Thursday, June 8, 2023

New Instagram Account

So I finally gave into something I've been pondering for quite awhile now, and that is creating an Instagram account just for the bookish things. Up till now I've just combined my personal with the bookish stuff, but I'm finding that harder and harder to do for many reasons, so... I have succumbed! 

Anyway, this account will be all the things I'm reading, the writing things I'm working on, and another place for booktube post promotion. If you are interested in following those things find me @SueysBooks there. 

As is probably pretty obvious, I'm blogging less and less and less and finding more bookish type connection in other places (something I have felt happening for years now) and I've been fighting the migration forever, but it just seems like the blog spaces are truly not the thing anymore. It makes me SO sad!

That's not to say I won't ever be here, because I still need the visual for my own records of what I'm reading and etc. And I might just need a venting place now and then. But I'm going to try and not feel so bad/guilty for being so scarce around here, and concentrate in building up the other spots. Instagram has always been a bit of a mystery to me so this good get interesting! 

Anyway, just anyone still reading this knows what's going on and where you find me (especially other than YouTube and/or Twitter which I think many people aren't fond of either!) 

Let me know if you are active on Instagram too and I will follow you also!

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Reading Recap May 2023


My big goal for May was to participate in the online Asian Readathon. I read five books and three of them were for this readathon. Here's my list:

The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave: This was a suspense/mystery book we read for the in person book club in May. Our girl in this story is fairly newly married to this dude, when he up and disappears. His last message to her was "protect her"... meaning his 16 year old daughter. So now they together, our girl and the daughter, try to remember any tiny little thing that can point to what's going on. They end up going off to learn more and investigate, and find out the truth behind their dad/husband. I enjoyed the reading experience, but didn't totally LOVE the story. It was.. .you know... okay. But not quite as heart pounding as I'd hoped it would be. I gave it three stars on Goodreads.

Shining a Light: Celebrating 40 Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Who Changed the World by Veeda Bybee: This the book launch I went to a month or two ago at the local library. So I decided it was a perfect lead into to AAPI month and the Asian Readathon. It's a middle grade non fiction about 40 famous AAPI people, each one with a page about their life, and a real cool illustration. It starts with someone back in the 1800s and goes up until present today. So many awesome people! I really loved it and gave it five stars on Goodreads.

The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea by Axie Oh: This is a fun YA fantasy based on the Korean fairy/folk tale "The Bride of the Water God". In this world, they sacrifice a girl to the water god every year, and this year our girl jumps in to save the girl that her brother loves, who is meant to be the sacrifice. And in so doing, she ends up in the realm of the water god and finds out  his under a curse that she now needs to break. It's a beautiful magical story that I totally enjoyed. I gave it four stars on Goodreads.

The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu: What a crazy hard core science fiction story this one is! We have a girl who lives a crazy hard violent life until she finally ends up at some mysterious research facility where... who knows what's really going on there! And later, a dude who starts playing a VR game called "Three Body" where when he goes in he sees the end of several eras of civilizations because they have a problem, which is three suns whose orbits they can't predict. It really is quite the problem. In the meantime he makes friends with the first girl (now a very old lady of 60!) and learns the truth behind what she was doing in the research place. And it's all a bit mind boggling, but fascinating at the same time. There's more... there're sequels! AHHH!!!! I gave this one four stars on Goodreads.

Still Mine by Elizabeth Vernon Taylor: My friend published this short book about her experience having a still born daughter in 2012. It's simply and beautifully told and as expected, is so very heart wrenching and quite the tear jerker. I loved learning more about Elizabeth and what she's been through, and what so many moms and families have been through.  

So all in all, it's been a pretty good reading month, with books that ranged quite all over the place! I had hoped to read more Asian type books, but I guess I'll save those for another day. For the video version of this monthly recap click here!

Plans for June:

  • Read fun and easy fluff books! aka beach reads?
  • Read Lessons in Chemistry for book club
  • Read some books I've been buying lately.
  • Hopefully read a book for Pride Month. 
  • Keep working on Oathbringer (I did get a couple of chapters read in that one in May!)

Thursday, May 18, 2023

A Couple of Recipes!

So I've been sharing the treats I've made for book club the past couple of months over on the youtube channel (they are quick shorts found on this playlist) and have had a couple a request for recipes both by online viewers and the in real life book club goers! I figured the best way to share them was just right here on the blog, and then everyone interested can have them! (I will link to the Short on youtube on the title of each recipe if you want to see the process and final product.) 

Fudgy Chocolate Chunk Brownies (we used this one for All The Girls I've Been by Tess Sharpe)

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp vanilla

2 eggs

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

2 cups chocolate chunks (I use big dark chocolate chocolate chips)

Instructions: Grease a 9x9 baking dish. Preheat over to 350. Beat together the butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Add eggs. Gradually add dry ingredients, then add the chocolate chunks. Spread evenly in pan. It will be very thick! Bake for 25 minutes until they begin to pull away from the side of the pan. 

