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Monthly Archives: November 2010

Review: The Persimmon Tree

The Persimmon TreeThe Persimmon Tree by Bryce Courtenay
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book has actually been sitting on my TBR shelf for about a year and a half now, so I figured it was about time to read it (plus there was the incentive that it fit into a challenge category here on Goodreads). I found it to be a typical Bryce Courtenay book, lots of vivid detail that makes you feel like you are experiencing both Nick and Anna’s time during the way without leaving your bedroom. Although, it was a bit disconcerting when he used the vocal speech of Kevin Judge (who is a "Yank"), but you couldn’t really place where in the US he was from, if I recall it was Chicago, but this stylistic technique is also used by him in other books, so it wasn’t as disconcerting this time. My other complaint is that the book just seemed to end…I know that there is a sequel to it, but the ending here was just weak (without going into any spoilers). I would recommend it, however, I say have the sequel on hand and ready to read, so that can see what happens to Anna and Nick. I have to wait to get my hands on a copy.

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Posted by on November 22, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

Review: Snow Angels

Snow Angels (Inspector Kari Vaara, #1)Snow Angels by James Thompson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

One of my goals over the next year is to extend my reading and try to read books set in various locations around the world, aside from the typical United States, England settings which seem to occur quite often. The book was one that I saw recommended on another reader’s list, a murder mystery set in the northern part of Finland.

I was pleasantly surprised by the novel, it was the first that I had read set in this part of the world, tightly written, and I didn’t identify the killer until it came to the conclusion. Or rather, I thought it might have been the person, but I dismissed it because it seemed too out of character for them, based on what I knew as a reader.

Interspersed throughout the novel as Vaara tries to solve the murder, are the struggles of his wife, Kate – an American citizen, trying to adapt to life in Finland; where she doesn’t speak the language. In that instance, it was similar to another novel that I read recently called City of Veils: A Novel, which has experiences of a woman who moved to Saudi Arabia interspersed throughout the novel.

I would highly recommend this for people who like reading mysterys; or books set in exotic locales around the world.

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Posted by on November 14, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

Review: Little Bee

Little BeeLittle Bee by Chris Cleave
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I wanted to like this book, I really did…it seemed to have so much promise. The story of a Nigerian refugee who ends up in England and at the house of the woman who saved her life by giving up her finger a few years previously and yet, it just didn’t live up to the hype.

I initially picked it up as part of a challenge where we had to read a book from 1 of three lists…individuals had voted on what book they would like to read and this was one of three that could be chosen from – the others being Mockingjay and The Passage. Since I hadn’t read the previous books to Mockingjay I couldn’t read it and the Passage just didn’t interest me, so I kept plugging away through this one.

The alternating perspectives of Little Bee and Sarah was interesting. Little Bee’s were enjoyable, but Sarah’s just seemed dull and pointless. Personally, I think the book would have been better if written entirely from Little Bee’s perspectives. There were so many things that the author seemed to throw into the story (although I won’t mention them here becaues they are spoilers), but it was like huh? and then the book just ended, you never really knew what happened to Little Bee, to Sarah, to Batman (Sarah’s son)…really, the only person who got their ending was Andrew, Sarah’s husband, early on in the book.

I’m sure there are people out there who like this book, but unfortunately, it just wasn’t for me.

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Posted by on November 14, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

Review: Tangled Up In You

Tangled Up In You (Writer Friends, #3)Tangled Up In You by Rachel Gibson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Rachel Gibson is very quickly becoming an auto-read author for me and Tangled Up In You is no exception. an entertaining story with some comedic elements, some sweet spicy scenes between the hero and the heroine and a satisfying HEA (although in this one, it did feel a bit rushed)

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Posted by on November 13, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

Review: Mao’s Last Dancer

Mao's Last DancerMao’s Last Dancer by Li Cunxin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

***I won this book as part of a GoodReads First Reads Giveaway***

I have to say when I first got the notification from Goodreads saying that I had won this book, I wasn’t sure if i would enjoy it. So it got put on the overly full bookshelves with the intention to "get to it eventually" as with most of my books. Then I discovered that I needed a book about immigrant experiences in the United States and found that over half of the book, fit the bill and so decided to read it.

I was pleasantly surprised while reading Li’s authobiography. Having studied through various history courses a bit about Communist China, I sort of knew what to expect but he portrayed it in such vivid detail that those images will remain in my mind.

His experiences when he arrived in the United States, the perceptions of how China lied to him about them being the richest people in the world and the United States being the poorest were poignent. After he decided to defect to the United States, it felt like my heart was being torn-out after reading about his experiences.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in reading a personal experience of living under a communist rule, as well as students who are studying those areas of history.

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Posted by on November 13, 2010 in Uncategorized

 
 
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