Sunday, February 2, 2014

It's Monday! What are you reading?


 
It's Monday! What are you reading? is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. For this meme, bloggers post what they finished last week, what they're currently reading, and what they plan to start this week.
My comments are not meant to be recaps of the story lines as I include a link to Goodreads for their synopsis of the book. I am merely stating how I felt about the book without giving any spoilers.


We are currently in Mazatlan Mexico so I tend to read two books at a time, a "soft" one on my e-reader and then a "hard" book when lying in the sun.

FINISHED:

Things That Must Not Be Forgotten: A Childhood in Wartime China

Synopsis here.

An interesting memoir about growing up in China during the Sino-Japanese and WWII wars. And having an European mother didn't make his life easy either. 

Paris Was the Place

Synopsis here.

An interesting topic about young illegal girls trying to remain in Paris during the late 80s.I would have liekd to know more about them and their lives during this period.
 I wish I could say I like Willow but I couldn't understand her lack of understanding of the boundaries that surrounded these girls. She ignores good legal advise and puts these girls in danger.

Contains a rather trite love story. 

Pool Reading
The 9th Judgment  (Women's Murder Club, #9)
The most personalA young mother and her infant child are ruthlessly gunned down while returning to their car in the garage of a shopping mall. There are no witnesses, and Detective Lindsay Boxer is left with only one shred of evidence: a cryptic message scrawled across the windshield in bloodred lipstick. 
The most dangerous
The same night, the wife of A-list actor Marcus Dowling is woken by a cat burglar who is about to steal millions of dollars' worth of precious jewels. In just seconds there is a nearly empty safe, a lifeless body, and another mystery that throws San Francisco into hysteria. 

Good read.

Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking: A Memoir of Food and Longing

Proust had his madeleine; Narnia's Edmund had his Turkish delight. Anya von Bremzen has vobla-rock-hard, salt-cured dried Caspian roach fish. Lovers of vobla risk breaking a tooth or puncturing a gum on the once-popular snack, but for Anya it's transporting. Like kotleti (Soviet burgers) or the festive Salat Olivier, it summons up the complex, bittersweet flavors of life in that vanished Atlantis called the USSR. There, born in 1963 in a Kafkaesque communal apartment where eighteen families shared one kitchen, Anya grew up singing odes to Lenin, black-marketeering Juicy Fruit gum at her school, and, like most Soviet citizens, longing for a taste of the mythical West. It was a life by turns absurd, drab, naively joyous, melancholy-and, finally, intolerable to her anti-Soviet mother. When she was ten, the two of them fled the political repression of Brezhnev-era Russia, arriving in Philadelphia with no winter coats and no right of return.

These days Anya lives in two parallel food universes: one in which she writes about four-star restaurants, the other in which a simple banana-a once a year treat back in the USSR-still holds an almost talismanic sway over her psyche. To make sense of that past, she and her mother decided to eat and cook their way through seven decades of the Soviet experience. Through the meals she and her mother re-create, Anya tells the story of three generations-her grandparents', her mother's, and her own. Her family's stories are embedded in a larger historical epic: of Lenin's bloody grain requisitioning, World War II hunger and survival, Stalin's table manners, Khrushchev's kitchen debates, Gorbachev's anti-alcohol policies, and the ultimate collapse of the USSR. And all of it is bound together by Anya's sardonic wit, passionate nostalgia, and piercing observations.

A great read if you love to cook and love history. It turns out the author was in Moscow at the same time that we were for Victory Day in 2011. Loved it!


STARTED:

Dublin Noir: The Celtic Tiger Vs. the Ugly American (Akashic Noir Series)

Pool Reading
11th Hour (Women's Murder Club, #11)

Lindsay Boxer is pregnant at last! But her work doesn't slow for a second. When millionaire Chaz Smith is mercilessly gunned down, she discovers that the murder weapon is linked to the deaths of four of San Francisco's most untouchable criminals. And it was taken from her own department's evidence locker. Anyone could be the killer - even her closest friends.

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