Monday, June 13, 2011

Kindred by Octavia E Butler

There are some books which I see descriptions for and think, “wow! I want to read that book right away!” and then I don’t read it for ages. Kindred was one of those books. Why did I ever wait so long?

Kindred is about a black woman, living in California in 1979, who keeps getting pulled back in time to early 19th century Maryland in order to repeatedly save the life of one of her ancestors- a white slave-holder. When his life is in danger, she appears at his side without knowing why or how, and when her life is in danger, she is sent back to 1979. Every time she is sent to the 19th century, she tries to guide him to be kinder and to free the slaves on his plantation, only to find that as he grows older, he continues to be more and more erratic and untrustworthy, and she becomes more and more assimilated to life as a slave.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Dreams of Joy by Lisa See

(Note: This review contains spoilers for Shanghai Girls by Lisa See. It would be difficult to avoid Shanghai Girls spoilers here, as Dreams of Joy is a sequel to that book, but I promise Dreams of Joy will not be spoiled here.)

I have been a fan of Lisa See ever since I first read Snow Flower and the Secret Fan four years ago. I’ve found all of the books by her that I’ve read well-written and engaging, and every time I read something new from Lisa See I find myself raving to my friends- whose eyes quickly glaze over when they realize I’m not going to run out of air anytime soon. I was particularly excited to read Dreams of Joy, as it’s the sequel to Shanghai Girls and I’ve been at the edge of my seat since I finished that book in 2009. I had high expectations, and Dreams of Joy did not disappoint.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

48 Hour Book Challenge: Finish Line

So I'm stopping a couple of hours early because I won't be able to read for the next two hours, and I want to make sure I actually make a finish line post this time around. So-

Total reading time- 18 Hours
Number of books read- One and a half (What can I say? I'm not a very fast reader.)

So it was fun, but there just happened to be some personal drama that decided to happen right in the middle of my reading time, and then resolved itself just this morning. Hopefully, next year, I'll have a little more time and a little less drama.

48 Hour Book Challenge: 13 Hours

I just finished Dreams of Joy by Lisa See, and all I can say is... wow. I've been a fan of Lisa See ever since I first read Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, and her novels have never disappointed even my highest expectations. I definitely recommend this book. I would write a proper review, but I stayed up until 4:00 AM to finish it and I'm sleepy. I'm also anxious to wake up tomorrow and get started on Kindred by Octavia Butler.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

48 Hour Book Challenge: 5 Hours and 35 Minutes

After I posted last night I stopped reading, and then I didn't start reading again until 3:00 today. There's enough real-life drama around me at the moment, so I could probably fill an entire book series with the details, so it has cut into my reading time a bit more than I like. Anyway, I am 147 pages into Dreams of Joy. It's been a little easier to keep reading today, especially since a few romances have started brewing in the story, and I'm a sucker for that kind of thing.

Friday, June 3, 2011

48 Hour Book Challenge: 3 Hours

I'm 81 pages into Dreams of Joy by Lisa See. This probably wasn't the best book for the 48HBC, because the subject is a little too exhausting to read non-stop. I don't want to give anything about the story away, but it feels like the characters are in a hopeless situation. I don't mind difficult situations in books, the stories would be boring without them. But when it's the main character against a much larger force or system - in this case, the communist political system - I guess I just tend to feel incredibly tired on the character's behalf. Anyway, I am 3 hours into the 48HBC. Now, back to reading.

48 Hour Book Challenge: Starting Line

So the 48HBC didn't go so well for me last year. I started at the last minute with no preparation (I hadn't even heard of it until that weekend), no sleep (I hadn't slept at all the night before, because, well, just because), and then I had to left town for the entire second day to celebrate my 21st birthday. So, not so good.

However, this year, I am much better prepared. I had a good night's sleep, I made no plans for this weekend, and I have a stack of books ready to read. A metaphorical stack I mean. Well, a real stack and a metaphorical one. A stack of real books made of real paper, and a metaphorical "stack" of ebooks on my Nook. So, here I go-

Dreams of Joy by Lisa See
Kindred by Octavia Butler

Physical books-
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
Boneshaker by Cherie Priest
The Likeness by Tana French
The Passage by Justin Cronin

Starting Line: 7:00 PM