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Book Review: A DOUBLE LIFE by Flynn Berry

September 10, 2018 – 6:20 pm | One Comment

Claire is a young London doctor, living a solitary life that consists of work and little else. Then a detective inspector comes to her door and says simply, “There’s been a sighting.”
Claire doesn’t need to …

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All Asians All the Time

September 4, 2018 – 10:23 pm | One Comment

This past holiday weekend turned out really Asian for me.

First I saw writer/director Aneesh Chaganty’s Searching, starring John Cho, and thought it was a riveting, innovative thriller. In case you don’t know the concept, the entire movie is viewed via the different screens in our lives—phone, computer, surveillance cameras, TV, etc. It highlights how we think we’re so connected and have so much information about people but we really don’t.

Sony Pictures

David Kim (Cho) is looking for his missing teenage daughter, Margot (Michelle La), and searches for clues in her laptop and social media accounts.

I like how there’s nothing particularly Asian about the movie. It’s a thriller that happens to have an Asian-American family at its center, speaking perfect English and doing everyday, even boring things (David’s job). Well, until the daughter goes missing. But Dad still doesn’t break out any martial arts or have any particular set of skills a la Liam Neeson. He’s just a regular dad. Who looks like John Cho.

Next I binged the first season of Ronny Chieng: International Student on Comedy Central and laughed hard. Got a big kick from Elvin (Hoa Xuande), the Vietnamese student who’s the most hilarious character, and how Asians are portrayed as smart, funny, *and* good in sports. Whaaaat? Mind blown. Chieng also gets laughs in breezy fun Crazy Rich Asians, which killed at the box office for the third weekend in a row. Have you seen it yet?

CBC

On a roll, I checked out Kim’s Convenience on Netflix and ended up also whipping through its first season. This show about a Korean-Canadian family who owns a store is sweet and laugh-out-loud funny.

The show’s humor is topical, mainstream, and specifically Asian, all at the same time. Every actor shines, even the customers in the store who have only short exchanges with the Kims. Can’t wait to continue with season 2.

I can’t recall the last time I’d had so much quality entertainment available to me that featured central characters of Asian descent. These people have agency, are masters of their own lives, are sexy, funny, flawed, not second bananas, or targets of racist remarks or butts of jokes.

As I wrapped up my binge-athon, I had a realization. I’d spent the whole time bracing for the Asian characters to experience some kind of bullying or microaggression. Hours later, when that hadn’t happened, I became aware I could finally exhale.

Movie Mini Reviews: MAMMA MIA 2 & MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE–FALLOUT

July 26, 2018 – 7:45 pm | One Comment
mission-impossible-fallout

It’s been 110+ degrees here and I’ve been hiding in places with A/C because I’m trying to avoid an electric bill for $47K next month. This means lots of time at the library and movie theater. …

Nerdy Special List June 2018

June 11, 2018 – 10:01 pm | 2 Comments
word is murder

Summer is here so that means packing 5 books for every 1 day of vacation you take, right? Consider stuffing the following titles into your over-the-weight-limit bags!
Jen at Brown Dog Solutions recommends:
Us Against You by Fredrik Backman …

Nerdy Special List May 2018

May 14, 2018 – 6:49 pm | 4 Comments
calypso

Even though it’s not summer yet, I was inundated with May books that seem intended to be read in one sitting, as if we’re on vacation or something. And if we’re not, we’ll just have …

Weekend Watching: KILLING EVE, A QUIET PLACE & BLOCKERS

April 8, 2018 – 7:54 pm | 4 Comments
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I had a lazy weekend—well, lazier than usual—and ended up watching lots of TV and movies. Good thing they were mostly entertaining. Here are some brief thoughts on the ones worth mentioning.
Killing Eve

I’ve been salivating …

Book Review: RED CLOCKS by Leni Zumas

February 28, 2018 – 1:20 am | One Comment
red clocks

This review is by contributor Thuy Dinh, coeditor of the literary online magazine Da Mau.
In Leni Zumas’s lyrical yet unsparing novel, red clocks symbolize the identity crises, haunting wombs, ticking time bombs of five female …

Book Review: THIS IS WHAT HAPPENED by Mick Herron

February 23, 2018 – 12:07 am | One Comment
this is what happened

Mick Herron’s standalone This Is What Happened begins in medias res, with 26-year-old Maggie Barnes hiding in a bathroom in a high-rise building during a dangerous spy mission.
Until recently, she was working in the corporate …

Nerdy Special List February 2018

February 15, 2018 – 11:42 pm | One Comment
sunburn

It’s Friday before a long holiday weekend for some. And after yet another school shooting.
When I’m heartsick, I turn to books to save me, and they always do.
Here are this month’s recommendations.
From Jen at Brown Dog …

Nerdy Special List January 2018

January 12, 2018 – 12:33 am | One Comment
chalk man

Hello, how is everyone? You’re all looking wonderful and that outfit totally suits you.
I hid from the internet for about 3 weeks over the holidays because I wanted to reclaim my mind space. Choose what …

Favorite Reads of 2017

December 8, 2017 – 11:46 pm | One Comment
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Though 2017 has been in the rearview mirror for almost a month, with skid marks I left on my way out, I wanted to look back to review my reading stats. Last year was rich for …

Nerdy Special End-of-Year List 2017

December 8, 2017 – 1:36 am | 4 Comments
9781501154591

While all the TV shows and commercials are depicting snow, here in L.A. it’s raining ash and debris. Happy holidays!
Because a smoke advisory is in effect, I have to stay inside and read. Luckily, cabin fever …

Mini Movie Reviews: Holiday Season 2017

November 26, 2017 – 9:41 pm | 2 Comments
Screen Shot 2017-11-26 at 7.13.34 PM

Hope you had a wonderful weekend! My Thanksgiving was nice and relaxing and the only drama occurred onscreen, with my trying to catch up on movies being touted as award contenders. If you’re wondering what …

Movie Review: JUSTICE LEAGUE

November 16, 2017 – 3:44 pm | 3 Comments
JLeague

I’ve been attending lots of award-season screenings and am behind in reviews, so I’ll do some in this format. Below are my quick thoughts on Justice League.
What you want to know up front: I liked …

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