Library Loot (October 23 to 29)

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.

 

I grabbed some comics from the library this week!

Diary of a Tokyo Teen – Christine Mari Inzer
Born in Tokyo to a Japanese mother and an American father in 1997, Christine Mari Inzer spent her early years in Japan and relocated to the United States in 2003. The summer before she turned sixteen, she returned to Tokyo, making a solo journey to get reacquainted with her birthplace. Through illustrations, photos, and musings, Inzer documented her journey.

In Diary of a Tokyo Teen, Inzer explores the cutting-edge fashions of Tokyo’s trendy Harajuku district, eats the best sushi of her life at the renowned Tsukiji fish market, and hunts down geisha in the ancient city of Kyoto. As she shares the trials and pleasures of travel from one end of a trip to the other, Inzer introduces the host of interesting characters she meets and offers a unique—and often hilarious—look at a fascinating country and an engaging tale of one girl rediscovering her roots.

 

 

I hadn’t seen this series before and unfortunately the first volume wasn’t on the shelves. But I just grabbed whatever was available.

Hit-Girl in Canada – Jeff Lemire, Eduardo Risso

Our adolescent assassin is locked, loaded, and ready to seriously mess up some Canadians. JEFF LEMIRE and EDUARDO RISSO take on MARK MILLAR’S psychotic, 12-year-old Hit-Girl for the next stop in her blood-soaked world tour. No amount of ice, snow, or Mounties will prevent Mindy from slaughtering her latest enemies.

Hit-Girl in Rome – Rafael Albuquerque, Rafael Scavone

Mindy’s racing around the Italian city, in hot pursuit of a cargo thief. When she finally gets hold of the stolen package — a bejewelled human skull — she uncovers a macabre story that leads her deep into the dark, criminal underbelly of Rome.

This is a reread. I first read these a few years ago but didn’t keep up with the series. So I was thrilled to find what looks like the whole set? At least volumes one to ten.

Giant Days volumes 1 to 5 – John Allison, Lissa Treiman (Illustrator), Whitney Cogar (Colors)

Susan, Esther, and Daisy started at university three weeks ago and became fast friends. Now, away from home for the first time, all three want to reinvent themselves. But in the face of handwringing boys, “personal experimentation,” influenza, mystery-mold, nu-chauvinism, and the willful, unwanted intrusion of “academia,” they may be lucky just to make it to spring alive. Going off to university is always a time of change and growth, but for Esther, Susan, and Daisy, things are about to get a little weird.

 

 

The kids’ loot:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What did you get from your library this week?

 

This post contains affiliate links from Book Depository.  If you buy via these links it means I receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you). 

It’s Monday

 

 

Where did that weekend go?

 

We tried out a new-to-us restaurant in Palo Alto, and a new cuisine – Caribbean food. We had oxtail stew which came with fried plantain and beans and rice. Jerk chicken. And a roasted sea bass that had a yummy coconut milk sauce with okra and spinach. Also the top photo is a sampler platter of spicy beef patties, coconut shrimp, jerk wings.

Made more walnut bread this week!

Some recent finished projects – a Magikarp hat!

Working on some African flower hexagons to use up leftover yarn. Haven’t quite figured out what to do with it yet.

 

Currently…

 

Reading:

 

 

 

Watching:

Terrace House Tokyo

Listening:

I Am I Am I Am by Maggie O’Farrell

I am slowly listening to this one

Eating:

Had walnut bread for breakfast

Drinking:

Yorkshire Gold with milk

Cooking:

Japanese chicken curry

It’s going to be a much warmer week so won’t do so much baked stuff. Maybe noodles. Rice and dishes.

Last week:

I read:

Sudden Traveler – Sarah Hall
The Overdue Life of Amy Byler – Kelly Harms

 

I posted:

Sudden Traveler by Sarah Hall

Library Loot (October 16 to 22)

 

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

 

Sudden Traveler by Sarah Hall

 

 

“We are, all of us, sudden travelers in the world, blind, passing each other, reaching out, missing, sometimes taking hold.”

Reviewing a collection of short stories isn’t an easy task. With a few exceptions, short story collections tend to feel like they need to be read over a longer time than it takes to read a book. For example, read one story, take a break and go read something else. Then come back to another story after that breather.

And in a collection such as this slim volume by Sarah Hall, a lot of breaks are needed, as the stories take on such varied settings, some weird and otherworldly and a bit experimental, some more rooted in the every day. Is that why the title is such? That as we read the stories, we are, too, “sudden travelers”, having to switch our perspectives completely?

For these stories are set in Turkish forests, Cumbrian villages, some that seem more like dreamscapes with weird transformations.

There is no doubt that Hall is a great writer. The stories are full of beautiful writing. For myself, as I am not much of a reader of more experimental turns, I was more drawn to her more ‘real’ stories like Orton and, especially the penultimate story, Sudden Traveler. And her writing pulled me in deep to those stories, tears falling, even, for one of them.

