Sunday Salon – December 7, 2008

December 7, 2008

9:30 AM

It has been an emotional week on the book blogs with the loss of one of our most prolific and generous bloggers – Dewey from The Hidden Side of a Leaf. Participants in Weekly Geeks are encouraged to write a memory post this weekhere is mine.  Dewey’s projects will continue through the team effort of many people. I’ll be posting updates on my blog as those projects find new homes.

I must admit that it has been hard for me to concentrate on reading this week. But despite my lack of concentration, I managed to finish reading both Nefertiti (read my review) and The Heretic Queen (read my review) written by the very talented Michelle Moran. I thoroughly enjoyed these works of historical fiction and am delighted to offer a give-away of them on my site this week (thanks to the generosity of Michelle!). To enter this INTERNATIONAL give-away, check out this post.

Next up on my reading pile is The Lover, by A.B. Yehoshua. I started this book yesterday and slogged through 44 pages before setting it aside. I am not sure I’ll finish this one. Yehoshua is a new to me author and I don’t know if this is his usual style, but I find his writing to be rather disconnected and confusing. The Lover is narrated from multiple viewpoints and is set during the Yom Kippur War (in the early 1970s). Apparently it garnered a lot of attention and controversy when it was first published in 1977. Largely symbolic, it is about a man named Adam who is searching for his wife’s missing lover – an odd story that has not yet captivated me. Have any of you read this book or other books by this author? I wonder what your thoughts might be.

Given my lack of enthusiasm for The Lover, I picked up The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry last night and was immediately drawn into the story of an elderly woman living in a mental institution in Ireland. She is writing her memoir and it was this kind of beautiful writing that entranced me:

The terror and hurt in my story happened because when I was young I thought others were the authors of my fortune or misfortune; I did not know that a person could hold up a wall made of imaginary bricks and mortar against the horrors and cruel, dark tricks of time that assail us, and be the author therefore of themselves. -from The Secret Scripture, page 4-

Barry also wrote A Long Long Way which earned him praise and was described as “a modern masterpiece” by the Boston Globe.

What are you reading today? Are you, like me, beginning to anticipate the end of 2008 and looking forward to a new year of reading in 2009?

Wherever you are today, I hope you are enjoying a good book!

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    • Vasilly on December 7, 2008 at 11:16

    I am beginning to anticipate the end of 2008. Well really the end of winter semester for me.

    I feel the same way about A.B. Yehoshua. People who can get through his books love him. I might give him another try one day.

    I can’t wait to read your review on The Secret Scripture.

    Have a great week, Wendy!

  1. The Secret Scripture sounds really good. I’ll have to check it out. I’m getting excited about challenges and 2009. It is just around the corner 🙂

  2. I’m adding The Secret Scripture to my wishlist right now. Sounds like a good read.

    I’m really looking forward to the end of 2008 as well. I’ve got big plans for my reading in 2009, and I can’t wait to get started on it!

  3. I’ve had a tough time concentrating this week too, yet managed to finish zero books. So I am envious of what you’ve accomplished. I am looking forward to a new year. I am always a sucker for setting new goals at the beginning the new year with gusto!

    Have a great week.

    • 3m on December 8, 2008 at 10:40

    Sebastian Barry is an excellent writer. I adored The Secret Scripture and am looking forward to someday reading A Long Long Way.

  4. Thank you so much for taking the time to review both Nefertiti and The Heretic Queen! I am so glad you liked them :]

    And it’s very, very sad news about Dewey. You wrote a beautiful tribute.

    • Wendy on December 12, 2008 at 10:08

    Vasilly: I think I am giving up on Yehoshua for now…I don’t see the point in reading a book I’m not enjoying. LOVED the Secret Scripture!!!

    Samantha: I always start looking forward to the new challenges this time of year!

    Shauna: I am such a “goal-setter” … sounds like you are too!

    Karen: I know we were not alone in the concentration department this week. Hope you are feeling better now!

    Michelle: I have A Long Long Way on my TBR mountain…now I will have to read it!

    Michelle: THANK YOU so much for stopping by and leaving a comment! Your books are wonderful and it was my pleasure to read and review them.

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