Ok, so I’m still working on some books and I have to wait to post a review that I’ll be combining with another into two mini reviews, so while I was waiting…I was thinking of posting something other than a review! (🙀🙀🙀 WHAT??)
I am planning on bringing back another feature I used to do when I first started blogging (you’ll just have to wait and see but I have been gathering info for awhile now), but in the interim, I have been adding books to my TBR and NOT REMOVING as many as I should…
I currently have 880 books on my Goodreads TBR. And this is how I feel every time I see it:
See? Even Harry is perplexed!
Don’t worry, Harry, I am too. I am too.
So…we are going to do this thing called “Down the TBR Hole,” and this is how it works:
(First I must give credit to Lia @ Lost In A Story, who created the meme!)
- Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf
- Order on Ascending Date Added
- Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous – or if you have a pile that has its own zip code like mine) books. Of course if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time
- Read the synopses of the books
- Decide: keep it or let it go?
- Flower Net (Red Princess #1) – Lisa See
The first body was found in ice: the U.S. ambassador’s son, entombed in a frozen lake outside Beijing’s Forbidden City. Thousands of miles away, in the heat-baked hold of a Chinese smuggling ship, another corpse is uncovered, this one a red Prince, a scion of China’s political elite. Suspecting the deaths are linked, the American and Chinese governments pair ambitious attorney David Stark and brilliant detective Liu Hulan to uncover a killer and a conspiracy.
From the teeming streets of Beijing to Los Angeles and back, David and Liu are caught in a perilous net of politics, organized crime, family loyalties, and their own passion. As, one by one, those close to the investigation are killed, David and Hulan face a firestorm of evil, while the killer they seek is as close as the secrets they keep from each other.
Ok…so I went through a Lisa See and Amy Tan phase. Still love their books! But this is more like a mystery/thriller, and I’m just not into those. I love the historical fiction stories like Snow Flower and the Secret Fan and The Joy Luck Club.
So…yeah, you’ll see a lot of the same author in clumps btw.
THE VERDICT: GO
(Ah, that felt good! Yes! One down!)
- On Gold Mountain: The One-Hundred-Year Odyssey of My Chinese-American Family – Lisa See
Out of the stories heard in her childhood in Los Angeles’s Chinatown and years of research, See has constructed this sweeping chronicle of her Chinese-American family, a work that takes in stories of racism and romance, entrepreneurial genius and domestic heartache, secret marriages and sibling rivalries, in a powerful history of two cultures meeting in a new world. 82 photos.
Now, this sounded interesting, but I’m not really into memoirs. Amy Tan wrote one called The Opposite of Fate and I have no desire to read that, either. So I’m saying goodbye to this one, too.
This is fun! I’m going the right direction! 😂🙌
- The Interior (Red Princess #2) – Lisa See
- Dragon Bones (Red Princess #3) – Lisa See
There are three books in this series: if I just got rid of book one, why would I keep the other two?
Yes yes yes! This is going well!
- Rules for Virgins – Amy Tan
In her startlingly sensual new story, “Rules for Virgins”—this 43-page jewel of a tale is the first fiction she has published in six years—beloved bestselling author Amy Tan (“The Joy Luck Club,” “The Bonesetter’s Daughter”) takes us deep into the illicit world of 1912 Shanghai, where beautiful courtesans mercilessly compete for the patronage of wealthy gentlemen. For the women, the contest is deadly serious, a perilous game of economic survival that, if played well, can set them up for life as mistresses of the rich and prominent. There is no room for error, however: erotic power is hard to achieve and harder to maintain, especially in the loftiest social circles.
Enter veteran seducer, Magic Gourd, formerly one of Shanghai’s “Top Ten Beauties” and now the advisor and attendant of Violet, an aspiring but inexperienced courtesan. Violet may have the youth and the allure, but Magic Gourd has the cunning and the knowledge without which the younger woman is sure to fail. These ancient tricks of the trade aren’t written down, though; to pass them on to her student, Magic Gourd must reach back into her own professional past, bringing her lessons alive with stories and anecdotes from a career spent charming and manipulating men who should have known better but rarely did.
The world of sexual intrigue that Tan reveals in “Rules for Virgins” actually existed once, and she spares no detail in recreating it. But this story is more than intriguing (and sometimes shocking) historical literary fiction. Besides inviting us inside a life that few writers but Tan could conjure up, the intimate confessions of Magic Gourd add up to a kind of military manual for the War of the Sexes’ female combatants. The wisdom conveyed is ancient, specific, and timeless, exposing the workings of vanity and folly, calculation and desire that define the mysterious human heart.
I would keep this on the list because it sounds awesome, but Amy Tan actually made this story into a full-length novel called The Valley of Amazement and I got it for Christmas a couple years ago. I plan to read that when I need a break from YA.
But that means this one can go!
- The Outcasts – Kathleen Kent
A taut, thrilling adventure story about buried treasure, a manhunt, and a woman determined to make a new life for herself in the old west.
