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The Mountains Sing
The Mountains Sing | Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai
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review
Michellesibs
The Mountains Sing | Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai
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Pickpick

Set in Vietnam we have one family, two timelines. One during the land reforms in the thirties and the other set in the seventies during the Viet Nam war.

I learnt a lot reading this book. About the history, the culture and family dynamics.

With both tinelines handling heavy topics and featuring the same characters I did feel confused at times, I think a linear timeline would have worked better for me personally. That aside I did enjoy this.

43 likes1 stack add
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Becker
The Mountains Sing | Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai
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Mehso-so

What I loved: the history
What I liked: the story
What I hated: the writing which was choppy, written mostly in mono and disyllabic words and was totally lacking in style. I don‘t know why this bothered me so much because most people don‘t seem to have minded it. 🤷‍♀️

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SanjanaGhosh
The Mountains Sing | Que Mai Phan Nguyen
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Pickpick

9th book of 2024!

Ruthiella Nice work! 👍 5mo
22 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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ChaoticMissAdventures
The Mountains Sing | Nguyen Phan Que Mai
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One of my best #bookspin months in a long while.
I finished both my #bookspin and my #doublespin
And worked in 3 #bookspinbingos

Thanks @thearomaofbooks for helping me focus and get those old TBR books read!

TheAromaofBooks Yay!! Fabulous month!!! 10mo
22 likes1 comment
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ChaoticMissAdventures
The Mountains Sing | Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai
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Pickpick

#bookspin @TheAromaofBooks
This is a very heavy book - set before and during the war with the United States, we follow a family who has been scattered and the generations before this time, when the French and Japanese invaded. It is a brutal and traumatic look at how innocent families were affected by the wars.
I did find it a bit hard to follow especially in the middle as the POV was changing but I think it is an important read.

TheAromaofBooks Great progress!!! 10mo
SamAnne I've been trying to get to this one. Looks great. Thanks for the review. 10mo
ChaoticMissAdventures @SamAnne it was on my TBR from 2019. So many good books. And this one is pretty heavy, so it is best to be in the right headspace for that. Hope you get to it and enjoy. 10mo
34 likes3 comments
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ChaoticMissAdventures
The Mountains Sing | Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai
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#Bookspin The Mountains Sing
#DoubleSpin Punching the Air

@thearomaofbooks

I am super excited, my goal for this year with the help of Bookspin was to get all of my 2019 books off my GR TBR, at this rate, it looks like I will be getting not only the 2019 ones but 14 #DoubleSpin is my last book on there for 2020! So I think I will be up to 2021 at the beginning of next year, anything left of these 14 at the end of the year I am going to delete.

Suet624 Nice!!! 11mo
TheAromaofBooks Yay!!! I absolutely love your goal!!! I think I may try something similar for my BookSpin challenge next year. I've had some books lingering here since I started book blogging back in 2013!!! 10mo
20 likes2 comments
review
Centique
The Mountains Sing | Nguyen Phan Que Mai
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Pickpick

A heart breaking book that brings to life Vietnams tumultuous past through the experiences of one family. We meet Huong and her grandmother recovering from a bomb strike in 1972 and hoping for the return of parents who have been caught up in the war. We also get Grandma‘s childhood and life through the Land Reform and WW2. This family has been through a lot of trauma and it was a valuable education to have my eyes opened to it ⬇️

Centique While I was totally caught up in this story, the blurb on the back compares this to Pachinko. I don‘t think that‘s a fair comparison as Pachinko is a much longer, more complex book that goes deeper into the characters psyche. This is still a great book and highly recommended. 🙌 13mo
Centique PS image is of a “bottle brush” an Australian tree that is also popular here in NZ. 13mo
ncsufoxes I just picked this up the other day. I loved (edited) 13mo
See All 6 Comments
tpixie Great review. Beautiful photo!! 13mo
Rissreads The birds love my bottle brushes in my garden. 13mo
Megabooks Definitely resembles a bottle brush but prettier! 12mo
68 likes6 comments
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Singout
The Mountains Sing | Que Mai Phan Nguyen
Pickpick

