Beanie level: Rooftop room dweller

30 Days Book Challenge
Day 13: Your favorite writer

This is a tough question. But If I have to choose one, it would be Kelley Armstrong. I rarely trusted a writer this much by reading all of her works without any regard of the genre, the concept she wanted to explore, or the popularity of her novels. But for her, I simply lap it all up, sure that she would end up leave me satisfied. It sure helped, though, that she generally produced fast-paced stories with strong and interesting characters that blended mystery, action, and romance quite seamlessly.

0
0

30 Days Book Challenge
Day 12: A book you love but hate at the same time

Errmm… So there’s this book that I read for purely guilty pleasure reason. And yeah, I didn’t expect much, but turned out, it has a very intriguing concept that I think should be explored much much deeper and merited something so much better that this story.

It all began with a what-if question about someone who sleepwalked and did his deepest desire without being conscious about it. At first it only resulted in harmless actions like going to places he didn’t normally go to while awake, flirting with people he usually didn’t dare acknowledge as attractive, drawing beautiful yet disturbing pictures when normally he couldn’t do it awake, stuff like that. But then one day, he burned the home of a man who made his life absolutely miserable just because of who he is. And so the small town is in uproar because the medical examiner declared his sleepwalking as an impairing medical condition that made him a non-responsible party for that incident, while everyone was ready to condemn him as a heartless murderer. It’s dark, unnerving, but somehow a little bit beautiful in the isolation that the main lead lived in.

Sadly, the build-up of that concept is completely ruined when the writer focused too much on the sex scenes and the other unnecessary stuff. And yeah, I’m too embarrassed to spill the title to you all. *hides*

2
2

    But my dear @gadis, isn’t that the whole point? For you to NOT be embarrassed by your pick of reading material? Just because you read something that’s not considered “literature” doesn’t mean you don’t enjoy thoughtful/ educational/ intellectual/ *put whatever description you want here* reads or that you are less of a reader, and just because you enjoy the classics or “appropriate” books doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the more “easy” reads or that you’re a snob! A reader is a reader as long as they read. Choice of their reading material is up to them.

    I like to read:
    Romance novels
    Cozy mysteries
    Youth Sleuth stories (ala Nancy Drew, to this day)
    Fantasy novels
    Some of the classics
    Murder mysteries
    (lots more on the list that I can’t think of, off the top of my head)

    Tried but can never finish

    Anna Karenina
    anything by Charles Dickens (Go ahead, judge me)
    again, lots more on the list that i can’t think of, off the top of my head

    0
    1

      The thing is, this one is erotica. And the exploration about that is problematic at best. Ugh, I don’t now what makes me read this book in the first place.
      .
      .
      .
      So, if you really must know, it’s… *whisper* When All the World Sleeps by Lisa Henry.

      Now I really need to hide. *blush*

      0
      0

30 Days Book Challenge
Day 11: A book you hated

Have any of you read Megan Lindholm’s Cloven Hooves? To be honest, I had high expectation since it came from one of my favorite author (well, technically she used a different pen name, but still), but it only managed to anger me to no end. I’m not sure if this was a woman empowerment piece gone horribly, terribly wrong, or I simply didn’t have the knowledge to understand the real message this tale tried to convey. Someone, help, please??

1
3

    I haven’t read this but I tend not to like the stuff written as Megan Lindholm as much as the stuff written as Robin Hobb. I don’t know why.

    1
    1

      I’ve read Megan Lindholm’s collection of short stories before this, and found it interesting enough. Sure, her stories tend to be more surreal and a little bit unnerving than her works as Robin Hobb, but I thought it was okay. But apparently my first try at her novel turned into a nightmarish experience. I’m sure I wrote a super long rant for this particular book the moment I finished it.

      0
      0

    I haven’t read this but at first glance I thought the title says β€œColleen Hoover” which is another author’s name, and so ended up thinking that this cover just has 3 names instead. Lolols I haven’t finished my coffee yet…

    1
    0

30 Days Book Challenge
Day 10: A book that reminds you of home

Logically, it should be a book about something very close to my real life. But somehow, the only title I could think of is a classic Indonesian novel Para Priyayi by Umar Kayam (translated into english as Javanese Gentry). It was a historical piece quite far removed from my own life, but it was also the only book that reminded me strongly of all the tales my parents used to regale me about their childhood. It was a story about middle-class family from East Java and their evolving dynamic as time changes, and it’s a sharp resemblance to the differing eras between me and my parents.

