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Reviews
Ann Can Fly by Fred Phleger
The Birthday Ball by Lois Lowry
The Blues Go Birding Across America by Carol L. Malnor and Sandy F. Fuller
The Casebook of Victor Frankenstein by Peter Ackroyd
The Egyptian Jukebox by Nick Bantock
Flanimals Pop-up by Ricky Gervais
The Function of Ornament by Michael Kubo
The Illusions of Tranquility by Brendan DuBois
In Mike We Trust by P.E. Ryan
The Iron Man by Ted Hughes
The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan
Love that Dog by Sharon Creech
The Most Wonderful Egg in the World by Helme Heine
My Cat, the Silliest Cat in the World by Gilles Bachelet
The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
On a Scary Scary Night by Walter Wick
Owls by Gail Gibbons
Owl Lake by Keizaburo Tejima
Paula Bunyan by Phyllis Root
Proust and the Squid by Maryanne Wolf
Pump Six and Other Stories by Paolo Bacigalupi
Sky Burial by Xinran
Smile by Raina Telgemeier
Too Many Pumpkins by Linda White
Tirissa and the Necklace of Nulidor by Willow
Three Leaves of Aloe by Rand B. Lee
Treehorn's Treasure by Florence Parry Heide
What Do You Love? by Jonathan London
Wheel of the Moon by Sandra Forrester
Where is that Cat? by Carol Greene

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Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



Sky Burial: An Epic Love Story of Tibet 04/06/11

cover art

Sky Burial: An Epic Love Story of Tibet by Xinran. The first is completely shallow: I wanted an X author for my archive list. The second one stems back to 1997 to an online friendship I had with a blogger (although she called her site an ezine). She was very pro Tibet freedom and was my main source of information about Tibet for the seven or so years I knew her.

Sky Burial is a roman à clef. Some places catalog it as nonfiction and some as fiction. My library catalogs it as fiction and since I read their copy, I will do the same.

The book begins in a fashion that normally sends me running for this hills: with the narrator setting up to tell the fabulous story of this amazing character she met as a result of her work as a journalist. It's the same narrational technique employed in Heart of Darkness but Xinran makes it work far better than Conrad. Here the narrator steps aside and story isn't told as a series of extended quotations. It's the literary equivalent of a fade to flashback in a film.
So the actual main character then is Shu Wen, a doctor who enlists in the army in hopes of finding her missing, presumed dead husband. She is sent to Tibet and ends up lost there. Thus begins her strange and eye opening life in Tibet.

Thematically the book is the inverse of Heart of Darkness. Wen's journey into Tibet helps her grow as a person. When she returns to her home she finds her homeland changed for the worse, whereas Kurtz and the man who goes after him are both scared by their journey up the Congo.

Four stars

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