China Dolls by Lisa See

* Picture from Amazon*

Format read: Paperback

Genre: Historical Fiction

Rating: 3 out of 10

Plot: This book is about three young Asian women who are trying to achieve stardom in the years up to and throughout World War II.  The women are joined together by their common goals but are each hiding secrets from each other that threaten to tear them apart.

Opinion: I was not a fan of this book.  The only reason I rated it as high as I did is that I somehow managed to finish it, although I’ll be honest, I wanted to quit reading about halfway through.  I thought that the plot seemed to go nowhere and there was a very weak attempt to create drama, but it came across as pettiness.  Also, the main characters got on my nerves and didn’t seem real.  The book is told from the vantage point of each of the three main characters, and even when I was reading from a particular character’s viewpoint, they still weren’t likable.  I was disappointed because this book sounded really good and I’ve enjoyed Ms. See’s other books.  If you are looking to read one of her books, skip this one and read Snow Flower and the Secret Fan instead.

Next book: Abridged Biography of the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) by Imam Muhammad Ibn Abdul Wahhab At-Tamimi

2016 Goals and TBR

I always set a Goodreads goal and this year I’m going for 24 books.  While this is dramatically less than in years past, it’s more than I read this year.  I’m hoping to exceed this, but given the amount of free time I’ve had recently, I want my goal to at least be attainable.  In addition to the Goodreads goal, I also have a yearly TBR.  I know that the amount of books on this TBR is greater than anything I’m likely to read, but I’ve found when I have a short TBR, I end up reading stuff not on the list because I’m not in the mood for what I’ve got on the list.   By making my list so long, I was able to stick to it for the most part this year and hope to do the same next year.  Anyhow, here’s the TBR list broken down by genre:

Islamic

  • Dajjal – The AntiChrist by Ahmad Thompson
  • Muhammad Messenger of Allah by Qadi ‘Iyad Ibn Musa Al-Yahsubi
  • Burnishing the Heart: Selections from the Qur’an for Self-Awareness by Abdulwahid Hamid
  • Miracles of the Prophets by Abdul Mum’im Hashmi
  • The Ideal Muslim Society by Dr. Muhammad Al-Hashimi
  • Abridged Biography of the Prophet Muhammad (S) by Imam Muhammad Ibn Abdul Wahhab At-Tamimi
  • Early Days: Stories of Creation & The Early Prophet Adam to Yoonus by Ibn Katheer

Memoirs

  • Little Princes: One Man’s Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal by Conor Grennan
  • Bengali Girls Don’t by L.A. Sherman
  • American Gypsy by Oksana Marafoti
  • I’ll See You Again by Jackie Hance
  • Banished by Lauren Drain
  • A Year of Biblical Womanhood: How a Liberated Woman Found Herself Sitting on Her Roof, Covering Her Head, and Calling Her Husband “Master” by Rachel Held Evans
  • My Pet Virus: The True Story of a Rebel Without a Cure by Shawn Decker
  • Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in Mumbai’s Undercity by Katherine Boo
  • First Darling in the Morning: Selected Memories of an Indian Childhood by Thifty Unrigar
  • I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai

Fantasy

  • Fortune’s Fool by Mercedes Lackey
  • The Snow Queen by Mercedes Lackey
  • Storm Front by Jim Butcher
  • Redwall by Brian Jacques
  • Entwined by Heather Dixon
  • Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast by Robin McKinley
  • The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan
  • Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind
  • Song of Susannah by Stephen King
  • The Dark Tower by Stephen King

Classics

  • What Maisie Knew by Henry James
  • Hard Times by Charles Dickens
  • Shirley by Charlotte Bronte
  • East of Eden by John Steinbeck

Dystopia/Post-Apocalyptic

  • Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
  • Article 5 by Kristen Simmons by Sinclair Lewis
  • It Can’t Happen Here by
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  • Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Graphic Novels

  • Boxers by Gene Luen Yang
  • Saints by Gene Luen Yang

South Asian

  • Untouchable by Mulk Raj Anand
  • Witness the Night by Kishwar Desai
  • Ladies Coupe by Anita Nair
  • The Pearl that Broke Its Shell by Nadia Hashimi
  • In the Convent of Little Flowers by Indu Sundaresan

African/African American

  • Ah, But Your Land is Beautiful by Alan Paton
  • Philida by Andre Brink

Far Asian

  • The Calligrapher’s Daughter by Eugenia Kim
  • The Red Chamber by Pauline A. Chen
  • Saving Fish From Drowning by Amy Tan
  • The Scent of Sake by Joyce Lebra
  • The Pillow Book by Sei Shonagon

Middle Eastern

  • Girl in the Tangerine Scarf by Mojha Kahf
  • Gate of the Sun by Elias Khoury
  • Bone Worship by Elizabeth Eslami

Historical Fiction

  • Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker: A Novel by Jennifer Chiaverini
  • Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
  • Purge by Sofi Oksanen
  • Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
  • The Night Watch by Sarah Waters
  • The Wild Princess by Mary Hart Perry
  • London by Edward Rutherford
  • The Clan of Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel

Nonfiction

  • Trail of Tears by John Ehle
  • The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America by Erik Larson
  • The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan
  • Hiroshima by John Hersey
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
  • A Night to Remember by Walter Lord
  • The Hot Zone: A Terrifying True Story by Richard Preston
  • Flu by Gina Kolata
  • No Time to Lose: A Life in Pursuit of Deadly Viruses by Peter Piot
  • Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for omen Worldwide by Nicholas D. Kristof, Sheryl WuDunn
  • The Faithful Executioner by Joel F. Harrington
  • The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee
  • Londoners by Craig Taylor

Other

  • Angel Falls by Kristin Hannah
  • Room by Emma Donoghue
  • Something Blue by Emily Griffin
  • Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
  • Mending Fences by Sherryl Woods
  • Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell