Friday, September 30, 2011

Book Review of #2 Little House on the prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder


Name of book: Little house on the prairie

Author Name: Laura Ingalls Wilder

ISBN: 0-06-440002-6

Publisher: Harper Trophy

Part of a Series: Little House series; Little House in the big woods prequel, Farmer Boy and On the Banks of Plum Creek, are sequels.

Type of book: Young adult, kid, prairie, 1871?-1872?

Year it was published: 1935

Summary:

The Big Woods was getting too crowded. So Pa sold the little log house and built a covered wagon. The family was moving to Indian Country! They traveled from Wisconsin to Oklahoma, and there, finally, Pa built the little house on the prairie. All year long, Ma, Pa, Mary, Laura and Baby Carrie put their hearts into the land and their safe little house. But the prairie belonged to the Indians, and in the end the government made them move on again.

Characters:

At the moment it's not evident how the characters have changed or grown. This book also marks the first appearance of Mr. Edwards who will be shown in different times helping Laura's Pa out. (By the Shores of Silver Lake I believe, not sure of other books.) The parents' personalities are more fleshed out though; Pa is portrayed as a humanist and open minded who cares about Native Americans. Ma is terrified of Native Americans and doesn't like them. (In all honesty, I hate the term 'Indians'. I can't distinguish if someone is talked about Native Americans or South Asians, thus I will use Native Americans instead, and if I will read about India, I will use term South Asians.) For now, Laura and Mary are neutral towards and are curious about Native Americans. (In First Four Years, Laura is fearful of them.)

Theme:

Although one is welcome to argue with me, the author, to an extent, tries to portray both sides, white and Native American fairly. In her book, there are good white people such as Pa, and good Native Americans such as the one who killed the panther and one who tries to stop Native Americans from massacring the villagers. This book also features an African American doctor oddly enough.

Plot:

For the most part, since it's episodic, it's not very important to have read Little House in the Big Woods before reading this book. Little House on the Prairie is kind of a self contained year or book without dependence from others. It is told in limited third point of view from Laura.

Author Information:

Laura Elizabeth Ingalls Wilder (February 7, 1867 – February 10, 1957) was an American author who wrote the Little House series of books based on her childhood in a pioneer family.[1] Laura's daughter, Rose, inspired Laura to write her books. (from wikipedia)

Opinion:

I had to read this book when I was in fifth grade, and I was twelve. (Not a typical age I assure you.) Back then I thought the book was kind of boring. In all honesty, although teenagers are forced to read this book, I don't think the book is for them. This book strikes me as condescending towards children. (Children are to be seen and not heard, one must obey parents at all times, etc.) I'm positive that all of us would like to have kids like that, but in a way it seems almost fantasy like, and a number of times I rolled my eyes at Laura and Mary, knowing that it was impossible, and that kids would not be able to relate to the girls. While in some cases it is important to listen to parents, but in these days parents encourage individuality. Mary and Laura were forced to stifle theirs. Since I might write a story that takes place in the time period, (way different though,) this is a good book for historians.

Click here for discussion of Osage portrayal in this book.

3 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

Book Review of #1 Just Surrender...by Kathleen O'Reilly

Name of book: Just Surrender...

Author Name: Kathleen O'Reilly

ISBN: 978-0-373-79615-1

Publisher: Blaze Harlequin

Part of a Series: Harts of Texas, Just let go... and Just give in... are sequels

Type of book: Adult, romance, blaze, New York, 2011

Year it was published: 2011

Summary:

Straitlaced surgeon Tyler Hart hops into a cab at JFK...and goes on the ride of his life. Punky, funky, fly-by-the night cabbie Edie Higgins takes him on an all-night New YOrk CIty adventure involving a flat tire, a strip club, and diner food. Oh, and a mind-blowing early-morning romp in a notoriously naughty hotel. So when Edie offers to become newly single Tyler's love sensei, he thinks, why not? Especially since she's a very hands-on teacher. They couldn't be more different, but they're about to learn the same lesson: to just surrender. Everything.

Characters:

Both characters appear to be three dimensional and are unique, including the thoughts. Although at times frustrating, I liked the medical language whenever it was Tyler's turn to think. The minor characters such as Austen, Tyler's brother, Edie's group of friends, and Brooke, Tyler and Austen's sister or half sister, all are rounded and interesting. I also liked the layers to both of them, how Edie seems to rebel or resist everything stable and everything her father stands for, and that Tyler is the type who doesn't have fun until he gets together with Edie. I do wish that more would be explored in Tyler's past. I also wonder how Edie made peace with accepting the life she grew up in.

Theme:

Sometimes people who don't match up to one another are sometimes perfect for one another. Edie is more modern, while Tyler is very old fashioned in someways, and it's important to learn from one another despite the differences.

Plot:

This was written in third person point of view, from Edie's and Tyler's. I think in order to enjoy the book, one had to have lived or stayed in New York for a considerable time. I've never lived in New York so a lot of it is beyond me, sorry to say. But still, if I should talk with my Korean ex again, it did give me some information to talk about.

Author Information:


Kathleen O'Reilly wrote her first romance at the age of eleven, which to her undying embarrassment was read aloud to her class. After taking more than twenty years to recover from the profound distress, she is now proud to finally announce her career-romance author. Now she is an award-winning author of nearly twenty romances published in countries all over the world. Kathleen lives in New York with her husband and their two children, who outwit her daily.

Opinion:

Ironically with the tire thing reminded of a first date with my Korean ex when I read the first few chapters of the book, except it happened in Texas and not in New York. He lived in New York for a year or so, and traveled to Texas. At night when we were hanging out, we got a flat tire twice. I honestly enjoyed reading the book, the characters are different. Tyler Hart, being a doctor actually thinks in doctor's terms, which oddly enough is a bit funny. I'm not sure if its simply me or I was biased by Smart bitches site, but there was very little background information on the hero, and with Edie accepting a life that she condemned her mother for, not enough was written about it, and one has to imagine what she might have penned.

