M's blog.

A teenager in quest for knowledge.

Người Quảng đi ăn mì Quảng

Người Quảng đi ăn mì Quảng - Nguyễn Nhật Ánh, Đỗ Hoàng Tường #booksiboughtonsummervacationcuzijustcantresistthetemptationduh no.8


- Người Quảng đi ăn mì Quảng, despite its title, discussed a lot of issues which I found myself agreeing with N.N.A.
- Checked the information. All facts in this book are right! A knowledgable mind is sexy, after all ;).
- The author is particulary famous in Vietnam for writing children's books. This is a proof that shows he's so much more.


- There are lots of books like this on the market, because there isn't anything that seems to stand out. The pace is slow and the content is quite dull.
Siêu thị thực ra cũng là chợ, nhưng là siêu chợ (supermarket).

In my opinion, there's no need to mention the word "supermarket" here in order to compare its size to an average market. "Siêu thị" literally means big market (siêu: 超, thị: 市). Did N.N.A forget that Vietnamese has roots from Chinese?

Người Quảng đi ăn mì Quảng, best enjoy with:

Thương nhau múc bát chè xanh,
Làm tô mì Quảng cho anh xơi cùng.

So, a cup of chè xanh (Vietnamese green tea, its taste is very different from the Japanese one, try it).


Especially fresh tea leaves that came straight from the field in less than 2 hours. (it's the best).


Vĩnh biệt Tugumi

Vĩnh biệt Tugumi - Banana Yoshimoto, Vũ Hoa #booksiboughtonsummervacationcuzijustcantresistthetemptationduh no.7
2.5 stars


- This time, I'm really glad that Yoshimoto didn't follow her usual plot: the-daily-life-of-a-traumatized-young-woman-and-then-she-falls-in-love-with-an-equally-traumatized-and-strange-person.
- The descriptions of the sceneries, they are strangely calm and relaxing, which evoked in me a nostalgic feeling.


- Even though there are a lot of details about Tsugumi, she and other characters still lack depth, even though your average Yoshimoto Banana's novel is very detailed.
- Yoshimoto has written a different plot this time, however, the book is not insteresting enough to capture the readers' attention. I felt that as time pass by, I will soon forget that I has once read this novel.
- I began to think that Yoshimoto's novels are indistinguishable. From Kitchen, to Amrita and Tsugumi, they are very similar in some way.

About this version

- Nhã Nam Publisher has greatly dissapointed me, especially the title. I considered changing a character's name is disrespect toward the author.
- The cover is just horrible. From the font choices to the colour and the illustration.
Chỉ có cá và canh tương, bố có ăn cơm không?

Assuming that Maria was talking about fish and miso soup, why would you translate it that way? Normally people would immediately think of doenjang jjigae.

Conclusion: Although it still has many flaws, this would still makes a relaxing read once in a while.

Tsugumi, best enjoy with a cup of mineral water.


Bán Sách Và Bán Giày

Bán Sách Và Bán Giày - Tô Hải Vân #booksiboughtonsummervacationcuzijustcantresistthetemptationduh no.6

3.5 stars

- This book revolves around one main kind of characters: the absent - minded researchers, abadoned by their lovers, and almost all of them has a strange obsession with some kind of object. I easily see myself in them, and love them almost immediately as I flipped through the pages.
- T.H.V. has succesfully and exceptionally, painted such a delightful picture of the ancient section of Hanoi, which I myself has though it was dead since the skyscrapers have been built continously in the 2000s. I don't think until now I've ever read a book that has made me laughed so much in my life, though it always end in bittersweet endings.
- I felt the need to applaud K.D, who has designed this lovely cover: the way that they have carelessly painted the brush strokes vertically, with so many textures, reminded me of the paintings of Hanoi by Bùi Xuân Phái:


- As I have previously mentioned in the "Like" section, the characters are researchers of institutes, aka the people of science. Therefore, false science facts are absolutely unacceptable. Some examples:
Gã chợt nhớ, đã đọc ở đâu đó, là vào cái thế kỉ hai mươi mốt này xuất hiện một loại virus nano, đường kính cỡ 1 nanomet, bé hơn 5 đến 6000 lần một con vi khuẩn bình thường.

