Showing posts sorted by relevance for query state of wonder. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query state of wonder. Sort by date Show all posts

Dec 9, 2012

Book Review: State of Wonder by Ann Patchett

The Sunday Welcome to the Sunday Salon!

I bought Ann Patchett's novel,  State of Wonder, yesterday and finished it today. It was that good that I didn't put it down till I had read it all. I liked the exotic setting and fell for the story of one scientist trying to discover the details and reason for the death of another in the jungles of the Amazon.

A pharmacologist Marina Singh is sent by her company in Minnesota to Brazil to find a reclusive scientist and researcher, Annick Swenson, her former medical school professor who is doing drug research deep in the Amazon jungles. Marina is supposed to report on the progress of Annick's research on fertility for the drug company, research that has already taken many years and a lot of funding. Marina is also on a more personal mission, to discover the facts behind the death of another employee of the drug company who had recently traveled to the Amazon to check on Annick.

It seems to me that the novel has some serious questions about the value of some research done by drug companies - questionable drugs that may not be needed or advisable, for a limited group of people, versus drugs for more serious and immediate health problems for a larger demographic. There is also a contrast between cold, hard research and the human considerations that must be taken into account when you deal with the lives of real people.

The plot and setting are very imaginative, the characters memorable, and the questions the novel addresses are good food for thought. I loved Bel Canto, Pachett's award-winning novel, and I liked this one as well.

The book is also reviewed by Tales from the Reading RoomHome Between the Pages, and My Porch.

For a lighter read, I've started Killer Librarian, a debut cozy mystery by Mary Lou Kirwin. Minnesota librarian Karen Nash becomes a sleuth on a literary tour of London when she realizes an assassin has targeted her former boyfriend and his lady friend, who have also traveled to London.

Apart from reading, I baked beer bread for the first time today, adding raisins and dried cranberries for a little tartness and sweetness. Not bad for a test run. I'm thinking of making more tasty breads for Christmas gifts!

What are you reading this week?

Jan 2, 2012

100 + Books in a Year - I Joined!

Head over to Book Chick City to join this challenge. I found I read more than 100 books in 2012, when I tallied them up, so I'm taking this challenge this year. I'll be listing them on this post to help me keep track!

1. 52 Small Changes: One Year to a Happier, Healthier You by Brett Blumenthal, self-help
2. The Poser: my life in twenty-three yoga poses by Claire Dederer, memoir
3. Finding My Balance: A Memoir by Mariel Hemingway
4. Breakthrough: the 5 Living Principles to Defeat Stress, Look Great, & Find Total Well-Being by Shea Vaughn
5. Living Fully by Shyalpa Tenzin Rinpoche, Buddhism and philosophy
6. We're With Nobody: Two Insiders Reveal the Dark Side of American Politics by Alan Huffman and Michael Rejebian
7. Everyday Meditation: 100 Daily Meditations by Tobin Blake
8. A Place of Yes by Bethenny Frankel, self-help
9. The Sexy Vegan Cookbook by Brian L. Patton
10. Cruising Attitude by Heather Poole, memoir
11. Conscious Calm by Laura Maciuika, self-help
12. Quiet: The Power of Introverts by Susan Cain
13. The Practicing Mind by Thomas M. Sterner
14. Pilgrimage to the End of the World by Conrad Rudolph, travel memoir
15. Lucky Child by Loung Ung, memoir
16. In My Father's Country by Saima Wahab, memoir
17. Lulu in the Sky by Loung Ung, memoir
18. The Storytelling Animal by Jonathan Gottschalk
19. Listening to Africa: Poems by Diana M. Raab
20. Charlie: A Love Story by Barbara Lampert
21. The Man in the Empty Boat by Mark Salzberg
22. Misadventures of a Garden State Yogi by Brian Leaf
23. Street Freak by Jared Dillian
24. Following Atticus by Tom Ryan
25. The Storytelling Animal by Jonathan Gottschall
26. The Great Animal Orchestra by Bernie Krause