4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Book Review of See You Later by Christopher Pike

Name of book: See You Later

Author Name: Christopher Pike

ISBN: 0-671-02025-0

Publisher: Archway Paperback

Type of book: Young adult

Year it was published: April 1990

Summary:

Mark has just graduated from high school and has just fallen in love for the first time. THe girl's name is Becky. Unfortunately for Mark, Becky has a boyfriend. Mark tries his best, but he is unable to win Becky for himself. THen Mark meets a young couple: Vincent and Kara. Both look extremely familiar to him, although he could swear he's never seen them before. They quickly become good friends. Kara does not want Mark to give up on Becky. In fact, Kara is obsessed that Mark and Becky get together, and she comes up with an elaborate scheme to break up Becky and her boyfriend. Mark thinks the scheme is cruel. He tries to stop kara. He doesn't succeed. Suddenly Becky is a free woman, and Mark can't help but ask her out on a date. THen things start to get very strange. AN evil man appears out of nowhere. Somebody is kidnapped. Somebdoy is tortured. Kara knows what is happening, but she refuses to talk. SHe has good reason not to talk...no one would believe the story she has to tell. But in the end, Mark does believe her, when all he loves appears to be lost, and the world stands on the verge of destruction.

Characters:

The characters struck me as one dimensional and I felt that this book is more of a tell rather than show variety. I had a difficult time differentiating the actions between Kara and Becky, and it would be nice if more instances of when Becky and Mark hung out were shown instead of told. As it is, I barely got to know Becky and the reader has to rely on Mark's testimony.

Theme:

I think one of the direct themes of the book is to sometimes learn from your younger self and try to let your hatred go. I cannot think of other themes sorry to say.

Plot:

This is written as a first person narrative from Mark's point of view. I'm not a fan of philosophy unfortunately, and towards the very end it veered off into philosophical tangents as Mark tries to understand what happened. I also felt that Pike should have written a sequel or something so we can find out exactly how Mark is revived and so forth.

Author Information:

Christopher Pike wrote 30+ novels mainly for young adults, the most famous or well known one is The Last Vampire Saga, Final Friends and Remember Me, and his real name is Kevin McFadden. One of his books, Fall Into Darkness was created into a movie. Unfortunately he doesn’t have a website, but there is a fan club that is devoted to him. (http://www.christopherpikefanclub.com/ )

Opinion:

This was the very first Christopher Pike I have read, and while it had great start and middle, the ending sucked in my opinion because it became confusing and it was hard to understand. If you're looking for Pike books to read, I wouldn't recommend reading this one first. If you're not a big philosophy or science fiction, then this book isn't very good. If you are, by all means go ahead, but I am warning that it gets confusing and complicated, and frustratingly enough, Pike seems to have left enough room for a sequel that never came to be.

3 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

Book Review of Scavenger Hunt by Christopher Pike

Name of book: Scavenger Hunt

Author Name: Christopher Pike

ISBN: 0-671-67656-3

Publisher: Archway Paperback

Type of book: Young adult

Year it was published: July 1989

Summary:

School was almost over. A secretive club on campus had organized a scavenger hunt for the entire senior class. In small groups, and with the help of cleverly planted clues, the kids are led throughout the city, and then deep into a nighttime desert. The sponsoring club has promised a wonderful prize for the first group to reach the goal of the hunt. But for Carl Timmons, a troubled young man who has recently lost his best friend, the hunt will become a nightmare. Led astray by his love for a strangely beautiful girl, he will wander far from the others, and back into a haunted past, where the line between hte living and the dead is blurred and broken.


Characters:

The characters are second dimensional but are interesting. In particular its hard for me to find a character I disliked. Also this has a wheel chair character as one of the heroes so to speak.

Theme:

Ultimately, no species exists forever. I apologize that I cannot think of any other messages that the book was trying to send me.

Plot:

This was written in third person with alternating chapters of Carl's and Tracie's points of view. One thing that wasn't explained was how Cessy and David acquired bodies, and unfortunately it didn't go into technicalities of how revenge works for them.

Author Information:

Christopher Pike wrote 30+ novels mainly for young adults, the most famous or well known one is The Last Vampire Saga, Final Friends and Remember Me, and his real name is Kevin McFadden. One of his books, Fall Into Darkness was created into a movie. Unfortunately he doesn’t have a website, but there is a fan club that is devoted to him. (http://www.christopherpikefanclub.com/ )

Opinion:

This is another top favorite Pike that I loved. He really builds up a good tension in the book and answers the questions well for the most part. This is a very easy read in my view. I do wish that in the future books Davey and Cessy would be present again. I am curious about Cessy. One thing I didn't like was the "reality" cop out. (no pun intended.) The scavenger hunt clues connected well with one another. I also liked the love aspect, that Cessy's civilization isn't powerful in emotions. I suspect as well that this book has some sort of dark side to religion.

4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

Book Review of Spellbound by Christopher Pike

Name of book: Spellbound

Author Name: Christopher Pike

ISBN: 0-671-68793-X

Publisher: Archway Paperback Novel

Type of book: Young adult

Year it was published: April 1988

Summary:

They found Karen Holly in the mountain stream, her skull crushed. There was only one witness to the tragedy, Karen's boyfriend, Jason Whitfield. He said a grizzly had killer her. But a lot of people didn't believe him. They thought Jason had murdered her in a fit of rage. And now weeks have passed, and Jason has another girlfriend, Cindy Jones. And there are the new kids in town. Joni Harper, the quiet English beauty that Cindy's brother, Alex, cannot get out of his mind. And Bala, the foreign exchange student from Africa, the grandson of a powerful shaman. Together they will return to the place where Karen was killed. Some will die. The others will come face to face with a horror beyond imagining.

Characters:

Although the characters seemed to be two dimensional in my view, they were still interesting. Aside from Bala, whom I'm not sure about, they aren't stereotypical. Cindy is either on drill team or cheerleader. (What does song squad mean anyways?) yet she's average looking and is described best as girl next door. Her brother, Alex, is an athlete yet he's serious and intelligent. Pam and Ray act as comic relief, and Bala is the wise man. Joni is the mystery. For those who are into reading about strong female characters, then this book will be for you. Cindy and Joni are the ones that changed the world so to speak, not the male characters.

