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Showing posts from February, 2017

Diverse Reads on my blog #5

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As I check out the links on Naz's blog, I begin to realize the complications of diversity, and how broad the term it really is. For example, it's generally accepted that those who are not of European descent are considered 'diverse' as well as those who belong to LGBTQIAP community be they European or not. But then what about people who are European but are not of Catholic or Protestant descent? What of the people who immigrated here from somewhere outside the Western Europe but are of Eastern European descent? Would they be seen as diverse or not? Eastern Europe and Western Europe are different in terms of history, traditions and even in the way Christianity celebrated; the Western Europe being Catholic while Eastern Europe is Eastern Orthodox Christianity. (Heck, there are two different calendars for the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Christianity.)

What I realized is that we are all fighting for the same goal: to be seen and recognized as an individual rather than a…

Book Review of Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

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Name of Book: Where'd You Go, Bernadette?

Author: Maria Semple

ISBN: 978-0-316-33360-3

Publisher: Little Brown and Company

Type of book: Antarctica, mother/daughter relatiionship, disappear, missing, epistolary, agoraphobia, heart problems, living life, growing up, coming of age, creativity, snarky view of today and lifestyles

Year it was published: 2012

Summary:

Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she's a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she's a disgrace; to design mavens, she's a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom.

Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette's intensifying allergy to Seattle—and people in general—has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands. A trip to the end of the earth is problematic.

G784 Book Review of Hunters in the dark by Lawrence Osborne

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Name of Book: Hunters in the Dark

Author: Lawrence Osborne

ISBN: 978-0-553-44736-1

Publisher: Hogarth

Type of book: Cambodia, white male/Asian female relationships, Khmer, tutoring, identity, karma, exploring the jungles, ghosts, money, thievery, travel, aimlessness

Year it was published: 2015

Summary:

From the novelist the New York Times compares to Paul Bowles, Evelyn Waugh and Ian McEwan, an evocative new work of literary suspense

Adrift in Cambodia and eager to side-step a life of quiet desperation as a small-town teacher, 28-year-old Englishman Robert Grieve decides to go missing. As he crosses the border from Thailand, he tests the threshold of a new future.

And on that first night, a small windfall precipitates a chain of events-- involving a bag of jinxed money, a suave American, a trunk full of heroin, a hustler taxi driver, and a rich doctor s daughter-- that changes Robert s life forever.

Hunters in the Dark is a sophisticated game of cat and mouse redolent of the nightmares of P…

E-Reading G838 Book Review of Let's Try This Again by Jordyn Woodtke

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Name of Book: Let's Try This Again

Author: Jordyn Woodtke

ISBN/ASIN: B01JOFTF6Q

Publisher: 3 Dreams Creative Enterprises, LLC

Type of book: New Adult, moving, California, love triangle, bad boy vs good boy, fame, writing, emotions, friends with benefits, not letting go, not maturing, escaping

Year it was published: 2016

Summary:

One girl.  Two guys.  It's complicated.

First there is Isaac, the ex-boyfriend who threatens her move to a sunny new life on the west coast when he suddenly comes back into the picture.  The chemistry is intoxicating and Josie starts eating, breathing, and sleeping with him again until the move.  Things are hard enough saying goodbye to her childhood home and very best friends, but when Isaac makes it seem like he might actually want her to stay, Josie wonders if she’s giving up on him too quickly.

Josie takes the plunge and moves to California.

Then comes Carter. Sweet, doting - and, oh my god! - former boy band heartthrob, Carter. Josie’s new life falls in…

Diverse Reads On My Blog #4

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Is it me or are things really beginning to fall apart within the world? I am beginning to think that they are falling apart, that history is not used or remembered as it should be. I wonder what will the future generations learn about us? Will they whitewash this period of time in rainbows and butterflies, or will they remember the starkness of the times? The ugly natures of people popping up like ravenous werewolves gorging on a snack of hatred? I want to be an optimist but I am not, and I feel as if endless repetitions will happen for an eternity.