6
0

30 Days Book Challenge
Day 9: A book you thought you wouldn’t like but ended up loving

Harry Potter was my very first foray to magical world stories, and to my very young self, it’s unfathomable to imagine a magical world being described in any different way. That’s the very reason I avoided magic-related stories like plague until I was much older. It was with trepidation that I tried reading Jonathan Stroud’s Amulet of Samarkand (which is the first book of his Bartimaeus Trilogy). Who knew that I would fall head over heel by the end of the book?

Until this day, I still dubbed this trilogy as a more somber, less black-and-white version of Harry Potter in my mind. Both Harry and Nathaniel have a crappy childhood, but while Harry found best friends and loving mentors during school, Nathaniel found every possible reason to stop being the sweet child that he was because of the cruel “school system” in that world. Both were forced to be heroes in their respective world, but while Harry was instantly likeable and always backed his resolve with positivity, Nathaniel was a fascinating and sometimes downright hateful antihero who has to fight for his own place. While the wizards from Harry Potter world used a non troublesome wand as their tool, the ones from Bartimaeus world enslaved demons to do their bidding, presenting us with a complex moral conundrum as the story went on.

Whenever I need a little bit of reminder that difficult questions on gray areas actually existed in children fantasy book, I always turned to this trilogy without fail. And I think as I get older, I appreciated the idea of a “hero” like Nathaniel so much more.

11
5

    Thank you for this entry! I finally got around to reading my Belgariad books during the quarantine, and they keep promoting this trilogy in the end notes. I was hesitating because while I love fantasy stories, the Belgariad is at times heavier to stomach than my usual light fiction (like Harry Potter), and this trilogy seems to belong in that same category.

    1
    0

    I remember you recommended me that trilogy, that description of the hero is quite interesting , will let you know when I’ll reach it on my to-read list ^^

    1
    0

    I keep wondering whether there’s going to be a sequel…

    0
    1

    Going on my To read list

    1
    0

30 Days Book Challenge
Day 6: A book that makes you sad

Snow Country by Yasunari Kawabata. I first read it when I was in high school, and while I didn’t really understand what it wanted to say, I always remember the feeling of empty sadness that it left me in. Years later, I re-read it and understood more. One thing that never changed is the sense of bleakness that it evoked in me as the story progress.

10
0

30 Days Book Challenge
Day 5: A book that makes you happy and (yeah, I’m going to cheat because this one also fit well with another day challenge) Day 7: A book that makes you laugh

I’m going to present to you one of my favorite Indonesian novel that never failed to cheer me up. (Sadly, there’s no English translation available yet as far as I know.) Padang Bulan and Cinta dalam Gelas by Andrea Hirata. A fine slice-of-life tale about women empowerment told through a chess competition held in a small village in rural Sumatra. Important life lesson most often is found at the strangest place, and this humorous yet emotionally charged story knows that very very well.

6
0

30 Days Book Challenge
Day 3: Your favorite series

Okay, I love series, and I probably can list more than 20 series in one go. Which would be cheating. Heh.
So I’m going to pick my most recent discovery, instead. Megan Whalen Turner’s The Queen’s Thief series. Enigmatic characters, complicated plot, clever twist, and dangerously fun adventures. A satisfying fantasy take on kingdom politics and intrigues.

Day 4: Favorite book of your favorite series

The 3rd book: The King of Attolia. Nothing is as satisfying as watching everyone underestimated your favorite hero exactly like you did during the first book, knowing that the revelation was going to be just as rewarding the second time around.

12
4

    Your post reminds me that the sixth book is going to be released sometime this year, time for a reread ^^

    1
    1

    This is my favorite book series too! I love all of the books but The King of Attolia was my favorite for the same reason. I loved how it all built up to the ending where everyone realized that their whiny, lazy king was the real deal.

    The dialogue is so smart, smarter than me lol. I’ve had to reread in order to take it all in.

    1
    1

30 Days Book Challenge
Day 2: A book that you’ve read more than 3 times

This one is easy.
Jodi Picoult’s Nineteen Minutes. I bawled like a baby whenever I re-read it. I know it’s not her best book to date, but it’s the one that touched me the deepest. I still don’t know what makes me willing to go through all those pain over and over again.

5
1

30 Days Book Challenge
Day 1: Best book you read last year

I kinda want to cheat and answer The Tawny Man series because I love everything about it. The adventure, friendship, romance, life lesson, even the it-sucks-being-an-adult stuff. It’s not that easy to get a fantasy stories revolved around a 30 something hero, and this series get an extra point just for how well it handled it.

