Year in review 2018: Books

Total books read: 43
🎧 Percentage that were audiobooks: (14/43)
🍚 Percentage that were “Asian-American”: (9/43) – that’s a bowl of rice, lol – so, this year I’m distinguishing between works that have an Asian-American/Canadian topic vs Asian-American/Canadian author, the latter being denoted with a rice bowl
💒 Percentage chick-lit: (12/43) – an emoji of a church with hearts because that’s where all chick-lit leads to right?? Yes, classifying the following as chick-lit is part judgement call
💯 Percentage non-fiction: (17/43) – the icon means “100% real yo”
🔎Percentage not “Available Now”: (17/) – the icon meaning I sought out these books and didn’t just come across it while browsing the VPL e-book collection filtering for “Available Now”
🇨🇦 Percentage Can Con (8/43)

Book that “wins” with the most emoji preceding it: 🔎🇨🇦🎧💯🍚Lilly Singh’s How to Be a Bawse: A Guide to Conquering Life
Book that “loses” with fewest emoji preceding it (lol): Christian Humberg and Bernd Perplies’ Star Trek Prometheus – Fire with Fire & Hugh Howey’s Machine Learning

                

🎧Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant’s Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy (Apr 2017) – what a book to start the new year off with, eh? I started this on New Year’s Eve, actually.

💯Susan Peirce Thompson’s Bright Line Eating (Mar 2017) – I found this title at VPL’s ebooks filtered for “Available Now”. I think the name got me a little and I figured, “Why not?” Then it became a matter of finishing a book, my first “diet book” in quite a while. I hoped to put my thoughts together in a post but … while I don’t think I can “ever” set up the four bright lines like fences to keep me in, I think of them as literally bright lines illuminating the ground and I see what is off-limits and can step over. It might be the way diet books are, but the references to the Bright Line/Life community sounded a bit cultish and the testimonials got repetitive in feel such that I breezed through those.

🔎💯Jennifer McGaha’s Flat Broke with Two Goats: A Memoir (Jan 2018) – I went on to OverDrive app to search for Available Now ebooks and noticed some promotion surrounding this book. On April 11, I had stumbled into the April 2-16 Big Library Read, the “first global ebook club”. I was a little surprised and pleased to be able to download the book, but should not have been surprised that plenty of copies were made available during the book club duration. I would not be checking out the discussion events. It’s just funny where “recommendations” end up coming from! It’s a really fresh release and I was skeptical if it was actually a good book. It’s not a proven best-seller or anything. I accidentally glimpsed some reviews that claimed the author is whining and didn’t redeem herself at the end. That kind of set the lens through which I read the book and I wasn’t really sympathetic when she hadn’t completely owned her family’s financial problems – but I can see the sense of betrayal as well. When she left for half a year, I knew that feeling. My conclusion is that she came around, in a quiet way – I feel like accepting the lifestyle, being there and a partner to her husband is proof enough.

🇨🇦💯Jen Agg’s I Hear She’s a Real Bitch (May 2017) – Of course I noticed when this book was published last year but I didn’t really consider reading it. I’ve read a kitchen memoir or two. But then it was readily available so I borrowed it because – you know what – my mum runs a restaurant and I’ve heard plenty about how she has fight so hard to get things done and her associates might call her a bitch behind her back, just to get what she asks for in a traditionally male-dominated industry and with vendors and contacts that are also male-dominated. And she’s been at it for nearly 30 years. In the earlier chapters reading about Agg’s childhood and formative years – only redeemed by being set in Toronto – I wondered, “Why am I reading about this life?!” It got better though and I respect her passion for designing restaurant concepts and interiors and getting it done. Appropriately, her first successful restaurant (Black Hoof) is closing this year.

💯Nathanael Johnson’s Unseen City: The Majesty of Pigeons, the Discreet Charm of Snails & Other Wonders of the Urban Wilderness (2016) – I ended up rating this title 5 stars, a total gem I randomly came across  – thanks, beautiful cover illustration – browsing the VPL ebook collection filtered for “Available Now”. For a few months, I’m a naturalist now. I wish I had the wherewithall to be knowledgeable for the kid and even for my own enjoyment of urban sights.

