Sunday Salon – July 19, 2009

Sunday Salon

July 19, 2009

9:30AM

This is turning out to be a very slow reading month for me – perhaps it is the triple digit temperatures which just make me want to sit in front of a fan and drink lemonade, or maybe it is my new quilting obsession, or the fact that I had visitors in the first part of the month…but I have only finished two books so far. Lucky for me, they have been great books.

Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh got a five-star review from me – one of the few five star books I have read this year. I loved this sprawling historical novel (my first by this author) and am looking forward to reading the next two books in the trilogy. Does anyone know when the second book is due to be published?

Next up was a book which I have been talking about reading for what seems like months now. The Elegance of the Hedgehog is a terrific book (read my review), although I almost gave up on it in the first 50 pages. I’m glad I continued reading. Have you ever had that experience? You start reading a book and feel like it is something you are not going to like, but you keep reading and it ends up being one of the best books of the year?

Last night I picked up Between Here and April by Deborah Copaken Kogan. I heard this author speak at last year’s San Jose Book Group Expo and bought her book because of her talk (she autographed it for me too). The novel is loosely based on the author’s own experience of having a childhood friend murdered by her friend’s mother. I breezed through the first 65 pages of the book last night before going to bed, so I think this is going to be a quick read for me. So far the writing is living up to my theory that journalists are truly gifted novelists.

I need to also read at least two more books to complete The Themed Challenge by the end of the month. It is so embarrassing that I sponsored this challenge and may not even finish it!

And of course, there are stacks of review books pleading from the shelves and inflicting guilt on my psyche.

What are you doing today? Whatever it is, I hope it involves a good book!

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12 comments

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  1. Just knew you would like The Elegance of the Hedgehog! And I have had that experience of almost giving up on a book and then loving it. I call that reading Salman Rushdie. 🙂 Will cross-post your Hedgehog review on Lost in Translation challenge page this week. Happy reading!

    • Jill on July 19, 2009 at 11:28

    Hey stranger! Enjoy your Sunday – I am wrapped in Fingersmith right now! =)

    All the best,
    Jill

    • Shonda on July 19, 2009 at 11:42

    Wendy,

    That’s funny you mentioned you may not finish the Themed Reading Challenge in your Sunday Salon post. I wrote that I won’t finish too. Unfortunately, this is the one challenge that I was looking forward to and it just got by me. That being said, I will read the remaining books, but just not by the challenge end date.

    I agree with you. . .July has been a slow reading month for me too.

    Shonda

  2. “I almost gave up on it in the first 50 pages. I’m glad I continued reading. Have you ever had that experience? You start reading a book and feel like it is something you are not going to like, but you keep reading and it ends up being one of the best books of the year?”

    Marshal McLuhan wrote that if you want to find out if you’ll enjoy a book read page 69. If you enjoy it then chances are you’ll like the rest.

    • Gavin on July 19, 2009 at 13:44

    Wendy – Quilting? Oh, all those wonderful fabrics can be quite an addiction. I’m so glad you loved Sea of Poppies. I have no idea when the second book will be out but I can’t wait. Have a wonderful week.

  3. Hey, it doesn’t matter how many books you read, I think, just that you are reading great stories!

    • Sheri on July 19, 2009 at 15:15

    I started a quilt and didn’t finish it. BOO FOR ME!

    Happy Sunday.

    Sheri

    • Sandy on July 19, 2009 at 16:04

    Grrrr…..no more 5-star reviews! I can’t handle any more to-be-read! Seriously, yes, I have pushed on through what I thought was a book I didn’t like only to be so glad on the other side. Usually it’s a book I’m reading for my book group. I feel a little more of an obligation to read each month’s selection and so many times it worked out. But there have been books I started, stopped and tried again and love them. Memoirs of a Geisha was one of those! Don’t know why but the first time around I hated! The second time it was great.

    • laura on July 19, 2009 at 17:11

    I’m glad to see you liked Hedgehog (but unusually, you gave it a slightly lower rating than I did!)

  4. First…love the quilt. I envy anyone who has the patience and skill for this. I knit and crochet, but quilting is so precise.

    I read your review on Sea of Poppies. I have to, have to read this one. Thank you so much for the fabulous review. I am looking forward to this trilogy.. I’m wish listing it on L-Thing right now.
    Thanks.

  5. I get so inspired when I come to your blog. I joined the Spice of Life challenge which has really got me thinking about food, cooking, and looking for fiction reads that have a food theme. Even did some grilling tonight.

    • Wendy on July 20, 2009 at 07:20
      Author

    Frances: LOL – I like your name for liking a book you thought you wouldn’t like 🙂 Thanks for the cross post!

    Jill: Fingersmith is so good! I think you’ll love it!

    Shonda: I left a comment on your blog 🙂 I think it is okay to give ourselves permission to not finish challenges…sometimes it takes the fun out of reading to feel so pressured.

    DC: Interesting! I actually went to page 69 in The Elegance of the Hedgehog and read it…I didn’t like that particular page *laughs* Oh well…it was fun to try out the theory!

    Gavin: I love picking out those fabrics…probably the most fun part of the process is choosing them and seeing the potential for a quilt! I loved your review of Sea of Poppies 🙂

    Debbie: I agree…thanks for the validation!

    Sheri: It is never to late to finish!

    Sandy: I agree with you about book club reads…there have been many a book I’ve read purely to join in the discussion, and although I thought I would not like the book, have ended up appreciating it.

    Laura: That may be the first time I’ve rated a book lower than you!!! *laughs* I couldn’t give it a five star because the beginning was SO slow…even though ultimately the book redeemed itself.

    Wisteria: Strip quilting is really forgiving…you still have to be precise in cutting, but things don’t have to be exact (and rotary cutters are DEFINITELY the way to go!). You’re welcome re: the review of Sea of Poppies…it is such a wonderful book (although I will warn you, some readers didn’t like this book at all…it seems to be love it or hate it!)

    Juliann: Thank you! I love foodie books…cooking is such a relaxing endeavor for me…another avenue for creativity 🙂

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