatred since they were young. But she has been promised freedom if she accompanies Harrow to this tournament to become a Lyctor. Lyctors are insanely powerful and work directly for the Emperor in his war against an unknown enemy (I’m guessing it’s to be revealed in the rest of the series). And guess what, this tournament takes place on another planet. And it turns out all the Houses exist on different planets. 

So yes, let’s see, there are necromancers, there are warriors, there are skeletons and death magics and they all take place on a galactic empire. And the Ninth House is the creepiest, the weirdest House of all, the kind which has people avoiding their gaze in case they inflict a curse on them or something (and yet dying to watch every little thing they are doing).  Sounds a bit insane but it is gloriously brilliant (and also insane). 

Ok so this might sound a bit too “out there” for some but this was for me, an absolutely compelling read. The crazy world building, the heart-thumping action, the dark whimsical magic, and that Gideon, that funny, irreverent humour, that hate-not-hate relationship with Harrow, it was everything. 

 

 

Library Loot (April 15 to 21)

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.

 

 

Hi! It’s Wednesday. It’s Spring Break for the kids so we will be, well, home. We will make virtual trips to Yosemite (which we’ve been to a couple of times, but the kids were quite young then and don’t have much memories of it), The British Museum and more.

(That might hold their attention of half an hour. Then of course they will be back to Minecraft, Prodigy, Epic books).

Meanwhile, I hope to spend the week reading more. Don’t forget to share with us your library loot!

Here’s what I borrowed from my (virtual) library this week.

Hungry Hearts: 13 Tales of Food and Love – edited by Elsie Chapman and Caroline Tung Richmond

From some of your favorite bestselling and critically acclaimed authors—including Sandhya Menon, Anna-Marie McLemore, and Rin Chupeco—comes a collection of interconnected short stories that explore the intersection of family, culture, and food in the lives of thirteen teens.

A shy teenager attempts to express how she really feels through the confections she makes at her family’s pasteleria. A tourist from Montenegro desperately seeks a magic soup dumpling that could cure his fear of death. An aspiring chef realizes that butter and soul are the key ingredients to win a cooking competition that could win him the money to save his mother’s life.

Welcome to Hungry Hearts Row, where the answers to most of life’s hard questions are kneaded, rolled, baked. Where a typical greeting is, “Have you had anything to eat?” Where magic and food and love are sometimes one and the same.

Told in interconnected short stories, Hungry Hearts explores the many meanings food can take on beyond mere nourishment. It can symbolize love and despair, family and culture, belonging and home.

 

The Well of Ascension (Mistborn #2) – Brandon Sanderson

Vin, the street urchin who has grown into the most powerful Mistborn in the land, and Elend Venture, the idealistic young nobleman who loves her, must build a healthy new society in the ashes of an empire. Three separate armies attack. As the siege tightens, an ancient legend seems to offer a glimmer of hope. But even if it really exists, no one knows where to find the Well of Ascension or what manner of power it bestows

Mad, Bad & Dangerous to Know – Samira Ahmed

It’s August in Paris and 17-year-old Khayyam Maquet—American, French, Indian, Muslim—is at a crossroads. This holiday with her professor parents should be a dream trip for the budding art historian. But her maybe-ex-boyfriend is probably ghosting her, she might have just blown her chance at getting into her dream college, and now all she really wants is to be back home in Chicago figuring out her messy life instead of brooding in the City of Light.

Two hundred years before Khayyam’s summer of discontent, Leila is struggling to survive and keep her true love hidden from the Pasha who has “gifted” her with favored status in his harem. In the present day—and with the company of a descendant of Alexandre Dumas—Khayyam begins to connect allusions to an enigmatic 19th-century Muslim woman whose path may have intersected with Alexandre Dumas, Eugène Delacroix, and Lord Byron.

Echoing across centuries, Leila and Khayyam’s lives intertwine, and as one woman’s long-forgotten life is uncovered, another’s is transformed.

 

 

It’s Monday (April 13, 2020)

 

 

 

Spring Break started on Friday but the kids’ teachers had two days of online learning before that, so there was minimal school work on Wednesday and Thursday. The teachers instead encouraged the kids to read more, do those online educational websites that are everywhere (among others, Dreambox, Zearn, Freckle, Think Central, Mystery Science).

We also worked on getting plenty of exercise – it was nice weather, scootering and playing in the backyard, working on weeding the yard, walks around the neighbourhood. We also started doing some GoNoodle. Yes, another app but I like their short videos with exercise, mindfulness, dance parties and more.

