Books

i’m losing sleep

Over this book!

I absolutely love the story of two sisters, Pearl and May, and their journey from war torn Shanghai in the 1930s to Angel Island (right near me in San Francisco!).

I haven’t finished the book yet (forced myself to put it down last night and get some sleep), but it’s already got me planning a trip to the immigration museum on Angel Island. I’m a sucker for historical novels, and this one really draws you in!

If you loved Joy Luck Club, Snowflower and the Secret Fan, The Bonesetter’s Daughter or any page-turning novel, you will LOVE this book!

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62 Comments

  • Reply
    Beth @ Beth's Journey to Thin
    January 13, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    Awesome! Thank you for the recommendation – I’m actually looking for a new book to start this month!

  • Reply
    Ellie
    January 13, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    Thanks I needed a recommendation. I’m reading Tuesdays with Morrie for the second time. I read it 8 years ago and I’m remember how much I loved it! I also LOVED Joy Luck Club

  • Reply
    Liz
    January 13, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    I just finished The Kitchen House last night on your recommendation and that book was awesome! I may or may not have read it in 2.5 days. Even DH was starting to ask what I was doing with my face glued to my iPad reading the past couple of days. Keep on giving us book ideas. I love it!

    • Reply
      jenna
      January 13, 2011 at 12:42 pm

      I read that in 2.5 days, too! SO, so, so good..

  • Reply
    J-
    January 13, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    I think my library might have that. I’m a bit of a brainless noob as of late, so if I’m reading anything…its pretty simple stuff.

  • Reply
    Stephanie
    January 13, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    Historical novels are my favorite! Thanks for the recommendation!

  • Reply
    Cathy B. @ Bright Bakes
    January 13, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    I devour historical fiction too! So far your book recommendations have been spot on for me! Its great to have a reliable source that takes some of the guess-work out of “what to read next…” Thank you!
    cathy b. @ brightbakes

  • Reply
    Danielle
    January 13, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    Ooh, note taken! I’m in the midst of reading Three Cups of Tea, a beautiful novel and a true story (making it even more special, I’m sure,) but I’ll add this to my list. I love expanding my MUST READS, it makes me so much less sad when I finish a current book. Haha, thank ya much πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Nadine
    January 13, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    You should read Peony in Love, also by Lisa See. I think it’s my favorite of hers.

  • Reply
    jenna@frombostonwithlove
    January 13, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    Shanghai Girls is uh-mazing. Serisouly one of those books I read under my covers late at night with a flashlight so my parents wouldn’t find out. Except that I am now an adult and really what happen is that I read until 3am and then had to drink 11 cups of coffee to function the next morning at work.

    • Reply
      Baking 'n' Books
      January 13, 2011 at 2:36 pm

      Me too. I always put stuff off in the evening and then pick up a book before midnight when I should be going to sleep. But then I get involved in the book and can’t stop…it’s like a ‘second wind’…;)

  • Reply
    Annelies
    January 13, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    Maybe you should make a ‘book’ tab next to your ‘travel’ and ‘wine country’ tabs on top of your blog. You have so many good recommendations and it would be cool to find them all in one place. Just a suggestion.

  • Reply
    Sarah (Sarah Learns)
    January 13, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    thanks for the recommendation! i love historical fiction! have you read paradise alley? it’s a great one.

  • Reply
    Carolyn @ Lovin' Losing
    January 13, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    Great book! Loved it!

  • Reply
    Jil @ Big City, Lil Kitchen
    January 13, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    Oh, that premise sounds fantastic.

  • Reply
    I Pray to Gouda
    January 13, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    I loved Snowflower. I had a harder time getting into See’s Peony in Love, though, but I’m thinking I should definitely pick up Shanghai Girls.

  • Reply
    Blog is the New Black
    January 13, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    Adding it to my list!

  • Reply
    Averie (LoveVeggiesandYoga)
    January 13, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    You read so many books…I am always so impressed by how you manage to set aside the time to do this! Between your blog, cooking, blogging about cooking, you still read so much…and that is just AWESOME!

