#2044| saltwater

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Saltwater / Quarterly Literary Review Singapore

Don’t worry, she wanted to tell him, I just got excited. I won’t accidentally ascend again. I am in control. But all she could do was blow bubbles at him through her regulator.

I have a new(ish) story in QLRS about the different ways one can be sick at sea. Question: if you wrote a story a long time ago, but it just got accepted for publication, do you think of it as a new story out or an old story being put to rest?

I am quite sleep deprived and that is the question operating at the forefront of my mind, presently.

x
Jem

#2042 | Reading Update #4

October

The lonely passion of Judith hearne by Brian Moore
The blind owl by Sadegh Hedayat
On earth we’re briefly gorgeous by Ocean Vuong
Know my name by Chanel Miller
The Ministry of Fear by Graham Greene
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark
Home Remedies by Xin Juliana Wang
Pedro Paramo by Juan Rulfo

Book(s) of the month: Know my Name by Chanel Miller, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark

November

The Testaments by Magaret Atwood
Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
Every Day is Mother’s Day by Hilary Mantel
Unaccompanied by Javier Zamora
Autumn by Ali Smith
Do you Hear Them by Nathalie Sarraute
The Hour of the Star by Clarice Lispector
Dear Girls by Ali Wong
Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Hunger by Lan Samantha Chang
The Pyramid by Kadare
Dolly City by ORly Castel-Bloom

Book(s) of the month: Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Hunger by Lan Samantha Chang, Autumn by Ali Smith

December

Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo
A Girl Returned by Donatella Di Pietrantonio
In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado
A Tiger Remembers: The way we were in Singapore by Anne Wee
Edinburgh by Alexander Chee
How to Write an Autobiographical Novel by Alexander Chee
My Heart Hemmed In by Marie Ndiaye
My Brilliant Friend (re read) by Elena Ferrante
The Story of a New Name (re-read) by Elena Ferrante
Those who Leave and Those who Stay (re read) by Elena Ferrante
The Story of the Lost Child (re read) by Elena Ferrante

Book(s) of the month: Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo, How to Write an Autobiographical Novel by Alexander Chee, My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante

And that’s a wrap for 2019! At last count I read 113 books this year, which I’m pretty pleased about, this was an excellent reading year with many beautiful books that took my breath away. And I know we’re barely dipping our toes into the new decade, but my reading list is, like, a mile long already. Did I just say mile? I guess I’ve truly assimilated into America. Ha.

Happy reading everyone!

x
Jem

#2032| Reading update 3

July


Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind
(Screenplay)
Frankisstein by Jeanette Winterson
Severance by Ling Ma
The Man Who Saw Everything by Deborah Levy
The 80 Minute MBA by Richard Reeves and John Knell
Exhalation by Ted Chiang

Book of the month: Exhalation by Ted Chiang

August

Three Women by Lisa Taddeo
How to Pray by CS Lewis
We are the Weather by Jonathan Safran Foer
The Water Dancer by Ta-nehisi Coates
Veronica by Nicholas Christopher
Still Here by Lara Vapnyar
Everything I know about Love by Dolly Alderton

Book of the month: Everything I know about Love by Dolly Alderton

September

Bad Blood by John Carreyrou
Trick Mirror by Jia Tolenteni
Death in Venice by Thomas Mann
Rabbits for Food by Binnie Kirschenbaum
Monsieur Teste by Paul Valery (hated)
The Face: Strangers on a Pier by Tash Aw (Re-read)
Miss lonelyhearts by Nathaniel West
Day of the locust by Nathaniel West
Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine
Glory by Vladimir Nabokov
Mrs Bridge by Evan S. Connell
Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

Book of the month: Mrs Bridge by Evan S.Connell

When you have to read two novels a week for school you realise things move very, very fast indeed.

Last quarter of 2019, here we go.

x
Jem

#2024 | reading update 2

Reading update for Jan-Mar here.

In the last three months:

April

The Sun on my Head by Geovani Martins
A Map of Betrayal by Ha jin
We, the Survivors by Tash Aw
Critical Incidents by Lucie Whitehouse
Hotel World by Ali Smith
The Wallcreeper by Nell Zink
South and West by Joan Didion
Swimming Home by Deborah Levy
The Changeling by Victor LaValle
This is going to hurt by Adam Kay
Delayed Rays of a Star by Amanda Lee Koe
Broccoli and other tales of food love by Lara Vapnyar
Lanny by Max Porter
The Lonesome Bodybuilder

Book of the month | We, the Survivors by Tash Aw | This is going to hurt by Adam Kay

May


Not that Kind of Girl
by Lena Dunham
The Farm by Joanne Ramos
Suicide Club by Rachel Heng
Crazy Cat Lady
Too Fat Too Slutty Too Loud by Anne Helen Petersen
Your Duck is My Duck by Deborah Eisenberg
A Free Life by Ha Jin
My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell

Book of the month | My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell

June

Inferior by Angela Saini
Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli
10 minutes and 38 seconds in this strange world by Elif Shafak
Lie with Me by Philippe Besson, Translated by Molly Ringwald
This is my family: New Singapore Plays Vol 2 by Checkpoint Theatre
How we Disappeared by Jing Jing Lee
Hereditary (Screenplay)
Insiduous (Screenplay)

Book of the month | Lie with me by Philippe Besson | How We Disappeared by Jing Jing Lee

I’ve read less than I’d like to – slower than I’d like to, essentially, but I have reasons.. !!

Reasons or excuses I suppose, depending on how you look at them. Regardless, hoping to turn this around in the second half of the year, which I am sure will be spent reading infinitely more.

x
Jem

#2101 | reading update

So far in 2019:

January

If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin
The Plotters by Un-su Kim
Travel Junkie by Julia Dimon
A River in Darkness by Masaji Ishikawa
The Effect by Lucy Prebble
The Gritterman by Orlando Weeks
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
Dear Ijeawele by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche
An Amorous Discourse from the Suburbs of Hell by Deborah Levy
Standard Deviation by Katherine Heiny
Feast Days by Ian MacKenzie
A Public Space issue 27
Swing Time by Zadie Smith
Mary Ventura and the 9th Kingdom by Sylvia Plath

Book of the month

If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin / The Effect by Lucy Prebble

Feburary

Book Love by Debbie Tung
Mr Salary by Sally Rooney
Come Rain or Come Shine by Kazuo Ishiguro
Becoming by Michelle Obama
A Thousand Years of Good prayers by Yiyun Li
Certain American States by Catherine Lacey
Waiting by Ha Jin
Heartburn by Norah Ephron
Dept of Speculation by Jenny Offill

Book of the month

A thousand years of good prayers by Yiyun Li

March

Educated by Tara Westover
A Manifesto for Arts Funding by Alfian Sa’at
China is Messing with your Mind by Bilahari Kausikan
The Power of a People by Kuik Shiao-Yin
The Silhouette of Oppression by Kirsten Han
A Good time to be a Girl by Helena Morrissey
The Authentic Lie by Pandora Sykes
Vox by Christina Dalcher
Hot Milk by Deborah Levy
I WILL SURVIVE : Personal Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transexual Stories in Singapore edited by Leow Yangfa
The Leavers by Lisa Ko

Book of the month

Edcuated by Tara Westover

It is now April – I have read The Sun on my Head by Geovani Martins, and A Map of Betrayal by Ha jin. I am now re-reading Tash Aw’s We, The Survivors, which is launching today in the UK.

Good times.

x
Jem