Saturday, May 19, 2018

Lovely Books and Things - 5.19.18

Lovely Books and Things
My Weekly Books and Films Update

Linking up with:
Stacking the Shelves (details)
Sunday Post (details)
Mailbox Monday (details)



1. CAAMFEST36 - film festival that highlights Asian related films and filmmakers

2. Watching the taped Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan

3. AND tea at a Crown and Crumpet event held at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel



You Think It, I'll Say It
by Curtis Sittenfeld
-Short Stories, Women's Fiction
Amazon | Goodreads

FOR Reese Witherspoon's book club May pick (here).

For Review:

Matchmaking for Beginners
by Maddie Dawson
-Contemporary, Romance
courtesy of Amazon Kindle First -Thanks!
Amazon | Goodreads

LOOKS and sounds cute.

AND watched: in theatre - part of CAAMFEST 36, celebrating Asian American film, music and food (details)

Jimami Tofu (2018)
Director/Writer: Jason Chan, Christian Lee
Stars: Jason Chan, Mari Yamamoto, Masane Tsukayama, Rino Nakasone
-Drama, Romance, Japan, Singapore | imdb | my rating: 5

A Chinese Singaporean chef, formerly working in Tokyo, finds himself in Okinawa begging a disgruntled old chef to teach him traditional Okinawan food. A top Japanese food critic finds herself in Singapore on an eye opening discovery of Southeast Asian cuisine. In reality both are looking for each other after an emotional breakup years ago. Emotionally crippled by their breakup he searches her home-town for her but discovers instead the art of traditional Okinawan food. Through it he learns the incredible balance of two cultures: Chinese and Japanese - a balance they never had in their relationship. When she suddenly appears in Okinawa looking to find closure he cooks and serves her their final meal. Through it she discovers what she had been yearning for all these years.

LOVELY picture postcard scenes of Okinawa and great intro to this island in Japan. Also delicious-looking foodie moments. And romance in the midst as well.

Nailed It! (2018)
Director: Adele Free Pham
Stars: Tippi Hedren, Kelvin Saint Pham, Charlie Vo, Olivett Robinson
-Documentary | website | my rating: 5

A fortuitous encounter with 20 Vietnamese refugee women and The Birds actress Tippi Hedren in 1975, sparks the Asian nail salon as we know it. In this hour long documentary, Nailed It presents a lineage of legacy moments in nails, like Mantrap, the first nail salon chain to cater to Black women in the hood. The democratization of the manicure fans the fire of Vietnamese “discount” nail salons blazing across the country. Through the international journey embarked upon by Nailed It director Adele Pham, this unique film captures an unforgettable and often hilarious saga born of tragedy, charting the rise, struggle, stereotypes, and steady hold Vietnamese Americans have on today’s $8 billion dollar nail industry.

HISTORY behind the nail salon industry and Vietnamese connection.

170 Bucks for a Cab, One Ride, One Night (2018)
Director: Ye Na Kang
Stars: Seul Lee, Minyoung Lee
-Short, South Korea | my rating: 5

When the party’s all over, all she’s left with is empty pockets. After paying $170 for one cab ride during a night of partying, Mija and her friend struggle to uncover the driving force behind the excessive fare.

FUN crazy attempt of two students trying to solve a mystery cab ride.

A Letter for Sang-ah (2018)
Director: Mina Fitzpatrick
-Short, Documentary, Family, South Korea | imdb | my rating: 5

A short documentary about the social stigma against unwed mothers in Korea, and the long-term impacts of overseas adoption.

INTERESTING historical and contemporary look at this issue.

Pragma (2018)
Director: Jihyun Park
-Short, LGBTQ, South Korea | my rating: 5

Yoo-Hee and Joo-Yeon fell in love in high school, but their school’s persecution of gays tore them apart. When meet again years later, sparks fly.

PEEK into the LGBTQ issue in South Korea.

Oh Lucy! (2017)
Director/Writer: Atsuko Hirayanagi
Writers: Boris Frumin, Atsuko Hirayanagi
Stars: Shinobu Terajima, Josh Hartnett, Kaho Minami
-Comedy, Drama, Japan | imdb | my rating: 5

A lonely woman living in Tokyo decides to take an English class where she discovers her alter ego, Lucy.

SERIOUS life changes for a middle-aged woman in a modern Japan with office setting scenes to a trip to California.

