New-to-me Authors #TopTenTuesday

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is:

New-to-Me Authors I Discovered in 2021

I read so many new-to-me authors last year. Here are some favourites.

Maaza Mengiste. She wrote The Shadow King (my review).

Bae Suah. Untold Night and Day. She seems to have written quite a few short stories and novels but not many of them have been translated yet?

Michelle Zauner. The memoir Crying in H Mart. She’s also a musician (Japanese Breakfast).

Alice Oseman. The graphic novel series Heartstopper.

Magda Szabo. The classic Iza’s Ballad. A Hungarian novelist, Szabo died in 2007.

Charlotte McConaghy. The beautiful Once There Were Wolves.

Nalini Singh. I read Silver Silence and Quiet in Her Bones.

Xiran Jay Zhao. Iron Widow (my review)

Cherie Dimaline. The Marrow Thieves

Mizuki Tsujimura. Lonely Castle in the Mirror.


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.

Recent creepy reads #TopTenTuesday

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is:

It’s a Halloween freebie this week, so I’ve decided to talk about some of my latest reads, which have mostly been creepy/spooky type reads.

The Lost Village – Camilla Sten

I listened to this one, and this was a really creepy audiobook. I’m often distracted when listening to audiobooks, but with this one, I hung onto every word. This story features a documentary crew venturing out to this old mining village in which the villagers all disappeared. The only remaining people were a newborn abandoned in the school and a woman stoned to death.

The Girl in Red – Christina Henry

A kind of post-apocalyptic take on Little Red Riding Hood, about a young woman trying to find her way to her grandmother while everyone around here is dying of, wait for it, The Cough. I had to go check the publication date and this was published in June 2019. So reading it in October 2021, I was a bit

We Are Satellites – Sarah Pinsker

Maybe not much of a creepy read, but this one is disturbing. People have been getting brain implants (called Pilots) to help them with school and work. It’s either get a Pilot or fall behind. I really like Pinsker’s books. This exploration of new technology, something that’s completely plausible in the future, kept me thinking even after I finished the book.

The Summoning – Kelley Armstrong

This is the first book in the Darkest Powers series. The main character Chloe is a teenager who can see ghosts. She gets sent to a boarding house for teens. The other residents all have secrets of their own. Slow-moving at first, it picks up at the end and leaves the reader hanging on until you move on to the next book.

Dial a for Aunties – Jesse Q Sutanto

Ok so it doesn’t scream “creepy” with its bright yellow cover. And it’s not really, but hey it’s got a dead body in it so I’m just going to count it. It was kinda funny despite its “hide the dead body” story. With a Chinese-Indonesian family at its heart, this book’s four aunties amuse with their banter and competitiveness.

Halloween’s not over yet so I’ve got more creepy books to go!


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.

Fave Book Settings #TopTenTuesday

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is:

Favorite Book Settings

A bookstore

84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff

Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

This is a library in Singapore called library @ orchard

A library

The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami

The Library Book by Susan Orlean

The restaurant at a hotel in Phuket. Really good food! (this was in 2018)

A restaurant

Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala

Sous Chef: 24 Hours on the Line by Michael Gibney

A photo taken from the rooftop of the National Museum

Singapore

Some of you may know that I’m from Singapore, so I’m always interested in books set there. And please don’t say Crazy Rich Asians.

Ministry of Moral Panic by Amanda Lee Koe

The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye by Sonny Liew

A beach in Phuket

Southeast Asia

Since Singapore is part of Southeast Asia, books set in Southeast Asia also catch my eye. It’s not so easy to find books set in Southeast Asia, but recently, there have been more.

Black Water Sister by Zen Cho (set in Malaysia)

In the Country by Mia Alvar (set in the Philippines)

Not invented at all, but this was a photo I took last summer when the smoke from the wildfires was so bad that our skies were orange for most of the day. This was taken mid-morning. It was still that dark.