So while I stumbled during a couple of stories, unsure of where these pieces were leading me, the end result was worth it.

 

 

Thanks to TLC Book Tours and

publisher Harper Collins for sending me a copy of this book.

Check out the rest of the tour stops here

Grab a copy of this book: HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
 
Find out more about Sarah Hall: Website and Facebook

 

 

Library Loot (October 16 to 22)

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 you guys!

And yes I did manage to make it to the library this week! Hooray!

 

The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters – Balli K Jaswal

The British-born Punjabi Shergill sisters—Rajni, Jezmeen, and Shirina—were never close and barely got along growing up, and now as adults, have grown even further apart. Rajni, a school principal is a stickler for order. Jezmeen, a thirty-year-old struggling actress, fears her big break may never come. Shirina, the peacemaking “good” sister married into wealth and enjoys a picture-perfect life.

On her deathbed, their mother voices one last wish: that her daughters will make a pilgrimage together to the Golden Temple in Amritsar to carry out her final rites. After a trip to India with her mother long ago, Rajni vowed never to return. But she’s always been a dutiful daughter, and cannot, even now, refuse her mother’s request. Jezmeen has just been publicly fired from her television job, so the trip to India is a welcome break to help her pick up the pieces of her broken career. Shirina’s in-laws are pushing her to make a pivotal decision about her married life; time away will help her decide whether to meekly obey, or to bravely stand up for herself for the first time.

Arriving in India, these sisters will make unexpected discoveries about themselves, their mother, and their lives—and learn the real story behind the trip Rajni took with their Mother long ago—a momentous journey that resulted in Mum never being able to return to India again.

I’ve read several of Nakamura’s other works like The Thief, Evil and The Mask, and was happy to see something of his that I’ve not read. I do wish the title were less bland though but it looks like that’s a direct translation of his Japanese title, 王国” (Ōkoku)

The Kingdom – Fuminori Nakamura

Yurika is a freelancer in the Tokyo underworld. She poses as a prostitute, carefully targeting potential johns, selecting powerful and high-profile men. When she is alone with them, she drugs them and takes incriminating photos to sell for blackmail purposes. She knows very little about the organization she’s working for, and is perfectly satisfied with the arrangement, as long as it means she doesn’t have to reveal anything about her identity, either. She operates alone and lives a private, solitary life, doing her best to lock away painful memories.

But when a figure from Yurika’s past resurfaces, she realizes there is someone out there who knows all her secrets: her losses, her motivations, her every move. There are whispers of a crime lord named Kizaki—“a monster,” she is told—and Yurika finds herself trapped in a game of cat and mouse. Is she wily enough to escape one of the most sadistic men in Tokyo?

(Interestingly when I was looking up the synopsis for this book on Goodreads, I learnt that the book’s British title is Marilyn and Me)

The Starlet and the Spy – Ji-min Lee, translated by Chi Young Kim

Historical fiction, based on true events, about two women who seem the most unlikely to ever meet: Alice, a Korean war survivor and translator for the American forces in Seoul, and Marilyn Monroe, who is visiting Korea on a four-day USO tour.

February 1954. Although the Korean War armistice was signed a year ago, most citizens of Seoul still battle to return to some semblance of normalcy. Conditions are dismal. Children beg for food, and orphanages are teeming. Alice J. Kim, a Korean translator and typist for the American forces still sanctioned in the city, yearns for the life she used to live before her country was torn apart.

Then Alice’s boss makes an announcement—the American movie star Marilyn Monroe will be visiting Korea on a four-day USO tour, and Alice has been chosen as her translator. Though intrigued, Alice has few expectations of the job—what could she and a beautiful actress at the peak of her fame possibly have to talk about? Yet the Marilyn she meets, while just as dazzling and sensual as Alice expected, is also surprisingly approachable.

As Marilyn’s visit unfolds, Alice is forced into a reckoning with her own painful past. The Starlet and the Spy is a portrayal of unexpected kinship between two very different women, and of the connections that can change, or even save, a life.

A Clue to the Exit – Edward St Aubyn

Charlie Fairburn, successful screenwriter, ex-husband, and absent father, has been given six months to live. He resolves to stake half his fortune on a couple of turns of the roulette wheel and, to his agent’s disgust, to write a novel-about death. In the casino he meets his muse. Charlie grows as addicted to writing fiction as she is to gambling.

His novel is set on a train and involves a group of characters (familiar to readers of St. Aubyn’s earlier work) who are locked in a debate about the nature of consciousness. As this train gets stuck at Didcot, and Charlie gets more passionately entangled with the dangerous Angelique, A Clue to the Exit comes to its startling climax. Exquisitely crafted, witty, and thoughtful, Edward St. Aubyn’s dazzling novel probes the very heart of being.

 

The kids’ loot:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What did you get from your library this week?

 

Library Loot (October 9 to 15)

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!

