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August reading recommendations

Here are my latest book recommendations for the Northwest Asian Weekly:

Pioneer Girl
By Bich Minh Nguyen
Viking, 2014

Ever since she received the box set from her grandfather when she turned 8, Lee Lien has always loved Laura Ingalls Wilder’s “Little House on the Prairie” books.

She uses the books – as well as others – as an escape from the rigid expectations of her Vietnamese family. And having had to escape from a mother who always found something to criticize her entire life, it was no surprise that Lee ended up with a doctorate in literature. With the lifelong goal of getting out of “here” (wherever their family was living at the time), Lee is appalled to find herself back home in the Chicago suburbs with her mother and grandfather, jobless with a degree that may not be good for much.

Then her brother Sam disappears, leaving behind an old family heirloom – a gold pin left behind by an American reporter in her grandfather’s café in Saigon – that takes Lee back to the days when her love for the “Little House” books was in full bloom.

As Lee looks into the pin’s history, she uncovers clues that may connect her family to the author of her favorite childhood books.

To read the rest of the article, click here.


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