📖 Book Lovers

“Does anyone ever want to finish a good book?”

Emily Henry
Book Lovers


The other half recommended this book, noting that while it is a romance novel, it was something that was not as easy to put away. I suppose romance novels have their reputation and suffer from pre-judgment, but Emily Henry did a pretty good job. Both of us managed to finish the book, even though we kept expressing our love-hate relationship with this endeavour.

Maybe it is because it is set in the book publishing business (the main characters are a literary agent and a book editor), that we were drawn in. There were various bits about reading and readers, and observations on being a woman in a professional world. These are bound to endear the book to the female reader. And while I would have appreciated some brevity, kudos to the author for plotting the story, peeling behind the layers of various characters along the way. [OK, I just wanted the character development to be faster/ done in fewer words. You also feel like the writer is aiming to be the script for a Hallmark movie.]

That said, my favourite part of the book is the relationship between Nora and her younger sister, Libby. The eternal struggle of an elder sibling wanting to take care of things versus stepping back and/or letting things be, because the younger sibling also needs to be herself, do things her way… So, in a way, maybe it is the sister arc that made me stay.

PS. After you recognise the concept, it is amusing how it turns up so very often – Americans moving away from the East Coast because of the weather and landing up on the West Coast. It is such a luxury that does not compute for me, situated in a cosmopolitan city-state near the equator.

📺 🎵 Some things I’ve watched and listened to – 2023

Singles Inferno, Season 2
Madoff: The Monster on Wall Street
Friends – reruns of various seasons
Physical 100
The Chaser
White Lotus, Season 2
Cunk on Earth
Survivor, Seasons 40, 41
The Glory
Love Between Fairy and Devil
The Diplomat
Light the Wild
Copycat Killer
Detective vs Sleuths (movie)
Selling Sunset, Season 6
The Good Doctor
Siren: Survival Island
Till The End of The Moon
Secret Chef
Muscles & Mayhem: An Unauthorized Story of American Gladiators
Fallen Angels (movie)
Barbie (movie)*
Oppenheimer (movie)*
Jujitsu Kaisen
The Amazing Race, Season 33
Devil’s Plan
House of Usher
Where the Wind Blows (2022 movie)
Cyber Heist (movie)
Hidden Blade (movie)
Loki, Season 1
Kitchen Nightmares
Squid Game Challenge
The Boy and The Heron (movie)*

*watched in the theatre


Akira Kosemura
Future Sound of London

Ten Percent Happier podcast
The Pen Addict podcast


Games too:
Obra Dinn
Mario Kart 8
Super Mario Bros. Wonder


Recommended titles in bold. I continue watching Hong Kong movies on flights. There are quite a few Korean reality shows this year. House of Usher was outstanding, and it was great to close off the year with the mind-blowing The Boy and The Heron.

Reading – 2023

Books here are only listed if I’ve completed them; recommended titles are in bold.


Servants of the Damned
Autumns (Seasons Quartet)
Franny and Zooey
Reality is not what it seems
Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do and What It Says About Us
Cold Water Burning
My Twentieth Century Evening and Other Small Breakthroughs: The Nobel Lecture
Recollections of My Non-existence
The Stranger
The Paris Apartment
The Status Game
The Republic
The Subplot: What China Is Reading and Why It Matters
Rogues: True Stories of Grifters, Killers, Rebels and Crooks
Narcissus and Goldmund
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Elizabeth Finch
Real Estate
Shanghai Lawyer
Smart Brevity
Cloud Hidden, Whereabouts Unknown
The Trackers
The Wall
Zen: The Art of Simple Living
Uncanny Valley
How to Change Your Mind
Sorrow and Bliss
The Devotion of Suspect X
Money Men
Forest Bathing
A People’s History of the United States
The Silent Patient
Influence Empire
The Longest Race
Last Night at The Lobster
Hillbilly Elegy
Eight Mountains
Days at the Morisaki Bookshop
The Price of Being Fair
Better than Before
An Edgar Allan Poe Reader
Still Life
The Dhammapada
Going Infinite: The Rise and Fall of a New Tycoon

Total: 53 books; 20 fiction

Did not make much progress with my foray into series. LOTR is almost done but I barely made progress on re-reading Harry Potter. I seem to be more interested in mysteries this year, perhaps trying to catch the nostalgic Agatha Christie feel. Out, Babel and The Wall were really, really good fiction. I clearly enjoy non-fiction titles on morally-suspect hustlers/ finance bros.