Argh I haven’t managed to make it to the library since my last Library Loot post! So I just have a couple of things this week. And no kids’ haul. I’ll do a better job next week!

Meanwhile, Claire has the link-up this week!

I Am, I Am, I Am by Maggie O’Farrell

We are never closer to life than when we brush up against the possibility of death.

I Am, I Am, I Am is Maggie O’Farrell’s astonishing memoir of the near-death experiences that have punctuated and defined her life. The childhood illness that left her bedridden for a year, which she was not expected to survive. A teenage yearning to escape that nearly ended in disaster. An encounter with a disturbed man on a remote path. And, most terrifying of all, an ongoing, daily struggle to protect her daughter–for whom this book was written–from a condition that leaves her unimaginably vulnerable to life’s myriad dangers.

Seventeen discrete encounters with Maggie at different ages, in different locations, reveal a whole life in a series of tense, visceral snapshots. In taut prose that vibrates with electricity and restrained emotion, O’Farrell captures the perils running just beneath the surface, and illuminates the preciousness, beauty, and mysteries of life itself.

 

 

I first read this in 2015 when it was published but didn’t continue with the series. (Not sure why!). So I am making up for it and starting over again.

The Fifth Season – NK Jemisin

This is the way the world ends. Again.

Three terrible things happen in a single day. Essun, a woman living an ordinary life in a small town, comes home to find that her husband has brutally murdered their son and kidnapped their daughter. Meanwhile, mighty Sanze — the world-spanning empire whose innovations have been civilization’s bedrock for a thousand years — collapses as most of its citizens are murdered to serve a madman’s vengeance. And worst of all, across the heart of the vast continent known as the Stillness, a great red rift has been been torn into the heart of the earth, spewing ash enough to darken the sky for years. Or centuries.

Now Essun must pursue the wreckage of her family through a deadly, dying land. Without sunlight, clean water, or arable land, and with limited stockpiles of supplies, there will be war all across the Stillness: a battle royale of nations not for power or territory, but simply for the basic resources necessary to get through the long dark night. Essun does not care if the world falls apart around her. She’ll break it herself, if she must, to save her daughter.

What did you get from your library this week?

 

 

It’s not Monday anymore!

 

 

 

I walk around the lake 2-3 times a week (it’s a nice 2 mile loop) but haven’t seen pelicans here before! They were constantly clustered together and even dipping their heads down for food (fish I guess?) at the same time. Synchronized feeding!

Back in San Jose for ramen and Japanese groceries including sashimi. And we always make our own California rolls but with spam!

 

One of my current works-in-progress – this is a pattern called Wonderful Shells Wrap and this is Ombré Life yarn in lovely hues of grays and pinks

 

Our first ever taco night at home! And more to come

Currently…

 

Reading:

 

The Overdue Life of Amy Byler  – Kelly Harms

 

One of Us is Lying – Karen M McManus

Watching:

Terrace House Tokyo

Eating:

A slice of marble cake that the kids and I made over the weekend

Drinking:

Yorkshire Gold with milk

Cooking:

 

Last week:

I read:

 

Bone Crossed – Patricia Briggs
I Wish You All the Best – Mason Deaver
All-New Wolverine Vol 1 – Tom Taylor, David Lopez
All-New Wolverine Vol 2 – Tom Taylor
All-New Wolverine Vol 3 – Tom Taylor
All-New Wolverine Vol 4 – Tom Taylor
Mera: Tidebreaker – Danielle Paige

I posted:

 

Library Loot (October 2 to 8)

 

 

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 (October 2 to 8)

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!

To help you get over the rest of the week, here’s a lovely rainbow display of books that I found at my local library!

Don’t you just love it?

 

Meanwhile here’s what I got. Not very much this week as I’m still working through the pile of books from the last two weeks. I feel like my reading has been slowing down this past month….!

Bone Crossed (Mercy Thompson #4) – Patricia Briggs

By day, Mercy is a car mechanic in the sprawling Tri-Cities of Eastern Washington. By night, she explores her preternatural side. As a shapeshifter with some unique talents, Mercy has often found herself having to maintain a tenuous harmony between the human and the not so human. This time she may get more than she bargained for.

Marsilia, the local Vampire Queen, has learned that Mercy crossed her by slaying a member of her clan—and she’s out for blood. But since Mercy is protected from direct reprisal by the werewolf pack (and her close relationship with its sexy Alpha), it won’t be Mercy’s blood Marsilia is after.

It’ll be her friends’

One of Us is Lying – Karen M. McManus

The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars, One of Us Is Lying is the story of what happens when five strangers walk into detention and only four walk out alive. Everyone is a suspect, and everyone has something to hide.

Pay close attention and you might solve this.

On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.
Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.
Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.
Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.
Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.
And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.

Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention, Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?
Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.

 

The kids’ loot:

 

 

 

 

(he wanted to make sure he was in the photo!)

 

 

 

What did you get from your library this week?

 

This post contains affiliate links from Book Depository.  If you buy via these links it means I receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you).