1. The Thread by Victoria Hislop, historical fiction
2. Folly Beach:  a Low Country Tale by Dorothea Benton Frank
3. My Evangeline by Heidi Radford Legg, literary fiction
4. The Moment: A Novel by Douglas Kennedy, historical fiction, romance
5. Once Upon a Time, There Was You by Elizabeth Berg, women's fiction
6. Bond Girl: A Novel by Erin Duffy, contemporary fiction
7. Walter's Muse: A Novel by Jean Davies Okimoto
8. Other Waters by Eleni N. Gage
9. Gossip by Beth Gutcheon
10. I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella
11. Sonoma Rose by Jennifer Chiaverini
12. Daughters by Elizabeth Buchan
13. The Shoemaker's Wife: A Novel by Adriani Trigiani
14. More Like Her by Liza Palmer
15. Faith Bass Darling's Last Garage Sale by Lynda Rutledge (read but not reviewed)
16. Ninepins by Rosy Thornton
17. The Concubine Saga by Lloyd Lofthouse
18. The Dog That Talked to God by Jim Kraus
19. The White Pearl: A Novel by Kate Furnivall
20. Skeleton Women by Mingmei Yip
21. The Thing About Thugs by Tabish Khair
22. Timeless Desire by Gwyn Cready
23. Skios by Michael Frayn
24. Gone by Cathi Hanauer
25. The Headmaster's Wager by Vincent Lam
26. Flesh by Khanh Ha
27. The Song Remains the Same by Allison Winn Scotch
28. Across the Mekong River by Elaine Russell
29. Keepsake by Kristina Riggle
30. The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson
31. A Cupboard Full of Coats by Yvvete Edwards
32. Gold by Chris Cleave
33. What the Zhang Boys Know by Clifford Garstang
34. Things Your Dog Doesn't Want You to Know by Hy Conrad and Jeff Johnson
35. The King's Damsel by Kate Emerson
36. The Lincoln Conspiracy by Timothy L. O'Brien
37. The Bracelet by Roberta Gately
38. The Far Side of the Sky by Daniel Kalla
39. The Summer Before the Storm by Gabriele Wills
40. The Lost Art of Mixing by Erica Bauermeister
41. The Round House by Louise Erdrich
42. State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
43. The King's Damsel by Kate Emerson
44. How to Eat a Cupcake by Meg Donohue
45. The Nightingale Girls by Donna Douglas
46. The Pleasure Palace by Kate Emerson
47. The Roots of the Olive Tree by Courtney Miller Santo
48. The Language of Sisters by Amy Hatvany
49. The Playgroup by Janey Fraser
50. APatchwork Marriage by Jane Green

1. I Am Half-Sick of Shadows, a Flavia de Luce Novel by Alan Bradley
2. The Dark Rose by Erin Kelly
3. Oath of Office by Michael Palmer
4. The Barbary Dogs: A Mystery by Cynthia Robinson
5.The Face Thief by Eli Gottlieb
6. The Look of Love by Mary Jane Clark
7. Raylan: A Novel by Elmore Leonard
8. Paydirt by Paul Levine
9. Pineapple Grenade by Tim Dorsey
10. No Mark Upon Her by Deborah Crombie
11. Double Booked for Death by Ali Brandon
12. Helpless by Daniel Palmer
13. Fashion Faux Paw by Judi McCoy
14. The Hope Vendetta by Scott Mariani
15. To Catch a Leaf: A Flower Shop Mystery by Kate Collins
16. The Probability of Murder by Ada Madison
17. The Expats: A Novel by Chris Pavone
18. Shore Excursion by Marie Moore
19. Lucifer's Tears by Jim Thompson
20. The Big Kitty by Claire Donally
21. From the Ashes by Jeremy Burns
22.  The Girl Next Door by Brad Parks
23. Murder Buys a T-Shirt by Christy Fifield
24. The Scarlet Pepper by Dorothy St. James
25. Due or Die by Jenn McKinlay
26. Death of a Kingfisher by M.C. Beaton (read but not reviewed)
27. A Spirited Gift by Joyce and Jim Lavene (read but not reviewed)
28.  Home for a Spell by Madelyn Alt (read but not reviewed)
29. Cat in a Vegas Gold Vendetta by Carol Nelson Douglas
30. An Unmarked Grave by Charles Todd
31. The Fear Artist by Timothy Hallinan
32. Tahoe Trap by Todd Berg
33. Broken Harbor by Tana French
34. The Playdate by Louise Millar
35. And When She Was Good by Laura Lippman
36. A Sinister Sense by Allison Kingsley
37. A Fistful of Collars by Spencer Quinn
38. The Thief by Fuminori Nakamura
39. Elegy for Eddie by Jacqueline Winspear
40. Allergic to Death by Peg Cochran
41. Rally 'Round the Corpse by Hy Conrad
42. Cat Bearing Gifts by Shirley Rousseau Murphy
43. Princess Elizabeth's Spy by Susan Elia Macneal
44. The Incense Game by Laura Joh Rowland
45. Not My Blood by Barbara Cleverly
46. Desert Wives by Betty Webb
47. Going to the Bad by Nora McFarland
48. Discretion by Allison Leotta
49. The Case of the Deadly Butter Chicken by Tarquin Hall
50. In a Witch's Wardrobe by Juliet Blackwell
51. An Unexpected Guest by Ann Korkeakivi
52. One Red Bastard by Ed Lin
53. Livin' Lahaina Loca by JoAnn Bassett

Dec 30, 2012

Reading 100+ Books in a Year: Challenge Met in 2012

I joined the 100+ Books in a Year 2012 challenge by Book Chick City and found I read more than 100 books for the challenge, 128 to be exact. I have shortened my list to show the ones that stood out for me.


