My father’s older sister Auntie Choo Neo placed chicken satay sticks on the backyard barbecue.

Dandelion, Jamie Chai Yun Liew, Arsenal Pulp Press 2022

If you’re still looking for children-of-immigrant stories. This time, the mother disappears and stays gone. It makes for an incredibly frustrating story; can’t the suffering be put on pause for a bit? – but it never takes over Lily’s story.

Dandelion shows all the small ways of feeling alien and does it well.

A Marvelous Light

Reginald Gatling’s doom found him beneath an oak tree, on the last Sunday of a fast-fading summer.

A Marvelous Light, Freya Marske, MacMillan 2021

September hasn’t been for reading. The only reason why I finished this was because I had already rejected another novel (Ninefox Gambit – scifi, read like the transcript of a game walk-through video).

A Marvelous Light has potential with unknown magicians in society, some nice ideas about magic (connected to blood, to land, how it’s done) and decided to balance that out with a lot of visual to very visual sex scenes and a vocabulary that reads as a bad translating bot attacked it. It was such a slog. Even 90% in I couldn’t keep the two main characters apart, and only at one third some relationships with secondary characters are being clarified? Editor, where?

Anyway, good thing the month’s over now.

De verdeelde Nederlanden

Een hevige cultuurstrijd splijt Nederland in twee├źn.

De verdeelde Nederlanden, Sjoerd Beugelsdijk, Balans 2021


Ik had al redelijk snel het vermoeden dat dit boek ‘t niet zou worden voor mij. Ook omdat de informatie mij al bekend was (globalisering, individualisering etc.), maar vooral omdat Beugelsdijk geen centimeter buigt. Het kan zijn dat ik iets lees waar niets is, maar op mij kwam het allemaal erg over als “niet zeiken, lief spelen en bij de grootste groep aansluiten, hup!”. In een boek dat De Verdeelde Nederlanden heet..?

Mensen zijn makkelijk manipuleerbaar en politici en media zijn schuldig. Hier komt het echter over als de natuurlijke staat van dingen in plaats van gebrek aan kennis en inlevingsvermogen.

The Way of Kings

Kalak rounded a rocky stone ridge and stumbled to a stop before the body of a dying thunderclast.

The Way of Kings, Brandon Sanderson, Tor 2010

YESSS, finally some good fucking epic fantasy!

This one has been on my Holds list forever, which might see something about how popular it is or how few copies the library has. That’s always a risk because what if the story/positive review lost their appeal or have been completely forgotten?

With 1200 digital pages The Way of Kings was a risky investment, but it paid off beautifully. World-building, politics, magic and nary a sex scene. It never gets dense and the details keep the regular plots (apocalypse looming, political corruption) fresh.

This is a book you keep the TV off for, and stay up past your bed time.