But if I have to pick one book, it would be the final novel: Fool’s Fate. The uncertainty of change and the hopefulness that surrounded it, the lesson about facing your pain and seizing happiness for yourself, and the notion about boundless love. It was a near perfect conclusion for this epic tale.

5
4

    Oh I loved these! I haven’t been as into Robin Hobbs latest but these were great.

    1
    1

      Fitz stories are still my absolute favorite from this writer, even if the ending felt too bittersweet to my taste.

      1
      1

        I liked the Liveship trilogy the best when I read them but I don’t remember a lot of what happened in them now; the Fitz books stayed with me much longer (probably because of that bittersweetness, it was effective but I would’ve taken a less effective, happier ending!)

        1
        1

          Objectively, Liveship Traders is the best written series from Robin Hobb. Very complex, with a lot of exploration on morally grey areas. Captain Kennit is still one of the best villain I’ve read about, and Malta has all my heart.

          *nodding along your suggestion of a happier ending* Poor little Bee.

          1
          0

A breakdown scene never felt this raw and painful. It was short compared to many other similar scenes in k-dramas. But I couldn’t shake off the feeling of intruding into someone’s very private moment. So private and in secret that it almost like Jang-hyun himself is hiding his breakdown episode from his own self.
Sigh… It’s impossible to hate this guy.

#MatrimonialChaos

14
7

    One of my favorite dramas. I’m still obsessed with the river crossing and the powerful bond between the women.

    6
    1

    This show was so beautifully complex and the characters were so fully realized – I think it was easy to write them all off for different reasons at the start, but by the end you really were rooting for all of them to find happiness. But Son Seok-koo really hit it out of the park with this character – I somehow wanted to strangle him and give him a hug. And he was so expressive, not just with his face but with his movements.

    5
    0

    As always, SSK stealing the show, although all four leads were amazing.

    4
    0

    A hidden gem this show was. A great cast was a plus.

    1
    0

    This entire drama is great

    1
    0

This is such a memorable scene.
We, adults, like to pretend that we know everything. When in fact, sometimes, it was those kids who actually see things more clearly. It’s unfortunate that most often than not, we are the one who introduce them to the harmful prejudices that has plagued our lives longer than we realized.

#MatrimonialChaos

15
0

30 Days Drama Challenge
Day 18: Drama with SLS

I\’m one of those logical romcom watcher who always cheer for the male lead that the female lead likes and chooses to pursue. In another words, SLS is an almost unheard-of concept for me. But if we were to broaden the meaning of SLS from \”cheering for the wrong person to get the love of their heart\” into \”getting much more invested in the second lead\’s story despite their flaws\”, then I have the perfect answer for that.

Extraordinary You\’s Baek Kyung, actually I\’m still not so sure if me following your story closely to the very end should be attributed to the character himself (who was admittedly one of the more complex and relatable character in the drama) or the actor who brought this arrogant high schooler with hidden vulnerabilities to life (Lee Jae-wook!! 😍😍)

19
4

    Heh so you are like me. I, too, always root for the main guy except for an exception or two.

    3
    0

    Same! I’ve only had 2-3 cases of SLS.
    Also Baek-kyung was by far the more interesting guy in EY. I was so happy to see Lee Jae Wook in a bubbly smiling role afterwards though. He also stole every scene in his next drama.

    6
    0

    Baek Kyung was the only reason I even went through watching EY until the finale. For the life of me I find the leads’ romance boring. Haha

    4
    0

    Haha me too. When I was watching this drama, I was wondering why I can’t hate Baek Kyung and was still somehow rooting for him despite him being so mean to Dan Oh. I thought maybe because he seemed troubled but nice inside. Or maybe because I just finished watching Search: WWW then 😆

    3
    0

30 Days Drama Challenge
Day 17: Drama that deserved a S2

Probably a very unpopular opinion, but I wanted another season (or two or three) for Life. That drama dealt with the necessity of fundamental change to create a better health system, and by the end of the story, the doctors have only came to that realization. It\’s going to be a long, uphill battle. It would demand enormous effort and strong willpower from all of them to move the change gear, and the ending has only ushered them to that understanding.

There are tons of material to be mined off as the source of the next season\’s stories, be it related to the hospital management issues or exploration of everyone\’s personal life. Given the recent news of Secret Forest\’s second season, I\’m actually a bit more hopeful that Lee Soo-yeon writer-nim will gift us the 2nd season someday. Besides, this drama arguably has the best character for Lee Kyu-hyung, and it would be a treat to watch another 16 eps of Ye Seon-woo living a good life.

