Sunday, August 9, 2020

Book Review: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

Book: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins
Genre: YA dystopian
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

At first I didn't think I'd want to read this one, but then everyone started raving about it, and I thought perhaps I'd need to give it a chance. So I ended up buying it and my daughter devoured it, and needed to discuss it, so then it was my turn!

As everyone probably knows by now, this is the back story of President Snow. It takes place when he is 18 and a senior in high school. The 10th Hunger Games are about to happen and they've decided to add a couple of new twists to the game. First, they are having mentors and they've chosen the top students to mentor the tributes. Of course our guy is chosen to mentor the tribute from District 12, a girl named Lucy Gray Baird. 

They've also decided to add the element of betting on a winning and being able to sponsor your choice. This makes it so many many more people become invested and are watching, which is the whole point of these things. And it was our Snow boy's idea. 

The games look a lot different back then then they do in Katniss's time though, and it's interesting to compare. Still it's very very ruthless, and this book has many extremely violent moments. Wow. 

Anyway, it's interesting to see his struggle with who he should be. I worried I would end up with too much sympathy for him, but it was just the right amount, you know? Like it was there, it was good to see where he came from, what he was dealing with, and yet, because of his choices, I am still not his fan. And I am not sad knowing what happens to him in the end. 

But, in the end there, it was strange how fast he made a choice and flipped. Like it seemed so sudden. Anyone else who's read this feel this way? Even though it was expected, and we were all waiting for it, I was like.. WHOA dude! So quick with that! AHH!!!

It was especially fun to speculate after reading this and learning about all these characters from the past, who was connected to whom. And how everything fits in and becomes full circle. So awesome.

I'm really glad to have decided to read it! It feels like part of the story that we need to know now. Do it if you are still on the fence about it. Do it!

Friday, July 24, 2020

Book Review: Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty

Book: Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty

Genre: Literary fiction
Rating: ★ ★ ★

The book club is in love with this author! My feelings are somewhat neutral. I mean I enjoy her books, but I don't devour them like some do. Not sure why, but there it is!

This latest read was probably my least favorite of the ones I've by her (which are Big Little Lies and What Alice Forgot.) And again, I'm not sure why. Just didn't grab me fully I suppose.

It's about three couples all dealing with life and especially some incident that happened at an impromptu BBQ they all attended two months before the book actually takes place. The incident drives the story, and we bounce from the current day, to the "day of the BBQ." We are strung along forever it seems, dying to know what actually happened and trying to guess the whole way what it is. I didn't guess it. And when all was revealed, I was a little surprised by what caused all the stress.

I won't reveal this incident in case you want read this book, but it did hit home for me since a very similar incident happened in my own family just last year. So given that, it was a bit painful to read, but I'm happy everything.... spoiler.... ended okay. Otherwise I may have felt very different.

Anyway, the characters are all really well written and so true to life. This is the biggest strength of this author I think, such realistic characters. But that being said, I really didn't like any of them! And as you know, not liking the characters goes a long way to how you end up enjoying the book I think! I just see that they all have pretty awesome lives, and yet they complain like crazy! Maybe it means I should take a look at my own awesome life and stop complain, right?

Have you read this one? What did you think?

Monday, July 20, 2020

Kdrama Review: Reply 1988

Drama: Reply 1988 (this link for Netflix watching, though I watched it on Viki since their subtitles are so much better and correct.)
Genre: melodrama
Starring: Park Bo Gum, Hyeri, Ryu Jun Yeol, Go Kyung Pyo, Lee Dong Hwi
Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

It only took me two months! But I'm finally done with this drama and with that, also done with the whole Reply series... a goal since lock down began back in March! WHEW!

This last one centers on five families living on the same street in the middle of Seoul. Several of the kids (4 boys and a girl... of course) are the same age and have grown up together all these years. We join them in 1988 when they are about to enter their senior year in high school.

It's so fun remembering how life was back then. Also seeing how similar (and different too) life was in Seoul compared to here, since I totally remember 1988. (Doesn't seem that long ago really.)

Anyway, these families are all best friends. The parents AND the kids. The drama has no plot, only we the viewers experiencing life with them. School stress, work stress, health stress, romantic stress and etc. It's all total character based, and I love it. So much. As with the other Reply dramas, these characters have become part of my life and it's going to be weird to let them go and move on!

So it's mainly the relationships between friends, siblings, spouses, kids with their parents and etc. I related to so much of it.

There isn't a whole lot of romance in this one... but of course, two of the boys fall in love with the girl, and she is actually pretty clueless. They hold this secret in their heart for years until the both of them start understanding that each other have feelings. And the both of them are so sweet and nice that their tendency is to give up and let the other guy win.. .until their feelings for the girl override that and they want to fight for her. Gah. It's so painful! And yet, they remain friends throughout the whole thing. Of course I am always rooting for the boy who DOESN'T win in the end. Sigh. Always.

One of my favorite parts about this drama was the massive amount of music they used. All the old songs, both Korean and Western, from this era. I loved it so much! There are lots of playlists on Spotify that claim to have found and gathered all these songs, so I found one to follow and listen to now whenever I'm feeling nostalgic. So good.

Let's see if I can find a little trailer: (Nope I can't find a good one... but there's a song from it that highlights the relationship between these friends.)

But this one is my favorite song of the lot.. and these clips show more stuff, like the importance of music, food and family:

Seriously though. All these dramas in this Reply series have been so heart warming and full of life and perfect to watch during this hard time. I've really enjoyed this experience.

Monday, July 13, 2020

Reading Recap June 2020

Family selfie (partial family) in June

I'm still not believing it's July, and now July is actually nearly half over. What the heck.

I did not too bad reading-wise in June! Here's my list!

Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell: A fun graphic novel about the last night these two friends spend working at the pumpkin patch/corn maze

Love and First Sight by Josh Sundquist: What if you fall in love when you are blind, and then get your sight back and you see what your love looks like?

The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider: What if you kill your knee in an accident can no longer be the sporty jock you are used to being? What's next?

Station Eleven by Emily Mandel: Twenty years after a pandemic kills nearly everyone, how are the survivors doing?

Make My Heart Sing by Trish Milburn: Our tall shy Wook falls in love!

Favorites: Station Eleven was really good. And I also totally enjoyed Love and First Sight. Trish's second kpop romance book also made me happy. :)

Goals for July:

  • read this month's book club pick: Truly Madly Guilty
  • keep going on the idol in love books
  • I was approached by a brand new author to read her kpop romance book too, so that's on the list!
  • finish The Toll and see how this scythe series wraps up
Man I better get busy since the month is almost over! 

