Solo Lisa Reads: August 2021 (Part 2)

Round-up of book covers featuring Second First Impressions by Sally Thorne, The Summer Job by Lizzy Dent, Isn't It Bromantic? by Lyssa Kay Adams, While We Were Dating by Jasmine Guillory, The Ivies by Alexa Donne, Sunny Song Will Never Be Famous by Suzanne Park, Serena Singh Flips the Script by Sonya Lalli, The Perfect Family by Robyn Harding, and Whisper Network by Chandler Baker

I promise you that despite all appearances, this blog is not turning into a full-time book blog! Admittedly, I've been in a blogging and IRL slump with beauty, skincare, or fashion. Makeup? Never wear it while WFH. Skincare? After my stress- and hormone-induced acne cleared up, I've been sticking to the basics. Fashion? Still living in the same pandemic comfy clothes I've been wearing for the last 1.5+ years. Now, books, on the other TBR list is ever-evolving as new releases come out and my public library ebook holds come through. That explains why there are crickets where these other blog subjects are concerned, but when it comes to books, I had to split up my August recommendations into 2 posts. (Click here for Part 1.) If you're looking for something to read during the last long weekend of summer, here are 9 new recommendations!


Solo Lisa Reads: August 2021 (Part 1)

Round-up of book covers featuring The Dating Plan by Sara Desai, A Certain Hunger by Chelsea G. Summers, Love at First by Kate Clayborn, Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry by Joya Goffney, Don't Hate the Player by Alexis Nedd, Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid, People We Meet On Vacation by Emily Henry, It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey, and If I Never Met You by Mhairi McFarlane

Greetings, dear readers! I hope you're all having a good summer so far. Mine has been pretty meh, truthfully. Between heat waves and wildfire smoke, the depressing news cycle and working long hours for a July deadline, I'd say this summer has been more of a downer than usual and I haven't felt like blogging very much. To combat my flagging mood, I'm trying to exercise and read more and limit my doomscrolling. With all that said, here's the first of two book review round-ups! Gotta take advantage of that summer reading time while it lasts.


Q&A with Lauren Ho, Author of Last Tang Standing

Last Tang Standing author Lauren Ho poses with the book cover
Photo from Lauren Ho's IG

The Internet can be a magical place sometimes. Case in point? Shortly after I posted this book review round-up featuring Last Tang Standing, the author herself, Lauren Ho, reached out to me via DM! I loved LTS so much that I bought my own copy after borrowing the ebook from the library. I also gifted it to one of my BFFs and recommended it for my workplace's book club, so you can imagine what a treat it was to connect with her. Despite the time difference between Vancouver and Singapore, working on her upcoming manuscripts, and taking care of a two-month-old baby, she kindly agreed to answer a few questions for our book club—answers which I'm happy to share with you all today. Enjoy!


Product Review: Fresh Vitamin Nectar Vibrancy-Boosting Face Mask

Fresh Vitamin Nectar Vibrancy-Boosting Face Mask

Pandemic living hasn't been kind to my skin, what with all the mask-wearing, over-working, and up-and-down stress and hormone levels. No wonder I've been dealing with more breakouts than usual! Fortunately, using my topical skin prescription twice daily as prescribed helped a lot, as did streamlining my skincare and minimizing potential irritants. The happy result is that the frequency and severity of new breakouts have decreased dramatically in the last few months, so much so that I'm now focusing my full attention on fading the hyperpigmentation and scarring left behind by old blemishes. I've been applying SPF and niacinamide serum daily, and twice weekly I exfoliate and apply the Fresh Vitamin Nectar Vibrancy-Boosting Face Mask ($35 to $83 for various sizes, purchased by me).


Solo Lisa Reads: May 2021 (Part 2)

Round-up of book covers featuring Last Tang Standing by Lauren Ho, A Cuban Girl's Guide to Tea and Tomorrow by Laura Taylor Namey, A Pho Love Story by Loan Le, This Time Next Year by Sophie Cousens, The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V. E. Schwab, Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas, Milk Fed by Melissa Broder, Life's Too Short by Abby Jimenez, and The Secret Commonwealth by Philip Pullman

As promised in my last book review post, here's part 2!


