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review 2020-01-31 15:05
Dear Girls
Dear Girls - Ali Wong

Not too much to say except I really loved this collection of essays by Ali Wong. I got to know a little bit more about her, her family, her husband, and how she started off in comedy. She manages to infuse her essays to her daughters with love, laughter, and sometimes tears. I did love how this collection ended with a letter from her husband to their daughters too. The family seems very tight-knit, slightly manic at times, but ready to pull a knife on you if you screw with one of their own.

 

I have to say that I found myself nodding along with Wong during parts of this essay to her daughters. I love what she had to say about marrying someone within their own culture and how it just makes things easier because you get things that someone else would not. I also loved her thoughts on traveling abroad to experience different people, countries, and food. All of the food mentioned in this book made me ridiculously hungry too by the way. When I traveled through Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Hong Kong years ago it felt like I finally came home. I ate everything I could and just went for whatever was put in front of me. I finally found countries that actually cooked food so hot it made the heat travel up through my ears. I was in heaven. 

 

Wong of course goes into how she met her now husband, how things were not perfect, still are not perfect, but they loved each other. It's also wonderful to see how she handles being the "breadmaker" in the family while he does things that are typically assigned to women. I think in America we still have that problem with men that stay at home are looked down upon by not only other people, but within their own families. Somehow stay at home husbands are not manly enough or something. But we don't say a word about how women are not womenly enough if they stay at home.


Wong's family sounds completely chaotic and I loved the stories about her parents, her sisters, and her brother. 


We also get such great insights into the comedy circuit and how she forced herself out there to play in front of audiences that were diverse in order to get better. If you just play in front of the same crowd of white men and women, how are you stretching yourself and growing?

 

Definitely would love to read another book from her in the future. 

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text 2020-01-24 21:21
Reading progress update: I've read 1%.
Dear Girls - Ali Wong

Beyond annoyed that BL defaulted to some random author called Tony Wong. I tried to fix twice and gave up. Also one thing I have noticed is there are now more genre selections when adding a book. Maybe that's what Booklikes fixed? 

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review 2019-12-17 04:34
Minn and Jake's Almost Terrible Summer
Minn and Jake's Almost Terrible Summer - Janet S. Wong,Geneviève Côté,Genevieve Cote

I enjoyed parts of this book particularly Minn and Jake’s navigation of their friendship, but the misuse of the word hapa means I cannot and would not recommend it. Wong perpetuates the myth that “Hapa = slang for half Asian, half white.” This is not true. Hapa is a word appropriated from Hawaiian by half Asians, and it is inappropriate for Jake to use it as a descriptor for himself. See “On ‘Hapa’ And Cultural Appropriation” for more information (Light, 2009). 

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review 2019-11-05 16:25
REVIEW TOUR & #GIVEAWAY - Divorce is Murder (Toby Wong Mystery #1) by Elka Ray
Divorce is Murder (Toby Wong Mystery #1) - Elka Ray

@GoddessFish, @elkaray, #Romantic #Suspense, #Mystery, 3 out of 5 (good)

 

Divorce is Murder is the first book in the Toby Wong series, and it introduces us to a female, family-lawyer whose client is a blast from the past. Toby had a major crush on Josh Barton when they were young, but bullies made sure it next happened. Now, nineteen years later, she's back where it all began.

I would class this more as mystery than romantic suspense as Toby isn't sure who she wants, although I'm not very clear on why! There is a police officer who is interested in her, he is not a liar and plays no games, but she seems more interested in a crush from nearly twenty years ago who has constantly lied to her. Hmm, I guess you can see who is my favourite, but I'm guessing this is a storyline for further into the series.

There is a great cast of characters - from a psychic, whimsy-loving mom, to the bullies from Toby's childhood. Some of the mystery was obvious (to me) and some of it, not. I thoroughly enjoyed the build up and the climax to this story.

With no errors that disrupted my reading, this was an enjoyable read from beginning to end, and I have no hesitation in recommending it for all fans of cosy murder-mysteries.

* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments here are my honest opinion. *

Merissa
Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!

Source: archaeolibrarian.wixsite.com/website/single-post/2019/11/05/Divorce-is-Murder-Toby-Wong-Mystery-1-by-Elka-Ray
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review 2019-10-23 22:28
Die on Your Feet / S.G. Wong
Die on Your Feet - S.G. Wong

Lola Starke is a PI with a trust fund. Not that she gets everything she wants—or doesn't want. Like being rid of her Ghost, Aubrey O'Connell, for instance. But in Crescent City, Ghosts are commonplace and Hosts are supposed to be happy about it. So Lola's learned to bide her time. It's served her well as a gwai girl raised in a Chinese city.

When two disparate clients won't take 'no' for an answer, Lola reluctantly agrees to both. She and Aubrey are quickly entangled in a murky puzzle of government officials, drug addicts, angry cops, and the gossamer threads of a dangerous plot. Soon enough, the past comes calling with bad news and worse enemies.

This is the '30s and this is Crescent City, where mah-jongg parlours and film studios hold sway. Where the City's highest official is a Ghost with unimpeachable power and a history with Lola's mother. Where secrets last only as long as it takes money to change hands—or a gun to pry them loose.

 

 

I read this book to fill the Ghost Stories square of my 2019 Halloween Bingo Card.

I bought this book at the annual writers & readers conference that I attend because I heard the author speak in several sessions that I attended and I was intrigued by her description of her work. Unfortunately, the fit between my tastes and her writing isn’t the best, but it was still a decent read.

Wong has created an interesting world for her characters to inhabit--she doesn’t exactly specify where it is located, but with it’s mash-up of Asian culture, hard-boiled detective, and paranormal elements, we can assume that it is an alternate version of California. She works very hard to make Lola into a female version of Philip Marlowe. The problem is that it’s really difficult to write anywhere near as elegantly as Raymond Chandler, making the comparison of Lola and Marlowe quite unequal.

This seems to be a California that has been dominated by Asian influence, with Christianity and European culture being minority elements. It gives the Caucasian reader of European background a small taste of what it is like to be a minority group, a salutary experience.

Ghosts feature as major characters, but I found them to be much more limited than what I expected. The majority of ghosts are tied to a human host, although the ghostly Mayor of this fictional city has seemingly found a way to stay vital in the world without such tethering. I guess it is realistic that each ghost would have different abilities, just as each person does.

I’m glad that I finally read this book, which I’ve owned for several years now. I like to support local writers and I’m glad that I liked the book.

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