Theme:

I think there are a few that I can come up with: everything is chaotic, there is much more to people than just bodies and souls. I think Pike really hit a nail during the scene when Joni questions the teacher about if the hemorrhaging creature's resurrection.

"If you put all the blood back in," Joni said suddenly, "and sewed the animal together, and had everything just the same as before, it wouldn't get up and walk away, would it? "

"If I could get the hamster to do that, I'd be preparing my Nobel prize speech right now," Magnuson said, taking his hands away from teh bloody mess and givng Joni more of his attention. "The main obstacle to bringing about that miracle is the sensitivity of the animal's brain cells. Like our own, tehy can only survive for a few minutes without oxygen. When you take away the blood, you take away the oxygen."

"But if you could fix each of the brain cells?" Joni asked.

"I still don't think the animal would get up and walk away," Magnuson said wistfully. "Something would still be missing. Some sort of precious ingredient. You could call it life itself." (Page 24)

I used to have a christian fanatic friend, and sometimes he and I would discuss heaven and all the things. One thing that always puzzled me is soul and brain. That is, its the brain that causes us to feel emotions. I always imagined soul as something that made us like or dislike things or how we react to things rather than emotions themselves. With that said, my question then goes on to this: If a human dies, the brain dies as well, and since the brain is the one that gives us pain or pleasure hormones, how do we take that part of the brain into "christian heaven?" How would we experience happiness above?

Plot:

This is written in third person point of view, with Alex and Cindy at the center. With the exception of police and what they will say to them, I think Pike has covered his bases well and leaves very little to resolve, aside from the future and what happened to the characters.

Author Information:

Christopher Pike wrote 30+ novels mainly for young adults, the most famous or well known one is The Last Vampire Saga, Final Friends and Remember Me, and his real name is Kevin McFadden. One of his books, Fall Into Darkness was created into a movie. Unfortunately he doesn’t have a website, but there is a fan club that is devoted to him. (http://www.christopherpikefanclub.com/ )

Opinion:

If I'm not mistaken, this might have been the third Pike I read. I found it to be a gripping story, as well as an interesting one. I'm not sure if Pike uses any stereotypes by writing about Bala. I did like the chemistry between him and Cindy though. This book is almost as good as Whisper of Death. This is probably one of his stronger novels I think. The only part I was dissatisfied with, and noticed, is the lack of reality consequences for the characters, but I will not go into spoilers.

4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Book Review of #3 Night Maneuvers by Jillian Burns

Name of book: Night Maneuvers

Author Name: Jillian Burns

ISBN: 978-0-373-79638-0

Publisher: Blaze Harlequin

Part of a Series: Vegas Trilogy: Let it ride, Seduce and Rescue prequels to this book

Type of book: Adult, romance, blaze, Vegas, 2011

Year it was published: 2011

Summary:

Subject: Mitchell McCabe, US Air Force Captain (Call Sign: Casanova)
Current Status: Celibate-because he lost a bet.
Mission: Survive thirty days without sex.
Obstacle: Captain Alexandria Hughes, who's suddenly gone from hotshot pilot to just plain hot!

Alex has had it bad for gorgeous Mitch ever since their academy days, but he's only ever seen her as a wingman, never a woman. It's time she made him take another long, hard look. After years as friends and comrades, Mitch is seeing Alex as the opposite of "one of the guys." Has that smoking-hot body always been hiding under her flight suit? Is she just messing with him? Can he wait a month to discover what he's been missing out on...or are some sizzling night maneuvers a sure bet?

Characters:

The characters of Alex and Mitch are three dimensional and one can see the inner struggles they go through. Earlier in book, it didn't seem as if Mitch had any feelings for Alex. I think in flashbacks he tried to give her hints to go out with him, (such as telling her to put make up on, etc.) but Alex seemed to care more for independence at the time, thus she didn't take up the hints, and Mitch ultimately had to bury his feelings deep into the heart, which might explain why all of a sudden he seems to like her. The previous characters of Jordan and Jackson, and Grady and Lily also make an appearance and their romances are resolved.

Theme:

In other books unresolved plots or things (Such as The Hundred Secret Senses by Amy Tan,) really annoy me. In this one though, I actually liked the realism that the plot between him and the family isn't unresolved. I think the main theme is to take a chance and you never know what could happen if you do something unexpected.

Plot:

This was written in third person point of view with alternating points of view from Mitch and Alex. I don't think it's necessary to read Seduce and Rescue and Let It Ride, but the two books do add more to enjoyment. As I also mentioned, I liked the sense of realism between Mitch and his family, as well as the struggle of emotions between Alex and Mitch.

Author Information:

Jillian Burns has always read romance, and spent her teens immersed in the worlds of Jane Eyre and Elizabeth Bennett. She lives in Texas with her husband of twenty years and their three active kids. Jillian likes to think her emotional nature-sometimes refered to as moodiness- has found the perfect outlet in writing stories filled with passion and romance. She believes romance novels have the power to change lives with their message of eternal love and hope.

Opinion:

In all honesty this was a very enjoyable book. I liked reading how both Alex and Mitch struggled with their emotions towards one another, and that Alex remained herself and didn't become a fashionista after Jordan's makeover. The characters' personality traits stayed consistent in this book as well as previous. Neither of them liked asking for help, and they didn't want anyone else knowing about them. In someways, very realistic novel.(I also would like to think Ms. Burns for making my day by including my name in it. My name is Svetlana, and as one can imagine I never saw my name anywhere. Imagine my surprise when one of the characters had my name!Now I can say that this book had my name on it) Also I always liked the dark haired girl and blond haired man pairing.

4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

Book Review of #4.5 Louise de la Valliere Part II by Alexandre Dumas


Name of book: Louise de la Valliere Part II

Author Name: Alexandre Dumas

ISBN: http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/

Publisher: http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/

Part of Series: D'Artagnan Series by Alexandre Dumas Sequel to Three Musketeers, Twenty Years After, Vicomte de Bragelonne, prequel to The Man in iron mask

Type of book: Adult, French, 17th century, Louis XIV

Year it was published: (Original version in France 1847-1850)

Summary:

In the Musketeers' final adventure, D'Artagnan remains in the service of the corrupt King Louis XIV after the Three Musketeers have retired and gone their separate ways. Meanwhile, a mysterious prisoner in an iron mask wastes away deep inside the Bastille. When the destinies of king and prisoner converge, the Three Musketeers and D'Artagnan find themselves caught between conflicting loyalties. (from Goodreads Man in Iron Mask)

Characters:

Good news is that this part has more Three Musketeers sightings, so of course it becomes exciting. For me personally, the characters seemed a bit on the flat side, and I'm that I'm out of Louis XIV's court and that Louise is not much seen. I am also glad that she might be paying back for her mistakes.