Note: I double this recipe and bake them in a 9x13 pan!

Big Soft Ginger Cookies (we did this one for The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave)

3/4 cup butter

1 cup granulated sugar

1 egg

1/4 cup molasses

2 1/4 cups flour

2 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp cloves

1/4 tsp salt

2 Tbsp sugar for rolling 

Beat the butter and sugar together. Add the egg and molasses. Beat well. Stir dry ingredients into the mixture. Shape into balls (1 heaping tablespoon) and roll in the sugar. Bake at 350 for 10 min or until light brown and still puffed. Let stand 2 min before moving to wire rack. 

Note: I double this one usually because we always need MORE!

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Reading Recap April 2023

 April was a much better reading month for me! Hoping May will be the same!

Here's what I read this past month:

Fast, Feast, Repeat by Gin Stephens: I actually listened to this one (I know, the world is changing!) and learned a ton. She has for sure convinced me to try this fasting thing, though I still feel like some of the theories are very fad-like and a bit overrated. We'll see I guess. I'm curious at the very least, and so far I'm doing the "easy" one (eating between noon and 8 pm for the most part) and it's been not very hard to adjust to. I'm down about 2 kg (sorry I seem to be using a Japanese scale that somehow ended up at my house) so I guess it's going in the correct direction at least. I rated this one 3 stars on Goodreads!

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller:
Well, I guess it's about time I finally read this one, which has been on my kindle for more than ten years. It was awesome. The story of Achilles as narrated by his lover, Patrocolus, and includes all their experiences at the Trojan War. It's beautifully written and a sweet sweet love story. I gave this one five stars on Goodreads! Woot!

Seventeen Wishes by Erica Alexander: This one I did not particularly enjoy. It's a quick novella read about a guy who has a heart condition so he risks his life to have sex with his girlfriend. Yeah. I would have liked a little more depth to it, but maybe there wasn't time in the 100 pages that it had. I gave it 2 stars on Goodreads.

The Girls I've Been by Tess Sharpe: This was our book club book of the month. It's a bit gritty and dark, but I enjoyed the craziness and intensity for the most part. It's about a girl who grew up with a con-artist mom, and when she finds herself taken as a hostage in a bank robbery, she uses some of those skills to get herself out of it. There's lots of flashbacks to her growing up life, and all the girls she had to pretend to be for her mom's hits. And after all that, she needs to figure out who she really is. I quite enjoyed it. I gave it four stars on Goodreads.

The Summer of Broken Rules by K.L. Walther:
I needed something fun and light, so I decided to squeeze this one into the mix this month. And it was really fun! Our girl has been sad since her sister died almost two years before, but she is finally joining her family on their summer retreat to Martha's Vineyard. It's going to be a week of fun and games as they prepare for her cousin's wedding. And the tradition is to have a game of Assassin with water guns. She totally gets into it and even starts to fall for the stepbrother of the groom. Fun, cute, romantic and heart-warming family connections. I gave it 4 stars on Goodreads. 

In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan: This was a book recommended by the author of the above Fast, Feast and Repeat. And it sounded like something I'd enjoy, so I found it at the library and quickly read it. (It's a short fast one.) And sure enough, it was a lot of the things I think myself... the frustration with the scientific thought on what food is good, and what food is bad... and how it changes every other year. And how marketing by certain companies has fueled our belief in what is good and bad (breakfast is good for you, you HAVE to eat it... according to a study done by Kelloggs, and etc) Anyway, bottom line he says "Eat food, not too much, and mostly plants." Definitely lots to think about in this one. I gave it 4 stars on Goodreads.

I also read half of Spare, but then had to return it to the library. We'll finish that later and report on it then. I didn't read ONE THING in my Oathbringer quest! AHHH!

Here are my plans for May:

  • participate in the Asian Readathon (see previous post for what I plan to read for that)
  • read The Last Thing He Told Me for book club (wah I'm already done!)
  • maybe read one of my new books I just bought, probably All My Rage by Sabaa Tahir
  • read some chapters in Oathbringer.... it has to happen
  • hopefully get my hands on Spare and finish that. It might not be till next month though
That should hold me over for a bit! Happy reading everyone!

Sunday, April 30, 2023

Asian Readathon... Let's Do This


Hey everyone, long time no blog. Alas, my struggle to keep up with things on this end of my passion continues.


so I'm going to participate in the Asian Readathon. This is hosted by WithCindy over on YouTube. I'll link to her video announcing it right here. She's been doing it for several years I think, but I'm just now discovering the event. 


of course I'm in! So many lovely Asian connected books I want to read! Here's the stack I've made to choose from (along with The Red Palace by June Hur, which is on the Kindle.) I'm so excited to jump in!

