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text 2017-12-17 20:14
Square 11: Donghzi Festival
American Born Chinese - Gene Luen Yang

Square 11 Donghzi Festival

Book: American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang

Task: Favorite Chinese Food (IG pic here)

 

First, I have to say that Chinese food is one of my favorite comfort foods and my preferred fast food. Second, I prefer British Chinese food over American Chinese food because the British version is not nearly as greasy as the US version and the food is more flavorful. So in the picture I linked to, there is a Crabmeat and Sweetcorn soup (egg flower based soup) that is great on a chilly night to warm you up. The noodle dish is Singapore Fried Noodles; our local makes it vegetarian with stir-fry veg, tofu, and scrambled eggs. Sometimes I add a little smoked Tabasco sauce, but mostly just eat it as is. Finally, there is some prawn curry that fills you up.

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review 2017-12-16 16:41
A biography that reflects its subject
Ambition, Pragmatism, and Party: A Political Biography of Gerald R. Ford - Scott Barry Kaufman

Gerald Ford is unique among presidents for a number of reasons, but perhaps most so for the circumstances of his presidency. Alone among the forty-four people who have held the office he was never on a national ballot prior to occupying the office, as he owed his elevation to the presidency to the provisions of the 25th Amendment. Defeated in his own bid for the office in 1976, he had remained an anomaly every since, overshadowed by the more dramatic tenures of those who preceded and followed him.

 

This helps to explain why there have been so few biographies written about Ford. In his introduction Scott Kaufman identifies three, all of which suffered from a variety of limitations, In this respect Kaufman's book is the first to do full justice to the span of Ford's long life, assessing it with access to his records and benefiting from the perspectives of time. It's a solid study that is written in an unpretentious style and reflects considerable archival labors, which makes it in many respects a mirror to its subject. Kaufman tinges his analysis with nostalgia, noting that while Ford was an ambitious politician who remained a devoted party man, he often worked with his Democratic opponents to achieve balance on the issues before them. He makes it clear that his career ambition was to be speaker of the House of Representatives rather than president, a goal that he regretted not achieving even after occupying a much more consequential office.

 

In that respect Ford's career is infused with the irony of being the rare politician who achieved a higher position than the one for which he aimed. And while Ford's political career ended with the humiliation of defeat, it is one that receives its due in Kaufman's book. For while it may have lacked the excitement of war or the tension of constitutional crisis, Kaufman shows it was one in which a fundamentally decent man grappled with the problems with his time and worked to solve them as best as he was able. Thanks to Kaufman, readers now have the judicious assessment that Ford has long deserved and one that will likely remain the dominant work on Ford's life and career for some time to come.

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review 2017-12-15 22:45
Review: American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang
American Born Chinese - Gene Luen Yang

A quick read for older MG and YA readers. I picked this up from the library for the Donghzi Festival square.

 

The MC, Jin Wang, just wants to fit in. That was easy to do when living in San Francisco and Asian-American, not so easily done when your parents move you to a white suburban area during the middle school years and you are cast from the outset as "Other". To make matters worse, you fall for a pretty white girl who doesn't notice you are alive. So by the time you are in high school, so you invent a persona (Danny) and try to hide Jin Wang the person behind Danny. The few friends you have, both Asian-Americans as well and just as uncool, are not surprised but disappointed about your choices of late. Those friends may have come from an unlikely source, but for the sake of spoilers, I am not saying where those friends came from. Eventually, with the friends' help the persona of Danny goes away and Jin Wang finally accepts himself. The story was great but the art work so too basic, too amateurish to be interesting. I would read more from this author but I would like to see better art work next time.

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text 2017-12-13 02:01
Reading progress update: I've read 230 out of 333 pages.
American War - Omar El Akkad

Angsty teen + war trauma = even worse angsty teen

 

Sarat isn't exactly a likeable person, but like Katniss, it's understandable.

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review 2017-12-12 21:32
My eighty-first podcast is up!
Privateers of the Americas: Spanish American Privateering from the United States in the Early Republic - David Head

My latest podcast is up on the New Books Network website! In it, I interview David Head about his book on the Americans who engaged in legalized piracy during the Latin American wars of independence. Enjoy!

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