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Book Review: Rhythm of Love (An Idol in Love 3) by Trish Milburn

Book: Rhythm of Love (An Idol in Love 3) by Trish Milburn
Genre: kpop romance
Rating: ★ ★ ★

This whole series starts in book 1 when a biographer comes to live with the group and write their story. That's all because this particular member of the group, Remi, read her previous books and thought she would be perfect for the job. So everything is thanks to him! When she finishes the book, she has him write an introduction blurb. So when the book actually comes out, she invites to tag along to the signings.

Which is all to say this book opens at one of their signings and all the chaos that ensues because Remi, famous idol, is part of the event! Poor Remi. And the poor manager of the book store who has to deal with it all. She is not a really a fan of kpop and just thinks all the hubbub is crazy. But she thinks this particular dude is pretty nice, for an idol. And he thinks this manager is pretty cute and also oddly strong for such tiny little thing.

He is intrigued. She is intrigued. And from there, they suddenly seem to end up in the same place at the same time a lot. But ah, Remi doesn't want to just follow in the shoes of his two buddies who have already fallen in love. So what's he to do?


It's about now that this group is seeing a pattern. And they have decided to embrace whatever is happening in their lives and make songs and an album featuring finding love. And try to send a message to their fans that this is normal for dudes in their mid-twenties, and that it's okay for them to fall in love. And fans can still be fans, even if their idols are in love with a real life person.

Good luck with that boys! It will be fun to see how this goes down! (And I love that Trish is addressing this real life problem in the kpop fandom.)

So, after having my thoughts last book confirmed regarding who I pictured in the starring role, I tried to think who I would picture as Remi. There are several bookish kpop boys, but the one that came to mind is Jinyoung from Got7. I have yet to confirm with Trish if I was right or not this time around. But even so, this is who I envisioned as Remi!

I have yet to figure out who I would picture as Hajoon from the first book. A cool rapper that much is certain. I'm still pondering...

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Book Review: Make My Heart Sing (An Idol in Love 2) by Trish Milburn

Book: Make My Heart Sing (An Idol in Love 2) by Trish Milburn
Genre: kpop romance
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

As mentioned in the review for the first book, this is a series where each book will feature a different member of this fictional kpop boy group and how that member finds love. Such a fun premise! So in this book 2, we get to know Wook better... described as quiet and shy, tall and lanky, with a killer sweet voice. Just that description put a real life idol instantly into my head. But more on that later.

In the first book a character was briefly introduced, the girl who works at the cafe in the building where the group lives. So I knew she would be featured in later books, and so it was fun that she is the main character right away in this next book! She has her eye on Wook, but she is afraid to show any fangirl-ness because... how embarrassing! Also her boss is very much against it. So when Wook comes to the cafe, she has to act very nonchalant, even though she is freaking out inside. I love this conflict.

But at the same time, Wook has his eye on her. And he loves how she makes him feel like a normal guy.

So of course, somehow they manage to get together. And then have to fight those feelings because they both are afraid of ruining each other's lives, especially seeing how it went down with the romance from the first book.

But they then fight through THOSE feelings and figure out how to make it work. This particular story line features getting away to a lovely home in the country, a setting which I absolutely loved. And now when I go to Korea next time, I need to find an airbnb in the country in a traditional Korean house. Add that to the list!

Anyway, after finishing this book, I tweeted that I'm pretty sure Wook would be my bias if this group were a real group. Trish saw this tweet and asked me if I could guess which real life idol inspired this character, so I told her my guess...and I was right! No wonder I felt like this character would be my bias!

So let me introduce you to Leo (from VIXX), one of my all time favorite kpop boys:

And Leo singing:

So if you ever happen to read this book, you can totally picture Leo as Wook and will be pretty much spot on!

Friday, June 26, 2020

Coronavirus Month THREE: May 19 to June 26, 2020

One day we spent learning how to screen print tshirts and we we made a bunch showing off our kpop love!

I slacked off in my posting every week about our new daily life. That's because there's been nothing much interesting to write. As I mentioned last time, life was seeming to ease back toward normal, and that has continued through the month of June. Sometimes a little too normal. And in so doing, the virus cases are spiking and are actually way worse than when we started in March. So, it's all very confusing and frustrating and who knows what's right and what will happen and how this will all play out.

I'm going to work two days a week now. (My normal was always three days.) So who knows how long that will last and if/when I'll go back to the normal routine there. But the library is opened now, with modified procedures, and everyone wears masks and things all seem to be going smoothly for now.

The husband is still working from home and so far nothing will be changing with that. The company has loved people working from home and so this might be the new normal for him. We still get up very late... and he works later in the evening... and it seems to be a great routine for all!

We have been going out and about more... to the stores, and on errands... always with the mask. One day we even went to a restaurant... eating outside on the sidewalk were no one else was around. It was weird and like a blast from a former life! But other than that, we continue to order take out when restauranting is needed.

The family circle has widened still a bit more too, and we we've gone to a few family events, and hosted one kid who stayed the night as she is moving across the country. Not sure if I'm supposed to feel guilty about that, or... like I said... what's right or wrong in all of this, but so far, everything seems to be okay.

A few weeks ago we added another big event to the year of 2020 in that the civil rights movement has had a resurgence and people all across the country ignored the social distancing/quarantine thing to gather together and protest for the Black Lives Matter movement. This was all sparked by the death of black man in Minneapolis after the police were called by a store clerk thinking he was using a forged check or something. He didn't resist anything, but the policeman still restrained him by kneeling on his neck until he couldn't breathe and died. The whole thing was caught on someone's phone. Chaos ensued all around the world. It was gut wrenching to watch. Since then, many other similar cases have been brought to light and everyone is calling for something to change, and for racism to end once and for all. I still think it will be a long time before we can reach that ideal, but hopefully this is a step in the right direction.

Anyway. And so it goes. In our immediate every day lives, nothing is new. All events are still cancelled and travel  is restricted, so there's nothing to do and no where to go. Online events continue and help us all to feel connected, which is awesome. It remains to be seen what happens next or where we go from here. It will be interesting to see how it all pans out. Mostly, the whole thing just sucks and is making us all crazy.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Kdrama Review: The King: Eternal Monarch

Drama: The King: Eternal Monarch
Genre: fantasy romance
Starring: Lee Min Ho, Kim Go Eun, Woo Do Hwan
Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

This was a much anticipated drama since it's the first one for Lee Min Ho after his return from his military service. Since he's pretty much my favorite, I was part of this anticipation and looked so forward to it!

