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Search tags: read-other-books-by-this-author
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review 2017-07-05 04:45
The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane
The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane - Lisa See

It's been a while since I read a Lisa See book. I had a digital copy of this book thanks to NetGalley, but I opted to listen to it when I had the chance. Sometimes, when there are foreign names and places, I prefer this, rather than have the voice in my head stumbling over unfamiliar words. This was a well done audio book, but not my favorite Lisa See book of the bunch I have read - Snowflower and the Secret Fan is probably still my favorite.


In any case, I did learn a lot about the ethnic minority Akha people and the tea growing region in China, and the characters were interesting and unique. There were some things that didn't jibe for me, including the fairly open-minded views about sex in the culture, but then an almost complete ignorance of how these actions relate to procreation. Despite Li-yan's age and far flung experiences, she still seemed incredibly immature even as she aged throughout the story. I found the historical aspects and the details of the tea industry fascinating, but there were other parts that were predictable and repetitive that distracted from the story.


I was reminded of the Magdalene Laundries in Ireland (I saw the movie, not sure if I would recommend it, unless you need a reason to drink) while reading this book because I had the same shocked reaction to discover that the story took place in the present day. Li-yan's village has barely seen a car in the 1990s; when an actual date was finally mentioned well into the story I was stunned — I thought I was reading about a culture from the 1800s. So yes, Lisa See once again presents a compelling topic and a wealth of information, and for that reason I look forward to the next book she has to offer.

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review 2017-06-29 05:47
Booked - Kwame Alexander

Kwame Alexander paid a visit to our school this year, and every child received a copy of his book. For some reason I did not jump on this one as quickly as I did The Crossover but that is by no means a telling detail —it just got put in the wrong to-read pile (in the to-read-later, instead of the to-read-now).


Reading it this week I was again reminded of how blown away I was reading Crossover. I couldn't put it down, and then, I didn't want it to end. 


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review 2017-06-29 05:21
Hag-Seed - Margaret Atwood

I am a huge Margaret Atwood fan, so when I saw a new book with her name on it I did not even bother to read what it was about. Who cares? Margaret Atwood could write a software manual and I would read it. Maybe you feel more discerning than me, I'm ok with that. I've read at least half a dozen Atwood books by now, (with more on my to-read pile) including a crazy, ingenious, zombie story on Wattpad, and I have yet to be disappointed.


Hag-Seed continued that trend. Of course, Atwood tackles The Tempest, why not? She is certainly up to the task. I read some of this book (courtesy of NetGalley) and I also listened to the audiobook. I laughed out loud as Atwood weaves a tale of bizarre vengeance and unlikely heroes, which all works toward a strange and perfectly satisfying resolution.


This book is part of the Hogarth Shakespeare collection, which has Shakespeare's plays reimagined by today's celebrated writers, including Anne Tyler, Tracy Chevalier, and Jo Nesbø, among others. Several of these are already on my to-read pile; you should check them out as well.

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review 2017-05-31 01:53
Paper: Paging Through History
Paper: Paging Through History - Mark Kurlansky

This was my first Kurlansky book, but my husband has read and loved his others, (and still quotes from Salt), so you can appreciate that I would choose this just so I could throw some facts back at him. In any case, as a graphic designer and a book lover, of course I am a fan of Paper, so this book had my name written all over it. Kurlansky, I think, has a reputation like Michener — if he is going to tell the story of paper, he is pretty much going to start at the beginning of time and work from there. This is great if, like me, you have an almost unnatural devotion to paper, but I'm guessing this is probably not a huge target audience. Oddly enough, since I got the book from NetGalley, I read a book all about paper on an electronic device, which seems kind of thoughtless and uncaring. But I do care about paper. Maybe not as much as Kurlansky, but a lot.  


Veering off his topic, Kurlansky goes deeply into paper production techniques, the economies of mill towns, and all sorts of interesting bunny trails, but sometimes, this makes the almost 400-page book feel a bit longer. The paper industry was huge in my early career, so this book was nostalgic for me. There was a time when I would pray to be asked to design a paper sampler — an elaborate, no holds barred presentation used simply to show off the qualities of different types of paper to potential customers — because it offered complete freedom and exceptionally large budgets. But, like Kurlansky, I digress.


Here's the thing: Kurlansky is a master at choosing a subject and then letting it consume him. There is, I think, no stone left unturned here. If you're up for the challenge, this is your book.

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review 2017-03-28 03:27
You Know Me Well
You Know Me Well - Nina LaCour,David Levithan

I thought this book was well-written and the plot moved along at a brisk pace, but honestly, even considering the fact that I am not a YA reading this, I found it unrealistic. There is endless talking and pining for love in this story (I found all the over-analyzing more like college students than high school, but maybe that’s just me) and yay, it’s a story of so many under-represented gay teens, but aside from that, not a whole lot happens. Well, actually, a lot happens in the span of just a few days, but I didn’t find it very believable. Having said that, I will admit that I loved the banter between the friends — I found it smart and funny and the authors established a nice rapport among them; but it was all smart and funny, barely an awkward pause despite the fact that most of them had only just met. I mean I get the whole fast friends thing, but there was a lot of that here – not just one relationship.


LaCour and Levithan had their hearts in the right place, but I thought the story that unfolded had the potential to be so much more.

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