Sunday, January 27, 2013

Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok

Kimberly Chang immigrated from Hong Kong to Brooklyn, New York in the 80's.  Her aunt Paula helped Kimberly and her mother with the immigration process and set them up in an apartment in an abandon building in one of the worst neighborhoods in Brooklyn. 

Paula 'graciously' allows them to work in her clothing factory for less than minimum wage.  Kimberly goes to the local public school in home made clothes.  She works with her mother in the factory once school is out until 9pm.  They both go home to their vermin and roach infested heat deprived apartment where Kimberly does her homework and her mother finishes the factory work she did not finish during her long day.

This coming of age book is unlike anything I've read.  Although this book is a work of fiction, it is rooted in truth.  This book gives a glimpse into the life of many Chinese immigrants, who while in their country were respected people, once they come here, they get lost in shuffle.

We watch Kimberly grow up in America through the 1980s and see how Western problems infultrate her life.

I really enjoyed this book. I listened to the audio version, and the narrator, who is Chinese, brought the Chang's and the rest of the characters to life.

I highly recommend this book for ages 14 and up.  There are some mature themes in this book as well as sexual situations.

Monday, January 21, 2013

A Winter's Respite Read-A-Thon


Finished Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker by Jennifer Chiaverini
Finished Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok

I would have liked to get more reading in, but alas, time does run out.

This is my Read-A-Thon post.  It will be updated as the week goes on.

My plan was to read a bunch of Oscar Wilde things for this, but I've already started reading some of them.  I couldn't wait.

However, I still have so much other things I need to read and catch up on.

What I want to finish
Ellis Island by Kate Kerrigan
1/21/13 - Starting at 9%
1/22/13 - 25%
1/24/13 - 34%
1/26/13 - 40%

Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker by Jennifer Chiaverini
1/21/13 - Starting at page 106
1/22/13 - page 172
1/24/13 - page 260
1/26/13 - FINISHED

What I want to make a dent in
Les Miserable - Victor Hugo
1/21/13 - Starting at 10%
1/25/13 - 11%

Smaller works I hope to get through
Various Oscar Wilde novella's (will add as I finish)

Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok (audio)  1/25/13 - FINISHED

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Selected Poems: Oscar Wilde

Selected Poems: Oscar Wilde 

Oscar Wilde has such a way with poetry. I've read a lot of poetry in my life, but no one can tell a story like him. "The Ballad of Reading Gaol" is now one of my favorites. This book not only has the version that is commonly known, there is a version that was written prior to this one. Which I liked just as much if not better. This book includes the following poems: The Ballad of Reading Gaol (2 versions)

Ave Imperatrix
To My Wife - with a Copy of My Poems
Magdalen Walks
Theocritus - A Villanelle
Fabien Dei Franchi
Sonnet on Hearing the Dies Irae Sung in The Sistine Chapel
Ave Maria Gratia Plena
Libertatis Sacra Fames
Roses and the Rue
From 'The Garden of Eros'
The Harlot's House
From 'The Burden of Itys'
Flower of Love

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Quick Happenings

The Winter's Respite Read-a-Thon will run from January 21 - 27! It will start at 12:00am Monday and end at 11:59pm on Sunday. I'm going to read some Oscar Wilde novella's during this.

I am reading Les Miserables for the TuesBookTalk Read-a-Long. I'll just say it is not going well. I am only 9% through the book. I am not with the schedule at all!! Mainly because I'm reading so many other books and Les Miz is long as hell. But it is good, so although I might not be on track, I will finish that book this year!

 I'm also going to write a short story for Goodreads Ireland. The story will be in a compilation book.  There will be no pay, just accolades.  Any funds raised for this will be given to charity.