"The smallest virus known to humanity, however, is the single stranded DNA virus Porcine circovirus type 1. It has a genome of only 1759 nucleotides. Its capsid diameter is only 17 nm.". Also, bartonella henselae, the proteobacterium that transfers through cat scratch, its size is 0.3-0.6 ¥ 0.3-1.0 um.
Gã biết một điều rằng về lí thuyết, lực hấp dẫn làm cong thời gian, thậm chí làm biến mất thời gian

Correct me if I'm wrong, we all know that gravity bends time aka the space - time curvature, but gravity destroy time? I surely don't remember. There is a theory that antigravitational force is slowing time down, but that's a different story....
Ngồi một lúc, bỗng keng một tiếng, màn hình báo có thư mới.

I sincerely don't think that any average company in Vietnam would let their employees turn the sound on the computer on.

- The author holds really ridiculous stereotypes about women. I would have passed it, but he mentioned it so many times so gradually, I found myself annoyed at this. I imagined T.H.V as a guy who always meet shallow and shitty terrible women so he finally got bored and wrote this book.

Conclusion: As I was writing this review, I kept debating to myself whether to rate this book 3 or 4 stars, simply because I couldn't bring myself to rate it 2, you rarely find a Vietnamese contemporary author as good as this, they always write cheesy romance nowadays. Hopefully T.H.V. will write more splendid books like this one, with more accurate facts, of course. I look forward to a near future, when our generation will finally get to see the revival of an ancient corner of Hanoi, dying day by day.

EDIT: Bán sách và bán giày, best enjoy with a cup of green tea (no sugar).


The Never Hero

The Never Hero - T. Ellery Hodges Received this book in exchange for an honest review.

2.7 stars


- Great opening.
- Very realistic descriptions.
- Wide range of characters.


- Most of the book was painfully slow, except the opening and ending.

Conclusion: Though has many great elements, it's still not unique and well - written enough to be rated 3 stars.

Ở qúan cà phê của tuổi trẻ lạc lối

Ở qúan cà phê của tuổi trẻ lạc lối - Patrick Modiano, Trần Bạch Lan #booksiboughtonsummervacationcuzijustcantresistthetemptationduh no.5

Dans le café de la jeunesse perdue is a splendid presentation of Guy Debord's philosophy. Although all of the character failed to leave an impression on me, I can't help but think that was Modiano's intention: the Bohemians, their existences were destined to be forgotten. They ran, ran, and ran, and dissapeared in the middle of the new Paris, the city they once knew so well.
Reality doesn't impress me. I only believe in intoxication, in ecstasy, and when ordinary life shackles me, I escape, one way or another. No more walls. - Anaïs Nin, Incest: From a Journal of Love

What I admire most about this book is, Modiano has such an elegant and tasteful writing style, yet he still manages to haunt people with it.

Particularly, the one thing I dislike in this version is the translation about "taking the subway".

Tuyển Chọn Hoàng Phi

Tuyển Chọn Hoàng Phi - Kiera Cass, Huyền Vũ #booksiboughtonsummervacationcuzijustcantresistthetemptationduh no.4

I'm not really a "romance" person, so I didn't expect much from the beginning. But since it one of your favourite books, Molly, I thought it must be somewhat unique and a fun read. I was wrong.


- The cover.
- The fonts.
- Gerad is such a cute little guy. I just want to hug him.
- The story begins with a very (seemingly) interesting plot: 35 girls competing for a crown. Yay.

