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Books : My 2020 Book Challenge

My goal is 33 books but I finished 50 books instead !

I'm still on Scribd this year and I've been listening/reading to digital books like in the previous years. I don't buy physical books anymore (except for Murakami's Killing Commandatore this year and books for Sofi). 


Here is the list of books that I enjoyed this year :

  1. Breast and Eggs by Mieko Kawakamo
  2. The Magic of Motherhood by Ashlee Gadd (I cried and laughed listening to this - it is very relatable in this phase)
  3. Kintsugi Wellness by Candice Kumai
  4. Kim Jiyoung Born 1982 by Cho Nam-Joo
  5. Severance by Ling Ma
  6. This was Our Pact by Ryan Andrews
  7. The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell by Robert Dugoni 
  8. How to Fail by Elizabeth Day
There are some notes about this reading challenge that I want to point out (for me to remember in the future) :

  • In the first half of 2020 I didn't read that much and most books that I listened to were boring (that was why I was a bit demotivated), I think I started listening and reading again after July. 
  • Listening to The Tattooist of Auschwitz and Cilka's Stories by Heather Morris made me open my eyes to the brutality of war and how human is just so, disappointing.. I am grateful to be living in such comfort and having things just enough, but knowing that there are places that still in war makes me reminding myself over and over that this lockdown and Covid situation is near to nothing compared to what they are dealing with at this moment. 
  • I enjoyed The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell so I started listening to Robert Dugoni's Tracy Crosswhite's series (added 7 more books in the list - can't remember the last time I read a long series) - I enjoyed this experience so much because I feel like I've been with Tracy Crosswhite along the way while she was growing up (and now she's in her middle age - her series is still continuing, I haven't read the latest one). 
  • I think this year I am focused on finding myself in between motherhood and career. So I've been reading several fictions and non-fictions related to that. Breast and Eggs, Kim Jiyoung Born 1982 and even A Lover's Discourse and more mother/parenthood-related books. Being a mother put me in an odd place that I'm still adapting so I'm trying to figure out what I'm feeling and where I am in this situation. These books have been an eye-opening experience. 
  • Severance by Ling Ma is a reminder on how bad the post-apocalyptic world can be. It's a satire, dark humour. It felt like a real life (considering we are in the middle of a pandemic and that doesn't mean there's zombies needed in a fiction to make it valid as post-apocalyptic world). Good read during a pandemic.  
  • Note : I love first person narration. I think it is the best way to analyze or observe human's emotion or feelings. Even though it might be fiction, but it still came from a person and I love being connected in such intimate way with the writer. We can't exactly know how people feel based on just looking at their outer presentation, but in writings, it's just there like an open book and ready to be consumed. 

The book list that I read/listened to this year is here. There are books that I didn't enjoyed or finished as well (the ones that I didn't finished are not in the list though). 


If you are like me and currently in the phase of searching for yourself since you've become a mother, you can read these books :

  1. Breast and Eggs by Mieko Kawakamo
  2. The Magic of Motherhood by Ashlee Gadd
  3. Kim Jiyoung Born 1982 by Cho Nam-Joo
  4. How to Fail by Elizabeth Day
  5. Finding Chika by Mitch Albom
It doesn't help you 'find' the meaning or anything significant, it is just various stories shared by parents - as parents, we all know that it is hard and maybe we don't really say it aloud in fear of looking like we are ungrateful being. But it is hard, and yes, we will always need help to understand that we aren't alone in this. 

Let's hope I finish as many books (or more) next year !

Little Things 245 - After Midnight

Remember my previous curated playlist on Spotify called Wandering Soul

Well I made a new one since Sofi and I called it After Midnight. 

I used this picture I found by @michellisphoto , so it is not mine, all credit to her :


There is a phase that started post-pregnancy while I was still heavily hormonal and mildly depressed perhaps due to post-partum depression, stress and recovery. So the playlist started with a song that I listened-to while I was having a wild contraction in the middle of the night. The night that we didn't sleep and I was in constant pain. 

It was a wild night. 

It was a start of a new phase in my life, and I always come back to that night, the night that changed me.

And throughout the playlist I just added to the playlist, whatever songs that I found that were nice to listen to after midnight. Honestly I no longer sleep late, I'm in my 30s now, I don't do midnights anymore. But it is always nice to remember those life we left behind :)

My soul still speaks in written words and mellow melodies, so I can't help myself, even though I am turning 34 soon, I still enjoy songs and make playlist. It's the best reminder of the phases in my life. Af doesn't share the likings in music as I do, he doesn't hear lyrics or melodies, he doesn't put memories in songs, he doesn't even hum or let alone sings :F I's hard to explain to him, so I think I just write this down for me. 

Review : Bookxcess Book Haul (Dec 2020)

Right after I got my payment this month I made an online order from Bookxcess !

I ordered more picture books for Sofi since she started another phase of flipping-through all her picture books all day (especially before sleep at night). She flips-through it all repeatedly, even though she hasn't started talking yet (she is now 1 yr 4 mo). But she always push the books in my face so I could act / sing / read out for her - repeatedly as well. I would try to enjoy this repetition as much and as patient as I can before she starts to read them all by herself ok :F


These are all the books from the latest order :

These are all her worn-out books since the last book haul :


About the order :

It only took around 12 hours for the books to arrive, I was a bit surprised by how fast it was for the order to be processed and arrived. I fully recommend buying from Bookxcessonline. 

So their latest offer (for Dec 2020) is free shipping with the minimum purchase of RM 80, and you can get a lot of picture books from Bookxcess with RM 80 :D I bought 5 books : 

  • 4 picture books (Rm 15 - RM 18 each) - these are hard cover, fully coloured, picture books
  • 1 non-fiction (RM 19.90) - Achtung Baby by Sara Zaske


All the books from Bookxcess :


How to choose books for baby/toddler (below 2 yrs old) :
  • Start with picture books
  • Books related to their familiar nursery rhymes 
  • Hard cover with hard-cardboard / fabric pages (no papers yet)
  • Easy to relate - animals, normal items in the house, transportation

Sofi loves nursery rhymes : Itsy Bitsy Spider, Row Your Boat, Old McDonald. 

So even if you have picture books with animals in it (and not nursery rhymes), you can point to the animals and sing the nursery rhymes yourself (like pointing to the monkey for "5 little jumping monkeys", ducks for "5 little ducks", cows for "Old McDonald", shark for "Baby Shark" etc. She expects me to sing whenever she points something to me.

I'm surprised by her interest in books - I thought it would be much complicated compared to toys. 

PS : I started reading to her when she was 3 months old, and she started showing interest in the books by herself by 9 months - but no more reading to her, she got no patience for that, only songs and sounds nowadays.