I thought I already did a review on this book, but then realized it wasn't on my shelf at all. Anyway, read this book for my book club. We try to throI thought I already did a review on this book, but then realized it wasn't on my shelf at all. Anyway, read this book for my book club. We try to throw in some non-fiction once in a while. I think I was the only person who liked it/found it halfway decent. The meeting for this book actually opened with dead silence for a full fifteen seconds and then finally, "I didn't like it. It was awful," or something like that. Okay, so sometimes it was a bit boring, and Rory Stewart is not the best artist on the planet. He's certainly not the best writer. But the man never claimed to be. He's a historian, people. (At least I think that's what he is. He definitely didn't ever say he was a writer, so whatever.) So I was okay with the writing, and I even kind of liked the pictures since they broke up the story some.
Overall, I thought it was pretty eye-opening. I would like to learn more about people's lives in Afghanistan, since this just gave us a brief glimpse. And I definitely liked the overall message of, We don't know enough about these people, and from what we do know, they're radically different, why are we trying to impose our views and lives and etc on them, it won't work!, etc....more
I won't go all into detail, but will just say that this book is really good. The author sometimes tries a little too hard with wordplay, but overall,I won't go all into detail, but will just say that this book is really good. The author sometimes tries a little too hard with wordplay, but overall, she's excellent. Her portrayal of high school is pretty dead-on, and the way she shows the main character's pain is often brilliant. I also like how she breaks up the book. Heavy subjects, but not heavy in how it's structured. Nice. ...more
So I finally read the nonfiction account of Japan's royal family, as I've been meaning to for years. The only thing saving this book (and the fictionaSo I finally read the nonfiction account of Japan's royal family, as I've been meaning to for years. The only thing saving this book (and the fictional book I've read about the royal family) is that royalty is interesting. And that's it. The writing is meh. The research done is meh. I don't blame Ben Hills exactly for that, as the family and the entire institution built around them is very hush-hush. But can somebody please blow the lid off of everything? Or can somebody (one of those royal watchers that follow around the crown princess) write a fictional book based on all of their knowledge and half-truth and assumptions? Because I need something way more interesting than this :(
I will now go find a book about Diana or somebody else....more
I am only giving this two stars because I'm really proud of Emily for writing and gaining success with her short stories, andOh, God, Emily, shut up.
I am only giving this two stars because I'm really proud of Emily for writing and gaining success with her short stories, and eventually, a novel! She works so hard, and goes through a lot of struggles (late, depressing nights, being on death's door, etc.). But damn, girl, your love life is a mess, and you are making it so.
(1) Dean. And **SPOILERS** (Though I guess the novel thing was already a spoiler, but if you didn't know that was happening, that's a bit more on you.) He proposes when Emily feels like she no longer has a chance with Teddy. Emily accepts and they buy a house and decorate it and then she pulls out of it all. Which thank goodness she did! But still, Emily, how could you be so dumb?? Dean? For real? He is such an ass, and reveals himself to be even more so when he tells her that her first book was actually fabulous (you know, the book she threw in the fire b/c at first he said it wasn't good at all. I hate you, Dean, with the fire of a thousand suns.
(2) Ilse. Emily, your best friend is horrible. For most of the book I was convinced she knew you loved Teddy (b/c DUH) and she was just trying a bunch of clever ways to pull it out of you. But, nope, that's not it. She gives up on Perry and becomes engaged to Teddy. WHHHAAAAATTTT? I hated this so much. Not as much as I hate Dean, but I felt like, Girls? Are you really best friends? Your friendship is horrible. And you are partly to blame, Emily. Communicate your feelings maybe????
(3) Teddy. I cannot even with you.
(4) Emily. You are just as dumb as Teddy. I suppose it's good you do end up together after all (after three or four opportunities to admit their love; honestly, it was maddening); you really deserve each other.
Everybody talks about how great this book is because it's dark, depressing, mature, etc., and that can be quite a departure from the usual Montgomery books. But I didn't feel like that at all. It just felt like a giant lesson in why you should just express your feelings. And, yes, I understand this was a different time, but Emily was really just being silly to me. Teddy is whistling for you--just go. Teddy is trying to hold your hand--just hold hands. You feel like it's weird that he didn't write you a letter. You can just, I don't know, say that in a letter to him? Stop being so Victorian and weird, Emily. It's exhausting....more
I enjoyed this book. It's about a Christian Palestinian growing up in the 1940s and 50s, how he's achieved his own inner peace through religion, and hI enjoyed this book. It's about a Christian Palestinian growing up in the 1940s and 50s, how he's achieved his own inner peace through religion, and how he's tried to spread it to others. I thought it was truly inspirational. More and more I find myself liking books with religious messages....more
In book 5 of The Last Vampire series, we have Sita/Alisa and newly-revived Seymour trying to track down ReincarnatedNo more crazy demon hand. Oh noes.
