Sunday Stealing, “Not All Who Wander Are Lost”

In past few weeks I have neglected this blog terribly. School started two weeks ago with all of its usual stress and panic, and for a while I wasn’t sure I’d be able to keep this blog at all. I’m still not sure how well I’ll be able to update, but I plan to try. I have a backlog of reviews to write, but for today I was inspired to update thanks to a meme I saw on a journal I follow. The meme is from a blog called Sunday Stealing, and doesn’t deal with books or reading but struck me as something I could do to try and get back in the habit of updating this thing.

  1. Put your music player of choice on shuffle and list the first song. TWO, by Chemistry.
  2. If you could spend a week anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? Would you take anyone with you? Thailand, specifically the town I taught in for a year, Phanom Sarakham. I miss Thailand- my friends, my students, the lifestyle- every single day. I plan to go visit for two weeks or so next January but it feels like forever from now.
  3. What is your preferred writing implement? (eg. Blue pen, pencil, green pen) Some form of black pen. I use whatever pens happen to be lying around me. For school I’m using a pen I took from a Marriott Residence in while at home I’m using one from a Hollywood Suites by Hilton.
  4. When did you go on your first trip alone (without your parents)? I’ve been on several small trips with my boyfriend, but the only time I truly traveled completely alone was to Thailand. Go big or go home, right?
  5. Do you have connections to any celebrities (even minor)? List them. My mom’s cousin was once a pro wrestler, and I taught a girl whose older brother was a model?
  6. Name 3 items you could pick up from where you are. An empty cereal bowl, a purple pen, PS3 controller.
  7. How would you describe your sense of humor? Goofy but often sarcastic, especially when annoyed.
  8. Do you ever play board games or other non-computer games? Got any favorites? I love card games, Apples to Apples, Cards Against Humanity, ImaginIf and Life.
  9. A musical artist you love that isn’t well known. To most of the Western world, all of them. I primarily listen to Asian pop.
  10. A musical artist you love that is well known. I like a lot of R&B artists: NeYo, Bruno Mars, Jay Sean, ect.
  11. What is your desktop background currently? VIXX, my favorite Korean boy band.
  12. Last person you talked to, and through what you talked to them. My mom, in person. Last night I spoke to my boyfriend over the phone.
  13. What do you carry your money in? A cheap Avengers wallet I bought at Ross.
  14. What timekeeping devices are in the room you are currently in? Just the digital clock on my desktop.
  15. What kind of headphones do you use? A pair of black over the ear headphones, I’ve forgotten the brand name. I also have a pair of Sony earbuds in case over the ear headphones are ever too inconvenient, but they hurt my ears.
  16. What musical artists have you seen perform live? Korean: Wonder Girls, 2PM, VIXX, MBLAQ. Taiwanese: Show Luo, Rainie Yang. I’ve seen way too many Thai artists to list.
  17. How often do you clear your browser history? At home, once every few months. At work I clear it at the end of the week.
  18. What’s the best job you’ve ever had? Teaching English in Thailand. I’ve never enjoyed working so much or felt so fulfilled and positive at the end of a work day.
  19. What’s the worst job you’ve ever had? My current job, which I’ve had off and on since I graduated from high school. I work in human resources as some form of assistant just so I can pay for school.
  20. What magazines do you read, if any? I subscribe to Bookmarks and World Lit Today and highly recommend both of them. I find so many new books to read through them.

Five Best Books of 2013

This was a very hard year for me personally, but I’m happy to say it was a great reading year. Ever since graduating from university I’ve found more and more time to devote to reading and I feel so much better when books are a significant part of my laugh. I was hard to choose a favorites list from this year’s reads, but I tried. (Note: these are in no kind of order.)

If I had to pick a favorite book of 2013, After Dark would definitely be near the top, if not at the very top of the list. This was the last novel I read in my Murakami binge and it was such a unique and special experience. After Dark is not only different from any other novel I’ve read, but it’s very different from all of Murakami’s other novels.

ugChoosing two books by the same author seems biased but 2013 was very much a Year of Murakami for me as I read eight of his works in one year. I’ve chosen Underground: The Tokyo Gas Attack and the Japanese Psyche because I almost never read nonfiction, but somehow this became one of my top three favorite Murakami works. Not only is the content interesting but the way Murakami organizes and tells the stories involved in the gas attack is interesting.


I “discovered” Mo Yan towards the end of 2013 and tackled Sandalwood Death as my first taste of his work. As the story was centered around a method of torture I was a little hesitant and I little excited to see how it’d turn out. I fell in love with Mo Yan’s style through this novel and have a stack of others waiting for me to read.


Another author I read a lot of this year was Ursula K. Le Guin. I was already a fan of her Earthsea cycle and decided to read all of the books in her Hainish cycle, which were more science fiction where Earthsea was fantasy. I enjoyed all of the books and short stories immensely, but The Left Hand of Darkness was definitely my favorite.

ewWhy did I do this to myself? A friend told me about Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series and he was so enthusiastic that I just had to try it out. Now I’m hooked and have fourteen massive fantasy novels to read (I should be excited, I know). I’ve already purchased the second and third book and hopefully next year I can finish both.