Sunday Salon – April 4, 2010

April 4, 2010

Good morning, and to those who celebrate it…Happy Easter. It is a gloomy day here with dark clouds threatening rain. I have been longing for some sunshine over the last few days, but I guess I will have to wait at least another day or two before I get it!

Since my last Sunday Salon, I’ve managed to read two books and start a third.

I completed One Amazing Thing by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni (read my review) which I had been very curious about since it arrived via a Shelf Awareness offer several weeks ago. This is a quick read, and although it did hold my attention, the ending left me unsatisfied. Divakaruni writes beautiful prose, and I could see her comfort as a writer has been rooted in short stories…for these reasons, I would like to read a collection of her stories someday. Have you ever read anything by this author?

Yesterday I blew through the last 150 pages of Sarah Waters’ Gothic novel The Little Stranger (read my review). Although the beginning dragged a bit for me, the latter part of the book was riveting. I have yet to be disappointed by a Waters’ novel. In The Little Stranger, she deviates from her Victorian age plots and sets the reader down in rural England in the late 1940s. Some people have been calling this book a ghost story, and although there are ghostly happenings, I would not necessarily put this into the ghost story category. Forced to classify it, I would say it is a Gothic mystery.

Before drifting off to sleep last night, I managed to read nearly 40 pages of  The Glass Room by Simon Mawer. This book was short listed for the 2009 Booker Prize, and I have heard mixed things about it. Some readers love the novel, calling it beautifully crafted, while others have complained it is dull. So far, I am not finding it dull…but it is far too early for me to make a judgment on this book. Stay tuned for a review later in the week.

I would love to spend the day reading, but unfortunately I have to deal with taxes today. I am far behind this spring in pulling together receipts and necessary paperwork, and time is running out. So I’ll be crunching numbers for several hours, in between doing laundry. Maybe, if I’m lucky, I’ll get a couple of hours at the end of the day to read further in Mawer’s novel.

What are YOU doing today? Whatever it is, I hope there is time at some point for a great book!

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  1. Today I’m relaxing and reading Flow by Elissa Stein. I have One Amazing Thing on my TBR pile. I was trying to wait until the read-a-thon to read it, but I want to get to it now! 😉 I’ve read a lot of novels by Divakaruni including her poetry volume, Black Candle. I enjoy her work. I started The Little Stranger a few months ago but put it down because the beginning didn’t hold my attention. I think I’ll give it another chance.

    I hope you get everything done. Have a great Sunday.

    • Trisha on April 4, 2010 at 09:56

    See, now you have me intrigued by another Sarah Waters book. I adored Fingersmith, but have been a bit reluctant to pick up another for fear it wouldn’t live up to my first.

  2. Eek! I need to work on my taxes as well…I also received One Amazing Thing, but haven’t gotten around to it yet.

  3. Happy Easter! Spending it with taxes doesn’t sound like much fun.

    • Harvee on April 4, 2010 at 12:02

    I liked One Amazing Thing but wished the stories had been more compelling.
    Harvee (Book Dilettante)

    • EL Fay on April 4, 2010 at 12:27

    It’s bright and sunny here. I am presently in the middle of Jakov Lind’s Ergo, a review copy from Open Letter Press.

    • gavin on April 4, 2010 at 12:31

    Our weather has turned nasty again and I am craving warmth and sun. I have added One Amazing Thing to my TBR list. Have a good week!

    • JoAnn on April 4, 2010 at 13:45

    Aww… taxes are no fun! Hopefully you’ll have some time left for reading at the end of the day. We’ve had a couple days of record-breaking heat and sunshine – a real treat after the long winter. Happy Easter.

  4. Gloomy day here, too. Good day for reading, though taxes await us as well. How can I talk my sweet esposo into doing these for us? Could I make a deal? Taxes. Eek.

    I’ve just started Les Misérables.

  5. Gorgeous day here, but I’ve been inside with a spring cold. Ugh. I was awake until 2:30 last night and I really should have taken a nap today. Instead, I spent most of the day reading on the couch. Went outside for a little while to cut back some dead perennial blossoms since the new growth is already coming up. Too soon this year, but our temps have been pretty warm. Note to self: Do my spring clean-up in the fall!

    Good luck with your taxes. Yuck and ugh. I think I almost prefer my spring cold. 😉

    • lilly on April 5, 2010 at 05:11

    I have heard so many great things about Sarah Waters and I even own two of her novels. I have no idea what’s keeping me from reading them.
    Happy belated Easter to you too and hopefully your taxes went well.

  6. I’ve read Divakaruni’s Sister of My Heart and LOVED it. Tried to read the sequel, and just wasn’t interested. She does write beautiful prose!

  7. I hope you had a wonderful Easter! I also am looking forward to reading The Little Stranger and hope that I love it as much as you did. I have heard both positive and negative things about The Glass Room, but since I sometimes like quiet, understated books it sounds like something I would like. I will be checking back to see what you think!

    • Aths on April 6, 2010 at 04:48

    One Amazing Thing and The Glass Room – are on my TBR! I haven’t read any books by Chitra Divakaruni but hope to!

    • Tara on April 6, 2010 at 08:11

    I was also disappointed by the ending of One Amazing Thing. I had read this author before, and really enjoyed Sister of My heart/Vine of Desire.

    • Wendy on April 11, 2010 at 17:01

    Vasilly: I recommend you give The Little Stranger another try – it does start slow, but it gets better. Thanks for the encouragement to try Divakaruni again.

    Trisha: Well, Fingersmith is definitely one of her best…and The Little Stranger doesn’t quite live up to that one, but it is still worth reading 🙂

    Bookshelf Monstrosity: Hope you got the taxes done!

    Kathy: Hope your Easter was great!

    Harvee: Yup, it just didn’t have the complexity I wanted.

    El Fay: I am envying your sunshine!

    Gavin: When will spring REALLY be here!??!?

    • Wendy on April 11, 2010 at 17:04

    JoAnn: I keep wishing for some warm, sunny weather. Maybe I’ll have to come visit you!

    Debnance: Hope you got your taxes done! I have never read Les Mis…bad me.

    Les: I hope by now your spring cold is all gone 🙂

    Lilly: It is never too late to get to Sarah Waters 🙂

    Ronnica: I just realized I have that book on my shelf – thanks for the incentive to read it!

    Zibilee: I hope you like BOTH those books!

    Aths: I can’t wait to see what you think of them!

    Tara: Thanks for letting me know about her other work – I’ll need to check them out.

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