Sunday, October 25, 2015

G653 Tiger Heart; My unexpected adventures to make a difference in Darjeeing, and what I learned about fate, fortitude, and finding family...half a world away

Title of the book: Tiger Heart; My unexpected adventures to make a difference in Darjeeing, and what I learned about fate, fortitude, and finding family...half a world away

Author: Katrell Christie and Shannon McCaffrey

Publisher: HCI

Publishing Date: 2015

ISBN: 978-0-7573-1858-0

Summary:

Katrell Christie was a thirty-something artist turned roller-derby rebel who opened a tea shop in Atlanta. Barely two years later, her life would make a drastic change--and so would the lives of a group of girls half a world away.

I chose the name of my tea shop—Dr. Bombay's Underwater Tea Party—because it sounded whimsical. India wasn't part of the equation. Not even remotely. I didn't do yoga. I had no deep yearning to see the Taj Mahal or tour Hindu temples. Indian food? I could take it or leave it.

Yet on a whim, Katrell did go. She witnessed the throngs at the Ganges River, toured the tea fields of Darjeeling, and helped string pearls in conservative Hyderabad. But it was in a crowded Buddhist orphanage where she crossed paths with some girls who would change the course of her life.

One night we had a conversation about their futures. What did they hope to be when they grew up? They didn't have any answers. The fear that consumed them was leaving the orphanage. What would happen on the day they were asked to gather their things and leave--to walk out the door and be all alone on the street with no one to turn to and nowhere to go?

With her mind racing about their grim futures, Katrell reached the simple conclusion that she couldn't walk away. So instead she walked forward—on a mission to help them in any small way. Once back at her shop, an idea for The Learning Tea was born. By selling tea, cupcakes, scones, and other treats, Katrell raised enough funds to provide life necessities for the girls—safe housing, uniforms, medical care, tutoring, and ultimately, a college education for each of them. To date, The Learning Tea has helped eleven young girls who once faced the bleakest of futures.

Tiger Heart recounts Katrell's riveting adventures back to India, through the chaotic streets of Mumbai, to tiny villages with roadside tea huts and hot samosas, to elephant crossings and snow-capped mountain switchbacks of the Himalayas—an unexpected backdrop where she fell in love with a country that was gorgeous and heartbreaking all at once, where tragedy, humor, resilience and kindness were inextricably bound. From dodging feral monkeys, to slamming shots of whiskey to win acceptance at a local Rotary Club, to forging lasting friendships with the people who stepped up to help her cause, Tiger Heart offers a shot-gun seat on an inspiring trek across the globe, capturing the essence of India: its quirks, its traditions, and its people.

Fate may have led Katrell to a tiny spot on a map, but it was a kinship that brought her back home a half a world away. Tiger Heart is a life-affirming look at the ties that bind and the power of each of us to make a difference.

Author Info:
(From TLC)


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1396365622233About the authors

Katrell Christie is the founder and owner of The Learning Tea, a project which provides schooling and a safe haven for impoverished young women in India. Through her efforts with The Learning Tea, Ms. Christie has changed the lives of many women living in Darjeeling, India. Visit TheLearningTea.comfor more information.
Shannon McCaffrey is an award-winning reporter focusing on investigative stories for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.She is an avid reader, a mother, and a runner.


Personal Opinion:

Although I cannot help financially, I feel honored in having read this book and being given a choice to post it on my blog, which I hope will help in some way. I really enjoyed reading the story, and I strongly admire Katrell's spirit in helping the young women in India by setting up scholarships and giving them a chance to acclimate to larger cities. The story also comes with a lot of sense of humor of helping people learning to navigate India, funny incidents that have happened to her and to others and very touching moments occur as well when Katrell achieves her goals. While I thoroughly enjoyed the memoir, I did feel that towards the end, the love prospect was a little out of place: I guess I want to know how the husband helps Katrell out with her project, and the romance didn't seem to really match the rest of the book where Katrell focuses on getting the project off the ground. Other than that, a wonderful memoir that's a blend of warm-hearted moments, comedy and a very determined soul and heart.

This is for TLC Book Tours

TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS for Tiger Heart:

Monday, September 28th: Bookchickdi
Wednesday, September 30th: Run Wright
Thursday, October 1st: Lit and Life
Monday, October 5th: Read. Write. Repeat.
Tuesday, October 6th: The Things We Read
Monday, October 12th: Dreaming Big Blog
Wednesday, October 14th: Raven Haired Girl
Thursday, October 15th: A Bookish Affair
Friday, October 16th: Broken Teepee
Wednesday, October 21st: The Reading Cove Book Club
Wednesday, October 21st: #redhead.with.book
Monday, October 26th: Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Friday, October 30th: Bibliotica
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.)

