It’s Monday and I’m reading more Flavia

 

 

 

It was a take-it-easy kind of weekend as the husband had to do some work. We did manage to do the usual weekend things like swim class (it was sunny for a change!), tennis, and go out for some meals.

 

I also did some baking. I made financiers for the first time and although I didn’t manage to get that characteristic dome, the financiers did taste good!

 

 

Currently…

 

Reading:

 

 

 

Watching:

The new season (or at least it’s season two according to Netflix) of The Big Family Cooking Showdown

Listening:

 

Eating:

Homemade Chinese bakery-style sausage buns

Drinking:

Yorkshire Gold with milk

Cooking:

Browsing:

“She was two things at once. Bodily she was a matron, jowly, bosomy, bottomy odd. At heart she was a gamine. Her smile was like a baby’s, full of joyful elan. You believed you had caused it. You felt felled by a stroke of luck.”

31 YA books by black authors that you can’t miss this year 

The locked-room mystery is back

Last week:

I read:

Front Desk – Kelly Yang

The Beekeeper’s Apprentice – Laurie R King (reread)

I posted:

Book Beginnings/Friday 56 – The Calculating Stars

Fifth Chinese Daughter by Jade Snow Wong

Library Loot (February 20 to 26)

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I loved with <2000 Goodreads ratings

 

 

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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

 

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Fifth Chinese Daughter by Jade Snow Wong

I came across this book via the 500 Great Books by Women Group on Goodreads. It’s a group that discusses the list in the book by Erica Bauermeister. It’s also a list on List Challenges if you like ticking off things online and that sort of thing.

And like in Family Trust by Kathy Wang, a book I was also reading at around the same time, it’s a book set in San Francisco. Unlike the 2018-published Family Trust, Fifth Chinese Daughter by Jade Snow Wong was originally published in 1945, and it’s quite telling of its time, with a 73 year difference between publication of these two books.

Fifth Chinese Daughter is an autobiography but is written more like a novel. And it has a rather educational tone to it, like it’s trying to teach the (presumably) white person reading it. So as a modern Chinese-Singaporean reading this book, it sometimes is amusing but more often it feels a bit heavy-handed and didactic.

I must admire Wong’s life and her determination to be educated and find a career. It wasn’t easy at that time for women, and I must imagine, even more so for a Chinese woman living in the US. Her father, while pushing education, especially Chinese-language education, when she was younger, is unwilling to pay for college, as he’s already paying for her brother’s medical school.

“You are quite familiar by now with the fact that it is the sons who perpetuate our ancestral heritage by permanently bearing the Wong family name and transmitting it through their blood line, and therefore the songs must have priority over the daughters when parental provision for advantages must be limited by economic necessity. Generations of sons, bearing our Wong name, are those who make pilgrimages to ancestral burial grounds and preserve them forever. Our daughters leave home at marriage to give sons to their husbands’ families to carry on the heritage for other names.”

She then begins working as a housekeeper for various families and manages to also find herself a scholarship to a college.

It’s an interesting account of various Chinese traditions, such as a funeral, a baby’s first full month with red eggs (which is something that Chinese families in Singapore still do) and pickled pigs’ feet (that was new to me).

Fifth Chinese Daughter may be a bit dated but it does offer an insight into the life of a young Chinese-American growing up in San Francisco at the time and trying to find a balance between her traditional Chinese upbringing and the more American lifestyle she’s becoming accustomed to as she goes to school and finds a career for herself.

This is my read for Back to the Classics – Classic From a Place You’ve Lived as it’s set in the San Francisco Bay Area

 

It’s Monday and it’s a long weekend

 

So we had these great plans to go up to Tahoe with friends and all four kids would take ski lessons together. But then this storm decided to stretch into Sunday and various agencies were warning against travel up to Tahoe and so we decided to cancel. We didn’t want to risk the drive (the I-80 was closed for most of Thursday night and Friday because of whiteout conditions) and realized that it probably wouldn’t be the funnest of first ski classes if it was in freezing weather (it was forecast as -15/-4C or 5/25F).

Oh well, we’ll just have to try for another weekend.

Meanwhile, in our part of the Bay Area, it’s been a very rainy week and super windy too. The elementary school is in a neighbourhood lined with towering palm trees and boy is it dangerous to live near palm trees on a very windy day. There’s always branches and leaves clattering down!

Anyway lots of baking this week – baguettes and mixed berry muffins.

 

 

Currently…

 

Reading:

 

 

 

Watching:

The Bodyguard. Or rather I just finished binge-watching it. I decided to give the first episode a try and it was so exciting I watched two episodes. Then the next day, another two and then the next and that was it. It was so thrilling!

Listening:

 

Eating:

Looks weird but this was a raspberry swirl pound cake in the making

Drinking:

Nespresso with milk

Cooking:

We had lunch at Buca di Beppo and they’re known for their large portions and so we have a lot of leftovers!