In book 5 of The Last Vampire series, we have Sita/Alisa and newly-revived Seymour trying to track down Reincarnated Baby Krishna/Jesus/Adi Shankara, to keep him safe before her daughter Kalika finds him and uses him for unnamed purposes. All she knows is that a scholarly Dr. Seter, his adopted son James, and their organization have uncovered ancient Egyptian scripture from Suzama, somebody Sita knows to be a legit prophet because she knew her long ago, talking about Reincarnated Baby and dark forces out to destroy Baby. Sita spends a lot of time running around trying to kill Kalika and protecting the baby from her only to find out at the end that **SPOILER ALERT** (1) Kalika was actually trying to protect the baby too and (2) James is actually Ory, an enemy from her time in Egypt, who nearly defeated her and killed her friend Suzama. Sita! Another enemy from the past that almost bested you! This guy was definitely trickier, though, using a disguise and powers from the Setians, serpents from space! That I kept picturing looking like this:
Sita, because she has faith which can overcome anything, including the recent death of her daughter at the hand of James/Ory, is able to put herself in the mind of the head Setian and stab James with his own poisonous dagger. She saves the baby. All is right with world....more
Okay, so all of that Reincarnated Baby Jesus/Krishna stuff is done, Sita's daughter Kalika is dead, and we wonder, where do we go from here? Well, bacOkay, so all of that Reincarnated Baby Jesus/Krishna stuff is done, Sita's daughter Kalika is dead, and we wonder, where do we go from here? Well, back in time apparently.
Hold up wait.
First Sita and Seymour (now a vampire! Fun, I want Vampire Seymour Adventures!), are tricked by a stupid lady that Seymour picked up in a bar that Sita didn't properly read the mind of. Ugh, Sita, tricked again. Lady from the Bar has a ray gun! Sita narrowly defeats her, then decides to get more info on her, discovering LftB was into UFOs. Ah-ha, a clue. Somehow we end up in the desert? I don't know, whatever. Sita learns from a Nice, Mysterious Lady that LftB is all powerful and ray-gun-y because long ago somebody stole Sita's blood. I don't even know what's going on anymore, but Sita maybe flies off into a spaceship to go back in the past to right this wrong and balance the world yet again. She meets up with her old pal, Dante the leper, and together they walk to the castle of the evil Landulf (the guy who stole her blood). Dante peaces out because Landulf is scary, Sita goes to have dinner with Landulf. She's poisoned (tricked again!)! But she overcomes this to get the maid to lead her to where Landulf is performing Satanic rituals. Sita is discovered when the maid stabs her in the back (tricked again!)! Oh, Sita, when will you learn?!
**and here's where the spoilers really come in** Sita goes through several trials but eventually she beats Landulf...or does she? She meets up with her ol' pal Dante the leper again, and is about to give her blood in order to heal him, as she did before, when she realizes that Noooooooo, Dante is the real Landulf (that other one was just a minion, a pretty convincing one, though). Haha, can't fool her anymore. Sita doesn't give him blood, thus defeating him and his future ray gun peeps. And her reward? Sita goes waaaaay back in time, to before she was a vampire. She keeps Yaksha from being born (so no vampires ever), and lives happily ever after with her husband and baby girl. And Seymour in our present time is sick with AIDS (Sita's blood is what cured him in the first book), and Sita is just a character he's been writing about, an imagined heroine. Oh, Seymour. Oh, Christopher Pike.
I kind of dig the ending (happy Sita!), but hate it too (sappy Sita, sad Seymour). A world without Sita? The most badass vampire lady around? Who saved the world multiple times? Meh. I just don't buy her being happy hanging out with her hubby and baby for the rest of her life. That's not who you are, Sita! And now Seymour won't have vampire adventures. :(...more
I read this book probably in high school, and it didn't hold up as well, I decided during my reread. I picked up the book because I was on my way to SI read this book probably in high school, and it didn't hold up as well, I decided during my reread. I picked up the book because I was on my way to San Francisco and needed (1) a light read and (2) a book about San Francisco. Done and done, I thought. It was fun reading it while there, as Wong Keltner makes a lot of references to the city, mentioning specific neighborhoods, streets, and restaurants. And like the first time I read it, I appreciated parts of the book that appealed to Asian-American women (whether Chinese, Japanese, or whatever else)--parts that made me feel like, OMG, I love Hello Kitty too, but I can't make it obvious ALL THE TIME b/c that would make me too tragically Asian. I think Wong Keltner got that part right, whether accidentally or on purpose, that there is this weird love-hate, pride-embarrassment confusion when you are a person of dual cultures. And even though she harped a bit too much about Hoarders Of All Things Asian, she pretty much got that part right. I read some other people's comments about how incredibly racist this book was, including the parts about the Hoarders, and to those people I say, "Have you ever been cornered by a Hoarder?! This phenomenon is extremely real and unpleasant." Ugh.
What bugged me about this book: I kept thinking, Ugh, do you need to put in every single aspect of being Asian, and specifically Chinese, into this book? I GET IT. You are going OVERBOARD. Also, did you really need to include every member of your family in here? Your cousins and parents and brother are all pretty pointless. As is your best friend. If Wong Keltner had cut out some of these superfluous characters, we might have gotten what we really needed--a developing romance with Michael (the white guys who is secretly 1/4 Chinese), more terrible blind dates with the guys her grandmother has set her up with, and a growing relationship with this fabulous grandmother. Focus, Wong Keltner!, I kept wanting to scream. Also, I'm sorry, any book with some sort of poo scene, I just cannot handle (I'm looking at you, The Help). That was just awkward....more