First Impressions: G115 The Review of Bristol House by Beverly Swerling

Name of Book: Bristol House

Author: Beverly Swerling

ISBN: 978-0-670-02593-0

Publisher: Viking

Year it was published: 2013

Summary:

In the tradition of Kate Mosse, a swiftly-paced mystery that stretches from modern London to Tudor England

In modern-day London, architectural historian and recovering alcoholic Annie Kendall hopes to turn her life around and restart her career by locating several long-missing pieces of ancient Judaica. Geoff Harris, an investigative reporter, is soon drawn into her quest, both by romantic interest and suspicions about the head of the Shalom Foundation, the organization sponsoring her work. He’s also a dead ringer for the ghost of a monk Annie believes she has seen at the flat she is subletting in Bristol House.

In 1535, Tudor London is a very different city, one in which monks are being executed by Henry VIII and Jews are banished. In this treacherous environment of religious persecution, Dom Justin, a Carthusian monk, and a goldsmith known as the Jew of Holborn must navigate a shadowy world of intrigue involving Thomas Cromwell, Jewish treasure, and sexual secrets. Their struggles shed light on the mysteries Annie and Geoff aim to puzzle out—at their own peril.

This riveting dual-period narrative seamlessly blends a haunting supernatural thriller with vivid historical fiction. Beverly Swerling, widely acclaimed for her City of Dreams series, delivers a bewitching and epic story of a historian and a monk, half a millennium apart, whose destinies are on a collision course.

Opinion:

Sometimes I enjoyed detailed descriptions, but only if I feel that they add something to the book or to the characters or to the scenery. Here I feel that the detailed descriptions, especially in first few pages, didn't really add anything to the story or to getting to know the character, which I feel is pretty important. I also think there are some mistakes that kind of bugged me, but that's about it.

Verdict:

I don't think I'll continue reading the story

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.)

First Impressions: G107 The Boxer Rebellion and the Great Game in China

Name of Book: The Boxer Rebellion and the Great Game in China

Author: David J. Silbey

ISBN: 978-0-8090-3075-0

Publisher: Hill and Wang

Year it was published: 2012

Summary:

A concise history of an uprising that took down a three-hundred-year-old dynasty and united the great powers

The year is 1900, and Western empires are locked in entanglements across the globe. The British are losing a bitter war against the Boers while the German kaiser is busy building a vast new navy. The United States is struggling to put down an insurgency in the South Pacific while the upstart imperialist Japan begins to make clear to neighboring Russia its territorial ambition. In China, a perennial pawn in the Great Game, a mysterious group of superstitious peasants is launching attacks on the Western powers they fear are corrupting their country. These ordinary Chinese--called Boxers by the West because of their martial arts showmanship--rise up seemingly out of nowhere. Foreshadowing the insurgencies of our recent past, they lack a centralized leadership and instead tap into latent nationalism and deep economic frustration to build their army.

Many scholars brush off the Boxer Rebellion as an ill-conceived and easily defeated revolt, but in The Boxer Rebellion and the Great Game in China, the military historian David J. Silbey shows just how close the Boxers came to beating back the combined might of the imperial powers. Drawing on the diaries and letters of allied soldiers and diplomats, he paints a vivid portrait of the war. Although their cause ended just as quickly as it began, the Boxers would inspire Chinese nationalists--including a young Mao Zedong--for decades to come.

Opinion:

Probably like a lot of people who are fascinated by China, and by the Opium Wars and what came afterwards, as well as the Boxer Rebellion, I was looking forward to reading the book. I understand that in order to make non-fiction more exciting and less dull, a lot of authors often add details and attempt to weave a narrative out of what they know. Unfortunately this did a poor job of weaving the narrative, and it added a lot to my confusion when I was reading the story because a whole lot of background info is given which is a bit of a no-no for a narrative type story.

Verdict:

 I don't think I'll read it

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.)

First Impressions: G105 The Short, Strange Life of Herschel Grynszpan: A Boy Avenger, a Nazi Diplomat, and a Murder in Paris

Name of Book: The Short, Strange Life of Herschel Grynszpan: A Boy Avenger, a Nazi Diplomat, and a Murder in Paris

Author: Jonathan Kirsch

ISBN: 9780871404527

Publisher: Liveright publishing

Year it was published: 2013

Summary:

On the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht comes this untold story of a teenager whose act of defiance would have dire international consequences.

On the morning of November 7, 1938, Herschel Grynszpan, a desperate seventeen-year-old Jewish refugee, walked into the German embassy in Paris and shot Ernst vom Rath, a Nazi diplomat. Two days later vom Rath lay dead, and the Third Reich exploited the murder to unleash Kristallnacht—its horrific campaign of terror against Germany’s Jewish citizens in a bizarre concatenation of events that would rapidly involve Ribbentrop, Goebbels, and Hitler himself. Bestselling author Jonathan Kirsch brings to light this wrenching story, reexamining the historical details and moral dimensions of one of World War II’s most enigmatic cases. Was Grynszpan a deranged lone gunman or psychopath, as Hannah Arendt claimed, or was he an early resistance fighter? Had this young man and his victim shared an intimate connection, as Grynszpan later claimed? Kirsch illuminates a life cast into the shadows of history in a compelling biography that is part page-turning historical thriller and part Kafkaesque legal drama.