🎧💯Wednesday Martin’s Primates of Park Avenue (2016) – That title. It sounds so salacious, like Lipstick Jungle or something. It was definitely a different experience consuming this as an audiobook from if I was reading it myself. Hearing it as an audiobook, read by animated Madeleine Maby, I think it seemed more like fiction when read aloud by and non-fiction that seems like fiction was just what I was looking for. It was fun and seemed dishy and the pseudo-anthropological jargon seemed even more satirical read aloud. It was like the Gossip Girl or Crazy Rich Asians set all grown up and with kids. I guffawed at the inclusion of Physique 57 (barre) and SoulCycle (spin) characterizations as if they were mutually exclusive worlds – was it necessary or kind of filler? – because I actually do both!

🔎💯Rudy Francisco’s Helium (Nov 2017) – is poetry fiction or non-fiction? Since it’s self-reflective fodder, I’m going with non-fiction. I purchased this for a friend and as it goes with physical books, it can be the sensation of the book that makes you want it. With its beautiful cover with a slightly rubbery plasticized feel, I also wanted it for myself. I might have lingered over the poems more if I were reading it in hard copy but I just don’t read physical books anymore!

💯Pamela Paul’s My Life with Bob: Flawed Heroine Keeps Book of Books, Plot Ensues (May 2017) – Browsing through VPL’s e-book collection filtered for “Available Now” I noticed this volume for its cute cover and cute title. Why does the author’s name sound so darn familiar? Because I used to religiously tune into her podcast, Inside the New York Times Book Review! Do I want to read about her life even if it’s artfully couched in books? Yes. There was a point in her high school life I wondered why I was reading about her. But her travels after university (Japan) were interesting as was also her relationship with her father, an unlikely reading mentor. And she’s a published author who worked her way up to being an editor at NY Times. (When I was doing some copyediting the day after I finished, I was inspired it should be my next step.) When I think about it, I have a BoB, too – this post and every annual one I’ve kept since 2012! Shortly after finishing this book, I complied my annuals lists links on one page on this blog, BLoB.

🎧💯Lauren Graham’s Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls (and Everything in Between) (2016) – Shortly after starting to listen to this audiobook, I Googled Graham’s educational credentials. Her Lorelai character and she will forever be entwined as I worried irrationally that I was going to be influenced by five hours of Lorelai drivel. Graham is different and it’s obvious if you listen… except I basically blasted through this in a day at work.

🔎🇨🇦💯Craig Davidson’s Precious Cargo: My Year of Driving the Kids on School Bus 3077 (2016) – If my favourite, The Marrow Thieves, wasn’t going to win Canada Readers 2018, I wanted it to be Precious Cargo. Funny enough, but there’s no identifying features of the story being set in Canada. It’s kind of funny how Davidson tumbles into being a school bus driver and the portrayal of his passengers was vivid. At this point, some of these stories twig at me and I wondered if I was fairly (if selfishly) already more sympathetic to it.

🎧💯Caitlyn Jenner’s The Secrets of My Life (Apr 2017) – this year alone, I feel like I’ve borrowed this book a couple of times to read but didn’t get around to it. When browsing VPL e-books filtered for “Available Now”, I can almost count on it being available, if that says something. Finally, I checked out the audio version because there just are times I need that sound. I’d have to admit that it’s because the story is so fascinating and I wanted to get behind the story so much as Jenner would allow. Despite her pain through her life, the tone strikes me as so arrogant – or the writing is so arrogant has Jenner did not read the book on account of her dyslexia. There was an annoying hyperawareness of the media, a perceived unfair downplaying of his relationship with Linda (maybe only because I read her memoir two years ago), and it felt to me he’s pandering to the Kardashians.

🔎💯Pamela Druckerman’s There Are No Grown-ups: A Midlife Coming-of-Age Story (May 2018) – I saw this volume on the display tables when I was on a lunch-hour stroll through an Indigo store. Well, I guess I should read some age-appropriate stuff and “celebrate” that I turned 40 this year with a self-aware  and possibly instructional book! I still don’t really know what Pamela Druckerman is famous for (three parenting books) and at times I can’t remember what was in Pamela Paul’s book versus this one. While Paul was married twice, Druckerman hung on to the wise one she married as she needs interpretation on life matters. Druckerman writes parenting books with an American-in-France perspective and also provides more perspective on fashion and aging in France (and America). Meanwhile, Pamela Paul is very close to her host family in France from her high school days! See why I’d be confused!