It’s the 19th century on the Gulf Coast, a time of opportunity and lawlessness. After escaping the Texas brothel where she’d been a virtual prisoner, Lucinda Carter heads for Middle Bayou to meet her lover, who has a plan to make them both rich, chasing rumors of a pirate’s buried treasure.
Meanwhile Nate Cannon, a young Texas policeman with a pure heart and a strong sense of justice, is on the hunt for a ruthless killer named McGill who has claimed the lives of men, women, and even children across the frontier. Who–if anyone–will survive when their paths finally cross?
As Lucinda and Nate’s stories converge, guns are drawn, debts are paid, and Kathleen Kent delivers an unforgettable portrait of a woman who will stop at nothing to make a new life for herself.
I love Kathleen Kent. She wrote The Heretic’s Daughter and its prequel, The Traitor’s Wife. They are about women accused of witchcraft in Salem, and I loved them. I thought she would be an auto-buy author, and I tried to read this…but I’m just not into Westerns. Love Kent but don’t have a desire to read this at all.
- Red Azalea – Anchee Min
Red Azalea is Anchee Min’s celebrated memoir of growing up in the last years of Mao’s China. As a child, she was asked to publicly humiliate a teacher; at seventeen, she was sent to work at a labor collective. Forbidden to speak, dress, read, write, or love as she pleased, she found a lifeline in a secret love affair with another woman. Miraculously selected for the film version of one of Madame Mao’s political operas, Min’s life changed overnight. Then Chairman Mao suddenly died, taking with him an entire world. A revelatory and disturbing portrait of China, Anchee Min’s memoir is exceptional for its candor, its poignancy, its courage, and for its prose.
This sounds interesting because it’s set during the Cultural Revolution, but I have no desire to read a memoir. I’m going to hand to axe this one, too!
- Year of Wonders – Geraldine Brooks
An unforgettable tale of a brave young woman during the plague in 17th century England from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of March and The Secret Chord coming from Viking in October 2015
When an infected bolt of cloth carries plague from London to an isolated village, a housemaid named Anna Frith emerges as an unlikely heroine and healer. Through Anna’s eyes we follow the story of the fateful year of 1666, as she and her fellow villagers confront the spread of disease and superstition. As death reaches into every household and villagers turn from prayers to murderous witch-hunting, Anna must find the strength to confront the disintegration of her community and the lure of illicit love. As she struggles to survive and grow, a year of catastrophe becomes instead annus mirabilis, a “year of wonders.”
Inspired by the true story of Eyam, a village in the rugged hill country of England, Year of Wonders is a richly detailed evocation of a singular moment in history. Written with stunning emotional intelligence and introducing “an inspiring heroine” (The Wall Street Journal), Brooks blends love and learning, loss and renewal into a spellbinding and unforgettable read.
This one is a little tougher. It sounds really good…and I might even own it…somewhere…but I just don’t see myself reading it ever! And it seems like if I haven’t read it after all this time, I’m probably never going to read it!
Eight down, two more to go through!
- The Painted Veil – M. Somerset Maugham
Set in England and Hong Kong in the 1920s, The Painted Veil is the story of the beautiful, but love-starved Kitty Fane.
When her husband discovers her adulterous affair, he forces her to accompany him to the heart of a cholera epidemic. Stripped of the British society of her youth and the small but effective society she fought so hard to attain in Hong Kong, she is compelled by her awakening conscience to reassess her life and learn how to love.
The Painted Veil is a beautifully written affirmation of the human capacity to grow, to change, and to forgive.
Excellent movie. Do I want to read the book? Nope.
LAST ONE FOR TODAY…
- Imperial Woman – Pearl S. Buck
Imperial Woman is the fictionalized biography of the last Empress in China, Ci-xi, who began as a concubine of the Xianfeng Emperor and on his death became the de facto head of the Qing Dynasty until her death in 1908.Buck recreates the life of one of the most intriguing rulers during a time of intense turbulence.Tzu Hsi was born into one of the lowly ranks of the Imperial dynasty. According to custom, she moved to the Forbidden City at the age of seventeen to become one of hundreds of concubines. But her singular beauty and powers of manipulation quickly moved her into the position of Second Consort.Tzu Hsi was feared and hated by many in the court, but adored by the people. The Empress’s rise to power (even during her husband’s life) parallels the story of China’s transition from the ancient to the modern way.
I loved The Good Earth. But it’s a heavy read. I own a couple of Buck books I haven’t rrad yet, but this isn’t one of them. If I get on a Buck kick again, I can always add it again. Besides, Buck had written a TON of books.
VERDICT: GO GO GO, LIKE EVERYTHING ELSE!
I’m so proud of myself! The first 10 and I got rid of them all! As it goes on, it will get harder, I’m sure. But for now, time to CELEBRATE 🎉!
I hope if you have a TBR that could populate a small city that you do this, too! It is oh-so-very good!
Thanks, blogger bunnies 🐰! I’ll be back to my regularly scheduled programming (Book Reviews) shortly, and I’ll have a special feature I’ll be dusting off, as I mentioned earlier…and did someone say “GIVEAWAY?”
Oh, yes…it’s time for one of those, too! 😈 Mwhoohaha!