Opinion:

I don't know anything about Herschel Grynszpan, although its cool finding a Jew that was defiant and wouldn't take things lying down. I think what bothered me while I was reading is that in the pages I read, the story seemed to jump back and forth a lot, and I still wasn't able to understand some episodes. If the book is about Herschel Grynszpan, how does hitler dining alone relate to him?

Verdict:

I really did want to like and read the first few pages, but I guess its not my fate.

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.)

First Impressions: G88 The Review of The Curtain by Patrick Ord

Name of Book: The Curtain

Author: Patrick Ord

ISBN: 9780615780115

Publisher: Henry Maddox Publishing

Year it was published: 2013

Summary:

THE CURTAIN – A NOVEL SYNOPSIS:

Have you met Henry Maddox? He knows you — not personally of course… he really only knows your data. But from that data he actually may know you better than you think you know yourself. Henry knows where you’ve been and what you’ve bought. He knows all of your friends. Henry not only knows your behaviors, he understands your tendencies. And from those tendencies, he can predict what you’re going to do before you’ve actually done it.

Who is Henry Maddox? He is a 21st century marketing consultant and he specializes in highly personal and irresistibly persuasive advertising.

Henry’s strategies combine modern data mining (Big Data) techniques with other advanced and controversial marketing practices (Market Fragmentation, Cross Promotion, and Conglomerate Propagandizing) to the point where consumers don’t even know they are being sold. Businesses love Henry because he not only moves product, he actually controls their customers.

But when Henry is forced to face how his techniques affect real people, he realizes he has inadvertently given corporations the power to destroy society for their own ends.

THE CURTAIN explores the effect that increasingly sophisticated marketing techniques have on communities, families, and individuals. In an age of digital distractions, who remembers the transcendent morality that has allowed past civilizations to prosper? When corporations have the influence and motive to define people by what they consume, are we as individuals losing the substance of who we really are?

THE CURTAIN is entertaining, fun, thought provoking, educational, and frightening. Ord’s storytelling is brilliant and his research extraordinary. THE CURTAIN is a must read for anyone that watches television or movies, listens to the radio, accesses the internet, logs into social media, has a smart phone, participates in loyalty card programs, or uses GPS technology. In short, THE CURTAIN is for everyone.

Opinion:

Okay, not a good sign when the book begins with a quote from christian testament which caused my alarm to begin going off. For some odd reason, neither the writing nor the story heavily attracted to me, and if the goodreads reviews are correct about how only one way is acceptable, I don't think I should continue reading something that will make my hackles go off.

Verdict:

I don't think I'll read the 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.)

First Impressions: G74 The Review of The Cost of Courage by Joseph Cordaro

Name of Book: The Cost of Courage

Author: Joseph Cordaro

ISBN: 978-1456339951

Publisher: Self-published

Year it was published: 2010

Summary:

Emily Courtland is a strong and determined woman. But, she will need all of her strength and courage when her husband returns from war.

Naval hero, Lieutenant Commander Charles Courtland, is tormented by terrifying memories of battle and is being destroyed by the severe psychological aftereffects of battle.

The ugly wounds to his body are healing. But the uglier scars on his mind are forcing him to fight the nightmarish demons he cannot speak of.

Emily sees her family being crushed by her husband's erratic and delusional behavior. Most especially, and mysteriously, it is their young son Brent who bears the brunt of his father’s irrational treatment. For the boy it has reached the point of physical abuse.

Emily is forced to choose between standing by the ill husband she loves, and protecting their child from him.


To read the first two chapters go to www.josephcordaro.com

Opinion:

Previously I've read book titled In His Stead which is military based, which I did like a little, but unfortunately military things aren't to my reading palate, and I've realized after I tried reading a few pages of this particular book. It is written well, and, I imagine, a vital read for PTSD for those that come after the combat, but its not to my taste.

Verdict:

Although interesting, the book didn't seem to capture my interest as I had hoped.

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.)

Saturday, October 24, 2015

First Impressions G73 The Review of Refuge by N.G. Osborne

Name of Book: Refuge

Author: N.G. Osborne

ISBN: 9780615695402

Publisher: Cranham and Keith Books

Year it was published: 2012

Summary:

On a dusty, sweltering night, Noor Khan, a beautiful, headstrong Afghan refugee, comes face-to-face with Charlie Matthews, a brash, young American aid worker. To Noor's fury, Charlie breaks every cultural norm and pursues her. She wants nothing to do with him: her sole aim in life is to earn an overseas scholarship so she can escape the miseries of the refugee camps.

However when Noor's brother threatens to marry her off, she is forced to seek refuge in Charlie's home, of all places, and suddenly everything Noor believes in is put into question.

Set in the mystical and seething city of Peshawar, where no one is without an agenda and few can be trusted, Refuge is a timeless and unforgettable love story about the struggle for love and purpose in a cruel and cynical world.

