Reading Update // June 14, 2019

Reading Update // June 14, 2019

Happy Friday everyone! I hope you’re all going to be spending time outdoors this weekend and soaking in that summer sun. I just hope there’s a little sun in June here in LA to enjoy. I wanted to approach the end of my week a little differently and give you a reading update from the week!

This week, I went to San Diego with my hubby for a few days. We just wanted a getaway with some fun in the sun. We most definitely got what we seeked out and went home with a new tan, a new burn, and a new book. We actually packed in a lot of fun and adventure for ourselves within the three days we were there. It was a great few days away from work, but I also had work looming in the back of my mind the entire time.

I checked out Mysterious Galaxy, which is a bookstore dedicated to speculative fiction, romance, and horror/thrillers. When I went to the LA Festival of Books, I saw the Mysterious Galaxy booth and surprised that it existed. I knew if I went back to San Diego, I would make a special trip over there. Luckily for me, it was about 10 minutes from our Airbnb and so we made a pit stop before heading down to Pacific Beach for lunch.

I honestly believe if I lived in San Diego, I would just go there and make friends with all the employees. I would somehow find myself working there part-time without getting paid because of all the time I spent there. If there was a couch in the store, I would most definitely have my very own butt groove imprinted into the seats.

Usually when I go to bookstores on vacation, I pick up memorabilia from the store, but I wasn’t a fan of the stuff they had available, so I decided I would pick out a book instead. If you visit bookstores on vacation, I strongly encourage you to pick out at least one book or buy a t-shirt or tote bag from the store. You can easily support a local bookstore this way and come away with a nifty little souvenir to remind you of your visit.


I picked up The Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb.  This Assassins series has been high on my read list and I’m finally committed to reading the book. I honestly feel like if I own the book, the commitment to reading the book is baked into the receipt. Bookstores should seriously write a disclaimer on their receipts that says “note: your purchase of this book commits you to reading it. We’ll be waiting for your review.”

Of course I’m teasing about that second part.

For reading, I took Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay with me and learned that I’m terrible at reading on vacation. I knew we were only going to be in town for three days, so I hedged my bets and brought one book. I’m so glad I did because I ended up only reading half the book and finishing it when I get home. I don’t want to give too much away, but let’s just say it was really good. Review to come next week!

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One thing I noticed while we were out there was that I love reading by bodies of water. Put me in front of the ocean or by a lake and I’m totally in my zone. I love the sound of the waves or nature around me while I turn pages in my book. It’s soothing and legit my self-care. I think I’ll be making a lot of trips to the beach this summer (especially since I live so close).

But I noticed that I’m terrible at reading on vacation. When we’re on vacation, we’re out and about and checking out landmarks and nature and historical buildings and all that. I’ve worn my Apple Watch on vacation and noticed the 20,000 steps my husband and I take over the course of our day. We are not sitting by the pool people (although I would much rather be doing that). So reading kind of falls by the wayside and that was obvious here too because I only read half of my book.

My reading life aside from that is a total burning trash heap. I’m in the middle of four books, I have three books to review for work, and I don’t know when I’ll have time to participate in either my book club reading or the Dune buddy read I signed up to be in. Ever have that feeling you’ve put way too many things on my plate? I feel like this might be par for the course for me because I always pile food onto a tiny ass plate believing that I’m “portion controlling” but really I’m taking more than I can handle.

So the focus of this weekend is to get back on track. I’m going to finish my work book, write that review. Then I’m going to finish up my half-read books and hopefully feel better about my place in my TBR.

How’s your reading life been going?


Weekend Wrap up // May 24, 2019

Weekend Wrap up // May 24, 2019

Happy Friday, everyone!

The Jam of the Week has got to be It’s All Coming Back to Me Now by Celine Dion. I remember listening to this song as a kid in car rides with my mom and sister. We would just sit there and belt out the tune with Celine. Of course, we didn’t do it justice like she did, but we were kids and she’s THE GREATEST SINGER IN THE WORLD.

Well, this week was a pretty busy week with work, reviews, and articles all due. I spent most of my time staring at a computer screen than pages of a book because it was just that busy. But I’m feeling really caught up, accomplished, and going into the weekend with some fun books to read.

Links I Loved

The Carpool Karaoke featuring Celine Dion. I know I featured Celine for my jam of the weekend, but I can’t get enough of her. I honestly google the price for her Vegas show I’m so into Celine Dion. I think it’s her ability to be goofy and silly and bring out the serious when she needs to bring it out. I love that she’s so playful, but then gets on stage and belts out the hits. Also, she’s done some of the most iconic love songs in the entire world, which was surprising to me.