If you want to see the video I made about joining this readathon, you can click here. If you think this would be fun too, let me know and we can discuss all the books!

Thursday, April 6, 2023

March 2023 Reading Recap


Okay then... ONLY THREE BOOKS this month and one of them barely even counts. Sigh. At any rate, here's what I read this past month of March:

The Silence of Bones by June Hur:
I've been looking forward to this one for FOREVER! And then the book club put it on the schedule so I waited all this time to finally read it. It was... okay, but not as lovely has I'd hoped. I don't really know what I expected. I wanted it to be like a kdrama I guess, but it was more like a regular mystery, which, is not my favorite. Still, it was interesting and I did enjoy being in this time period and being able to picture it all in my head, thanks to kdramas. There still was a lot of dead bodies, and torture and etc, and I was trying to escape that after the books from last month! AHH! Anyway, I have her next book (The Red Palace) already on my kindle, so we'll see if I like it better. Stay tuned! I'm giving this on three stars on Goodreads.

VIII by H.M. Castor:
This is a book I've had on my shelf forever too. And I saw it one day and realized it was about Henry VIII and I was in the mood so, bam. Read it! And it was really quite awesome. It starts out when he's like 6 years old, and goes all the way through his death... told all from his point of view. So we get into his head and see what this author thinks made him go crazy (basically, being haunted!) He is portrayed as a pretty decent guy at first, but his obsession with making sure his legacy lives on was pretty powerful. Such a sad story actually. I'm giving this one 4 stars on Goodreads.

The Kreutzer Sonata and Other Short Stories by Leo Tolstoy:
Oh my word this one gave me grief! I thought I could breeze through these stories and it would just be no big deal. The first two stories were that way, but the third one... UGHHHH!!

Anyway, three stories in this little thing. One was about a dude who was obsessed with getting all the land. He started out poor, he got rich, and then he just wanted more and more and more. Until he died in the pursuit of it. The second one: The Death of Ivan Ilyich, is about a dude who seems to have a great life. But then he gets sick and then he declines over years and years time. He gets annoyed that no one can help him, and that his family doesn't seem to care. And then he dies. LOL. But he has this huge epiphany just before he goes and I... still don't get it. LIVE YOUR LIFE people, just life your live! 

AND THEN, we have the mains story... The Kreutzer Sonata. It's about a guy, who sits on the train and tells another guy his whole life story, but mostly about how bad he hates his wife. How woman are just show pieces, and child makers, and how it's stupid that once they have kids they have to actually take care of them, and how they exist just for men's pleasure (wives, not the kids) He was the WORST dude ever, pretty sure. And then... well... SPOILER.... then he precedes to tell the dude on the train about how he kills his wife in a fit of jealousy because she dares to have a life doing what made her happy. Like playing the violin.. gasp. Weird story. What was Leo trying to say with this thing. I would look it up, but I really don't want to give any more of my life to it... Anyway, I giving this one 3 stars on Goodreads, which I guess is a good average? I guess.

And yeah. That's my reading for this month! Besides my ongoing Oathbringer project. I have no idea why I can't seem to fit more in. What's up with that?

Plans for April:

  • read The Girls I've Been for book club
  • finish The Song of Achilles which I have a great start on
  • finish Feast. Fast. Repeat.... my quest to find the cure of food issues. 
  • read Spare
Those are the main goals! But wow, it'd be nice if I can fit a few more things in!

If you want to WATCH me talk about all this, you can find it on the YouTube channel!

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Books for Book Club 2023-2024!

As you know by now, every year we vote on a pile of books that the book club wants to read and then come up with a schedule for a whole year ahead of time. (Our book club year goes from June- May, and we vote every year in March. How this happened, I don't really know, but it works for us!)

And this past week, we finalized that list yet again! 

Are you curious about what we'll be reading? Here's the list!

June:  Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

July: Memoir Month

August: My Contrary Mary by Brodie Ashton, Cynthia Hand and Jodi Meadows

September: Almost Perfect by Brian Katcher

October: Wrong Place, Wrong Time by Gillian McAllister

November: Spare by Prince Harry

December: The Christmas Murder Game by Alexandra Benedict

January: Remarkedly Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt

February: Book Lovers by Emily Henry

March: Beartown by Fredrik Backman

April: Carrie Soto is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid

May: A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

And then we'll be having a bonus meeting to discuss Trish Milburn's Sing Me a Love Song, the first book in her kpop romance series. 

I'm excited about them all! And I want to read all the ones that didn't make it too!

If you are interested, I talked about all the books on our list and these ones that won over on the Booktube channel:


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