October 28th, 2011

I heart books

Snow Flower & the Secret Fan by Lisa See

Snow Flower and the Secret FanSnow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow. This is such a powerful book! I really enjoyed reading about a different culture in past times. I found it harsh, but sometimes the past is harsh and we, as the world need to learn from the mistakes made and move on. I found Lily to be a girl (and then woman) of self-discovery and change. I was so sad to learn that she became a bit harsh towards Snow Flower, but was glad to see that she tried to make amends to Snow Flower's family once she passed away. There were a few parts in the beginning of the book that were slow, but overall, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

**If anyone wants to recommend any books about past Asian cultures (China, Japan, India, etc.), that would be WONDERFUL!

View all my reviews

# 48 War and Peace

War and Peace

Leo Tolstoy

War and Peace is a stunning panorama of Russian life during the Napoleonic Wars, mostly from the perspective of the nobility or upper class.

Tolstoy's ability to pull the reader into the story is, IMO, unsurpassed. I feel as if I not only followed the fortunes of the Bolkonskys, the Rostovs, the Bezukhovs, etc., but I feel as if I lived with them for the six weeks or so it took me to read this book. I even feel as if I were able to catch glimpses into the minds of a few of the world leaders of the time, like Napoleon and Czar Nicholas.

My only complaint is the ending - the last 40 pages or so. It felt, then, that Tolstoy was speaking in his own voice. It seemed like a piece of expository writing, as if it might have been an excerpt from an essay. Since this only pertains to the last 40 pages or so of the book, and since I was immersed in the world crafted by Tolstoy for more than 1400 pages and for over six weeks, this complaint seems petty and insignificant.

War and Peace confirmed the love for Tolstoy that I discovered when I read Anna Karenina, and has become my favorite book of all-time.