In many ways, R.F. Kuang’s Babel, or the Necessity of Violence: An Arcane History seemed a novel written for me: nerdy, linguistic, political, with a dash of fantasy. Specifically it: For all these reasons, it resonated more with me than it would, perhaps, with other readers, even other Asian-Australian or Asian-American readers. I mean, I too have considered writing a work of fantasy fiction based on … Continue reading Babel, or how not to write yourself into your novel
The best of what I read in 2022, in the order in which I read them. Gilead – Marilynne Robinson This Pulitzer Prize winner is breathtakingly beautiful, in the gentlest of ways. A double lightness pervades the narration: there’s both a softness and a brightness in the character and tone of the narration. Gilead is framed as a long letter, akin to a series of … Continue reading Books I read in 2022
I’ve always admired people who can host a good dinner party. I’m in awe of their ability to cook in bulk, and to do so while unflusteredly mingling with guests. I like having people over, but need to keep it casual and either order food in or have everyone bring a plate. So I certainly consider hospitality to be a gift, inasmuch as it’s the … Continue reading Three transformative perspectives on hospitality
I had a dream recently that I was hanging out with Ethan Hawke. We were sitting on either end of a couch I think was blue, then Brad Pitt was in the room on a (green?) armchair. It occurred to me then that they’d never done a movie together – and they bloody well should. I made the suggestion and Ethan said, “Sure! Should we … Continue reading Rediscovering Ethan Hawke
Common to many a YA novel is a male love interest who’s dark and mysterious and in a position of power. At its most extreme, he’s dark, mysterious and cruel. At its most tame, he’s dark, mysterious and a bit of a loner. Somewhere in the middle, he’s dark, mysterious and troubled. Getting the vibe? Continue reading Teenage girls and their bad boys
One of the biggest lies (or delusions) of romance in pop culture is that your soul mate will love you for who you are, not wanting you to change at all. While I knew this was unrealistic, a part of me did secretly wish that my future partner would find me perfect. When we started dating, it quickly became clear that my now husband and … Continue reading Does he love you for who you are?
I’ve always been a bit of a bookworm. More than a way to pass the time or learn things, reading has been a means by which I explore the world and discover humanity. In my previous blog post, I shared how I recently digitised my reading history. This process reminded me of the books that left an impression on me. Here are five that I … Continue reading The books that changed my life
I like new things but when it comes to reading, I am old school and conservative. I don’t do eBooks because I like the feel of a paperback. I don’t venture outside of my preferred genres. In fact, it’s taken me a long while to incorporate even a few innovations. Here are five ways I’ve modernised or upgraded my reading in the last couple of … Continue reading Reading revolution: 5 ways I’ve upgraded my reading
Compliant me, defiant me I have a friend who used to call me “Alternative Ann” back when we were in high school. I’m actually not sure why, because I’ve always seen myself as a compliant, wallflower sorta gal. Yet I’ve become aware over the last year or so that I actually possess a (frustrating and often ridiculous) contrary streak. I hate hype, celebrities and the … Continue reading Whatever happened to Alternative Ann?
I know I sound snooty when I say I read more than I watch Netflix, but it’s true. Here’s an overview of my 2020 book consumption: the most impactful reads, notable mentions as well as some of the disappointments. Most impactful reads The Left Hand of Darkness – Ursula Le Guin I knew she was the Queen of Sci-Fi, but I’d never heard of The … Continue reading Things I read in 2020