Such a moving novel: shifting back and forth in North Vietnam between an early teenage girl‘s experience of the end of the Vietnam war and her grandmother‘s survival of the 1945 Great Hunger and later Communist land reform, with the middle generation being the struggling children in the early phase, or those who went to war later. A country I know almost nothing about: so many good insights. #Booked2023 #SetInAMountainRegion
#Bookspin

Cinfhen I‘ve been curious about this one - great review 1y
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 1y
Singout Highly recommended, with caveats about graphic violence. 1y
BarbaraTheBibliophage This was such a good book, with those important caveats! 1y
8 likes1 stack add4 comments
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Chavelafab
The Mountains Sing | Que Mai Phan Nguyen
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Pickpick

Heart breaking at times it‘s a beautifully written book that centres on three generations of women including their relationships. I loved the Vietnamese proverbs.

2 likes1 stack add
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Lieh
The Mountains Sing | Que Mai Phan Nguyen
Pickpick

A great cast of characters. I found myself deeply moved multiple times throughout the book. Would reccomend!

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Gissy
The Mountains Sing | Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai
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Pickpick

What a beautiful book. A family saga during different period of times in Vietnam. The story is told fromGuava (Huong) and her grandmother perspectives. How the wars affected these two generations. So many sad scenes during those battles😢so important to know their own voices since the author said was part of that aftermath. I loved to know about their culture and folklore. The audio was perfect to have a sense of how the language sounds. 4.5/5⭐️

Gissy #BookSpinBingo @TheAromaOfBooks

#AsianReadathon prompt-read a book featuring an Asian character who is a woman.(Country-Vietnam)
(edited) 2y
Texreader I liked this one too but I recall it being an emotional read. Nice review 2y
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 2y
53 likes1 stack add3 comments
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mklong
The Mountains Sing | Nguyen Phan Que Mai
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Pickpick

Another excellent and thoughtful choice from my #NewYearWhoDis buddy @4thhouseontheleft

It‘s the story of three generations of a Vietnamese family and leading up to, during, and after, what Americans refer to as the Vietnam War. As you might imagine, there is plenty of tragedy, but there are also bright spots of love that keep it from being a total drag.

If you aren‘t familiar with Vietnamese pronunciation, I highly recommend the audio version.

CaitlinR This was the best book I read last year! 2y
47 likes1 comment
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Ast_Arslan
The Mountains Sing | Que Mai Phan Nguyen
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Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks ❤️📚🧡 2y
Eggs 🧡🌿❤️ 2y
22 likes2 comments
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Morr_Books
The Mountains Sing | Nguyen Phan Que Mai
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Pickpick

This is a wonderful family saga story from a Vietnamese author. I learned quite a few new things about the history of Vietnam and the culture through this story. It was heartwrenchingly beautiful. ❤️ #bookclubpick

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TalesandTexts
The Mountains Sing | Nguyen Phan Que Mai
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Pickpick

A really nice insight into the Vietnam war from the Vietnamese perspective. Loved the Vietnamese pronunciation of the phrases and songs. It was very authentic. Describes generational trauma and the power of forgiveness.

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Jolynne
The Mountains Sing | Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai
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Pickpick

Through this work of fiction a brief history of Vietnam from the land reform years through the war told through the eyes of one family as they struggle to survive.

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Yahui07
The Mountains Sing | Nguyen Phan Que Mai
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Pickpick

Like and enjoy this book more than I expected.
Like the tenderness and warmth this book conveys even what it talks about is a cruel and sad history. Also, this book brought the memory of Hà Nội I visited to and my plan to travel to Vietnam again back to me. Most importantly, I learned that what Vietnamese have been through is more than the Vietnam War.
“May our planet never see another armed conflict” said the author resonates with me. Recommend!

