WWW Wednesday

What are you currently reading?

Are You My Mother? A Comic Drama by Alison Bechdel

Having finished Fun Home, I thought I would read this next! So far so good.

Less Than Angels by Barbara Pym

Still reading this. I’ve tended to rush through my Pyms and, now that I have the physical books, I intend to re-read them all. Slowly.

Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado

This is great. It’s easy to read and funny and surprising, and also strange and disconcerting.She writes about sex and the uncanny so well. They fit together like they were meant to be.

Severance: A Novel by Ling Ma

(audio book)

I love Scribd! I am definitely reading more, with it. And yes, I consider listening to audio books reading. In fact, I pay better attention listening to than reading a book. When I read I sometimes skim and skip. Not with audio. I’ve chosen this one as my next listen. I hope it’s something I can stick with.

What did you recently finish reading or couldn’t finish?

Goodbye, Vitamin by Rachel Khong

I loved this one, about a young woman who moves back home after her Dad is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Like Fun Home, it made me think about my late father and the difficult relationship I had with him. I don’t think he found our relationship difficult though, except towards t the end of his life when I refused to see him. It probably puzzled him. Anyway, this should be a separate post.

Fun Home: A Family Tragiccomic by Alison Bechdel

I liked this. I suppose I have a lot of issues of my own when it comes to my father. Although I think I’m dealing with them OK.

On the Come Up by Angie Thomas

I love this! I didn’t think I would as I don’t like rap, but of course it’s about much more than rap, and I think I liked the protagonist, Bri, even more than I did Starr in The Hate U Give.

The Wife by Meg Wolitzer

Meh. This post is about how I feel about the novel and the film.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I keep saying Lotus by Lijia Zhang and I do intend to read it, but I keep getting distracted! I think I’m going to draw up a list.

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WWW Wednesday

What are you currently reading?

On the come upOn the Come Up by Angie Thomas

(audio book)

I really enjoyed The Hate You Give, Angie Thomas’s debut novel, and I’m liking this one too. I’ve never been a fan of rap, but I love the protagonist, Brianna’s rhymes (?): Sorry, I don’t have the vocabulary to discuss rap!

The Wife by Meg Wolitzer

This is going more slowly than I thought it would. I suspect I will enjoy the film (with Glenn Close!) more than the book, which is making me really hate men, haha. I mean, even more than usual.

Fun Home: A Family Tragiccomic by Alison Bechdel

Loving this!

Less Than Angels by Barbara Pym

I am well on my way to owning physical copies of all Pym’s novels, and so I might read them all again. Am due for a re-read anyway.

What did you recently finish reading, or couldn’t finish?

Melmoth by Sarah Perry

(audio book)

Not as good as The Essex Serpent, and some descriptive scenes were a struggle to listen to as I do not do well with violent or lingering death, torture and the like; and I think the ending was too rushed. Nevertheless, I did enjoy most of the story.

What do you think you’ll read next?

Goodbye, Vitamin by Rachel Khong

Lotus by Lijia Zhang

WWW Wednesday

What are you currently reading?

Kitaro by Shigeru Mizuki

This collection of graphic shorts is about a boy (Kitaro) who can see yokai, the umbrella term for Japanese ghosts, ghouls and demons. The creator, Shigeru Mizuki, was famous for his comics about these creatures and the graphic novel Nonnonba describes his friendship with the old woman who worked for his family and was the person who introduced him to yokai in the first place.

I really love that book, and after I’d read it I was keen to read Kitaro and was disappointed that it wasn’t available at the bookstore. Imagine my surprise when someone at my flat for my Christmas party, remarked that I owned the Drawn & Quaterly edition, a collection of stories from the original manga series. I think I got it as a gift (from the same friend who encouraged me to buy Nonnonba) several years ago and forgot all about it! She doesn’t remember either.

Kitaro isn’t exactly disappointing, but I guess I expected more after Nonnonba. I believe the comics were written for a much younger reader than Nonnonba is meant for. Each story sees the boy vanquishing some yokai or other, at times with the help of other yokai. There are funny moments and some of the yokai are striking in their appearance, but, on the whole, it’s all too repetitive and I’m starting to get bored.

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

YA fantasy with an appealing premise but a singularly irritating cast of characters, especially Nancy, the self-consciously-written protagonist. I’m listening to this on Scribd and have just five more chapters to go. This is the first of a series, but I don’t know if I will continue. However, I suspect I may like it better in print because at least I won’t have to listen to the reader (Cynthia Hopkins) putting on these annoying accents for the characters.

A Fourth Form Friendship by Angela Brazil

I’m reading this for a book challenge. Seventy-eight per cent done, thank goodness!

