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Search tags: On-the-island
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text 2018-02-23 19:50
Reading progress update: I've read 30 out of 354 pages.
Island - Aldous Huxley

He thought of his son, he thought of his wife- of Lakshmi slowly wasting to extinction, of Dugald like a bright fiery flame suddenly snuffed out. Thought of the incomprehensible sequence of changes and chances that made up a life, all the beauties and horrors and absurdities whose conjunctions create the uninterpretable and yet divinely significant pattern of human behaviour.

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review 2018-02-19 06:53
Light Years: A Girlhood in Hawai'i (memoir) by Susanna Moore
Light Years: A Girlhood in Hawai'i - Susanna Moore

Susanna Moore is best known for her critically acclaimed novels—complex and compelling works like In the Cut and My Old Sweetheart. Now, Moore’s Light Years is a shimmering look at the early life of this cherished novelist. Taking the form of a Commonplace Book, it mixes reminiscences with passages from famous works of literature that were formative in her younger years. Born in Hawai’i at a time when the islands were separated from the U.S. mainland by five days’ ship travel, Moore was raised in a secluded paradise of water, light, and color. As a child she spent endless days holed up with a bundle of books while the sound of the ocean and the calls of her brothers and sister drifted toward her through the palm grove. All around her, Moore saw flashes of the ocean described in those pages: a force of kaleidoscopic beauty and romantic possibility, but with an undercurrent of unfathomable darkness. In Light Years: A Girlhood in Hawai’i, she weaves reminiscences of her childhood with some of her favorite pieces of literature—excerpts from Robinson Crusoe, Moby-Dick, Treasure Island, Kon-Tiki, To the Lighthouse, and many others.

Amazon.com

 

 

 

Susanna Moore grew up in the 1950s and 60s on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. Many locals considered her and her family "haole", a white & privileged family living in a fine home staffed with servants. Moore writes of attending cotillion classes at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. Her mother struggled with mental illness and sadly passed away when Moore was only 12 years old.

 

That's about the gist of what I learned from this super short (less than 200 pages) "memoir" of hers. I've heard of Susanna Moore as a writer but have not picked up any of her novels yet. I stumbled upon this at a discount sale one day and was intrigued mainly because my grandmother lived in Hawaii for a time (also where she met my grandfather) and her stories of island life always captured my attention as a child (have yet to see it for myself though). I was hoping for something similar from this book.

 

So that's where we run into the confusion with the excerpts. Moore writes, "I began to keep a journal about the sea by copying passages from the books I was reading..." but that's about the only explanation the reader gets for what follows: the large majority of this book just being long excerpts of OTHER people's work. I didn't have an issue with that by itself so much, but more with the fact that the excerpts have little to no preface. Other than many of them having the "sea" theme, there's not much explained as to WHAT about these fragments of books was so compelling to her. What about these passages specifically spoke to her? I would have been interested in those stories but no such luck. I ended up flipping past these pages as much of it was stuff I've already read over the course of my life.

 

That these excerpts make up the bulk of the book is what annoyed me so, rather than Moore sharing more of her OWN stories. If I pick up this book, I don't want an anthology of others, I want to hear about HER experiences, as the title promises. There is a little bit of that here, just not enough. Though there is a portion that I found interesting where she discusses the issue of racism running throughout the islands that has spanned for generations.

 

"It was a hierarchical, snobbish, and quietly racist society... there was a fairly unconscious racism all around us..." but then it turns weird because in some ways her words starts to sound as if she's trying to make it seem okay because you know, it's just how it was...

 

Yeah, in short... not all that impressed with this. Felt a bit like a lazy, thrown-together excuse for a book.

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review 2018-02-08 04:47
Counterfeit Bride by Zi Yue
Counterfeit Bride (冒牌新娘) - Zi Yue,籽月

I eally enjoyed this little story. 

Ling Shuang, a daughter of a nobleman, is about to be married to a complete stranger. She is not happy with this arranged marriage. She already has a lover and they made plans for their future life together. 

On her way to her betrothed's house, Ling Shuang forces her male servant, Jie Yi, to put on a female dress and makeup and play a role of a bride. She also gives him a cheap pearl bracelet as a small bribe. They part, Yi to go and get married to the stranger, and Ling Shuang to reunite with her lover.

Tian Yang doesn't want a wife. He remembers his own beautiful aristocratic mother running away to find a better life, far away from the children and the ranch which belonged to their family. This betrayal is so deep, that Tian Yang is determined to undermine any future marriages, arranged or not. When Jie Yi arrives, claiming to be Ling Shuang, Tian Yang take him to a remote warehouse/hut to test his new bride. But Jie Yi, as beautiful and delicate as he is, doesn't mind the hardship; after all, he grew up a servant. 

Over a few weeks, Tian Yang finds himself suddenly drawn to the beautiful young lady, who seems to be perfect for him and is not afraid of hard work. One day, with two young people living so close together, things finally get out of hand. Yi's secret is discovered. Petrified, he leaves the little hut.

In the meantime, Ling Shuang shows up at Tian Yang's ranch, claiming little Yi robbed her blind, left her sick on the road and pretended to be her in order to take her place. Her proof? That little pearl bracelet....

Fun begins :)

****

As far as BL novels go this was pretty decent, with plenty of twists and turns. The ending was a bit disappointing, with numerous relatives complaining 'oh, my god, two men together! No, it's OK you can stay, but oh, my god, maybe you should leave...' Round and round and round it went.

Translation was confusing at times, but I can't hold it against the book or the person who translated it. All I can say is "thank you for you hard work" :)

3.75 stars.

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text 2018-01-15 05:56
All about buying property in the islands of Greece

Is the time right to invest in Greece real estate? This is the question on the minds of people who are interested in buying property in Greece. The Greek island property for sale prices are at rock bottom right now and have the potential for giving excellent returns in the medium term. Greece has 6ooo islands which are clustered into seven groups.

 

Of these, the smaller island properties are priced higher than the properties on the larger island. The development work on the island of Crete is pushing up the prices slowly there. Due to Government easing of rules and offering residential visas for investing more than $250,000 has resulted in growing demand for property for sale Greek islands.

 

Investors from the UK had invested earlier before the economy of Greece went bad. Many of these properties are up for sale for a fraction of the price that was sold for due to overdue payments on the mortgages. The Turkish investors have shown a keen interest in buying which is a good sign for appreciation of property value.

 

This may just be the right time to invest in Greek homes for sale as the prices are probably at the lowest and can move only upwards from hereon. Due to the low prices, the tourists have been coming in larger numbers in recent times which is also a good sign for real estate appreciation. Investing in Greek holiday homes at this low rates is a smart move. Owning a holiday home in Greece is a dream of many people.

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review 2018-01-14 06:02
Stygian by Santino Hassell
Stygian - Santino Hassell

I have a bit of a problem with the characters. Maybe a couple.

I hate to say it, but Jeremy comes off as self-centered and whiny. I am not blaming him, he had lived through too much loss and pain, I get it. Yet the fact remains.

Everyone's either relative(s) or a friend or a lover is dead or a drunk or a punk or a weirdo. Throw me one undamaged person. Please. Because this is like reading a book where everyone is gay, even pets. Weird.

And one more thing: I don't find it creepy or scary, just overly dramatic. I was skipping paragraphs and - never thought I ever would, while reading SH - pages. 

3.5 stars. Since I really liked Hunter and his evil mindf*cking ways, I am rounding this up to 4.

PS I had no problem with the ending whatsoever. It was clear where things were going, I thought it was perfect. Another reason I rounded up, not down. I do hope for a sequel, just to see if Q got over his "sickness".

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