- Your average chick - lit: A Mary Sue heroine who we know will sure to win the hero's affection, a kind best friend, at least one "bitchy" girl, and another dude who also falls in love with our heroine. Great. Just great.
- The characters are amazingly dull.
- The whole made up history thing. The US was invaded by China because a huge debt. Riiigghhhtt....
US debt pie chart
How about US's second debt holder, Japan? Or did NATO pound on China? Assuming that China successfully invaded US and changed the name to The American State of China (haha, great name btw), they still have another problem:
You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind each blade of grass. - Admiral Yamamoto Isoroku

How many guns are there in America again? 270 million. Although China has a huge population, America has a longer history of "Right to bear arms".
- Now Russia wants to take America and also got attacked by China. Awesome.
- A two - front war is too risky for Russia. Apparently China wants more land. Russia also wants more land. So they're attacking Siberia and Mongolia I supposed? Wouldn't the Chinese need to stick to Beijing to protect it? What? I'm confused.
- This Gregory Illéa dude somehow switched the gov from democracy to monarchy and still gains support from the people.
- They are having a war right now and still think of finding a wife for their dear son.
- There are 2 rebel groups, North and South, correct? And still, there's a lack of education about history among the population? I thought they were fighting the caste system and this rotten country. So they just throw food into the palace's windows then? How boring.
- The guards' weapons are spears, and they have rebels, who regularly attacks the palace. WTF? You do realise this is a better historical fiction than science fiction right, Cass?
- The love triangle is so forced and angsty.
- According to this, most holidays aren't in winter.
- Fluff. Fluff. Fluff.
- Swendway? Honduragua? No. I want to read the other books too, have to find what the hell is all of this about. The naming is unbelievable.
- The translation is crap. (not affecting the rating)

Conclusion: Even though I didn't like this book at all, but will read another books because of the ridiculous naming of the countries. Seriously, Cass?

Under Wraps

Under Wraps - J.A. Cipriano Received this book for free in exchange for honest review.

Well, 2.3 stars to be exact.

- Egyptian Mythology is my thing .◟(ˊᗨˋ)◞.
- The weapon, khopesh, fits nicely with the time period.
- The fact that Thes is a very dumb narrator, and it suits his personality so well.
- Less typos than the previous book.
- It's nice to see that you've finally hire a proper designer for the cover.
- The descriptions of the places are accurate, or at least they seem so.


- The puns.
- This is even more repetitive than [b:Hardboiled|25472964|Hardboiled (The Lillim Callina Chronicles, #5)|J.A. Cipriano|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1430654828s/25472964.jpg|45243170]. Evidently, Thes saw spots dancing across his visions, other people loves to poke him hard in the chest, and "only ... only". Also, thunder shook every single time a god / goddess speaks it became really annoying.
- Harem.
- Thes and Aziza walked to the cave. Assuming that Cipriano was talking about the Sannur Cave, they need to cross the Niles in order to get there from the Great Pyramid of Giza. However, in later chapters, he acted as though he just saw the river for the first time.
- Even more grammatical errors.
- Everyone speaks English without any translation tools.
- Lacks characters ' development.
When I was a young girl, I always wanted a dress like this, but we couldn't afford it.

Judging from the cover, there aren't really any ornaments on Aziza's hair, so she was probably a peasant. Aziza is not a real Egyptian princess, plus there haven't been any case of adopting princesses in Ancient Egypt royalty. And still, why did Thes keep refering Aziza as "mummy princess"? Is he really that dumb? Oh no.
- The whole "inner wolf" thing really reminds me of Fifty Shades.
Throughout this journey, she had been more than willing to share every facet, every single of iota of information with me.

*Sighs*. Now we know Thes also has a very bad memory.
The book was lighter than I expected, weighing less than a comic book, but as I tried to thumb through it, I found I couldn't open the cover.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but if I remember correctly, doesn't binding books with hardcover started in the Western world at about 4th - 5th century? Before that, doesn't there exist other formats, like scrolls for example?

- Personally, I thought that the appearance of Ptah (assuming the husband you were talking about is him) is a lazy move to speed up the book. I was hoping that maybe you would leave the end of this story in another sequel.