Theme:

I would guess one of the themes would be is Raoul struggling to get over Louise, and at long last Louis and Louise are paying back for their affair, (at least when it comes to Athos and Raoul.)

Plot:

Instead of picking up at the scene where Raoul discovers Louise's indiscretion, we learn an interesting secret about Anne of Austria, and only then we go back to the exciting scene where Raoul tries to convince himself that its not true. We do finally get to see more of the Musketeers, yes Athos included. The point of view is in omniscient third person and it switches from one person to another in almost every chapter. There is a lot of jumping in this book.

Author Information:

Alexandre Dumas is a French author born in 1802 and wrote other novels such as The Count of Monte Cristo, The Man in the Iron Mask and The Three Musketeers. He died in 1870 and also wrote The Reign of Margot.

Opinion:

I honestly found this on the Internet and printed it out. What happened was that I bought a wrong Man in the Iron Mask version. Shortly after reading Count of Monte Cristo, I was starving for more Dumas, thus I got The Three Musketeers and Man in the Iron Mask. But later I learned that Man in the Iron Mask was part of the book series, set after Twenty Years Later, Vicomte de Bragelonne and Louise de la Valliere. Vicomte and Louise I got Oxford Edition. I found out with my copy of Man in the iron Mask I was missing some chapters, which then I printed out. Compared to Louise de la Valliere Part I, this was much nicer, although yet again the strands become unmanageable.

2 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Book Review of To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Name of book: To Kill a Mockingbird

Author Name: Harper Lee

ISBN: 60-7847

Publisher: Popular Library

Type of book: Young adult to adult, 1930s, racism, coming of age, South

Year it was published: 1960

Summary:

(from goodreads.com) The unforgettable novel of a childhood in a sleepy Southern town and the crisis of conscience that rocked it, To Kill A Mockingbird became both an instant bestseller and a critical success when it was first published in 1960. It went on to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and was later made into an Academy Award-winning film, also a classic.

Compassionate, dramatic, and deeply moving, To Kill A Mockingbird takes readers to the roots of human behavior - to innocence and experience, kindness and cruelty, love and hatred, humor and pathos. Now with over 18 million copies in print and translated into forty languages, this regional story by a young Alabama woman claims universal appeal. Harper Lee always considered her book to be a simple love story. Today it is regarded as a masterpiece of American literature.

Characters:

The main characters, along with secondary ones are interesting ones, especially their growth into what might be the 1960s movements to fight against racism. Atticus himself is an interesting character because he doesn't withhold information neither from Jem and Scout. One would think him a perfect character, but its clear in the book that he does make mistakes concerning the Ewells' personality.

Theme:

I think the main theme of the novel is to protect the mockingbirds in life, that is people who resemble mockingbirds such as Tom Robinson and Boo Radley. Another lesson is the understanding how hierarchy is beyond color, and how it's divided into narrower and narrower categories.

Plot:

This was completely told from the first person point of view of Scout, also known as Jeanne Louise Finch. It was also divided into two parts; one dealing with them growing up, another is the trial and the aftermath. There are parts that I found boring, in particularly the second part dealing with pre-trial things. But once the trial starts, the reader is glued to the seat, watching the drama unfold.

Author Information:

Harper Lee, known as Nelle, was born in the Alabama town of Monroeville on April 28, 1926, the youngest of four children of Amasa Coleman Lee and Frances Cunningham Finch Lee. Her father, a former newspaper editor and proprietor, was a lawyer who served on the state legislature from 1926 to 1938. As a child, Lee was a tomboy and a precocious reader, and enjoyed the friendship of her schoolmate and neighbor, the young Truman Capote. (from goodreads.com)

Opinion:

Perhaps like others, I've encountered this book as a student in high school. (I forgot what age,) but ironically I kind of liked, although I wasn't sure why. Re-reading it, I was able to appreciate it fully. I enjoyed reading about the South of the 1930s, and for some odd reason, it seems to have little changed in the 1960s. (I actually thought that the book took place in 1960s.) This book seems to question the hierarchy that humans create, and asks the question what makes some people better than others? I think that if I should have children, I will ask them to read this book so they can learn something new and beyond. One of the things I'm questioning now is why does my family seem to act as if Jewish traditions are worse than christians ones. Why are we called to worry about what my future brother-in-law's family will think of Jewish traditions? Why aren't they concerned about what we might think of their traditions? (Hope the question makes sense.) I also liked the struggle as Scout started to understand the restrictions placed on different people; that is, the hierarchy and society went beyond the color of skin, and instead within the broad categories are more divisions. Also, history was enjoyable as well.

5 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Book Review of East Wind by Julie Ellis

Name of book: East Wind

Author Name: Julie Ellis

ISBN: 0-87795-498-4

Publisher:  Arbor House New York

Type of book: Adult, China, 1902-1948, melodramatic, Jewish, Israel

Year it was published:  1983

Summary:

 From the author of Glorious Morning, a saga that sweeps through two world wars, set against the backdrops of Hong Kong, England and America, about a proud, beautiful young woman who is caught up in the ageless struggle between reckless passion and staunch commitment-and who makes a life for herself in which she can have both. Sent to live with her aunt and uncle in Hong Kong after the untimely death of her parents, Constance Levy meets a brilliant, complex young man who leads her into the deep recesses of her heart, where she must come face-to-face with her own abiding faith as a Jew. After a tragic misunderstanding tears the lovers apart, she builds a family of her own, silently enduring loneliness and anger...and emerges to embrace her one true love, as well as her faith. A story of a woman's search for self-fulfillment, woven into a special time, an exotic place.

