Heidi Polk

Lord of the reads 13058 Reputation points Help-d956b624e3a70f299ff60fb4f6e79359
  • Unaccustomed Earth

    Collected short stories which deeply immerse the reader within the lives of the characters

    Yellow_star-c09e82bff6cf53398cc23ca904d3855a Yellow_star-c09e82bff6cf53398cc23ca904d3855a Yellow_star-c09e82bff6cf53398cc23ca904d3855a Yellow_star-c09e82bff6cf53398cc23ca904d3855a Empty_star-e60c0e83933eadeb47c8849bb808f2e6

    I always feel as though I need to take a deep breath before beginning to read Jhumpa Lahiri's work - whether in novel or short story format, her writing is such an immersive experience and the reader cannot help but be drawn into the tale as a whole. Every moment is witnessed through the characters' eyes; personally, I find myself less likely to cheer for or boo against one character over another. Instead, I feel almost captive to watch as events unfold. The strength of short story collections is that you are sure to find at least one that you enjoy. This was definitely my experience and my only regret was that a few of the stories weren't longer. This difference with this collection is that it is divided into two parts. The first are a set of individual short stories. The second set had to do with a specific cast of characters, but was stretched over several decades and told from different perspectives. Definitely recommended for those who enjoy cross-cultural stories about f...I always feel as though I need to take a deep breath before beginning to read Jhumpa Lahiri's work - whether in novel or short story format, her writing is such an immersive experience and the reader cannot help but be drawn into the tale as a whole. Every moment is witnessed through the characters' eyes; personally, I find myself less likely to cheer for or boo against one character over another. Instead, I feel almost captive to watch as events unfold. The strength of short story collections is that you are sure to find at least one that you enjoy. This was definitely my experience and my only regret was that a few of the stories weren't longer. This difference with this collection is that it is divided into two parts. The first are a set of individual short stories. The second set had to do with a specific cast of characters, but was stretched over several decades and told from different perspectives. Definitely recommended for those who enjoy cross-cultural stories about family and relationships. (more)

  • Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

    Haunting and melancholic look at the bond between two girls in 19th-century China

    Yellow_star-c09e82bff6cf53398cc23ca904d3855a Yellow_star-c09e82bff6cf53398cc23ca904d3855a Yellow_star-c09e82bff6cf53398cc23ca904d3855a Yellow_star-c09e82bff6cf53398cc23ca904d3855a Empty_star-e60c0e83933eadeb47c8849bb808f2e6

    This was a book that I had long wanted to read - I am so glad that I've finally got around to it... This book follows the destinies of two very different girls who grow up in the latter half of nineteenth-century China. The author has meticulously researched her topic yet the book itself never feels as though it is weighed down by all of the details. So much is contained within the pages and it is so easy to imagine events unfolding (*slight spoiler alert - the in-depth look at the process of foot-binding was particularly evocative). Definitely recommended for anyone who enjoys historical or international fiction...

  • The Forty Rules of Love

    Some moments of beauty but not as fully developed as one would hope...

    Yellow_star-c09e82bff6cf53398cc23ca904d3855a Yellow_star-c09e82bff6cf53398cc23ca904d3855a Yellow_star-c09e82bff6cf53398cc23ca904d3855a Empty_star-e60c0e83933eadeb47c8849bb808f2e6 Empty_star-e60c0e83933eadeb47c8849bb808f2e6

    This is the first book I have read by Shafak and while I felt the story wasn't as fully developed as it may have been, there were some beautifully written sections and I am definitely interested in reading some of her other works. The story opens with Ella, a Massachusetts housewife who has recently begun working at a publishing company. She is given a manuscript to review (titled Sweet Blasphemy) which follows the story of Rumi, the 13th-century Persian poet and his relationship with a Sufi dervish named Shams of Tabriz. The book goes back and forth between the story of Rumi and Shams and Ella's encounters with both the manuscript and its author. Shafak covers diverse topics such as love, destiny, communication, religious belief, Sufi mysticism and faith.

  • Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe

    Like the best cakes, it provides a welcome respite from the cares of everyday life...

    Yellow_star-c09e82bff6cf53398cc23ca904d3855a Yellow_star-c09e82bff6cf53398cc23ca904d3855a Yellow_star-c09e82bff6cf53398cc23ca904d3855a Empty_star-e60c0e83933eadeb47c8849bb808f2e6 Empty_star-e60c0e83933eadeb47c8849bb808f2e6

    I must admit that between the title and the garish cover, I was not, by any means, inclined to pick this book up. However, the sample I downloaded was entertaining enough, so I decided to give it a chance. The plot is simple: Issy Randall loses her corporate job and decides to use her redundancy package to invest in her passion (baking) and open a cafe. The book itself is very light and though the characters are a bit two-dimensional, I found that it was a nice way to just relax. The best bits were the recipes and the author has a true skill in noting the way that food, with all its delectable smells and tastes, can change the thoughts and attitudes of people. The author also notes that all of the recipes can be reproduced and the couple I've tried so far were fairly tasty. Overall, a reasonably enjoyable experience and a good way to let the everyday stresses disappear...