It seems like many people were let down... maybe they built it up too much, I don't know. But I was not one of them. I loved it. The story, the acting, the intensity, the creativity...and yes, even the craziness and confusion.

The opening scene when LMH appears on screen, in a uniform, on a white horse, with epic majestic music playing... was THE BEST THING EVER!

Anyway. The story is about a two worlds... parallel universes. Our main guy is the king in the one called "The Kingdom of Corea"... a world that divided from our own at some point in time and kept the monarchy rule. The other is our present day familiar "Republic of Korea" where our girl is a cop. The story opens when our king is a kid and his dad is assassinated by his uncle. A mysterious someone saves him (the kid) and leaves behind a strange memento. Our king is driven by the hope to meet this person some day and thank him/her for saving his life.

A key to this story is a magical flute-like instrument that allows travel between the two worlds. Our king, as a young boy, ends up with half of this instrument... and the bad guy... his uncle... ends up with the other half. The uncle is driven by the hope of continuing his quest for taking over the kingdom, which of course, means killing the king.

The story gets very complicated and mind bendy from there, with our characters traveling back and forth, and also having counterparts in both worlds. In other words, all the actors had to play two different roles.... one in each world. How cool is that? But also confusing, yes?

One of the best parts of this drama is the our king's sidekick... his personal guard, played by Woo Do Hwan. He is very stoic, stern and serious as the king's guard. In our world, his counterpart is very funny, child-like and playful. A complete opposite. Seeing this actor play both roles, sometimes in the same scene, was absolute perfection. So good! Our girl also played opposite types of people in both worlds.
Wo Do Hwan's duality was a highlight of this drama!

Anyway, eventually time travel also becomes part of the mix, and you know how confusing time travel stories can be! But despite all the questions and the "what the heck just happened?" moments, I that it wrapped up perfectly and everything made sense (mostly, lol) in the end. It's a very romantic drama with the love story developing quickly this time, which is a bit unusual. These guys don't have time to waste!

All the secondary characters and stories were also great. It made us all want a little longer drama I think, so their stories could be developed even more.

And the music. AH! Epic. I loved it.

Also, the cinematography. Seriously. Beautiful.

So yeah. I loved it all. I'm sad for those that had issues with it, given the highly anticipated buzz this was getting. I'm happy, though, that for me, it lived up to expectations. I'm so glad Lee Min Ho is back and I can't wait to see what he does next!

A very fast trailer:


 And my favorite song from this one:


Monday, June 15, 2020

Book Review: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Book: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
Genre: contemporary/apocalyptic
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Here's one of those books that's been on the to-read list forever it seems. In fact I had both a physical copy and a kindle copy, each not knowing the other one existed. Ha. You know I really wanted to read it!

But it didn't happen until now when the book club voted it as our first read of our 17th year! And in the middle of a pandemic! You'd think we planned it or something.... LOL!

I had heard amazing things about this book, but I have also been scared of it. Some said it was intense and scary and disturbing. So as much as I wanted to read it, I've been hesitant. But what the heck, I just jumped in and you know... ended up really enjoying and in the end, it wasn't hard to stomach at all for me, even if we are in the middle of our own crazy pandemic.

So yeah, this is the story of what happens to a group of people who survive a pandemic. A flu that kills off, what did they say?, like 99% of the world's population. We start with a play in progress and the lead of the play dies right on stage of a heart attack. The little girl in the play witnesses the whole thing. That night, the flu hits their city and the world changes. We end up following the stories of the girl, the actor (who even though he dies in the first couple pages we find out his back story) and the dude who runs up on stage to try and save him. We also follow the stories of the actor's friend and some of his wives. (He had three.)

We bounce around in time from the present day when the plague breaks out... to 20 years in the future to what the survivors are doing. Some of them we follow what happened during those 20 years, but mostly we bounce from present to future and back again.

I really enjoyed the matter-of-fact writing. It was so easy to read and very fast paced. It did get a little intense in parts when the "bad guy" became a factor to survival.  It reminded me so much of The Walking Dead, but without the zombies. You know, where you have to deal with the crazy communities and leaders that had sprung up as a means to survival. And living and eating isn't necessarily the hard part, but staying away from the crazies is more what it's about.

Great story. Great life lessons. Great thoughts on what it means to be a family. I really enjoyed it.

Monday, June 8, 2020

Book Review: The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider

Book: The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider
Genre: YA contemporary
Rating: ★ ★ ★

Our boy is one of those popular quite snotty jock kids who hangs with the quite snotty crowd and thinks it's okay to be shallow like everyone else, except he kinda feels guilty about it deep down inside.

So one day he's in an accident and it ruins his knee and he can no longer play his sport, which causes his friends to no longer see him the same way. And he also no longer sees his friends the same way. And so when school opens for their senior year, everything is different.

And yet it's the beginning of everything.

Also there's a new girl.


Anyway, and so it goes. This kid is trying to figure out his new place in the society of high school and he's intrigued by this new girl, who has some sort of tragedy going on herself.

It's another cute and fun high school romance story. But not as fun and cute as some others that I've loved more. But still. I was invested. The writing is fun and engaging and snappy. It makes it very fast and easy to read.

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Reading Recap May 2020

A May storm rolling through

Reading is picking up around here! Though not sure that will reflect in May's recap. I guess you'll have to see next month if I'm right or not.

What I read this month:

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North: Harry lives a life, dies, and then is born again in the exact same circumstances. This is the tale of what happens during his first 15 lives and it's not very pretty.

Awakening: Starwalker Chronicles Book 1 by Christopher Keeler and Matthew Keeler: Our girl Jenna finds herself mixed up in a rebellion of sorts and learns she is key to the success of this endeavor.

Sing Me a Love Song: An Idol in Love Book 1 by Trish Milburn: Our girl (another Jenna!) comes to live with a kpop group to write their story... and becomes very intrigued by one of the boys in particular.

I would have to say The First Fifteen Lives was my favorite this month just because it was so... crazy!

Goals for June:

  • read Station 11 for book club
  • read more of Trish's idol books
  • read books that have been waiting their turn patiently for years
Summer is typically a bad reading time for me, but since life is weird right now, maybe I'll actually read a lot this summer. It is summer now right? Because time is also weird.