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JillR
The Mountains Sing | Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai
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Pickpick

An epic family saga spanning the Vietnamese land reform and Vietnam-America war, the focus is Huong‘s grandmother telling her life story as Huong comes of age in the aftermath of the war. I think this is the first book I‘ve read which focuses on the Vietnamese people; all I knew of the war was based on an American perspective. An affecting study of everyday life and family relationships, as well as hardships faced. Gripping and beautifully written

TrishB Great review 👍🏻 3y
JillR Thanks @trishb 😊 3y
29 likes2 comments
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MelKelsey
The Mountains Sing | Nguyen Phan Que Mai
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Pickpick

Book 109

The Mountains Sing is the well-written story of the Tran family, displaced from their home and separated during the Viet Nam War, as they reunite. It's an educational, heartfelt Vietnamese perspective rich with quality characters. I will read more by the author. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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Shamzi
The Mountains Sing | Que Mai Phan Nguyen
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This bok is set in 2 time lines, one during the Vietnam war in 1970s and the other is during the war with Japan and France in 1950s.
It was just so good to read and learn about loss and tragedy which did not revolve around the World War.

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Shamzi
The Mountains Sing | Que Mai Phan Nguyen
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Sunday Funday!!!
Spent the Sunday updating the reading challenge 🎊🎉🎊🎉

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Shamzi
The Mountains Sing | Que Mai Phan Nguyen
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This came in a book box this month!!!

18 likes1 comment
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JackieGreco
The Mountains Sing | Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai
Pickpick

I adored this novel. I was immersed in the multigenerational story of a woman and her granddaughter‘s experience in Vietnam. It was a beautiful and heartbreaking story of love and family. This also made me understand the extraordinarily difficult times in Vietnam during the 20th century.

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BarbaraTheBibliophage
The Mountains Sing | Nguyen Phan Que Mai
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Pickpick

All the emotions. It‘s a story of one family through decades and traumatic lives. Viet Nam in the 20th century was all upheaval and unrest. But this family, especially the grandmother just didn‘t quit. After reading some #readingasia2021 picks focused on colonialists, this was a welcome change for its in-depth look from a Vietnamese author about her country and its people.

Full review http://www.TheBibliophage.com #thebibliophage2021 #vietnam

Librarybelle This is on my to read list! 3y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @Librarybelle I really liked it. The audiobook was well done! 3y
81 likes4 stack adds2 comments
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BarbaraTheBibliophage
The Mountains Sing | Nguyen Phan Que Mai
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Started this yesterday while I was #audioweeding in my garden. Makes my least favorite part of gardening more palatable, even though it‘s a #vietnam war story. Working my way slowly through #readingasia.

65 likes2 stack adds
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Shamzi
The Mountains Sing | Nguyen Phan Que Mai
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My birthday gift finally arrived, 6 months late😂😂😂
It has 3 books, a Sherlock Holmes based book end, a bookaholic mask, personalized library card, some reading trackers, a few bookmarks and couple of other things.
The best part- this is the first of three boxes to arrive!!!

Lauram This looks great! Happy belated birthday 🥳 (edited) 3y
Shamzi @Lauram thank you soo much 😊😊😊 3y
19 likes1 stack add2 comments
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ReadingisMyPassion
The Mountains Sing | Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai
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Pickpick

It seems almost sacrilegious to say this is a beautifully written book while the content is about two violent periods of Vietnam‘s history. Even though surrounded by violence, respectfulness and gentleness could still be found among the people of Vietnam. This is a story of human endurance, family, loyalty, hope, and the strength of the women.

“If our stories survive, we will not die, even when our bodies are no longer here on earth.”

14 likes1 stack add
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Beatlefan129
The Mountains Sing | Nguyen Phan Que Mai
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1. Occasionally I will. I did this with the tagged book because there were many Vietnamese phrases and names and I wanted to hear how they were pronounced.
2. I love hearing words in other languages besides English and sometimes it helps me keep characters straight when I hear their names versus read them.
#Two4Tuesday

TheSpineView Thanks for playing and happy Tuesday! 💚📖📚 3y
52 likes1 comment
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mitu.delghy
The Mountains Sing | Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai
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My next read... Anyone read ?

2 likes1 stack add
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StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego
The Mountains Sing | Nguyen Phan Que Mai
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#AudioWalking This read is excellent so far.

81 likes1 stack add
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Twocougs
The Mountains Sing | Nguyen Phan Que Mai
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Pickpick

Such a beautiful story. And I agree with her dedication, “May our planet never see another armed conflict.”