I was thinking of cooking taco rice

Crafting:

An Erigeneia shawl in a rectangle

Browsing:

This earthquake-proof, climbable bookshelf (My Modern Met)

Look at all these beautiful illustrations for Howl’s Moving Castle

I did not know that Yiyun Li’s latest, Where Reasons End, is about a mother’s grief, and that her own son took his life.

I always bookmark posts by Bake For Happy Kids and here’s another one – a pineapple chiffon cake!

Last week:

I read:

I posted:

#WeekendCooking Chinese New Year celebrations

#BookBeginnings #Friday56 – No Fond Return of Love by Barbara Pym

Family Trust by Kathy Wang

Library Loot (February 13 to 19)

Favourite Couples in Books #toptentuesday

 

 

 

 

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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

 

It’s Monday and it’s everyone’s birthday!

Good Monday to you.

 

It’s the seventh day of the Lunar New Year and that means it’s 人日 (ren ri). In Chinese mythology, it was on the seventh day that human beings were created (various animals were created first, starting with chickens!) so today is considered everyone’s birthday. So happy birthday to you and you!

This weekend I must have caught the bug that’s been going around. But luckily not the full-blown version that my kids were hit with – they had fevers, runny nose, lingering cough. For me, it’s just a cough and runny nose. I’m plying myself with green tea, lemongrass tea, avoiding snacks if I can, and staying warm. I know it’s not as cold here in California as plenty of other parts of the country (and world), but it’s been a chillier February than usual.

The rest of the week was fun though. It was quite rainy and we actually had snow on our hills and mountains! I’ve only seen snow on the very top of Mission Peak twice since I’ve lived here so to see so much snow was quite exciting.

The skies cleared up for the school’s first New Year carnival. Previous years, the mandarin immersion programme kids put up performances for the school. But I guess that’s too much work for the teachers and takes away from class time (also the teachers are currently on work-to-rule) so this year there were carnival-style booths and lots of parent volunteers. I helped out with a booth that had kids use chopsticks to pick up marbles and some of the older kids were so competitive. It was a little bit crazier than I expected! But everyone had fun. And there was a lion dance after along with kungfu demonstrations.

 

 

 

Currently…

 

Reading:

 

No Fond Return of Love – Barbara Pym 

Loving this!

Why I Wake Early – Mary Oliver 

I’m still slowly dipping into this one!

Watching:

On Sunday morning we went to see the Lego Movie 2. I love that the kids are excited to see movies in the cinema.

Listening:

How to be a good creature: A Memoir in Thirteen Animals – Sy Montgomery

Eating:

We had Blaze pizza for lunch. I topped my pizza with kalamata olives, artichokes, roasted red peppers, pepperoni and bacon. Also I like to have gorgonzola and mozzarella.

Drinking:

Lots of green tea to help soothe my ticklish throat

Cooking:

Shepherd’s pie

Noodles of some sort as always!

Browsing:

It’s DWJMarch / March Magics!!

7 true stories to add to your reading list (Beth Fish Reads)

Saving this recipe to try out once I get my hands on cream – soft egg white and cream sandwich bread (Bake for Happy Kids)

These coconut mochi cake muffins sound good! (I Am A Food Blog)

I’m looking forward to reading The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo (The Illustrated Page)

Last week:

I read:

Family Trust – Kathy Wang

Fifth Chinese Daughter – Jade Snow Wong
The Magicians – Lev Grossman
Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl – Issa Rae (technically I began this last year but time ran out on the audiobook loan, so I just finished listening to it!)

I posted:

Book Beginnings/Friday 56 Family Trust

The Library Book by Susan Orlean

Library Loot (February 6 to 12)

Upcoming releases I’m on the fence about #toptentuesday

Paris Echo by Sebastian Faulks

 

 

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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

 

Book Beginnings/Friday 56 Family Trust

Beginning:

Stanley Huang sat, naked but for the thing cotton dressing gown crumpled against the sterile white paper in the hospital room, and listened to the young doctor describe how he would die.

56:

The words of Aisha echoed; there was something strange in how they looked at her and then each other, as if trying to telepathically discuss a course of action.

 

 

 

Fridays are for Book Beginnings on Rose City Reader, Friday 56 on Freda’s Voice

 

 

 

It’s Monday! Happy Chinese New Year Eve!

 

Happy New Year Eve! Tomorrow is the first day of the Lunar New Year and since I live in the US, it’s not a public holiday, and the kids are in school. But since they go to a Mandarin immersion programme (it’s in a public school and makes up half the school population), there will be a celebration on Wednesday, with a carnival of sorts, a lion dance performance, and a class party after.

Meanwhile, I’ve been busy cleaning house, tidying up, doing lots of laundry, and putting up some New Year decorations – lots of reds and golds and lucky symbols. I don’t have any Pig Year-specific decor though.

