April 2023 Reading Roundup

This month I read three bestsellers with three very different female protagonists. Discovered Bionic Reading®, The Last of England, and more. I clock in so much time searching and reading that I can’t remember how I first heard of this unique novel. Perhaps from one of you, dear readers. Yes, let’s go with that. Convenience…

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What are your internet habits?

How has the internet changed our brains? There’s been plenty of finger pointing and talk about the adverse effects of social media, but how have we become rewired since the internet sat us down? Are we addicted? Or is that an utterly absurd statement since we need the internet like we need electricity? According to…

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March 2023 Reading Roundup

This month let’s give thanks to our reading brain! I needed a nonfiction fix, so I perused my Kindle library and found Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain by Maryann Wolf. “WE WERE NEVER BORN TO READ. Human beings invented reading only a few thousand years ago. And with…

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The weird thing about being vegan

The weird thing about being vegan is everyone else’s reaction. After three years of veganism in Thailand, it’s been an interesting journey into a subculture that I’d otherwise be pretty ignorant about. Prior to our decision, we considered ourselves fairly balanced and healthy, but afterwards, we see ourselves as lifelong students always expanding our knowledge…

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February 2023 Reading Roundup

Apparently, I’m the only person who didn’t read Station Eleven during the pandemic… Published in 2014, Emily St. John Mandel’s post-pandemic world was ahead of its time. And it was rediscovered during Covid-19 as not only brilliant, but thank-god-ours-isn’t-as-bad-as-this-one. Yeahhh, I don’t think I’d have read it exactly that way. I did become even more…

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January 2023 Reading Roundup

This year I’m going to try something different. Besides books, I’d like to share essays I’ve read from around the web, as well as any novels I stopped reading. When I joined StoryGraph, I found that to be an interesting option, so why not include them as well? The Rook by Australian author, Daniel O’…

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22 things I’m grateful for in 2022

1 // MUSIC This year I returned to bluegrass, a genre that I fell in love with post-undergrad years while living in the American Southwest. It’s been a beautiful reunion, and I happily discovered what my old favorites were up to now: Chris Thile in Punch Brothers and Sara Watkins in I’m With Her. This…

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October 2022 Reading Roundup

A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine is a one-of-a-kind science fiction story that had my intense attention as soon as I started it. It’s possible I needed to be more sober, but I think it’s because the protagonist houses a working memory (that talks back!) of another ambassador inside her mind. Right? What makes…

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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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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. 💃🏽 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 was seen as an Asian Latin American, and not even having a fellow gringo as 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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📚 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: November 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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📚 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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📚 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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📚 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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