The new trailer for Star Trek: Picard. Ok, so I’m a trekkie. I absolutely love Star Trek: The Next Generation and Picard is my captain (I’m sorry fans of the OG). So when I heard that they were bringing back Picard and creating a new series around the latter part of his career, well I couldn’t resist. But I think what really solidified this news for me was the teaser trailer. It’s so atmospheric and I can’t wait for it to start!

Launching my Patreon! So this news will be a little bit more relevant next month when we finally have a June pick and I figure out how to set up the dates for the the book club discussion. A lot of folks reached out to me about my hesitation with starting a Patreon (mostly because I’m afraid people will hate me for charging money) and reassured me that this is a good move. What I’m doing will support the endeavors I’m making and there’s nothing to be ashamed of.

What I’m Reading This Weekend

Well, next week the Girls Night In Book Club is meeting in LA, so I need to read the book for the meeting. They chose American Spy by Lauren Wilkinson. Here’s more about the book:

It’s 1986, the heart of the Cold War, and Marie Mitchell is an intelligence officer with the FBI. She’s brilliant but she’s also a young black woman working in an old boys’ club, and her career has stalled out; she’s overlooked for every high profile squad, and her days are filled with monotonous paperwork. So when she’s given the opportunity to join a shadowy task force aimed at undermining Thomas Sankara, the charismatic, revolutionary president of Burkina Faso, whose Communist ideology has made him a target for American intervention, she says yes. Yes, even though she secretly admires the work Thomas is doing for his country. Yes, even though she is still grieving the mysterious death of her sister, whose example led Marie to this career path in the first place. Yes, even though a furious part of her suspects she’s being offered the job because of her appearance and not her talent.

In the year that follows, Marie will observe Thomas, seduce him, and ultimately, have a hand in the coup that will bring him down. But doing so will change everything she believes about what it means to be a spy, a lover, a sister, and a good American.

Inspired by true events–Thomas Sankara is known as “Africa’s Che Guevara”–this novel knits together a gripping spy thriller, a heartbreaking family drama, and a passionate romance. This is a face of the Cold War you’ve never seen before, and it introduces a powerful new literary voice.

Weekend Wrap-up // May 10, 2019

Weekend Wrap-up // May 10, 2019

Happy Weekend, everyone! I know this is coming a little late in the day than I’m normally posting, but it’s been a long Friday with a lot of work on my plate. How’s your week been?

I’ve got a very quick jam of the week that’s been on repeat for a little bit now. Can you believe Justin Bieber and Ed Sheeran did a collaborative song? I mean, that’s like two for the price of one and the song is really cute too.

This weekend is going to be a social one as I hang out with my book club, my book swap, and my bookish friends. I’ll definitely be doing some heavy hanging out. What about yourself?

Links I Loved

I really didn’t get a chance to look at the Internet this week! I’ve been so busy with finishing this book for work that I’ve just been crashing every night. But I did see some fun things.

The Met Gala was on Monday and I swooned over all things “camp.” Funnily, the Met took inspiration this year from an essay written by Susan Sontag called “Notes on Camp” that discusses the finer points on what camp is. If I could imagine going to the Met Gala, I think I would have been serving some Marie Antoinette realness with maybe a lavender beard for good measure.

I’m kind of obsessed with the new version of A Whole New World. I know I shouldn’t be because why mess with something that was amazing (I’m a huge fan of Aladdin), but this was great. I almost used it for my jam of the week, but then Justin Bieber had to just release another song.

I made a batch of gluten-free banana bread using this amazing recipe from Gimme Delicious. I haven’t baked bread things for a while mostly because I’m lazy, but it was nice to hop back into it. I won’t be joining the Great British Baking Show any time soon, but it keeps Bucky happy.

Blog Posts of the Week

I posted two book reviews (The Death of Mrs. Westaway and The Unhoneymooners), the LA Festival of Books and my thoughts on being a book reviewer. I think the most surprising is how many people responded to the book reviewer post. I hope I answered all your questions, but I do want to emphasize that this is a job you can go after. Just do some searches for book reviewer jobs. I think there are some that require you to work from an office while others are remote. Hope that helps!

What I’m Reading This Weekend

I definitely wanted to read something lighter this weekend after marathoning such a big fantasy novel during the week. I think I’m going to go with With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo. It’s got drama and growing up and it’s also about cooking. I absolutely love stories like this and I can’t wait to dive in. Here’s what the story is about:

With her daughter to care for and her abuela to help support, high school senior Emoni Santiago has to make the tough decisions, and do what must be done. The one place she can let her responsibilities go is in the kitchen, where she adds a little something magical to everything she cooks, turning her food into straight-up goodness. Still, she knows she doesn’t have enough time for her school’s new culinary arts class, doesn’t have the money for the class’s trip to Spain — and shouldn’t still be dreaming of someday working in a real kitchen. But even with all the rules she has for her life — and all the rules everyone expects her to play by — once Emoni starts cooking, her only real choice is to let her talent break free.

