Aug & Sept 2022 Reading Roundup

Hello again and thank you for allowing me to cheat by combining two months into one. August got away from me with frequent trips to Chiang Mai and starting the new school year. I already wrote about it here. Years ago, I got turned on to micro-memoirs through a short online course. Most folks are…

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July 2022 Reading Roundup

This month I finished two fiction and one non-fiction book. Woohoo! Let’s go! The Night Tiger has all the delicious elements that I enjoy and seek in historical fiction. Written by Malaysian Yangsze Choo, The Night Tiger is set in 1930s Malaysia and is essentially about a missing finger. The story follows a young dressmaker,…

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The point is to keep going (self-help is a journey)

For about a year, I received Mark Mansonโ€™s newsletter. What I liked about him was he seemed to be an independent and well-read thinker. I may not have agreed with it all, but he was interesting enough for me to stick around. But when I read โ€œThe Point Is To Stopโ€, I felt compelled enough…

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June 2022 Reading Roundup

Fact: When I get away from the internet washing machine, I get more reading done. Generally speaking. Although, I have been known to just pass out at nine or look at on my phone before bed. Bad, Lani, bad! Anyway, after reading a Western, I needed something different. In the past, Agatha Christie was my…

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May 2022 Reading Roundup

Do you like Westerns? John Larison’s Whiskey When We’re Dry is a riveting read that had me turning the pages, but I would have enjoyed it more if my waking life wasn’t so stressful! As a result, the story made me feel anxious about what would happen next to Jessilynn Harney. I’d look at my…

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April 2022 Reading Roundup

I loved Project Hail Mary! How can I talk about this without giving anything away? And that ending! I didn’t even know that Andy Weir, who wrote The Martian had written another book. Wait, what? He wrote ANOTHER book between The Martian and Project Hail Mary? And it was voted best sci-fi of the year…

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March 2022 Reading Roundup

How did I manage to read THREE books this month? (Don’t scoff, you ten-books-a-month-readers) Oh, I know! I read fast, page-turners. Here we go! First up is Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing. I had bookmarked Jeremy from Hong Kong’s recommendations, and boy howdy, am I glad. I was continuously gobsmacked over what Shackleton…

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February 2022 Reading Roundup

This month all I had time for was one book, but it was 672 pages, so that counts as two novels, right? In January, I summarized the Red Queen story, so if you’re interested, I’d definitely have a look. But here’s my quick version once again if you don’t want to click over: The series…

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January 2022 Reading Roundup

Happy New Year and Happy Chinese New Year! Year of the Tiger and a year of dropping all of the reading challenges. Maybe when I’m no longer working full-time, I can try them again, but until then, I’ll read with no goals in mind. One Book Lane truly summarizes this series best, “Hunger Games meets…

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What is your favorite quote? and other questions

Like many other #bloganuary participants, I’ve struggled to connect with these daily prompts. But since I joined to connect with other bloggers, I’m getting on the dance floor when I like the song. ๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿฝ What is your favorite quote and why? “The voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but new eyes.” —…

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What do people incorrectly assume about you?

As an Asian American in Asia, I’m mistaken for either the local population or a Chinese tourist. This even happened in Ecuador! I wasย seen as anย Asian Latin American, and not even having a fellow gringo asย a sidekick changed their perceptions. But I think this incident best summarizes my experiences (because I’ve had plenty as an…

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What do you like most about your writing?

In the 6th grade, we took a statewide test that assessed our writing abilities, and I scored high under having a strong opinion. But in college, I received papers back that said “too idiosyncratic”.  Looking back, I feel those two moments define the evolution of my writer’s voice. And I like that. I like my voice.…

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What is something you wish you knew how to do?

I wish I knew how to climb into storybooks and try on different life. Could I be like Nora in The Midnight Library and see what would have happened if I had made different choices. What if I had stayed in archaeology? What if I stayed in Durango, Colorado? What if I had had children?…

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What is a road trip you would love to take?

Australia was never on my radar. After all, I left Hawaii to get away from island life (sounds absurd now, doesn’t it?). My first brush with Australia was through the 1986 hit movie Crocodile Dundee, and while it was entertaining, it didn’t exactly make me want to hop on a plane. No, throughout my childhood…

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What advice would you give to your teenage self?

