Daily Archives: August 3, 2008

Sunday Salon – August 3, 2008

August 3, 2008

10:15 AM

I slept later than usual this morning, then took my coffee back to bed to read for a while. Ah, glorious!

Since the last Salon posting, I finished The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff (read my review), The Guernsey Literary  and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows (read my review), and Leftovers by Laura Weiss (read my review). Of the three, I can highly recommend the Shaffer/Barrows novel. It is wonderful and very deserving of the recent hype it is getting (the book was just released on July 29th). I hated to see this book end.

I’m now well into Rules for Saying Goodbye by Katherine Taylor. The author sent me this novel back in June and I am feeling guilty it has taken me this long to get to it. Taylor writes wonderfully with brilliant dialogue and sharp wit. The story follows Kate Taylor from Fresno, to a boarding school in Boston, back to California, and finally to New York City.  So far I am finding the story engaging and funny. Look for a review by Tuesday.

I went to a huge library sale yesterday and came home with 16 books (mostly hard cover) for $10. Not bad, eh? I’m sure my husband is a little baffled at my new additions which now places my unread book stack at somewhere close to 300 books. My justification? If I read about 100 books a year, that is only 3 years worth of reading!

There has been an interesting discussion going on over at the Library Thing ARC Junkies group. An astute reader and blogger read a review of Brunonia Barry’s debut novel The Lace Reader at the New York Times book review. The review was written by Janet Maslin who wrote:

Women write books that other women will want to sit around and discuss, preferably over tea and cucumber sandwiches. And for those who seize upon “The Lace Reader” as book club material, don’t forget the doilies. They’re very much part of the scene here.

Um, tea and cucumber sandwiches? This feels like a bit of an insult to not only writers who write books for women, but also to women readers. I haven’t had a cucumber sandwich in years, yet I enjoyed Barry’s novel (read my review of this book). LisaLynne of Minds Alive on the Shelf blogged her thoughts here.

Apparently the New York Times book reviewers have a history of trashing books written by and for women. I can barely stomach that kind of thing when a man is doing the reviewing, but when women use stereotypes of women in their reviews it really makes me mad. So what do you think? Have you seen this kind of thing before at the New York Times?

And while we’re on the subject of book reviews, here’s yet another bitter column questioning the skill of bloggers to review books.  Lissa Warren writes:

But I’ll tell you what does make my jaw drop: the seemingly widely-held notion that these book sections are being adequately replaced by blogs.


Well, I think book reviews on blogs — particularly those of the Blogspot variety — tend to be self-indulgent.

I have only one thing to say to Ms. Warren and the scads of other print reviewers bemoaning the onslaught of lit blog reviews – it makes marketing sense to the publishers who are swarming all over the blogs and offering up Advance Review Editions of their books, and I don’t think the bloggers are going anywhere…so get over it!

Have a wonderful Sunday, fellow Saloners. And keep those reviews coming – I love them!