Friday, August 15, 2008

What I Am Reading

I love to read! The problem is finding (MAKING) the time to do so. I have way too many magazines stacked around the house and it stresses me out thinking of all that is there to be read. Right now I am 3 days behind on reading the daily paper and have a hard time throwing it out before I've read it. But I always catch up eventually.

During our Gatlinburg vacation in the spring I tried to started to read The Kite Runner and I also have the follow up book, A Thousand Splendid Suns. I didn't get too far with the Kite Runner. The movie has already been made based on the book, and it's on video. And I still have not finished the book. I tried again when we went to AZ. I have read and re-read the first 2 chapters so many times I am not sure when I will go back to it.

So I was reading a women's local newspaper and I saw that there was a new book called Peony in Love by Lisa See. One of my favorite books of all time called Snow Flower and the Secret Fan was written by Lisa See, so I had to check out Peony in Love from the library. This book is set in 17th Century China. It tells the story of a lovesick 16 year old girl being forced into an arranged marriage with someone she has never seen. She gets caught up in reliving a story from a tragic opera, ends up starving herself and just before her wedding day, dies from a broken heart. This happens in the beginning of the book which surprised me. The character was well developed and central to the book, then dies. What is next, I wondered? Well, I have not finished the book yet, but the rest of the story is about her ghost/spirit being unable to find peace as certain rituals for her funeral and afterlife were not followed properly. For years as a "hungry ghost" she watches over the man she loves and then manipulates the girl he marries many years later.

I've always been fascinated with stories of women in China's culture, from the geishas and concubines, to the ritual of feet binding, embroidery work, etc. In this particular book, women are not allowed to be seen by men before marriage, are not encouraged to read or learn, are ashamed if they give birth to a girl, etc. It's all so different and fascinating to read about. I also really enjoyed Memoirs of a Geisha, so I am seeing a theme here!

I plan to finish the book this evening. It's one that you want to race through the book to finish, then you are sad because it's over. If you are looking for a good, memorable, haunting read, check out either of these two books mentioned from Lisa See. And let me know what you think!


Wilma said...

Kim, Great blog. I am hooked now and you will need to let me know how the story ends please.
Beautiful jewelry tht you make, I will have to check your site out when I get a chance.

Dani said...

I LOVE to read. And Memoirs of a Geisha is still one of my favorites. I know what you mean by finding/making/taking the time to do something totally for yourself.. but don't give up. It's one of the best investments you will ever make.. yourself.


kaytee said...

I go through books too fast to blog about them-- it would cut into my reading time, and probably take as long to write about as read!!

Right now, I'm about half way through "Throne of Jade", book 2 of a new series by Naomi Novik. Started it yesterday... read book 1 last week, along with 3others....

A Beaded Affair said...

I have had the same problem. I just can't find time to read. I used to read before bed now I make chains. Need to get back to reading more. I'm a sucker for good historical fiction and would probably love what you are reading.

ChezChani said...

I too have a hard time squeezing in reading. Usually I go to work early to eat first and I read then. And only then. But at least I'm reading. Mostly I read books that have been given to me but your book sounds way better than most of what I've been given. Thanks for sharing.
Memoirs of a Geisha was one of my favourites. Another was called Ella Minnow Pea (I think). Really different, check it out if you ever get a chance. Gets hard to read as you get into it but well worth it. A most unique book.

Kelly said...

i love to read, too. i'm in a monthly book club that's been getting together for five or six years now. so i find time at least once a month to read something. we read the kite runner. it was a well-written book but a difficult story. it's sad and graphic in parts. it was not my favorite nor one i would heartily recommend. and i really enjoyed snow flower, too. i have to check out this latest book you mentioned by the same author.