Library Loot (May 27 to June 2)

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 there! How’s your week going? I hope you all are staying healthy, both mentally and physically. We had a long weekend here in the US, it was Memorial Day on Monday and we had a nice time relaxing in the backyard (although it was quite hot on Monday itself!).

What have you borrowed from your library this week? Share it in the link-up or in the comments below!

 

 

 

Oh I am so excited to get my hands on this one! I don’t usually go for new releases but I would read anything Sittenfeld writes. Here’s a bonus: Judy Blume and Sittenfeld discuss the book!

 

Rodham – Curtis Sittenfeld

From the New York Times bestselling author of American Wife and Eligible, a novel that imagines a deeply compelling what-might-have-been: What if Hillary Rodham hadn’t married Bill Clinton?

In 1971, Hillary Rodham is a young woman full of promise: Lifemagazine has covered her Wellesley commencement speech, she’s attending Yale Law School, and she’s on the forefront of student activism and the women’s rights movement. And then she meets Bill Clinton. A handsome, charismatic southerner and fellow law student, Bill is already planning his political career. In each other, the two find a profound intellectual, emotional, and physical connection that neither has previously experienced.

In the real world, Hillary followed Bill back to Arkansas, and he proposed several times; although she said no more than once, as we all know, she eventually accepted and became Hillary Clinton.

But in Curtis Sittenfeld’s powerfully imagined tour-de-force of fiction, Hillary takes a different road. Feeling doubt about the prospective marriage, she endures their devastating breakup and leaves Arkansas. Over the next four decades, she blazes her own trail—one that unfolds in public as well as in private, that involves crossing paths again (and again) with Bill Clinton, that raises questions about the tradeoffs all of us must make in building a life.

Brilliantly weaving a riveting fictional tale into actual historical events, Curtis Sittenfeld delivers an uncannily astute and witty story for our times. In exploring the loneliness, moral ambivalence, and iron determination that characterize the quest for political power, as well as both the exhilaration and painful compromises demanded of female ambition in a world still run mostly by men, Rodham is a singular and unforgettable novel.

 

I’ve still got a few other books from previous library loots going! So the rest of my haul this week are comics.

Going into Town: A Love Letter to New York by Roz Chast

From the #1 NYT bestselling author of Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?, Roz Chast’s new graphic memoir–a hilarious illustrated ode/guide/ thank-you note to Manhattan.

A native Brooklynite-turned-suburban commuter deemed the quintessential New Yorker, Roz Chast has always been intensely alive to the glorious spectacle that is Manhattan–the daily clash of sidewalk racers and dawdlers; the fascinating range of dress codes; and the priceless, nutty outbursts of souls from all walks of life.

For Chast, adjusting to life outside the city was surreal–(you can own trees!? you have to drive!?)–but she recognized that the reverse was true for her kids. On trips into town, they would marvel at the strange visual world of Manhattan–its blackened sidewalk gum-wads, “those West Side Story-things” (fire escapes)–and its crazily honeycombed systems and grids.

Told through Chast’s singularly zany, laugh-out-loud, touching, and true cartoons, Going Into Town is part New York stories (the “overheard and overseen” of the island borough), part personal and practical guide to walking, talking, renting, and venting–an irresistible, one-of-a-kind love letter to the city.

 

I wanted to throw in a super light read – this is a middle grade comic.

Click – Kayla Miller

A debut graphic novel about friendship and finding where you “click” in school.

Olive wants to get in on the act . . .
. . . Any act!

Olive “clicks” with everyone in the fifth grade—until one day she doesn’t. When a school variety show leaves Olive stranded without an act to join, she begins to panic, wondering why all her friends have already formed their own groups . . . without her. With the performance drawing closer by the minute, will Olive be able to find her own place in the show before the curtain comes up?

 

 

What did you get from your library this week?

 

Library Loot (May 20 to 26)

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.

 

My library recently announced that they would allow curbside pick-up of library holds soon but when I tried to sign up, all the time slots were full! Oh well. Maybe there will be another chance in the future. For now, library books are due July 7 and there’s always ebooks and audiobooks.

 

 

I don’t really listen to podcasts much but once in a while I check in with the Reading the End Bookcast (hi Jenny!). And in their most recent episode, the Gin Jenny and Whisky Jenny mentioned this book. And it’s not a book I had heard of before, but sounds just perfect for reading now. Also, it has the word ‘chocolate’ in its title.

Sorcery & Cecelia: or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot – Patricia Wrede and Caroline Stevermer

A great deal is happening in London and the country this season.

For starters, there’s the witch who tried to poison Kate at the Royal College of Wizards. There’s also the man who seems to be spying on Cecelia. (Though he’s not doing a very good job of it–so just what are his intentions?) And then there’s Oliver. Ever since he was turned into a tree, he hasn’t bothered to tell anyone where he is.