💯Rina Mae Acosta & Michele Hutchison’s The Happiest Kids in the World: How Dutch Parents Help Their Kids (and Themselves) by Doing Less (Apr 2017) – from one book with some parenting chapters to a full book about them! While I internalized the main idea pretty quickly, it seemed like the subsequent chapters confirmed the cultural differences in the Netherlands from the early school system that is play-based to the wild-sounding middle/high school streaming system, from the birthing chapter to how so entrenched cycling is in the country and what it does for the kids. Two authors contributed to the book but I hardly kept them straight throughout. It was fun to read the words they presented in Dutch and I could take a stab at guessing what they mean based on my ages-ago German education. I learned that gezellig is the Dutch counterpart to hygge, and I’m convinced to create it.

💯Jancee Dunn’s How Not to Hate Your Husband After Kids (Mar 2017) Who needs to go to therapy if Dunn will summarize her day-long session with a renounced $800/hr couples therapist? Of course, her trajectory has to appear as if things are getting better and I was heartened to read so much of the similar frustration and laments that echo in my head. I don’t think I learned any new tactics – but it helped me feel less alone, like he’s deliberately trying to piss me off but rather it’s a failing of that sex!

💯Margot Lee Shetterly’s Hidden Figures (2016) I would admit that it made me feel smarter to read non-fiction and about mathematicians to round out the year. Of course, I know about this novel because of the movie (hasn’t watched it yet) and part of the success of the novel is that it almost seems like fiction as opposed to a dry account. I marvel at how much detail Shetterly could give to the personal lives and inner thoughts of the women as those wouldn’t be public record like employment records and research output. The book challenged my preconceptions – that no one would like math or be so good at it, not women, not black women. So it was a welcome eye-opener to see into that community at that point in history. Also, I was spouting so many aeronautical facts that the time, further feeling like I’m reading a smart book!

                

💒Alison Bliss’ On the Plus Side (June 2017) – In some fun searching around the VPL’s e-book collection filtered for “Available Now”, I turned up a few titles I wouldn’t normally consider, especially not a romance. Let’s just say that I wondered – as if a premonition – about the positive treatment a larger woman gets in a romance novel. But I’m in the mood for something that’s a fast read to start things off!

💒Kathleen A. Flynn’s The Jane Austen Project (May 2017) – I found this novel while browsing VPL’s e-book collection filtered for “Available Now”, borrowing it at the same time as On the Plus Side above. I wasn’t sure I was going to read it and and that I had only been captivated by the name although the title doesn’t stand out in particular from  other works with titles like The Jane Austen Book Club or Becoming Jane (love love love that movie). But what this novel combines? Wow. What if you could retrieve something lost in history? What if you were a huge fan of Austen and got to live in that time? What really goes into living in Regency England? How do you not mess up history, i.e., how do you prepare to travel back in time and it is a far bigger project than you see treated in Star Trek! What is going to be the danger they face? Similar to Becoming Jane, this book took my breath away (the only way I can describe it) and so I made the time – it was earlier in the year – to blog about it.

🎧Ann Patchett’s Commonwealth (Sept 2016) – I can’t remember how I found this title. Back in 2016, I read her novel, State of Wonder, how I came to read that is cute, too. This novel isquite the family saga of a blended family and at the end of it, I didn’t understand the point of it all. It didn’t help that I wasn’t overly fond of any character.

💒Taylor Jenkins Reid’s Maybe in Another Life (July 2015) – I borrowed this title after I saw it in VPL e-books filtered for “Available Now” and didn’t get started before I had to return it. So I signed it out again, quite sure there was a good chance I’d like it because I liked the 1998 Gwyneth Paltrow movie Sliding Doors.  It was a really good story and while the ending didn’t converge to the same point (guy), it did to an extent and I was equally satisfied with both paths. How much fun is it to write both paths of a novel??

🔎💒Neel Shah & Skye Chatham’s Read Bottom Up (Apr 2015) – Saw this at the library on display and borrowed the physical book only to return it and read it as an e-book because “I don’t read physical books anymore”. It seemed like a good thing to read after A Daughter’s Deadly Deception. Is it a really novel format? Not really. But it is fun to see a relationship from both sides and from the sides of the friends who are good friends, who inject wit, but are generally not overly helpful in my opinion. Elliot and Madeline’s relationship is pretty normal but it’s riveting, carried along by the format, I think. The fun part was how it was written – apparently Shah and Chatham carried out Elliot and Madeline’s story in real life and without consultation with each other and that formed the manuscript!

