What are you currently reading?
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 …
Poppies 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.
Ponti 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.
Salt, 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?
Three 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.
Murder 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
The Wife by Meg Wolitzer — I really want to watch the film, starring Glenn Close.