Friday, June 22, 2012

Cozy Summer Reading: Shanghai Girls Review and Library RANT

Good Friday peaches!

The end of another week is upon us. Has your week been full of great reads? Mine has! I've been so lucky lately to have found so many fantastic books for such reasonable prices around town. I'm very excited to bring you guys PART II of the #7 In my Mailbox this Sunday!

Today's Review is over a book written by one of my favorite authors, Lisa See.

We've got another AUGGIE-TALK RANT for you today, this time about Libraries.

That, however, will come later.

For now...

Here's an Auggie Talk review for "Shanghai Girls"

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Shanghai Girls

Lisa See
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Title: Shanghai Girls
Author: Lisa See
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publication: May 26, 2009
Pages: 309

In 1937, Shanghai is the Paris of Asia, a city of great wealth and glamour, the home of millionaires and beggars, gangsters and gamblers, patriots and revolutionaries, artists and warlords. Thanks to the financial security and material comforts provided by their father’s prosperous rickshaw business, twenty-one-year-old Pearl Chin and her younger sister, May, are having the time of their lives. Though both sisters wave off authority and tradition, they couldn’t be more different: Pearl is a Dragon sign, strong and stubborn, while May is a true Sheep, adorable and placid. Both are beautiful, modern, and carefree . . . until the day their father tells them that he has gambled away their wealth and that in order to repay his debts he must sell the girls as wives to suitors who have traveled from California to find Chinese brides.

As Japanese bombs fall on their beloved city, Pearl and May set out on the journey of a lifetime, one that will take them through the Chinese countryside, in and out of the clutch of brutal soldiers, and across the Pacific to the shores of America. In Los Angeles they begin a fresh chapter, trying to find love with the strangers they have married, brushing against the seduction of Hollywood, and striving to embrace American life even as they fight against discrimination, brave Communist witch hunts, and find themselves hemmed in by Chinatown’s old ways and rules.

Auggie-Talk Quill Rating

Wow! And do I ever mean wow!

Just as with Lisa See's other works this books had me flipping pages like a mad woman eagerly anticipating the next line. Lisa is a master story teller and her rich imagery puts the reader right into the thick of the story.

This book was moving, captivating, and  just a delight in general. Lisa See's characters, Pearl and May, are sisters coming from a well-to-do family and ending up in life threatening, harrowing, and impoverished circumstances. They are fored to fight together to survive the world that has been turned upside down around them, a world that is against them. Hand in hand they fight their way to the USA where an even greater battle begins to wage... the battle between sisters.

During their stay in an immigrant processing station May bears a child, but no one knows May is the mother. At May's request Pearl takes on the responsibility as the babies mother as the enter a new world... China-Town.

Even after surviving everything together, finding their family in America, and settling down... there is more turmoil to face when Pearl and May's daughter/niece begins to grow. The American government is out for Communist blood and Pearl's husband is suddenly on their radar.

HOLY COW! I just really... I can't do it. I can't express to you readers how fantastic this book is. I was in TEARS. I was rooting for both of them but I couldn't decide which sister I felt more pity for. They're both extremely different characters who share the bond of sister-hood very well. It's just... beyond unbelievable how much emotion, adventure, heart-ache, and triumph was fitted into this book.

The ending almost knocked me out of me seat.

I was very eagerly awaiting the next book (that I now own)"Dreams of Joy" which was released last year.

I HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone looking for an adventure into the past, a sister they've been through thick and thin with, or just someone looking for a riveting story.

Read Read Read! 

Shanghai Girls
by Lisa See

Support this blog by ordering from Powell's Books!
(Support this blog by ordering
from Powell's Books!)


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Ok. I get it. Not everyone out there knows what common courtesy is. Not everyone out there has the common sense to realize that letting their children run around like screaming little war banshees is PROBABLY not the best idea in a public institution whose main rule is "KEEP IT DOWN".

It's not just the children though (and I blame the parents mostly for that one), it's also ADULTS who should know better. Ignorant and otherwise ridiculous behavior in the Library drives me into an outrageous state of emotional turmoil which consists of the repeated question: "Maim or not to Maim?"

I was sitting in the library just the other day getting ready to get down to blogging, writing thank you cards, and preparing a list for the plethora of other things that need to be done. I was also going to get some reading in. Why did I go to the Library? Well, aside from the fact that I enjoy being surrounded by books, I actually thought, you know, that the Library would be a QUIET and PEACEFUL place to RELAX while I was working.

. Apparently I was delusional when I made those assumptions.

I walked to a designated study-work area where there were desk cubicles. You know the ones, where once you're sitting you can't see the person in front of you and the person behind you can't see you either.

Anyway. The man sitting behind me (maybe in his 20's) was coughing like CRAZY. At first it wasn't a big deal because he wasn't coughing very much. Just the occasional "ahem....ahem...".  Within 30 minutes it sounds like he's battling bronchitis and possibly fighting for his life. He's literally gasping for breath between coughs.

Not to mention he's making some truly GROTESQUE nose noises. I'm looking around trying to find a place to retreat to but that particular area is the only one that isn't completely out in the open with no outlet access.

Just when I'm about to go absolutely bonkers the same guy starts PASSING GAS. This is where I start contemplating possibly tipping his desk over. In between all of this he is answering his phone (which is not on vibrate and is playing some horrible shake-your-butt club music) and arguing with the girl on the other end. Occasionally he'll also talk loudly with some random girl that keeps coming back to check on him.

On top of everything else there are these two young boys CHASING eachother around the bookshelves. This is the NON-FICTION section by the way. There's a completely separate room for Juvenile fiction for the very purpose of giving children a place to go to be a little louder (though still quiet).

When their dad finally comes to get them he scolds them in a BOOMING voice:

"We can't be loud in here! "

Finally I couldn't handle it anymore. I packed up my stuff and almost RAN out of the library just to get away from the zoo that a few of the patrons were apparently attempting to establish in the non-fiction area.

People... if you're SO SICK that you can't keep from coughing for more than 30 seconds you should probably STAY HOME. If you don't want to be stuck in the house, fine, I understand. However it probably isn't the best decision to take your coughy self to a public library.

Also, PUT YOUR PHONES ON SILENT. Geez. It's not a difficult concept.

Parents: Please do not allow your children to run screaming through the library like they've just snorted pixie sticks. That is not okay in ANY public place except maybe a park, and even then you're knowingly putting the lives of the other children in danger.

Yes. I would absolutely be one of those librarian women with a tight-bun and a stern expression constantly saying "SHH! This is a library!" I would probably also eventually be that librarian that up and smacks some fool upside the head with that 1000 page reference book she'd been about to put up. 

Anyway.... there you have it.
 Library Rant End

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And now... Dun dun dun.... some reminders!
Before you skip over these I just want you to remember that THE LETTERS FROM THE LEDGE GIVEAWAY ENDS ON JULY 4. This is a great book (Seriously. I laughed, cried, got goosebumps...the whole gambit) and I have a signed copy for someone to really enjoy. Don't miss out!

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Auggie-Talk's 2012 Heavenly Challenge
Prizes? YES!
To join the challenge and view the prizes, rules, and book lists click here.


Ends July 4th

Alright my dears! That's all for this Friday.

It looks like we have 1 more Friday of no "Featured Friday" and then it will be July and our weekly Auggie-Talk tradition will start up again!

Stay tuned for tomorrow's episode of "SATURDAY STARDUST" where I'll have some exciting announcements for all of you!

Until Next Blog,

Read On!


1 comment:

  1. I have nominated you for the Liebster Blog award