12
7

    Life is such a non-cookie cutter medical drama that by the end of it most characters have been “enlightened”. It could indeed have a season 2 to show their subsequent journey and there are so many characters that we audience care.

    5
    0

    didn’t know I needed a season 2 of Life before your post, I’ll be glad to watch this (and welcome again President Gu on my screen πŸ™‚ )

    3
    0

    It’s been my favorite medical drama.

    2
    0

    Yes a to a second season with it.
    Because a second season would also have Lee Jung Hyuk as President. I’m already fainting!!!

    1
    0

    I think it wasn’t as popular ratings or buzz wise that is why there were never talks of a season 2 when it surely deserves one. The only medical drama I loved watching. I’m watching Hospital Playlist too but I’m totally skipping the medical parts and that’s what Life avoided. Also I think President Gu is one of the best complex gray character dramaland has seen. At one point he looks good and reasonable, at the other he looks bad until he’s fully revealed. Idk if JSW’s character was the same in Forest of Secrets because if it is then I’m missing a lot. Also LKH just broke hearts ten times more in this show then he normally does lol.

    2
    1

      JSW’s character in Forest of Secrets cant be more different from that in life – who due to some brain surgery in his young age doesn’t have emotional engagement. He’s one introvert but calm and superb investigator. President Gu on the other hand is multi-faced, sophisticated and dapper – all his suits in Life look great on him. Just show what a sublime actor he is.

      3
      1

        Multi faced is the most appropriate word for President Gu. He definitely is a good actor and Forest of Secrets rests on my should be watched list.

        2
        0

30 Days Drama Challenge
Day 16: Worst Drama Villain

SPOILER!!!
My vote goes to Trap, because I didn’t know that we watched the story unfolded from the villain’s POV. Needless to say, that was the most disturbing drama-watching experience I’ve had.

P.S. Ajusshi, please come back with a sane drama soon.

5
3

30 Days Drama Challenge
Day 14: Underrated Drama

It’s hard to pick one, but I’ll go with Friend, Our Legend. An old 2009 noir drama that depicted long-lasting friendship and its eventual death in all its painful details. It was a gritty and devastating story about the pain of growing up and carving your own path in the unforgiving world. It was a memorable tale of sweet childhood, exuberant youth, and jaded adulthood.

And personally, I think more people need to watch Hyun Bin playing a quiet, non-chaebol character whose silent rage towards the unfairness in his life slowly ate him up inside. He totally killed it here, bringing a new depth to his acting. Something that I want to see once more.

12
1

    Wow, what an interesting choice. I count myself as HB’s #1 fan so probably I should watch it again too.

    1
    0

30 Days Drama Challenge
Day 8: Worst NOTP

I thought I would skip on today\’s challenge because I\’ve been lucky enough to drop dramas with potentially problematic OTP long before it reached the half point. And then I remembered that one drama where I did my hardest defending and cheering for the OTP, only for the lead male to go on a nonsensical year-long separation with all communication cut out. Then he came back to his one and only love all convinced that losing life is preferable than living with disability. Like, WHAT?!?! Yes, I\’m talking about you two, Yeo-reum and Soo-yeon from Fox Bride Star. That was the first time I balked at the finale eps reunion, shouted \”No!\” to my screen, then proceeded to write long angry rant and un-favorite that drama from my shows page.


(Yeah, I\’m also crying, Yeo-reum, but definitely not out of joy.)

13
7

    Yeah…I literally just did not watch the last episode because this drama devolved into nonsense and I was so mad at all the wasted potential.

    6
    1

      I quitted on episode 15. Then realized it was episode 15 and basically FF the whole final episode.
      I hated this so much. I hated ML so much.
      The β€œone year later” didn’t make sense (well, like anything in the show did 🙄).
      I have anger issues with this show.

      3
      1

        SAME. I watched episode 15, saw the fanwall the next day and noped out of the last episode. I was like, I do not need to waste an hour on this nonsense. I did watch a few clips of the security couple on youtube, but that’s it. This drama was such a trainwreck by the end that I was sad that these amazing actors were stuck with such nonsense.

        4
        1

          This drama was the literal definition of Thematic Suicide. It just blew a giant frakking hole in everything it implied it was going to do and could’ve done and it wasn’t JBL or Radiant Office, that kept the heart of their stories despite the rocky finish, at least not for me; FBS just obliterated the whole thing with that ending.