    I love all your book rec’s. Please keep them coming! Even if i never get to read 99% of them, I still love hearing your feedback! πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Liz @ Tip Top Shape
    January 13, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    Ooh, I need to get this book! I LOVED Joy Luck Club!

  • Reply
    Amber's Notebook
    January 13, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    WOW! Sounds interesting, I must check it out!
    I love Angel Island so that really intrigues me. And I’m obsessed with Shanghai, so it; right up my alley.

  • Reply
    Emily
    January 13, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    Such a good book! I loved Snow Flower and the Secret Fan even more πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Baking 'n' Books
    January 13, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    I’ve never gotten into historical fiction for some reason. I did when I was younger. Maybe I should to that.

    I was wondering what’s your favorite to do though? The baking or the writing? …or reading πŸ˜‰

  • Reply
    Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama}
    January 13, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    Thanks for the recommendation! I love historical fiction.

  • Reply
    Chicago Cuisine Critique
    January 13, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    I too enjoy historical novels. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Sarah @ OC2Seattle
    January 13, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    I loved Snow Flower and the Secret Fan and had no idea Lisa See has a new book out. Thanks for the heads up!

  • Reply
    katherine
    January 13, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    I loved this book, too! And recently took the ferry out to Angel Island – it is an awesome day trip! You should do it someday…so worth it!!

  • Reply
    Natalie O
    January 13, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    Love Joy Luck Club and historically based fiction! Gotta put this on my list

  • Reply
    Nicolle
    January 13, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    I picked up this book this summer and absolutely loved it! Philippa Gregory write great historical fiction. You should check out her stuff if you haven’t already!

  • Reply
    Marie-Journey to Body Zen
    January 13, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    I always love your book recommendations! Keep ’em coming! πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Bethany @Bridezilla Bakes
    January 13, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    You have the best book recommendations! I just made a mental note to look at all the posts you have tagged with “books” — maybe you should make it a page!

  • Reply
    Karena
    January 13, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    I couldn’t put this book down either! Can’t wait to hear what you think once you finish it…we mentioned in book club that we’d totally read a sequel…and I think one is expected in the spring!

  • Reply
    Nancy~The Wife of a Dairyman
    January 13, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    I’ll have to check that one out! Sounds like a gripper! thanks for the recommendation:)

  • Reply
    Heather (Heather's Dish)
    January 13, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    i can’t wait to order this one…i have so many books i want to read and you keep adding to the stack!

  • Reply
    Katie @ peacebeme
    January 13, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    Already read this one and loved it!

  • Reply
    Sana
    January 13, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    Awesome! I have been looking for a good read. And I never sleep so this works!

  • Reply
    Shannon
    January 13, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    The Immigration Museum there is totally worth a visit (if you’re into that sort of thing, which it sounds like you might just be…)! My friend and I made a day of it with a picnic and walk around the island. Nothing goes together better than Triple Hawk, Downtown baguette and immigration history. Nothing.

  • Reply
    meghan
    January 13, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    Jenna! What the heck! I just downloaded The Kitchen House the other night on my kindle, stayed up until 1am last night reading it (soooo good!), I’m 85% done. And today on paperbackswap.com I just ordered Shanghai Girls. We’re pretty much book soul mates. Weird.

  • Reply
    Carla @ I Run, You Run
    January 13, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    You know, I hated this book. It was just too much crap happening all at the same time. I lost interest in it fairly quickly, and hated the ending.

    I loved Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, from the same author.

  • Reply
    Josephine @ Creating a Positive Life
    January 13, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    I totally just downloaded a sample of all the books you mentioned plus ALL the ones in the comments onto my kindle reader for my phone. I cannot wait to dive into all of them!

  • Reply
    Christine (The Raw Project)
    January 13, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    Thanks, I’ll check this out. I need more time to read! πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Liz
    January 13, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    There’s good hiking on Angel Island, too!

