#THEREADINGQUEST | TBR

I will be joining The Reading Quest as a Rogue, and take this opportunity to re-start writing my blog again. All the details about #TheReadingQuest can be found in the hostess’ blog: Read at Midnight. And the art works of this reading challenge are created by CW of Read Think Ponder.

The Reading Quest Character Card Creator

I am always a rogue when play RPG games, my favorite is of course World of Warcraft. Rogue “masters of stealth and dexterity, their pile are filled with underrated gems.” As a rogue, I have five main challenges and nine side challenges to complete.

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A Banned Book: In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. “This book was banned for a short time in Savanna, Georgia, after a parent complained about sex, violence, and profanity.”

A Book Cover With a Partially Obscured Face: 4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster, I will be reading the UK hardcover edition, which has hundreds of partially obscured faces on the cover.

A Book With <500 Ratings on Goodreads: Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor. Until this blog post is written, it has 386 ratings on Goodreads.

A Book Published by a Small Press: William – An Englishman by Cicely Hamilton. Published by Persephone Books, a small publisher in UK which only published 117 books so far.

A Book with a One Word Title: You by Caroline Kepnes.

Side quests reads TBD, and I will update once per week or per two weeks on my blog, and upload a TBR video on my YouTube Channel ( The Bookish Land) on Saturday, August 12nd.

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My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry | Book Review

Book review covers

“Do you know where pirates park their cars?”

Elsa is a 7 years old girl who is smarter and more mature at her age, that makes her different. Because of the uniqueness, she does not have friends at school and actually the only friend she has is her grandmother. She is obsessed with superheros and Harry Potter, and explore a magic kingdom called Miamas along with her grandmother.

I ABSOLUTELY loved this book.

First thing first, I loved Granny. She is the most brilliant, positive and humorous person I have ever read in books (met in real life). She has her own rules for the world which can be understand as no rules at all. At first you met her as a lovely and funny character, with the story goes on you discover more about her together with Elsa. From the story you can tell she’s a strong woman, for example she used to be a great doctor, and she cares about others and solving problems in her way.

And Elsa is wonderful as well. The author was so detailed about how iPad generation is different from elder generation. She has her own way to understand the world, and when she’s not, she just Wikipedia it. I loved the connection Elsa had with other people, Granny, mum, dad and others. She tried her best to understand others, and get different qualities from her relatives. She is sensitive because of the divorce of her parents, but she also thoughtful because of that.

I liked the book saying :”It is possible to love your grandmother for years and years without really knowing anything about her.” The book not only told the hidden story behind Granny, but also did a great job about other people. Every character is completed with a fantastic personality.

And last but not least, I love the story telling of the author. I can’t imagine an author can drive my emotion around like Fredrik Backman. There is some un-enjoyable character from the beginning but you end up caring for, or even love. The writing and the translation is just beautiful.

It is not a fast reading book, but you still get to explore the little mysteries behind everybody. I highly highly recommend this book.

April Wrap up, 2017

I read six books in April. Although three of them are Children’s book from A Series of Unfortunate Events, it is still a good reading month for me 😀 I have one five star read, and some three to four stars.

3

Audrey is a girl who has social anxiety. Because of that she cannot go to school, and has to wear sunglasses even when she’s at home. Her brother is very interested in gaming, and has formed a gaming team to compete in a gaming competition. One of the boys from her brother’s team came to Audrey’s house for practice one day, and freaked her out. But of course they begin their story after that.

The whole book was sweet and funny. I think the author did a very good job describing social anxiety disorder. I never experienced such a strong social anxiety, but this book helps me to understand more. And I appreciate Audrey is getting support from her family and friends. And I loved the little stories around side characters, for example, Audrey’s brother’s gaming dream. As a amateur gamer who always watch gaming competition, let me just take a minute to appreciate this book for representing a little bit game players.

However, there are still some things that bugs me. First of all, her family brought a million questions to me, especially the mum. Audrey’s mum was definitely a control freak. At first I am not sure if parents should be come together with their children during a psychological counseling. After some research, I find out they apparently can or should do that. But the mum’s attitude made me think “why do you come at the first place”. Not to mention at the beginning of the book, her mum wanted to throw her brother’s computer out of the window. Therefore, although the author explained why and how things became that way, I don’t think the story later about her mum is reasonable.

Overall it’s a delightful book to read and I really enjoyed listening to it on audio book.

2

This book is a must read for all of us. And I am so sorry to see this book is set in present time.

Full review here: Small Great Things | Meonicorn Review

1

Do I need to introduce this book? I thought every body in this universe have read it!

Simon, the main character (apparently), is gay but have not come out to his family and friends yet. The only person who knows he’s gay is his email pen pal Blue. They go to the same school but never met in person. One day Simon used school’s public computer for his email and forgot to log out. And here we go, the person used the computer after Simon read his email and blackmailing him for that, in order to be friends with a girl who is Simon’s friend.

