Thursday, October 20, 2011

More mini-reviews - Japan, female bonding and steampunk

Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons by Lorna Landvik
This book was utterly predictable, but maybe that's what made it such a comfort to read. I loved this story of female bonding, the friendship between five women who live in the same neighborhood, their trials and experiences that take them from young age to old. To have a night off from family and home once in a while, the ladies form a book club that one of the husbands calls Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons. But their friendship isn't limited to these meetings, they are there for each other through everything - and I mean that, since the author includes pretty much everything that could happen to people in the story lines. :-) Very enjoyable book that made me feel warm inside.

The Street of a Thousand Blossoms by Gail Tsukiyama
This is the only book that I managed to read in Polish this year, how appalling. My Mom gave it to me, otherwise I probably would never had picked it up. This is a story of Japan during and after World War II and is incredibly interesting from all kinds of perspectives. First of all, obviously from the historical perspective. My reading on World War II is limited to the European point of view, maybe sometimes the American. I enjoyed learning about this period of time in Japan (just like I enjoyed reading about the war in Hong Kong in The Piano Teacher by Janice Y.K. Lee), I knew close to nothing about it. Aside from wartime reality, the book has so much interesting detail on Japanese culture, including on sumo wrestling and on traditional Japanese 'Noh' theatre and the art of making the masks the actors wear on stage. I found these truly fascinating. The story read like a soap opera, every tragedy that could befall the characters did so at some point, just like in Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons, but I enjoyed the book anyway.

Only the Good Spy Young by Ally Carter
The fourth installment in the Gallagher Girls series was just as much fun. Things are getting darker and darker for Cameron as she tries to cope with spy school, boys and trying to hide from the evil terrorist organization that is after her. And her favorite teacher might be involved too, how can she trust anyone? Great series for when you're in the mood for something light but original.

Mini Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella
The latest book in the life of Becky Brandon, nee Bloomwood. Becky's daughter Minnie is now two and quite a handful with a will of her own and a taste for the expensive. Becky's having some trouble controlling her and also finding time to plan Luke's birthday party (on a budget!) and trying not to indulge in shopping (she's on a budget!). the usual hilarity results. I know that some people are annoyed by Becky, but I love her voice, maybe because I can relate to her shopping mania. :-) This was a perfect summer book!

Soulless by Gail Carriger
This is my second DNF (did not finish) of the year, I just couldn't get into it. I had such high hopes for this story about an Italian lady without a soul, vampires and werewolves living in Victorian London. But halfway into the book I didn't care what happened to any of the characters and I couldn't force myself to read it any more. Maybe because I don't like the Victorian setting in general? This was my first book in the steampunk genre, I'm now undecided about whether to try another or accept that the genre is not for me...


Kailana said...

aw, that's sad you didn't like Soulless. It was a lot of fun, but not for everyone!

joanna said...

Kailana - you know, I think I bought it immediately after reading your review! :-) You can't like all the books out there though, at least I'm not adding another series to my reading, that's probably a good thing! :-)

Larissa said...

I like Sophie Kinsella but never read the Shopaholic series because, well, it seemed just that bit too shallow for me.
But now reading you I wonder about the 2 years old difficult child thing... Do you think that:
a) it's possible to read Mini Shopaholic without having read the previous ones
b) I will not want to slap the heroin too much? ;-)

Alex (The Sleepless Reader) said...

Have Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons in the TBR for ever. My first impression was that it was chick-lit-for-older-women, so it's great to see at the raving reviews about it.