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text 2018-02-12 21:51
Widen your horizons
The People's Republic of Amnesia: Tiananmen Revisited - Louisa Lim

Last year, I decided that I wanted to try my best to learn about different countries and cultures. I became especially interested in China and their Cultural Revolution. (You may recall Do Not Say We Have Nothing.) To that end, I picked up The People's Republic of Amnesia: Tiananmen Revisited by Louisa Lim which is a work of non-fiction that culls firsthand accounts from those who lived through that time and documents how their lives were subsequently changed. The biggest takeaway I had from this book was that I know next to nothing about the history of China...and most of its people can say the same. There has been so much collusion and cover-ups that most people are unaware of the true nature of historical events that occurred in their country. And those that would tell the truth are hushed up one way or another. The government's control works under the guise of "stability of the nation" which keeps the populace blind and even afraid of digging deeper. There is also a fear of the West because of massive political and cultural indoctrination that has occurred over several years. The seasons of political and cultural change can easily be marked by the different people in power. The party 'line' made it imperative that change be accepted by each and every citizen. Firsthand accounts from those who participated in (or lived through) the Cultural Revolution (more info on that here) illustrates the power wielded by those in power. All of these people are still being monitored and silenced. They can never advance in their careers which in a money obsessed country like China spells a certain shunned existence. It was a powerful, eye-opening experience reading this book. It has only increased my interest in learning about new places and people. If you're not a huge fan of nonfiction because you find it too dry then this would be an excellent one to give a shot as it reads more like a work of literature. 10/10 for the obviously thorough research and excellent writing.


What's Up Next: The Little Virtues by Natalia Ginzburg


What I'm Currently Reading: I've Got This Round: More Tales of Debauchery by Mamrie Hart

Source: readingfortheheckoft.blogspot.com
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review 2018-01-16 09:18
great book and great characters
Two Girls Down: A Novel - Louisa Luna

Jamie wondered how the girls could care so much about what other people think. Kylie is ten years old and Bailey is eight. Jamie wishes for a simpler time with her two girls. The girls now always seemed to need or want something. All Jamie wanted was a few seconds of peace. They are on their way to a birthday party and are detoured to a different way by a cop. They stop at a strip mall and Jamie goes in for a present leaving the car idling and the girls in it.Jamie comes out of the store about ten minutes later and the car is there but the girls are gone. Later after looking at a tape after Jamie had went into the store the girls were seen going into a ice cream shop and sampling all the samples.   The cops are stretched thin because of budget cuts and a drug epidemic and don’t really help Jamie to find her girls. Jamie’s aunt hires Linda Vega who is a bounty hunter with a good record of finding missing persons. Linda has the assistance of a of a computer hacker called “ The Bastard” who begins to dig up information. The cops won’t help Alice so she goes to Max “Cap” Calan - a former police detective who took the fall for a young cop with a wife and two kids. So Cap resigned and is now trying to move on with his life and is a P I. Cap’s sixteen year old daughter convinces him to work with Alice.  Alice and Cap are making some process finding the girls. They have to decide which leads are false and which leads have potential to gain information from. Max and Alice are very opposite.

This was a great book with some dark parts in it. I didn’t want to put this down and it kept my attention from beginning to end. I loved the plot and the fast pace. This was a well written book that was both suspenseful and had a lot of action in it. There was also a lot of tension. I would have liked more backstory for Alice and Cao . This book has a realistic feeling to it. I loved how Cap was a and listened to his sixteen year old daughter . Reading this book was like being on a roller coaster ride. I will say I did hope for more from the end but I still felt this deserved a five rating. I love the characters and the ins and outs of this book and I highly recommend.

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review 2018-01-14 22:07
The Bunny and the Billionaire by Louisa Masters
The Bunny and the Billionaire (Dreamspun Desires Book 43) - Louisa Masters

Surprisingly engaging read, considering that there is absolutely no angst and boys do nothing but hang around, drink and eat in fancy-schmancy places :)


Dani, whose annoying "via iPhone" presence, ruined it a little for me. 4.5 stars instead of 5.

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text 2018-01-14 18:27
Reading progress update: I've read 60%.
The Bunny and the Billionaire (Dreamspun Desires Book 43) - Louisa Masters

Why authors feel it's OK to introduce a nosy, pushy, inconsiderable and overall annoying female character aka "best friend" into a perfectly good if a tad slow story? To compensate for angst? Because it's not working. All I am thinking about right now is how many stars I should take off.

I hope it won't cross Ben's mind to introduce Dani to Malik.

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review 2018-01-09 23:27
Two Girls Down by Louisa Luna
Two Girls Down: A Novel - Louisa Luna

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

This was really good! I went into this book rather blindly having never read the author before and not seeing much about the book. I thought it looked like a rather good mystery so I jumped in and started reading. I didn't stop reading until I had reached the end of the book. It has been a long time since I wanted to read a whole book in a single sitting but that is exactly what I ended up doing with this story. I am so happy to have stumbled upon this wonderfully written mystery.

This book grabbed me right away. You know from the very start that something bad is going to happen to Jamie's kids. When they disappear in the parking of the local Kmart, there aren't a lot of clues as to where they might may be. Jamie's aunt hires a private investigator who has a reputation for finding lost people, Alice Vega.

Vega is determined to find the girls and will do what it takes to find them quickly. She enlists the help of a former cop turned private investigator, Cap. Vega and Cap have very different styles of investigating but they soon form a great team. Together they sort through clues and piece a trail back to the girls.

I liked the characters in this story. Vega and Cap were both really interesting characters that ended up in their jobs for very different reasons. Vega was more than willing to cross over the line if that is what is was going to take to bring the girls home. She was tough and worked tirelessly. Cap seemed more like your normal good guy. He is a really good guy who puts his teen daughter first in his life. They were both really smart and have a lot of great instincts.

There was a lot of excitement in this story. I was actually pretty nervous about what would happen a time or two in this story. I couldn't figure out how things would work out and just had to go along with Vega and Cap to find out. I didn't expect to have an emotional reaction to this story but as I read to the end of the story, I found myself with a broken heart.

I would recommend this book to others. This was a very fast paced novel that was almost impossible to put down. I will definitely be reading more for this talented author in the future. 

I received an advanced reader edition of this book from Doubleday Books via First to Read.

Initial Thoughts
This was really good. I wasn't able to guess how things would go because this is a really complex mystery. I thought that Cap and Vega made a wonderful team.

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