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. 

Mar 31, 2015

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

First Chapter, First Paragraph is hosted weekly by Bibliophile by the Sea. Share the first paragraph of your current read. Also visit Teaser Tuesdays meme hosted by Jenn.

The life-changing magic of tidying up by Marie Kondo, published October 14, 2014; Ten Speed Press
Genre: self-help

Chapter 1:
Why can't I keep my house in order? You can't tidy if you've never learned how
When I tell people that my profession is telling other people how to tidy, I am usually met with looks of astonishment. "Can you actually make money doing that?" is their first question. This is almost always followed by, "Do people need lessons in tidying?"
...The general assumption, in Japan at least, is that tidying doesn't need to be taught but rather is picked up naturally....one never hears of anyone passing on the family secrets of tidying, even within the same household.
Book teaser:
By paring down to the volume that you can properly handle, you revitalize your relationship with your belongings. (p. 126)
Book description:
This best-selling guide to decluttering your home from Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes readers step-by-step through her revolutionary KonMari Method for simplifying, organizing, and storing.

I bought this book before I even knew it was a best seller. I started it, it sounded reasonable and very do-able, but I now have to finish the book to get back on track and remember all the advice. Tops in one drawer, bottoms in another; how to fold and store socks, underwear, bags; clothes that one must hang in the closet, etc. 

But first, I must throw everything away or dispose of those things I don't want, use, or find useful! Phew!

Would you keep reading after the first paragraph, etc.?

Other reviews of the book: 1330V

Mar 30, 2015

It's Monday: What Are You Reading?

Visit It's Monday: What Are You Reading hosted by Book Journey, and Mailbox Monday.

I am reading  A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler and must say I am really enjoying the characters she has created in this novel about a family - Abby and Red who are growing old,  and their four children, one of them informally adopted, who are all trying to cope with their parents' situation and with each other. 

I got only one new book in the mail for review, but have several cozies I have not yet introduced on this blog. Here they are:
Murder She Wrote: Killer in the Kitchen by Jessica Fletcher and Donald BainTo be published April 7; NALGenre: cozy mystery 
Jessica loves the Leg & Claw restaurant, owned by young couple Brad and Marcie. And the restaurant is the couple s dream come true. But when famed chef Gerard Pepe Lebeouf decides to open an eatery right next to theirs, tensions rise fast and hot and lead to a nasty confrontation between Lebeouf and Brad. So when Lebeouf is found dead with a knife planted in his chest, Brad becomes suspect number one. But plenty of others had a motive to kill Pepe, and it s up to Jessica to uncover who really added murder to the menu. (goodreads)
Shadow of a Spout by Amanda Cooper, author of Tempest in  TeapotTo be published April 7, 2015; Berkley 
Avid teapot collector Rose Freemont takes a break from her Victorian tea house only to find a new mystery brewing elsewhere...
Leaving her home, Rose is off to the annual convention of the International Teapot Collector’s Society. Her granddaughter Sophie is minding the tea house while she’s away. Rose is eager for tough cookie Zunia Pettigrew to appraise a prized antique teapot she believes may be a holy water vessel from China.
But when Zunia declares the pot a fake, Rose is really steamed. After Zunia’s found dead beside Rose’s dinged-in teapot, Sophie must rush to her grandmother’s aid and find the real killer—before Rose is steeped in any more trouble…(goodreads)
Dark Chocolate Demise by Jenn McKinlay. To be published April 7, 2015; Berkley 
Cupcake Bakery Mysteries bake up sweet surprises, but as the series continues, Mel and Angie are in for a fresh batch of trouble…
Scottsdale, Arizona, may not be the liveliest place on earth, but it’s never been as dead as this. Hundreds of fans have gathered together for the first annual Old Town Zombie Walk, and Mel, Angie, and the Fairy Tale Cupcake crew are donning their best undead attire to sell some horror-themed desserts to the hungry hordes.
But the fun turns to fright when Mel finds a real dead body in a prop casket outside of the bakery’s truck—and the corpse looks alarmingly like a zombie of their own. Mel will do whatever it takes to find a killer—no matter how scary things get...
Ladle to the Grave by Connie ArcherPublished March 3, 2015; Berkley 
By the Spoonful is Snowflake, Vermont’s most popular soup shop, but owner Lucky Jamieson doesn’t have any time to enjoy her success—she’s too busy trying to keep a lid on false accusations against her loved ones… 
It’s almost May, and some of the local ladies have organized a pagan celebration in the woods to welcome spring. But the evening goes terribly wrong when one of the attendees winds up dead, apparently poisoned by an herbal concoction prepared by Lucky’s grandfather, Jack.