  • The Jeeves Omnibus: No. 2

    Ah the world of Wooster and Jeeves

    Yellow_star-c09e82bff6cf53398cc23ca904d3855a Yellow_star-c09e82bff6cf53398cc23ca904d3855a Yellow_star-c09e82bff6cf53398cc23ca904d3855a Yellow_star-c09e82bff6cf53398cc23ca904d3855a Empty_star-e60c0e83933eadeb47c8849bb808f2e6

    I truly love the Wooster and Jeeves stories - they're the perfect antidote to a busy and stressful day (though it does make me wish I had my own Jeeves!) They can be picked up and put down at any point and I truly enjoyed them to the utmost.

  • by Kathryn Stockett The Help (Paperback)

    Decent and admirable intention, but I'm still a bit ambivalent

    Yellow_star-c09e82bff6cf53398cc23ca904d3855a Yellow_star-c09e82bff6cf53398cc23ca904d3855a Yellow_star-c09e82bff6cf53398cc23ca904d3855a Empty_star-e60c0e83933eadeb47c8849bb808f2e6 Empty_star-e60c0e83933eadeb47c8849bb808f2e6

    This book was chosen for my book club - I hadn't heard anything about it beforehand, but thought the subject matter sounded interesting enough... *Spoiler alert* I must admit that I was at first fairly torn about the book as a whole. I felt the author's use of black vernacular was a bit insulting and that she was trying to appeal to readers' romanticised notions of the relationships between blacks and whites in the South (most of which stem from Gone With the Wind). As an example, I found it a bit frustrating that the book as a whole seemed to be a juxtaposition between old black women and a plucky young white girl, as if the author was only playing up 'Mammy' connotations. On the other hand, one aspect that I found fascinating was the depiction of the hierarchical structure of Southern society. Everyone appears aware of 'the rules' and everyone follows them - this was where a lot of the interesting tension lay, when characters tried to break out or act differently than how they...This book was chosen for my book club - I hadn't heard anything about it beforehand, but thought the subject matter sounded interesting enough... *Spoiler alert* I must admit that I was at first fairly torn about the book as a whole. I felt the author's use of black vernacular was a bit insulting and that she was trying to appeal to readers' romanticised notions of the relationships between blacks and whites in the South (most of which stem from Gone With the Wind). As an example, I found it a bit frustrating that the book as a whole seemed to be a juxtaposition between old black women and a plucky young white girl, as if the author was only playing up 'Mammy' connotations. On the other hand, one aspect that I found fascinating was the depiction of the hierarchical structure of Southern society. Everyone appears aware of 'the rules' and everyone follows them - this was where a lot of the interesting tension lay, when characters tried to break out or act differently than how they were 'supposed' to behave. It is a testament to Stockett that she could shade the ambiguity so well. After reading the book, I followed it up by reading an interview with the author and the interview helped me to form a more favourable impression. Not only is Stockett from Mississippi, she grew up with a black nanny in the Civil Rights era. It's easy to see that the part of Skeeter is much more an autobiographical viewpoint of the events of the time. I commend Stockett for not only incorporating her own history into the novel but also for attempting to give voice to those who she knew had to stay silent in the past. However, I remain ambivalent about the novel's attempts to slightly revise history and to simplify something that was not only very complicated, but that is still being felt throughout society today. (more)

Details

Find me at: www.completelynovel.com/heidipolk

Interests reading, writing, museums, travel, jim henson, history, mythology, politics, language, astronomy, films, religions, philosophy, the vikings, the celts, tim burton, the victorians, anime, post-colonial literature, science fiction, human rights, international media, lively debates, the middle east, and Steampunk

Followers

When you 'follow' someone you will receive news about what that person in your news feed.

  • Bryony Allen
  • Howard Davis
  • Michael Obiora
  • Sherry Price
  • Otatade Okojie
  • Shannon Galloway
  • exoticcar rental
  • Kelly R Elkins
  • Fesf Poryi
  • Leslie Andreas Lechner
  • Ammo Board
  • Fiona Cullen-Skowronski
  • Albert James
  • Jonh Adams
  • Visitor