This book was a book club choice, and again, I feel like its focus was for an elitist group. Another book that received accolades, yet failed to delivThis book was a book club choice, and again, I feel like its focus was for an elitist group. Another book that received accolades, yet failed to deliver for me. Since the writing didn’t knock me off my feet, it only added to the frustration of time and the steep cost for a 144-page book.
I’m a character driven reader, so this book definitely wasn’t going to accomplish it. It’s narrated and directed in first person about a group of women, who venture from Japan to San Francisco. The sentences describing different ordeals became monotonous. The language didn’t leave me dizzy or breathless from the beauty it painted. I didn’t find their journeys extraordinary because so many immigrants who migrated to the United States suffered great obstacles—these women were no different (Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle). The only difference I found was that they would rather struggle to live, deal with prejudice, fight against the American way, instead of returning home to Japan, which ‘some’ of them had the option to do.
The sections go through their struggles from Japan to boat, boat to San Francisco, disappointment to hardships, frustration to anger, and exile to disappearance. These women and their families made a life for themselves, an impression in the land and hearts of the town, only to be whisked away and forgotten over time. Otsuka did a good job at blending and creating the journey from beginning to end, which included another generation, American-Japanese offspring.
I gave the book 3 stars due to the amount of research and description that I’m sure went into writing it. To continue with the rhythm of the book, some of us enjoyed the flow of the story. Some of us couldn’t wait until it ended. ...more
The writing is good, but the characters and plot are cliché and predictable. There were moments in the book where I thought the author forced the situThe writing is good, but the characters and plot are cliché and predictable. There were moments in the book where I thought the author forced the situation or fell short on development. One such situation came out of nowhere when some guy tried to force himself on Autumn. I felt the author needed a reason for Autumn to run from Travis and Jamie, so she created this poor, thought-out scenario. There's also a secondary character who doesn't get his due, Mike, Autumn's father-in-law. He played a big part in helping her, struggled with his own issues, and then the author sent him packing. Then you have Autumn and her friends running to help some guy they don't even know, Noah, as if they're Grief Superheroes. They figured out his grief, they knew what he was going to do, so the do-gooders run off to save him. The grief took up much of the book, slowing the story down. I wouldn't recommend it. ...more
My book club finished the book Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Before reading it, I was curious and appr3.5 Stars from a Not So Angry Reviewer
My book club finished the book Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Before reading it, I was curious and appreciated being introduced to the book.
Americanah is about a Nigerian woman, Ifemelu, who leaves University in Nigeria and her first love, Obinze, to work and study in America. It delves into her troubles as a Non-American black woman. Racism she never experienced before, frustration in finding work, and a constant search to find herself. As an expat, I was able to relate to her sadness and depression. I have been away from the familiar, life’s comforts I had grown accustom to, and the freedom of speaking to whoever, whenever. Of course, I can’t identify with the racism aspect of it, but I can identify with the loneliness as an outsider, not understanding the language, and the shock of a different culture.
Anthony Doerr’s descriptions are like no others. He molds landscapes, wars with words until my heart thumped from the vision he created for me. They’rAnthony Doerr’s descriptions are like no others. He molds landscapes, wars with words until my heart thumped from the vision he created for me. They’re unique. I’d like to share a few of the descriptions that I enjoyed.
“To the bombardiers, the walled city on its granite headland, drawing ever closer, looks like an unholy tooth, something black and dangerous, a final abscess to be lanced away.”
“The appetite for oxygen is such that objects heavier than housecats are dragged into the flames.”
“His breath smells like crushed insects.”
“As though a weary tide stirs stones in the old woman’s lungs.”
The way he guides the reader’s vision of a place, destruction, appearance, made me wish I had a pinky size of his talent. I’m a reader who loves and underlines phrases and sentences that stand out. That I haven’t read before. Strands of words, like a string of pearls, fitted together to catapult me into another world. Who let me become friends or enemies with the characters. Some writers know how to bring me into their worlds where I get to exercise all senses and emotions.
Since I received this book as a free download, I felt the need to leave a review. Christmas is just around the corner, so I was looking forward to reaSince I received this book as a free download, I felt the need to leave a review. Christmas is just around the corner, so I was looking forward to reading this book. It turned out to be a fun read—upbeat and humorous in some ways. The author started strong, and I adored her writing, but the poor editing kept getting in the way.
To begin, I’d like to point out the pluses. Ms. Greene has a unique way of describing a person or a moment. Some of the descriptions were so vivid that they made me smile as I formed an image in my head. One example is “He even had the full seductive James Dean lips that looked like they should be hosting a Lucky Strike cigarette.” This alone gave me a good idea of what Fergus looked like. My favorite description was this one, “…tinkling Christmas lights arching above them over Villiers Street. The minute orbs sparkled against the dark blue sky and acted as understudies for the true stars that were hidden by the London smog.” I really appreciate it when an author offers a visual instead of telling me. Ms. Greene knows how to dazzle the reader by letting them experience the moments.
I would have given this book 4 stars if it wasn’t for the mistakes. Here are a few that got in the way of my enjoyment. “Not only did he look like he didn’t belonged at this party,” and “What sort of thing to you paint?” and several times, she used the word wondered instead of wandered. Example: “… she had seen every different version of Robbie as she wondered through London like a zombie overwhelmed with heartbreak.” Even though the book was free, it still doesn’t excuse the amount of mistakes I found.
Aside from the errors, I enjoyed Last Christmas, and I would recommend it and read another book by Lily Greene. Her writing is refreshing....more
This cute romantic story hugged me like a fleece blanket. It’s a feel-good kind of story. Laura loses hLove. Second Chances. Dogs. What’s not to like?
This cute romantic story hugged me like a fleece blanket. It’s a feel-good kind of story. Laura loses her memory after a crash, and with the help of her husband, Steve, she puts the pieces together. I found myself laughing at Laura and Steve’s banter, and at one point, cried. If you love romance, second chances, dreams come true, and dogs, this book is for you. ...more
I love La Folie Forty. This book weaves snippets of Thierry Tellier’s life growing up in France, traveling to make a living for his family, and sharinI love La Folie Forty. This book weaves snippets of Thierry Tellier’s life growing up in France, traveling to make a living for his family, and sharing some of his cherished recipes. It's a wonderful experience. The reader watches Thierry grow up with the help of family photos, and we get a peak at some wonderful recipes of baked bread, pastries, chicken, and more. While reading the stories, I found myself smiling or picturing the delectable recipes. This cookbook is a treat, not only for the palate, but to learn about a life so different, and watching an American dream come true. ...more
The Brubury Tales is an awesome story told in rhyming form. A tribute to Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, it’s a story about seven security guards in LA coThe Brubury Tales is an awesome story told in rhyming form. A tribute to Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, it’s a story about seven security guards in LA competing for the best Christmas vacation days by participating in a storytelling competition.
This is such a unique book, unlike any other I have read. It’s what I call the Versory—verse in story form. Mundo deserves all the accolades he’s received. While reading Brubury Tales, I couldn’t get over the work it must have taken to keep such a long tale flowing and rhyming. Not only did he have to work on rhyme, but he also had to create believable characters. Mundo succeeded in creating a tale with rhythmic verse of humor and woes along with flawed, likable characters. I found myself laughing, getting emotional, and smiling to myself.
What an honor reading this book. It made me step outside of my reading comfort zone and explore verse in an entirely different way. Poetry and a story—a book for the price of one. Without hesitation, I would recommend this to everyone and anyone. ...more