Lazy Girl Approved: Garnier Serum Cream SPF 30

A bottle of Garnier Brightening Serum Cream Pinea-C SPF 30 lies nestled in a bouquet of yellow roses.

Lazy Girl Approved highlights long-lasting, goof-proof, fuss-free products that can fit into the most minimalist of regimens. If you consider yourself a low-maintenance beauty lover, these product reviews are for you!

Pre-pandemic, one of my favourite evening activities was lining up my entire nighttime skincare routine on the coffee table and doing it bit by bit while watching Netflix. It felt like such a treat to have this moment of stillness and homebody coziness between work, barre, and chores. But now that we're over a year into staying home so much, what was once a pleasurable routine has become kind of a drag. I've been looking for ways to streamline my morning and evening skincare routines wherever possible, embracing skinimalism and multi-purpose products like Garnier Green Labs Brightening Serum Cream SPF 30 - Pinea-C ($22.99, available at London Drugs, purchased by me).


Solo Lisa Reads: May 2021 (Part 1)

Round-up of books featuring Super Fake Love Song by David Yoon, Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, Three Perfect Liars by Heidi Perks, Not So Pure And Simple by Lamar Giles, The Guest List by Lucy Foley, Love Is A Revolution by Renee Watson, Goodnight Beautiful by Aimee Molloy, Happily Ever Afters by Elise Bryant, Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade

Before I launch into my latest book review round-up, I want to say a huge thank you to anyone who read, commented on, or shared my post about my own experiences with anti-Asian hate. That was an intensely personal and difficult piece to write and publish and the entire process left me feeling more emotional and vulnerable than I anticipated. As I noted on Instagram, I've taken actions when and where I could, but in the last while I've also found that I needed breaks, both for my own mental health and to free up bandwidth so I could focus on a big deadline at work.



An illustration by mailinhstudio shows a young Asian woman wearing a mask, surrounded by text with racial slurs and microaggressions.
Illustration by mailinhstudio

Last Tuesday, a white gunman in Atlanta, Georgia targeted Asian-owned businesses and killed 8 victims, 6 of whom were Asian women. The sadness of this tragedy has been sitting heavy in my body throughout the week, especially after months of reporting (mostly in Asian-centred media and resources, rarely in mainstream media) about anti-Asian racism during the pandemic. I've been retweeting and sharing information in between bouts of crying on the couch since the shooting. At the same time, I've been reluctant to speak about my own experiences until now. The instinct to always be the model minority, to brush things off and keep my head down and quietly succeed, runs strong.


Solo Lisa Reads: February 2021

Book covers for the 9 books featured in this post, including: 1. Grown by Tiffany D. Jackson; 2. The Love Square by Laura Jane Williams; 3. Tweet Cute by Emma Lord; 4. Eat A Peach by David Chang; 5. If Only by Kate Eberlen; 6. Self Care by Leigh Stein; 7. The Last Story of Mina Lee by Nancy Jooyoun Kim; 8. White Ivy by Susie Yang; and 9. Simmer Down by Sarah Smith

My reading habits took a post-New-Year nosedive. Work dominated for 3 weeks, and after the anxiety and adrenaline of meeting my big January deadline wore off, I found to my dismay that I had the attention span of a goldfish. Some of the books on this list date back to Christmas break, but I stand by all the recommendations here wholeheartedly. Do you see anything here you want to add to your reading list?


2020 Reflections and 2021 Goals

Black and white selfie of Vancouver beauty and lifestyle blogger Solo Lisa

A very belated Happy New Year to you all, dear readers! I did not anticipate publishing my annual reflections/goals post so late into 2021. We had a very safe and cozy COVID Christmas where we had a prime rib dinner, watched a lot of TV and movies, slept, and went for long walks when the weather permitted. But as soon as Christmas vacation ended, it was back to work; I spent the next three weeks consumed with a huge deadline. Now that the deadline has passed though, I'm glad to have a chance to sit down and write this post.

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