What did you recently finish reading, or didn’t complete?

Uncomfortably Happily by Yeon-Sik Hong  *****

This graphic memoir tells of the two years Yeon-Sik Hong lived in the Korean countryside with his wife, an aspiring picture book author. Hong is frustrated about working as an underpaid comic book artist-for-hire. Moving out of Seoul makes financial sense, and he also hopes the quiet seclusion of the place will help him concentrate and meet his deadlines. The book documents the challenges he and his wife face, with their new home, each other, and their work as creators. So far, my favourite book this year (month!).

The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry *****

I listened to this on Scribd and loved it, especially the main character, Cora Seaborne whom I was not expecting at all. Really, the characters are all so well realised, they are painfully flesh-and-bone. I would like to read the paper-and-ink book soon so I can linger over the story.

The Ensemble by Aja Gabel

Abandoned in the middle of the second chapter. I liked the premise: four friends, who were at music school together, navigating the cruel cutthroat world of classical music. I listened to the audio book so maybe the reader (Rebecca Lowman) just didn’t appeal to me. I shall try to read the paper-and-ink book instead, one of these days.

What do you think you’ll read next?

The Wife by Meg Worlitzer

Lotus by Lijia Zhang

Melmouth by Sarah Perry

And all the graphic novels I own but have not got around to reading.

WWW Wednesday

What are you currently reading?

lotus

Lotus by Lijia Zhang

This was a book that featured on the BBC World Book Club and I listened to the podcast and was really taken by the author’s ideas and attitude. Zhang’s first language is her own Chinese dialect, and she wrote this book in English, which is amazing and makes me wonder if I should attempt to write more in Bahasa Melayu. Hmm …

poppies1Poppies for England by Susan Scarlett (Noel Streatfeild)

I’ve read practically every children’s book written by Streatfeild, but not many of her grown-up books. I’ve just finished another one of hers written under the name Susan Scarlett (see below)and I guess I wanted to prolong the pleasure. This one is a very different type of book than the other though.

coverPonti by Sharlene Teo

Of course I am curious about any book that references pontianak. So far, I feel the author over-describes everything, and the sixteen-year-old narrator sounds far too knowing for her age, but I still want to know what happens next.

fat1Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat by Samin Nosrat

I’m dipping in and out of this book about food and cooking. The Netflix four-part documentary, hosted by the author, is wonderful.

What did you recently finish reading?

CLASS-Sisters-CVF-100Three Daughters of Sze by Tan Kok Seng

I love Tan Kok Seng’s autoboigraphical Son of Singapore and Man of Malaysia and so I was looking forward to this one, especially as it is (supposedly) about sisters. However, I think the reason Tan’s other books are so much better than this one is that they are about his life, which is such an interesting one, and of course the historical details of the setting.

Three Daughters also gives the reader a fascinating glimpse into the past, but this isn’t enough to redeem a story that is tediously mired in stereotypes and cliches.

Also, the title is misleading as it’s the whole Sze family (especially the second generation Mr Sze and his wife) that is the focus rather than than the three sisters.

murderMurder While You Work by Susan Scarlett (Noel Streatfeild)

This is a thriller set in England during the second world war. I didn’t expect to find this book as creepy as I did. Some scenes are vividly disturbing.

What do you think you’ll read next?

The graphic novels I recently purchased:

 

A Chinese Life written by Li Kunwu and Philippe Ôtié and illustrated by Li Kunwu, translated (into English from French) by Edward Gauvin.

Are You My Mother? and Fun Home by Alison Bechdel

Uncomfortably Happily by Yeon-Sik Hong

and

The Wife by Meg Wolitzer — I really want to watch the film, starring Glenn Close.

WWW Wednesday

What are you currently reading?

Www1

A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent by Marie Brennan

I am reading this because the Kinokuniya SFF Bookclub is discussing it on the 25th. I have wanted to read it for some time anyway so this is great motivation. So far, I am enjoying it. Love that, in this book, dragons are as common as cats.

 

What did you recently finish reading?

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The Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo

A young boy tries to deal with the death of his mother; his clueless dad and being bullied at his new school. Then he finds a caged tiger in the woods and meets a girl with issues of her own, and life goes on, but not quite how he planned it would.

LIke DiCamillo’s other books, this made my heart both ache and sing. I would have liked it to continue for a couple more chapters though.

 

What do you think you’ll read next?

 

Legends of the Condor Heroes, Book 1 by Jin Yong and Sweet Bean Paste by Dirian Sukegawa. I have started them both and want to finish them. The former might take a while as it’s very fat and I’m not sure if wuxia (martial arts) novels suit me.