Characters:

Although in some ways Constance was an admirable woman, to me her story seemed a little Mary Sue like. As mentioned, I didn't feel a lot of chemistry or liking between her and Sam. I also had a difficult time believing that so many men had fallen in love with her: (In his own way, Elliot, David Field, Sam, possibly the Japanese colonel?) I also felt hurt that the author didn't detail the Jewish marriage between Sam and Constance, when author constantly reminded everyone of how much she couldn't live without Sam,  etc. In honesty I liked Sam, but kind of wish that she'd explore his personality deeper, or that he at least could have had a bigger role, towards the end in particular.

Theme:

I think the theme is that being Jewish is more than just religion and superficial trivialities, and its important to preserve and celebrate the heritage. Also, Israel is very important to Judaism.

Plot:

It was told in third person point of view, in some cases it was omniscient, as in we get to see inside Sam's head, and in many instances it was limited. I also feel that the author doesn't spend enough time in different time periods, and a lot of it is skipped, especially towards the middle years from 1920s up to the World War II. The historical sections tend to be dry and aren't woven in, in a right way.

Author Information:

Julie Ellis is the author of, among others, Glorious Morning, published by Arbor House, and The Hampton Heritage and The Hampton Women. She makes her home in New York City. (She died in 2006)

Opinion:

I only read this book because I heard that the love interest is from Kaifeng China. (Located in Henan Province.) Thus I thought that the male protagonist would, *ahem* look Asian. Although the love interest was born in Kaifeng and all, he appears to be more Caucasian than Asian. "At twenty Sam was tall and slender, with tawny hair, lightly tanned skin, hazel eyes, and sharp features. Born Samuel Shih- the clan name bestowed on his family by the Chinese centuries ago-he had Anglicized his name at the urging of Mr. Franks, his sponsor since he had been brought from Kaifeng, the beautiful ancient capital of Hunan Province." (page 17 from East Wind.) By 20th century, I have high doubts that Kaifeng Jews with Sam's description existed. Unfortunately that was not the only one thing that irked me. Another thing that irked me are the incorrect names bestowed upon Asian servants. Sakota sounds more Japanese than Chinese, and Japanese language does not have an "L" sound! I also found the chemistry between Sam and Constance hard to digest. If perhaps the author wrote more of their meetings it might have been easier, but right away they are declared to be in love. Also, for one reason or another, this book made me think of Cynthia Freeman's Portraits, maybe the opposite effect because it seemed that in Portraits the family lost its Jewishness, while in this one the characters preserved it.

3 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

Book Review Policy

Book Review Policy

UPDATE: As of November 2nd, 2015, I am pretty much limiting to what I will or will not accept to read and review. I have a lot of books and promises to uphold, (some dating years...O__o) and I want to get through these first before accepting and disappointing anyone else. Thank you for understanding. Also, I will NOT be accepting e-books. 

UPDATE: October 31st, 2013 I'm open to review requests (until noted otherwise) but please keep in mind I try to be as selective as possible to ensure that each book I read and review receives the necessary time and attention it deserves. I review books that I like and dislike and am very honest about my tastes. If there are particular reasons I did not like the book, and if the review will fall below 2 stars, I will email the writer(s) and let them know that I did not like the book and whether or not they'd like me to review it. I do this for free on my own time. I'm not paid or compensated for the hobby.

UPDATE: April 3rd, 2013: For the time being I am closed to book reviews (until noted otherwise, and I have lots of cool books to read and sift through...) If you still want to send me a book for a review, you are welcome to do so, but it will have to be low or none priority.  I review books that I like and dislike and am very honest about my tastes. If there are particular reasons I did not like the book and it happens to fall below 3 stars, I will email the writer(s) and let them know that I did not like the book and whether or not they'd like me to review it. I do this for free on my own time. I'm not paid or compensated for the hobby.

March 17th,  2013: I am currently open to review requests (until noted otherwise) but please keep in mind I try to be as selective as possible to ensure that each book I read and review receives the necessary time and attention it deserves. I review books that I like and dislike and am very honest about my tastes. If there are particular reasons I did not like the book, and if the review will fall below 2 stars, I will email the writer(s) and let them know that I did not like the book and whether or not they'd like me to review it. I do this for free on my own time. I'm not paid or compensated for the hobby.

Contact me: svet UNDERSCORE chick AT Yahoo DOT ca

Genres I DO review*: Contemporary fiction, Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Chick-lit (selectively though), Classical novels, unique ones, young adults and kids fiction, Jewish fiction, romance novels (I don't discuss sex scenes, but focus on characters instead.)

I have begun reviewing non-fiction genres, although I have not reviewed history books yet, but I did review primary sources, self-help type novels, please click here for the Non-fiction books I reviewed

* Please understand that just because a book you propose falls into a given genre that I enjoy reading, doesn’t mean that particular book will appeal to me.

Genres I AM NOT INTO: Christian fiction/non-fiction, science fiction, horror, erotica, inspirational romance, humor, (oddly enough I don't find "humorous" books to be humorous.)  anti-Jewish books, interracial minority Female and white male romance stories (I like white female or Jewish female/ minority male novels)

Acceptable book submission types:

At the moment I don't accept e-books because I feel that I have too many of them, and I want to read and sort ones I have before accepting new ones.

Review timeframe: In all honesty I post reviews when I have at least three books to review. I'm a fast reader though. If there is a specific deadline you'd like me to post the review, please let me know right away and I will get finished by them.

Miscellaneous: Your ARCs are safe with me – I do not believe in selling them!

