Our Friend is Here! Asian Heritage Month Edition – An Interview with Sangu Mandanna, Author of A Spark of White Fire; On Retelling Mahābhārata, Free Will versus Fate, and the Stories Behind Her Books

Our Friend is Here! Asian Heritage Month. Author Interview with Sangu Mandanna; author of A Spark of White Fire, on retelling mahabharata, free will versus fate, and the stores behind her books. illustration of xiaolong the axolotl, her arms out wide as if showing off something, with sangu as a deer wearing a green jumper and brown pants, waving whole holding a Nintendo Switch.

Our Friend is Hereis a guest feature at The Quiet Pond, where authors, creatives, and fellow readers, are invited to ‘visit’ the Pond! In Our Friend is Here! guest posts, our visitors (as their very own unique character!) have a friendly conversation about anything related to books or being a reader — and become friends with Xiaolong and friends.

Asian Heritage Month Edition is a month-long event at The Quiet Pond, where Asian authors and bookish content creators are invited to celebrate being Asian, Asian books, and the experiences of being an Asian reader. (Note: Here is an explanation of why we are calling this guest series ‘Asian Heritage Month’.)

One of the best things that a reader can do for themselves is to read with curiosity and openness. When I started to diversify my reading and explore books by Asian authors that portrayed experiences outside my own, I was blown away by the beauty and wonder of their stories. In particular, I started to fall in love with retellings of Asian folklore and mythology. My first introduction to Asian mythology in young adult literature was A Thousand Beginnings and Endings edited by Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman, which only made me crave even more retellings.

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Book Recommendations – Books About The Magic of Food

Book Recommendations with Varian: Diverse Books with Food. Varian the toad is sitting down, sewing a purple jumper, with a smile on their face with a chefs hat floating atop their head.

Hello friends! I hope you are having a wonderful week so far, and are enjoying some wonderful books.

In case you’re new to the Pond’s book recommendation posts, the recommendation posts are brought to you by Varian, the Pond’s very own Toadshifter who is knowledgeable in all kinds of magic! One of Varian’s ambitions is to get better at sewing, hence why whenever Varian has come up with their latest costume, they will always recommend a few books that inspired them!

If there’s one thing that I love more than books, it is food. Although there has been a dearth of books that explore food as something that is meaningful to culture, identity, and dreams, newer books have blessed us with some delicious and mouth-watering books about food.

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Welcome to CW’s Hungry Hearts Food Crawl – Where I Tried Food and Cuisine From this Delicious Anthology!

CW's Hungry Hearts Food Crawl - Where I tried Food and cuisine from this delicious anthology.

I hope your stomachs are hungry for some delicious food and some food adventure stories today, friends! As part of my contribution for the blog tour for Hungry Hearts, edited by Elsie Chapman and Caroline T. Richmond, I present to you my very own food crawl where I found and ate the food mentioned in Hungry Hearts!

If you haven’t heard, Hungry Hearts is a new young-adult anthology that contains 13 books about food, love, and identity. There’s a strong emphasis on culture and relationships in this anthology, so if that sounds like up your (food!) alley, then I wholeheartedly recommend it. Personally, I absolutely loved this anthology and had so much fun reading all the diverse and brilliant stories. For the curious, you can find my review of Hungry Hearts here.

All of you know that I love reading. But, if there’s one thing that I love more than reading, it is food. Not only does food make me happy and gives my life meaning and colour, food is really important to me as well. As an adventurous foodie, doing this food crawl for Hungry Hearts was a great way for me to merge my love for reading, my love for Hungry Hearts, and my love for food! (How often do you get the chance to have your very own food crawl to celebrate an incredible book’s release?) And thus, I embarked on several food adventures and journeyed around my city to find the food featured in Hungry Hearts.

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The Pond’s Most Anticipated Reads of 2019, Part III. – Eight Diverse Books That I’ll Inevitably Love in 2019

TEXT: The Pond's Most Anticipated Reads; eight diverse books that I'll inevitably love in 2019. Image: Xiaolong the pink axolotl, reading a book and sitting inside a book tent and fort, surrounded by books.

Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening friends! Welcome back to the Pond and thank you for being here today.

After delving into the many lists on Goodreads about new releases in 2019, I had planned to write a short and sweet ‘top 8 most anticipated books of 2019’. However, I soon realised that one post detailing my top picks for 2019 was not only inadequate, but also impossible. Today, therefore, is the third post of my week-long event of The Pond’s Most Anticipated Reads of 2019!

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