Monday, December 21, 2009

From all of us at BookMeABook, here’s wishing you a Happy Christmas and a Very Joyful and Successful New Year!

We hope 2010 brings for you all you wish for!

I was struck by the number of book titles in our library which have the word Christmas in their title. Of course, the word conjures up visions of festivity, family time, holiday making and good old Yule tide cheer! So, not surprisingly, most of the books which have these titles are romances, meant to be read all curled up in a nice warm comforter or razai, with your heater nicely warming the room.

Here are some of the more popular Romance titles that I can recall immediately:

Janet Dailey’s Let’s be Jolly! and Mistletoe and Holly
It Happened At Christmas, by Penny Jordan.
Mrs. Miracle, by Debbie Macomber.
Christmas with a Latin Lover, by Lynne Graham.
Eve’s Christmas, by Janet Dailey.
Blue Christmas, by Mary Kay Andrews.

Some Detective fiction also has a good dose of Christmas:

Carole Higgins Clarks’ A Holiday Mystery at Sea.
Hercule Poirot’s Christmas.
The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding.
The Seven and Father Christmas
Skipping Christmas by John Grisham.
The Christmas Thief, by Mary Higgins Clark

And of course, the all-time seasonal favourite, Charles Dickens’ The Christmas Books.

We even have A Christmas Carol, in graphic novel form.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Some thoughts on Maxine Hong Kingston's "A Woman Warrior"

Maxine Hong Kingston's "A Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts" was first published in 1976. It merges real details of her life with fantastical elements which Kingston draws from memory and imagination. In its six sections, it combines myth and personal experience to form a collection that starkly portrays the experience of growing up within two conflicting cultures. Each section deals with a separate memory--the story of the narrator's anonymous aunt, the narrator's vision of herself a as a female warrior akin to characters in the stories she has heard in her childhood, her mother Brave Orchid's education as a doctor in China, her aunt Moon Orchid's unsuccessful attempts to unite with her husband in America and finally, the narrator's own experience, particularly in school.

Kingston attempts to express the Chinese American language by rendering the rhythms and cadences of the Chinese 'talk-story' in English. It is almost as if she finds the conventional genres inadequate to present her perspective. Thus, she combines myth with memoir to shape her narrative.

Add "The Woman Warrior" to your queue and read this splendid novel about racial and cultural identity.