I smell a repeat – I’m definitely doing the whole foreign language and translation book thing again next March.
There’s this tiny part of me that would love to travel, but I’ve come to accept I react poorly to changes in my routine. Maybe if Star Trek technology was real and I could just beam to my destination…
Until that time, I’ll settle for the books, because reading them gives me an armchair escape and/or a healthy dose of history lesson.
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
This book made me fall in love with Paris and old architecture. And the food…I want decadent French food stat! And throw in a charming British boy!
I love the cleverness of the title. My mom saw the cover and said, “Ooh, what’s that?”
I quickly said, “She’s in France, that’s what the ‘French’ kiss is!”
She looked at me like I was nuts and said, “Yeah I figured because I can see the Eiffel Tower in the background.”
Then I felt ashamed that I had a dirty mind because it took me a whole lot longer to put two and two together.
(isn’t it funny that, no matter how old we are, our parents can make us feel unintentionally five? I love you, mom!)
Orchards by Holly Thompson
This was a quick read, but packed a quiet, powerful punch without being in-your-face about the lesson. The main character (MC) is a 13-year-old girl, part of a clique that continually bullied another girl who ended up committing suicide. Her parents send her to stay the summer with her grandmother and other relatives in her mother’s hometown in Japan so MC can reflect on her part in the events.
Picking Bones from Ash by Marie Mutsuki Mockett
Definitely interesting, although I felt a bit detached from the story, especially near the end, which wasn’t as fleshed out as I would have liked. The beginning was much stronger for me. The majority is set in Japan and I liked the supernatural feel that certain sections had and also appreciated the way the author wrote the loneliness and out-of-place-edness (I just made that word up, can you tell?) of both the mother and daughter without them screaming, “I am lonely and don’t fit in!” It’s a universal theme and I think it resounds even more for people who have family they’ve never met in other countries. A lot shapes us and even if we know and are happy with our identity, there’s always this small part that feels like it’s missing.
My April reading list goes up next Wednesday. Hint: It’s much closer to home!