The Poser: my life in twenty-three yoga poses by Claire Dederer *
Living Fully by Shyalpa Tenzin Rinpoche *
We're With Nobody: Two Insiders Reveal the Dark Side of American Politics by Alan Huffman and Michael Rejebian *
Quiet: The Power of Introverts by Susan Cain *
Pilgrimage to the End of the World by Conrad Rudolph *
Misadventures of a Garden State Yogi by Brian Leaf *
Street Freak by Jared Dillian *

 Bond Girl: A Novel by Erin Duffy *
 Walter's Muse: A Novel by Jean Davies Okimoto *
 Other Waters by Eleni N. Gage *
 I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella *
 The White Pearl: A Novel by Kate Furnivall *
Skios by Michael Frayn *
What the Zhang Boys Know by Clifford Garstang *
The King's Damsel by Kate Emerson *
The Round House by Louise Erdrich *
State of Wonder by Ann Patchett *

 The Dark Rose by Erin Kelly *
The Face Thief by Eli Gottlieb *
The Fear Artist by Timothy Hallinan *
Raylan: A Novel by Elmore Leonard *
No Mark Upon Her by Deborah Crombie *
Broken Harbor by Tana French *
And When She Was Good by Laura Lippman *
A Fistful of Collars by Spencer Quinn *
Tahoe Trap by Tod Borg *
The Expats by Chris Pavone *
The Thief by Fuminori Nakamura *
Livin' Lahaina Loca by JoAnn Bassett*

What challenges have you met or exceeded this year?
Here is my list of Books Read in 2012 and Books Read in 2011.

Apr 3, 2015

Book Beginning: ON GOLD MOUNTAIN by Lisa See

The Friday 56: *Grab a book, any book. *Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader  *Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it) that grabs you. *Post it. *Add your (url) post in Linky at Freda's Voice. Also visit Book Beginnings at Rose City Reader.

On Gold Mountain: The One-Hundred-Year Odyssey of My Chinese-American Family by Lisa See
Published February 7, 2012 by Vintage, Reprint Edition
Genre: memoir

Book beginning:
Chapter 1: The Wonder Time 1866-71 
Fong Dun Shung hoisted his God Mountain bag on to his shoulder and nodded one last time to his wife, daughter, and Number One and Number Four sons.He turned, and began the half-day's walk to Fatsan where he would board a sampan and float east through the Pearl River Delta to the big city of Canton. Then south to Hong Kong, where he would board a ship for Gam Saan, the Gold Mountain. Fong Dun Shung and his second and third sons padded single file among the raised pathways that divided the pale green rice fields that lay just outside the protective wall of Dimtao. How long, he wondered, would it be before they returned home?  
page 56:
Letticie supposed it was natural that one thing would lead to another. Hard work to success. Loneliness to happiness. Friendship to love. On January 15, 1897, Letticie Pruett of Central Point, Oregon, and Fong See, the fourth son of a Chinese herbalist, were wed. They went to a lawyer to draw up the papers for a contract marriage. Their union would be recognized by the state as a contract between two individuals, since California forbade interracial marriages. 
Book description:
In 1867, Lisa See's great-great-grandfather arrived in America, where he prescribed herbal remedies to immigrant laborers who were treated little better than slaves. His son Fong See later built a mercantile empire and married a Caucasian woman, in spite of laws prohibiting interracial marriage. Lisa herself grew up playing in her family's antiques store in Los Angeles's Chinatown, listening to stories of missionaries and prostitutes, movie stars and Chinese baseball teams. 
With these stories and her own years of research, Lisa See chronicles the one-hundred-year-odyssey of her Chinese-American family, a history that encompasses racism, romance, secret marriages, entrepreneurial genius, and much more, as two distinctly different cultures meet in a new world.  (amazon)

Fascinating history and memoir. This book started the author on her road to writing many more books on China, historical fiction. 

The Jetsetters: Sunday Salon

 Found at the library and finished reading: The Jetsetters   by Amanda Eyre Ward, March 3, 2020, Ballantine Books Genre: family drama, conte...