💒Lucy Holliday’s A Night In With Grace Kelly (Nov 2016) – I’m not much into serious novels at this point am I? I’ve noticed the first volume in this series that stars Audrey Hepburn when I’ve been flipping through VPL’s e-books filtered for “Available Now”. This time, I flipped through so many pages of books,  I saw that the second volume stars Marilyn Monroe and finally I saw the Grace Kelly volume, the last in the trilogy. I don’t know much about Grace Kelly except that she was an actress who married a prince and guess what – an American actress is marrying a prince later this year! I’ll give just this one volume in the trilogy a try, maybe learn something about Grace Kelly whom my mum may have named herself after.

🔎🎧John Irving’s The Cider House Rules (1994) – After so many years, I started talking to a colleague because I only recently learned she loves reading as well. I made some of my quirky recommendations – who knows what other people like read, would read – and she recommended I read some John Irving and that I start with The Cider House Rules. I started with the audiobook which was a daunting 23-hour monster. After renewing it once, I still didn’t finish listening to it so I started reading it from where I left off listening to it. It’s such a fantastical but great story. I was wary about a male novelist’s voice but the intricacy of the story and his satirical tone kept me going until the end.

🔎🇨🇦Cherie Dimaline’s The Marrow Thieves (May 2017) – this was the Canada Reads 2018 contender I wanted to win by came in third and I wasn’t interested in two who were eliminated later. I let one or two holds lapse before requesting it a third time and wondering if I would read it but I did and I’m so glad I did! It could have fallen into the traps of a teen coming of age dystopia novel with some romance but it was good, maybe because the narrator was a male. This novel garnered such acclaim before it had been published a year and it’s well deserved, an exciting and haunting allegory for deep Canadian issues.

🎧💒Emily Giffin’s First Comes Love (2016) my first Giffin novel and in a ranking (one of many), it was up there – I consumed it as an audiobook (natch), and NPY commented it didn’t seem like a book he thought I would read – damn straight, but I gotta give Giffin one try but really just wanted something mindless. I could see things a mile away for Josie’s story. Meredith was a little more ambiguous but satisfying and I wriggled at the descriptions of unfulfilled marriage, etc.

🎧💒Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan’s The Royal We (Apr 2016) saw this at Chapters back in 2016 when this was new – that long ago! To put into context, the wedding of William and Kate was over seven years ago (!!) in 2011 and their story (pair meeting in college, future king of England, etc) inspired this novel. But how utterly timely is it because half a year after this novel was published, rumours started circulating that an American (like in the novel) was dating the other eligible prince! And I’m reading (listening – 17 hours!) to this novel the year the American-British romance culminated in a wedding!

💒Barbara Valentin’s False Start (2014) saw this Available Now – you can see this a mile away (pun) but it’s the marathon training spin I wanted to enjoy – it was cute and for a marathon runner, the kind of proposal you dream of. Why run 26.2 for any other reason?? The 10-month training program was a long time to train for a marathon, but sufficient for all the stuff to happen.

🎧Philippa Gregory’s Three Sisters, Three Queens (2016) is this fiction or non?? Lol like many, thought it would be three points of view and it wasn’t. I was floored by such spite and pride and greed, like the kind of glee she had when Catherine miscarried or had a girl. I was furthered irritated by the reading by Bianca Amato. I could be quite the drinking game for whenever Margaret was “in a fury” over something and had a temper tantrum, or replied “flatly” to something, as the spoiled brat reluctantly consenting to something. Was she redeemed? She was less in a fury and speaking flatly as she got older!

Christian Humberg and Bernd Perplies’ Star Trek Prometheus – Fire with Fire (Nov 2017) I recently told my sister and BIL that if the new Star Trek series (Discovery) were a book, I might be up to date. Or I might read scripts. So, unconsciously, I was interested when I saw this book Available Now. I had no idea if it was old or new (but it seemed on the new end and I assumed would be in the same generation as the movies – WRONG) – it’s fun nonetheless to be in the universe – I haven’t read a Star Treak book in decades and I don’t intend to read the rest (of the trilogy) but I’m not sure at 33% of the way through.

💒Gabrielle Zevin’s Young Jane Young (Aug 2017) just looking through Available Now, it doesn’t feel like you’re getting the best pickings – I checked the synopsis of this novel a couple of times and finally borrowed it on the basis of  the salient online fiasco (I thought there would be more to the blog and shaming). It’s really not a very good book. It doesn’t help I thought the author photo looks really unprofessional in her author photo and it’s like her ninth book in this genre. The Choose Your Own Adventure was cute and I appreciated the shift between the women’s perspectives.

