Sunday, September 29, 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What are you reading? is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. For this meme, bloggers post what they finished last week, what they're currently reading, and what they plan to start this week.
My comments are not meant to be recaps of the story lines as I include a link to Goodreads for their synopsis of the book. I am merely stating how I felt about the book without giving any spoilers.

Russian Winter

I had read this author's Sight Reading a few weeks ago and decided to try another of her books.
This started off slowly and seemed to be a typical love story with a predictable ending. but she has many twists and turns along the way. The ending comes too abruptly and you find yourself wondering if you were missing some pages.
Characters were an interesting mix of types, all unique and human. But Nina, the main character was without redemption, she is a selfish and self-centered.

I especially like the Russian history that is half the setting and I got a real sense of the lack of privacy and constant prying of Soviet eyes on its citizens in the era of the late 40's and early 50's. The references to Stalin have me interested in reading further about this part of Russian history.
It also describes in vivid detail the life of a ballerina something I do not know much about.

The Cooked Seed: A Memoir

In 1994, Anchee Min made her literary debut with a memoir of growing up in China during the violent trauma of the Cultural Revolution. Red Azalea became an international bestseller and propelled her career as a successful, critically acclaimed author. Twenty years later, Min returns to the story of her own life to give us the next chapter, an immigrant story that takes her from the shocking deprivations of her homeland to the sudden bounty of the promised land of America, without language, money, or a clear path. 

It is a hard and lonely road. She teaches herself English by watching Sesame Street, keeps herself afloat working five jobs at once, lives in unheated rooms, suffers rape, collapses from exhaustion, marries poorly and divorces.But she also gives birth to her daughter, Lauryann, who will inspire her and finally root her in her new country. Min's eventual successes-her writing career, a daughter at Stanford, a second husband she loves-are remarkable, but it is her struggle throughout toward genuine selfhood that elevates this dramatic, classic immigrant story to something powerfully universal.

I was just plain annoyed at how stupid she could be getting conned constantly, making bad decisions.  She lied her way into the U.S. and then constantly ignored the rules as she worked several jobs. She complains about everything.
She says she never had any money at yet she would go home to china to visit most years. 
Her relationship with her daughter is disturbing. 
Her writing style is inconsistent, details missing and stories are told out of context and  order.
Having read this I will not read any of her best sellers, it is hard to believe that she actually wrote those books.

Going Wrong

In Rendell's evocative portrayal of West London, the slums of Notting Hill Gate and the mews houses of Holland Park are not streets, but worlds, apart. When these two worlds collide, the repercussions are fatal.
Guy and Leonora were childhood sweethearts, and belonged to the same criminal gang. But as the wealthy Leonora grew older, they grew apart, and Guy's innocent love turned into a dangerous, psychopathic obsession.

When Leonora announces her engagement , Guy knows there must be some mistake - and he is determined to right it, at any cost. As he becomes the victim of his own murderous madness, nobody is safe.

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