          6
          0

    Security Couple was the only OTP.

    2
    1

      Kim Kyung Nam was the main reason I finished this drama.

      2
      0

    I’m still mad at this drama. What COULD have been. My girl Chae Soobin deserved better. Ironically, it’s probably one of her better rating dramas to date.

    1
    0

30 Days Drama Challenge
Day 7: Best OTP

Technically, there are so many other dramas that has great OTP, but Na-ri and Hwa-shin from Jealousy Incarnate is still the last couple that reassured me that romcom used to be so much fun. I miss the times when romcom is hilarious and heart-fluttering, yet still full of important messages. When exploring all the facets (even the silly and the ugly) of a romantic relationship is the main drive of the story. When writer doesn\’t need to inject an ill-fitted thriller to move the story forward.

Hwa-shin and Na-ri are as unconventional as a couple can be. They are always unapologetically them during all the phases of their relationship: from medical check up \”dates\” to impromptu dance of love. They make slice-of-life super exciting, turn potentially bloody love triangle into something hilarious, face the heavy issues sensitively but with their good humor still intact, and retain their complex personality well after they\’ve became an official couple.

It\’s 2020. Seo Sook-hyang writer-nim, don\’t you think it\’s time to come back with another romcom full of witty, bizarrely make sense, and superb dialogues? Because I\’m desperate of one now.

18
8

    Jealousy Incarnate!!! ❤️
    The last show that made me wait for the episodes was Be Melodramatic and before that was Jealousy Incarnate. Writers have seriously forgotten that rom coms used to have good comedy too. And well the comedy in JI is spot on and it’s the only show I’d like to rewatch. I was kind of disappointed with Wok of Love but most people who continued watching it said that it was in line with what SSH has previously written. Hence, JI was rather only different. I just wish she writes more like JI often. We don’t get laugh out loud wacky comedy much anyway.

    1
    0

    He had breast cancer though. It wasn’t a thriller but as we know cancer is one of the worst serial killers out there.

    0
    1

    I love this drama! I love him in his glasses and her, “dont let other people see you in your glasses!” I love him trying to sleep with her when the 3 of them are all living together when she’s trying to “make up her mind”. I love the bromance (stop mid-fight to assure themselves that they are still best friend!)
    I love that first kiss when they both assure themselves that they are horrible people–but they couldn’t stop themselves anyway.
    Their chemistry is OFF. THE. WALL

    3
    1

    HwaShin that guy so jealous that he’s jealous of their son haha 😂
    that drama was a nice one πŸ™‚
    (Jo Jung Seok with glasses though 😍 !)

    2
    0

30 Days Drama Challenge
Day 6: Best Female Lead

At first, I didn\’t plan on participating in this challenge. Because how am I supposed to choose 1 from 200 something drama I\’ve watched for years??

But reading today\’s theme, I felt that I should give Oh Min-jung from Hi Bye, Mama! a shout, if only because a nice yet complicated second female lead is still a rare gem in dramaland. And also because she stood tall, calmly and quietly disproving the infamous stereotype about evil step mother. I love her with all my heart. And I still wish the writer treated her better.

17
2

These two\’s brand of constant bickering is just so funny. I love how Song-hwa is the only one who can shut Jun-wan up whenever he started to rant and nag about everything. 🤭🤭

#HospitalPlaylist

19
8

    I loooooooove the episode this week <3
    And YES! Their scenes are so much fun to watch.
    I'm so happy to have JKH on my screen every week ;A; that hair pulling scene with JJS was hilarious. I loved the ruffled look on JKH XD

    6
    0

    These two are my favourites.
    You can tell Jun-wan loves Song-hwa so much, they’re just platonic goals.

    11
    0

    I love the friendship of these characters πŸ™‚

    3
    0

    Out of the 3 who rushed to ask her result, Jun Wan’s scene is my favorite. And omo..that fight with Ik Jun,,he just lost it when IJ kept promoting bro-in-law πŸ˜€

    6
    1

      I can’t wait to see Ik-jun’s reaction when he finally know that her baby sister is dating Jun-wan who is famous of having a lot of short-term girlfriends.

      4
      1

        Yeah, but how sweet was that phone call with Ik Sun – he was totally giddy & melting! IJ would probably be ok but also threaten to beat him up? He looked totally crushed when Dr Ahn said IS was still hurt from her last break-up.

        5
        1

          I knowww!!! That sceenne was a sooo cuuute. Squeeeaall😆😆

          3
          0

    Loved these scenes too!!! HAHAHA

    2
    0