Invented worlds

Some of my favourite books are those set in worlds unlike (or sometimes a bit similar to) ours

His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman

The Broken Earth series by N.K. Jemisin

Ok so obviously not a photo of a boarding school. Because I don’t have any, so instead, here’s a photo of the kids section of a library in Singapore.

Boarding school

As a kid, I was fascinated with boarding schools. Probably because I loved reading Mallory Towers by Endid Blyton.

Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro


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.

Top Books with Plant Covers #TopTenTuesday

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is:

It’s actually a freebie. So this week, inspired by a recent read, Wicked Plants by Briony Morrow-Cribbs, I’m going to go with Books with Plants on the Cover (but no plant-related titles).

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These are books that I haven’t read yet. Let me know what you’d recommend!

Clock Dance – Anne Tyler

Unsheltered – Barbara Kingsolver

Hamnet – Maggie O’Farrell

The Book of Koli – M.R. Carey

The Ensemble – Aja Gabel

Descendant of the Crane – Joan He

Burnt Sugar – Avni Doshi

These Violent Delights – Chloe Gong

The Bass Rock – Evie Wyld

Tyler Johnson Was Here – Jay Coles


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.

Books on My Fall 2021 TBR List #TopTenTuesday

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is:

Books on My Fall 2021 To-read List

Fall takes a while to sink in. September and October tend to still be warm weather days here. So it doesn’t quite feel autumnal yet.

But once September comes around, I pivot to the spooky reads. It’s largely because of Readers Imbibing in Peril, which runs from September to end October, and encourages the reading of all things spooky. I’ve joined this challenge for many years now, and here are some books on my tbr list:

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Let The Right One In – John Ajvide Linqvist

I don’t know why I haven’t read this one. Haven’t seen the movie either. But I keep hearing about it. Have you read this/seen the movie?

How We Fall Apart – Katie Zhao

A YA thriller set at a prep school where one of the students (an ex-best friend) turns up dead.

The Book of Accidents – Chuck Wendig

Something about returning to a rural hometown where creepy things happen.

Ring Shout – P. Djèli Clark

Another new-to-me writer. This is described as a dark fantasy historical novella.

Faithless – Kjell Ola Dahl

A Norwegian police detective. Might not be the best book to start with, as this is book 7 but oh well, maybe it doesn’t matter where I begin?

Clark and Division – Naomi Hirahara

A mystery set in 1944 Chicago, where a Japanese-American family has been released from internment camp.

Black Water Sister – Zen Cho

I love Cho’s writing, a lot of which is set in Malaysia or revolves around Malaysian culture.

The Dark Vault – Victoria Schwab

This combines Schwab’s books The Archived and The Unbound. And perhaps also a novella?

Quiet in Her Bones – Nalini Singh

I read my first book from Singh last month and loved it. This one is a standalone so I’m curious to see how it goes.


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.

Books with Numbers in the Title #TopTenTuesday

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is:

Books With Numbers In the Title

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This One Summer – Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki

The Two Towers – J.R.R. Tolkien

The Book of Three – Lloyd Alexander

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing – Judy Blume

The Fifth Season – N.K. Jemisin

Daisy Jones and the Six – Taylor Jenkins Reid

Seven Days in the Art World – Sarah Thornton

Fox 8 – George Saunders

Nine Stories – J.D. Salinger

Tales of Ten Worlds – Arthur C. Clarke


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.

Favorite Places to Read #TopTenTuesday

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is:

Favorite Places to Read

I usually read in bed or on my sofa. So those aren’t exactly the most exciting places to read…

Instead, here’s a collection of great places I’ve read at. Or at least have picked up books at.

