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Showing posts from July, 2013

Book Club: The Last Communist Virgin – Wang Ping

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The Last Communist Virgin – Wang Ping From the restaurants of New York’s Chinatown to the retail emporium of Bergdorf Goodman, and from remote Chinese military outposts to the streets of Beijing, these stories open a window into the rapid transformations of an ancient culture.  As the characters struggle to find their way, a young girl discovers love amidst a sea of angry Red Guards, émigrés navigate New York’s relentless rat race, and an old man returns to a Beijing he doesn’t recognize on a mission to restore his son-in-law’s flagging honor.  In the heatrending finale, the origins of humanity and its reckless dash toward an apocalyptic future are distilled into a love store with far-reaching implications.
1/5 stars (did not like) Too many characters and the transition between characters was not well done.  I ended up not really caring about what happened to each character.  Also the only thing they all had in common was that they either currently lived in China or came to the U.S. from…

Book Review: Daughters of the Witching Hill – Mary Sharratt

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Daughters of theWitching Hill – Mary Sharratt In “Daughters of the Witching Hill”, Mary Sharratt brings history to life in a vivid and wrenching novel of strong women, family, and betrayal inspired by the 1612 Pendle witch trials.
Bess Southerns, an impoverished widow lives with her children in a crumbling old tower in Pendle Forest.  Drawing on Catholic ritual, medicinal herbs, and guidance from her spirit-friend Tibb, Bess heals the sick and foretells the future in exchange for food and drink.  As she ages, she instructs her best friend, Anne, and her granddaughter, Alizon, in her craft.  Though Anne ultimately turns to dark magic, Alizon intends to use her craft for good.  But when a peddler suffers a stroke after exchanging harsh words with Alizon, a local magistrate tricks her into accusing her family and neighbors of witchcraft.  Suspicion and paranoia reach frenzied heights as friends and loved ones turn on one another and the novel draws to an inevitable conclusion.
4/5 stars (re…

Book Review: Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn

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Gone Girl – GillianFlynn Marriage can be a real killer.
On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary.  Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River.  Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages form Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge.  Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades and endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior.  Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?
As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one they love.  With is twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocen…

Book Review: Countdown City – Ben H. Winters

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Countdown City – BenH. Winters There is just 74 days to go before a deadly asteroid collides with Earth, and Detective Hank Palace is out of a job.  With the Concord police force operating under auspices of the U.S. Justice Department, Hank’s days of solving crimes are over…until a woman from his past begs for help finding her missing husband.
Brett Cavatone disappeared without a trace—an easy feat in a world with no phones, no cars, and no way to tell whether someone’s gone “bucket list” or just gone.  With society falling to shambles, Hank pieces together what few clues he can, on a search that leads him from college-campus-turned-anarchist-encampment to a crumbling coastal landscape where anti-immigrant militia fend off “impact zone” refugees.
The second novel in the critically acclaimed Last Policeman trilogy, Coundown City  presents a fascinating mystery set on the brink of an apocalypse—and once again, Hank Palace confronts questions beyond “whodunit.”  What do we as human beings o…

Book Review: Rapture – J.R. Ward

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Rapture – J.R. Ward Mels Carmichael, reporter for the Cadwell Courier Journal, gets the shock of her life when a man stumbles in front of her car outside the local cemetery.  After the accident, his amnesia is just the kind of mystery she likes to solve, but she soon discovers they’re in over their heads with his past.  Over their heads with passion too.  As shadows walk the line between reality and another realm, and her lover’s memory begins to come back, the two of them learn that nothing is truly dead and buried.  Especially when you’re trapped in a no-holds-barred war between angels and demons.  With a soul on the line, and Mel’s heart at risk, what in Heaven—or in Hell—will it take to save them both?
3/5 stars (liked it) I can always count on J.R. Ward to give me a book that will be steamy.  This book has Mathias, a character from the previous book, except this time he has amnesia and a woman in his life.  So Jim & Devina get a re-do on his soul, although the last one does coun…