BookishTrish That looks like my reading chair! 3y
29 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Kelly_the_Bookish_Sidekick
The Mountains Sing | Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai
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Pickpick

????? This heartbreaking look at one family's struggles and sacrifices covers time from 1930's into 1980. Dieu Lan tells stories of her past to her granddaughter, nicknamed Guava, interspersed with their "present day" experiences. It is an amazing story of strength and sadness, with a few rare moments of good and happiness. Listening on audio really helped me to hear the pronunciations and immerse myself in Vietnam. If you listen...

Kelly_the_Bookish_Sidekick please look at an online preview or snap a pick of the family tree in the front of the physical book and keep it close. The multigenerational tales mixed with similar and new-to-me names made things a bit tricky early on until I had that family tree close. 3y
See All 8 Comments
Butterfinger Good suggestion. I love to be able to go to the front of a book to study family trees. 3y
Texreader Excellent review! 3y
Catsandbooks Yes, audiobooks are so great for pronunciation help! 3y
Bookworm54 I listened on audio, and a family tree would have been super helpful! 3y
Apostcardlife Thanks for the audio rec! Good to know! 3y
60 likes3 stack adds8 comments
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Bookworm54
The Mountains Sing | Nguyen Phan Que Mai
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Pickpick

This was a tough read, but so beautiful and definitely worth the effort!

This is the story of Trần Diệu Lan and her granddaughter Hương (nicknamed Guava). Set in two timelines it tells the tale of Diệu Lan‘s life, and how she fled her home with six children during the land reforms, and of her and Hương‘s life during the Vietnam war years later.

#FoodAndLit #Vietnam

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bnp
The Mountains Sing | Nguyen Phan Que Mai
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Couldn't stop reading this once I started. 339 pages, went by in a flash. Multigenerational saga of Vietnam, 1940s-1970s.

#20in4, @Andrew65, #foodandlit

SamAnne Picked this up from the library but didn‘t get to it. But I‘ve put it on my TBR list. 3y
Come-read-with-me This sounds great - stacked! 3y
20 likes1 stack add2 comments
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alisiakae
The Mountains Sing | Nguyen Phan Que Mai
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Pickpick

The Mountains Sing is a harrowing story of intergenerational trauma that spans the Land Reforms of the 1950s through the post-Vietnam War era. At its core is Dieu Lan, the grandmother, an incredibly resilient woman who perseveres through horrific tragedies. Dieu Lan‘s flashbacks alternate from the coming of age story of her granddaughter, Guava. Reconciliation, forgiveness, and familial bonds are recurring themes. Definitely a 5⭐️ read.

Butterfinger Wonderful review. 3y
alisiakae @Butterfinger you‘re fast, I hadn‘t even finished my tags yet! 🤣 I don‘t think I would have found this book if it wasn‘t for #foodandlit, and it‘s definitely one of my favorites so far this year! 3y
See All 13 Comments
Butterfinger @4thhouseontheleft I am glad that you found such a book. 3y
alisiakae And after some thought, I‘m also going to use this for #booked2021 #underrated title, after realizing this hasn‘t been nominated for a single award. It‘s definitely an award-worthy book in my opinion! @Cinfhen @BarbaraTheBibliophage 3y
BarbaraTheBibliophage I‘m glad to see your review! I picked this up on an Audible Daily Deal last year and plan to use it for #vietnam also! 3y
Cinfhen Great review and I need a #familytree 💕🙌🏻 3y
alisiakae @Cinfhen It was a pleasant surprise to open the book and see a family tree! I didn't have anything picked out for that prompt yet. 3y
alisiakae @BarbaraTheBibliophage I think you would like it! Just make sure to read it at a time when you are in the mood or able to handle a very depressing and heartbreaking story. 3y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @4thhouseontheleft Thank you for that advice ... much needed ... 3y
BarbaraBB That is quite a recommendation 🤍 3y
Librarybelle I recently checked this out from the library for #Vietnam . Wonderful review! 3y
Texreader This was such a hard read, and not the best point in my life to have read (listened to) it. Your review is excellent. And your advice to find a good time in your life when you can handle such sad sad stuff to read it. It was a lot to take in. But I also agree, so well written. I loved the messages in it as well 3y
105 likes1 stack add13 comments
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Bookworm54
The Mountains Sing | Nguyen Phan Que Mai
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I made beef pho from scratch for #FoodAndLit today!
I followed the recipe but was a little disappointed by the broth. After 5 hours I had hoped for something with more depth, and although it smelled amazing, the finished broth was quite weak. I will adapt if I make it again! The herbs, garnish, and beef worked really well with it, though I may have made it a little spicy! 🤣

