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My name is Ardis and I am an avid reader and budding writer. I want to share my love of books with others. I work with kids and am interested in finding and creating books that will ignite the reader in everyone. Contact me at: ardis.atkins@gmail.com

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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

ARC Review: Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan

Please Note:  I received an advanced readers copy of this book from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.  This did not influence the opinions of my review in any way.

Synopsis (From Goodreads):
When Nicholas Young hears that his grandmother, Su Yi, is on her deathbed, he rushes to be by her bedside--but he's not alone. It seems the entire Shang-Young clan has convened from all corners of the globe, ostensibly to care for their matriarch but truly to stake claim on the massive fortune that Su Yi controls. With each family member secretly fantasizing about getting the keys to Tyersall Park--a trophy estate on 64 prime acres in the heart of Singapore--the place becomes a hotbed of intrigue and Nicholas finds himself blocked from entering the premises. As relatives claw over heirlooms, Astrid Leong is at the center of her own storm, desperately in love with her old sweetheart Charlie Wu, but tormented by his ex-wife--a woman hell bent on destroying Astrid's reputation and relationship. Meanwhile Kitty Pong, married to billionaire Jack Bing, finds a formidable opponent in his fashionista daughter, Colette. A sweeping novel that takes us from the elegantly appointed mansions of Manila to the secluded private islands in the Sulu Sea, from a schoolyard kidnapping to a gold-leaf dancefloor spattered with blood, Kevin Kwan's gloriously wicked new novel reveals the long-buried secrets and rich people problems of Asia's most privileged families.

Review:
Starting with Crazy Rich Asians, China Rich Girlfriend, and now Rich People Problems, Kevin Kwan has established his own version of the eighties T.V. show Dynasty set in Asia.  With colorful characters, high fashion, and family intrigue, this book will become a popular beach read this summer.  This has become one of my favorite recent book series!

What I Liked: 
Characters:
This book is all about the interconnecting lives of several ultra rich families in Asia, and there are dozens of characters.  While you don't need to read the previous books to get what is happening, I think it would be a good idea to read all the books together, so the reader can really grasp all the intricate relationships in this novel.

Throughout the series, I have adored Astrid the most.  The woman whom everyone thinks of as the perfect wife, mother, and daughter, Astrid has a lot to live up to.  She copes by doing everything she can to remain out of the spotlight.  But is that fair to this talented person?  As her life begins to unravel, Astrid begins to see that she is making herself miserable trying to please everyone.  Can she change her life and maybe find happiness?

Nick is another character I liked.  He is the heir apparent in his family, but has had a falling out with his controlling grandmother, who is now on her deathbed.  Can he make peace with her before it's too late?  

Conniving cousin Eddie will do his upmost to stop Nick from getting back in the matriarch's good graces.  I loved Eddie!  His antics to win the inheritance race were some of the funniest parts of the book!  On a serious note, I couldn't help but feel sorry for him to be so focused on money when his grandmother was dying.

There were many other characters that I enjoyed such as Nick's mother Eleanor (soon to be played by the wonderful Michelle Yeoh in the movie!), Kitty, and Colette.  Kevin Kwan has a knack for writing strong women characters!


Story:
Although the story is about the scramble for SuYi's fortune, it has so much more depth!  I think many people will see their own family in these characters.  Although the focus is on wealth, it is also about how we are perceived by our family and how that affects our decisions.  I was really moved by Astrid's issues of trying to be perfect, and Nick's guilt over living so far away from his grandmother.

Underlying Issues:
Although this book's tone is lighthearted,  the author does bring up some of the unpleasant aspects of this culture.  Many of the older characters are racist about people of other Asian backgrounds.  There is a whole hierarchy of importance that is spelled out in this book.  There is also more of an awareness of the discrepancy between rich and poor in this novel that I thought made the point that most of these people live in a bubble of privilege.

Author's annotations:
Kevin Kwan puts lots of notations throughout each chapter.  At first, I didn't read them too carefully.  But do read all of the notes at the end of each chapter.  Not only do they explain all the phrases that are in Chinese, but they are super funny!  This added so much to my enjoyment of the book.

What I Was Mixed About:
I really wish the author could have put in some family tree charts in the book so I could more easily place who was related to whom.  There are so many people in the book that at times I was confused and had to go back a few chapters to figure out who the characters were.

