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.

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.


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.

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.

Book titles that would make great song titles #TopTenTuesday

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is:

Book Titles that Would Make Great Song Titles

I decided to go with books that are on my TBR list. So please let me know if you’d recommend any of these! Perhaps I should first explain that I tend to like bands that lean a bit more indie, and I especially enjoy unusual song titles like:

Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots by The Flaming Lips

They Are Night Zombies!! They Are Neighbors!! They Have Come Back From the Dead!! Ahhhh! by Sufjan Stevens

Hail To Whatever You Found in the Sunlight That Surrounds You by Rilo Kiley

(Linking to another music-related TTT post – the one on titles that would make great band names)

Tarnished are the Stars – Rosiee Thor

The Drowning Eyes – Emily Foster

Beyond the Black Door – A.M. Strickland

When the Moon Was Ours – Anna-Marie McLemore

Gather the Daughters – Jennie Melamed

Dancing at the Pity Party – Tyler Feder

Useful Phrases for Immigrants – May-lee Chai

If I Had Your Face – Frances Cha

The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water – Zen Cho

Opposite of Always – Justin A Reynolds

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.

Creepy TBR #TopTenTuesday

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is:
It’s a Halloween freebie 

Ok so I messed up last week and got the dates wrong for the Halloween topic, and posted my recent fave creepy reads last week. And since it is the Halloween week, I figured I would put up some creepy (note: not necessarily in the “horror” genre) books on my TBR list. I’ve specifically chosen books written by women.

Have you read any of these? Which would you recommend?

(Links are to Goodreads pages)

The Year of the Witchling by Alexis Henderson

Tender is the Flesh by Agustina Bazterrica (translated from the Spanish by Sarah Moses)

My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing 

The Sun Down Motel by Simone St James

Horrid by Katrina Leno

Brother by Ania Ahlborn

The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell

Water Ghosts by Shawna Yang Ryan

Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage

The Bone Weaver’s Orchard by Sarah Read

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.

Halloween #TopTenTuesday

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is:

(oops I set this to post a week early – this is for next week!. Oh well… it’s an early Halloween post then.)

It’s actually a Halloween freebie this week, and while I am not exactly much of a horror reader, I do enjoy dabbling in creepy reads once autumn sets in. So here are some of my favourite creepy reads of recent years, in no particular order – it’s a short list!

The Luminous Dead by Caitlin Starling

Oh this was so claustrophobic and tense and creepy. And amazingly it has just two characters and one setting – a cave.

Gideon the Ninth – Tamsyn Muir

I hesitate to qualify this as creepy but there are necromancers, witches, skeletons and it tends on the macabre yet it’s so funny and somehow made me feel so happy reading it. Does that sound weird? Not if you’ve read it (and loved it). Also, I am holding out before reading the second book, so don’t say anything about it!

Strange Practice (Greta Helsing #1) – Vivian Shaw

Greta Helsing is a doctor to the “differently alive” – vampires, ghouls, mummies etc. And while that alone is enough for me to go, oooh that sounds great, the book shines with all the other characters who are in it – a vampire, a vampyre, a demon, some ghouls.

The Deep by Alma Katsu (my thoughts here)

The Girl and the Ghost by Hanna Alkaf (my thoughts here)

This unapologetically Malaysian middle-grade book has just the right kind of spooky.

Anything that Joe Hill writes, really. Also, plus his awesome Locke and Key series – which when I passed to the husband to read (many years ago), he said, um this is a bit too morbid for me.

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.

Gorgeous covers #TopTenTuesday

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is:

It’s a cover freebie!

So I’m just going to go ahead and pick some gorgeous cover art that has caught my eye recently.

These are all books on my TBR list and the links are to the Goodreads pages.

Grown by Tiffany D Jackson

This one definitely stood out for me. Love it! Especially the way the title is in the earring.

