It’s Monday! What are you reading (June 18 2013)

itsmonday“It’s Monday! What are you reading?” is a weekly event hosted by Sheila at Bookjourney to share with others what we’ve read the past week and planning to read next.

Ok so it’s Tuesday. But I have a good excuse!

The five of us (two wee readers, my mum, the husband and I) hopped down to Monterey and Carmel for a one-night holiday on Sunday.

It was my mum’s last weekend here with us as she’s flying back to Singapore on Saturday. She’s been here since late March, celebrating wee reader’s second birthday with us, helping out with the baby who arrived in late April and just being an awesome mum and grandmother. We could not have done it without her help and wanted to thank her (and celebrate her birthday very early) with a little trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

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The place sure was crowded! But wee reader and grandma (wee-er reader slept through most of it) managed to check out most of the sea creatures big and small. Unfortunately it turns out that the huge sunfish, which was one of the things I remembered the most about the aquarium when I visited more than ten years ago, had to be put down in 2008.

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My favourite was the very cute Jellies Experience. I like how they did up the whole exhibit area, like these lights! Fun!

Anyway, so although it’s no longer Monday, I am currently…

Reading:

tinybeautiful

Tiny Beautiful Things – Cheryl Strayed
Oh I am loving this. And reading it slowly so as to make it seemingly last longer

 

endlifebookclub

The End of Your Life Book Club – Will
Also an amazing read so far. But one with a tinge of sadness.

breasts

 

Breasts: A natural and unnatural history – Florence Williams
This continues to be a fascinating and kind of terrifying read. Now I’m reading about toxins in breastmilk!

Eating: Olallieberry pie from Gizdich Ranch in Watsonville. We always stop here on the way back for some yummy pie.
English breakfast tea.

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(Unfortunately I didn’t take a picture so here’s one I took of a slice of strawberry rhubarb pie with fresh strawberry ice-cream – so good! I’m not a fan of strawberry ice-cream but this was yummy – that we ate at the farm itself)

Looking forward to: Picking up library books later this week!

What I read last week

mylifefrance

My life in France – Julia Child
I’ve never actually read a Julia Child cookbook or seen her cooking shows. Now I have to. She’s quite fascinating.

Words of wisdom from the book:

I don’t believe in twisting yourself into knots of excuses and explanations over the food you make. When one’s hostess starts in with self-deprecations such as “Oh, I don’t know how to cook . . . ,” or “Poor little me . . . ,” or “This may taste awful . . . ,” it is so dreadful to have to reassure her that everything is delicious and fine, whether it is or not. Besides, such admissions only draw attention to one’s shortcomings (or self-perceived shortcomings), and make the other person think, “Yes, you’re right, this really is an awful meal!” Maybe the cat has fallen into the stew, or the lettuce has frozen, or the cake has collapsed—eh bien, tant pis! Usually one’s cooking is better than one thinks it is. And if the food is truly vile, as my ersatz eggs Florentine surely were, then the cook must simply grit her teeth and bear it with a smile—and learn from her mistakes.

 

speakingfrombones

Speaking from among the bones – Alan Bradley

Flavia is always a fun read. And this time it ends with an exciting discovery that makes me want to read the next book. Very clever, Mr Bradley.

So what are you reading this week?

Half-birthday celebrations (of sorts)

Wee reader is six months old! Well six months and a few days to be exact. It’s quite something to see how much he’s grown, how much he’s developed, how he’s changed from that fragile, kind of floppy newborn-ness to a grabby, vocal, active little boy of six months.

Last week, the husband took a few days off and we headed to Monterey for wee reader’s first night away from home – since the hospital. And it was also the first night the three of us were sleeping in the same room since the hospital. What a sleepless night for me! He really kicks a lot in his sleep, and the noise was exacerbated by his sleeping in the peapod, which is an indoor/outdoor tent for children. But I think he had a great time in this hotel room and being pushed around his stroller in Monterey, and maybe not such a great first time in the swimming pool. He was rather apprehensive, and it was a little chilly. Well there’s always plenty of swimming to be had in Singapore when we visit!

A night in Monterey meant no Internet other than on my crappy iPhone. So a lot of reading was done on the iPad (I had packed in my library copy of Jamaica Inn – and then completely forgot I had brought it along!) and I ploughed my way through Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park, which I have been mostly reading on my iPhone on my morning walks around the estate. My right hand pushes the stroller, the left swipes the e-book’s ‘pages’. It gets hard to read when it’s sunny but I tend to stick to the shaded areas. Ok so I was also ‘relaxing’ by fighting monsters on Dungeon Hunter 2 on the iPad, when I wasn’t playing with the baby. We never turned on the TV at all. Amazing*

You would think that being in Monterey we’d be scarfing down plenty of seafood. Erm no. Instead I had a wonderfully fresh salad bursting with cherry tomatoes, roasted red peppers, and my favourite avocado, along with a giant non-fat latte at the very cute Wild Plum Cafe. And then I indulged in some lamb shanks and minestrone soup, and a gigantic chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting at Rosine’s, a family diner near the hotel.

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20111001-212227.jpg* Amazing because we no longer have cable TV at home, just Netflix, and sometimes I miss watching silly shows like What Not To Wear and various Food Network/Bravo reality shows.