I picked this one up for a book club a few months ago. I really do not often read literary fiction, but I wanted to give this one a try. And lo and behold–I loved it! I ended up only finishing half before the book club meeting and got all sorts of spoilers, but to be honest, this book isn’t read for the plot. Knowing what’s going to happen does not ruin it at all (and I usually hate spoilers). This is a book that one reads for the journey, not the destination. As Soviet Russia sometimes feels about as […]
Summer had barely begun and already the city of Janloon was like a spent lover–sticky and fragrant. (Kindle loc. 125) And with that line, Fonda Lee’s book grabbed me at the end of the first paragraph and didn’t let go.
I really, really wish I liked this book more than I did. It really has quite a bit going for it, I really enjoyed about 85% of the book a lot, but it didn’t quite stick the landing for me. Set in Nineteenth Century British Malaya, Li Lan is the only child of a Chinese businessman. The family fortunes have dwindled to almost nothing since the family was hit with small pox, disfiguring Li Lan’s father and killing her mother when she was very young. This leaves Li Lan in an unfortunate position- her family is socially rather high ranking, […]
Cbr11bingo Far and Away I checked the antipodes map to see what the opposite end of the world from Pennsylvania would be. Turns out, it’s in the Indian Ocean, with the closest land mass being Australia. Picnic at Hanging Rock is a classic of Australian literature. Published in 1967, the novel tells the story of three teenaged girls and a teacher who go missing while on a picnic in 1900. This fictional story is famous for being an unsolved mystery, but it is so much more than that. Joan Lindsay, who was 70 when this, her debut, novel appeared, tells a […]
Welcome to Bingo, where I finally start playing catch up on my stack of unreviewed books I’ve read this year! For Bingo counting purposes, they count as follows: A Princess in Theory is Far and Away. Not only does Prince Thabiso rule the fictional African nation of Thesolo, but the back third of the book requires our heroine, Naledi, to follow him there. Once Ghosted, Twice Shy is Own Voices. Alyssa Cole is a brilliant black woman writer creating a novella about two fantastic black women in love. These two are […]
#CBR11 Bingo: Far and Away (book set in fantasy version of historical China) Official book description: In the valley of Fruitless mountain, a young girl named Minli lives in a ramshackle hut with her parents. In the evenings, her father regales her with old folktales of the Jade Dragon and the Old Man on the Moon, who knows the answers to all of life’s questions. Inspired by these stories, Minli sets off on an extraordinary journey to find the Old Man on the Moon to ask him how she can change her family’s fortune. She encounters an assorted cast of characters […]
The depths of the Pacific Ocean, native home to many of the octopuses that we encounter in the aquarium profiled by Sy Montgomery in this book, is about as alien an environment as I can imagine while still being on the same planet. Montgomery doesn’t restrict herself to the octopuses in the tanks in her exploration of aquatic life, and goes scuba diving to see the cephalopods and their dens in the wild. Montgomery is an interesting author for exploring another world as she does an excellent job of humanizing an animal as different as an octopus, but her writing […]
This is the story of Okonkwo, a member of the Ibo people in the lower Niger delta in pre-colonial Nigeria. He is the head of his family which consists of three wives and numerous children, a highly respected leader and warrior in his village, and a staunch supporter of the old ways and traditions. When Christian missionaries arrive, everything he knows and understands is threatened. To have the impact of European colonialism described from the perspective of the people being colonised is incredibly powerful and also depressing because there was really nothing they could have done to arm themselves against […]