Opinion:

From the first few pages, I can tell that it will be an unrealistic melo-dramatic novel that portrays Middle Eastern men negatively. To be honest, although I applaud the author for writing a book about refuges, I do want to mention that if you're looking for another type of read, please try reading When The Moon Is Low by Nadia Hashimi which is a much better and realistic book.

Verdict:

In all, I will not be reading the 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 for Tree of Souls The Mythology of Judaism by Howard Schwartz Book 2 Part 5.15

General Information:

Name of Book: Tree of Souls

ISBN: 9780195086799

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

Year it was published: 2004

Overall theme:

"With only one God, heaven would be a barren place, at least in mythic terms. Yet the actual Jewish view of heaven is quite different. There are seven heavens, filled with angels and other divine beings, such as the Messiah [Not jesus!], who is said to have a palace of his own in the highest heaven. The clestial Temple can be found there- the mirror image of the Temple in the earthly Jerusalem- as well as an abundance of heavenly palaces, one for each of the patriarchs and matriarchs and sages, where he or she teaches Torah to the attentive souls of the righteous and the angels..." (xliii)

"Drawing on the full range of Jewish sources, sacred and nonsacred, ten major categories of Jewish mythology can be identified: Myths of God, Myths of Creation...Each of these categories explores a mythic realm, and, in the process, reimagines it. This is the secret to the transformations that characterize Jewish mythology. Building on a strong foundation of biblical myth, each generation has embellished the earlier myths, while, at the same time, reinterpeting them for tis own time." (xlv)

 Book Two: Myths of Creation

 Part V: The Cosmic Seed

121. The Cosmic Seed

Issue: At the start, a holy spark emerged from G-d and began to glow and give off colors. The spark is known as as cosmic seed from which all existence came forth.

122. A Universe of Water

Issue: When there was a Universe of Water, G-d took snow from His Throne of Glory and there came a procedure of how the earth came to stand upon water. 

123. The Three Craftsmen

Issue: From water G-d developed the world, and created three craftsmen to do the work, and these were heaven, earth and water. Water produced earth, earth produced living things such as animals and other living creatures, as well as plants and vegetation, waters as well produced various fish and birds. G-d asked heaven to make a separation between upper and lower waters and asked for heavens to illuminate earth. When it was time to create man, G-d united three craftsmen to help produce him, and gave man a soul. 

124.The Pillars of the World

Issue: A story and speculation of how many pillars does the earth stand upon.

125. The Foundation Stone

Issue: The stone serves as starting point for all of the creating. The origin of the stone is told, that G-d took snow from beneath the Throne of Glory and cast it into waters where foundation stone was formed. Another legend says that G-d took a snow of fire, water, and air and cast it into the abyss where the world was planted in that place. There is also a story of an emerald that was engraved with mysteries of alphabet and tossing it into waters. King David, while building a temple, discovered the foundation stone and went to check it out. King David wanted to see what lay underneath it, and asked for stone to be lifted, but the stone told him not to do it. King David did not heed the warning, lifted the corner of the stone and heard rushing waters. Panicked, King David asks for advice, and comes up with idea of writing G-d's name on a potsherd and tossing it into waters, which helped with them being saved. King David repented many times for his sin, and his son, King Solomon, had the temple built where the stone was. A different legend emerges where King David uses the stone for a temple and a four letter name was carved on it, as well as measures that were taken to prevent people from learning the name, There is also a story of angels holding up the Foundation Stone, and if the stone should fall, Messiah will not be far behind. 

126. Creation by Thought

Issue: Before the creation of the world, G-d and His Name existed alone. G-d already conceived of the world in His mind, "making a world perceptible only by the intellect. Later G-d completed one visible to the external senses, using the world created in thought as the model." (98) The conception of the world came to G-d by night, and work was done by day. Different varities of how G-d created the world are gievn, that He didn't finish until sixth day, or everything was done in an instant, and so forth. 

127. A Single Utterance

Issue: G-d created the entire universe simultaneously by using only one word and nothing before or after it. However the universe lacked order, thus G-d attempts to give order to it. In this way heaven and earth and everything created at same instant. 

128. The Divided World

Issue: Upon creation of the world, G-d divided it into two parts: habitable and other a desert and then divided habitable land so it formed a circle, center of which is Israel, and center of Holy Land ends up being Jeruslame, and center of Jersalem is Holy of Holies, where G-d's bride dwells. G-d divides the desert as well, upon which Israelites wandered for forty years. That desert also had Other Side which is side of evil, and if they didn't provoke G-d's anger, then the Other Side would have been broken for all time. After coming back to Holy Land, is when the Israelites broke the power of Other Side. 

To Be Continued...

