Sunday Salon – May 2, 2010

May 2, 2010

Good morning to all my readers! Wow, the weeks just fly by, don’t they? Here we are…another Sunday Salon.

I had an excellent month of reading in April (in part because of my participation in Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-A-Thon). I think I may have had a record breaking month – I read ELEVEN books and had one did-not-finish.  The books I read were mostly wonderful (my favorite of the month was The Glass Room by Simon Mawer). Here they are with links to my reviews:

  1. The Little Stranger, by Sarah Waters (Rated: ) Read my review
  2. The Glass Room, by Simon Mawer (Rated: ) Read my review
  3. Iron Lake, by William Kent Krueger (Rated: ) Read my review
  4. Impatient With Desire, by Gabrielle Burton (Rated: ) Read my review
  5. The Marriage of True Minds, by Stephen Evans (Rated: ) Read my review
  6. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, by Stieg Larsson (Rated: ) Read my review
  7. Europa, by Tim Parks (Rated:  – DNF)  Read my thoughts
  8. Therese Raquin, by Emile Zola (Rated: Read my review
  9. Chow Hounds, by Ernie Ward, DVM (Rated: ) Read my review
  10. The Threadbare Heart, by Jennie Nash (Rated: ) Read my review
  11. Little Bee, by Chris Cleave (Rated: ) Read my review
  12. Let The Great World Spin, by Colum McCann (Rated: )  Review to be posted at the end of the month.

This week I completed Little Bee by Chris Cleave which I mostly enjoyed, but I must admit it did not live up to all the hype. I really don’t like when publishers try to manipulate readers through their marketing – and that was what seemed to happen with this novel. That said, I think Cleave wrote a good book and I would not discourage anyone from reading it.

I also toured Chow Hounds by Ernie Ward, DVM. I’m giving away two copies of this book – but if you want to enter the giveaway you better hurry – entries close May 4th. If you are a dog owner, I can recommend Ward’s book…very informative and mostly user friendly.

I also managed to finish reading Let The Great World Spin by Colum McCann … which won him the National Book Award in 2009. I am touring this book for TLC Book Tours at the end of the this month – so you won’t see a review until then. But what I can tell you is this is an interesting book – a series of linked characters and their stories which are united by the act of man tightrope walking between the Twin Towers in New York City.  Have you read this book? What did you think?

Finally, I have posted a review of The Threadbare Heart by Jennie Nash as part of a terrific Mother’s Day contest. There are several blogs participating in this event…and it is a good one! I hope you’ll at least read about the contest here on my blog and consider joining. Entries must be received no later than 5:00 PM (PST) on May 8th.

My current read is one I have been looking forward to: The Singer’s Gun by Emily St. John Mandel. Some of you might remember that I read her first book (Last Night In Montreal) and loved it (read my review). I’m not far enough into The Singer’s Gun to really talk much about it – but Mandel’s writing is beautiful, as expected. The novel is being released this week (May 4th) through Unbridled Books. I was lucky enough to not only get a finished copy, but I also have an ARC which I have decided to give away. Watch for details on the giveaway this week.

I want to finish up with something non-bookish, but very personal. Yesterday I posted about my sister’s battle with colon cancer…and if you haven’t read it, I hope you will. She and her daughters are participating in Relay for Life and trying to raise money for the American Cancer Society. I’ve provided a link to my sister’s page for your information…

I hope you all have a wonderful day planned which involves some great books. Have a fabulous week!

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  1. Wow, you did have a great reading month!

    • JoAnn on May 2, 2010 at 08:32

    What a great month! Mine was actually the least productive since I started blogging 🙁 I had a problem with the Little Bee marketing strategy, too, and still hope to read Last Night in Montreal soon. Have a great week, Wendy.

    • Laura on May 2, 2010 at 09:30

    Wow, you had a great month with all those 4-star reads. And would you believe I started Let the Great World Spin just yesterday? I’m loving it already!

  2. Whew! What a fantastic reading month!

    I agree with you about Little Bee. I found it perfectly acceptable, but I don’t find myself pushing it off on everyone I meet.

    Good to hear more about World Spin. I almost bumped this one off my wishlist yesterday at Amazon. I’ve had it on there so long, but have never felt driven to acquire it. Perhaps I should seek it out.

  3. Thanks so much for sharing your reading journey with us

  4. You had an absolutely stellar month, Wendy!! Congrats!

    I read your post about your sister last night (well, actually, more like EARLY this morning — 3 am when I was wide awake for no reason whatsoever!) and need to hop back over and make a donation for the Relay For Life. As I’m sure I’ve already mentioned, my brother is a colon cancer survivor (5 years this fall!), so this is an especially personal concern of mine, too. And with that said, it’s time to schedule my colonoscopy. As a sibling, I have to be tested every 5 years. It’s a nuisance, but so very important, as I’m sure you’ll agree. Everyone reading this should not let the fear of an embarrassing test keep you from possibly saving your life. Get tested! Stepping down from my soap box now. 😉

  5. I think your month was fantastic and it’s always a plus when so many of them were enjoyable!!

  6. You’ve had an amazing reading month!! I am hoping to read Let the Great World Spin very soon, along with The Singer’s Gun. I can’t wait to read your thoughts on them! Also, I am very sorry to hear that your sister is battling colon cancer. I am off to her site now to check it out. I hope you have a great reading week!

  7. I’ve heard so much good stuff about the “Let the Great World Spin.”

    • Wendy on May 5, 2010 at 08:43

    Kathy: It is rare that I read more than 8 books a month – so I was really happy with April 🙂

    JoAnn: Sorry to hear your reading in April was down 🙁 I think many people did not like the marketing of Little Bee … we’re not alone! I think you will really enjoy Last Night in Montreal.

    Laura: I predict you’ll love Let the Great World Spin 🙂 And after I slept on it and finally wrote a draft review, I actually decided it was a 4.5 star book instead of just a 4.

    Deb: I waited and looked at Let the Great World Spin for a long time, not feeling compelled to read it. Then I decided to join the TLC book tour of it, and I am really glad I read it. Hope you’ll try it out!

    L Clare: You’re welcome!

    Les: THANK YOU so much for your generosity with Relay for Life – I love hearing survivor stories at this point in Paula’s illness…it gives us such hope. And, yes, everyone should get a colonoscopy – I had mine (it was negative!) and will follow up every 3 years (my dad is also a colon cancer survivor…so I don’t want to go every 5 years without a check up). Thanks for stepping up on the soapbox – you never know when that could actually save a life.

    Staci: I love when I get to read this much and, as you said, when the books turn out to be so great too!

    Zibilee: I’m half way through The Singer’s Gun – loving it! Thank you for your kind comments about my sister.

    Jenners: It really did deserve the National Book Award – definitely worth the read.

    • Ariel on May 6, 2010 at 01:28

    I just bought “Let the Great World Spin” at the charity shop – I am glad to see you liked it!

    • Wendy on May 9, 2010 at 08:38

    Ariel: I think you’ll find this one absorbing…looking forward to your review of it eventually!

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