I have so many books I want to share with you!! The past year has been a little hectic and crazy, but lately life has seemed to settle down … at least enough for me to catch up on reading my pile of books next to my night stand! (Next to it, because I have too many books piled on my nightstand, so I have to stack more on the floor … oops!) Anyway, here are some favorites!
1. Falling Leaves: The Memoir of an Unwanted Chinese Daughter by Adeline Yen Mah
I read this book in two days. I started reading it the morning that I bought it & read until after midnight. My husband finally convinced me to put the book down … which I did. But then I got right back to reading as soon as I woke up the next morning. It’s an amazing real-life Cinderella story – complete with the brainwashed father, the evil step-mother, the broken sibling relationships, and eventually an escape into a better life. I can’t recommend this highly enough. You won’t regret reading this.
2. The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan
I found this book for 60% off at Barnes & Noble. Honestly, I just really liked the cover … and I liked the price even more. I have yet to find a book by Amy Tan that I don’t like … and this book is no exception. It was fantastic. Its the story of a girl growing up in a courtesan house owned by her American mother. It follows her through the turmoil of being separated from her mother, the fall of dynasties, and fighting for her life.
3. If I Live to Tell by Akeela Hayder Green
I don’t even know how to describe this one. I really think that everyone must read this book. Go here to find out more. Any description I try to give will just fall short.
4. Pieces of Happily Ever After by Irene Zutell
This book was a random find at a thrift store. I picked it up for 50 cents. Can’t beat that, right? I really enjoyed this one. Its a novel about a woman who just moved to the San Fernando Valley with her husband and daughter … only to find out shortly after that her husband is leaving her for his new actress girlfriend. He abandons her and her daughter in a new town, where she doesn’t know anyone, has no one to lean on … until she makes friends with a crazy team of moms from the area, a former porn star, and the owner of a failing bar. Sounds a little crazy, right? Its a fun read though. Give it a shot!
5. Paris In Love: A Memoir by Eloisa James
Thank youuu Chester County Library/my Kindle. I rented this book twice because I liked it so much. I might even go for a third. Author and Professor Eloisa James & her family decided to sell their house & move to Paris for a year. Sounds fantastic, right? It follows the family on their day to day encounters while adjusting to life as Parisians – everything from having to shop for new clothes after eating far too many French pastries, to the kids adjusting to speaking a foreign language, to the crazy Italian mother-in-law deciding to visit with her depressed, over-weight dog. Some parts made me unbelievably sad, and other parts made me laugh out loud. I honestly felt like I was right there living through everything with them.
6. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
This book came out in 1989. I wasn’t even a year old yet. I really never even thought about reading this book. What put it on my radar? Well, I watched the movie. I was on a business trip in Kansas, by myself in the hotel room after dinner, flipped through the channels, and caught The Joy Luck Club just as it was starting. I figured hey, why not? A little over two hours later, I was impressed. When I got home though, I still didn’t read it right away. It wasn’t until I was scrolling through the library selection on my Kindle that I decided to read it. However, it can get a little difficult to follow, as it is split in to multiple sections and stories for each character (Chinese immigrant mothers and their American-born daughters). I would honestly suggest watching the movie first, if you want to have an easier time following the novel. I almost never suggest watching the movie first, but it really did make a difference in this case.
It seems like I’ve been gravitating toward strong female characters lately. What about you? What books have you been reading? Which ones have you wide awake in the middle of the night, unable to put it down?