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Monday, October 27, 2014

The Lost Tribe of Coney Island: Headhunters, Luna Park, and the Man Who Pulled Off the Spectacle of the Century by Claire Prentice

The Lost Tribe of Coney Island: Headhunters, Luna Park, and the Man Who Pulled Off the Spectacle of the Century

The Lost Tribe of Coney Island: Headhunters, Luna Park, and the Man Who Pulled Off the Spectacle of the Century by Claire Prentice

I don't know anything about Coney Island, or the Igorrotes - "a group of “headhunting, dog-eating savages” from the Philippines, who were transported to New York in 1905 to appear as “human exhibits” alongside the freaks and curiosities at Coney Island’s Luna Park."

But I was curious to learn more about amusement parks after reading Joyland by Stephen King. Of course, this book was more about the Igorrotes, than amusement parks... you could tell the author did a lot of research on the topic, and that it wasn't easy to piece everything together.

Overall it wasn't a bad read - maybe a little bit long as I really just wanted to find out what happened to the Igorrotes but there was quite a bit of history in between. I also appreciated that the author did a wrap up of what's happened to the different characters in the end. The story also make me think about the "cultural" tours I'd enjoyed - visiting the Amish village or the Native Canadian Indians village... is it right to visit these sights?



This is part of the TLC tour - check out the other tour stops!

Claire Prentice’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Monday, October 13th: Sophisticated Dorkiness
Monday, October 13th: Booksie’s Blog
Tuesday, October 14th: Kahakai Kitchen
Tuesday, October 14th: Time 2 Read
Wednesday, October 15th: Patricia’s Wisdom
Monday, October 20th: Wordsmithonia
Tuesday, October 21st: Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Wednesday, October 22nd: She Treads Softly
Thursday, October 23rd: 50 Book Project
Thursday, October 23rd:  Diary of a Stay at Home Mom
Friday, October 24th:  Dwell in Possibility
Monday, October 27th: BookNAround
Monday, October 27th:  Mental Foodie
Tuesday, October 28th:  girlichef
Tuesday, October 28th:  Lisa’s Yarns
Wednesday, October 29th: A Bookish Affair

Note - A free advanced copy of the book was given in exchange of an unbiased review as part of the TLC tour.



All reviews and posts are copyrighted by Christa @ Mental Foodie. Please do not use or reprint them without written permission.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Updates


Wow I haven't updated in forever.

I have been reading (you can see my 2014 list here). I'd been busy with work and family still, and this year my guilty pleasure had been novels written in Chinese (as opposed to YA in the past), mostly by the same author who wrote about relationships. I don't know if there is any point in doing reviews of them since her books aren't translated.

Most of the English books were just average. There were some fun reads, but none of them made me felt like shouting "GO READ THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" so I didn't feel motivated to blog.

So I am wondering what I should do with my blog... only blog when I found something that falls into the "recommend to everyone" category? Just blog random thoughts? Is there anyone who is even interested in reading my boring random thoughts - I don't even have a twitter account because well, my life isn't that interest to update every 2 minutes.

Any "GO READ THIS NOW" books you've come across lately?! I'm so out of the whole new books world...



All reviews and posts are copyrighted by Christa @ Mental Foodie. Please do not use or reprint them without written permission.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Book Review - The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin


The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

Not something I'd have picked up by myself (title and cover both aren't very... pick-worthy... ) but thanks to other bloggers, I'm glad I read this :)

I bet pretty much all of you would enjoy reading this charming story - it's about an independent bookstore owner (A.J. Fikry) and his family and friends... and people who love to read! There are quite a few references to other books and authors in the book, including Jeffery Deaver lol :)

I thought the ending was a little quiet, but I suppose it is fitting to A.J.'s personality. I thought I'd get a bit more emotional when reading this, but I didn't.