🎧Stephen King’s Cell (2006) – I will only consume Stephen King in audiobook format! It was creepy fun to listen to the story but the creepiest part by far is personal to me: since I was listening to the book, I hadn’t really clued into the main character’s full name being Clay Riddell. And at the very moment, I noticed that exact same name was on a work document. Words collided! I thought I was seeing things and fiction creeped into my life!

🔎Jonathan Tropper’s This Is Where I Leave You (2010) – a colleague was reading this and the cover is attractive in its word art so I gave it a try because it promised to be light and a change of pace. I so enjoyed reading this story – it just moved along really well and all the characters were interesting and so broken.

Hugh Howey’s Machine Learning: New and Collected Stories (2017) on a whim and I guess I feel like I’m reading smarter fiction if it’s sci-fi, I borrowed this book. I read Wool so long ago I don’t remember the story in the least, just that it interested me for a stretch but then I felt like I had to read all the stories. Some of these new short stories will stick to me forever, like that story about the jockey…! It was nice to revisit the Wool/Silo stories to an extent. I liked the series involving the android husband – it was touching. And that last and lengthier wacked out story of the kidnapped porn actress and 9/11 I will never understand!

         

🔎🇨🇦🎧💯🍚Lilly Singh’s How to Be a Bawse: A Guide to Conquering Life (Mar 2017) – I’ve never watched a Lilly Singh video yet I want to read this book after it showed up on a list or two. Of course you notice this book has been released and that she is such a top YouTuber and influencer only came to light to me – oh – in the past two years. Correction: I have seen one video. She had a guest who was some celebrity I wanted to watch everything of… but I can’t remember who now. Plus, she’s Canadian.

🇨🇦💯Jeremy Grimaldi’s A Daughter’s Deadly Deception (Dec 2016) – I saw this book while searching VPL’s Available Now eBooks and well… it’s a Canadian story and the family is Chinese/Vietnamese-Canadian. It looked sensational and part of me felt uneasy about wanting to read it (1) it’s a grisly true murder story and (2) it’s a daughter who does harm to her parents and I’m a daughter who used to have a rocky relationship with my parents. A little too close to home on the very surface, before I’ve even cracked open the book, so to speak.

🔎🎧💒🍚Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere (Sept 2017) I was going to give this novel a pass at first but it just kept showing up on lists. I don’t know if it has to do with listen to it in audiobook and Jennifer Lim’s reading that makes this story seem entirely suited to being adapted for the screen. It’s being adapted by Reese Witherspoon’s production company – Reese who was in Big Little Lies. From all angles, the novel definitely touched on the “ferocious pull of motherhood”: Izzy and Elena’s relationship due to Izzy’s rough early start; the MacCulloughs trying to conceive for so long and adopting a child; Bebe giving up a child and regretting it; the Ryans wanting to conceive a generation ago and going with surrogacy; Mia’s decision to not give up a child; the Wrights who lost a child due to an accident; and Lexi’s decision. The story is just about two families but -oh – how they blew each other up. The title touches on how everyone has a story under the surface and then the big fire was a literal attempt at razing all the bad, for a fresh start. And in a satisfying convergence, in both Mia and Elena’s family, a child runs away and you think they will both get their fresh start.

🔎🇨🇦Ian Hamilton’s The Imam of Tawi-Tawi (Jan 2018) I put my name on the request list as soon as I heard about this title but the request list was already so long! (Thus I just requested the next novel, due out in December, and have been on the list of months for another prequel, due out in January.) In the first part of the book, when it seemed like she was chasing money again, I wondered what I was doing – it is like my tenth Ava Lee novel and I just feel on the hook but like it was a chore. Then the story turned grisly and there are obvious foreshadowing that she will enter politics in some fashion but then it got a bit more interesting. The players were different, the rationale for people’s actions showed how politics play out differently. So, I’ll read the next novel. I almost resisted reading the first chapter, always included at the end of the previous novel, but I couldn’t. It seems to suggest that Ava’s girlfriend, Pang Fai, has been outed but one can’t be sure. Oh, and I also suspect that Pang Fai might be inspired – in success and beauty – by Fan Bingbing.