We’ll of course been on a stay home Spring Break although I’m not sure how exactly to occupy these kids all day. There will definitely be screen time and video game time but also we will do some drawing, lots of reading, and lots of playing in the backyard.

Some stuff we ate last week. We tried out a new-to-us fusion food, Indian-style pizza. We ordered a tikka paneer pizza and also a regular meat pizza for the kids. I really enjoyed the garlicky sauce and the paneer cheese. It had a little bit too much onions for me though but yay all that cilantro!

Takeout from our favorite Pakistani restaurant.

 

An attempt at aglio olio but with shrimps and scallops and asparagus.

Working on a new shawl while watching The Good Fight.

 

Currently…

 

Reading:

Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know – Samira Ahmed

Hungry Hearts – Elsie Chapman and Caroline Tung Richmond (eds)

Watching:

The Good Fight.

I’ve been wanting to watch this for a while now but we don’t have regular TV and just do Netflix and Amazon. The husband said that CBS was offering a one-month free trial and he wanted to check out Picard. And I discovered that The Good Fight is on CBS. Hooray!

Listening:

There’s Something about Sweetie – should be done soon!

 

Eating:

A homemade hot cross bun for breakfast

Drinking:

Tea with milk

Cooking:

Today I’ll be getting my first order with this local online Asian grocer. It’s a produce box with mostly organic vegetables and fruits, also milk. So not quite sure what I’ll be making with those items yet. But today I’m cooking hamachi Kama or grilled yellowtail collar with rice and vegetables.

Last week:

I read:

Gideon the Ninth – Tamsyn Muir
Scott Pilgrim vol 4 – Bryan Lee O’Malley
Darius the Great is Not Okay – Adib Khorram

I posted:

Lunches are hard #WeekendCooking

Library Loot (April 8 to 14)

Bird Cottage by Eva Meijer

 

 

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 (April 8 to 14)

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!

It’s another edition of virtual library loot. Share with us your haul! Claire has the link-up this week. 

How I miss wandering around the library! It was a simple pleasure I took for granted. But we are indeed fortunate to live in a time of ebooks and audiobooks.

Here are the books I borrowed this week:

Searching for John Hughes – Jason Diamond

For all fans of John Hughes and his hit films such as National Lampoon’s Vacation, Sixteen Candles, and Home Alone, comes Jason Diamond’s hilarious memoir of growing up obsessed with the iconic filmmaker’s movies—a preoccupation that eventually convinces Diamond he should write Hughes’ biography and travel to New York City on a quest that is as funny as it is hopeless.

For as long as Jason Diamond can remember, he’s been infatuated with John Hughes’ movies. From the outrageous, raunchy antics in National Lampoon’s Vacation to the teenage angst in The Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink to the insanely clever and unforgettable Home Alone, Jason could not get enough of Hughes’ films. And so the seed was planted in his mind that it should fall to him to write a biography of his favorite filmmaker. It didn’t matter to Jason that he had no qualifications, training, background, platform, or direction. Thus went the years-long, delusional, earnest, and assiduous quest to reach his goal. But no book came out of these years, and no book will. What he did get was a story that fills the pages of this unconventional, hilarious memoir.

In Searching for John Hughes, Jason tells how a Jewish kid from a broken home in a Chicago suburb—sometimes homeless, always restless—found comfort and connection in the likewise broken lives in the suburban Chicago of John Hughes’ oeuvre. He moved to New York to become a writer. He started to write a book he had no business writing. In the meantime, he brewed coffee and guarded cupcake cafes. All the while, he watched John Hughes movies religiously.

Though his original biography of Hughes has long since been abandoned, Jason has discovered he is a writer through and through. And the adversity of going for broke has now been transformed into wisdom. Or, at least, a really, really good story.

In other words, this is a memoir of growing up. One part big dream, one part big failure, one part John Hughes movies, one part Chicago, and one part New York. It’s a story of what comes after the “Go for it!” part of the command to young creatives to pursue their dreams—no matter how absurd they might seem at first.

Tomboy – Liz Prince

Growing up, Liz Prince wasn’t a girly girl, dressing in pink tutus or playing pretty princess like the other girls in her neighborhood. But she wasn’t exactly one of the guys, either. She was somewhere in between. But with the forces of middle school, high school, parents, friendship, and romance pulling her this way and that, “the middle” wasn’t exactly an easy place to be.

Tomboy follows award-winning author and artist Liz Prince through her early years and explores—with humor, honesty, and poignancy—what it means to “be a girl.

 

What did you get from your library this week?