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text 2019-01-01 19:27
Goodbye, 18. Hello 19.
Rabid: A Cultural History of the World's Most Diabolical Virus - Monica Murphy,Bill Wasik
Children of Blood and Bone: The OrÏsha Legacy (Children of OrÏsha) - Tomi Adeyemi
The Book of Essie: A novel - Meghan MacLean Weir
The Astonishing Color of After - Emily X.R. Pan
The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock - Imogen Hermes Gowar
Meg - Steve Alten
The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender - Leslye Walton
The Road to Jonestown: Jim Jones and Peoples Temple - Jeff Guinn
Jim Henson's The Power of the Dark Crystal Volume 3 - Phillip Kennedy Johnson,Nichole Matthews,Kelly Matthews,Simon Spurrier

2018 was a wild decade, am I right?....oh wait, it was only a year. Damn. I feel like I aged 20 years. 


Anyway, here's my list of top reads in 2018. 



Children of Blood and Bone

The Book of Essie

The Astonishing Color of After 

The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock


The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender

The Road to Jonestown

Power of the Dark Crystal v3


I didn't read as much as I would have liked this past year because of being so sick, but I am hoping to do better this go around. I have lots of ideas for monthly themes and I got the popsugar challenge.


Possible themes:

Star Trek September 

Ebook Beginning (to start off the year)

Memoirs May

Dinosaur December


I have so many books I can't even decide where to start. I will knock out my Dark Crystal book and then read Circe since it was voted the Book of the Year. Then who knows. It's all wide open.



Happy New Year from chubbygirl and co.


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review 2018-11-05 00:00
The Astonishing Color of After
The Astonishing Color of After - Emily X.R. Pan I'm sorry. I can't. Don't hate me.

Emily X.R. Pan’s The Astonishing Colour of After begins with Leigh recounting the day her mother died from suicide, leaving a crumpled note in the trash with a crossed out message: “I want you to remember.” Soon after, a mysterious red bird leaves a gift for Leigh: a package filled with mementos of her mother. Leigh convinces her father to take her to Taiwan for the first time to meet her mother’s estranged family, secretly hoping she’ll also be able to find the bird that she believes is her mother’s ghost. Once there, her father leaves for Hong Kong, and Leigh is alone with her grandparents who don’t speak English. Leigh struggles with what little Mandarin she knows, but before long, a young friend of the family begins visiting, a woman who can translate between Leigh and her grandmother. 

Leigh is then visited by a series of memories that reminded me of the Ghosts of Christmas Past from Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, where she sees not only her own memories but also her mother’s, father’s, grandmother’s. For the first time, she learns of her family’s history, but instead of drawing comfort, she only grows more frustrated that there’s so much she never knew about her mother. She ignores messages from her father and best friend and lashes out at the helpful family friend, growing more desperate to find and capture the red bird before her time runs out.

I did enjoy all of the parts about the food in Taiwan. For the three years I’ve been with my partner, I’ve heard almost non-stop about how great the food is in Taiwan where his parents were born and where he’s been visiting since he was a child. As much as we’ve traveled in the last few years, I still haven’t gone with him to Taiwan for reasons that I need to just get over. I know I’d love Taipei and the food and the night markets. As much as I disliked this book, it at least convinced me that it’s time to go.

As for the rest of it, I understand that I’m probably going to end up in the minority here, but this book just didn’t work for me. At all. It’s unfocused, trying to be too many things, but I don’t fault Pan as much for that sin. At least she’s ambitious. The result is a mess, though. It’s slow, repetitive, clunky, heavy-handed, too much telling and not enough showing, and she uses one of my most hated devices: super-short chapters that kill any chance for narrative momentum. For a book that should have taken a few days, even for a slow reader like me, it took me a week, and that’s only because I sped through the last half when I realized where it was going. 

Those aren’t even the biggest sins. I can’t really go into detail about my most hated parts, since I don’t want to leave any spoilers, so I’ll just say that I hated the way Pan dealt with the mother’s depression and suicide. I found it cheap and manipulative, more like a prop than an exploration of serious health issue, and it ends up lost in all of the mystical melodrama. Even though Leigh’s emotional response to her mother’s illness and death are genuine and gut-wrenching, I wish Pan had found a way to clear up rather than reinforce the negative stereotypes and misconceptions. 

(This review was originally posted as part of Cannonball Read 10: Sticking It to Cancer, One Book at a Time.)
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text 2018-09-23 02:34
Reading progress update: I've listened 565 out of 720 minutes.
The Astonishing Color of After - Emily X.R. Pan

Her dad is my mom. "Stop this art crap and find a real career. Artists are only famous after they die." Fuck you.

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text 2018-09-22 22:39
Reading progress update: I've listened 240 out of 720 minutes.
The Astonishing Color of After - Emily X.R. Pan

This book is the first time I will ever call anything haunting. It's also striking close to my heart with the suicide issue. 

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text 2018-09-22 17:37
Reading progress update: I've listened 0 out of 720 minutes.
The Astonishing Color of After - Emily X.R. Pan

Today is board game day in this house, so I checked this out of the library. I got the hardcopy from Book of the Month. I think the cover is so pretty. I plan on cross stitching and listening to the audiobook while I work. Double duty. That way the boy nerds can play Catan or whatever and I can do my own thing. I've had a virus of some sort this week and haven't felt well at all. I'm still weak. I just wanna relax this weekend. 

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