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Book Review: Love and First Sight by Josh Sundquist

Book: Love and First Sight by Josh Sundquist

Genre: YA 
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

This is a story about a dude who is born blind and when the story opens he has just started at a sighted high school after having gone to a blind school for years. He quickly acclimates and makes friends, connecting in particular with one girl. He especially loves the way she describes things and they find many common interests to bond over. He's pretty sure he's falling in love with her.

Then he gets the opportunity to have an operation that might give him sight. He is warned of all the complications and has to decide what he'll do.

And so, he decides to go through with it. It's quite fascinating to see what a person who has never seen, might go through when suddenly being able to see! (The author's note explains that he did a ton of research on this and I think he did a great job describing what it might be like. I felt pretty disoriented and dizzy!)

So it's not long before he notices there's something a little different about this girl he might be in love with... about how she looks. So as you might guess, it's a great lesson on what makes a person beautiful, and also what we base our relationships on. But it does so in a really great non-preachy way, lots of humor mixed in with lots of deep moments.

I really enjoyed it this one! This is the first novel by this guy who I guess (after looking him up) is a really popular motivational speaker. I'm curious about the memoirs his written about his life now. Anyway, hopefully he'll continue with more fun YA novels!

Friday, June 5, 2020

Book Review: Pumpkin Heads by Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks

Book: Pumpkin Heads by Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks
Genre: YA graphic novel
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

A cute story about two high school seniors who have worked for years at a pumpkin patch during the Halloween season. They will be graduating now and going off to college, so they know this will be their last night working. Our girl is determined to get our guy to finally confess to the "fudge girl" he has crushed on all these years, but never talked to.

So they end up trying to track her down the whole evening, but she keeps moving locations. In the meantime, they sample a lot of food, run into their favorite co-workers, and generally reminisce about all their adventures over the years.

And by the end of the evening, they realize something that they totally didn't expect when their shift started!

Awesome! I'm not one to pick up a graphic novel on purpose, but whenever I do, I'm always happy I did.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Kdrama Review: Clean With Passion for Now

Drama: Clean With Passion for Now
Genre: Romantic comedy
Starring: Yoon Kyun Sang, Kim Yoo Jung, Song Jae Rim
Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

The first few moments (well, and many moments throughout) of this ones were very timely! Our dude has massive OCD about germs and so we are seeing the world through his eyes as everyone around him sneezes, wipes their hands all over surfaces, and then everyone else touches those places. He is thinking about all the germs in the world and how everyone is so gross to spread them all over the place. Living right now everyone, not just the germ OCD people, is on high germ alert... it was pretty "funny". 

So he is the CEO of a cleaning company, since that's what he knows. And he hires young pretty people to his cleaning fairies. He's a good guy, but just very very uptight and all. 

Our girl runs into him, literally, one day when she is helping out with her dad's cleaning business. And she dumps garbage all over his car. He is appalled! And demands she pay him for damages. It doesn't help that this girl is very rumpled and "unclean" to him. He is so disgusted by her.

But their paths to continue to cross and it turns out he is not so repulsed by her as he originally thought. Eventually, she ends up with a job in his company and then they really end up seeing lots of each other. Many funny things happen that gross him out and yet...he is also attracted. It's awesome.

As is the case for all dramas, there are lovely back stories that explains why our characters are the way they are and make them even more sympathetic. Soon we are rooting for them all to find happy endings and figure out all their issues.

It's a really cute fun drama and another perfect one for this crazy time. It's silly at times and over-the-top acted, but still, I really had fun watching it. I've never seen this actor dude before, but he was hilarious and really got into the over the topness!

Also, the romance is adorable. And once they get going... wow!! Pretty sure this one has the longest kissing scene I've ever seen in a drama!

And of course there's a love triangle. The dude that lives in the families rooftop apartment has a big part to play in this story too! 

Here's a cute little trailer:

And the song I enjoyed throughout the show, with cute clips:

Monday, June 1, 2020

Book Review: Sing Me a Love Song by Trish Milburn

Book: Sing Me a Love Song (An Idol in Love Book 1) by Trish Milburn
Genre: romance
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Trish and I fangirl together over kpop nearly daily over on Twitter. Ah, the fun we have! When I realized (quite awhile back) that she's a prolific author and has been immersed in writing this kpop romance series for the past year, I was intrigued and interested. I've been meaning to check it out all this time, so I am happy to have finally jumped in with this book one!

I've read quite a few fun little books based in the kpop fandom and I must say that so far this is my favorite. And I am now committed to reading the rest of the series! Because I need to know what happens to everyone!

This particular book is the love story between Hajoon from the kpop group SBG and their recently hired biographer. In a very unprecedented move, the company hires this girl to come in and actually live with the group in order to get to know them, interview them, take notes and write a true and sincere book about their crazy lives. What the heck! LIVE WITH THEM? Yes!!!

And so our girl, Jenna, comes with the idea she is going to be so professional and just do the job as she has done with previous gigs. But... these guys... (and the one in particular...) are hard to ignore. And she comes to love them all like the family she's never had.  And despite both of their better judgement, she and Hajoon truly fall in love.

Which, as you may or may not know, is quite forbidden in the kpop world! And so how to deal?

What I loved about this story is how real it seemed. I mean, it felt like how their lives are portrayed might really be how it is. The stuff they go through, their relationships with their families, the secrets they keep, the way they have to bow down to their managers and the company, the blood sweat and tears they put in to their work. It's intense. And frustrating.

Anyway, I totally enjoyed it and, just like Jenna, fell in love with all the characters. Lately I've been learning a ton of new kpop groups, the list is quite endless, and now I've added yet another one! Even if they are fictional!

The rest of the series highlights all the different members of this group and how they all manage to find love, which is awesome, since in the real kpop world, I know this is a rarity. (Although it does happen for a few lucky ones! Way to go Chen, Sungmin and Taeyang!) And now I've gotta keep reading them to see how it all goes down with the other boys. Awesome job Trish for sucking me in!

(And once I am caught up with the kpop boys, I just might have to check out all the cowboys she's written about!)

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Book Review: Awakening by Christopher Keeler and Matthew Keeler

Book: Awakening by Christopher Keeler and Matthew Keeler
Genre: YA urban fantasy
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Years ago, (has it really been years already?) I was lucky enough to read this book as a sort of beta-reader for Matt (Matt-from-Australia as he is known at our house since we have a lot of Matts in our lives) and his brother Chris, when I first discovered he was writing a book. At the time I knew him as a fellow kpop fan and when I learned he was also an aspiring author I was all over that! It's been fun to watch as he's made his writing dreams come true all the way to publishing this real live book!

