Last time with this meme I was very successful, and I wanted to keep going after I was done posting.
Then I got lazy.
I wanted to get rid of some on my own, but it didn’t work. So thank goodness for this meme. Thank goodness for Lia @ Lost in a Story for creating this blessing of a tag! (She’s my personal TBR superhero)
If you’re unfamiliar with this from last time, here are the rules:
- 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?
Yes, I am only down 10 books, which still sets my TBR at a lofty 870, but I haven’t added anything (or did and it didn’t affect my count for some reason 🤔)…but I still have to remind myself that we will get through this.
All right…I haven’t looked at it since the 14th, which was way too long. So let’s see what we have, shall we?
- Pavilion of Women: A Novel of Life in the Women’s Quarters – Pearl S. Buck
On her fortieth birthday, Madame Wu carries out a decision she has been planning for a long time: she tells her husband that after twenty-four years their physical life together is now over and she wishes him to take a second wife. The House of Wu, one of the oldest and most revered in China, is thrown into an uproar by her decision, but Madame Wu will not be dissuaded and arranges for a young country girl to come take her place in bed. Elegant and detached, Madame Wu orchestrates this change as she manages everything in the extended household of more than sixty relatives and servants. Alone in her own quarters, she relishes her freedom and reads books she has never been allowed to touch. When her son begins English lessons, she listens, and is soon learning from the foreigner, a free-thinking priest named Brother Andre, who will change her life. Few books raise so many questions about the nature and roles of men and women, about self-discipline and happiness.
I actually started reading this once and got kind of far. I don’t know why I didn’t mark it down on Goodreads…it might have been because I really hated it. Why, you ask? Because this woman, Madame Wu, basically MAKES her husband take a second wife and HE DOESN’T WANT TO! He only wants her. She is selfish because she wants to be “left alone.”
To me, when someone is that devoted to you, you don’t make him take a concubine. However, this story is the story of a woman who thinks she is doing what is best for her husband, and I can’t fault that. It’s not my place. (Even though I obviously already did fault it). I just can’t read about it.
THE VERDICT: GO
*There are a lot of the same author on here because for some reason, if I liked one book, I thought I should add them all. Bear with me, please.
- Sons (House of Earth #2) – Pearl S. Buck (remember what I just said, lol?)
Second in the trilogy that began with The Good Earth, Buck’s classic and starkly real tale of sons rising against their honored fathers tells of the bitter struggle to the death between the old and the new in China. Revolutions sweep the vast nation, leaving destruction and death in their wake, yet also promising emancipation to China’s oppressed millions who are groping for a way to survive in a modern age.
Have you read The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck? It’s the one most people read in school? Well, back when I was in school….
Anyway, I read it and I fell in love with Pearl S. Buck…that’s why there are so many of her books on my TBR. However, since I read the first one, I will keep the second one, as one day I want to see what happens in the rest of the story.
THE VERDICT: KEEP
MY FIRST KEEP. Now it’s gonna get harder I bet, lol….
- Empire of the Sun (Empire of the Sun #1) – J.G. Ballard
The classic, award-winning novel, made famous by Steven Spielberg’s film, tells of a young boy’s struggle to survive World War II in China.
Jim is separated from his parents in a world at war. To survive, he must find a strength greater than all the events that surround him.
Shanghai, 1941 — a city aflame from the fateful torch of Pearl Harbor. In streets full of chaos and corpses, a young British boy searches in vain for his parents. Imprisoned in a Japanese concentration camp, he is witness to the fierce white flash of Nagasaki, as the bomb bellows the end of the war…and the dawn of a blighted world.
Ballard’s enduring novel of war and deprivation, internment camps and death marches, and starvation and survival is an honest coming-of-age tale set in a world thrown utterly out of joint.
I saw this movie with a very young Christian Bale. I fell in love. When I found out it was a book, I wanted to read it. Badly.
Now, though, I know there’s a sequel that was never made into a movie, and though I’m curious, I don’t really care to read either. The movie was good, but my tastes have changed when it comes to reading.
THE VERDICT: GO
All right, maybe this won’t be so hard…what’s next? ::cracks knuckles in preparation::
- A House Divided (House of Earth #3) – Pearl S. Buck
I’m not even going to do a picture for this…you saw it in the trilogy pic above. I think I would much rather leave Sons on there, and if (and hopefully when) I read that, I can re-add this one. There’s obviously a list that shows all the rest of the books in a series! 🤷♀️
THE VERDICT: GO
- East Wind: West Wind – Pearl S. Buck (geez, Steph, obsessed much??)
East Wind: West Wind is told from the eyes of a traditional Chinese girl, Kwei-lan, married to a Chinese medical doctor, educated abroad. The story follows Kwei-lan as she begins to accept different points of view from the western world, and re-discovers her sense of self through this coming-of-age narrative.
Ok, this does sound good. But Pearl S. Buck wrote like 30 novels. I can’t keep them all on my Goodreads shelf. If I get back into Pearl S. Buck, I can always put it back on the TBR. Right now, it’s taking up valuable real estate.
THE VERDICT: GO
- Bound – Donna Jo Napoli
YOUNG XING XING IS BOUND.