Instant Karma by Marissa Meyer

Adorable!! I love the fun use of the backward tandem bike and the heart-shaped bag! Although I later did a double-take as I realised this is a book by Marissa Meyer, who wrote the Lunar Chronicles series.

We Are Not Free by Traci Chee

Love how this is graffiti and real life (?) combined, which I only realised when I looked at it in larger size instead of the thumbnail.

Super Fake Love Song by David Yoon

Really fun cover, from the use of the font to the record.

Remote Control by Nnedi Okorafor

Ok I am just excited to learn that Okorafor has a new book coming!

Sisters by Daisy Johnson

Definitely an eye-catching one!

Pine by Francine Toon

I like how stark this one is, and with that missing back of the deer, gives me a somewhat eerie feeling, which according to the Goodreads synopsis, suits the book.

Bestiary by K-Ming Chang

I’m especially intrigued by why the tail is going down that hole….

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.

Now why are these books on my TBR? #TopTenTuesday

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is:

Books I’ve Added to my TBR and Forgotten Why



My TBR list on Goodreads stands at 2779 books at the moment of writing. And some of these titles have been on the list since 2007! (Are you on Goodreads too?) Actually, as I was looking over my Goodreads TBR list, I realised that I did indeed know why quite a few were on that list – some are classics so I had probably added them in an attempt to read more classics (so much for that happening). And some are books that have been on my physical shelves for a while.

But here are some I’m puzzled by:


Madness under the Royal Palms: Love and Death behind the Gates of Palm Beach – Laurence Leamer

Eh, I decided to remove it from my list. I really have no idea why this is here, at all! I added it in 2009. I am so not going to read it.


Things Kept, Things Left Behind – Jim Tomlinson

This is a short story collection, and now that I’m reading its synopsis, it does sound interesting – working-class, small-town America. I’m going to hang on to this one.


Three Trapped Tigers – Guillermo Cabrera Infante, translated from the Spanish by Donald Gardner and Suzanne Jill Levine

Another interesting one that I do not remember anything about, but is somehow on my list. I’m intrigued enough by this “more modern, sexier, funnier, Cuban Ulysses” to leave it on my list, but I doubt I’d ever read it. I’ll probably make another list like this in 2030 and go, huh, what is this now?


The Drop Edge of Yonder – Rudolph Wurlitzer

There is nothing really in the synopsis that would make me go, huh, I’m going to read this. Instead there is the dreaded (at least in my view) term “Western”. I’m saying bye to this one.


The Bolter: Edwardian Heartbreak and High Society Scandal in Kenya – Frances Osborne

Now this apparently has to do with Nancy Mitford’s novels so I guess that may have been why I put this on the list? Hey so maybe I do know the reason for some of these after all… but I am still taking this off the list.


Angels of the Universe – Einar Már Guðmundsson, translated from the Icelandic by Bernard Scudder

Another interesting one. An Icelandic novel first published in 1993. I added this in 2009 so maybe it was because of the Icelandic financial crisis??


Listen: 29 Short Conversations – Corey Mesler

Wow this book has 5 reviews on Goodreads. Now how did I ever learn about this book? I wish I knew!

One thing I’ve learnt after going over my old list is I should do this more often, weeding out the strays, but also trying to read some of them!

Have you read (or even heard of) any of these? Let me know!


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.

#TopTenTuesday: Ten Signs You’re a Book Lover

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is:

Ten Signs You’re a Book Lover



  1. A reading retreat or a book festival sounds like the perfect vacation
  2. You know your library card number by heart
  3. You carry a book (print, digital, audio) wherever you go
  4. Your idea of a great date involves wandering around a bookstore – true story, this is what my husband and I did on our first date, after he took me out to a really nice lunch!
  5. You pack too many books with you on a vacation (or pack your e-reader full of ebooks)
  6. You check out the bookshelves when you’re at someone’s house
  7. You;re familiar with book hangovesrs
  8. You own a variety of literary paraphernalia
  9. Most of the blogs you read are book blogs, most of your Instagram feed is #bookstagram
  10. You despair at the number of books that are being published and that you’ve not read yet

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.




