Understanding My Misunderstanding

Read And Misread In October

Reading often goes hand in hand with misreading. Being an immigrant and reading English as a second language have taught me this fact. At first this made me rather uncomfortable–the sense of uncertainty and self doubt following me like a shadow in a bright sunset, which means the shadow is much bigger and longer than … Continue reading Read And Misread In October

Finished With A Sigh

I shouldn’t read this book, “We Wanted to Be Writers: Life, Love, and Literature at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop” by Eric Olsen. I knew I shouldn’t but I still did. A lot of things I did in my life, I only did for conformity and convention and survival, which take up huge amount of time … Continue reading Finished With A Sigh

The October Book Plan

For about half a year or so, I wrote book reviews devotedly for books I read, but then I felt that I didn’t really enjoy doing that. I guess the main reason is that it feels like I’m still in school, trying to come up with something to say while worrying that what I am … Continue reading The October Book Plan

The Peril Of Persistence

It’s the peril of persistence. I was brought up on the principle of finishing what you started and now I am suffering the consequence. I can’t go on with this book, but my habit of persistence doesn’t allow me to give up in the middle. What to do? I can’t stand “The Barbarians Are Coming” … Continue reading The Peril Of Persistence

Magnificent In Different Ways

This is not for me. I mean the book, “Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue”. It’s obviously for those native speakers. The magnificence described by the book must be felt by a lot of people, but as a non-native speaker I feel differently. If I feel the magnificence, it’s a different kind of magnificence. Mencken and Orwell … Continue reading Magnificent In Different Ways


is a word that I cannot handle. No matter how many times I’ve encountered it and looked it up, I have to look it up again for the next encounter. Same for words like flout, flounder, flaunt. F for failure to remember. I don’t know about native speakers, but for non-native speakers like me such … Continue reading Foist

The Cauldron

There’s always this table, on which books pile up high, in one of the local grocery stores, the ShopRite of Edison township. Sometimes one or two precariously perched books on top would fall off when an inattentive shopper passes by and inadvertently brushes against the table. I’ve seen the books forever but never noticed them … Continue reading The Cauldron

Canopy And Canape

At first I thought it means awning and then I realize it is not spelled canopy, but rather canape, for which Firefox’s quick search shows it means those little bite sized dim sum like food. For Asian immigrants like me, hors d’œuvre is a type of dim sum no matter what you say otherwise. Somehow … Continue reading Canopy And Canape

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