Top books that blew my mind #amonthoffaves2017

amonthoffavesA Month of Faves is hosted by AndiTanya and Tamara

A Woman in the Crossfire: Diaries of the Syrian Revolution – Samar Yazbek
A difficult read but so important (my thoughts)

The Strays – Emily Bitto

This gorgeous book set in the Melbourne art world. Fantastic read.

The Spiderwoman series written by Dennis Hopeless, Javier Rodriguez

A pregnant superhero!

 

The Captain Marvel series written by Kelly Sue DeConnick

I’ve read a few different versions of Captain Marvel so far and this is absolutely the best.

Borderline and Phantom Pains – Mishell Baker

I am not much of a reader of urban fantasy but this one was so absorbing and has such an unforgettable main character – she has Borderline Personality Disorder and after a suicide attempt, lost her legs. I am impatiently waiting for book three to come out in 2018.

My Favourite Thing is Monsters Vol 1 – Emil Ferris

Each page of this graphic novel is mesmerizing but this is probably my favourite.

Cork Dork: A Wine-Fueled Adventure Among the Obsessive Sommeliers, Big Bottle Hunters, and Rogue Scientists Who Taught Me to Live for Taste – Bianca Bosker

Ridiculous long subtitle aside, this was a truly fun non-fiction read. And I learnt far more about the wine world and sommeliers than I expected.

 

The Soul of an Octopus – Sy Montgomery (audiobook)

Octopuses are truly fascinating creatures! I definitely fell in love with them after listening to this book.

The Harry Potter series on audiobook, read by Stephen Fry

This is the first time I’ve listened to the series and it’s also the kids’ introduction to Harry Potter (we just finished The Prisoner of Azkaban). And I love sharing this experience with my two boys! Also, Stephen Fry does an amazing job.

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

I love multigenerational family stories and this was a great one, a story of a Korean family living in Japan. It’s sad to learn about how these Koreans, who are born and have lived in Japan their whole lives, were (and still are) treated as foreigners and looked down on. A full-bodied book about belonging (and not belonging), full of sorrow and heartache and persistence.

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Back to the Classics 2018

I am horrible when it comes to finishing challenges. I am really good at starting them and I am truly awesome at coming up with reading lists 😀. But finishing them? Not really.

Every year-end I wonder if I should join challenges in the new year but the truth is, I cannot resist them! So here I am again, joining the Back to the Classics challenge hosted by Books and Chocolate.

This year, I’ve decided to try as much as possible to read books by women authors.

1. A 19th century classic – any book published between 1800 and 1899.

Adam Bede – George Eliot (1859)

2. A 20th century classicany book published between 1900 and 1968. Just like last year, all books MUST have been published at least 50 years ago to qualify. The only exception is books written at least 50 years ago, but published later, such as posthumous publications.

Two Serious Ladies by Jane Bowles (1943)

3. A classic by a woman author.

The Heat of the Day by Elizabeth Bowen (1948)

4. A classic in translation.

The Innocent Libertine by Colette (1909)

5. A children’s classic.

The Enchanted Castle by E Nesbit (1907)

An Old Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott (1869-1870)

6. A classic crime story, fiction or non-fiction.

Murder Underground by Mavis Doriel Hay (1935)

The Leavenworth Case by Anna Katharine Green (1878)

7. A classic travel or journey narrative, fiction or non-fiction

A Voyage in the Sunbeam by Anna Brassey (1878)

8. A classic with a single-word title.

The Shuttle by Frances Hodgson Burnett (1907)

Shirley by Charlotte Brontë (1849)

9. A classic with a color in the title.

Agnes Grey by Anne Brontë (1847)

The Black Moth by Georgette Heyer (1921)

10. A classic by an author that’s new to you.

The Winthrop Woman by Anya Seton (1958)

11. A classic that scares you.
The Pillow Book by Sei Shonagon (990s to 1000s)

12. Re-read a favorite classic

Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery (1908)

#amonthoffaves2017 – most memorable reads

amonthoffaves

A Month of Faves is hosted by AndiTanya and Tamara

 

Wed. | Dec 20 – The Most Unique, Weird or Memorable Book(s) Read This Year #AMonthofFaves – books you did not finish, were super weird, characters you disliked, book award winners (from this year) you read and didn’t like, books you didn’t think you would like, but you did.