For any other questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Book Review of #2 The Russian Concubine by Kate Furnivall

Name of book: The Russian Concubine

Author Name: Kate Furnivall

ISBN: 978-0-425-21558-6

Publisher: Berkley Books

Part of a Series: Russian Saga; Jewel of St Petersburg before, The Girl from Junchow after

Type of book: Adult, China, Russia, Communism, 1917, 1928-1930?, Interracial relationship Asian Male/White Female

Year it was published: 2007

Summary:

A sweeping epic and stunning debut, this novel brings to life the war-torn CHina of the 1920s. On opposite sides of a political and social divide, an exiled Russian girl and a Chinese Communist boy find love; a mother must face what she would rather forget; and an idealist realizes his greatest enemies might be his own kind... Junchow, China, 1928. Perhaps it's her red hair, or her hard life. Whatever the reason, Lydia Ivanova has a fierce spirit. Nothing can dim it, not even the foul waters of the Peiho River. Into the river's grime bodies are tossed, those of thieves and Communists alike. So every time she steals some marketplace treasure, the sixteen-year-old takes her life in her hands. Her mother, Valentina, numbered among the Russian elite until Bolsheviks rounded them up. They took her husband, but Valentina managed to buy back her child and bring her to China. Now, though mother and daughter live in the whites-only International Settlement, no walls can keep Lydia in. She escapes to meet Chang An Lo, a handsome youth with fire in his eyes. He returns her love, but other dangers threaten him. Chiang Kai-Shek's troops are headed toward Junchow to kill Reds like him-and in his possession are the priceless jewels of a dead tsarina, meant as a gift for the despot's wife. Their all-consuming love can only bring shame and peril upon the pair, from both sides. Those in power will do anything to quell it. But Lydia and Chang are powerless to end it...

Characters:

The characters were well rounded. Lydia is often linked to either fire or fox by Chang An Lo. She is fierce, savage and a protector. Chang An Lo, although a protector, seems to lack Lydia's qualities. The secondary characters are also well rounded and interesting. I wish that a lot more history about Chang An Lo would be given in honesty. (I'd like to know his ethnicity and whatnot.)

Theme:

Ultimately, there is more to life than survival. There has to be more such as love, affection, goals in life, etc.

Plot:

Second time reading this book, I could really appreciate the scene that the author set, including emotions. This is written in third person omniscient. I did not become confused reading the book and the characters were very vivid. I liked how she tied up events together.

Author Information:

Author of 'The Russian Concubine' novel, about two White Russian refugees, a mother and daughter without money or papers in an International Settlement in China. (From Katefurnivall.blogspot.com)

Opinion:

This was my second time reading the book. The first time I read it, I was torn between whether to read it quickly and find out what happens next, or slow down and savor it. On second reading, I was able to do both. For me, this book is gripping with fascinating main and secondary characters, (from Lydia, Valentina, Chang An Lo, Alexei Serov, etc.) While this does have romance angle, (and one descriptive sexual scene,) the rest of the book is gritty and characters come face to face with various nemeses. They also show change throughout the novel. In honesty I have enjoyed the book and it's hard to find what I disliked. I've found out about this book on amazon around New Years and thought it would be fun to read. (It was.) Also, although it's titled 'The Russian Concubine,' it's used more as an attention grabber rather than about actual concubines. (I admit that the title did drew me in though hehe.)

4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Book Review of Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

Name of book: Crime and Punishment

Author Name: Fyodor Dostoevsky

ISBN: 0-451-52723-2

Publisher:  Signet

Type of book: Adult, psychology, punishment, crime, Russia, 1860s

Year it was published: 1864-1866 (Version I have 1968)

Summary:

One of the world's greatest novels, Crime and Punishment is the story of a murder and its consequences- a tale of suspense withotu equal, set in the midst of nineteenth-century Russia's troubled transition to the modern age. The novel's young protagonist, Raskolnikov, is a sensitive intellectual driven by poverty to bellieve he is exempt from moral law. In this brilliant translation by noted scholar and literary critic Sidney Monas, we are privy to the supreme expression of an author who "explored pathological states and the psychology of high tension, the realm of 'obsession' and 'possession,' because it was there one could most clearly and dramatically see the human consequences of an idea carried ruthlessly through to its logical conclusion...For Dostoevsky, an idea always has skin around it, and a human personality."

Characters:

The characters do tend to be rounded, at least Raskol'nikov. Others are on the flat side. Raskol'nikov does sort of change, and although we see the mad side, he does show some good sides, such as helping take care of Marmeladov family. Sonia is best described as either virgin mary or a christ figure, (despite her being a prostitute) Raskol'nikov goes over to her for forgiveness and redemption, and she is the one that helps him turn to christianity. I read summary of The Idiot, and it's a flip I think. (In Idiot Prince Myshkin is depicted as a christ like presence, while the female character is the sinner.) I also could not understand whether or not Sonia liked him as a man or a christ love.

Theme:

The only thing I understood is that if you accept or have faith in christianity then life will be more bearable, and christian love is powerful.

Plot:

As someone best described it, there is countless ramblings and tangents about things that I'm not interested in at all.

Author Information:

"Fyodor Mikhaylovich Dostoyevsky(November 11, 1821 – February 9, 1881) was a Russian writer of novels, short stories and essays.He is best known for his novels Crime and Punishment, The Idiot and The Brothers Karamazov.

Dostoyevsky's literary works explored human psychology in the troubled political, social and spiritual context of 19th-century Russian society. Considered by many as a founder or precursor of 20th-century existentialism, Dostoyevsky wrote, with the embittered voice of the anonymous "underground man", Notes from Underground (1864), which was called the "best overture for existentialism ever written" by Walter Kaufmann. Dostoyevsky is often acknowledged by critics as one of the greatest and most prominent psychologists in world literature." (From Wikipedia.)

Opinion:

So why have I given this masterpiece a 3 instead of 5? Anti-Jewish references is one reason, another reason is the whole religion and redemption of Raskol'nikov, too much philosophy and at times it got confusing. (For the most part, not the names, just ideas and conversation...) I have to admit that either the author or translation or both are brilliant and well done because the audience experiences Raskol'nikov's thoughts and ideas and emotions as he experiences them. As I talked of before, I was not a fan of christian redemption idea and the references quickly got annoying. I also think that if he didn't include anti-Jewish references or tied Jews to negative characters then perhaps I might have given this book four stars. Some parts were confusing for me, one was towards the very end of the novel when Raskol'nikov and Svidrigailov meet each other and Svidrigailov tells stories. Raskol'nikov doesn't like stories. I don't understand why he name calls Svidrigailov that way and all that. Also, if action is your thing, then this is not the book for you. The action happens from pages 72-84 (if I might say so, very poor action,) and that is it. Rest is Raskol'nikov torturing himself and falling into a trap that others fell before him.