I really enjoyed this book.  It had a juicy story and characters that I adored.  If you're looking for a fun book for your next vacation, this is it.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29864343-rich-people-problems?ac=1&from_search=true

https://www.amazon.com/Rich-People-Problems-Kevin-Kwan-ebook/dp/B01M09122V/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1495431127&sr=8-1&keywords=rich+people+problems

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/rich-people-problems-kevin-kwan/1124690704?ean=9780385542234

https://www.bookdepository.com/Rich-People-Problems-Kevin-Kwan/9780385542326?ref=grid-view&qid=1495431218526&sr=1-1


Rating:




Release Date:  May 23rd, 2017

Genre:  General Fiction

Source:  Edelweiss

Format:  ARC E-Book

Recommendation:  A fun book about the super rich that should be in every beach bag this summer.

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Monday, May 22, 2017

Bay Area Book Events #48

Due to the enormous size of this list, I only show events about four weeks in advance.  The master calendar will continue to show all the events I can find that are listed on each bookstore's site.


Bookstores in this list may include:  
Barnes & Noble (various Bay Area Locations)
Book Passage (Corte Madera & San Francisco)
The Booksmith (San Francisco)
Books Inc. (various Bay Area Locations)
Pegasus Books (Berkeley & Oakland)
Hicklebee's Children's Books (San Jose)
A Great Good Place For Books (Oakland)
Kepler's Books (Menlo Park) 
Diesel, A Bookstore (Oakland)
   
Orinda Books (Orinda)
Rakestraw Books (Danville)  
I am attempting to make this a one stop place to find book signings in the San Francisco Bay Area! I will mostly focus on YA books, but I will also include some general fiction if I think it will be of interest.  I do not list non-fiction books (There are simply too many events of those to list).  I think this is an extensive list, but there is always the possibility that I missed an event (Hey, I'm human). If you think there is an event that I should include, please leave me a note in the comments section. Thanks.

All  book graphics have links to GoodReads so you can check them out.

As always, it is a good idea to call the store a day or two before to confirm that the scheduled event is still on.  I have learned that these events change constantly.


Monday, May 22nd, at 7:00pm


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31624741-there-your-heart-lies?from_search=true
Book:  There Your Heart Lies
Author:  Mary Gordon
Location:  Book Passage (Corte Madera)  
Address:  51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera
Tel:  (415) 927-0960 or (800) 999-7909

 Tuesday, May 23rd, at 6:00pm
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33350691-show-her-a-flower-a-bird-a-shadow?ac=1&from_search=true
Book:  Show Her A Flower, A Bird, A Shadow
Author:  Peg Alford Pursell
Location:  Book Passage (Sausalito)
Address:  100 Bay Street, Sausalito
Tel:  (415) 339-1300
Tuesday, May 23rd, at 6:00pm
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31351907-escape-velocity?ac=1&from_search=true
Book:  Escape Velocity
Author:  Susan Wolfe 
Location:  Book Passage (San Francisco)
Address:  1 Ferry Building, San Francisco
Tel:  (415) 835-1020


Tuesday, May 23rd, at 7:00pm
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31944652-behind-the-moon?ac=1&from_search=true
Book:  Behind The Moon
Author:  Madison Smartt Bell
Location:  Diesel, A Bookstore
Address:  5433 College Ave., Oakland
Tel:  (510) 653-9965
Thursday, May 25th at 6:00pm


Book:  The Idol Of Mombasa 
Author:  Annamaria Alfieri  
Location:  Orinda Books  
Address:  276 Village Square, Orinda    
Tel: (925) 254-7606


Thursday, May 25th, at 7:00pm
Summer Reading with Owner Kathleen and Penguin Random House's Wendy Pearl


FREE COOL "I'd Rather Be Reading" Beach Book Bag with purchase of one book.
Drawing  for a beach bag full of goodies!
Drawing for a gift certificate!
Wine, Munchies and great company; how can you beat that???
 
Location: A Great Good Place For Books
Address:  6120 LaSalle Ave., Oakland
Tel: (510) 339-8210 


Thursday, May 25th, at 7:00pm


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30209395-the-troubleseeker?ac=1&from_search=true
Book:  The Troubleseeker  
Author:  Alan Lessik  

Location:  Books Inc, (SF Opera Plaza)
Address:  601 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco
Tel:  (415) 776-1111


Thursday, June 1st, at 6:00pm


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31423188-startup?ac=1&from_search=truehttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30658435-one-day-we-ll-all-be-dead-and-none-of-this-will-matter?ac=1&from_search=true
Book:  One Day We'll All Be Dead And None Of This Will Matter: Essays  
Author:  Scaachi Koul  
Book:  Startup
Author:  Doree Shafri  
Location:  Book Passage (San Francisco)  
Address:  1 Ferry Building, San Francisco  
Tel:  (415) 835-1020


Thursday, June 1st, at 7:00pm


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32508630-miss-burma?ac=1&from_search=true
Book:  Miss Burma  
Author: Charmaine Craig
Location:  Book Passage (Corte Madera)  
Address:  51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera 
Tel:  (415) 927-0960 


