Whilst in Shanghai, I spent a day with Sheena and a day with Grace. If you read my blog post about it, you’ll know that with Grace I spent the day at 田子坊, a place with a bunch of boutique shops, and within this enclave we found a shop where we could make our own customised music boxes. I’m kicking myself for not remembering the name of the shop so that you could check it out for yourself if you wanted to make your own music box, as it probably won’t be very easy to find, even if you are already within 田子坊; the storefront looked like any of the other shops, and you don’t know until you go inside that there’s a small loft, upon which there is a sort of studio where you can make your own music box.
– I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review. –
Centered on a community of immigrants who have traded their endangered lives as artists in China and Taiwan for the constant struggle of life at the poverty line in 1990s New York City, Zhang’s exhilarating collection examines the many ways that family and history can weigh us down and also lift us up. From the young woman coming to terms with her grandmother’s role in the Cultural Revolution to the daughter struggling to understand where her family ends and she begins, to the girl discovering the power of her body to inspire and destroy, these seven vibrant stories illuminate the complex and messy inner lives of girls struggling to define themselves. Fueled by Zhang’s singular voice and sly humor, this collection introduces Zhang as a bright and devastating force in literary fiction.
I haven’t been doing anything this summer break, so I randomly got the idea to visit Sheena (my best friend) in Shanghai, since I’m already in Beijing anyway. Well, the idea wasn’t so random. I was talking to her about the Benjamin Francis Leftwich concert in Beijing that I was considering going to (like I mentioned in my May-in-review blog post). The only thing was that I couldn’t find anyone to go with. Then we realised that Benjamin Francis Leftwich would be in Shanghai too, so Sheena was also wishing she could make the concert, if only she could find someone to go with. If only the two of us were in the same city!
Well… I made it to Shanghai! Not in time for the concert, but I made it nonetheless. My friend Grace was also in Shanghai, so I decided to pop by and meet both of them.
– I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review. –
Years ago, just before the country was incinerated to wasteland, ten men and their families colonized an island off the coast. They built a radical society of ancestor worship, controlled breeding, and the strict rationing of knowledge and history. Only the Wanderers–chosen male descendants of the original ten–are allowed to cross to the wastelands, where they scavenge for detritus among the still-smoldering fires.
The daughters of these men are wives-in-training. At the first sign of puberty, they face their Summer of Fruition, a ritualistic season that drags them from adolescence to matrimony. They have children, who have children, and when they are no longer useful, they take their final draught and die. But in the summer, the younger children reign supreme. With the adults indoors and the pubescent in Fruition, the children live wildly–they fight over food and shelter, free of their fathers’ hands and their mothers’ despair. And it is at the end of one summer that little Caitlin Jacob sees something so horrifying, so contradictory to the laws of the island, that she must share it with the others.
Born leader Janey Solomon steps up to seek the truth. At seventeen years old, Janey is so unwilling to become a woman, she is slowly starving herself to death. Trying urgently now to unravel the mysteries of the island and what lies beyond, before her own demise, she attempts to lead an uprising of the girls that may be their undoing.
After my first technical interview, my dad gifted me a five year old juniper bonsai that he bought off Amazon. I wasn’t expecting a congratulatory gift and a bonsai wasn’t anything that I had asked for before, so I was quite surprised. I’m not gonna lie, it did stress me out a little bit to have to take care of a living thing. To give you an idea of how much I don’t trust myself with plants, my friend Julia bought me a DIY daisy months ago that I still haven’t planted it, because once I do, I’ll probably kill it. The idea of taking care of a daisy also stresses me out because daisies seem so delicate.
If you’ve been following along with the blog, Instagram, or Snapchat, you’ll know that I was in Cambridge, London, and Paris these last ten days. When this post goes live, I’ll be back in Beijing, and the blog will resume its regular Monday and Wednesday posting schedule.
Our Airbnb. View from our flat. View from the other side. Dinner at Léon de Bruxelles. Laduree. Champs-Elysées haul. Lunch at La Cave Gourmande. Sacré-Cœur Basilica.
Stuck in traffic. Dinner at The Queen’s Arms. Dessert from Crosstown Doughnuts. Morning tea haul from Sainsbury’s. Buckingham Palace. Lunch at The Prince of Wales. My Oyster card. The British Museum.
A set of photos, one colour, every week.
We didn’t get a new colour this week, so I decided to go back and do a colour I had missed: pink! I was particularly excited for this one because of the Instagram account londonispink. If you’ve been following along on the blog, Instagram, or Snapchat, then you’ll know that I’ve been traveling, and this weekend I was in London, so I got a chance to do my own londonispink. When this post goes live, I’ll have arrived in Paris!
The blog won’t be on its regular posting schedule whilst I’m visiting Europe, but you can keep up with me on Instagram and Snapchat. I’ll be back on July 18 with snapshots from London and on July 21 with snapshots from Paris!
Driving to Cambridge. Our Lady and the English Martyrs Church. The street of our Airbnb. Dinner at Nando’s. Breakfast at Espresso Library. A lost (toy) turtle on the sidewalk. Cambridge University Botanic Garden.