Clearly, magic is a deadly and dangerous business. And the girls might be in fear for their lives . . . if only they weren’t having so much fun!

 

I didn’t really want to get this as an audiobook but my library only has it as an audiobook, so no choice at the moment!

The Hero of Ages (Mistborn #3) – Brandon Sanderson (audiobook)

Tricked into releasing the evil spirit Ruin while attempting to close the Well of Ascension, new emperor Elend Venture and his wife, the assassin Vin, are now hard-pressed to save the world

 

What did you get from your library this week?

 

Library Loot (May 13 to 19)

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.

 

The month of May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in the US and so this week’s Library Loot is full of writers

Add your link to the link-up or post in the comments below!

 

I couldn’t help clicking the “borrow” button when I saw this ebook while browsing the library catalogue.

The Bridegroom was a Dog – Yoko Tawada

The Bridegroom Was a Dog is perhaps the Japanese-German writer Yoko Tawada’s most famous story. Its initial publication in 1998 garnered admiration from The New Yorker, who praised it as, “fast-moving, mysteriously compelling tale that has the dream quality of Kafka.”

The Bridegroom Was a Dog begins with a schoolteacher telling a fable to her students. In the fable, a princess promises her hand in marriage to a dog that has licked her bottom clean. The story takes an even stranger twist when that very dog appears to the schoolteacher in real life as a dog-like man. They develop a very sexual, romantic courtship with many allegorical overtones — much to the chagrin of her friends.

This Is Paradise – Kristiana Kahakauwila

Elegant, brutal, and profound, this magnificent debut captures the grit and glory of modern Hawai’i with breathtaking force and accuracy.

In a stunning collection that announces the arrival of an incredible talent, Kristiana Kahakauwila travels the islands of Hawai’i, making the fabled place her own. Exploring the deep tensions between local and tourist, tradition and expectation, façade and authentic self, This Is Paradise provides an unforgettable portrait of life as it’s truly being lived on Maui, Oahu, Kaua’i and the Big Island.

In the gut-punch of “Wanle,” a beautiful and tough young woman wants nothing more than to follow in her father’s footsteps as a legendary cockfighter. With striking versatility, the title story employs a chorus of voices—the women of Waikiki—to tell the tale of a young tourist drawn to the darker side of the city’s nightlife. “The Old Paniolo Way” limns the difficult nature of legacy and inheritance when a patriarch tries to settle the affairs of his farm before his death.

Exquisitely written and bursting with sharply observed detail, Kahakauwila’s stories remind us of the powerful desire to belong, to put down roots, and to have a place to call home.

 

Library Loot (May 6 to 12)

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.

 

 

 

Hello and welcome to this week’s Library Loot!

Claire has the link-up this week, so please head over to post your link-up, or if you’d like, share in the comments here.

 

This was spotted while browsing the library’s ebook catalogue, and I had this moment of hmm, did I know that this book exists? I decided to download it anyway, because it’s Iyer.

This Could Be Home – Pico Iyer

As Singapore marks the 200th anniversary of the arrival of the British and an iconic hotel unveils a dazzling new design, best-selling author Pico Iyer explores how both can offer a fresh model for our world of crossing cultures. Drawing upon numerous stays in Raffles Hotel over thirty-five years and the fast-ascending city around it, this lifelong “global soul” finds new ways of considering not just yesterday, but tomorrow.

What might Somerset Maugham write if he were watching East and West mingling around the Palm Court tonight? Why do writers gravitate towards the foreign counter-homes that are hotels? And how have Singapore and its iconic, intimate white-stucco monument evolved to meet the needs of a shifting world? Offering a seasoned observer’s meditations on multicultures everywhere, Iyer—whom Outside magazine calls “arguably the world’s greatest living travel writer”—draws the curtains on a personal, thoughtful and surprising look at places we too often take for granted.

 

 

 

It’s Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in the US every May, and what better than this book set both in the US and the Philippines.

America is Not the Heart – Elaine Castillo

How many lives can one person lead in a single lifetime? When Hero De Vera arrives in America, disowned by her parents in the Philippines, she’s already on her third. Her uncle, Pol, who has offered her a fresh start and a place to stay in the Bay Area, knows not to ask about the first and second. And his younger wife, Paz, has learned enough about the might and secrecy of the De Vera family to keep her head down. Only their daughter Roni asks Hero why her hands seem to scream with hurt at the steering wheel of the car she drives to collect her from school, and only Rosalyn, the fierce but open-hearted beautician, has any hope of bringing Hero back from the dead.

 

Last, a new audiobook.