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Books Actually, an independent bookstore in Singapore. Unfortunately, the actual store doesn’t exist anymore! It’s now online only. Which is a pity, as it was a lovely place to browse. Also it had a resident cat.
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The inside of Books Actually
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Singapore has some amazing libraries. This one is located in the Orchard Road shopping district. The library has two stories and is located in a shopping mall. I love the use of the lighting here. This library opened in 2014.
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This is a different part of the same library (called library@orchard). This particular library doesn’t have a children’s section as its target audience is young adults. And it has a very big collection of design books.
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Here’s a newer library, also one located within a popular shopping mall. Called library@harbourfront, it serves the southern part of Singapore (Singapore has 26 public libraries). This is the kids area.
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A reading area overlooks the sea. There’s a walkway/bridge that connects to the island of Sentosa.
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A bookstore in Phuket, Thailand
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The lovely pool that each villa has. This is Sala Phuket. I would have spent more time outside reading, but there were mosquitos! It was the monsoon season when we were there (July 2018) so the first day it was raining the whole day. But luckily the next couple of days were ok (but really hot).
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Closer to home, this is our local library. It’s located right next to the central park, and looks out to lovely greenery. Not as fancy as the Singapore libraries, but it has great librarians, and (before the pandemic) lots of fun events that are now mostly online.
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And finally, here’s my own library. We converted our loft into a library, with a comfortable reading chair, sofa, and a wall of bookshelves!


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.

Book Titles That are Questions#TopTenTuesday

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is:

Book Titles That are Questions

I’m a bit surprised that there aren’t as many recent book titles that are questions. Or at least I didn’t see that many.

I decided to make a list of some (maybe) more obscure book titles for adults (a lot of kids books have question-titles).

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Miss or Mrs.? – Wilkie Collins

What Will He Do With It? – Edward Bulwer-Lytton

They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? – Horace McCoy

Who Is Simon Warwick? – Patricia Moyes

Is He Dead? – Mark Twain

If Not Now, When? – Primo Levi

And Where Were You, Adam? – Heinrich Böll

Is He Popenjoy? – Anthony Trollope

Am I Getting Paid for This?: A Romance About Work – Betty Rollin


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.

Why I Love Reading #TopTenTuesday

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is:

Reasons Why I Love Reading

  1. It’s a cheap way to travel. And especially in these times where I’m not sure about being on an airplane right now, I get to travel the world in books
  2. It helps me go to sleep. I sometimes watch some Netflix or other streaming stuff before bed but the last thing I do before turning out the light is to read.
  3. It lets me see the world from different perspectives. That’s why I’m glad that we are able to read from more diverse writers in recent years.
  4. An appreciation for the written word. When you read that sentence or paragraph that moves you, that makes you reread it to just appreciate how it’s written!
  5. It stimulates your imagination. This especially applies to speculative fiction and how writers work on world-building. But it begins right from childhood, and how imaginative and creative some picture book writers and illustrators are.
  6. Knowledge. I don’t often read nonfiction, but when I do, there’s so many interesting and new information that just comes pouring though those books.
  7. It’s entertaining. Books can be funny, exciting, scary, thrilling, and all that’s happening is that you’re reading words.
  8. It helps reduce your risk of dementia. Yes, that’s some years away, but it’s always a good reason to read.
  9. Because plenty of times, the book is better than the movie/TV series.
  10. It’s a good workout for the brain!


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.

Summer 2021 TBR #TopTenTuesday

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is:

Books On My Summer 2021 TBR

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I’d like to fill my summer reading list with all kinds of lighthearted fun reads.

Act Your Age, Eve Brown (The Brown Sisters #3)- Talia Hibbert

Arsenic and Adobo – Mia P. Manansala

A Prince on Paper (Reluctant Royals #3) – Alyssa Cole

While We Were Dating (The Wedding Date #6) – Jasmine Guillory

Intercepted – Alexa Martin

Dial A for Aunties – Jesse Q Sutanto

The Happy Ever After Playlist (The Friend Zone #2) – Abby Jimenez

People We Meet on Vacation – Emily Henry

Impostor Syndrome – Kathy Wang


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.