In order to properly review it I have just finished a re-read...because my memory is crap these days and I needed to be reminded about pretty much everything that happened in this story!

And... this story is about our girl Jenna who is a typical ordinary awkward teen who is struggling with self esteem and worried about things like the upcoming dance and friends and boys and working for the crazy cat lady next door. But things change when she is given a message to go meet a mysterious someone who has something to give her.

She enlists the help of her friends and together they go face whatever is going to happen and from then on they are mixed up something big and crazy and dangerous. At first it's just a series of strange occurrences, mysterious objects, weird feelings and visions and scary people appearing out of nowhere. But it quickly morphs into a sort of revolution between powerful entities... some who have bad intentions for humanity and some who have rebelled to fight against that. It appears that Jenna, although she doesn't remember, is a key element in making this rebellion succeed.

It's an intense story with lots of crazy things going on constantly! Which escalates to a final battle filled with both guns and magic!

It's one of those cool stories were the ordinary kids find an inner power they had no idea they had and become the strong heroes. It's awesome.

And, if you know me, you will know that I especially enjoyed the romance part of this story. Jenna is drawn to a mysterious stranger who at first fleets in and out of the story, never really sticking around.  When the two finally meet, the intensity is "out of this world" as you might say. I wished for more between them, more scenes and connection, but alas, they never really had much time because there was a world to save!

Another one of my favorite things about this book is how Matt and Chris have included so so many songs as a sort of musical background to everything that's going on. I know many authors write with music, but rarely is that music actually a part of the book itself. Since the reason I know Matt is because of our common passion for music, I felt the need to mark every time a song is mentioned with the intention to list them! And make a playlist! And look them up and add new music to my life!

So here's that playlist on Spotify! Check it out if you are into all sorts of music from classical to pop, country to movie scores, old and new... and yes Korean! So much fun!

This is book one in a series called Starwalker Chronicles. I look forward to what Jenna and her friends will be up to next! And also, congratulations to Matt and Chris for making this book happen!

Monday, May 18, 2020

Coronavirus Week Eight and Nine: May 4 to May 17, 2020

The farm is a great place to escape reality

I didn't report anything for week 8 since life is basically unchanged week to week for the most part. The routine is pretty set these days!

However, this past week, week 9, I could feel a shift... a little step towards back to normal. Even though I'm pretty sure nothing will be normal again, but you know.. .there were moments that felt like the old life.

I went to work again on Monday... the new routine. Work on Mondays! And then last week I went straight from there to the store to pick up the groceries...still not going in. Later that evening I went out walking with a friend and we visited... outside with social distancing observed... a couple of people. It felt so... NORMAL!

We saw several times this past week Kid 1 who lives a few miles away. He came down a few times since we were trying to help them get their trailer functioning so they could take out for the weekend. We were unsuccessful, but in the process we saw them a lot. They were diligent mask wearers and say they are totally used them now.

On Saturday we drove up to the farm in Idaho and spent the day walking around, breathing the air, visiting the grandparents at the cemetery and etc. We did stop at a Subway during the day, and went in with our masks on which prompted the local people give us strange looks. I think they, living out in the country, feel like this virus thing is not their issue. I don't know. It was weird. We took our sandwiches back to the farm to eat them in peace. LOL.

Also, we had an online family game night on Friday so that was also fun and quite diverting. We hope to do that again soon. We have played some games before, but this time it was using zoom, so we could see faces.

Anyway. There were a few people in our lives this past week other than the three faces living at this house. While not "normal", it started to feel like a step toward it. Now whether or not you think that's a good thing or bad, is another discussion!

This week we have a hike planned, and a couple of other online events (book club again and a kpop party) and so there are things to look forward to!

I can't believe it's almost June. We've been doing this for over two months. Two months ago this very today was Earthquake Day. Wow. It's crazy. And I still can't believe this is our life now.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Kdrama Review: Kingdom (Seasons 1 and 2)

Drama: Kingdom (Seasons 1 and 2) (Netflix)
Genre: Historical horror fantasy thriller
Starring: Ju Ji Hoon, Jeon Seok Ho, Bae Doo Na
Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤

People have been raving about this for like a year. The first season (6 episodes) came out last year, and then recently 6 more episodes in a Season 2. (Netflix is having a great time messing with the kdrama system and breaking things into "seasons" which is really annoying.) I didn't have much desire to watch this one despite the huge amount of buzz it was getting. But when the stay at home thing started, I thought it would be a fun one to check out.

We started it out as a family watch, but that didn't last long. It was not a good one for the anxiety of a quarantine after all. So I put it on hold and then have finished it on my own.

So this one is a zombie show... set in the historical time period of the Josen Dynasty in Korea. So they are running around killing zombies in their beautiful long silk robes. So crazy. (Well, the peasants are a little more practically dressed, but still.)

The king is sick and died, but his evil subordinates have found out about a plant that can revive a person from the dead. So they use this on him. But there's a drawback... it turns them into a zombie! So now they are keeping this a secret from the people, just telling everyone he is sick. Alive, but sick. And meanwhile they have him tied up so he won't kill them all, and they feed him damsels.

Well, the infection gets loose and pretty soon we have a full on plague, with many many people turning. Our heroic prince goes out and about to try and find a solution to this problem and ends up mixed up in the whole gruesome fight. With the help of a few other heroic others, they try to save people and try to kill all the zombies. It's pretty impossible.

Meanwhile, we are getting word of even more corruption at the palace thanks to the wicked evil queen. Sheesh, she is a trip.

Anyway. I was frustrated with the first half because it was mostly all action and fighting and slashing and killing and blood, and not so much about character development. That improved in the second half and I was finally feeling invested in our characters and genuinely worried about them. Things got very crazy that second half and the whole mess ended up BACK at the palace.

Well, and so I compared this one a lot to The Walking Dead in my head. It was just as violent and gruesome as that show, maybe even more so. But these zombies RUN... they the fast kind! It's very hard to get away from a RUNNING zombie! Anyway, so much blood and guts in this show! So much! It's exhausting!

But if you are into that kind of thing and enjoy a massive production (I can't even imagine what goes into making something of this scale) then you'll enjoy this one! So many people have loved it, but for me it was just okay. Not one of my favorite dramas by far.