  • Reply
    Euniece
    January 13, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    I just finished reading this book yesterday and also couldn’t but it down for a second. In between classes I would quickly burry my nose in the book itching to see where the sisters journey carried them next!! Great read!

  • Reply
    Stacy
    January 13, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    I love your book recommendations, but it’s definitely rough on my book budget! I have no restraint when it comes to downloading books to my Kindle.

  • Reply
    Kristen @ That Hoosier Girl
    January 13, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    I felt the same way about The Help…I just could not bring myself to put it down! Thanks for the recommendation…I’ll have to put a hold on Shanghai Girls at the ol’ library πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down)
    January 13, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    Your book recommendation comes just in the right moments. Thank you for this! I’ll be picking it up at the bookstore this weekend. πŸ˜€

  • Reply
    Brooke ( bittersweetb)
    January 13, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    I read this book about a year ago and I loved it! Lisa See really paints a great picture in her novels. She makes her characters so relatable and complex. I definitely recommend Snow Flower and the Secret Fan it’s my favorite of her books!

  • Reply
    Brooke ( bittersweetb)
    January 13, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    I read this book about a year ago and I loved it! Lisa See really paints a great picture in her novels. She makes her characters so relatable and complex. I definitely recommend Snow Flower and the Secret Fan it’s my favorite of her books!

  • Reply
    Joelle (The Pancake Girl)
    January 13, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    Ooh! This sounds good.. Sounds like it would be similar to a book I read last year- “On the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.” I forget the author but it was about the Japanese and Chinese in Nor Cal. Also a good read!

  • Reply
    Rachel S
    January 13, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    I read this last year and loved it too! I liked the Joy Luck Club so I figured I’d give it a shot. So good! I think it would be awesome as a movie too!

  • Reply
    Maria
    January 13, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    Thanks for the recommendation! It sounds like it would be a great read…definitely a page turner.

  • Reply
    carole
    January 13, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    After I read Lisa See’s novels, I read her non fiction book, On Gold Mountain. This is about her family’s history, which I thought was fascinating. It read like a novel and made me understand her connection to the Chinese side of her ancestry.

  • Reply
    Amy
    January 13, 2011 at 7:29 pm

    I just saw this book at the bookstore and it looks great! Thanks for the recommendation, can’t wait to read it!

  • Reply
    Candi
    January 13, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    I read this last spring! Sooooo good! I was just walking through Sam’s one day, spotted it and knew I’d love it!

  • Reply
    Jaime Ramsay
    January 13, 2011 at 11:12 pm

    I love it when you meet a book like that! There’s nothing better – the dark circles are totally worth it!

  • Reply
    megan @ blackberries for jam
    January 14, 2011 at 4:38 am

    You have the BEST book recommendations. Keep ’em coming!!

  • Reply
    Erin
    January 14, 2011 at 5:42 am

    Love this book! We read it in my bookclub a few months back!

  • Reply
    Nancy in Naples
    January 14, 2011 at 7:00 am

    Definitely one of my favorite books . . .

  • Reply
    Courtney Craig
    January 14, 2011 at 7:14 am

    I loved this book too, Jenna! Anything cultural-historical fiction, and I’m all over it!

  • Reply
    Brittany
    January 14, 2011 at 8:46 am

    jenna,
    i loveeeed shanghai girls. but i loved Falling Leaves: The Memoir of an Unwanted Chinese Daughter more! read it! (and cry).

    reading your blog i’m kicking myself that i told santa i didn’t want a kindle after all. i NEED a kindle wahhh.

    • Reply
      jenna
      January 14, 2011 at 10:50 am

      I read it! and loved it!

  • Reply
    Maria @ The Fitted Apron
    January 14, 2011 at 8:55 am

    Thanks for the book recommendation.

  • Reply
    Lisa
    January 22, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    I am a huge historical novel freak and have loved other novels by Lisa See, but I haven’t read this one yet. You should check out the series by Thalassa Ali starting with A Singular Hostage. They are some of my favorites.

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