Friday, October 23, 2015

Part XXVII: Updated List for Asian Men/White Women Literature part 4

Part XXVII: Updated List for Asian Men/White Women Literature part 4

In Part II Asian Male and White Female Novels, I have given some examples of some of the particular in depth Asian male novels and white female novels that I have read and enjoyed. It has been three years since I published that article and a lot more books with that particular topic were published and discovered. I have thought long and hard on how to separate the books I have discovered and ones I have talked about. I think I will do five AM/WF novels/short stories per article. This article will contain five novels, few where, unfortunately, AM/WF couples either play a small or secondary role or where attraction isn't reciprocated or where they seem to be more of jerk (I'm lookin at you, '89 Walls!) Here are the novels:

*SPOILERS ALERT*

'89 Walls by Katie Pierson

Love and Miss Communication-Elyssa Friedland

The Tiger Queens-Stephanie Thornton

Dog Crazy-Meg Donohue

The Queen of Sparta-T.S. Chaudhry

'89 Walls by Katie Pierson

Summary:

College is not in the cards for Seth. He spends his minimum wage on groceries and fakes happiness to distract his mom from the MS they both know will kill her. It’s agony to carry around a frayed love note for a girl who’s both out of his league and beneath his dignity.

Quinn’s finishing high school on top. But that cynical, liberal guy in her social studies class makes her doubt her old assumptions. Challenging the rules now, though, would a) squander her last summer at home, b) antagonize her conservative dad, and c) make her a hypocrite.

Seth and Quinn’s passionate new romance takes them both by surprise. They keep it a secret: it’s too early to make plans and too late not to care. But it’s 1989. As politics suddenly get personal, they find themselves fighting bare-fisted for their beliefs—and each other—in the clear light of day.

The Asian Hero:

Unfortunately, this is a book where the Asian hero is more of a jerk than a good guy. The Asian hero, Jason Singh is of South Asian descent and his family is wealthy and can fit into country clubs and whatnot. He is best known as someone who smokes marijuana and doesn't seem to really care about life or find the heroine's feelings as valid. I keep thinking he is supposed to be antithesis to Park from Eleanor and Park.

The White Heroine:

I'm sorry to say, but one of the choices that she makes in the book really cause me to dislike and detest her, namely abortion. I really don't want to get into any stance about it, but I really disagreeing with her choice and I wasn't really prepared for abortion to appear in the book. If I'm not mistaken, her name is Quinn Ganey, she has brown hair and probably blue or green eyes. She is described as open-minded and friendly by the white hero of the book.

The Setting:

The story takes place in Omaha Nebraska in 1989 and both are seniors in high school. (See where Eleanor and Park come in?)

About the Author: 

From Pump Up Your Book Blog)

Katie PiersonKatie Pierson freelances for local non-profits, using her background in public policy and grassroots organizing to overthrow the patriarchy one introverted step at a time. When she’s not writing fiction, she returns library books, makes soup, and tries to be cooler than she really is by hip-hopping at the YMCA. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in American History from the University of Pennsylvania (where she dabbled briefly in being a College Republican) and a Master’s in American History from the University of Minnesota. She grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska, and now lives with her family in a suburb of Minneapolis. ’89 Walls is her first novel.
For More Information

For More Information



My Opinion:

I have to say that aside from the abortion issue and aside from the way that the Asian male character is handled, I think I would have liked the story because with a lot of things that they talked about, I did agree.

Love and Miss Communication-Elyssa Friedland

Summary:

This unforgettable debut novel asks us to look up from our screens and out at the world...and to imagine what life would be like with no searches, no status updates, no texts, no Tweets, no pins, and no posts

Evie Rosen has had enough. She's tired of the partners at her law firm e-mailing her at all hours of the night. The thought of another online date makes her break out in a cold sweat. She's over the clever hashtags and the endless selfies. So when her career hits a surprising roadblock and her heart is crushed by Facebook, Evie decides it's time to put down her smartphone for good. (Beats stowing it in her underwear--she's done that too!)

And that's when she discovers a fresh start for real conversations, fewer distractions, and living in the moment, even if the moments are heartbreakingly difficult. Babies are born; marriages teeter; friendships are tested. Evie just may find love and a new direction when she least expects it, but she also learns that just because you unplug your phone doesn't mean you can unplug from life.

The Asian Hero:

His name is Jake Loo and he cares deeply for his wife and is excited about having a child that he at one point devotes an entire afternoon to building a crib. He is an artistic soul and apparently has had many ventures, including Children's music, screenwritting, . He is also originally from Pittsburgh. Described by Evie as "ambiguously employed loafer" (38)

The White Heroine:

Her name is Tracy Loo and she is a teacher and also pregnant. "Evie worried it was only a matter of time before they were suburbia-bound. Tracy had an edge to her that Evie's other friends didn't have and was especially prone to eye rolling whenever Stasia discussed her father's political office or Caroline, the fourth in their quartet, mentioned an extravagant purchase...Tracy swore she'd never go to Pitt. 'You know Asian mothers-she'd welcome Jake back in the womb if he'd fit.'" (18-19)She also has reddish hair and an ivory complexion. She also works at Brighton and helps the main character get a job there,

The Setting:

The story takes place in New York and there is a great deal of focus on technology and how reliant we are on it.