Friday, June 2nd, at 6:00pm
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32508630-miss-burma?ac=1&from_search=true
Book:  Miss Burma  
Author: Charmaine Craig  
Location:  Books Inc. (Burlingame)  
Address:  1375 Burlingame Ave., Burlingame   
Tel: (650) 685-4914


Friday, June 2nd, at 7:00pm


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28458598-when-dimple-met-rishi?ac=1&from_search=true
Book:  When Dimple Met Rishi  
Author:  Sandhya Menon
Location:  Hicklebee's Books, (San Jose)  
Address:  1378 Lincoln Ave., San Jose  
Tel: (408) 292-8880


Friday, June 2nd, at 7:00pm


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28815474-the-couple-next-door?ac=1&from_search=true
Book:  The Couple Next Door  
Author:  Shari Lapena  
Location:  Book Passage (Cortea Madera) 
Address:  51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera  
Tel:  (415) 927-0960


Saturday, June 3rd, at 4:00pm


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34787812-gilded-deceit?ac=1&from_search=true
Book:  Gilded Deceit  
Author:  Tracy Grant  
Location:  Book Passage (Corte Madera)  
Address:  51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera  
Tel: (415) 927-0960
 
Saturday, June 3rd, at 7:00pm
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32336834-touch?from_search=true
Book:  Touch
Author:  Courtney Maum
Location:  Book Passage (Corte Madera)
Address:  51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera
Tel:  (415) 927-0960

Sunday, June 4th, at 3:00pm
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32336834-touch?from_search=true
Book:  Touch
Author:  Courtney Maum
Location:  Diesel, A Bookstore
Address:  5433 College Avenue, Oakland
Tel:  (510) 653-9965
 
Sunday, June 4th, at 3:00pm


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29939129-dying-on-the-vine?from_search=truehttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32284022-uncorking-a-lie?ac=1&from_search=true
Book:  Uncorking A Lie
Author:  Nadine Nettmann 
Book: Dying On The Vine
Author:  Marla Cooper
Location:  Books Inc. (The Marina)
Address:  2251 Chestnut Street, San Francisco
Tel:  (415) 931-3633
 
Sunday, June 4th, at 5:00pm
Launch Party
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32445432-murder-in-saint-germain?ac=1&from_search=true
Book:  Murder In Saint-Germain
Author:  Cara Black
Location:  Books Inc. (Laurel Village)
Address:  3515 California Street, San Francisco
Tel:  (415) 221-3666


Monday, June 5th, at 7:00pm
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30753987-the-leavers?from_search=truehttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30753991-the-last-days-of-caf-leila?ac=1&from_search=true

Book:  The Leavers
Author:  Lisa Ko
Book:  The Last Days Of Cafe Leila
Author:  Donia Bijan
Location:  Books Inc., (Alameda)
Address:  1344 Park Street, Alameda
Tel: (510) 522-2226


Monday, June 5th, at 7:00pm
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32445432-murder-in-saint-germain?ac=1&from_search=true
Book:  Murder In Saing-Germain
Author:  Cara Black
Location:  Book Passage (Corte Madera)
Address:  51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera
Tel (415) 927-0960


Tuesday, June 6th at 7:00pm


Book:  Do Not Become Alarmed: A Novel
Author:  Maile Meloy
Location:  A Great Good Place For Books
Address:   6120 LaSalle Ave., Oakland
Tel: (510) 339-8210 


Tuesday, June 6th, at 7:00pm
Launch Party:


Book:  What I Lost
Author:  Alexandra Ballard
Location:  Books Inc. (Berkeley)
Address:  1491 Shattuck Av., Berkeley
Tel (510)  525-7777


Tuesday, June 6th, at 7:00pm


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30753987-the-leavers?from_search=true
Book:  The Leavers
Author:  Lisa Ko
Location:  Book Passage (Corte Madera)
Address:  51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera
Tel: (415) 927-0960 


Thursday, June 8th, at 12:30pm

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29864343-rich-people-problems?ac=1&from_search=true

Book:  Rich People Problems
Author:  Kevin Kwan
Location:  Book Passage (San Francisco)
Address:  1 Ferry Building, San Francisco
Tel:  (415)  835-1020
 

Thursday, June 8th, at 7:00pm


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25752041-royal-bastards?ac=1&from_search=true
Book:  Royal Bastards  
Author:  Andrew Shvarts
Location:  Kepler's Books  
Address:  1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park  
Tel:  (650) 324-4321   


Thursday, June 8th, at 7:00pm


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31868036-the-frozen-hours?ac=1&from_search=true
Book:  The Frozen Hours
Author:  Jeff Shaara
Location:  Book Passage
Address:  51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera
Tel: (415)927-0960