Spring TBR list #TopTenTuesday

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is:

Spring 2020 TBR


Well, I don’t know if I will be able to get my hands on all these books but these are the March and April releases that have caught my eye! In case you’re new to my blog, I tend towards books by women writers, translated literature, and/or Asian writers.

Have any of these books caught your eye too?


The City We Became (Great Cities #1) – NK Jemisin

Five New Yorkers must come together in order to defend their city in the first book of a stunning new series by Hugo award-winning and NYT bestselling author N. K. Jemisin.

Every city has a soul. Some are as ancient as myths, and others are as new and destructive as children. New York City? She’s got five.

But every city also has a dark side. A roiling, ancient evil stirs beneath the earth, threatening to destroy the city and her five protectors unless they can come together and stop it once and for all

The Beauty of Your Face – Sahar Mustafah

A Palestinian American woman wrestles with faith, loss, and identity before coming face-to-face with a school shooter in this searing debut.

A uniquely American story told in powerful, evocative prose, The Beauty of Your Face navigates a country growing ever more divided. Afaf Rahman, the daughter of Palestinian immigrants, is the principal of Nurrideen School for Girls, a Muslim school in the Chicago suburbs. One morning, a shooter—radicalized by the online alt-right—attacks the school.

As Afaf listens to his terrifying progress, we are swept back through her memories: the bigotry she faced as a child, her mother’s dreams of returning to Palestine, and the devastating disappearance of her older sister that tore her family apart. Still, there is the sweetness of the music from her father’s oud, and the hope and community Afaf finally finds in Islam.

The Beauty of Your Face is a profound and poignant exploration of one woman’s life in a nation at odds with its ideals.

The Night Watchman – Louise Erdrich

Based on the extraordinary life of National Book Award-winning author Louise Erdrich’s  grandfather who worked as a night watchman and carried the fight against Native dispossession from rural North Dakota all the way to Washington, D.C., this powerful novel explores themes of love and death with lightness and gravity and unfolds with the elegant prose, sly humor, and depth of feeling of a master craftsman.

Thomas Wazhashk is the night watchman at the jewel bearing plant, the first factory located near the Turtle Mountain Reservation in rural North Dakota. He is also a Chippewa Council member who is trying to understand the consequences of a new “emancipation” bill on its way to the floor of the United States Congress. It is 1953 and he and the other council members know the bill isn’t about freedom; Congress is fed up with Indians. The bill is a “termination” that threatens the rights of Native Americans to their land and their very identity. How can the government abandon treaties made in good faith with Native Americans “for as long as the grasses shall grow, and the rivers run”?

Since graduating high school, Pixie Paranteau has insisted that everyone call her Patrice. Unlike most of the girls on the reservation, Patrice, the class valedictorian, has no desire to wear herself down with a husband and kids. She makes jewel bearings at the plant, a job that barely pays her enough to support her mother and brother. Patrice’s shameful alcoholic father returns home sporadically to terrorize his wife and children and bully her for money. But Patrice needs every penny to follow her beloved older sister, Vera, who moved to the big city of Minneapolis. Vera may have disappeared; she hasn’t been in touch in months, and is rumored to have had a baby. Determined to find Vera and her child, Patrice makes a fateful trip to Minnesota that introduces her to unexpected forms of exploitation and violence, and endangers her life.

Thomas and Patrice live in this impoverished reservation community along with young Chippewa boxer Wood Mountain and his mother Juggie Blue, her niece and Patrice’s best friend Valentine, and Stack Barnes, the white high school math teacher and boxing coach who is hopelessly in love with Patrice.


Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 – Cho Nam-Joo, translated from the Korean by Jamie Chang

In a small, tidy apartment on the outskirts of the frenzied metropolis of Seoul, Kim Jiyoung—a millennial “everywoman”—spends her days caring for her infant daughter. Her husband, however, worries over a strange symptom that has recently appeared: Jiyoung has begun to impersonate the voices of other women—dead and alive, both known and unknown to her. Truly, flawlessly, completely, she became that very person. As she plunges deeper into this psychosis, Jiyoung’s concerned husband sends her to a psychiatrist, who listens to her narrate her own life story—from her birth to a family who expected a son, to elementary school teachers who policed girls’ outfits, to male coworkers who installed hidden cameras in women’s restrooms and posted the photos online. But can her doctor cure her, or even discover what truly ails her? Rendered in eerie prose, Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 announces the arrival of a major international writer.

The Glass Hotel – Emily St John Mandel 

From the award-winning author of Station Eleven, a captivating novel of money, beauty, white-collar crime, ghosts, and moral compromise in which a woman disappears from a container ship off the coast of Mauritania and a massive Ponzi scheme implodes in New York, dragging countless fortunes with it.

Vincent is a bartender at the Hotel Caiette, a five-star glass and cedar palace on an island in British Columbia. Jonathan Alkaitis works in finance and owns the hotel. When he passes Vincent his card with a tip, it’s the beginning of their life together. That same day, Vincent’s half-brother, Paul, scrawls a note on the windowed wall of the hotel: “Why don’t you swallow broken glass.” Leon Prevant, a shipping executive for a company called Neptune-Avramidis, sees the note from the hotel bar and is shaken to his core. Thirteen years later Vincent mysteriously disappears from the deck of a Neptune-Avramidis ship. Weaving together the lives of these characters, The Glass Hotel moves between the ship, the skyscrapers of Manhattan, and the wilderness of northern Vancouver Island, painting a breathtaking picture of greed and guilt, fantasy and delusion, art and the ghosts of our pasts.

How to Pronounce Knife – Souvankham Thammavongsa

In the title story of Souvankham Thammavongsa’s debut collection, a young girl brings a book home from school and asks her father to help her pronounce a tricky word, a simple exchange with unforgettable consequences. Thammavongsa is a master at homing in on moments like this — moments of exposure, dislocation, and messy feeling that push us right up against the limits of language.
The stories that make up How to Pronounce Knife focus on characters struggling to find their bearings in unfamiliar territory, or shuttling between idioms, cultures, and values. A failed boxer discovers what it truly means to be a champion when he starts painting nails at his sister’s salon. A young woman tries to discern the invisible but immutable social hierarchies at a chicken processing plant. A mother coaches her daughter in the challenging art of worm harvesting.
In a taut, visceral prose style that establishes her as one of the most striking and assured voices of her generation, Thammavongsa interrogates what it means to make a living, to work, and to create meaning.

Braised Pork – An Yu

One autumn morning, Jia Jia walks into the bathroom of her lavish Beijing apartment to find her husband dead. One minute she was breakfasting with him and packing for an upcoming trip, the next, she finds him motionless in their half-full bathtub. Like something out of a dream, next to the tub Jia Jia discovers a pencil sketch of a strange watery figure, an image that swims into Jia Jia’s mind and won’t leave.

The mysterious drawing launches Jia Jia on an odyssey across contemporary Beijing, from its high-rise apartments to its hidden bars, as her path crosses some of the people who call the city home, including a jaded bartender who may be able to offer her the kind of love she had long thought impossible. Unencumbered by a marriage that had constrained her, Jia Jia travels into her past to try to discover things that were left unsaid by the people closest to her. Her journey takes her to the high plains of Tibet, and even to a shadowy, watery otherworld, a place she both yearns and fears to go.

Exquisitely attuned to the complexities of human connection, and an atmospheric and cinematic evocation of middle-class urban China, An Yu’s Braised Pork explores the intimate strangeness of grief, the indelible mysteries of unseen worlds, and the energizing self-discovery of a newly empowered young woman.


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.