Sunday, January 26, 2014

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.

We are currently in Mazatlan Mexico so I tend to read two books at a time, a "soft" one on my e-reader and then a "hard" book when lying in the sun.

The Dead of Winter

I loved his descriptions of Montreal, so accurate. My only complaint was that the book seemed to end abruptly.

The Opposite of Fate: Memories of a Writing Life

Amy Tan has touched millions of readers with haunting and sympathetic novels of cultural complexity and profound empathy. With the same spirit and humor that characterize her acclaimed novels, she now shares her insight into her own life and how she escaped the curses of her past to make a future of her own. She takes us on a journey from her childhood of tragedy and comedy to the present day and her arrival as one of the world?s best-loved novelists. Whether recalling arguments with her mother in suburban California or introducing us to the ghosts that inhabit her computer, The Opposite of Fate offers vivid portraits of choices, attitudes, charms, and luck in action?a refreshing antidote to the world-weariness and uncertainties we all face today.

It starts off as interesting as she recounts stories of growing up. But about three quarters of the way through it started to lag and lose my interest.
The chapters dealing with her mother's Alzheimer's were very poignant. 

And I loved her trips to China.

Apple Tree Yard

Safety and security are commodities you can sell in return for excitement, but you can never buy them back.

Yvonne Carmichael is a geneticist, a scientist renowned in her field but one day, she makes the most irrational of decisions. While she is giving evidence to a Select Committee at the Houses of Parliament, she meets a man and has sex with him in the secluded Chapel in the Crypt. It’s the beginning of a reckless liaison, but there is more to her lover than is at first apparent – as Yvonne discovers when the affair spins out of control and leads inexorably to violence.

Apple Tree Yard is about a woman who makes one rash choice that ends up putting her on trial at the Old Bailey for the most serious of crimes. Like the highly acclaimed 'Whatever You Love,' it is part literary investigation of personal morality,
part psychological thriller. Both a courtroom drama and an exploration of the values we live by, it is the gripping seventh novel from an author who has been acclaimed as a ‘courageous writer, willing to explore deeper territory with each book’ (Independent) and ‘terrifically compelling’ (Daily Mail)

I had read Whatever You Love last year and loved it too.

I started off liking Yvonne and understanding where she stood. Being bored and having an affair. But for her to actually think that she is the love of this guy's life, seriously? 
She must realize that this affair is madness and then when a crime is covered up, does anyone really think they can get away with it?
Once she hears the words Apple Tree Yard in the courtroom she knows she is doomed.

Things That Must Not Be Forgotten: A Childhood in Wartime China

The Eurasian son of a Chinese railroad executive, young David lives in a world of privilege until World War II. His father serves the Japanese while secretly working for the Resistance. After the war, with his father imprisoned, he leaves the country at the age of twelve, unsure that they will ever be reunited. This memoir was awarded the Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize for Nonfiction.

Paris Was the Place

When Willie Pears begins teaching at a center for immigrant girls who are all hoping for French asylum, she has no idea it will change her life. As she learns their stories, the lines between teaching and mothering quickly begin to blur. Willie has fled to Paris to create a new family for herself by reaching out to her beloved brother, Luke, and her straight-talking friend, Sara. She soon falls for Macon, a charming, passionate French lawyer, and her new family circle seems complete. But Gita, a young girl at the detention center, is determined to escape her circumstances, no matter the cost. And just as Willie is faced with a decision that could have potentially dire consequences for both her relationship with Macon and the future of the center, Luke is taken with a serious, as-yet-unnamed illness, forcing Willie to reconcile with her father and examine the lengths we will go to for the people we care the most about.

1 comment:

  1. Apple Tree Yard sounds gripping! I'm glad you're finding some good reading at the beach. It's fun to think of you there (our temperature dropped 50 degrees in 12 hours last night!).


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