However, the freaking second season also ends in a cliffhanger, so now when more episodes are released, I will have to watch! I need to know what happens next of course!

Here is the trailer for the first season:

Let me know if you watch it! I'd love to know what you think! This one is sort of more "main stream Netflix" so maybe you might be more inclined to check it out? Especially if you are a zombie fan.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Book Review: The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North

Book: The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North
Genre: Historical scifi/fantasy
Rating: ★ ★ ★ 

I knew absolutely nothing about this book going in. It was voted as our book club book this month and I hadn't heard anything about it at all. I actually thought it was a YA comedy of sorts! LOL!

I couldn't have been more wrong!

It reminded me a lot of Life After Life by Kate Atkinson if you are familiar with that one. Our main character, Harry, is born, lives a life and dies, only to be born again exactly as he was before. In this book, he takes us on a detailed journey of his different lives, not in any order, so that's a bit confusing, but we are to understand the process and struggle he goes through.

The circumstances of his lives are all different depending on how Harry approaches things... or the different scenarios he finds himself in. After awhile he gets good at manipulating things for his benefit, but he still doesn't feel it necessary to change history at all. In fact this is what gets him in a trouble the most.

He is born in 1920 (I think... or 1919?) so he lives through many historical events. If his life is "normal" he always gets sick and dies an old  man in the 80s or 90s. One time he was a little more healthy and lasted into the 2000s.

He uses his lives to learn all sorts of things, and experiences nearly every career, travels everywhere, learns all the languages and etc. In one life he finally meets up with others like him and they have a sort of club. The club learns that someone down the line is trying to change history to the point that the world is destroyed.

So now Harry has the mission to stop this from happening, and it's not easy.

It's all actually quite fascinating and crazy and confusing and messes with your brain in a crazy time travelling sort of way. And makes you think what you would do if you had endless lives. And could actually remember everything from all the previously lives.

The book is quite violent in parts (so much torture! WHY???) and there's murder and mayhem and war and some pretty awful people. Harry is sometimes awful himself and sometimes nice, depending on the life he's chosen that time around.

This whole book is like his memoir reflecting on all he's done and if he's made a difference at all. It's quite stream of conscious in parts but I found that if I didn't stress about connecting the dots, they all connected eventually on their own.

In the end, I really enjoyed it a lot! What a crazy ride!

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Kdrama Review: Meow The Secret Boy

Drama: Meow The Secret Boy
Genre: rom com fantasy
Starring: Kim Myung Soo, Shin Ye Un, Seo Ji Hoon, Kang Hoon
Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

Another perfect fluff (literally) drama for these hard times. LOL.

So, our guy is a cat. But he can turn into a human when he's near our girl. So he does. And he lives with her. As both cat and human. Meanwhile, the guy who owns the cafe across the street who once liked her but rejected her decides he likes her again. But now has to compete with the cat.

But dang this is a cute cat!

So how long does it take our girl figure out the guy and the cat are the same? Um... awhile. She thinks he is the landlord's son, who she expects to be also living there. So he, the cat, just lets her believe that.

It's a very simple story, with no "bad guys." I like it when we don't have a terrible antagonist to worry about you know. I mean there is one dude who is... weird and scary. A little.

It does have the theme of abandonment, so even in it's simplicity and fluffiness, it's still giving a message and making us think. I also love that.

Mostly this whole drama I was worried about how they could end it happily ever after. Which I knew had to happen given the nature of the thing. And yes, I was left a bit unsatisfied with their solution to this. But it was okay.

Anyway, that's not why I watched it... I watched it for the cuteness. Of both the story and the characters (and actors.) Our kitty is played by Kim Myungsoo also known as L from the band Infinite. He's adorable.

So, we had a blast watching this one and giggled a lot! So much fun!

Here's a quick little trailer:

And this beautiful song from the drama song by our very own Kihyun from Monsta X. YES!

Monday, May 4, 2020

April 2020 Reading Recap

Easter Eggs

So what happened to being quarantined to just read and read and read? Oh, right. Kdramas. They pull harder than books sometimes, a lot, these days. Sigh. But still I read some stuff.

Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman: The second book in the Scythe series were we learn more about the Thunderhead, and we follow the further adventures of our two heroes and hope they can figure out how to save the world from corruption.

I Love You So Mochi by Sarah Kuhn: A girl travels to Japan to meet her grandparents and also hopes to figure out what she wants to do with her life.

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi: The start of a series in which we are introduced to this world where magic has been taken away and is a bad thing, and our characters are trying to bring it back.

These three books are so different from each other it's very hard to compare and contrast and choose a favorite. I guess Thunderhead kept me on my toes the most and made me shudder in shock.

Goals for May:

  • finish Matt's book:  Awakening
  • finish The 15 Lives of Harry August for book club
  • read Island of the Sea Women for Asian Book Club
  • probably that's all I'll get to, but I want to read some fluff too

What are you all reading?

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Coronavirus Week Seven: April 27 to May 3, 2020

We started and finished a puzzle this week. I didn't help with even one piece!

And just like that it's May. Some people are saying March was forever long, and April flew by. I think I agree. Amazing how fast these stay at home days are going.

This week I would say three big things happened:

We finally went out of the house one day to pick up groceries, grab a sandwich from Subway and then take it to the canyon park to sit on the grass and eat it. So weird when something so simple becomes and event. But yeah. The first time we were out in way over a week... and the only we we got out this week. (The husband gets out every day somehow... working on his shed project at the duplex we own... so I'm not counting him in this!)

Also, we had an visitor this week! My sister dropped off something she borrowed a long time ago and stayed and talked to us from the driveway for like an hour. That was nice!

(I forgot to mention that the farther away kid visited us last week. That was nice too! We hadn't seen them since Earthquake Day. They did the backyard visiting like the closer kid does every few days. So glad we have a nice big backyard for social distancing visits!)

The third thing is that our state went from red to orange meaning, some restrictions are going to lessen up. For me, this means the library is going to open again by appointment only, so they can restrict the amount of people in the building and encourage people to get in and out. So they are letting me go back to work... gradually. I will go tomorrow just to enter the bills and then play it from ear from there. I don't have to work with the public and hardly any staff either, so I'm not worried about anything. But still probably just go in once a week for a bit until we assess thing further. Everyone has to wear a mask, and so I ordered some basic little ones from Amazon that I hope will be more comfortable and breathable than that homemade bandanna one I wore to Costco the other week. That was so miserable! Anyway, I guess we'll see. Wearing masks feels so weird to me though. Definitely one Asian cultural thing that I really don't love! LOL! Makes me feel like a thug or something. Also, makes you realize how important peoples faces are while communicating too.