About the Author:
(From TLC)


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Elyssa FriedlandAbout Elyssa Friedland

Elyssa Friedland attended Yale University, where she served as managing editor of the Yale Daily News. She is a graduate of Columbia Law School and subsequently worked as an associate at a major firm. Prior to law school, Elyssa wrote for several publications, including Modern BrideNew York magazine, Columbia Journalism Review, CBS MarketWatch.com, Yale Alumni Magazine, and Your Prom. She grew up in New Jersey and currently lives in New York City with her husband and three young children.
Find out more about Elyssa at her website, and connect with her onTwitter and Facebook.
My Opinion:

In this book the AM/WF play a secondary role instead of a primary one, but I think their role is a little big, which is why I've included them on the list, at least the white heroine.

The Tiger Queens-Stephanie Thornton

Summary:

In the late twelfth century, across the sweeping Mongolian grasslands, brilliant, charismatic Temujin ascends to power, declaring himself the Great, or Genghis, Khan. But it is the women who stand beside him who ensure his triumph....

After her mother foretells an ominous future for her, gifted Borte becomes an outsider within her clan. When she seeks comfort in the arms of aristocratic traveler Jamuka, she discovers he is the blood brother of Temujin, the man who agreed to marry her and then abandoned her long before they could wed.

Temujin will return and make Borte his queen, yet it will take many women to safeguard his fragile new kingdom. Their daughter, the fierce Alaqai, will ride and shoot an arrow as well as any man. Fatima, an elegant Persian captive, will transform her desire for revenge into an unbreakable loyalty. And Sorkhokhtani, a demure widow, will position her sons to inherit the empire when it begins to fracture from within.

In a world lit by fire and ruled by the sword, the tiger queens of Genghis Khan come to depend on one another as they fight and love, scheme and sacrifice, all for the good of their family...and the greatness of the People of the Felt Walls.


The Asian Hero:

His name is Shigi and he is of Tatar descent,  and is someone who is talented in languages and writing. There is thought that originally he is a nobleman's son  He is the one that suggested that the Mongols will be interested in Fatima. Technically he sees Fatima as perhaps a friend or a sister rather than a possible lover. He was spared by Genghis Khan and tasked to record the history of the Golden Family,

The White Heroine:

Her name is Fatima and she is best described as elegant, loyal, someone who is used to the finer things in life, and she is also a Muslim. She comes from a wealthy background and is very educated. Throughout the years she becomes an advisor to Toregene. She also has a strong will to live and is best described as someone who has mountains in her soul.

The Setting:

This is actually the third story which takes place in Persia at first, but then takes place on the fields, and the story is from 1221 up until 1240s?

About the Author: (Summary taken from the book)

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About the Author03_Stephanie Thornton

Stephanie Thornton is a writer and history teacher who has been obsessed with infamous women from ancient history since she was twelve. She lives with her husband and daughter in Alaska, where she is at work on her next novel.
“The Secret History: A Novel of Empress Theodora” and “Daughter of the Gods: A Novel of Ancient Egypt” are available from NAL/Penguin. “The Tiger Queens: The Women of Genghis Khan” will hit the shelves November 4, 2014, followed by “The Conqueror’s Wife: A Novel of Alexander the Great” in November 2015.
For more information please visit Stephanie Thornton’s website and blog. You can also find her on FacebookTwitter, and Goodreads.


My Opinion:

Although there might have been a possibility of AM/WF unfortunately its not entirely realized because the Asian hero was attracted to someone else and not to the white heroine. However, a well-done story of the importance of bonds and relationships between women.

Dog Crazy-Meg Donohue


Summary:

The USA Today bestselling author of How to Eat a Cupcake and All the Summer Girls returns with an unforgettably poignant and funny tale of love and loss, confronting our fears, and moving on . . . with the help of a poodle, a mutt, and a Basset retriever named Seymour

As a pet bereavement counselor, Maggie Brennan uses a combination of empathy, insight, and humor to help patients cope with the anguish of losing their beloved four-legged friends. Though she has a gift for guiding others through difficult situations, Maggie has major troubles of her own that threaten the success of her counseling practice and her volunteer work with a dog rescue organization.

Everything changes when a distraught woman shows up at Maggie’s office and claims that her dog has been stolen. Searching the streets of San Francisco for the missing pooch, Maggie finds herself entangled in a mystery that forces her to finally face her biggest fear-and to open her heart to new love.

Packed with deep emotion and charming surprises, Dog Crazy is a bighearted and entertaining story that skillfully captures the bonds of love, the pain of separation, and the power of our dogs to heal us.

The Asian Hero:

His name is Huan and he is described as smaller than Terrence with shaggy black hair and a sweet youthful face. He is Anya's neighbor, has a crush on her and is too shy to ask her out directly; he is about Anya's age. Growing up he never had pets because his father claimed he is allergic to them, although Huan suspects that its because his father worried pets would distract him from school. He is also described as polite and earnest and good-natured.