Thursday, June 8th, at 7:00pm

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23286828-kintu?ac=1&from_search=true

Book:  Kintu
Author:  Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi
Location:  Diesel, A Bookstore
Address:  5433 College Avenue, Oakland
Tel:  (510) 653-9965

Friday, June 9th, at 7:00pm
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30753660-the-scribe-of-siena?ac=1&from_search=true
Book:  The Scribe Of Siena
Author:  Melodie Winawer
Location:  Books Inc., (Opera Plaza)
Address:  601 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco
Tel:  (415) 776-1111


Saturday, June 10th, at 4:00pm


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27246115-siracusa?ac=1&from_search=true
Book: Siracusa
Author:  Delia Ephron
Location:  Book Passage
Address:  51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera
Tel (415) 927-0960


Saturday, June 10th, at 7:00pm


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30753660-the-scribe-of-siena?ac=1&from_search=true
Book:  The Scribe Of Siena
Author:  Melodie Winawer
Location:  Book Passage (Corte Madera)
Address:  51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera
Tel: (415) 927-0960


Monday, June 12th, at 7:00pm


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27246115-siracusa?ac=1&from_search=true
Book: Siracusa
Author:  Delia Ephron

Location:  A Great Good Place For Books
Address:  6120 LaSalle Avenue, Oakland
Tel:  (510) 339-8210



Wednesday, June 14th, at 6:00pm

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32337121-lockdown

Book:  Lockdown
Author:  Laurie R. King
Location:  Book Passage (San Francisco)
Address:  1 Ferry Building, San Francisco
Tel:  (415) 835-1020 

Wednesday, June 14th, at 7:00pm
NYMBC YA Pride Panel
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27414371-jess-chunk-and-the-road-trip-to-infinity?ac=1&from_search=truehttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28954166-tattoo-atlas?ac=1&from_search=truehttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25167846-beast?from_search=true

Books & Authors:  Tattoo Atlas (Tim Floreen),  Jess, Chunk, and The Road Trip To Infinity (Kristin Elizabeth Clark), Beast (Brie Spangler)
Location:  Books Inc., (Santa Clara)
Address:  2712 Augustine Drive, Santa Clara
Tel:  (408) 727-1500 

Thursday, June 15th, at 7:00pm
In Conversation with Bich Minh Bguyen

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26499704-a-good-country?ac=1&from_search=truehttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/209572.Stealing_Buddha_s_Dinner?ac=1&from_search=true

Book:  A Good Country
Author:  Laleh Khadivi
Book:  Stealing Buddha's Dinner
Author:  Bich Minh Bguyen 
Location:  Books Inc. (Berkeley)
Address:  1491 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley
Tel:  (510)  525-7777

Thursday, June 15th, at 7:00pm

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30038972-the-coming?from_search=true

Book: The Coming
Author:  David Osborne
Location:  Hicklebee's Children's Books
Address:  1378 Lincoln Ave, San Jose
Tel:  (408) 292-8880


Thursday, June 15th at 7:00pm


Book: Once and for All
Author:  Sarah Dessen
Location:  Kepler's Books
Address:  1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park
Tel: (650) 324-4321  


Thursday, June 15th at 7:30pm

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32075463-the-rise-and-fall-of-d-o-d-o?from_search=true

Book:  The Rise And Fall Of D.O.D.O
Authors:  Neal Stephenson & Nicole Galland
Location:  The Booksmith
Address:  1644 Haight Street, San Francisco
Tel:  (415) 863-8688

Friday, June 16th, at 7:00pm

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34828492-the-templars-last-secret?ac=1&from_search=true

Book:  The Templars' Last Secret
Author:  Martin Walker
Location:  Book Passage (Corte Madera)
Address:  51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera
Tel:  (415) 927-0960

Saturday, June 17th, 2017 at 1:00pm

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31863514-dark-associations?ac=1&from_search=true

Book:  Dark Associations
Author:  Marie Sutro
Location:  Barnes & Noble (San Jose)
Address:  3600 Stevens Creek Blvd., San Jose
Tel:  (408) 984-3495
 
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2017 Reading Challenge

MsArdychan has read 2 books toward her goal of 180 books.
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MsArdychan's bookshelf: read

The Hummingbird's Daughter
Joseph Anton: A Memoir
The Most Beautiful Walk in the World: A Pedestrian in Paris
The Help
The Fry Chronicles
A Clash of Kings
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
A Game of Thrones
The Hunger Games
Catching Fire
Mockingjay
The Giver
Savvy
The Red Pyramid
Anne of Green Gables
The Complete Novels
Slam!
Slam
Hatchet
Scorpions


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