A book based on a video game (that I don’t play) that was surprisingly good

Injustice: Gods Among Us #1 (Injustice: Gods Among Us #1) – Tom Taylor (Goodreads Author), Jheremy Raapack (Illustrator)

 

A comic series which is really messed up and yet funny

Demon – Jason Shiga

(warning: it has to do with suicide)

A book with multiple possibilities and endings 

Jane, Unlimited – Kristin Cashore

 

A book full of goats (and also slavery)

Goat Days – Benyamin (my review)

 

What a title

Like a Mule Bringing Ice-Cream to the Sun – Sarah Ladipo Manyika

 

 

 

It’s Monday and it’s the last week of school for 2017

It just feels like December is whooshing on by so fast.

And I always feel so behind! I managed to get Christmas cards sent out (most of ours go overseas) and hopefully they will get to their recipients in time! I sent out a handmade scarf and beret to a dear friend in Japan and just yesterday made gingerbread cookies with the boys. The kitchen was a mess after but we had a great time!

Currently…

Reading:

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend – Katarina Bivald

My Favorite Thing is Monsters Vol 1

Watching:

I’m thinking of having the kids watch Nightmare Before Christmas, one of my all-time favourite movies, but am wondering whether 4 is too young for that….

Listening:

Still listening to Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban with the kids. And also Tom Hanks’ Uncommon Type (not with the kids that is!)

Eating:

Gingerbread cookies

Drinking:

Water for now

Cooking:

Haven’t quite figured out this part yet for the week. I do have Brussels Sprouts to cook up and broccoli, so definitely some kind of thing where I roast them in the oven. Maybe a tray bake thing with chicken drumsticks and squash.

Last week:

I read:

Curtsies and Conspiracies – Gail Carringer

I posted:

#amonthoffaves2017 -Best Changes

A list of “Best Books lists”

badgeIt’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

#amonthoffaves2017 I Love December

amonthoffavesA Month of Faves is hosted by AndiTanya and Tamara

Mon. | Dec 18 – I Love … December #AMonthofFaves – Rep your home’s holiday look, share pictures of your holiday decorations. Christmas tree, your favorite holiday traditions, holiday festivities, favorite ornaments, places to go, holiday drinks, holiday eats, holiday themed reads.

We put up our fake tree just after Thanksgiving – both my husband and I grew up in Singapore where you can’t find real trees (at least not when we’re growing up, as I hear that these days you can!) so we’re used to fake plastic trees…

We also take a stroll around this neighboring estate, a cul-de-sac in which every home is well decorated for Christmas. It’s really cute and fun to see how each house is decorated each year.

This year, some of my gifts are handmade. I made each of my boys a dinosaur hat and mittens for the younger one (who has outgrown his). The hat and scarf are for a friend overseas.

#amonthoffaves2017 -Best Changes

amonthoffaves

A Month of Faves is hosted by AndiTanya and Tamara

Fri. | Dec. 15 – Best Changes You Made To Tweak This Year #AMonthofFaves – best changes you made or routines you kept that to better organize your day / life; your = morning, evening or daily routines.

Ever since school started in September, mornings have been a rush-rush-rush affair. My older boy was in afternoon kindergarten last year so we didn’t have to join in with the morning traffic as school only started at 1130am. This school year though he goes from 830 to 250. I also drop off my 4yo at preschool, which is in the opposite direction of the elementary school. Long story short, after a few weeks I figured out a good route, learnt how to negotiate my way into the surrounding neighbourhood and while of course mornings are still rush-rush-rush, I think we’ve got a good routine going.

With a lot of after-school activities going on (Monday swim class; Tuesday tennis class; Wednesday evening math club for the 1st grader; Thursday piano class for the 1st grader), I make sure to get my meals prepped in the mornings. I don’t necessarily cook my meals ahead (although sometimes I do baked pastas and then pop it into the oven to bake when we get home) but I just make sure I know what I’m doing.

(Gah my life is just kinda boring)