The White Heroine:

Her name is Anya and she isn't more than twenty years of age when she meets the heroine. She has auburn hair and green eyes, and is determined to find her missing dog, Billy. She is also described as someone who elevates between mood swings. In the book she becomes a talented photographer and has three brothers, Henry, Terrence and Clive.

The Setting:

The story takes place in modern times in California in San Francisco to be exact.

About the Author: (Summary taken from the book)


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About Meg Donohue37962

Meg Donohue is the author of How to Eat a Cupcake. She has an MFA in creative writing from Columbia University and a BA in comparative literature from Dartmouth College. Born and raised in Philadelphia, she now lives in San Francisco with her husband, their two young daughters, and their dog.
Find out more about Meg at her website, and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.


My Opinion:

A little like in Love and Miss Communication, the couple plays a secondary role to the story, but unlike in that book, there is more involvement between the white heroine and the Asian hero with the main character in the book.

The Queen of Sparta-T.S. Chaudhry

Summary:

Xerxes, the Great King of Persia invades Greece in 480 B.C. at the head of over a million barbarians. 300 Spartan’s led by King Leonidas die heroically blocking the Persian advance at the pass of Thermopylae. The Persians are poised to conquer all of Greece.

The only one standing in their way is a woman – Gorgo, Queen of Sparta. Though history has relegated her role to an interested bystander, what if she played a central part at the heart of the Greek resistance to the Persian invasion. What if she kept her true role a secret in order to play it more effectively? What if she was hiding other secrets too – dark secrets of murder and vengeance? What if the only person who truly appreciated her genius was an enemy prisoner? What if after their victory, the Greeks start to turn on each other? What if, eventually, Gorgo has to choose between the security of Sparta and safety of her son? And what if the only one who could find a way out is the same prisoner whom she has vowed to kill?

The Asian Hero:

His name is Sherzada and he is a Prince of Indus River Valley, and has ancestry of Scyths and the locals and physically he has dark skin and dark eyes and is described as taller than an average Spartan, and swarthy and is someone from Sindhic tribal group (a Saka). Personality wise, he is resourceful, intelligent, brave and fearless as well as loyal and chivalric.

The White Heroine:

Her name is Gorgo and she has dark hair as well as hazel-green eyes and already has a boy from a previous marriage. She is intelligent, diplomatic, open-minded and very protective of those she loves and cares about. She is a different woman from normal Spartan women and is seen as a light among the Spartans.

The Setting:

Majority of the book is set in Greece, in Sparta to be exact from 480 PME to 477 PME, and it deals with wars, politics, and presents Queen Gorgo as a fearless and brave woman who has an understated role in politics

About the Author: (Summary taken from the book)

T.S. ChaudhryT. S. Chaudhry was born in Karachi, Pakistan. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University, a master’s degree from Harvard University, and a PhD from the University of Cambridge. Formerly a Pakistani diplomat, Chaudhry currently works for the United Nations on peace and security issues in Africa.
THE QUEEN OF SPARTA is Chaudhry’s first novel. He came up with the idea to write a story about Queen Gorgo being the architect of the Greek resistance against the Persian invasion while reading Herodotus for his A-Level examination in England several decades ago. “As a lover of history, or a ‘history-buff,’ I have always enjoyed reading both fiction and nonfiction about this period.”
Chaudhry is currently working on a “prequel” to THE QUEEN OF SPARTA based on events leading up to the Battle of Marathon, called Fennel Field.
For More Information

My Opinion:

This is probably a really unique story, and it takes place in the past. To be honest, I'm not sure if the hero of the book, Sherzada, might be considered traditionally Asian, but he is from Indus River Valley, and is described as dark skinned. I remember really enjoying the book and seeing a very unique pairing of Queen Gorgo and Prince Sherzada.

Want more of Asian male/white female literature? Check out links for three other lists I've done! 

List One:

List Two:

List Three:

Be patient, more is coming!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

G652 Book Review of Girl Waits With Gun by Amy Stewart

Name of Book: Girl Waits with Gun

Author: Amy Stewart

ISBN: 978-0-544-40991-0

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Type of book: 1914-1915, women trying to be independent, life on a farm, sisterhood, survival, secrets, accident, mystery, comedy, justice, weapons, attempted murders

Year it was published:2015

Summary:

From the New York Times best-selling author of The Drunken Botanist comes an enthralling novel based on the forgotten true story of one of the nation’s first female deputy sheriffs.

Constance Kopp doesn’t quite fit the mold. She towers over most men, has no interest in marriage or domestic affairs, and has been isolated from the world since a family secret sent her and her sisters into hiding fifteen years ago. One day a belligerent and powerful silk factory owner runs down their buggy, and a dispute over damages turns into a war of bricks, bullets, and threats as he unleashes his gang on their family farm. When the sheriff enlists her help in convicting the men, Constance is forced to confront her past and defend her family — and she does it in a way that few women of 1914 would have dared.