3 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

Book Review of #2 The Kinslayer Wars by Douglas Niles

Name of book: The Kinslayer Wars

Author Name: Douglas Niles

ISBN: 1-56076-113-X

Publisher: TSR

Part of a Series: The Elven nations Trilogy; Firstborn before, The Qualinesti afterwards

Type of book: Adult, elves, fantasy, Dragonlance

Year it was published: 1991

Summary:

The leader of the Wildrunners, Kith-Kanan, commits the ultimate heresy and falls in love with a human of intriguing background. His twin brother, the firstborn ruler of all Silvanesti elves, Sitahs, declares war on the Ergothians, and Kith-Kanan must choose sides. Nobly, he fights alongside his proud race in the terrible Kinslayer Wars. But when the historic Swordsheath Scrolls is signed, Kith-Kanan and his followers are forced into a tragic exile.

Characters:

Although the author tried, the characters didn't match up to the ones from The Firstborn. Kith-Kanan gives in to a temptation and apparently the times he spent with Anaya were somehow pointless. (I kept hoping that Hermathya used an enchantment on Kith-Kanan, but alas nothing of the sort.) The rest of the characters were weak and had no momentum. There are no more words to describe this book.

Theme:

The only theme I got from this book is that if something has to change, then a war has to be waged on it.

Plot:

This was written in omniscient third person point of view. I think you do have to read Firstborn in order to understand  the story. As mentioned before, the characters were weak and Kith Kanan was literally not himself. Don't be fooled by the summary. That happens at the very end. Rest of the book is about them trying to find the edge in order to win the war. The ending was tied up a little too loosely and was confusing and contrived, as if the author didn't know how to end it and ended it the way he did.

Author Information:

Douglas Niles (born December 1, 1954, in Brookfield, Wisconsin) is a fantasy author and game designer. Niles was one of the creators of the Dragonlance world and the author of the first three Forgotten Realms novels, and the Top Secret S/I espionage role-playing game. (From wikipedia)

Opinion:

I wonder why Tonya Carter and Paul Thompson didn't write the second book, and why a different author wrote it instead. From reading the back summary, I thought I'd get inside Kith-Kanan's head as to why he made the decision to marry Suzine, a human woman, but no. The two met one time and the next time they met, time passed and they are in love. To me that didn't sound feasible in honesty. Also, the elves were fighting against inter-racial marriages, so why at the start does Kith Kanan trust someone who is married to a human? The female characters in this book are weak. (Suzine was General's lover before Kith-Kanan and she does very little in terms of sabotaging General. Anytime we see her, she does nothing but moon over Kith Kanan. (She also has a powerful family, so potential could have been endless.) I think if the author gave some reasons as to why Suzine was a weak character, (perhaps in those days women were not allowed to do anything) I would not hate her so much. Also, don't be fooled by the summary. It only happens at the very end.

2 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Reading History X: What to expect when reading Danielle Steel novels

Because I'm still a bit of a long way from finishing and reviewing some books, just for the fun, I'd do a post about common themes in a Danielle Steel novel.

1. The Lolita Effect
Expect for at least one of the characters (most likely a female,) to be with someone who is way older than she is. (Ten to thirty or so years.)

2. The Mary Sue Effect
Although her characters do suffer as normal people, they are described as la creme de la creme in all the choices, be that from finding a soul-mate to business to whatnot. Thus, their suffering does not seem to be realistic.

3. The Gagging Effect
Expect constant repetition with few simple ideas. (Every other page says that main character is beautiful or intelligent, or the viewpoint of the character on issues.)

4. Ellipses used incorrectly Effect
So...well...I'm supposed to talk about ellipses right? In Danielle Steel's novels, she is trying to go for emotional effect, but ellipses...tend...to...be...wrong... thus it creates the next effect...which is eye rolling.

5. Eye Rolling Effect
Due to the deities--oops, I mean characters' inhumanity, one will be tempted to roll eyes angrily towards the ceiling, contemplating the much deserved punishment of reading the novel.

6. I'm not an idiot Effect
Say, hadn't I seen that sentence two pages ago? I already know what the character thinks and feels Ms. Danielle Steel, please move on with the plot. Wait a minute, I saw that sentence two pages ago! I know that she's un-earthly beautiful and has a Sugar Daddy on her arm, but wait! There's that sentence again!

7. Tangled Unrealistic Resolutions Effect
Especially if it's a generational saga. The beginning is quick and a bit awkward, the present is slow and goes on for ages, while the ending is tied up rather clumsily. (In Family Album for instance, who is Lionel's mystery lover? Why didn't she go back to Lionel's point of view afterwards?)

8. Flat Characters Effect
Despite the numerous personality traits that Danielle Steel says the characters have, they are very flat, as in flatter than an asphalt, and are boring.

9. Point of view switches Effect
In one paragraph you'd have one character talking, and then you'd move on to another character's thoughts which were repeated just a few pages ago.

10. No colored heroes Effect
All the heroes are either European White or American White. There are no heroes that are African American or Asian for that matter. Why do I keep mentioning that? There are plenty of other authors that don't have colored heroes...the thing is, she had a few non WASPY heroines, (Russians, one Japanese by my count,) so with that, I'd like to see more heroes that are of non-White descent.

11. "China Dolls" Effect
The few books I read by Danielle Steel, I got an impression that there are certain stereotypes towards her Asian heroines. They are best described by the stereotype of "China Doll", an Asian woman being submissive and meek. (She uses Japanese heroines though.)

12. No Jewish heroines Effect
(No, the character in Echoes doesn't count because she converted... and since Judaism is passed down from mother to child, her children are no longer Jewish.) In numerous books she had Jewish heroes such as Fine Things (the first Danielle Steel book I've read,) and many of her female characters at one point married a Jewish male. (From Family Album, Anne to Bill Stein, From Zoya, Zoya to Simon, etc.) But I have yet to see any of her male characters marry a Jewish heroine. She does not describe Jewish women well: (She uses a J-A-P Jewish American Princess, which is a negative term, to describe one of her Jewish secondary characters.)

