Sunday Salon – January 25, 2009

Sunday Salon

January 25, 2009

9:30 AM

It is a cold day here in Northern California and the trees are laden with heavy snow and ice. I am looking forward to reading and relaxing.

Last week I spent several days doing absolutely nothing but recovering from a nasty flu. I was so sick, I did not even want to read. Had I not been ill, I would have finished my latest book – Fingersmith by Sarah Waters – midweek. Instead I read nonstop Friday and Saturday, knocking off nearly 400 pages in two days and finished the novel late yesterday. Wow. Have any of you read this Gothic tale? I loved it (read my review). Waters is so skilled at setting scene and atmosphere – and in Fingersmith her unnerving plot twists kept me on the edge of my seat.

Previous to Fingersmith, I finished reading After the Floods which is largely mystical realism. I am not a huge fan of that genre – but I give kudos to author Bruce Henricksen for his beautiful prose. This guy can write…and had I liked the genre better, I would have given the book a higher rating. Either way, it was worth the read and I am happy the author sent me his book (read my review).

I cracked open The Little Giant of Aberdeen County by Tiffany Baker last night. This is Baker’s debut novel and was released earlier this month through Hachette Book Group. This book is about an oversized woman living in a small town. I am only 45 pages into the book, so I don’t have a lot to say about plot…but I am loving the characters. Baker reminds me of a female John Irving in that her characters are quirky and the reader feels like they are people she knows. I think I am going to really like this book – stay tuned for a review by Wednesday.

Did any of you catch my guest post/book tour for Kirk Curnutt’s book Breathing Out the Ghost last Monday? If not, you can read the review here, and the book tour post here (which includes a meditation by the author about missing children).  Curnutt’s book has been getting universally good reviews. And if you are one of those cynical people who think it is only because the book is on tour, think again…this is a really well-written and gripping novel. Really.

I have decided to start a new feature on Caribousmom called Noteworthy News. I don’t know how frequently I’ll be posting these…but whenever I have enough links or newsworthy thoughts, you’ll see them.

Are there any books you are looking forward to reading before the month cycles to its close? Here is what is in my pile to pick from:

  • In Hovering Flight by Joyce Hinnefeld
  • A Thousand Veils by D. J. Murphy
  • Chocolat by Joanne Harris
  • Digging to America by Anne Tyler
  • Eat, Drink, and Be From Mississippi by Nanci Kincaid
  • Beat the Reaper by Josh Bazell

Which would you pick if you could only choose two?

Whatever you are doing today, I hope it involves a good book. Have a wonderful week!

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    • Kathy on January 25, 2009 at 10:51

    I loved Beat the Reaper – but it does have language and violence in it. Digging to America and Eat, Drink, and Be From Mississippi are both really good, too.

  1. Cold here, too. I can’t seem to get warm, making it hard to read. I think I’m going to have to grab a quilt and cozy up in a nice chair if I’m going to be able to keep reading today.

    Vegetable soup in the crockpot for tonight. That should help.

  2. Chocolat would be at the top of my list. I loved that book. I know nothing about the others except the Tyler, and I think you know how I felt about that one. :o) Hope you continue to feel better. I’m glad you can at least read again!

  3. Those all sound like good books. I have One Thousand Veils on my shelf but I haven’t had a chance to pick it up yet. I’ve been meaning to read something by Waters and that sounds like a great book.

    • Diane on January 25, 2009 at 14:30


    I LOVED Fingersmith and Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters. I have Affinity, and need to read that one. I just brought home The Little Giant Of Aberdeen County yesterday from the library, so I plan to read that one within the next two weeks. Can’t wait to read your review when you are through. Keep those great reviews coming our way! I Love Them!

  4. The comparison between Baker and Irving is interesting…it didn’t occur to me, but I can see how you came to it. Hope you enjoy the rest of your time with Truly.

    • Wendy on January 25, 2009 at 14:49

    Kathy: I don’t mind language and violence if it has a point and the story is good. Thanks for your recommendation!

    Debbie: Soup in the crockpot – yummy! I love doing crockpot cooking on cold days.

    Terri: thanks for the recommendation – I’m leaning toward Chocolat and In Hovering Flight. I think I can get to both before the end of the month.

    Samantha: I really need to read A Thousand Veils soon as the author sent it to me several months ago…hmmmmm.

    Diane: Glad you are enjoying the reviews! A friend is sending me Affinity so that will probably the next Waters novel I read.

    Rebecca: I’m liking Truly…she is a fascinating character!

  5. I keep hearing about Eat, Drink and Be from Miss. from all my friends. Good reading list!

  6. I really want to read Aberdeen County – I’m glad you like the characters! I loved Eat, Drink and Be From Mississippi, I hope you enjoy it.

  7. Hi, Wendy. It’s been wet down my way the last couple of days. The area has been getting some much needed rain. Hopefully it will help keep the fires down. I was so sorry to hear you’d been sick.

    I received my copy of Breathing Out the Ghost yesterday in the mail and am looking forward to getting to it. Other books you mention that I really want to read include Fingersmith and The Little Giant of Aberdeen County. They both sound so good.

    Of all the book choices you list that you might want to read this month, I haven’t read a one. Several are on my must read list though. I’d say go with Eat, Drink, and Be From Mississippi and Beat the Reaper.

    I hope you have a great week. Caribous is in my thoughts and prayers.

    • Alyce on January 25, 2009 at 22:19

    Beat the Reaper was a fast fun read, although there is a lot of swearing and violence involved. I hope you continue to feel better!

    • Karen on January 25, 2009 at 23:10

    Chocolat would have to be top of my list too (especially if I was currently experiencing the winter months as you are!). An absolutely mesmerising book – I read it ages ago but have been meaning to revisit it for ages.

    • JoAnn on January 26, 2009 at 03:52

    Glad you’re feeling better. I loved Fingersmith and am intrigued when any author is compared to John Irving. I’d choose Digging To America (which I really liked) and Chocolat (though I was the only one that hasn’t read this) from your list.

    • Wendy on January 27, 2009 at 11:05

    Karen: S. Krishna just posted a beautiful review of Eat Drink Be From Mississippi – I’ve come to really respect her thoughts about books.

    S.Krishna: I just read your review today of Eat, Drink, Be…wonderful! I think you’d enjoy Little Giant.

    WendyCat: Thanks for keeping my girl in your thoughts 🙂 I will be eager to read your review on Breathing Out the Ghost … as you know I loved it!

    Alyce: thanks for the recommendation – I’m back to work as of yesterday, so I am feeling alot better…thanks!

    Karen: Thanks for the recommendation of Chocolat – I think it will be one I can get to this month.

    JoAnn: Thanks for the recommendations! Glad to see you also loved Fingersmith!

  8. Fingersmith is definitely unnerving and great to read for hours!

    • Wendy on January 29, 2009 at 09:24

    Valentina: I agree!

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