She's a cat god. Of course it works that way.

No, actually it doesn't.

- Comparing human eyes to trashcan lids.
He pushed a pair of gold wire rimmed glasses up his nose and stared at me.

"The oldest known lens was found in the ruins of ancient Nineveh and was made of polished rock crystal". The original drawing of Thoth doesn't show him wearing any glasses. It's kind of lame, actually. (sorry)

Favourite part: "Interesting," was all Apep said. He squeezed so hard the pharaoh's head actually popped off his shoulders, shooting into the air like a cork from a champagne bottle.

Haha. Even if it doesn't sound realistic, it was hilarious. Thank you for this scene.

Conclusion: Although there were definitely improvements, it's still not well - written enough to be rated 3 stars. Thank you for the free copy of the book though.

Holy Bible: King James Version

Holy Bible: King James Version - Anonymous Haha.I don't even know what to write. Have to read this for school and it took quite a long time.

- Eh, I thought this book would be an amazing thriller: lots of deaths, rapes, wars, sacrifices, etc. Sounds exciting, no?
- Some accurate historical facts.


- Okay, religious views aside, this book was poorly edited and just seemed like a bunch of books put together in one, zero character development, a bunch of bias, too long to get the point across, etc. Somehow I highly doubted most of the people who rated it 5 stars didn't actually read all of it.
- How the hell is this the best - selling book of all time?
- Extremely boring.
- I hate the characters. All of them. Especially Lot aka the dude who offered up his daughters to be gang raped.
- Lacks consistency.

Tình nhân không bao giờ đòi cưới

Tình nhân không bao giờ đòi cưới - Trang Hạ #booksiboughtonsummervacationcuzijustcantresistthetemptationduh no.3

To be honest, because this book is about romantic relationships aka I'm not the target audience, so I didn't expect anything much from the start.


- The cover is gorgeous and also very symbolistic.
- I love T.H.'s personality: very independent and straightforward.


- Chapter 26: The author passed her judgment too fast, contrary to what she later wrote in chapter 37:
Bạn có thể nghe kể xấu, hoặc nhìn thấy một điều xấu xí, nhưng bạn làm sao biết, bên trong họ là một cuộc đời?

Nhưng bạn biết không, đó là những lời khắc trên một chiếc vò đồng của Ai Cập đã lưu truyền hàng nghìn năm qua!

There are still uncertainty about whether the quote is made up or not. Another source also quoted this and cited it to [b:I Seem To Be A Verb|924075|I Seem To Be A Verb|R. Buckminster Fuller|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1298909343s/924075.jpg|909092]. Even if the quote is real, it was inscribed on a tomb, not a pitcher.

- Chapter 41: unrelated topics. Tea and sociology within 3 pages?
Sống, Thơm, và Yêu đều là động từ!

According to Wiktionary, the definitions of thơm are as following:

(n) a species of pineapple commonly found in southern Vietnam
(v) (colloquial, not on the lips) to kiss
(adj) fragrant; of a pleasant aroma

But on the next 3 pages, she went on to talk about the "fragance" meaning. Is this T.H.'s idea of a word play? If so, then it's really lame tbh.

Trước khi đi khỏi nhà, nhớ đổi pass wifi hoặc pass máy tính, pass mạng internet. Sau đó vênh mặt mỉm cười bước đi. Đảm bảo sau tối đa 24 tiếng, có người về rước các nàng liền, vì đã hiểu ra tầm quan trọng của vợ.

By saying that, you're assuming that all men are stupid enough to not to know how to change a goddamn wifi password, or install a TV remote app on their phones.

- Although T.H. herself could be considered a female activist, she still holds somewhat stereotypical views on both men and women. Asian influences?

- Now to the visual side: Did C.H. just did a Google image search of love and chose a bunch of stock photos to put it on here? They were blurred and cropped really badly, also, bad font combinations and kerning. On the coloured pages, some were full - size, some were cropped as mentioned before.

