Farrah (lilaznffairy421) wrote in a_page_turned,

an intro + a book review

I've been reading (well, lurking around, I guess) here for awhile, but I never realized I hadn't joined yet. So I did today. :D

Name: Farrah
Age: 18
How did you find us: I was probably interest-surfing because I needed new books to read.
Favorite Books: -Hard Love, by Ellen Wittlinger
-Hawksong / -Shattered Mirror, by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
-Empress of the World, by Sara Ryan
-Scorpion Shards / -Thief of Souls / -Shattered Sky, by Neal Shusterman
-Breathing Underwater, by Alex Flinn
-Keeping the Moon / -The Truth About Forever, by Sarah Dessen
-The Great Gatsby / -This Side of Paradise, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
-The Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexandre Dumas
-Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen
-Sloppy Firsts / -Second Helpings, by Megan McCafferty
-Tuesdays with Morrie, by Mitch Albom
-As the Waltz Was Ending, by Emma Macalik Butterworth
-Blood and Chocolate, by Annette Curtis Klause
-Bookends, by Jane Green
-Our Town, by Thornton Wilder
Favorite genre, if any: Generally...realistic fiction, or fantasy.
Last Book Read: The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down
Rating(1-10: 1[worst] to 10[best]) and Thoughts on last book read: That's what the book review's for. :D

Book Title: The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down
Author: Anne Fadiman
Link (optional): Here.
Genre: Nonfiction.
Your rating of the book (1-10), 1 [worst] to 10 [best]: 9
Would you suggest this book to anyone?: Definitely. Anyone interested in becoming anything in the medical field, in Asian-American history, cultural competency, or just looking for a highly interesting/informative book to read.
Warnings (example: graphic language, "sexual" references): Not that I can recall.

Short description/summary of the book: About a 3-month-old Hmong child, Lia Lee, who's hospitalized because she has what her parents call "quag dab peg" (the spirit catches you and you fall down), and what her doctors define as epilepsy. It documents the family's life and culture for several years, and details Hmong history, and the CIA-run "Quiet War" (which was indeed quiet; I'd never even heard about it until I read this book).
Your own thoughts on the book: I read this for Asian-American studies, and out of the 6 books we've read for that class, this is by far my most favorite. I generally don't like reading nonfiction, or about history, but this was extremely interesting, and I just couldn't put it down. The book is filled with dry, dark humor almost everywhere, where you would probably laugh, if it weren't for the fact that everything else was just so hopeless, so tragic, so frustrating. Most people have never even heard of the Hmong, let alone anything about their culture, so it's informative, and definitely interesting.
Any other comments that you would like to share?: I actually found out today that the author wrote this book without really telling the family about her intentions of writing it while she was interviewing them and such, so the father was pretty upset when he found out. It changes my perspective on her a bit, but it's still a good book.
What's next on your book list?: I need suggestions. :[
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