A Quiet Place (2018)
Director/Screenplay: John Krasinski
Screenplay: Bryan Woods, Scott Beck,
Stars: Emily Blunt, John Krasinski
-Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi | imdb | my rating: 5

In a post-apocalyptic world, a family is forced to live in silence while hiding from monsters with ultra-sensitive hearing.

Oooooo. So quiet that you may feel uncomfortable eating popcorn during most of this film. Good suspense thriller with parts that can make you jump out of your seat. Got me thinking of parental love.


* comment and TELL me what you have acquired for your shelves recently

Thanks for stopping by :-)

Friday, May 18, 2018

I Am A Hero, Omnibus, Volume 3 by Kengo Hanazawa

I Am A Hero
Omnibus, Volume 3
by Kengo Hanazawa

Find out more about this book and author:

Published: 2017
Publisher: Dark Horse Manga
Genre: Graphic Novel, Zombies, Japan
Paperback: 512
Rating: 5

I Am A Hero, Omnibus, Volume 1
I Am A Hero, Omnibus, Volume 2
I Am A Hero, Omnibus, Volume 3
I Am A Hero, Omnibus, Volume 4
I Am A Hero, Omnibus, Volume 5
I Am A Hero, Omnibus, Volume 6
I Am A Hero, Omnibus, Volume 7

First sentence(s):
...that was from the ministry of health labor and welfare, and now, if everyone watching could please listen carefully...

Hideo and his new ward, young Hiromi, head out of the desolate forest they've been hiding in, hoping to find refuge at a local shrine. Once there, however, they soon realize that populated areas are just as dangerous as the haunted woods they've left! A new ally may help them find a safe place to hole up again--but one quick, deadly bite could threaten all of their lives! Collecting two of the original Japanese volumes into each Dark Horse edition, this value-priced excursion into the world's weirdest zombie apocalypse is not to be missed!


My two-bits:

Got some baby zombies and swimming zombies as the duo travels to the fifth station of Mt. Fuji. They gain an addition to their group.

Starting to get into types of survivalists.

Interesting definitions for "hero" are presented that cause for pause.


* part of May zombie month (here)

* part of World Reads challenge - Japan pt 2 (here)

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Brave New Girl by Rachel Vincent

Brave New Girl
by Rachel Vincent

Find out more about this book and author:

Published: 2017
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Genre: Dystopia, YA
Hardback: 272
Rating: 5

Brave New Girl series:
Brave New Girl
Strange New World

First sentence(s):
When I was little, I thought every girl in the world looked just like me, because that's how it is in the nurseries.

In a world where everyone is the same, one girl is the unthinkable: unique. A high-stakes fast-paced series launch from New York Times bestselling author Rachel Vincent.

Dahlia 16 sees her face in every crowd. She’s nothing special—just one of five thousand girls created from a single genome to work for the greater good of the city.

Meeting Trigger 17 changes everything. He thinks she’s interesting. Beautiful. Unique. Which means he must be flawed. When Dahlia can’t stop thinking about him she realizes she’s flawed, too.

But what if Trigger is right? What if Dahlia is different? But if she’s flawed, then so are all her identicals. And any genome found to be flawed will be destroyed, ONE BY ONE BY ONE. . . .

My two-bits:

GOT sucked into this dystopian world and its orderly ways that are in for questioning and major change per the protagonist of the tale.

This story gives an overview and brief history of its world. Just enough for curiosity to grab a hold in order to find out what befalls the characters.

Loved the likable characters with their friendships and budding romantic interests.


* review copy courtesy of publisher

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Needle in a Haystack by Ernesto Mallo

Needle in a Haystack
by Ernesto Mallo
translated by Jethro Soutar

Find out more about this book and author:

Published: 2010
Publisher: Bitter Lemon Press
Genre: Mystery, Crime, Buenos Aires
Paperback: 190
Rating: 4

Inspector Lascano Mystery series:
Needle in a Haystack
Sweet Money
book 3 - tba, not yet translated

First sentence(s):
Some days the side of the bed is like the edge of an enormous abyss.

Superintendent Lascano is a detective working under the shadow of military rule in Buenos Aires in the late 1970s. Sent to investigate a double murder, he arrives at the crime scene to find three bodies. Two are clearly the work of the Junta's death squads, murders he is forced to ignore; the other one seems different.