Conclusion: This might be a great book for others, but not me, to say the least.
Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen, Elizabeth Klett

Actually a good romance novel. I enjoys Austen's humour very much. The plot is quite interesting, and the characters development is well - done. Will be reading Austen's again in the near future.

Wuthering Heights (Librivox Audiobook) - Ruth Golding, Emily Brontë

First thought after finished this book: Wow, everyone is either an asshole or an idiot.


- I was very excited to read this at first, since I'm sick with the kind of books that have "everyone live happily ever after".
- The imagery and allegory.
- The dark and twisted work that Brontë created, it's fun to read about it.
- Narration - within - narration technique.


- The characters. I just don't care about them. Most of them are so immature and whine about nearly everything.
- The narrator. It's such a good idea to let a housekeeper retells the story after like, 2 decades? And, we know that she loves gossip and read books, which means she might has added some fictional details to the original story.
- Too much drama. It's the 19th century equivalent of Twilight with elaborated revenge plots.
- Brontë surely has terrible taste in men.
- (view spoiler)
- Too many events in one single book, and the characters' development are still shallow?
- It's not really necessary to kill of that many characters, and somehow, still didn't make the story any better.

Conclusion: I never thought there would be a day when I'd rate a classics 1 star. Everyone I know loves this book. . . But I guess I was wrong then.

Amrita - Trần Quang Huy, Banana Yoshimoto
This book felt like a continuation of Yoshimoto's other novel, Kitchen. The surrealism has it pros and cons. However, I thought that I couldn't finish it myself because the pace was really slow. There's really nothing too special about this book, like most of Yoshimoto's book: just a young woman, traumatized and her daily life. But still, pretty interesting.

Also, the publisher need to hire a goddamn better typist: the number of typos is simply unacceptable.

New Yorkers Short Stories (Oxford Bookworms Library)

New Yorkers   Short Stories (Oxford Bookworms Library) - Diane Mowat Read this book for the first time a few years ago. Reread it again yesterday and still love it. O. Henry's stories give you vivid pictures of lives of New Yorkers. Some are rich, some are poor, some are happy, some are sad, some have found love, some are looking for love.

The only thing that I dislike is that it's kinda annoying to read in Stage 2, Oxford. Too many easy words take away the original feeling of the stories.

Back by Sunrise: A magical realism story (Eternal Light Book 1)

Back by Sunrise: A magical realism story (Eternal Light Book 1) - Justin Sloan Received this book in exchange for honest review.


- Decent writing style.
- Great characters ' development. Brooke is no longer just an immature young girl, and that made this book even more heartwarming.
- Very thoughtful ending.


- The narrator. All characters sound exactly the same, so I had difficulties reading it.

Conclusion: A great coming of age book. Will surely recommend this.

Teddy Bears in Monsterland: A Coming of Age Fantasy Novel (Teddy Defenders Book 1)

Teddy Bears in Monsterland: A Coming of Age Fantasy Novel (Teddy Defenders Book 1) - Justin Sloan Received this book in exchange of an honest review.

Well, since this is a children's book, I'm not gonna sit here and point out all the "that-doesn't-make-any-sense" details.


- The narrator. I fell in love with Michael Gilliland's voice.
- The story about teddy bears coming to life and protect children is pretty interesting.
- The fast pace is probably suitable for young readers.


- Improper kiai.
- Gilliland helped me resist my urge to yawn successfully. The characters, especially Rick, don't really leave any strong impression.

Conclusion: Although I don't really like this book, I'm going to test it with some of my students. Will give feedback soon.

Giày nhỏ đi thôi!

Giày nhỏ đi thôi! - Akiko Hayashi, Trần Bảo Ngọc #booksiboughtonsummervacationcuzijustcantresistthetemptationduh no.2

The words are very easy to understand, and I love the textures that the author used for their illustrations.

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