“A smart, romping adventure, featuring some of the most memorable and powerful female characters I've seen in print for a long time. I loved every page as I followed the Kopp sisters through a too-good-to-be-true (but mostly true!) tale of violence, courage, stubbornness, and resourcefulness.” — Elizabeth Gilbert

Characters:

Main characters included Constance, Norma, Fleurette and their mother who has recently passed away. There are male characters, but for simplicity's sake, they weren't very good towards the women, aside from their brother. The girls' mother is best described as old fashioned and someone who hates and/or looks down on Jewish people. She is also more of a hermit and wanted for all of her girls to settle down and get married. She is also, in some cases, incapable of making her own decisions. Constance is the eldest sister and seems to be lacking control of her own life, often letting Norma or her mother decide everything. One time when she did decide to do something, it came with very disastrous consequences. Throughout the book she develops her powers of keen observation and being protective of her family and trying to get and give justice to others. Norma is the middle sister who is obsessed with pigeons and earlier in the womens' lives was more of a leader than Constance and the mother were. She is very independent minded and will not follow conventional thoughts or ideas. The youngest, Fleurette, is best described as a talented sewer and dressmaker as well as high strung and someone who wants to be on stage or in Hollywood and also someone who is a drama queen and loves acting the part.

Theme:

Eventually anyone can regain control of their lives

Plot:

The story is in first person narrative from Constance's point of view, and not once did it veer off to give Norma's or Fleurette's points of view, but the reader sees everything through Constance's eyes. The story moves along at a pace that's not too slow nor too fast and the author seems to know the right number of things to include that makes the story perfectly balanced; that is, while reading the book, I was never bored with the characters nor with the situation, but instead I was dying to know what happens next.

Author Information:
(From HFVBT)

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | INDIEBOUND | POWELL’S

ABOUT THE AUTHOR03_Amy Stewart

Amy Stewart is the author of seven books. Her latest, Girl Waits With Gun, is a novel based on a true story. She has also written six nonfiction books on the perils and pleasures of the natural world, including four New York Times bestsellers: The Drunken Botanist, Wicked Bugs, Wicked Plants, and Flower Confidential. She lives in Eureka, California, with her husband Scott Brown, who is a rare book dealer. They own a bookstore called Eureka Books. The store is housed in a classic nineteenth-century Victorian building that Amy very much hopes is haunted.
Stewart has written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, and many other newspapers and magazines, and has appeared frequently on National Public Radio, CBS Sunday Morning, and–just once–on TLC’s Cake Boss. She is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, the American Horticulture Society’s Book Award, and an International Association of Culinary Professionals Food Writing Award.
For more information visit Amy Stewart’s website. You can also find her on FacebookTwitterGoodreads, and Pinterest.


Opinion:

When I started to read the book, I thought it would be a romantic comedy type book that would be set in early 20th century. I was right about the comedy aspect, but oh boy was I wrong about the romance. I think this is a rare book that doesn't have a situation where the heroines get their men. In fact, the book focuses a lot on family relationships, particularly the sisterly bond between Constance and her two sisters Fleurette and Norma which I've greatly enjoyed as well as their attempts to live by themselves without anyone's help. Throughout that year of 1914, a lot of things happen and Constance matures a lot throughout the novel, getting ready to take on additional responsibilities and finally starting to be in charge of her own life. The story greatly drew me in to it and once you start, you won't be able to stop.

This is for Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE

Tuesday, September 1
Spotlight at Build a Bookshelf
Spotlight at Please Pass the Books
Wednesday, September 2
Spotlight at Library Educated
Spotlight at What Is That Book About
Thursday, September 3
Review at Book Nerd
Friday, September 4
Spotlight & Giveaway at Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus More
Thursday, September 10
Review at Library Educated
Friday, September 11
Spotlight & Giveaway at Historical Fiction Connection
Monday, September 14
Review at Just One More Chapter
Tuesday, September 15
Review at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book
Review at History From a Woman’s Perspective
Wednesday, September 16
Review at The Worm Hole
Spotlight & Giveaway at The True Book Addict
Thursday, September 17
Spotlight at Books and Benches
Saturday, September 19
Review & Giveaway at 100 Pages a Day
Monday, September 21
Review & Giveaway at Unshelfish
Tuesday, September 22
Guest Post & Giveaway at Passages to the Past
Thursday, September 24
Review at A Bookish Affair
Friday, September 25
Review at Jorie Loves a Story
Spotlight at Boom Baby Reviews
Monday, September 28
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Review & Giveaway at A Literary Vacation
Tuesday, September 29
Review at A Fold in the Spine
Wednesday, September 30
Spotlight at Build a Bookshelf
Friday, October 2
Interview & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books
Monday, October 5
Review & Giveaway at Mina’s Bookshelf
Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews
Tuesday, October 6
Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee
Review & Giveaway at To Read, or Not to Read
Interview at Jorie Loves a Story

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.)
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