Showing posts from 2020

G1203 Book Review of Between These Walls by Michael Newman

Name of Book: Between These Walls

Author: Michael Newman

ISBN: 9781525548840

Publisher: Friesen Press

Type of book: Adolf Hitler, WWII, Israel, 1930s to 1980s, lawyer, Germany, powerlessness, victims, power, greed, inner circle, adoption, Judaism, friendship, paternal relationships, Egypt, hiding, secrets 

Year it was published: 2020

In the dying days of WW II on the American occupied side of Germany’s Elbe River, US Army Medical Corps Colonel Samuel Singer comes upon the strafed wreck of a smouldering SS Staff car, with a badly injured driver, nearby a dead German Army officer carrying the ID of a Nazi war criminal, and a young blonde woman, also dead in the back seat.
Forty-three years later, art curator Daniel Singer, the adopted son of Colonel Singer receives a mysterious package—a large brown envelope, sealed with security tape—from West Berlin. He can’t help but think that there’s something important within the envelope. But what?
Daniel’s quest to learn about the package…

G1168 Book Review of A bond undone by Jin Yong

Name of Book: A Bond Undone

Author: Jin Yong (trans by Gigi Chang)

ISBN: 978-1-250-22068-4

Publisher: St Martin's Press

Part of a Series: Legend of Condor Heroes

Type of book: Fantasy, martial arts, history, manipulation, love, 1200s, China, love, patriot, wuxia, greats, battles, 

Year it was published: 1959 (in USA 2020)

In the Jin capital of Zhongdu, Guo Jing learns the truth of his father’s death and finds he is now betrothed, against his will, to two women. Neither of them is his sweetheart Lotus Huang.
Torn between following his heart and fulfilling his filial duty, Guo Jing journeys through the country of his parents with Lotus, encountering mysterious martial heroes and becoming drawn into the struggle for the supreme martial text, the Nine Yin Manual. But his past is catching up with him. The widow of an evil man he accidentally killed as a child has tracked him down, intent on revenge.
Meanwhile, his true parentage at last revealed, Yang Kang, the young prince Guo J…

Blog Challenge Day 08: Star

So I decided to use The Comet Seekers by Helen Sedgwick for this last prompt. Relation to that is the theme of 'Star' which I took to mean outer space, and I even thought that comets are types of stars, but not the case. Yet, comets exist in the same space as the stars. 
Pretty much like my previous reads, The Comet Seekers plays with time but this time the focus is a lot more on the comets and outer space rather than straight history. This is also a literary tale that I found to be confusing yet heartbreaking and frustrating. Like my previous reads, I definitely think this requires a re-read to fully immerse and understand the story of Roisin and Francois. The tale plays a lot with history and future, with living life and freezing it as well as an inability to move on and to fully enjoy it There is a lot I don't understand, but I would like to think that a day will arrive when I finally will. 
Link to prompt

Blog Challenge Day 07: Time

So for this prompt, I decided to go with These Ghosts Are Family by Maisy Card, which plays a lot with time; making it go forward or back, giving the reader a sense of disorientation but at the same time teaching the reader the history of Jamaica. I definitely think that this is one of the novels that should be re-read because first time its confusing and I have trouble understanding how it all relates to one another. 
What I think more than anything the tale speaks of is the lost facts, the lost stories that aren't there. It's akin to having a puzzle but then realizing you are missing almost half the puzzle pieces, so you are trying your best to tell the story with the puzzle pieces you have. Because I am used to having complete tales in one way or another, reading These Ghosts Are Family by Maisy Card was a jarring experience because a lot of questions go unanswered, and, most likely, will continue to be unanswered.
Link to prompt

Blog Challenge Day 06: Any Book with 400+ Pages

For non-readers, I imagine that the idea of a 400+ page book is, well, overwhelming. Yet, reading A Bond Undone by Jin Yong, second volume in Legend of Condor Heroes is anything but overwhelming. It's a long adventure tale of right versus wrong, of love, martial arts, loyalty and so forth. A wonderful introduction to Chinese culture. 
One does need to read A Hero Born, the first volume in the series, but again, its a masterful and suspenseful tale that will have one racing through to finish up reading, and its a journey that will be highly worth it. Also, in personal opinion, highly surpasses Lord of the Rings because it has a lot of women who are heroines  and there is a lot of comedy, although I do understand that tragedy isn't too far away. I look forward to volumes 3 and 4 as well as the future series such as Return of Condor Heroes and The Heavenly Sword and Dragon Saber. 
Link to prompt

