May 18th, 2013


Book 14: The Buddha in the Attic

Originally posted by audrey_e at Book 14: The Buddha in the Attic
14 THE BUDDHA IN THE ATTIC Julie Otsuka (USA, 2011)

Written through the perspective of a multiplicity of female voices (first person plural), The Buddha in the Attic tells the story of Japanese immigration to the US, from picture brides to Pearl Harbor.

This book is a true literary accomplishment. It is both well-written and well-researched.
Julie Otsuka explores the lives of these women through a "we" that sometimes turns into a "some of us" to acknowledge the diversity of experience. It is impossible not to sympathize with these women who married men they did not know, worked in the fields or became maids, and then lost everything when the war came.
This short book often reads like a long poem, and I would recommend you to sip it like a good wine.
It is an instant classic of immigration experience in the US, along with Maxine Hong Kingston's The Woman Warrior. The Buddha in the Attic should be taught in schools.

miss plum

Book 95: Smokin' Seventeen by Janet Evanovich

Book 95: Smokin' Seventeen (Stephanie Plum #17).
Author: Janet Evanovich , 2011.
Genre: Chick Lit Crime Fiction. Comedy/Drama.
Other Details: Unabridged Audio (Length: 6 hrs, 22 min) Read by Lorelei King.

Dead bodies planted in shallow graves are turning up on the empty construction site of Vincent Plum Bail Bonds. Meanwhile Stephanie, Connie, Lula and Vinnie are conducting business wherever they can. Meanwhile Stephanie is under pressure from family and friends to make a choice between long time on/off boyfriend Joe Morelli and security expert Ranger. However, her mother is encouraging her to start dating Dave Brewer, a former High School football star who has just returned to town. Lula is urging her to have a boudoir 'bake-off'. Added to this mix are the usual FTAs including a man with a dancing bear and a senior citizen who thinks he's a vampire.

After a few novels where the focus and main threat was not on Stephanie here she makes up for it as there are three different folk threatening her life for various reasons. All the usual supporting characters are present including the return of Bella, Joe's grandmother, who places one of her infamous Old World curses upon poor Stephanie. The climax of the novel was pure genius.

This was fun and I did see that a few reviewers on Goodreads took exception to the nature of Stephanie's love life. Why can't a single thirty-something woman have more than one lover? I certainly did in those circumstances so why not a fictional character? I suspect it is more to do with the Team Morelli/Team Ranger allegiance for certain fans that demands their favourite wins Stephanie's affections.

I also note with some sadness that I am almost caught up with the series with only two more to go.

Book #14 - Living Dead in Dallas

Book #14 – Living Dead in Dallas

Name of the Book (Name of the Series): Living Dead in Dallas (Sookie Stackhouse Novels #2)
Name of the Author: Charlaine Harris
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Romance (‘Romantasy’)
Pages: 291
Date: 22.12.2012 – 24. 12. 2012
Short description: (Taken from the book) Cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse is on a streak of bad luck. First, her coworker is murdered and no one seems to care. Then she’s face-to-face with a beastly creature that gives her a painful and poisonous lashing. Enter the vampires, who graciously suck the poison from her veins (like they didn’t enjoy it). Point is, they saved her life. So when one of the blood-suckers asks for a favor, she complies (...) and one small mistake turns things deadly...

Own Statement:Collapse )

Next to review: Pygmalion

Rating: 3/7
(1 – Horrible; 2 – Bad; 3 – Disappointing; 4 – Average / Fine; 5 – Good; 6 – Very Good; 7 – Excellent)


#20 Umberto Eco: On Ugliness
I liked it less than 'On beauty'. Partly because I found it (perhaps naturally) repetitive. Partly because I felt that a lot was missing and the discourse was somehow limited.

#21 Jennifer Donnelly: The Tea Rose
A girl and a boy from the London docks dream of having a live together and their own little shop one day. And then everything goes wrong.
I've enjoyed the book. The story was a bit different from the usual 'girl inadvertently gets herself pregnant and ruins everything' plus there was Jack the Ripper. Some turns did seem contrived, but it still made for a nice story. This is supposed to be the first book of the three, and I am planning to try the second one.

#22 Dan Brown: Inferno
Somebody said that reading Dan Brown is like watching a movie. I guess it is true because he describes every detail of the environment, every scene. This time I found it irritating, because the book occasionally read like a tourist city guide for Florence etc. I also understand, that he wants everybody to be on board and that's why there are explanations of things like 'eugenics' and a short biography of St. Lucia there, but occasionally I felt it was just too much. Surely if somebody has never heard of eugenics they may look it up.
Having said that, I still found the book fast-paced and entertaining. A familiar device of telling a story from different points of view, so that the reader keeps guessing who is who, and a couple of surprises in the end.