None. She wouldn’t have listened anyway. Because:a) teenagers always know bestand have all the answersb) words can change lives, but would it have made a difference?and would I have wanted it to?c) the older we get, the more regrets we harbor, so it’s best to let those ships sail out to sead) nowadays, I remind…

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๐Ÿ“š Reading Roundup: December 2021

Did the pandemic change the way we read? You bet it did. Physical, electronic, and audio books sales all increased. And just like everyone else, I read widely, deeply, to escape, and find comfort, too. This became particularly noticeable after I started working full-time. Dark and depressing could no longer hold my interest. [Too close…

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Non-Reading Roundup: Novemberย 2021

It has been known to happen, although, like this month’s solar eclipse, it’s rare. Nothing will hold my attention, but what’s super annoying is I’ve read several books halfway before giving up on them. Even my gal, Agatha Christie, couldn’t satisfy me, and in the past, she was ‘ol reliable. Like people, I want to…

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๐Ÿ“š Reading Roundup: October 2021

How fast is this year flying by? The witch’s broomstick is already in the distance, past Halloween’s moon. This month I read another long book and a children’s story that I read to my third grade class. That counts too, doesn’t it? First up, The Widow Queen by Elzbieta Cherezinska, translated from Polish to English…

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๐Ÿ“š Reading Roundup: September 2021

Another one-book month, but it was over 400 pages! That counts for something, right? After a string of serious books, I needed something different. But like a lot of things, we don’t know what we need until we go looking for it. Somehow I found this list The Best Science Fiction of 2021: The Arthur…

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๐Ÿ“š Reading Roundup: August 2021

A busy month = just one book and a trail of abandoned books. Do you give up on novels? As a child of the 80s, I grew up during the Cold War, which sounds dramatic, but this simply meant that the enemy in films and television were almost always the Russians. I’m not sure if…

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๐Ÿ“š Reading Roundup: July 2021

This month I read Australian, American, and British. Breath by Tim Winton was recommended by my husband who remembers reading it many years ago. Since my 14-year old student, Mark likes surfing he thought it would be a good read. But what he forgot was that the story has some very inappropriate sex descriptions (and…

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๐Ÿ“š Reading Roundup: June 2021

This month I finished four books and share a big announcement. My student, Mark, and I read this together, and boy howdy, am I glad I had a reading buddy because this is a long book. There were times when I wanted to give up because it’s not a conventional novel. It’s not chronological. It’s…

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๐Ÿ“š Reading Roundup: May 2021

Just two books, but updates, and a couple of scams to be aware of are included in this month’s roundup. Books read in May At the recommendation of Jeremy (who at this point should be receiving a commission) I read Shadow and Bone in 2019 and then binge-read almost all of Leigh Bardugo’s books on…

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Has social isolation due to lockdown made us dumber?

According to this study, it has. What I know, as we endure our third lockdown in Thailand, is that cooperation and progress is slow in an internet age of fiber optics. The strengths and weaknesses of cultures feels like itโ€™s been on high-res display during the pandemic because while Thais are comfortable wearing masks, itโ€™s…

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A to Z Bookish Questions

Thanks Rebecca at Rust Belt Girl for this fun idea, who got it from other groovy bloggers. I hope you find the prompts as amusing and thought-provoking as I did. And please share your answers, too! Author Youโ€™ve Read the Most From: Probably Agatha Christie. I started reading her in high school, and sheโ€™s my…

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๐Ÿ“š Reading Roundup: April 2021

Whoa. April is almost over. The year is 2021, the coronavirus is still outwitting governments, and AI has juuust about taken over people’s abilities to think independently. What’s a girl to do? Well, you do what you’ve been doing ever since you were 13 and realized the world was going to do its thing regardless…

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๐Ÿ“š Reading Roundup: March 2021

A groovy month of beautiful books, my StoryGraph, and how to get out of your literary echo chamber. In January’s Reading Roundup, I shared StoryGraph, an alternative to Goodreads that puts your reading into these colorful and interesting graphs and charts. Now that the first quarter has passed, I thought I’d share what mine looks…

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๐Ÿ’ป What’s your work style? โœ’๏ธ

I used to work for a management company as an administrative assistant. There were a bunch of us, underlings, who were assigned to different managers (who were in charge of fancy condos and gated communities). I started off as a temp downstairs, but as often was the case, after head honchos figured out I could…

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๐Ÿ“š Reading Roundup: February 2021

Short month means short books! Ha! I read four books this month. Three were fairly short, under 300 pages while one was over. Two of the books I read with my teenage students, who are studying literature with me online, which means the other two were for my nighttime reading. First up was Out of…

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๐Ÿ“š Reading Roundup: January 2021

Current status: reading obsessed! Since I enjoyed reading about other people’s reading lists from 2020, but reading challenges are a bit too much to commit to, I thought it would be fun to start a monthly reading roundup (let’s see how this goes). I’ve also signed up for The Story Graph which is a Goodreads…

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๐Ÿฅฆ What I eat as a vegan

[or how to eat more fruits and veggies!] It’s actually pretty easy and fun, but I enjoy cooking, being creative, and learning new recipes. Trust me though, you can be a lazy vegan — oh, and I hardly eat salads. For some out-of-character reason, I recorded what I ate for an entire month, early on…

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โœจ New Year, New Beginnings

Anyone else being forced to adapt and change during these times? Days before we closed 2020 and pulled out 2021, our apt manager announced that the pool and gym were closed due to a new wave of COVID. We howled over the lack of logic. Never mind the chances of COVID surviving in a chlorinated…

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