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The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder
**spoiler alert** This book is a bit too long and slow to be a pure fluff beach read, and the writing just isn't good enough for it to be a serious no ...more
not set
Sep 28, 2009
Dreams of Joy (Shanghai Girls #2)
**spoiler alert** My main complaint here was that the suspension of disbelief required for this book was a bit much. I enjoyed the story -- once I jus ...more
Aug 29, 2012
Aug 29, 2012
Foreign Babes in Beijing: Behind the Scenes of a New China
I liked this book a lot. China in the 1990s was a special place and Rachel DeWoskin had the good luck to be involved with a very interesting group of ...more
May 2007
Feb 18, 2009
Forever Lily: An Unexpected Mother's Journey to Adoption in China
Hated this book. The author is a nutcase and her dream sequences in which she decides she was a Chinese woman in a previous life are ridiculous, espec ...more
not set
Oct 15, 2009
February Flowers
The author captured quite well China of the early 90s, that particular time when certain cities like Guangzhou were experiencing an economic boom, and ...more
Feb 18, 2009
Feb 17, 2009
This is not a traditional novel, and those expecting a fast paced tsunami memoir will be disappointed. This is about one woman's journey through grief ...more
Mar 22, 2013
Mar 22, 2013
Pearl of China
**spoiler alert** This book is good, but not as good as Anchee Min's other books. It feels like she tried to cover a lot of ground -- almost 100 years ...more
not set
Jun 07, 2010
The Kingmaker's Daughter (The Cousins' War #4)
I'm not really sure how I feel about The Kingmaker's Daughter yet. The Neville sisters are interesting, and while I wouldn't say they're obscure figur ...more
Sep 05, 2012
Sep 05, 2012
Elizabeth the First Wife
**spoiler alert** A nice, light "beach read." A bit predictable, but as far as these sorts of books go it isn't bad. I'd give it 2.5 stars if half sta ...more
Jan 03, 2014
Jan 03, 2014
**spoiler alert** I don't usually read young adult fiction but picked this one up because it came up in my search of gymnastics books (which it isn't ...more
Feb 2013
Jan 31, 2013
Kitchen Chinese: A Novel About Food, Family, and Finding Yourself
First thing I have to get off my chest -- I live in Beijing and I found the constant insider references a bit irritating. Yes, there really is a Jenny ...more
Jan 28, 2012
Jan 25, 2012
Daughters for a Time
**spoiler alert** I gave this book 4 stars when probably I should have given it 3.5, so I guess I rounded up.

I had mixed feelings about his book. On t
Jul 03, 2012
Jun 28, 2012
In the Shadow of the Banyan
This novel is really exceptional. I've read a lot of memoirs written by survivors of the Cambodian genocide so I knew that this would be a difficult r ...more
Sep 12, 2012
Aug 29, 2012
Bridge of Scarlet Leaves
I really enjoyed this book. The story was predictable, but since it is a story that hasn't really been done before in the first place, I didn't mind t ...more
Jul 23, 2012
Jul 21, 2012
Unfavorable Odds
This book really needed a good ghostwriter. I picked it up because, as a former gymnast myself, I like a good gymnastics memoir, but the latter third ...more
May 21, 2012
May 14, 2012
A Walk Across the Sun
This is one of those books that I wish had been written by another, more capable writer. The premise is good and the plot, while heavily reliant on a ...more
Dec 24, 2012
Dec 29, 2012
The Romantics
This book is more 3.5 stars for me but I'm rounding up. I wasn't incredibly impressed with it, but I enjoyed the portraits of the Westerners living in ...more
not set
Mar 14, 2009
Shadow on the Crown
Really more of a 3.5. Although this book was decent, but I felt it moved much too slowly and the entire book was basically exposition, setting up the ...more
Apr 04, 2013
Apr 17, 2013
The King's Concubine: A Novel of Alice Perrers
I liked this much more than I expected to. O'Brien's Alice Perrers is sympathetic and human, neither a Mary Sue nor a true villainess. Her emotions an ...more
Dec 19, 2012
Dec 20, 2012
This is How it Ends
In the end I just never got attached enough to these people to really care what happened with them one way or another. There were moments when this no ...more
Jan 31, 2013
Jan 31, 2013
The Hindi Bindi Club
An entertaining light read. Nothing special really, but not horrible either. I liked the concept of the divorcee chosing arranged marriage and sort of ...more
Oct 15, 2009
Oct 13, 2009
The Piano Teacher
Like a lot of the other reviewers, I felt the Claire character who is the supposed protagonist is probably the least interesting part of the book. The ...more
not set
Feb 02, 2010
The Madonna of the Almonds
**spoiler alert** Really enjoyed this book! The story is almost magical and there is a lyrical quality to the writing that is quite beautiful.

Apr 23, 2013
Apr 13, 2013
The Next Best Thing
I rather liked this book, even if it was sort of a re-hash of the themes Weiner wrote about in Good in Bed and Some Girls. All of the TV insider bits ...more
Jul 29, 2012
Jul 24, 2012
Happy Family: A Novel
Interesting premise, but the execution leaves a bit to be desired. I wasn't too fond of the end of the book, but it definitely gets credit for effort. ...more
Jan 2009
Feb 20, 2009
I really enjoyed this book. The voice was fresh and interesting and the characters were quirky yet believable.

The only thing that really irritated me
Sep 08, 2012
Aug 29, 2012
A Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar
This book would have been so much better without the back and forth narrative between the missionaries and the present day characters. This is partly ...more
Sep 18, 2012
Aug 29, 2012
Oleander Girl
Liked it but didn't love it. As others have mentioned, the story is a bit clichéd and the ending is a bit too pat. The "big reveal" about Korobi's pat ...more
Nov 09, 2013
Nov 09, 2013
The Mango Season
I'd actually give this one 2.5 stars but since that isn't an option I rounded up. Mango Season really isn't that well written but I gave it credit for ...more
Apr 04, 2011
Feb 17, 2011
Little Princes: One Man's Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal
This was a good book, but not a great book. It is perfectly readable, the story is inspiring, and the work Conor is doing is certainly commendable. If ...more
Apr 14, 2012
Feb 17, 2011
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