🔎🍚Peng Shepherd’s The Book of M (2018?) – will it be like The Marrow Thieves (dream disappearing, shadows disappearing) – comparisons with Station Eleven (I don’t really remember it) and it’s the “other” book I wanted to read – in hardcover oh my – finished it in ebook form – turns out it is fantastical and I couldn’t stop reading it, mad at myself – I guess it was fascinating – raw/real conclusion

🔎🇨🇦🍚💯Jackie Kai Ellis’ The Measure of My Powers: A Memoir of Food, Misery, and Paris (Mar 2018) – I first heard of this book for real when a former colleague told me about it. I was iffy because I didn’t think I shared reading interests with her. It wasn’t so much that she was going to read it – she wouldn’t have time for a while – but it was recommended to her. The constant likening of this book to Eat, Pray, Love and H is for Hawk made me blanch a little – I didn’t want to read another surreal food-spirituality-love tome. And what a hokey title. When I told my cousin Alan that I read Jen Agg’s book, he also recommend this book – not because he was going to read it. I finally took it as a serious recommendation and I’m glad for it. While I don’l recall if the marital problems Elizabeth Gilbert had in her first marriage were described at some point, The Measure of My Powers  is very much about the end of her marriage and I felt it. The chasm between her and G is something I feel at times. At other times, G seemed so calculating he reminded me of  Harold, Lena’s (evil) husband in Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club, lol. That was one uncomfortable couple to watch in the movie! If you Google Jackie Kai Ellis, you see she is labeled in addition to business owner and author, “lifestyle expert” and “creative”. The latter I get, her business being a fine bakery and her former life as a graphic designer. But the book wasn’t about details like her fame or even that she had a sister (I didn’t notice until 88% of the way through). It was about her struggle to come to the light and it’s hopeful for many people, I would gather, that she did.

🔎💒🍚Helen Hoang’s The Kiss Quotient (June 2018) – I waited all year for this, lol. Saw it on a list of books earlier in the year but it didn’t come out until June and I was way down the list. Within a couple of chapters, I wanted to put it down – the guy was too much and she was unaware of her beauty in that obvious and annoying romance novel way. Haven’t I read enough of those this year? Because it was starting out (especially from his initial point of view of her) like a romance novel. What will be the conflict? The rather unique one that she has Asperger’s Syndrome and the complications that make her recoil. And what’s his secret going to be? What’s the climax going to be – related to his secret job as an escort and the fallout from that? I feel like I could see it a mile out but the rave reviews/blurbs seem to differ. Do I need to just read it and get over myself?  Should I bail so I have more time to read An Ocean of Minutes and have more time? where the awkward and disastrous situations were not due to her being cute and clumsy. Her second novel, The Bride Test, revisits Stella’s world but is about another character. I think I’ll draw the line with the first novel!

🔎🇨🇦🍚Thea Lim’s An Ocean of Minutes (June 2018) – Feels  hard to get into it especially after The Kiss Quotient. I mused that it was similar (but different) from Book of M and I sure hope it’s not supernatural like Book of M (which had me too thrilled throughout) but then I want it to be exciting too. I am not that enamoured with any character – they seem so AVERAGE throughout most, really grimy, just a feeling of the slogging and dreary world came through, slightly satirical of the bureaucy that was set up and dystopic (you can’t find anyone). Was it a bit of a romance novel? More so than Book of M that was also about lovers searching for each other. But the way it was not a breezy type one, I won’t give it a chick lit icon.

🎧🍚💒🔎Jenny Han’s P.S. I Still Love You (2015) Netflix where I would usually avoid this – recommended on a list for “so you’ve watched CRA what next” – but I had read the book – now have to keep going because who knows (actually) when the next movie comes out. And it’s a trilogy!

🍚🎧Ha Jin’s The Boat Rocker (2016)  I recall this novel being kind of acclaimed but shied away from it anyhow. When I saw it was available, I picked up the audiobook and ended up tuning out of it at times. It just wasn’t a really pleasant story in how vengeful it was, how senseless the “protangonist’s” objective seemed to be, but it was interesting to be listening to this concurrently with reading the following….

🍚🔎Jade Chang’s The Wangs vs. the World (2017) A colleague of mine was reading this and so it came back onto my purview, especially as it was also acclaimed at the time of publication. Funny, we know someone who made her fortune in the same industry as Mr. Wang. Other than that, the humour, as much as I know it’s hyperbole and such, didn’t sit well with me and I slogged through most of the character’s stories. Sania’s story was the most appealing because it wasn’t as desperate unenlightened as the other characters.

On this day..