What are you reading this weekend? Any plans?



Weekend Wrap Up // May 3, 2019

This week felt kind of short, but maybe that’s because it’s the start of a new month! I did spend Tuesday morning watching Avengers: Endgame, which was a nice way to end the month. The final day of the month to watch the final Avengers movie. After I watched it, I had to check out the Half in the Bag about it. I would strongly suggest not watching that interview until after you’ve watched the movie. It’s got SPOILERS everywhere and I don’t want to be the person that ruins the movie for you. Here’s the trailer for the movie if you didn’t know the Avengers are finally coming to an end. This movie was legit 10 years in the making.

This weekend, I’ll be heading off to YallWest; a YA and Middle Grade book festival that takes place every year. Funnily, it’s in my town so I’ll be moseying over there on Friday night and Saturday to check out fun booths, giveaways, and just have a regular old time. I’ll be representing BookSparks for the weekend sharing a new book around the festival.

Links I Loved

Actually, not much happened for me this week. Therefore, I present you with these bunnies.

Blog posts from the Week

This week was short for me as I get my bearings and begin a new month of reading. I shared my monthly wrap up and my plans for May. I’m really excited about it being Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage month. Being Asian myself, I love sharing stories from #ownvoices and it makes me excited to dive into these reads.

April was definitely an interesting month of reading. It was my first month at a new job plus it was my anniversary month and so many other great events taking place. I can’t wait to see what May has in store!

What I’m Reading This Weekend

I’m having a tough time choosing what I’ll read this weekend. Maybe a YA romance? Perhaps the start of an epic fantasy? I don’t know what the future will hold. I think what I’ll do is start The Poppy War by RF Kuang since I need to read The Dragon Republic for work.

But I’ll probably start with Somewhere Only We Know by Maureen Goo!

What are you reading this weekend?


Weekend Wrap Up // April 26, 2019

Of course my jam of the weekend will be It’s Gonna Be Me by *NSYNC. I mean it’s going to be MAY! OMG, I can finally post this song because it’s the final weekend of April before May rolls around. Who else is ready for May?

Links I Love

There’s a 25infive readathon happening this weekend. The readathon started yesterday, but there’s still time to participate. But also, the rules aren’t hard and fast here so committing to one hour of reading for the readathon is completely acceptable!

Cici at @cicivford shared this lovely article regarding sharing your goals. I related with the article so hard especially with bookstagram and my blog. I feel like I share too many “goals” as half-baked ideas barely formed in my mind. I want to break that habit especially since I’m trying to be authentic and transparent with you all. Cici did mention that this doesn’t specifically pertain to social media, but anything you do in your life. So if you’re the kind of person to make big plans but find it difficult to deliver on them, check out this article! Sharing doesn’t make you accountable in every instance.

This weekend is also Indie Bookstore Day! Make sure to get out to your local independently run bookstore and support them by buying a book or two. As I grow in learning about books and book publishing, I realize how important it is to keep independent bookstores open. They are the ones bringing authors into your town, creating fun programming to your community, and straight up celebrating books. You can’t get that kind of experience at Amazon.

Blog Posts This Week

This week has been pretty exhausting for me, so I haven’t really sat and written anything. Honestly, my reading life has been taking over and I much rather want to read books and just mark them as finished. Alas, I promise my thoughts for books and I’ll be happy to deliver.

I didn’t write much this week, but I did get my thoughts on The Bride Test down. Definitely check that one out because it was such a great read and it’s publishing soon!

Books I’m Reading

While I have a nice stack of books waiting for me to read, I don’t know if I’ll be completely participating. If you didn’t know, a readathon is uninterrupted reading time usually challenging yourself to read for hours at a time over a weekend. This particular weekend will be a classic challenge of reading for 25 hours over 5 days. That’s about a 5-hour commitment starting yesterday through Sunday. You can find more details above.

But if I do read, I will probably start from this list:

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I’ll probably start with The Unhoneymooners and see where the weekend goes from there. I will most definitely start The Poppy War by Monday as I’m assigned its second novel The Dragon Republic for review. I can’t wait to dive into that one since it’s gotten high praise as an amazing high fantasy novel.

But I also have a book club meeting in a few weeks and our pick is The Death of Mrs. Westaway. And With the Fire on High sounds so good too! I also can’t resist a book about books with The Editor. So many choices!

What do you plan on reading this weekend?