#Vietnam

britt_brooke Yum! 3y
Butterfinger Strong attempt. I applaud you. 3y
Jaimelire Love making...and eating Pho🥢 3y
bthegood Looks good - I usually add a little plum sauce 🙂 3y
47 likes4 comments
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alisiakae
The Mountains Sing | Nguyen Phan Que Mai
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This quote struck me, since I‘m reading this book as part of the #foodandlit challenge to explore other countries and cultures!

When I visited Vietnam in the early 2000s, it was the first time I learned about the Vietnam War from the Vietnamese perspective. That experience has always stuck with me, and was the beginning of my journey to seek out multiple perspectives when learning about historical and current events.

Butterfinger Love love love!!! 3y
Lcsmcat That‘s a very Tolstoian concept. He totally believed that if art could get people to realize the inner lives of others, peace and kindness would ensue. 3y
89 likes1 stack add3 comments
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Bookalong
The Mountains Sing | Nguyen Phan Que Mai
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Pickpick

5🌟In The Mountains Sing we follow matriarch, Dieu Lan through the years, war, starvation, the losses, heartbreaks, and unbelievably hard decisions to do whats best for her and her family to survive. Her story is not for the weak of heart, she will blow you away with her resilience, strength and compassion. How one woman and one family can continually suffer and continually rise again was so captivating to read! Highly reccomend!

16 likes1 stack add
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Crazeedi
The Mountains Sing | Nguyen Phan Que Mai
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Finally chose the book I'm going to read for #FoodAndLit #Vietnam @Butterfinger @Texreader

Butterfinger Hope you enjoy it. Karen just finished it. 3y
SamAnne Just got this from the library. Think I‘m going to start with Sigh, Gone and see if I can get to this one as well. 3y
alisiakae I‘m reading it now, and I am completely absorbed in the story. 3y
Crazeedi @4thhouseontheleft that's so good to know!! 3y
59 likes4 comments
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Texreader
The Mountains Sing | Que Mai Phan Nguyen
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Pickpick

A very dark book. Of the almost 11 hours of audio, maybe a total of 1 hour over the course of the book was either happy or neutral emotionally. The rest involved sadness and tragedy—a difficult book, but knowing this was likely an accurate depiction of what #Vietnam went through during French occupation and the war, it seemed the least I could do was listen, understand, & appreciate the experiences. Very well written & narrated. #foodandlit

SamAnne Oy. Just picked this up from the library. 3y
Butterfinger Great review. 3y
Texreader @SamAnne Just prepare yourself. It‘s been a sad few weeks for me so it wasn‘t the best book for me at this time. But it‘s a good book. 3y
See All 6 Comments
alisiakae Great review! I‘m reading it now, it is filled with heartbreak, but I‘m also warmed by the loving relationships, too, esp between Huong and her grandmother. 3y
Bookworm54 Great review! I have 5 hours left and I have been struggling with just how sad a lot of it is, but it is also very beautiful. I‘m hoping I can finish it next week :) 3y
80 likes6 comments
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Texreader
The Mountains Sing | Que Mai Phan Nguyen
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Audiocrafting now to the tagged book. These cards are perfect to wish all my Litten friends Happy Valentines Day! I‘m so grateful for your friendship.

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TEArificbooks
The Mountains Sing | Nguyen Phan Que Mai
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Tried Vietnamese for the first time for #foodandlit @Butterfinger @Texreader We ordered a bunch to try different things. The kids loved the shrimp fried rice and egg rolls and the honey chicken from the banh mi sandwich. The veggie vermicelli was good but the kids found it plain and did not like the sauce that came on the side. We all agreed the pho beef broth was amazing. We are going to try to get a sandwich from each country.