I also made some pork floss cookies (recipe from Bake with Happy Kids). Delicious sweet-salty shredded dried pork is added into this buttery cookie mixture along with sesame seeds. So good.

Also, this wasn’t a great week health-wise. First, on Wednesday morning, the 7yo came down with a fever, cough and runny nose. So he was out of commission for two days. Then on Friday morning, the 5yo got the bug and he was home while the 7yo went to school. So this weekend was a stay-home weekend, where I got more cleaning and baking done. And the kids watched TV, read books, played video games. It was a rather rainy weekend anyway, so I guess if there was a weekend to be sick, this was it.

 

 

 

Currently…

 

Reading:

 

 

 

Watching:

More West Wing. And also, I got tired of hearing Octonauts and other kids shows so together we watched The Great British Bake Off. Luckily the kids are ok with watching cooking shows with me!

Listening:

Heavy by Kiese Laymon

 

Eating:

You tiao or Chinese-style dough fritters with condensed milk

Drinking:

Water

Cooking:

We always do a hotpot for reunion dinner (Chinese New Year eve, when you’re meant to return home and have a meal with your family). See my How To Hotpot post from last year for more details.

And the soup is always even tastier the next day! So we keep aside some ingredients and cook them again (this time on the stove) and serve it with noodles or rice.

Browsing:

It’s Reading Ireland Month soon on 746 Books. It sounds lots of fun!

Powell’s book buyers recommend 22 books of 2019

I’ve seen the #6degrees meme before but haven’t joined in yet. I like this month’s starting book!

Added to my TBR:

The Frangipani Tree Mystery and The Betel Nut Tree Mystery by Ovidia Yu (via TBR313)

Seventeen by Hideo Yokohama (via Dolce Bellezza)

 

Last week:

I read:


Fruit of the drunken tree – Ingrid Rojas Contreras
Likely Stories – Neil Gaiman, Mark Buckingham, Chris Blythe (Illustrator)

Shutter Vol 1: Wanderlust – Joe Keatinge, Leila del Duca

Roughneck – Jeff Lemire
Master Keaton Vol 5 – Naoki Urasawa

 

I posted:

Comics reviews: My Brother’s Husband, Roughneck

Reading notes: George; The Lowland; The Clothing of Books

Library Loot (January 30 to February 5)

10 additions to my #TBR list

 

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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

 

It’s Monday and it’s almost February!

 

 

Happy Monday you guys!

It was a super busy weekend for us and unfortunately that was also 24in48 readathon weekend. Needless to say, not all that much reading happened but hey it was still fun trying to squeeze in as much reading time as possible!

We had the usual Saturday of swim class and tennis. And we also added in a Tesla Model 3 test-drive. We’ve been thinking of getting an electric car and it was fun test driving the Tesla, especially its intriguing auto-pilot feature. So weird taking my foot off the accelerator on the highway!

Sunday saw us at a classmate’s birthday party. It was Beyblade-themed so the boys were all excited!

The five-year-old playing a VR arcade game at the friend’s house.

Also, it’s the first day of the Lunar New Year on February 5. So that means cleaning house!

Anyway, reading-wise, I read quite a few books over the weekend!

 

 

 

Currently…

 

Reading:

 

 

 

Watching:

I finished watching Season 3 of The Magicians and since I watch it on Netflix I have to sit on my hands and wait until they release the next season…

Meanwhile I’ve gone back to The West Wing, which I love (and often wish Jed Bartlett were the real President) but is far less cliff-hanger-y so it doesn’t make me bingewatch the way I did with The Magicians

Listening:

Heavy by Kiese Laymon

Eating:

Just had Chinese takeout for dinner – fried noodles, chicken, beef and broccoli, green beans, and sesame balls for dessert

Drinking:

Water

Cooking:

Haven’t quite figured out yet!

Browsing:

Book Covers of Note (January) – The Casual Optimist

A lovely post by The Book Snob on walking in London. While I like where I live, I do often despair that it’s not a place for walking. I do miss living in places like Singapore or Brighton where you don’t necessarily need a car to do things.

It’s Chinese New Year soon and it’ll be the Year of the Pig (or Boar, as some prefer). Here’s a really cute amigurumi pig from All About Ami 

The hottest-tipped debut novelists of 2019 – The Guardian

Last week:

I read:

Crossplay – Niki Smith
Hamilton: The Revolution – Lin-Manuel Miranda (audiobook)
T!m G!nger – Julian Hanshaw
Aru Shah and the end of time – Roshani Chokshi
Naming Monsters – Hannah Eaton
Three Trees Make a Forest – Enrico Casarosa, Ronnie Del Carmen, Tadahiro Uesugi
My Brother’s Husband Vol 1 – Gengorgoh Tagame

I posted:

 

Library Loot Jan 23 to 29

#TopTenTuesday: Books I meant to read in 2018

 

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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