What's new in your mailbox?

Mar 28, 2015

Sunday Salon: First Robin of the Year

Welcome to the Sunday Salon where bloggers share their reading each week. Visit The Sunday Post hosted by The Caffeinated Bookreviewer. 

A robin showed up yesterday, a sure sign of spring, I thought, but then it got really cold again today and I haven't seen it since! Envying the pictures of flowers and blossoms from everywhere else warmer. But then, it's still March here!

I finished reading 
World Gone By, an historical thriller by Dennis Lehane
Bittersweet, a psychological suspense by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore
Murder on the Champs de Mars, a murder mystery set in Paris, by Cara Black

I got one new book in the mail, a Murder She Wrote mystery, and bought A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler. Am also reading a couple of books for tours in April. 

Hope you all benefited from Bloggiesta this year, those of you who participated.

Mar 27, 2015


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.
Fresh Off the Boat: A Memoir by Eddie Huang, published January 2013, is the basis for the new ABC TV show of the same name. 

Book beginning:
Chapter 1: Meet the Parents 
"The soup dumplings are off today!" Grandpa said."Should we tell the waiter? We should send these back." 
"No, no, no, no, no, don't lose face over soup dumplings. Just eat them."  
My mom always wanted to send food back.Everything on the side, some things hot, some things cold, no MSG, less oil, more chilis, oh, and some vinegar please. Black vinegar with green chilis if you have it, if not, red vinegar with ginger, and if you don't have that, then just white vinegar by itself and a can of Coke,,not diet because diet causes cancer.  
Page 56:
I remember my grandma always asking, "Are your parents still fighting?" I hated when she asked me that s--t. If I could keep it quiet and pretend ain't s--t going on, she should, too! (ch. 4, from ARE; final copy may differ)
Book description:

Eddie Huang is the thirty-year-old proprietor of Baohaus—the hot East Village hangout where foodies, stoners, and students come to stuff their faces with delicious Taiwanese street food late into the night—and one of the food world’s brightest and most controversial young stars. But before he created the perfect home for himself in a small patch of downtown New York, Eddie wandered the American wilderness looking for a place to call his own.  
Eddie grew up in theme-park America, on a could-be-anywhere cul-de-sac in suburban Orlando, raised by a wild family of FOB (“fresh off the boat”) hustlers and hysterics from Taiwan. While his father improbably launched a series of successful seafood and steak restaurants, Eddie burned his way through American culture, defying every “model minority” stereotype along the way. (amazon)

What do you think? Do you watch the TV sitcom? 

Mar 24, 2015

First Chapter: The Cartoon Guide to Algebra by Larry Gonick

First Chapter, First Paragraph is hosted weekly by Bibliophile by the Sea. Share the first paragraph of your current read. Also visit Teaser Tuesdays meme hosted by Jenn.

Published January 20, 2015; William Morrow
Genre: comic, textbook

First paragraph:
Chapter 0: What Is Algebra About?
Before algebra, we learn how to combine numbers by adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing according to the rules of arithmetic. To go in this book, you must know arithmetic.
Cartoon: Piece of Cake
If algebra is about combining numbers, then what is algebra about? To answer this question, begin with some ordinary arithmetic problems.......(cartoon) and rewrite those problems horizontally, along a line. 
To me, this book is ideal for adults wanting to teach their youngsters or for adults like myself needing to learn or freshen up algebra skills. Children who don't already know some algebra might need a bit of help through the cartoons, but it will certainly keep their interest.

What do you think? Would you keep going to tease your memory?

Thanks to the publisher for a review/feature copy of this book.

Sunday Salon: Japanese Authors and a Mystery

  Klara and the Sun   by Kazuo Ishiguro.  Klara and the Sun was easy to read for a literary novel of such magnitude and celebrity, I found...