This book is all around Simon’s high school life, his friends and his families. There are some high school conflicts in the story but not crazy. I adore the way that Simon and Blue communicate through email. That reminds me of having a pen pal (via letters) in high school. (Although it makes me feel old lol) And I heard many people saying this book is so realistic, their high school life was the same as Simon’s. Personally I don’t know if the book is super realistic as so, because I did not go to high school in the US. But I liked their life very much.

And one of the side character Leah, omg I loved her so much. I feel related to her and I can feel her every struggle. I think we all have that point in life, that we feel not confident enough, and our friends are meeting a upgraded version of us. Maybe it’s because of puberty, maybe it’s because of we are trying to become a better person than we already are. So Leah surprised me in this book, and made me loved her even more.

Simon vs (1)

Three Baudelaire children was playing at beach one day, when their neighbor Mr. Poe came and told them their parents died because of fire. Now Mr. Poe helps them dealing with their fortune, and helps them to find relatives to live with. Hence, their lives have became neither delightful nor hopeful.

First book: The bad Beginning.

I have a review of this book here: The Bad Beginning | Meonicorn Review

Second book: The Reptile Room

This is my favorite book so far at this point (I am at book 5). Because from this book, you have the villain became creeper and creeper. I was literarily thrilled reading some of the scenes.

Third book: The Wide Window

I found this book is a little bit dull, although there is actually some action scenes in it. But I found this book’s plot is kind of similar with the first two. So the actions and tensions did not help the story. And in this book, Mr. Peo was not only unhelpful, but also annoying.

May TBR

— I joined the BookTube community with my May TBR! –Yeah! –So scary and nervous and excited at the same time.  lol

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This is a story about a 7 years old girl called Elsa, who is different from other children in her school, and very mature at her age. She does not have any friend at school. Her best friend in her entire life is her grandmother. The granny was 77, and always tells her about some magic kingdom called Miamins. Where you can go to when you are half awake. One day her grandmother passed away, and left letters to Elsa, asked her to say sorry to other people in granny’s life.

Some part of the book is humorous and made me laugh out loud. But there are also some parts really sad and made me cry. So I am looking forward to finish this one this month. And also it’s due in my library within 5 days, so I have to read it.

1

One Man’s Meat is an essay collection by EBWhite. E.B.White was a journalist, and a writer for the magazine New Yorker. He wrote children’s books as well. This book records his daily life at a Maine saltwater farm.

E.B.White is my favorite author of all time, and I actually have read this book in Chinese. But I want to read an original one as well. I don’t plan to finish this book in May, however, I plan to read 1 to 2 essays per day and finish it June.

2

I am currently at book 5 of this series.

These books are about three Baudelaire children, whose parents died in an accident and left a big amount of fortune. Now they have to go and live with their relatives. The reason I am so hurry to finish the series is I want to watch the Netflix show. The first season has content from book 1 to book 4. Therefore, technically, I can watch them right now. However, they did some changes of the books in the show, and I have already been spoiled by watching ep. 1. So if you are like me, and have never read the entire series. Don’t watch the show yet lol.

3

I have heard nothing but good things about this book.

It is about a girl called Starr who lives in an Africa America neighborhood. She attends a fancy suburban prep school. One day her childhood best friend was shoot and died when he was unarmed by a police officer. And the press went crazy after this tragedy event. Some students at Starr’s school are discussing it as well. But they did not know Starr was actually in her childhood best friend’s car by the time he got shoot. I heard this book is informative and mind blowing, and I am looking forward to it.

4

This is a super hyped book. The author of this book is the same author of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. This book is about a girl called Molly, who had 26 times of secret crushes but never told the person she had a crush on. One day her twin sister’s new girlfriend introduced a cute boy into Molly’s life. And in the meantime, she met another boy at her work.

I read Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda last month and absolutely loved that book. This story happened in the same place with Simon’s story, I heard you can get some update about Simon and his friends. Which makes me super exited.

5

The first sentence of this book is “This is how I kill someone”. I have heard about mix things about this book last year, and I can remember nothing. Now because of the first sentense, I just want to go into this book knowing nothing.

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult | Book Review

Copy of The Bad Beginning

Ruth Jefferson, a skillful nurse who has more than twenty years of experiences in labor and delivery. She is also a wonderful mom who is always the role model for her son. But her life changed after a baby died in her hospital. Because the baby’s parents are racism, they accused Ruth, the only African American nurse in the department, as the reason for their son’s death. ——This is how the story start.

It was a tough read/ listen (I listened the audio book). The more I listened to it, the more I thought: “Oh, maybe it’s a historical fiction.” So I went online, and found that the novel was in a present setting. Meaning the story should happen in 2016 (the publish date). After reading the author’s note at the end of the book, which I learnt that she interviewed several people including African American, post racism people and attorney, I finally believe the story could happen today, and this kind of stories are actually still happening, everyday.

And then, I was in astonishment. After that, I got shamed of myself for not knowing this kind of story could happen today. Although I was born and raised far away from the US, I do study and live in American for the past few years, and experienced the culture and changes America had these years.

