WWW Wednesday

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 …

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


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


Top Ten Tuesday: Creepy Reads

As it’s the eve of All Saints Day tomorrow (OK, OK, Halloween), here are ten books that I find super creepy in that quietly disturbing way that’s so much more frightening (to me) than anything bloody and violent.

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.



Hardboiled & Hard Luck by BananaYoshimoto

Manazuru by Hiromi Kawakami

The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty

Dracula by Bram Stoker

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

White is for Witching by Helen Oyeyemi

Ring by Koji Suzuki

Sorrow’s Knot by Erin Bow

WWW Wednesday

What are you currently reading?

I am struggling through Portnoy’s Complaint by Philip Roth. It’s an easy read in terms of style, but Portnoy is a whiny child who irritates me.

I have also begun Legends of the Condor Heroes, Book 1, which Kit got me for my birthday. So far so good.

And yes, I am still not-reading-reading Bird Cloud by Annie Proulx. I should get back to it.

What did you recently finish reading?

www3The Scent of Water by Elizabeth Goudge and The Boy On the Porch by Sharon Creech.

I enjoyed both books. They were the sort that provoked lots of self-reflection, which I like and find valuable and even comforting.

Goudge sheds light on life’s darkest moments, but her way is that of the Cross which I don’t subscribe to. Still, she doesn’t force it down your throat and herwww4 capacity to see good in all is a quality I admire.

Creech’s book was quirky, whimsical, charming and heart warming. I would have preferred an ending that was less sudden though. I can imagine what happens next, but I feel Creech could have provided more satisfaction by writing it.

What do you think you’ll read next?

Often it takes a while to settle on a book that fits my mood. I have a few possibles, including Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty, Her True-True Name, edited by Pamela Modecai, and I Hotel by Karen Tei Yamashita.

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books Most Recently Uploaded To My Kindle

It’s a freebie for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

I’m listing the ten books most recently uploaded to my Kindle. I have read The Exorcist and I was sent Not So Stories for review. As for the rest, just like paper-and-ink books, Kindle editions are acquired simply because you need to have these books (now!), never mind when you’re actually going to read them.

Reflections in a Golden Eye by Carson McCullers

In This House of Brede by Rumer Godden

Counternarratives by John Keene

Edinburgh by Alexander Chee

Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado

Not So Stories edited by David Thomas Moore

Where I’m Reading From by Tim Parks

Forty-One False Starts: Essays on Artists and Writers by Janet Malcolm

An English Murder by Cyril Hare

The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty




Top Ten Tuesday: Books/Authors I’ve Decided I’m No Longer Interested In Reading

The Artsy Reader Girl hosts this meme, and I join in if I think I have something to share.

I recently deleted a whole lot of books from my Kindle because I suspect I’ll never read them. In any case, some of these are there on Project Gutenberg and some on my shelves if I change my mind.

I’ll list the authors’names if there are several books by them that have been removed from my TBR list:

  1. Charlotte Yonge
  2. Edmund Crispin
  3. The Vampyre by John William Polidori
  4. Jose Saramago
  5. Daniel Deronda by George Eliot
  6. Louisa May Alcott (I’d planned to read beyond the March family novels, and I did try, but I’m giving up. Just can’t seem to get on with her non-Little Women books. )
  7. Shirley by Charlotte Bronte
  8. Elizabeth Gaskell
  9. Keigo Higashino (I’ve made two attempts, the second time after I read Seicho Matsumoto, but I fear KH is not for me.)
  10. Kurt Vonnegut

You never know with books though. I might read them all eventually.