But I think this is our new normal, and as things open back up, masks are going to be required. So... deal with it I guess!

Anyway, getting back to "normal" is going to feel as strange as stopping life was before. I've gotten quite used to our strange routine and wow, hopefully I can actually get up tomorrow!

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Kdrama Review: Reply1994

Drama: Reply 1994 (on Netflix)

Genre: Romantic comedy, found family saga
Starring: Go Ara, Jung Woo, Yoo Yeon Seok, Son Ho Joon, Baro
Rating:  ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

This is the second in the Reply series. Though these dramas aren't really connected, so it's not quite correct to call them a series. The characters are completely separate, though it was a blast when the characters from Reply 1997 (the one I previously watched) and this one crossed paths! I thought I would dying laughing!

This one centers around a boarding house for students in the middle of Seoul. It starts out in 1994, but goes through 2002, so we get to see several Korean historical things happen, as well as much technological development. (Beepers/pagers are a huge thing in this drama but by the time it ends, everyone has cell phones!)

The boarding house is run by the mom and dad... along with their daughter and sort of adopted son. There is three other boys who live there, and one other girl. And then the cousin of one of the boys who hangs out and sleeps over often.

The drama is basically about their lives as they grow up from freshman college kids, to adults, getting married and having careers. It's all about the character development of these characters and we as viewers become totally immersed in their lives and invested in having them succeed. I feel like I've just acquired a while pile of friends that feel totally real to me. It's awesome how that works.

Some things that you'll learn about while watching this drama:

  • the rise and fall of Seo Taeji and Boys (the group that started the kpop craze)
  • the Asian Financial Crisis in 1997
  • the collapse of the Sampoong Department Store in 1995
  • progress of cell phones
  • Korean baseball and basketball history
  • Korea in the World Cup game in 2002

Anyway. I found that fun. 

But mostly I just enjoyed the characters and their interactions and their love for each other, and all their craziness and idiosyncrasies. So good.

There were bits that made me crazy though. But... oh, well.

And I must say that I was heart broken over the second male lead syndrome in this one. Similar to Reply 1997, the characters are together in the present day (2013) celebrating a housewarming for one of the couples. They are watching the wedding video of that couple (which takes place in 2002) but we don't know who the girl ended up marrying until the final episode. I pretty much know who it would be, but I was rooting for the other guy like crazy. I think it's probably because his personality fits my own I think the guy that gets the girl would drive me so crazy... so putting myself into the drama (as we always do) I really fell for the other guy. Sigh. 

And I hear the last Reply drama (1988) is even worse! I'm going to have to take a Reply break and watch a few other things first I think.

 I can't find an English subbed trailer, but here's the main song sung by most of the main guys! I had no idea they sang this song! The one guy who I knew was an idol (Baro) isn't even in this! LOL! His group sings a different song for the drama I guess. Anyway, I loved that I found this video:

I looked up the B1A4 song and have to share it too. Baro, who was in the drama, is the rapper in the baseball cap. Gah, he was so adorable in this drama!

And here's Seo Taeji and Boys with the song from this drama. The guys we have to thank for kpop becoming a thing!

Monday, April 27, 2020

Kdrama Review: I'll Go To You When the Weather is Nice

Drama: I'll Go To You When the Weather is Nice (or When The Weather is Fine)
Genre: melodrama
Starring: Park Min Young, Seo Kang Joon, Lee Jae Wook
Rating:  ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

I'm kind of scared to review this one because I loved it too much and won't do it justice. Pretty sure I won't find the words to describe what this drama is like.

Some words that come to mind: quiet, calm, soothing, simple, romantic, beautiful, and very very warm-hearted.

That's not to say it didn't have some disturbing moments. Because it did. Some very rough episodes. And yet, it still maintained that overlying feel of calm and soothing-ness.

It's about a girl who returns one winter to the small town she lived in for awhile during high school to live with her aunt. She is immediately attracted to the guy who she sort of knew in high school who now runs the tiny quaint bookstore. He remembers her instantly because he has liked her from the beginning.

They "talk"... that is to say, they communicate and bond with very little talking, but with all the glances and looks and actions that speak louder than words. So much acting in this drama without dialogue! I love it! She ends up working for him in the store. She joins the eclectic book club that meets there once a week made up of people of all ages from the town. And she falls for him, because who wouldn't? He's quiet, thoughtful, bookish, generous, compassionate, beautiful and... all the good things.

Except for the fact that now and then he runs from his demons by hiding out in a cabin he has in the mountains.

Yes, he has a back story. It's sad and based mostly on loneliness. Though he ended up with a beautiful life filled with love. And is actually extremely stable and steadfast thanks to that.

And yes, she has a back story. And it's mostly about what happened with her mom, her aunt, and her dad. It's tragic and disturbing and hard to watch.

It's quite the serious and slow paced drama. A beautiful slow burn romance. And so many funny parts too thanks to the awkwardness of our main dude and also many of the side characters.  They are all so cute. His friend has a love story blossom in this drama too that I just loved. And his sister, is an absolute joy, so feisty and spunky!

The title is very symbolic as this drama is bottom line about finding warmth in a cold world. There is a line at one point toward the end that goes something like... your hand is cold, and mind is cold, but when they touch, we both become warm. And one time when our girl is so sad and hugging our guy, she says "It must be nice to be be so warm all the time." Gah!! But yes, the underlying theme...warmth.
Our characters having too much fun behind the scenes!

The music is a beautiful acoustic background... usually one line of a cello, or guitar or piano. Simple and beautiful. I want to find it so bad, but am only succeeding in find the OSTs ( singing bits.) Anyway. Such pretty quiet music to go with our pretty quiet characters!

Another favorite bit of this drama is that it ends with us being privy to his private blog posts that he writes every day. And we get to see what he's REALLY thinking, since he has a hard time expressing himself during the actual events of the drama. It's the best!

Because of the slow quiet nature of this drama, some might find it boring. But during these hard days (we actually started this drama on Earthquake Day, because we needed soothing so bad!) it was just the thing for me. I looked forward to it every week so much! I'm really going to miss it now that it's over! Sigh.  It'll definitely be one of my favorites of this year. Maybe I'll just start over and watch it all again...

Here's a tiny trailer:

And a song with the clips:

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Coronavirus Week Six: April 20 to 26, 2020

A great visual for pretty much what every day is like around here.

