Curious Travels! (An Introduction)

As part of a housekeeping initiative, I’ve decided to file my entries under certain names. I started with Short Bites, with each entry featuring short stories the captured my interest. After that, I came up with Novel Reactions, with each entry featuring a full book I recently read. I’d been sitting on a name for my travel features, but, I’ve finally found the one: Curious Travels.

Curious… Doesn’t that sound a lot like Mr. Ollivander when Harry got his wand? Exactly. Well, not really—not in the dramatic kind of way that was portrayed in the movie, but I like the word. “Curious” typically refers to those who like knowing or learning new things. It can also describe something unusual or unexpected. (For example, Mr. Ollivander said “curious” because found he it odd that the same phoenix connected Harry’s and Voldemort’s wands.)

In sort of the same way (if you really try to think about it), this isn’t a regular travel blog. My travel entries go more along the lines of “hey, look at this! I went here and really liked it,” rather than “ok, so if you want to go to XYZ, let me lay down the logistics of it all.” Yeah… my entries are not going to be very instructive (as compared to those on most travel blogs). You know what, I’m just trying to say that I’m different even if others might not think I’m so unique.

Does this change the type of content on The Hungriest Reader? Nope, I just thought it would be fun to make a big deal out of housekeeping. (It was.)

Novel Reactions: White Teeth

White Teeth delves into family history and dynamics: an unlikely friendship between two men, Archie Jones and Samad Iqbal, and how this brought their families together. It explores what it’s like to be a person of color in London from the 70s to the 90s (though I am guessing even until today). It is the kind of book I’d recommend to readers who are more invested in characters than the plot, those who want to understand why people-are-that-way and who do not mind the lack of action in a book.

It took me a bit longer than usual to sort out my feelings about White Teeth.

I read this book based on a recommendation by someone in my professional network. This was one of three fiction books in a list of ten books, so I felt that the book would at least expand my reading horizons. It did; I have no regrets.

Continue reading “Novel Reactions: White Teeth”

Short Bites: Three Wishes

I read a few stories Faerie Knitting: 14 Tales of Love and Magic, which is a compilation of fairy tales and knitting patterns, a collaboration by from cousins Alice Hoffman and Lisa Hoffman. The stories were heartwarming, which is fitting because when you think about knits, you think about warmth.

The tale I liked the most was “Three Wishes,” a story about a woman grieving her mother’s death. Her husband seeks out a wise old woman in the hope of curing the woman’s grief. That’s nice of him. So the story has a wise old lady, three wishes, and magic crystals, yet it’s not as over-the-top as one would think, maybe except for the tiny detail that it’s wintertime and the woman would definitely have died in the cold even if she was wearing her mother’s mittens.

Her mother’s mittens: they were a great source of warmth (and love and support). But the story is about moving on—she’s had her time to grieve, and now it’s time to appreciate her present and to hope for her future. Yes, she will move on, but she will live life stronger in memory of her mom and with the support of her husband.

Very heartwarming.

This One’s for You—Happy Mother’s Day!

It’s Mother’s Day! If you haven’t sent your mom a nice text or call or bouquet yet, there’s still time. I’m really glad my Mother’s Day orders were delivered to my mom and my aunt first thing in the morning (at 8:30am as opposed to the estimated time slot of between 9am to 7pm—I’m quite relieved), so they had the pleasure of receiving the bouquet while having morning coffee.

In the spirit of Mother’s Day, here are five reads I would share with my mom:

My mother has a fun and fiery spirit, and I thought she would enjoy lighthearted books with happy endings. Although most of the female characters in the books are a little on the reserved side, I think she would appreciate the grace in which they conduct their operations.

Let me give a quick reason for each book—I’ll dedicate one sentence per book:

  • Tina from The Assistants is scrappy—she found an opportunity and grabbed it.
  • Anne, who is just trying to be her best self, is entangled in some fun drama in By the Book.
  • The community of Broken Wheel is a bit odd but well-meaning all the same.
  • Crazy Rich Asians—the book—has more crazy and more glamour than it did in the movie.
  • Conscious Business has some good points when it comes to self-awareness.

I hope all the mothers out there enjoy their day! I am proud to say that I no longer incur late fees from the library, which my mom never gave me a hard time about.

Bookish Plug: I wrote an entry on By the Book! It’s here.

If you’re going to San Francisco: Part 3

This is the final entry for If you’re going to San Francisco (see Part 1 and Part 2).

I always think it’s such a waste when people don’t see what actually make San Francisco worthwhile: the local spots. San Francisco isn’t just the City by the Bay; it is also a city known for its openness and revolutionary thinking. You can’t put San Francisco in a box. Or you can try.

Day 3: The Neighborhoods

Obviously, San Francisco is home to different kinds of people, and the city has so many neighborhoods with their own sub-cultures. Here are the places I would recommend if you only had a day left in San Francisco.

Continue reading “If you’re going to San Francisco: Part 3”