13. Dark haired Dark eyed Women are evil Effect
If you are a European or American white dark haired and dark eyed and love reading books about dark haired and dark eyed women, Danielle Steel's books are not for you. Many of her dark haired dark eyed women are best described as evil. (Crystal's mom and sister for instance from Star, or the family from Big Girl.)

14. Pointless References Effect
How is it important to a story that a certain character loves Chanel No 5? Or that they are reminded of that certain someone when that fragrance is nearby? Unless the character dies or they are separated, then make it important.

15. Inconsistency Effect
In Jewels, Danielle Steel mentioned how the superwoman is close to her sister, yet you barely hear from the sister. In Family Album, the Anne character is a flower child, yet she marries someone, and loves getting jewelry and diamonds. (She grew up without family love, yet she doesn't protest against these things?)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Planned Books

Books I'm reading:

By Invitation Only-Lori Wilde, Wendy Etherington, Jillian Burns 94/218

Caddie Woodlawn-Carol Ryrie Brink 24/242
The Moonstone-Wilkie Collins 192/434
Crime and Punishment-Fyodor Dostoevsky 372/522
Native Speaker- Chang Rae Lee 19/349
To Kill a Mockingbird- Harper Lee 79/284
Once upon the river of love-Andrei Makine 19/209
Just Surrender-Kathleen O'Reilly 82/218
The Tale of Genji-Murasaki Shikibu 219/1090
Come toy with me-Cara Summers 38/214
Tailspin-Cara Summers 99/216
Love in translation-Wendy Nelson Tokunaga 13/260

The Story of the Stone-Xueqin Cao
2. The Crab-Flower Club 323/582 
D'Artagnan Romances-Alexandre Dumas
4. Louise de la Valliere Part II 17/118 
The Lydia Saga-Kate Furnivall
2. The Russian Concubine 435/517 
The Elven Nations Trilogy-Douglas Niles, Tonya Carter, Paul Thompson
2. The Kinslayer Wars 241/314
Bird and Fish Duology-Adrienne Leslie
1. Bird and Fish 171/532 
Little House Series-Laura Ingalls Wilder
2. Little House on the Prairie 147/335 

Future Books:
The Monk-Matthew Lewis
Spellbound- Christopher Pike
Scavenger Hunt-Christopher Pike
See you later-Christopher Pike
A Sicilian Romance-Ann Radcliffe
The Italian-Ann Radcliffe

The Story of the Stone-Xueqin Cao
3. The Warning Voice
4. The Debt of Tears
5. The Dreamer Wakes
D'Artagnan Romances-Alexandre Dumas
5. The Man in the iron mask
The Russian Saga-Kate Furnivall
3. The Girl from Junchow
Titanic Duology-Diane Hoh
1. Titanic: The long night
2. Remembering the Titanic
Tigress Quartet-Jade Lee (Ignoring Desperate and Cornered Tigress)
1. White Tigress
2. Hungry Tigress
3. Burning Tigress
4. Tempted Tigress
Modern Tigress Duology-Jade Lee
1. The Tao of Sex
2. Getting Physical
Bird and Fish Duology- Adrienne Leslie
2. Sea and Sky
Japan Duology-Takashi Matsuoka
1. Cloud of Sparrows
2. Autumn Bridge
The Elven Nations Trilogy-Douglas Niles, Paul Thompson, Tonya Carter
3. The Qualinesti
Little House Series-Laura Ingalls Wilder
3. Farmer boy
4. On the banks of plum creek
5. By the shores of silver lake
6. The long winter
7. Little town on the prairie
8. These happy golden years
9. The first four years

Thursday, September 1, 2011

September 2011

By Invitation Only-Lori Wilde, Wendy Etherington, Jillian Burns
SR: July 31st, 2011
FR: N/A

Caddie Woodlawn-Carol Ryrie Brink
SR: August 22nd, 2011
FR: N/A
Night Maneuvers-Jillian Burns
SR: September 9th, 2011
FR: September 23rd, 2011
The Moonstone-Wilkie Collins
SR: December 7th, 2010
FR: N/A
Crime and Punishment-Fyodor Dostoevsky
SR: July 1st, 2011
FR: September 9th, 2011
Native Speaker-Chang-Rae Lee
SR: September 1st, 2011
FR: N/A
To Kill a Mockingbird-Harper Lee
SR: August 22nd, 2011
FR: September 12th, 2011
Once upon the river love-Andrei Makine
SR: August 22nd, 2011
FR: N/A
Just Surrender...-Kathleen O'Reilly
SR: July 1st, 2011
FR: September 30th, 2011
Scavenger Hunt-Christopher Pike
SR: September 25th, 2011
FR: September 28th, 2011
See you later-Christopher Pike
SR: September 25th, 2011
FR: September 29th, 2011
Spellbound-Christopher Pike
SR: September 25th, 2011
FR: September 28th, 2011
The Tale of Genji-Murasaki Shikibu
SR: May 17th, 2011
FR: N/A
Come toy with me-Cara Summers
SR: August 22nd, 2011
FR: N/A
Tailspin-Cara Summers
SR: July 1st, 2011
FR: N/A
Love in Translation-Wendy Nelson Tokunaga
SR: September 1st, 2011
FR: N/A


The Story of the Stone-Xueqin Cao
2. The Crab-Flower Club
SR: May 17th, 2011
FR: N/A
D'Artagnan Romances
4. Louise De la Valliere Part II
SR: September 1st, 2011
FR: September 28th, 2011
Lydia Saga-Kate Furnivall
2. The Russian Concubine
SR: July 1st, 2011
FR: September 9th, 2011
Bird and Fish Duology- Adrienne Leslie
1. Bird and Fish
SR: August 22nd, 2011
FR: N/A
The Elven Nations Trilogy- Paul B Thompson, Tonya R. Carter, Niles Douglas
2. The Kinslayer Wars
SR: August 1st, 2011
FR: September 9th, 2011
Little House Series-Laura Ingalls Wilder
2. Little House on the prairie
SR: August 22nd, 2011
FR: September 30th, 2011

Books not for reviews:
The Vermillion Bird-Edward H. Schafer
SR: September 1st, 2011
FR: N/A
The Golden Peaches of Samarkand-Edward H Schafer
SR: September 1st, 2011
FR: N/A
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