3.75 Stars but bumped to 4 Stars because it leaves an impression, more so than other novels I'd read this year.

Some quotes -

You're a good reader, and you'll probably see it coming. (Is a twist less satisfying if you know it's coming? Is a twist that you can't predict symptomatic of bad construction? These are things to consider when writing.) (p160)

We read to know we're not alone. We read because we are alone. We read and we are not alone. We are not alone. (p249)

We are not quite novels... We are not quite short stories... In the end, we are collected works.. He has read enough to know there are no collections where each story is perfect. Some hits. Some misses. If you're lucky, a standout. And in the end, people only really remember the standouts anyway, and they don't remember those for very long. (p249)





Note - The book was borrowed from the library.



All reviews and posts are copyrighted by Christa @ Mental Foodie. Please do not use or reprint them without written permission.

Book Review - The Skin Collector (Lincoln Rhyme #11) by Jeffery Deaver

The Skin Collector  (Lincoln Rhyme, #11)




The Skin Collector (Lincoln Rhyme #11) by Jeffery Deaver

Readers who had been following this blog probably knows that Jeffery Deaver is one of my favorite authors in the murder/mystery genre, especially with his Lincoln Rhyme series. The Bone Collector is probably his best known novel, and this is a sequel of sort (well it's not really a continuation of the story, but references were made quite a bit).

I was going to re-read The Bone Collector (even if I hardly re-read) but the library copy came before I had a chance to. I hardly remember what happened... but that's okay.

This is more like a 3.75 Stars book but I'd bump it up to 4 because this is better than the other recent Deaver efforts. There probably isn't as much character development as I'd have liked, but most of the characters are like old friends anyway, so I appreciate Deaver didn't make too many redundant introductions; though it still has enough details for those who hadn't read the series before. I did enjoy reading this - with lots of twists and turns that I didn't see coming. At least something fun to read when I don't have to use my brain too much :)


Note - The book was borrowed from the library.



All reviews and posts are copyrighted by Christa @ Mental Foodie. Please do not use or reprint them without written permission.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Book Review - The Manufactured Identity (Manufactured Identity #1) by Heath Sommer

The Manufactured Identity (Manufactured Identity, #1)

The Manufactured Identity (Manufactured Identity #1) by Heath Sommer

This book was highly recommended by a fellow blogger, Tea Time with Marce, so I had pretty high expectation! Maybe because of that, this book fell short... I like the plot twists (I was able to guess one twist, but not the subplot twist, so that was a good surprise) but I felt there wasn't a lot of character development so I wasn't attached to any characters. Nor did I feel much emotion about any of the characters.

Not sure if I would continue to the next book or not - I read the brief description, and it seems like 2 characters from the first book - whom I didn't think were really the main protagonists - would be the focus of the series. Tell me if I should read #2?

3 Stars


Note - I won a free copy of this book.



All reviews and posts are copyrighted by Christa @ Mental Foodie. Please do not use or reprint them without written permission.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Book Review - The Rosie Project (Don Tillman #1) by Graeme Simsion

The Rosie Project (Don Tillman #1)




The Rosie Project (Don Tillman #1) by Graeme Simsion

Quirky and cute. It made reading fun! I really enjoyed the characters and kept wondering what'd happen. It reminds me a bit of Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes, but maybe a bit more light-hearted.

The only thing I wasn't too sure about is its ending... (see spoiler alert below) - if I'd liked the ending, this would probably have been a 4-4.5 book. As of now, it's more of a 3.75 but I'll bump it up to 4 just because this book stands out more than the other meh-reads I'd had.. I heard that there's a Book 2 coming out... will definitely watch for it!

4 Stars





SPOILER ALERT
(highlight the paragraph to read)

I wish the ending isn't so predictable. It makes it a bit too chicklit-ish. I think if it didn't have a happy ending (as in, if they didn't get married), or have a bit more of a surprise ending, it'd have make it more memorable. I suppose though, if the ending is different, then Book 2 would also be different... 

[/Spoiler]

Note - The book was borrowed from the library.



All reviews and posts are copyrighted by Christa @ Mental Foodie. Please do not use or reprint them without written permission.

In the end, we'll all become stories.




Saw this on facebook... isn't it the truth.


All reviews and posts are copyrighted by Christa @ Mental Foodie. Please do not use or reprint them without written permission.