Friday Finds – September 26, 2008

September 26, 2008

I spent a good deal of time earlier in the week re-organizing my TBR mountain. So I really have no business continuing to add books to my wish list – but that said, I can’t help myself. This book addiction thing is clearly out of control…thanks to the fabulous lit-blogs! In an effort to promote the Independent Book Sellers, I’m linking this week’s finds to Powell’s Bookstore rather than Amazon. My Friday Finds this week were:

Wish You Were Here, by Stewart O’Nan as featured on Lori’s blog She Treads Softly. Earlier this year I read Songs for the Missing (read my review) by O’Nan and loved it. So Lori’s review of Wish You Were Here caught my eye. Lori wrote: ‘This is a poignant novel that really is a character study of a family. The action and draw of the novel is found in the old and new complex relationships and behavior patterns of the family members rather than an exciting outside mystery.‘ This is the same style I loved in Songs for the Missing.

The Penelopiad, by Margaret Atwood as featured on Kim’s blog Bold, Blue, Adventure. I have to admit, this book has been on my radar for some time, but Kim’s review reminded me again of why I need to read this book. Kim writes: ‘Penelope, who, like the other inhabitants of Hades can glimpse out into the real world, speaks to us in modern language, and her Greek chorus performs a sea-chanty, a tapdance, and act out a courtroom scene for the benefit of the audience. It’s an interesting presentation. Some readers might find it disconcerting, but I really enjoyed this quick, easily digestible read.‘ I love Margaret Atwood’s books and will be adding this one to the TBR mountain one of these days.

Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, by Jamie Ford as featured on Marcia’s blog The Printed Page. (Note the link here is to Amazon as Powells is currently not offering pre-orders of this novel). This book will be released in January 2009. Marcia loved the ARC she read and wrote: ‘This story encompasses young love, race, family, sacrifice, race and internment camps. It is set on the border between Chinatown and Japantown in the heart of Seattle, Washington.‘ She touts the novel as a must read. She is also hosting a giveaway of 15 copies of the book (through the generosity of Random House). I’ve added my name to the hopefuls!

Heart of Diamonds, by Dave Donelson as featured on J. Kaye’s Book Blog. J. Kaye has not yet read her copy of the book, but she posted a descriptor which intrigued me: ‘The Congo is a very dangerous place for television journalist Valerie Grey in this tragic, fast-paced tale of avarice and betrayal. Amid the bloody violence of the country’s endless civil war, Grey uncovers a deadly diamond-smuggling scheme that reaches the White House by way of a famous American televangelist.‘ Sounds good, doesn’t it? Make sure you watch J. Kaye’s fabulous blog as she will be giving away her copy of the book once she’s read it!

I spent a little time this week at my local Barnes and Noble bookseller browsing the newly released novels. Here are a few that caught my eye:

Visit Jenn at Should Be Reading to see her finds for today…and to get links to other readers’ finds!

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    • Lori L on September 26, 2008 at 11:16

    I’ve added more of O’Nan’s fiction to my wish list after reading Wish You Were Here. The only other book of his that I had previously read was his nonfiction book The Circus Fire, which was also very good.

    • Typ0 on September 26, 2008 at 11:28

    Powell’s is one of the coolest bookstores out there. I spent three days of a five day vacation to Portland wandering the aisles there. I’m sure there are other things to see in Portland, i’m just not quite clear what they are.

  1. Ooh, I forgot to mention Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet in my Friday Finds! It does sound good!

    • Jill on September 26, 2008 at 16:55

    The Penelopiad is a great and quick read. I read it last year and loved every word. Clever, clever, clever. It’s well worth the afternoon to cuddle up with one of your animals and read!

    =) Jill

    • Wendy on September 26, 2008 at 19:10

    Lori: You should read his newest book – it was really great.

    Typ0: I completely agree – Powells is a place you need to plan to visit for a full day! It is simply awesome!

    Avisannschild: Have you entered the giveaway!??!

    Jill: I remember you loving this one…I’m sure I will too; Atwood is one of my favorites.

  2. Thanks for reminding me of Peneolpiad–I am a huge Margaret Atwood fan and this one had slipped off my radar screen.
    Also thanks for mentioning Heart of Diamonds. FYI, I’m doing an Author Chat on LibraryThing this week. Stop on by!

    • Kim L on September 28, 2008 at 05:24

    I hope you enjoy The Penelopiad! I really enjoyed it. I like myths and I like Atwood, so when I heard about it somewhere, I had to read it!

    • Wendy on September 28, 2008 at 08:24

    Dave: Thank you for stopping by my blog (and it is nice to meet another Atwood fan!). I’m looking forward to reading your book one of these days…and I’ll check you out on LT (I’m ‘writestuff’ there).

    Kim: I think I will love it because I have yet to dislike anything Atwood writes!

  3. I got a copy of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet from the publisher a few weeks ago. Glad to hear it’s a must read! Moving it to the top of my stack.

    • Wendy on September 28, 2008 at 17:28

    Les: Oh, I’ll look forward to your review, Les 🙂

  4. Just finished The Penelopiad. What fun! Here’s a little mini-review:
    Margaret Atwood can write in many tones, but cheeky has to be her best. She made the story of the long-suffering Penelope and the insufferable Odysseus a delight to read, with character revelations poor old Homer couldn’t possibly imagine and a chorus of maltreated maids that not only provided commentary but the real backbone of the plot as well.
    Thanks again for putting it on my radar screen.

    • Wendy on October 10, 2008 at 12:47

    Dave: Thank you for that mini-review! I adore Atwood’s gift of writing…she always puts a twist on something familiar. Glad you enjoyed The Penelopiad (now I MUST read it!!)

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