Well. It's kinda crazy that for the first two weeks of this, so much was happening. And now. There is absolutely nothing to report.

I haven't been anywhere since the walk we took last week on Sunday. We didn't do groceries this week since we got all stocked up last week. (We did get take out a couple of times though.)  I have not left the house for a week. Not sure a walk out and about will happen today either. We do get some sunshine (if it happens) on our deck now and then. But it's actually been cold many days this week, which is frustrating.

So what have I done? Good question, yeah?

We hosted an online kpop party on Friday which was quite successful and very fun. Today we were supposed to be going to LA for a concert for one of our very most favorite bands... ATEEZ, so tonight we are hosting another watch party to pretend like we are there and seeing them live. It's not going to work, and it's going to be sad, but at least it will be a fun sort of sad.

Anyway, I wish I'd figured out how to do watch parties sooner. It worked well and we'll probably do more.

I finished a book this week. And started another. Yesterday was the readathon that I used to live for, but did I read one page yesterday? Nope, not one.

It's weird because the days fly by so fast and I feel like I truly get nothing done on any of the projects I could work on. Watch the quarantine end one day and I'll be like... wait... I WASN'T READY!

We filmed and edited more for the channel this week. We have found a sweet Filipino boy band to love now. They are getting a lot of attention and are adorable, so we have been hyping them up a bit and having fun getting interaction with their fandom.

SB19.... look them up!

And as always, the drama watching every night. One ended this week. Which means we might start another new one this week.

Toto finished schooling stuff, so she has been cleaning and organizing all the stuff in her room. That's been quite the project too. We have big bag for the thrift store. Can things be dropped off there these days? I don't even know.

I know a lot of states have extended the stay at home thing through May, but I haven't heard yet what's happening here. I have heard nothing about the library opening up again, with the possibility of me going back to work. I will be surprised if that happens and expect it to be until the end of May too. Hopefully we'll know for sure what's going on soon.

In the meantime, we stay home. We work on the computer. We figure out food. We watch dramas. We talk to online friends. We read a little. And sleep a lot. Life goes on.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Book Review: I Love You So Mochi by Sarah Kuhn

Book: I Love You So Mochi by Sarah Kuhn
Genre: YA romance
Rating: ★ ★ ★

This is a cute story about a Japanese American girl who goes to Japan to visit her Japanese grandparents that she hasn't known at all during her life, and in so doing hopes to "find herself" and figure out once and for all what she is supposed to do with her life.

Her mom moved from Japan to America for college and never went back. This has caused a riff with her and her parents (our girl's grandparents) and they haven't really had a relationship since. So when our girl (let's call her Kimi since that's her name) goes, she doesn't know at all what to expect, but it turns out that she bonded perfectly with her grandparents and they truly were able to help her figure things out.

The problem is her mom wants her to be an artist but she really enjoys designing clothes. So it's been a struggle. But what do you know, she finds out her grandma is also into sewing!

And of course when she gets to Japan, there's a cute boy (you know it, since the place is FILLED with cute boys!) and they have an adorable relationship, though it's fast because she only has two weeks. Sigh. So fast.

Anyway. I enjoyed the cuteness. The girl, Kimi, was really quite whiny though and it annoyed me that she knew what she wanted to do with her life but just wouldn't fess up to it until we had all this stuff with the guy and her grandparents. Though since that's the story, it had to be!

This book was especially fun for me since many of the places I visited last year were mentioned, including Nara Park with all the deer, and the huge Buddha also in Nara, and the hole in the pillar that everyone climbs through. Also, many places in Kyoto. Gah, I want to go back again! Such a beautiful place!

The romance was cute and I was able to picture the cute boy with the black shaggy hair and dimple quite easily since I "know" boys like this... lol! Yep, this was how I pictured him:

Yuta from NCT 127 and yes he's Japanese. :)
He just needs a dimple and he's be a perfect Akira from this book.

This was the second book we've read for the newly formed Asian Stories online book group. Can't wait to see what's next!

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Coronavirus Week Five: April 13 to 19, 2020

And so it goes.

We had some "adventures" this week.

Picked up groceries on Wednesday, and then actually went IN to Costco on Friday. Donned the homemade bandanna mask and braved the germs. Everything seemed fairly normal out there in the world. Costco was limiting the amount of people in the store, but we went at a good time and got right in. The worst part was trying to breathe and see. That mask was not fun. But I do feel all stocked up again for the time being. We'll see how long that lasts.

And then book club was on Thursday. We had 6 or 7 people Zoom in for that. It went well. Planning that next month we'll be doing the same thing. I wonder if we will in June too. Sigh.

We started a new amazing kdrama. It's on Netflix... The King: Eternal Monarch. Check it out! It's making a buzz! But anyway, that means three currently airing dramas now and one old one. They are keeping me going and we look forward to the days when new episodes drop.

We only managed to get out once for a walk, on Sunday. This needs to happen more often I think. Walks I mean. If only it would warm up just a touch. Like... only a touch.

The dieting thing is getting to me. Much depression surrounding that whole endeavor. I having been pondering the whole mental health vs. physical health thing. For me at least, my mental health is taking a hit in order to supposedly get healthy physically. And I'm still not convinced that "getting healthy" is actually happening. A lot of weight came off fast at first, but it has totally stopped now... so... what's happening with me? I have no idea. And in the meantime I am stressing about food constantly, and am almost always hungry. I wish so bad I could bake my way through this quarantine like so many others... how happy that would make me! AHH!!

This week is also sad because we had events we were really looking forward to. Sigh. So instead we are going to create some online watch parties, and I hope they turn out or else I'll just get more depressed!

So... yeah. Basically fighting sadness is a lot of what's been going on this week. How about you all?

Friday, April 17, 2020

Book Club Picks 2020-2021

Here's what the book club has voted to read for our upcoming schedule staring in June and going through May of next year.

Let us know if what Liane Moriarty book you think we should add to the line up! We've already read What Alice Forgot, and Big Little Lies. Which one do we need to read next???

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
The Body: A Guide for Occupants by Bill Bryson
Biased by Jennifer L. Eberhardt

Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Spinning Silver by Noami Novik
The Wonder by Emma Donoghue
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal
Resistance by Jennifer A. Nielsen
The Flatshare by Beth O'Leary
a book by Liane Moriarty yet to be determined

It's quite the list of different things, don't you think? I love it when that happens!


Related Posts with Thumbnails