|About me:||I think I'm a Minnesotan now; I've lived in the Twin Cities most of my adult life. If I'm not reading, gardening is the next best thing.|
|Reading Interests:||Reading has always been among my favorite pastimes. I love fiction mostly; good writing is a must.|
|EmilyEm's Book Lists|
|Immigrant Stories (18 titles)
Drawn to these stories for years, partly for my own history and my interest in genealogy, I am always touched by the character's search for 'home' even in not very welcoming circumstances. I first read books of people coming to America, but have long known this is not the only place immigrants come. That has led me to places far and wide.
|Best Coming-of-Age Novels So Far This Year (7 titles)
I'm drawn to books--sometimes inadvertently--about young people on the cusp of adulthood. These may not be perfect genre examples but they certainly are good reading!
|EmilyEm's Best 12 in 2012 [out of 50] (12 titles)
It was a remarkable year for two of my favorite types of reading: the coming of age story and those about the immigrant experience.
|EmilyEm's Best 10 Out of 75 Read in 2011 (10 titles)
My reading is almost entirely literary fiction, with just a few memoirs or histories to add context and variety!
|EmilyEm's Best Ten Out of 70 Read in 2010 (10 titles)
I use 'Comments' to report on nearly all the books I read.
|Sweet thunder : a novel |
by Doig, Ivan.
Morrie Morgan and new wife Grace are back in Butte, living in the Sandison mansion and with Morrie at work on the labor-supportive newspaper, the Thunder. Labor shenanigans drive the plot of this tale with lots of verbal skirmishes from Morrie, the editorial writer. I like the characters in this now third book with Morrie center stage. This one fell a little short for me with all the old-time news writing, although there’s much to love with the literary references between Morrie and the book-loving library director Sandison. Doig knows and loves the West; so do I. posted Dec 1, 2013 at 9:43PM
|W is for wasted |
by Sue Grafton
Since I always eagerly wait for the next Kinsey Millhone adventure, this one certainly satisfied. It was longer and more nuanced than some so it wasn’t over in a day or two for one thing! I’d call this tale of homeless people, lost relatives and pharmaceutical misadventure one of Grafton’s best. I’ll be reading her Kinsey and Me memoir soon. posted Nov 10, 2013 at 6:19PM
|Proof of guilt |
by Charles Todd
A man is seemingly run down on a street in Chelsea and a watch on the victim leads Inspector Rutledge to a family that produces and ships Madeira and who seem to suddenly have people gone missing. While a good procedural, I missed the more personal aspects of some of the earlier books in the series. This one had lots of characters—in more ways than one—but I lost interest in keeping them all straight and I was left a little disappointed. posted Oct 26, 2013 at 10:14PM
|Hotel on the corner of bitter and sweet : a novel |
by Jamie Ford
Seattle’s ‘International District’ in 1942 is the story’s setting. We meet twelve-year-old Henry as he heads to the all-white prep school where he is the only Asian scholarship student, handing his lunch off to street musician Sheldon on the way. When his lunch-serving duties come one day he finds another student waiting to help. It’s Keiko; she’s Japanese. Henry wears an ‘I am Chinese’ button at his father’s insistence and has never met a Japanese person before. We also meet Henry in 1986 when he is still deep in grief from the death of his wife, but also when he becomes curious about the possessions of Japanese families found in a long-closed hotel being renovated in the neighborhood. Or is he curious about a long-lost jazz record, one that holds meaning for all the book’s principle characters. This book fulfilled the ‘good book’ criteria on many levels. We see the first generation-second generation immigrant struggles and what ‘becoming American’ without losing your past meant. The treatment of Japanese Americans on the West Coast after Pearl Harbor and during the Internment is vividly described. We learn about African Americans making music. But most of all this is a story of a boy on the cusp of manhood doing the right thing and falling in love. I look forward to Ford’s new book Songs of Willow Frost. posted Oct 1, 2013 at 7:47AM
|The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls |
by Anton Disclafani
It’s been a long time since I’ve read a book written in first person. Thea is a girl on the cusp of womanhood who after something happens—it takes most of the book to find out what—in her family finds herself sent from her Florida home to The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains. It’s the 1930s and life becomes increasingly uncertain for many girls there. But, Thea is fearless and passionate about riding and soon becomes recognized for her skills, giving her both friendships and a certain cachet among the other students. Thea and her twin brother live isolated, but charmed, lives in Florida so Thea’s ‘camp’ experience is one of learning to live with lots of girls. What ‘camp’ means is elusive at first, but Thea learns at summer’s end that there’s no going home for her. Coping and charting a rocky road to growing up, this novel is an unusual coming-of-age story, one with a lot of suspense and revelations peeled back layer by layer. A good debut novel for the writer. posted Sep 21, 2013 at 5:30PM
|What EmilyEm is Reading|
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|* some titles may be missing if cover art is unavailable|