Back to the book. We have three narrators. Ruth the Nurse, the father of the child, the public defender of Ruth.

Ruth tried her entire life to be a decent person, to let go the uncomfortable situation. She believed study good and work hard is the way to earn respect. But with her patient and her hospital treated her unequal just because of her race, her whole belief system crashed down.

Besides Ruth, we have the father guy, who I disliked and could never understand, who had his bias on races and had engaged himself to some kind of white movement. Also the public defender who believed in equality, and had never thought herself to be inappropriate. But they all learnt something along with the story. But throughout the story development, I saw self-examination.

And I also loved some side character for example Ruth’s sister was so vivid and thoughtful, in her own way of course. And Ruth’s childhood friend was there for her too. Both of them did some inappropriate things to help Ruth but I loved that the book explained how supportive actions look different from different perspective.

With all the things going around the world these days, I think this book is a must and meaningful read for all of us.

Goodreads | Instagram

The bad beginning by Lemony Snicket | Book review

The Bad Beginning (2)

Three Baudelaire children begun their day with a delightful mood, but life started to turn to a unimaginable direction. They are told their parents died in a fire by their neighbor Mr. Poe, and they need to live with their relatives according to their parents’ will. 

This is the only book I have ever read when author keep telling you that you have picked up the wrong book. The story is neither cheerful nor hopeful. While reading it, I found the author is right. Bad things keep happening to the three Baudelaire children when they have no power to control their lives and no money to live by themselves.

The story shows how different the children’s world VS the adults’ world. They see things with different value. When adults have bias on current situation and accept the bad things, it is the children who stand up and looking for a solution. Not to mention some adults are so sinful and willing to do anything to get their own benefits. (And the sinful adults have childhood too! Amazing. )

However, the three Baudelaire children are brave and intelligent, including the infant Sunny. They tired their best to communicate with the ones they thought might helped them. And they did not raise any false hope for others before they had a great solution. How thoughtful are they!

And I need to raise a question: when you were a child, have you got the feeling that no matter what you said or no matte what you did, the adults did not pay attention to your ideas! They were just like :”Oh, okay, interesting child idea!” —— This happened to me all they time when I was a child, and it is exactly what happened to the Baudelaire children. They were so related to me when they were chosen to not heard by adults.

**** Spoiler ****

When I first read it, I don’t understand if Count Olaf planned to marry Violet to get the Baudelaire’s fortune from the beginning, why didn’t he hire a judge, kidnap Sunny and force Violet to marry him in the same day. And then I realized he had to trick the judge as well because no one would want to marry him and his so called daughter.

**** End of Spoiler ****

I did not read this story when I was little, so I don’t know what I would think if I met the three Baudelaire children when I was a child. But I liked the story after all 😀

Book Blog Newbie Tag

Hello book worms!

Last year I re-active my Goodreads account, and wrote my intro as:” I call myself ‘a-return-reader’. That is because I used to read a lot when I was a child, but as time went by, I got super distracted with every other thing, so stopped reading. But by this year (2016), I really want to start reading again because I know I’m gonna enjoy it. ”

After almost one year, I found myself enjoyed reading as I expected, and want to talk about books more and more. So I decided to start this book blog, and here I am 😀

1 – Why did you start this blog?

I found myself want to share my thoughts about reading constantly, but I don’t have friends who reads a lot or has the same reading habit as me. So it is very hard for me to share my experiences and feelings with them. Lucky enough I found book blog and booktube which I read and watch everyday. And I feel this is a good way to have discussions about books.

2- What are some fun and unique things you can bring to book blogging?

I have experienced mixed culture background, and hope that can help me with understanding of books.

3 – What are you most excited for about this new blog?

Sharing and listening 🙂

4 – Why do you love reading?

Is that great we have many other fiction home besides real life?

5 – What book or series got you into reading?

I had read since I was very little and had no memories at all. The books I recall from my childhood are some classics. Like Little Woman, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Grimm’s Fairy Tales, etc.

6 – What questions would you ask your favorite authors?

My favorite author is Echo Chen (三毛 in Chinese). She suicide at her 40s when I was one year old. If I have a chance to speak with her, I would just tell her that:”I know you have no regrets of life.”

7 – What challenges do you think starting a blog will be the hardest to overcome?

We’ll see hahahahaha…..

8 – When did you start reading?

When I can hear my parents reading to me?

9 – Where do you read?

On my couch, on my bed or on my chair. Actually my favorite reading places is when I use the public transportation to commute. Unfortunately I drive now, so I don’t have chance to read when I’m driving. Otherwise it will be so dangerous hahaha. So I am obsessed with audio books.

10 – What kind of books do you like to read?

Mystery is my favorite. But I also like contemporary, classics, historical fiction. And recently I want to try fantasies (I was not aware of I like Fantasies because I didn’t realize Harry Potter is fantasies lol) !

Thanks for all the readers, especially the ones who want to share their thoughts 🙂