MrBook Mmmm, love Vietnamese! 😋 3y
Butterfinger Really looks tasty. 3y
Catsandbooks Scrumptious! 3y
52 likes3 comments
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OutAndAbout
The Mountains Sing | Nguyen Phan Que Mai
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This novel was epic and sweeping in terms of the timeframe and geography it covered, while still being utterly readable and engrossing. Following a grandmother and granddaughter through 2 timeframes of Vietnamese history, you are transported to times & places through food, books, songs, & nature. The story is heartbreaking, yet full of richly rewarding stories of complicated family relationships. Probably one of my best-of-2021-reads.
#foodandlit

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OutAndAbout
The Mountains Sing | Nguyen Phan Que Mai
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A cold day perfect to read this amazing story about what decades of war do to a North Vietnamese family. With a Spotify playlist of Vietnamese music, Googling images of places like this one of Turtle Tower. The book is heartbreaking & engrossing. There‘s an interesting Little House in the Big Woods connection, where she learns from reading a smuggled handwritten copy that Americans are more similar to her than she‘s been told. #foodandlit

Butterfinger That connection is really cool. 3y
29 likes1 comment
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Daniella.Richardson
The Mountains Sing | Nguyen Phan Que Mai
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Pickpick

Beautifully written and heartbreaking. First book I‘ve read that takes the perspective of the North Vietnamese throughout decades of war and pain. I was immediately drawn into the lives of this family that suffered so much but still fought for the ones they loved. #8of2021

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Texreader
The Mountains Sing | Que Mai Phan Nguyen
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I started this one this weekend for #foodandlit #Vietnam and #readingasia2021. I‘m two hours into it and I like it a lot. @Butterfinger @Catsandbooks @Librarybelle @BarbaraBB

Librarybelle 😁 3y
OutAndAbout I‘m about an hour behind you. I agree it‘s a very promising start! 3y
62 likes3 stack adds2 comments
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TheKidUpstairs
The Mountains Sing | Nguyen Phan Que Mai
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This one is on sale right now through Amazon (e-book only) in the States and Kobo in Canada. It sounds like a great read, perfect for #FoodandLit #Vietnam next month!

@Butterfinger @Texreader

Texreader This was on my tbr! So I just nabbed the audiobook! Thanks for the reminder! 4y
MsMelissa Thanks for the heads up. 4y
Butterfinger Wow! Thanks for sharing. I'm going right now to grab it. 4y
MallenNC I‘ve heard good reviews on this one too. I added the audiobook. 4y
OutAndAbout Great find! Thanks for the heads up. 4y
61 likes5 comments
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bnp
The Mountains Sing | Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai
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2 graphic memoirs
Vietnamese Memories Vol.1: Leaving Saigon (1)by Clément Baloup (focuses on people going to France)
- Such a lovely little war by Marcelino Truong (from a Vietnamese child's perspective, but an adult book.)

The sorrow of war by Bao Minh (novel written by North Vietnamese soldier)

Vietnam: anatural history/Eleanor Sterling
Vietnam: anew history/Christopher Goscha

The mountains sing by Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai

#foodandlit, #Vietnam

Butterfinger I really want to read The Mountains Sing. Thanks for adding to our book list. 4y
16 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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juliegumdrop
The Mountains Sing | Nguyen Phan Que Mai
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Here are my top 9 favorites of 2020. (Not necessarily published in 2020, just books I read last year.) I read 92 books in 2020 and gave 35 books a 5 ⭐️ rating. It was an awesome reading year for me.

readordierachel I loved Severance 💖 4y
juliegumdrop @readordierachel yes! I listened to it on audio and the narrator was amazing 4y
18 likes2 comments
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Beatlefan129
The Mountains Sing | Nguyen Phan Que Mai
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Pickpick

I‘ve always had an interest in books about the Vietnam War, but this is the first one I‘ve read that is not written from the American perspective.Born in Vietnam in 1973,Que Mai interviewed hundreds of people and fictionalised their stories to create this multi generational masterpiece.Since she mixes Vietnamese phrases into the narrative,I listened to this on audio and it really enhanced the experience for me. Haunting, powerful, & memorable ❤️

BarbaraBB I read this one by an Italian journalist who interviewed many Vietnamese people too and was deeply impressed 4y
80 likes6 stack adds1 comment