Blog Challenge Day 05: Rebel

In America, not a lot of non-Asians are familiar with Asian side of the story during WWII. Sure a lot of non-Asians are familiar with internment camps that USA constructed for Japanese and German citizens, but not many know that China and Japan were enemies during that time, which is a reason I chose Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford for the topic of rebel. Why? The main character in the book, a Chinese-American by the name of Henry Lee, befriends and develops feelings for a Japanese-American girl, Keiko Okabe. He has also done the unthinkable in refusing to think the same way his old world parents think about the Japanese. 
While Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet seems to be the darling of anyone who tries out Jamie Ford, I feel bad in admitting it that I didn't like it all that much. I'm not sure why, but perhaps because his other book, Songs of Willow Frost, will always hold a magical place in my heart. It is a good story, both tender and sweet as w…

Blog Challenge Day 04: Family

For the topic of family, I decided to go with Truths I Never Told You by Kelly Rimmer. Two of the most important things that a person can have is family and/or friends. A lot of books have been written about friendships, sisterhoods, parental/child relationships, and for good reason: a family is an incredibly complex organism that human experience cannot capture. All I knew when I began reading Truths I Never Told You is that its a Kelly Rimmer story: its one of my favorite authors, it came out in April, and it dealt with Post-partum depression. Much to mine surprise, the main characters, the four siblings of Beth, Timothy, Ruth and Jeremy are very close to one another and to their widowed father Patrick, even going as far as having meals together once a week. 
While such closeness is to be commended, especially during the trying times that are ahead for the siblings, it can become even more difficult for people like spouses or girlfriends/boyfriends become part of the family. Kelly Ri…

Blog Challenge Day 03: Golden Classics

When I became a blogger, I became aware of the competitive nature of books with one another; in particular with building up the hype for the newest releases at the cost of the old books: readers are more likely familiar with new stories rather than old. It is important to look back though, to realize what might have gone wrong and what can be done about it. For this topic, I decided to choose How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez, which was published in 1992 (the blog challenge specified the year prior to 1995.) 
Basically the story travels backwards, from the first story when the third sister, Yolanda finds herself back home to when she is a little girl in 1950s, from 1989 to 1956. While reading it, I highly enjoyed it and often found myself being able to relate to sisters' experiences in America. I also am wondering why haven't a book like this been introduced to me when I was in high school? I understand the story has sexual elements to it, but still, why …

Blog Challenge Day 02: Travel/Vacation

For this challenge, I decided it to mean that the story takes place someplace else from where I live, so I decided to use The Aosawa Murders by Riku Onda, yet another literary tale. The story takes place in Kanto Japan and its a lot like a jigsaw puzzle of a crime, with the reader having to put these puzzle pieces together. I do think that re-reads have to be made to understand it. 
The tale begins with Makiko Saiga explaining the crime and what happened as well as what prompted her to write the famous but forgotten book based on the crime, The Forgotten Festival. Then as the story goes on, the reader begins to learn a lot of unsavory details about different characters, including Makiko. I enjoy reading the stories where I have to figure out how puzzle pieces come together, and I hadn't been able to put the stories together to understand the why, but still, a truly shocking and memorable tale. 
Link to prompt

Blog Challenge Day 01: Dreams and Ambitions

One of the books I picked for Dreams and Ambitions is Cometh the Hour by Annie Whitehead, for several reasons. First reason is because at the start one of the characters loses a kingdom to another king and becomes determined to get it back. However, once the dream is achieved, this character goes further, sacrificing pretty much a lot to take his ambition farther. In Cometh the Hour, the characters of Penda, Edwin as well as Oswald all play with their dreams and ambitions and they all have to find strength and courage when their desires go awry or don't work out as they hoped. 
This is the third book I read by Annie Whitehead, and I have to say that I'm really impressed with her writing and her descriptions of 7th century England. I enjoy learning and gaining knowledge that I hadn't had previously. What I also liked and enjoyed is how close to the time period that England was a Roman colony (probably few hundred years in the past,) yet a lot of it was still used. In a good …

Day 00 Welcome Post Book Cover That Sparks Joy!

So I understand that I'm late to the party, but I was just being busy, trying to finish a number of books I wanted to use for this challenge. So today's topic is Book Cover(s) that spark(s) joy, and for me they would be 1980s 1990s book covers. There is definitely something vibrant lively about the book covers. Although I don't own these series, the first ones that came into my mind would be Susan Beth Pfeffer's Sebastian Sisters book covers. I love the backgrounds.  I also love book cover for Just As Long As We're Together by Judy Blume and a story by Barthe DeClements, Nothing's Fair in Fifth Grade. 