Frankly in Love – David Yoon

High school senior Frank Li is a Limbo–his term for Korean-American kids who find themselves caught between their parents’ traditional expectations and their own Southern California upbringing. His parents have one rule when it comes to romance–“Date Korean”–which proves complicated when Frank falls for Brit Means, who is smart, beautiful–and white. Fellow Limbo Joy Song is in a similar predicament, and so they make a pact: they’ll pretend to date each other in order to gain their freedom. Frank thinks it’s the perfect plan, but in the end, Frank and Joy’s fake-dating maneuver leaves him wondering if he ever really understood love–or himself–at all.

 

What did you get from your library this week?

 

Library Loot (April 29 – May 5)

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 Library Loot day! How is your week going? Did you borrow any ebooks or audiobooks this week? Share it with us in the link-up or comment below!

 

This week I have some speculative fiction ebooks borrowed. All of these are new-to-me writers, which I’m always excited about. Have you read any of these?

The Nine (Thieves of Fate #1) – Tracy Townsend

In the dark streets of Corma exists a book that writes itself, a book that some would kill for…

Black market courier Rowena Downshire is just trying to pay her mother’s freedom from debtor’s prison when an urgent and unexpected delivery leads her face to face with a creature out of nightmares. Rowena escapes with her life, but the strange book she was ordered to deliver is stolen.

The Alchemist knows things few men have lived to tell about, and when Rowena shows up on his doorstep, frightened and empty-handed, he knows better than to turn her away. What he discovers leads him to ask for help from the last man he wants to see—the former mercenary, Anselm Meteron.

Across town, Reverend Phillip Chalmers awakes in a cell, bloodied and bruised, facing a creature twice his size. Translating the stolen book may be his only hope for survival; however, he soon realizes the book may be a fabled text written by the Creator Himself, tracking the nine human subjects of His Grand Experiment. In the wrong hands, it could mean the end of humanity.

Rowena and her companions become the target of conspirators who seek to use the book for their own ends. But how can this unlikely team be sure who the enemy is when they can barely trust each other? And what will happen when the book reveals a secret no human was meant to know?

The Fall (Thieves of Fate #2) – Tracy Townsend 

An apothecary clerk and her ex-mercenary allies travel across the world to discover a computing engine that leads to secrets she wasn’t meant to know–secrets that could destroy humanity. Eight months ago, Rowena Downshire was a half-starved black market courier darting through the shadows of Corma’s underside. Today, she’s a (mostly) respectable clerk in the Alchemist’s infamous apothecary shop, the Stone Scales, and certainly the last girl one would think qualified to carry the weight of the world on her shoulders a second time. Looks can be deceiving. When Anselm Meteron and the Alchemist receive an invitation to an old acquaintance’s ball–the Greatduke who financed their final, disastrous mercenary mission fourteen years earlier–they’re expecting blackmail, graft, or veiled threats related to the plot to steal the secrets of the Creator’s Grand Experiment. They aren’t expecting a job offer they can’t refuse or a trip halfway across the world to rendezvous with the scholar whose research threw their lives into tumult: the Reverend Doctor Phillip Chalmers. Escorting Chalmers to the Grand Library of Nippon with her mismatched mercenary family is just a grand adventure to Rowena until she discovers a powerful algebraic engine called the Aggregator. The Aggregator leads Rowena to questions about the Grand Experiment she was never meant to ask and answers she cannot be allowed to possess. With her reunited friends, Rowena must find a way to use the truths hidden in the Grand Library to disarm those who would hunt down the nine subjects of the Creator’s Grand Experiment, threatening to close the book on this world.

 

The Three-Body Problem – Liu Cixin

Set against the backdrop of China’s Cultural Revolution, a secret military project sends signals into space to establish contact with aliens. An alien civilization on the brink of destruction captures the signal and plans to invade Earth. Meanwhile, on Earth, different camps start forming, planning to either welcome the superior beings and help them take over a world seen as corrupt, or to fight against the invasion. The result is a science fiction masterpiece of enormous scope and vision.

 

The Master Chocolatier – Chetville (Illustrator), Bénédicte Gourdon, Éric Corbeyran

Alex Carret is a talented young Brussels chocolatier whose life takes a drastic turn when he quits his job and agrees to partner with a friend of a friend named Ben. He’s a little wary of him at first, but when Ben comes up with a business plan, a space, a brilliant branding idea, and a 100,000-euro loan, Alex can’t resist the temptation of seeing his lifelong dream come true. Soon he and his team are selecting the finest chocolate from countries around the world and throwing a launch party, which is a smash success. But will that put them in the crosshairs of other local power brokers?

 

What did you get from your library this week?

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.

 

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.