Sunday Salon – February 10, 2008


February 10, 2008

10:40 AM

Another Sunday – where do the days go?  I slept in this morning – still battling a chest cold that has been lingering for two weeks now.  It is a beautiful sunny day here in Northern California and the snow is melting in rivulets down the driveway and off the roof. It makes me think of Spring and tulips and warmer days ahead.

I finished Theft of the Master this week (read my review) and  am currently reading The Night Watch, by Sarah Waters. This book has sat on my TBR stack for more than a year…I have no idea why it has taken me so long to get to it. I’ve not read anything by Waters before, and I am loving her voice and skill at character development. Writers who wonder how to create believable characters need to pick up this book. Waters writes with sensitivity and an ear for dialogue. The Night Watch is a story told in reverse – beginning just after WWII in London and then working back in time to end at the beginning. There is a certain tension which develops with this technique. The characters are introduced and bring with them the mystery of their past, which is then gradually revealed as the novel progresses. I’m about half way through the novel and hope to finish it by tomorrow.

Waiting for me is a stack of early review books from various sources….The Story of Forgetting, by Stefan Merrill Block due to be published in April 2008 (sent to me by Jen at Observed in Books), The Translator: A Tribesman’s Memoir of Darfur, by Daoud Hari due for publication by Random House in March 2008 (from Library Things’ early review program);  Belong to Me, by Marisa de los Santos to be published by Harper Collins in April 2008 (received through Shelf Awareness). These all look like wonderful books which I am looking forward to reading.

My good friend Lois surprised me this week by sending me a hard cover copy of The Hearts of Horses, by Molly Gloss. I’ve not read anything by this author and the book looks fabulous. I’ve got it on my bedside table, lined up in the queue.

Which leads me to once again ponder on the vast array of books I want to read and how short life seems in the face of it. Do any of you feel this way? That there are more books out there to be read then there can possibly be time to read them? I imagine this is better than the reverse…and for some people in the world gaining access to books is difficult. What would I do without my piles of books?

The day is calling to me – the pull of Spring is in the air. I plan to take a short walk today in the neighborhood just to feel the sun on my face and smell the clean fragrance of the pines and snow. I’ll be curling up later on the couch with the cats to read more of The Night Watch…until then, enjoy the afternoon, Saloners!

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14 comments

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    • Anonymous on February 10, 2008 at 14:03

    I also have an ARC of The Translator, I’m hoping to have it read by the week of its publication. Are you planning on reading it anytime soon. I was so excited to receive it from the author, I can’t wait to read it!
    I hope you’re cold goes away soon!

    • Anonymous on February 10, 2008 at 14:04

    I mean ‘your’, not ‘you’re’. I can’t leave that mistake in print without acknowledging it! 🙂

    • Anonymous on February 10, 2008 at 14:22

    You and I have the same exact ARCs lined up to read. =)
    I was struck by your comment about not having enough time in our lives to read all of the books we want to read. Life is short, for sure, and while I am still fairly yoiung, I do feel like I’m running against some type of clock to “get it all in.” I guess the lesson to be learned is to not waste time on books we don’t like so we can move on to the ones that leave their fingerprints on us…
    Enjoy your weather!!
    Jill

    • Anonymous on February 10, 2008 at 14:31

    My PhD Supervisor once told me that the day he came to terms with his mortality was the day he realised that he possessed more unread books than he could possibly have life left in which to read them – and that doesn’t account for all the one that would be published (and knowing him, bought) during those remaining years!
    Sorry about the cold. The worst thing about bugs picked up at this time of the year is the way they linger. Why don’t they realise they’re outstaying their welcome?
    I really ought to try the Sarah Waters, so many of my friends enjoy her work. But, I failed miserably with ‘Fingersmith’, which I gave up on on the life is too short principle, so I’ve been wary of trying anything else.

    • Anonymous on February 10, 2008 at 14:37

    Alisia: The Translator is next up on my list – it looks good, and I think it will be a quick read.
    Jill: Wow, what a coincidence *grins* I agree – life is too short to read bad books!
    Anne: *laughing* I can just see your professor surrounded by his stacks, gazing in the mirror and saying “I am mortal after all.” And you’re right about these bugs lingering in the winter – I think it is because we are shut up in the house with them. Regarding The Night Watch – I am really liking it. But, I think it is different from her other work. What didn’t you like about Fingersmith?

    • Anonymous on February 10, 2008 at 18:26

    Oh, I periodically worry and fret about all the books I haven’t read on my shelves and all the others waiting on store shelves that need to be acquired! I try to enjoy it though because when I was younger my access to books was much more limited.
    I have that exact same Waters on my shelf. I’ll get around to it too. One day.

    • Anonymous on February 10, 2008 at 21:53

    I hate to see the ARCs piling up but oh well – I just try my best 🙂
    I’ve had Night Watch on my shelves for quite a while too. I highly recommend Affinity by Waters. Such a great novel. Hope you enjoyed the day!

    • Anonymous on February 10, 2008 at 22:27

    I got a copy of The Translator from Library Thing too!! I really need to get on reading that one!!

    • Anonymous on February 10, 2008 at 22:28

    Yeah!! I upgraded my IExplorer and now I can comment on your site!! Of course, now I can’t read my email!! Man, I really hate computers sometimes!

    • Anonymous on February 11, 2008 at 08:13

    I couldn’t summon up much interest in the story the first time it was told. When she then preceded to tell it again from another character’s point of view, I decided that life was definitely just too short. I’d taken five days to read 250 pages (almost unheard of for me) and there were another 300. It was all just too much!

    • Anonymous on February 11, 2008 at 09:46

    I often think that there simply won’t be enough time to read all the books that I’d like to. Sad but I agree that the reverse would be much worse.
    I’ve had The Night Watch for probably about a year too and still haven’t read it. I loved her previous books, esp. Fingersmith and Affinity.
    Hope you enjoyed your day.

    • Anonymous on February 11, 2008 at 10:09

    Glad to see you’re having nicer weather. We had a wind chill of -24F!!
    I’m looking forward to reading The Translator as well.

    • Anonymous on February 11, 2008 at 10:43

    Thanks for letting me know – I just wondered because Fingersmith seems to be a popular book by Waters….

    • Anonymous on February 11, 2008 at 10:48

    Imani: If I would just stop acquiring books, I’d probably be okay! *laughs*
    Iliana: Thanks for the recommendation!
    Steph: YAY! Glad you can comment here now. I hope you can fix the glitch with email.
    Tanabata: Thanks! Lots of people seem to love Waters’ novels; and I will most likely be reading more of her in the future.
    Michelle: Yikes! Way to cold for me 🙂 We’re actually looking at a pretty good weather pattern here for the next week – temps in the 50s…woo hoo!

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