Coming attractions for May 2020

Does anyone else feel suspended in time? That's what I feel. I feel bitterness that I won't be able to get print copy of Samantha Downing's latest: HE STARTED IT. I am glad that some things are getting back to normal, I hope. I have been struggling a lot with allergies this last week or so, which is pretty bad when you have an outdoor loving four year old boy. Other than that, I suppose, nothing else is new one can say. I feel guilty that I hadn't written a lot of reviews as I hoped last month, but hopefully this month will be different. Without further ado, here is my tentative schedule. I also joined a book challenge, which I am excited to share with you these coming days!  Also, May marks 10 years since I began blogging, so yay! 
Between These Walls by Michael Newman (May 26th, 2020)
Possible reviews: 
A bond undone by Jin Yong
How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez 
Truths I never told you by Kelly Rimmer 
Hotel on the corner of bitter…

May 2020

The scent keeper- Erica Bauermeister SR: May 16th, 2020 FR: May 21st, 2020 The library of legends- Janie Chang  SR: May 12th, 2020 FR:  Love and other consolation prizes-Jamie Ford SR: May 1st, 2020FR: May 12th, 2020 Sister Dear-Hannah Mary McKinnon SR: May 1st, 2020 FR:  Between these walls- Michael Newman SR: May 10th, 2020 FR: May 18th, 2020 When Christ and his saints slept-Sharon Kay Penman SR: May 1st, 2020 FR:  The Comet Seekers-Helen Sedgwick  SR: May 1st, 2020 FR: May 10th, 2020
Nonfiction: Tree of Souls-Howard Schwartz SR: February 10th, 2014 FR: N/A GenTech; An American Story of Techonolgoy, Change and Who We REALLY Are- Dr. Rick CHromey SR: May 21st, 2020 FR:

G1202 Perils and Pearls; In World War II, a Family's Story of Survival and Freedom from Japanese Jungle Prison Camps

Title of the book: Perils and Pearls; In World War II, a Family's Story of Survival and Freedom from Japanese Jungle Prison Camps

Author: Hulda Bachman-Neeb

Publisher: Bristle Cone Press

Publishing Date: 2020

ISBN: 978-0-578-56744-0


In World War II much of Asia fell under Japanese control after the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

All non-Asians were imprisoned in concentration camps until August of 1945, the end of the war in the Pacific.

This is the story of a Dutch family, resident in the Dutch East Indies, that fell victim to the Japanese occupation and was interned in jungle camps throughout the war. It tells the journey from riches to rags, from fear and suffering, to the joy of freedom and recovery.

Author Info:
(From iRead Book Tours)

Amazon ~ Barnes and Noble
Books-a-Millions ~ IndieBound ~BookDepository
Add to Goodreads
Meet the Author:

Hulda Bachman–Neeb was born in Indonesia of colonial Dutch parentage two years before the Pearl Harbor attack on…

G1201 bury him; A Memoir of the Vietnam War

Title of the book: Bury Him; A Memoir of the Vietnam War

Author: Captain Doug Chamberlain

Publisher: Love the West Publications

Publishing Date: 2019

ISBN: 978-1-950647-03-3


In this frank, engaging memoir, Captain Chamberlain chronicles the missions, personal courage and sacrifice of the Marines he was privileged to command; painfully recalls the unspeakable order he and his Marines were forced to obey; and the cover-up which followed. Nearly four decades later, Captain Chamberlain makes right what was wrong; brings closure to the family of a fallen and abandoned warrior; and attempts to put to rest the guilt which plagued his military career and life. Unlike most books on the Viet Nam War, this book is written at a tactical level by a Marine Company Commander who was there.

Author Info:
(From iRead Book Tours)

Meet the Author:

Doug Chamberlain, the grandson of homesteaders in eastern Wyoming and western Nebraska, grew up with the "country values" instilled in him in the r…

Book Spotlight GenTech: An American Story of Technology, Change and Who We Really Are by Dr. Rick Chromey

We are uniquely shaped by innovations that influenced us during our "coming of age" years between 10 and 25.
It is the technological interactions in our adolescence and college
years that guide our generational frames more than anything else, not the day we were born.We are generations of technology. We are GenTech.
- Dr. Rick Chromey
Join us for this tour from Mar 23to Apr 3, 2020!

Book Details:

Book Title:  GenTech: An American Story of Technology, Change and Who We Really Are by Dr. Rick Chromey

Category:  Adult Non-fiction 18 yrs +,  328 pages

Genre:  History / Cultural & Technical History

Publisher:  Morgan James Publishing

Release date:   May 26, 2020

Tour dates: Mar 23 to Apr 3, 2020

Content Rating:  G : This is a non-fiction book about our technical history and how it has shaped our culture.

Book Description:

Every twenty years a new generation rises, but who and what defines
these generations? And could current generational tags mislead and miss
the point? In this insig…