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text 2015-05-14 20:42
The Opposite of Fate
The Opposite of Fate: Memories of a Writing Life - Amy Tan

I thought this book was a memoir, and it is, but it's really a collection of essays. The early ones were really interesting and held my attention, but now I'm almost to the end of the book and it's dragging.


The repetitions, which felt like nice connecting points the first few times are too much now. Also, "Required Reading and Other Dangerous Subjects" was a very strange reading experience. Like, yes authors should write what they like but can you please stop using the term minority? It covers that question that I don't think anyone has an answer to which is how much responsibility does an author of color have when writing. I agree with Tan that authors should write what they want and that authors of color are often held to impossible standards. But at the same time, I think some of the criticisms against Tan are valid (why doesn't she portray Chinese men in a positive way?). I kept going back and forth agreeing and disagreeing with Tan throughout the whole essay and in the end I found the whole thing dissatisfying.


But the rest of the book is pretty good. I especially liked the essay on The Hundred Secret Senses and wanted more about her writing of that book because I think it is by far Tan's best.


Don't make this your first Amy Tan. In fact, I'd say you should have a pretty good grasp on Amy Tan and her works before you pick up this book. At least have a working knowledge of The Joy Luck Club (book and film), The Kitchen God's Wife, The Hundred Secret Senses and The Bonesetter's Daughter.


I finished the book. I'm not sure why the book ended with the essay it did (a long piece about a mystery illness). The book was published in 2003, and there was some about 9/11 in the last few essays so maybe that tone felt right at the time? The book started strong, but my interest dwindled at the end. I'd recommend it to anyone who's read a lot of (early) Amy Tan (fans and critics) because I think it sheds some light on her books, and her life has definitely been interesting.

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text 2014-02-10 01:19
What Did I Do?
Parable of the Sower - Octavia E. Butler
Where'd You Go, Bernadette - Maria Semple
Before We Met - Lucie Whitehouse
Life and Fate - Robert Chandler,Vasily Grossman
The Trial - Franz Kafka,David Wyllie

I'm one of those people who only read 1 book at a time. It's not because I can't keep track of multiple books...I just prefer 1 book at a time and I finish books faster this way. But something went wrong this month.


I was reading Red Rising by Pierce Brown (which I didn't like very much) and went to the library and took out a few books. So in the middle of Red Rising I started Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler...which I then misplaced (for a week), so I picked up Where'd You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple. I finished Red Rising and started Before We Met by Lucie Whitehouse and then Life and Fate by Vasily Grossman.


I'm almost done Before We Met and found Parable of the Sower (on the floor of my back porch). And now I have to start The Trial by Franz Kafka for a book club in a few days.


If I hadn't kept picking up new books I would be done with most of the above mentioned books and would have time to devote to The Trial and the tome Life and Fate. I've decided to finish all my current books before I start in on Life and Fate - that one needs my undivided attention. 


So, Booklikes people....which do you prefer - 1 book or multiple books?

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review 2014-01-10 00:00
Fatalism (Life . Destiny . Fate) (Volume 1)
Fatalism: Alexa and Vincent's Story - L.K. Collins ~*~ 4.5 Stars ~*~

Fatalism by LK Collins has been on my Kindle forever, and I’m so happy I finally got a chance to start this. Fatalism is a beautiful, passionate love story full of so much intensity. Right off the bat, you get sucked in with Vincent’s behavior towards Alexa and vise versa. At first I thought, wow, could this be too much, too fast. But after learning more and more about Alexa’s past and of Vincent’s past, it all seemed to click and work for me, in a big way. I stopped worrying about how major their feelings were towards each other in such a short amount of time, and started really getting in to the circumstances that surround these characters.

It broke my heart to hear how Alexa’s mother treated her after her father left, telling her to watch her weight or she wouldn’t find a man. Ugh! It just pissed me off to no end. It was a full three years since she spoke with her mother. Unfortunate circumstances brought them back together, and it turned out being just another chance where her mother can treat her like dirt. Alexa has so much compassion to just be able to try to reconnect after all the pain her mother put her through. With her father leaving and her mother being such a bitch, it’s no wonder that Alexa feels like she always needs to be in control. And with that frame of mind, there was never any real relationships, just the physical aspect of it all. That is, until fate decides to intervene, and in walks Vincent.

“Do you believe in fate? I mean do you believe that no matter what you do in life your destiny is already planned?”

Vincent is the whole freaking package. He’s gorgeous, rich, successful, has many beautiful cars :) The main thing I was fascinated by was his passion, his intensity, his fire. I couldn’t get enough. Vincent is a man who you want in your bed and by your side at all times. I could live with the jealousy, I could live with the over protectiveness about him. He loves so hard, and protects what’s his. It just so damn sexy! Talk about a man with a horrible past, with his mother dying in front of him, and his fiancé cheating on him. You wonder how he still became so wealthy and successful. Most men would crumble in those circumstances. He may have been successful, but his heart was empty, until a beautiful stranger ran into him and gave him a kiss that would change his life.

“I’ll lose control. I will devour every piece of you and fuck you all night. Then neither of us will sleep because I’ll be buried inside of you. Sleep is the only thing that will allow me to control the beast inside of me.”

I LOVE finding new authors! LK Collins is a brand new author to me, and I am so glad I started this story when I did. I needed a novel like this. A love story like Alexa’s and Vincent’s helps me believe. It helps me to believe in an intense, passionate kind of love, and it helps me believe that fate is not always there to kick your ass, sometimes fate delivers something wonderful and magical. I need my very own Vincent! Do you hear that fate?! Deliver dammit!

“Every word, every feeling, and every emotion I shared with you was from my heart and one hundred percent true. I fucking love you.”
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review 2013-12-05 00:00
Life and Fate
Life and Fate - Vasily Grossman Introduction
Historical Background
The Text and the Translation
A Few Books About Stalinist Russia and Vasily Grossman

--Life and Fate

List of Chief Characters
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text 2013-11-28 14:57
Phenomenally good read
The Ocean of Life: The Fate of Man and the Sea - Callum Roberts

An educational and entertaining read and a must have for any nature history and science fan.

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