Bound to her father’s second wife and daughter after Xing Xing’s father has passed away. Bound to a life of servitude as a young girl in ancient China, where the life of a woman is valued less than that of livestock. Bound to be alone and unmarried, with no parents to arrange for a suitable husband. Dubbed “Lazy One” by her stepmother, Xing Xing spends her days taking care of her half sister, Wei Ping, who cannot walk because of her foot bindings, the painful but compulsory tradition for girls who are fit to be married. Even so, Xing Xing is content, for now, to practice her gift for poetry and calligraphy, to tend to the mysterious but beautiful carp in her garden, and to dream of a life unbound by the laws of family and society.
But all of this is about to change as the time for the village’s annual festival draws near, and Stepmother, who has spent nearly all of the family’s money, grows desperate to find a husband for Wei Ping. Xing Xing soon realizes that this greed and desperation may threaten not only her memories of the past, but also her dreams for the future.
In this searing story, Donna Jo Napoli, acclaimed author of “Beast and Breath,” delves into the roots of the Cinderella myth and unearths a tale as powerful as it is familiar.
This book stays. A Cinderella retelling? Ancient China? Hello! This sounds AWESOME! This is what happens when our TBRs get too long: all the good stuff sifts to the bottom. I mean seriously, how many people want to read this book now? ::raises hand:: 🤚
THE VERDICT: KEEP (AND READ ASAP!)
- When We Were Orphans – Kazuo Ishiguro
England, 1930s. Christopher Banks has become the country’s most celebrated detective, his cases the talk of London society. Yet one unsolved crime has always haunted him: the mysterious disappearance of his parents, in old Shanghai, when he was a small boy. Moving between London and Shanghai of the inter-war years, When We Were Orphans is a remarkable story of memory, intrigue and the need to return.
No. Just…no. Did I even read the synopsis? Ick. Boring.
THE VERDICT: GOOOOO!
- Spring Moon: A Novel of China – Bette Bao Lord
At a time of mystery and cruelty … in an ancient land of breathtaking beauty and exotic surprise … a courageous woman triumphs over her world’s ultimate tragedy.
Behind the garden walls of the House of Chang, pampered daughter Spring Moon is born into luxury and privilege. But the tempests of change sweep her into a new world — one of hardship, turmoil, and heartbreak.
Is that it? That’s the synopsis? The book is over 400 pages and you can’t tell me more? Well, them you’re outta here!
THE VERDICT: BYE! (THAT MEANS GO)
- The Concubine’s Daughter – Pai Kit Fai (seeing a theme? I know, I know 😳)
In the bestselling tradition of Memoirs of a Geisha, a riveting saga of early twentieth-century China, where a mother and a daughter fight to realize their destinies in a world where women could still be bought and sold.
Lotus Feet. He would give his daughter the dainty feet of a courtesan. This would enhance her beauty and her price, making her future shine like a new coin. He smiled to himself, pouring fresh tea. And it would stop her from running away…
When the young concubine of an old farmer in rural China gives birth to a daughter called Li-Xia, or “Beautiful One,” the child seems destined to become a concubine herself. Li refuses to submit to her fate, outwitting her father’s orders to bind her feet and escaping the silk farm with an English sea captain. Li takes her first steps toward fulfilling her mother’s dreams of becoming a scholar — but her final triumph must be left to her daughter, Su Sing, “Little Star,” in a journey that will take her from remote mountain refuges to the perils of Hong Kong on the eve of World War II.
I know exactly why I added this: the allusion to Memoirs of a Geisha, which I adored. But this also sounds kind of fabulous too. But I just read the reviews,,,apparently it’s a “watered-down attempt at an Amy Tan novel,” according to a reviewer on Goodreads. I think I’ll just go with my gut and remove it. It doesn’t erase the book from history, and if it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be.
THE VERDICT: GO
ONLY ONE MORE FOR TODAY!
- The Daylight Gate – Jeanette Winterson
GOOD FRIDAY, 1612. Pendle Hill, Lancashire.
A mysterious gathering of thirteen people is interrupted by local magistrate, Roger Nowell. Is this a witches’ Sabbat?
Two notorious Lancashire witches are already in Lancaster Castle waiting trial. Why is the beautiful and wealthy Alice Nutter defending them? And why is she among the group of thirteen on Pendle Hill?
Elsewhere, a starved, abused child lurks. And a Jesuit priest and former Gunpowder plotter, recently returned from France, is widely rumoured to be heading for Lancashire. But who will offer him sanctuary? And how quickly can he be caught?
This is the reign of James I, a Protestant King with an obsession: to rid his realm of twin evils, witchcraft and Catholicism, at any price…
Ahhh. My witchy phase. I had read The Heretic’s Daughter and I wanted to read all sorts of witch books! But honestly, this sounds confusing and boring. I almost fell asleep reading the blurb (just kidding). Umm, no, I don’t think I’ll be keeping you. Which is a good note to end on for next time. 😉
THE VERDICT: GO
8/10 isn’t bad! That’s 80%!! (Yes, I can do basic math)
Let us raise our hands in TRIUMPH! 🙌🙌🙌
So…I feel better! Sorry about all the similar books…when you have an 800+ TBR, it’s mainly bc you added everything under the sun. I went a little add-happy when I first had Goodreads. I really need to get rid of some in-between the meme so you can see there’s not all the same book type on my TBR; I just wary through heavy phases. Get ready for my VC Andrews phase….that ones a doozy! 🙀🙀🙀
I love that you guys are part of all this! Let’s go run off into the sunset together!
Have you attempted this yet? Does it surprise you to see the crazy books on my shelf now…are you wondering where the YA is? 😂🤣😆 Stay tuned, bloggerinis!