I love to read. Always have. One of my favorite things about retirement is that now I have time to feed the passion. For many years I read science fiction – then got past that. Now more often I pick up mysteries, historical fiction, and anything with an exotic locale.
My recent favorites are the books of Lisa See – particularly her three mysteries, although I found Peony in Love fascinating. Still have one of her novels to catch up with, but meanwhile I read her family history, On Gold Mountain, about Chinese immigration and assimilation, more or less, into the American Way.
Her books, along with Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie, translated by Ina Rilke and The Painter from Shanghai – Life of Pan Yuliang by Jennifer Cody Epstein gave me a feel for the Cultural Revolution in China and life since for the Chinese people. The Painter also provides insight into the life, challenges, and development of an artist.
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed Elizabeth Peters series on her Egyptologist, Amelia Peabody. I miss not having more of her adventures to pursue so now I look for similar independant female protagaonists, particularly around the early half of the 20th century. Barbara Cleverly’s Laetitia Talbot in The Tomb of Zeus was a satisfying read in that genre.
While I’m at it, I’ll put in a word for The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer and her daughter Annie Barrows. The humor and reasonableness in the face of grim WWII realities, kept me reading. But then, I’m also partial to tales told thru letters, as this one is.