The trail leads Lascano through a decadent Argentina, a country poisoned to its core by the tyranny of the regime. The third corpse turns out to be that of Biterman, moneylender and Auschwitz survivor. When Lascano digs too deep, he must confront Giribaldi, an army major, quick to help old friends but ruthless in dealing with dissenters such as Eva, the young militant with whom Lascano is falling in love.

My two-bits:

Interesting storytelling format with reveals that occur before the end. It started to feel mystery-ish to me midway in the book.

Lots of good character development of several different characters that paint a picture of the place and time period.


* part of Books, Inc. Foreign Intrigue Book Club (here)

Monday, May 14, 2018

Bout of Books 22

Bout of Books 22
hosted by Bout of Books
May 14 to 20, 2018
signup | details | daily
#boutofbooks @boutofbooks

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly Rubidoux Apple. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 14th and runs through Sunday, May 20th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 22 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team


TBR pile:

Brave New Girl
(Brave New Girl #1)
by Rachel Vincent
-Dystopia, YA
Amazon | Goodreads | my review | my rating: 5

Strange New World
(Brave New Girl #2)
by Rachel Vincent
-Dystopia, YA
Amazon | Goodreads



Monday 5/14
Introduce yourself #insixwords

adventurous, curious, whimsical, foodie, bibliophile, cinephile

Tuesday 5/15
Year of You
Share a book that was published the year you were born. If you don't wish to disclose your age (that's fine; you'll get no judgment either way here), pick a book that was significant to your childhood.

Flowers in the Attic (Dollanganger series)
by V.C. Andrews
Amazon | Goodreads | my review

I've said this before...
This is the ONE that hooked me to reading. It was a book I found in the library in the adult section of the library. At the time I was a tween. What got me first was the super cool keyhole cover on the paperback version. And then, the story about the forbidden.

Wednesday 5/16
Show Me Your Precious
Everyone has a book that they love; now is your time to bring out your precious and shine. Share your favorite book (in whatever format you choose)! You know the one that has that beautifully illustrated map, or gorgeous writing, or whatever it is that draws you to it. Share with the world what makes that book your precious!

I am currently loving these whimsical Pushkin Press Japanese Novella paperback covers.

Thursday 5/17
Read Alikes
If you liked a particular book, then recommend a book(s) similar to the one you liked. If you've played our "If you like . . . try . . . " challenge before, you've got the idea!

by Ottessa Moshfegh
-Historical, Mystery, Thriller
Pen/Hemingway Award 2016
Amazon | Goodreads | my review

IF you like Hitchcock thrillers, this may be one for you!

Friday 5/18
Space Scavenger Hunt

Mercury - Favourite short story/novella:
Strange Weather in Tokyo
by Hiromi Kawakami
Amazon | Goodreads | my review

Mars - Favourite book with a red cover:
The Handmaid's Tale
by Margaret Atwood
Amazon | Goodreads | my review

Jupiter - Favourite tome over 500 pages:
A Little Life
by Hanya Yanagihara
Amazon | Goodreads | my review

Venus - Favourite book with female protagonist:
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
by Stieg Larsson
Amazon | Goodreads | my review

Uranus - Favourite book set in winter:
Secrets in the Snow
by Michaela MacColl
Amazon | Goodreads | my review

Space - Favourite book set in space:
by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Amazon | Goodreads | my review

Moon - Favourite book set anywhere other than Earth:
by Melissa Landers
-aliens, YA
Amazon | Goodreads | my review

Sun - Favourite book set in summer:
Amy and Roger's Epic Detour
by Morgan Matson
Amazon | Goodreads | my review

Saturn - Favourite book with circle/ring on the cover/in the title:
by Koji Suzuki
Amazon | Goodreads | my review

Neptune - Favourite book set at sea, on a boat, or under water (for the most part)
Manhattan Beach
by Jennifer Egan
-Historical, Literary
Amazon | Goodreads | my review

Pluto - Favourite books featuring a dog/with a dog on the cover (twist... this is one I want to read)
The Friend
by Sigrid Nunez
Amazon | Goodreads

Earth - Favourite book about nature/nature word in the title (twist... this is one I want to read)
The Overstory
by Richard Powers
Amazon | Goodreads

Saturday 5/19
Share Your Favorite Bout of Books Moment

I like being introduced to books to add to my tbr pile.

Sunday 5/20
Stretch Goal

Almost done with the second book I have slated for this challenge. The review link should be active later this evening. So, yeah - will be reading most of today ;-)

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