Sunday Salon – March 2, 2008

March 2, 2008

7:35 AM

I retired early last night to start reading my latest book – Resistance, by Owen Sheers. This book came to me as an early review copy from Doubleday and it has sucked me in within the first 20 pages. Sheer’s writing is rhythmical and descriptive, which fits with his literary roots as a poet although this is his first novel. The novel wraps around a “what if” concept – what if the Nazis had defeated the Russians, stymied the D-Day landings, and occupied Britain? Set in the rolling green hills of Wales, Resistance sets out to answer this question. I’m only 30 pages into the book, so you will have to wait to see how I like it.

Last week I mentioned Song of Solomon – which I have now completed (read my review). I know that Song of Solomon got mixed reviews – some people love it, others don’t…but, for me it was really a wonderful read. Morrison is a gifted storyteller who knows her characters and shares them with the reader in great detail. By the time I’d finished the book, I felt like these characters were people I’d known for a long time – I understood them and empathized with them, they were like old friends. Any writer who can do that is worth reading, in my opinion, so you will see more Morrison books being reviewed here.

Next I picked up another Margaret Atwood book – Cat’s Eye. As with all of Atwood’s novels, I loved this one (read my review). I must admit there were times the novel depressed me – but that is just evidence that Atwood was able to immerse me completely in Elaine’s life. I am always so astonished at Atwood’s skill at constructing a story. I’m convinced she is brilliant – and if I ever were to meet her I would become tongue tied in awe. I’m slowly working my way through her books, and I hope she keeps writing them because it will be a sad day when I’ve read the last one.

I’ve also read a short story this weekend for the Russian Lit Yahoo Group. Nikolai Gogol’s The Overcoat is one of his more well-known works…and I enjoyed it (read my review). I’m glad to be in a group to discuss Russian works as they take some thought and analysis to truly appreciate them.

I also have an announcement today. I love my Blogharbor blog – and the tech support here is WONDERFUL – so I became interested when Blogharbor decided to partner with WordPress to create Pressharbor. After much hemming and hawing, and comparing and contrasting I’ve decided to take the plunge. I’ve done all the “paperwork” and Blogharbor is in the processing of migrating my blog to its new site. If all goes as planned, all links to my current blog will be re-directed to the new one, so you should be able to find me without a problem…and eventually I will be visiting all the websites (including Sunday Salon) to notify people of my new blog address. I’ll look forward to seeing what you think of my “new look” after all the dust settles.

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    • Anonymous on March 2, 2008 at 11:52

    I shall look out for ‘Resistance’ although I assume it’s not yet available to the general reader. It reminds me of a book that I enjoyed last year called ‘Farthings’ which imagined an England that had signed a peace deal with Hitler via Hess. From what you say of ‘Resistance’ I suspect that it has a rather more serious tone than Jo Walton’s book, but nevertheless her work had very serious modern day intentions.

    • Anonymous on March 2, 2008 at 12:01

    I’m looking forward to seeing your new blog, Wendy!
    Resistance does sound interesting and I imagine I’ll find my way to it once it’s out. I’ll be curious to know what you think when you are finished with it.
    One of these days I’ll get around to reading Atwood for the first time. I hope to read Blind Assassin this year, but we’ll see. I’m not having very good luck at sticking to my challenge books so far.
    Have a great week, Wendy.

    • Anonymous on March 2, 2008 at 12:31

    It seems to be sort of fashionable not to like Morrison these days. I really love her work, although I have been away from it for a while. A lot of what you said about Song of Solomon resonated with my memory of the book.

    • Anonymous on March 2, 2008 at 14:44

    I feel exactly the same way about Atwood. Have you ever seen an interview of her? Even though I might be tongue tied upon meeting Atwood, I personally know I’d like her very much.

    • Anonymous on March 2, 2008 at 19:39

    Good luck with the blog move!

    • Anonymous on March 2, 2008 at 21:01

    Ann: I think Resistance was released in the U.S. in mid-February – but I don’t know about England.
    Wendy: Oh your really should read some Atwood – I think you’d like her! I HIGHLY recommend The Handmaid’s Tale which is my favorite Atwood.
    Frumiousb: Thanks for visiting! I’m glad to hear you are also a Morrison fan 🙂
    Lori: I haven’t yet seen Atwood interviewed. I’d love to meet her even if I was incapable of speech 🙂
    Chris: Thank you!

    • Anonymous on March 3, 2008 at 02:50

    I’ve been meaning to read some of Gogol’s stories every since reading Lahiri’s The Namesake. I do hope to read Morrison’s Beloved sometime this spring. I just haven’t felt in the right mood to try yet. I look forward to seeing your new digs.

  1. okay…so this whole concept of being an early reviewer, I really want to do it and cannot figure out how. I read a lot, but I really need more info on how to get on these early reviewer lists!! Do you have any info on how I could get started?

    But anyway…thanks for sharing your reading with us. I am going to start Cat’s Eye (hopefully tomorrow), and so I was interested in that review as well.

    • Wendy on March 9, 2008 at 20:18

    There are lots of places to get access to Early Review books…you’ve given me an idea for a blog post 🙂 Perhaps that is what I’ll write about today for the Sunday Salon!

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