Diverse YA and MG books I wish I had read as a tween #TopTenTuesday

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is:


 Books I Wish I Had Read As a Child


I think I’m going to alter this slightly to be more of a Books I Wish I Had Read as a Tween.

I love how diverse Middle-Grade and Young Adult fiction is these days. And how I wish I could have had these books around when I was a kid. Living in majority Chinese-ethnicity Singapore, I didn’t fe

I definitely would have loved these books:


Unfortunately I only have posted about 3 of these. But I really liked all of them!

Stargazing by Jen Wang (my review)

Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee (my review)

The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo (my review)




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 27)


Hi, it’s Monday again. How was your weekend?

My younger son had a birthday on Friday and we had cake and presents and Skype calls from grandparents in Singapore.

I wrote more about the birthday cake and also the first time I made bagels here. 

Also it was readathon Saturday and while I didn’t actively participate, I did manage to get through the first two volumes of Kate Bishop and a good part of The Bromance Book Club, which I ended up finishing on Sunday.







Undercover Bromance – Lyssa Kay Adams



Terrace House







I had a couple of grocery deliveries last week. I’ve been ordering these organic produce boxes from an online Asian grocer once in a while. The boxes’ items change every few days and this time it had eggs and milk and tofu, and a variety of vegetables and fruits, all organic.

I was thinking of using the broccoli for some baked pasta, maybe with chicken or bacon or sausage.

The romaine we eat at lunch as salad or with sandwiches. The cabbage will go into noodles and noodle soup, maybe with the tofu which I will pan fry.

Last week:

I read:


Tomboy – Liz Prince
The Well of Ascension – Brandon Sanderson
Kate Bishop vol 1 – Kelly Thompson
The Bromance Book Club – Lyssa Kay Adams
Kate Bishop vol 2 – Kelly Thompson

I posted:

Bagels and a birthday cake #WeekendCooking

Library Loot (April 22 to 28)

Titles that would make great band names #TopTenTuesday



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


Bagels and a birthday cake #WeekendCooking

It was my younger son’s birthday yesterday and his request was for a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting.

So on Thursday morning, in between working with the two kids on their school work, managing their screen time, various Zoom sessions etc, I made this Fudge Birthday Cake from King Arthur Flour. (If you’re a regular-ish reader, you may know that I’ve used a lot of King Arthur Flour recipes!). And I made the mistake of letting him sample a small bit of the cake.

He was not a fan.

I thought it was fine. It had that chocolate fudge cake quality where the chocolate taste comes from cocoa powder. I don’t know, maybe he was expecting a more chocolate-y cake?

I did not want an unhappy birthday boy so I wrapped it up, set it aside in our freezer for another day (Mother’s Day perhaps? hahaha). And went ahead with a funfetti cake, as I know he always loves that one.

Just last month, I made one for the 9yo’s birthday with a deliciously strawberry buttercream. This time I went with this rainbow sprinkle cake recipe from the New York Times, and this chocolate frosting recipe from KAF. 

Luckily, I had added in an order of rainbow sprinkles to our delivery from Target the weekend before (which included toiletries, lots of snacks, and a new bicycle helmet for the birthday boy – he also got a new bike not from Target).



And since baking two cakes wasn’t enough for one day, I also tried making bagels for the first time. I used this recipe from King Arthur Flour. The article on how to shape bagels was helpful too, but from my not quite regular looking bagels, I definitely need more practice!


For my first attempt, they were not too bad, I reckon! They may look a little mishapened but they tasted great and the boiling was easier than I thought it would be – not sure why I was apprehensive about that now…I thought it might deflate after boiling and popping it onto the baking tray but it was actually ok.

We had them for breakfast next day, slightly toasted. Delicious!


Weekend Cooking at Beth Fish Reads is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, beer, wine, photographs

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


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).










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





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



On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous – Ocean Vuong



Homemade waffles for breakfast





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.


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)


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.