Blast from the Past

Tempted Tigress by Jade Lee

Not only did China's Grand Canal transport food, slaves, and deadly opium, today it was a woman's path to freedom. But her flight would end in the arms of the emperor's enforcer, where another journey would begin. Orphaned and stranded, Anna Marie Thompson could trust no one, especially not her dark captor. Not when his eyes held secrets deadlier than her own. His caress was liquid …

G770 Book Review of The Mortifications by Derek Palacio

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Name of Book: The Mortifications

Author: Derek Palacio

ISBN: 978-1-101-90569-2

Publisher: Tim Duggan Books

Type of book: Cuba, breast cancer, broken family, Catholicism, nun, promises, secrets, memories, death

Year it was published: 2016

Summary:

Derek Palacio’s stunning, mythic novel marks the arrival of a fresh voice and a new chapter in the history of 21st century Cuban-American literature.

In 1980, a rural Cuban family is torn apart during the Mariel Boatlift. Uxbal Encarnaci√≥n—father, husband, political insurgent—refuses to leave behind the revolutionary ideals and lush tomato farms of his sun-soaked homeland. His wife Soledad takes young Isabel and Ulises hostage and flees with them to America, leaving behind Uxbal for the promise of a better life. But instead of settling with fellow Cuban immigrants in Miami’s familiar heat, Soledad pushes further north into the stark, wintry landscape of Hartford, Connecticut. There, in the long shadow of their estranged patriarch, now just a distan…

Diverse Reads On My Blog #3

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Guess I'm late on posting what is meant to be last week's diverse reads on my blog for last week and will post it this week. Recently I have been contemplating that it's a shame that I cannot promote some of my favorite authors (Sue Harrison and Pearl Buck are just two) as diverse, although both write of marginalized cultures respectfully and beautifully. So I came up with something I will call Allies of Diversity which will promote authors of European or American descent that dare to tackle-respectfully-cultures that are different than the ones they were raised with. I do hope what I will do will not be seen as offensive by others, but its something I have been wrestling with for a while; I used to write Asian Male/White female stories where I did my best to portray Asian male as both a hero and a human, (Actually quite a few of my Asian ex-boyfriends read a particular story, and they all had high compliments for it.) but by others my story will not be seen as diverse si…

G822 Book Review of human acts by han kang

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General Information:

Name of Book: Human Acts (Soneun i eundae)

ISBN: 978-1-101-90672-9

Publisher: Hogarth Publisher

Year it was published: 2016 (original 2014)

Summary:

From the internationally bestselling author of The Vegetarian, a rare and astonishing (The Observer) portrait of political unrest and the universal struggle for justice.

In the midst of a violent student uprising in South Korea, a young boy named Dong-ho is shockingly killed.

The story of this tragic episode unfolds in a sequence of interconnected chapters as the victims and the bereaved encounter suppression, denial, and the echoing agony of the massacre. From Dong-ho's best friend who meets his own fateful end; to an editor struggling against censorship; to a prisoner and a factory worker, each suffering from traumatic memories; and to Dong-ho's own grief-stricken mother; and through their collective heartbreak and acts of hope is the tale of a brutalized people in search of a voice.

An award-winning, controvers…

G816 Book Review of Illusions of magic by j.b. rivard

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Name of Book: Illusions of Magic; Love And Intrigue in 1933 Chicago

Author: J.B. Rivard

ISBN: 978-0-9968363-0-2

Publisher: Self Published

Type of book: magic, magicians, illusions, magic acts, secrets, marriage, power struggle, assassination attempt, Chicago Illinois, mystery, creativity, thriller, sepia toned novel

Year it was published: 2015

Summary:

The withering of vaudeville was bad enough in 1933. Because of the Great Depression, bookings for stage magician Nick Zetner disappeared. With his marriage cracking under the strain, Nick reluctantly accepts a devious banker’s deal: He earns a generous reward if he retrieves photos stolen during a break-in at the bank. Along the way, a love he thought he’d forever lost reappears. Despite his skill in the arts of magic, penetrating the realm of the thieves grows increasingly perilous, especially when it endangers his newfound romance.

Illusions of Magic seamlessly merges this tale with the true-life assassination attempt on President-elect Fra…