December 9, 2007 archive

Sunday Salon – December 9, 2007

December 9, 2007

I’ve decided to join The Sunday Salon after reading several posts by other readers over the last few weeks. The idea is to spend time reading and blogging about your reading each Sunday. Content is up to the blogger. I’ve subscribed to the email feed so I get alerts about others participating in the Sunday Saloon. It just sounds like fun to me!

So without further ado…here goes!

I have quite a stack of books to be read in December. My goal is to hit 100 books for the year, and to do this I need to knock off 11 more books this month. Quite a feat – and a stretch in a month when my attention is diverted by Christmas shopping, baking and decorating.

Yesterday I started reading The Emperor’s Children, by Claire Messud. I’m almost 100 pages into this character driven book set in New York. Messud has an interesting style – one which has taken some getting used to, but am enjoying the further I get into the story. None of the characters is terribly likable – in fact they all derive from the privileged classes and are far too concerned with their angst and notoriety. In one memorable passage, the father of Marina (who is himself a bit of a snob) recognizes he and his wife’s failure in raising a daughter:

He suddenly saw his daughter as a monster he and Annabel had created – they and a society of excess. -page 66-

Despite their annoying traits, I find myself wanting to know what the characters will do next. I would like to get to the halfway point of the novel before the end of the day.

The next book up on my to read list will most likely be one of these:
Disgrace, by J.M. Coetzee
The Night Watch, by Sarah Waters
The Outlander, by Gil Adamson (an early review book from Ecco Harper Collins)

Have you read any of these books? Any reactions to them?

Earlier this week, I finished Fatal Voyage, by Kathy Reichs (read my review). Every now and then, I love sinking into one of these forensic crime novels…and Reichs is at the top of her game. I’ve read a few of her other books and found them all to be riveting.

I finished A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khaled Hosseini (read my review) yesterday amid tears and an ache in the middle of my chest. I felt like I needed to go for a long walk and then read something trivial after the intensity of that book…it’s one which will stick with me a long time, I think.

Short Stories Read in 2007

Listed here are the short stories I read in 2007. Collections of short stories are also recorded under Books Read in 2007. Individual short stories will only be found in this post.

Short Stories are rated as follows:

5 = Excellent; a must read; highly recommended
4 = Good/Very good; recommended
3 = Okay; Pretty good
2 = Not recommended; boring; didn’t hold my interest
1 = Awful; hated it; probably didn’t even finish the darn thing

Glimmer Train Stories (Issue #51 – Summer 2004)
Read for: Mostly Books book group. To read my thoughts on these short stories, click here.

Hot House, by Jeni Lapidus
Rated: 4/5
Started: February 4, 2007
Finished: February 4, 2007

The Words Honey and Moon, by Jennifer Tseng
Rated: 3/5
Started: February 4, 2007
Finished February 4, 2007

Multiple Listings, by Lucy Honig
Rated: 4.5/5
Started: February 4, 2007
Finished February 4, 2007

Say To The Waves, by Paul Michel
Rated:  4.5/5
Started: February 6, 2007
Finished: February 6, 2007

Among the Living Amidst the Trees, by Bruce Machart

Rated: 5/5

Started: February 6, 2007
Finished: February 6, 2007

Everything’s Eventual, by Stephen King (A Collection of Stories)

Rating: 4/5
Number of Pages: 459
Read for: RIP Challenge
Started: October 13, 2007
Finished: October 29, 2007
To read a review click here.

A Beneficiary, by Nadine Gordimer

Rating: 5/5
Number of Pages: This was a short story, read on line at The New Yorker
Read for: Read the Nobels Challenge AND 21st Fiction yahoo group
Started: November 22, 2007
Finished: November 22, 2007
To read a review, click here.

Near-Extinct Birds of the Central Cordillera, by Ben Fountain

Rating: 4.5/5
Number of Pages: This was a short story, read on line at Zoetrope
Read for: 21st Fiction yahoo group
Started: December 16, 2007
Finished: December 16, 2007
To read a review, click here (as part of my Sunday Salon reading)
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