Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Best Realist Novels That Take Place in China - My List

Want to pick up something to read for the summer? I've always been a great believer in the adage "facts are stranger than fiction". Here's a list of my book recommendations that attest to that saying, along with my reasons for choosing them.

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Book Review - "These Violent Delights" by Chloe Gong

I enjoyed the plot but thought the writing was over-the-top flowery and pretentious, which really created a snag in the flow of the narrative. This was especially problematic in the first half of the novel.

I liked the sense of time and place that the novel evoked. The history element was also handled with a lot of respect to accuracy.

The romance part was alright except that it also included a lot of teenage theatrics. I couldn't feel any connection with Juliette because her personality was just not likeable. The character of Roma was a lot better by comparison.

As for the fantasy part, the "madness" stretched the imagination a bit, but since it's the fantasy genre, I couldn't complain.

All in all, it was a curate's egg. I'm giving it 3.4 stars, rounded down.


Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Follow-up Offer of $2.99 For One Week!

If you missed the 1-day $0.99 special offer, not to worry. The ebook is being offered at $2.99 for ONE WEEK from today!


Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Book Review - "The Last Quarter of the Moon" by Chi Zijian (Translated by Bruce Humes)

This was a very unique read about a little-known nomadic tribe called Evenki who are hunters and reindeer-herders living in the northern part of Inner Mongolia.

Through the eyes of an old woman, the bitter-sweet everyday life story of five generations of her clan unfolds in the time line spanning the 20th century. Descriptions of the wilderness scenery, of nature at its most charming and most cruel, of Evenki rituals and shamanic customs are interwoven with emotive relationships and interactions of the clan members as they gradually move away from their habitual and carefree nomadic lifestyle to one imposed on them by external forces like the Japanese occupation, the Chinese lumber trade and modernization.

The writing is plain (the novel is a translation) but the stringing of words moves you to the core. The tone is calm and quiet throughout, yet it tugs at your heartstrings.

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Charlie Reads China - Review of Tales of Ming Courtesans

When a reviewer finds deep resonance with your novel, that must be one of the most satisfying moments for a writer.
Quote from the review:-
"Tales of Ming Courtesans is a very skilful work, interweaving three well-known stories in a rich and rewarding setting. It is poignant and melodramatic in the best sense of that word, full of emotion, compassion, flashes of shock and tear-stained confessions." 
I'm also happy to note that other reviews included those of two upcoming releases: She Who Became the Sun (historical fantasy) and China (epic historical fiction).