Sunday Salon – July 4, 2010

4th of July, 2010

8:00 AM

Good morning – and Happy 4th of July to my U.S. readers! It is due to be very hot here today – triple digits in the valley and probably mid-90s here in the mountains. Right now it is gorgeous – sunny and breezy – and we are looking forward to having my in-laws here later today for a barbecue.

I read twelve books in June…I think that may be a record for me! I hope to read a similar amount in July just to catch up on my review stacks. Since my last Sunday Salon post, here is what I’ve read:

The Secret Lives of People in Love by Simon Van Booy (read my review) is a collection of short stories. Van Booy is a poet with language, and I really enjoyed these stories with a couple of rare exceptions. I have come to have great admiration for short story writers – I almost think it is harder to write a good short, than it is to write a novel. Writers like Van Booy are amazing. If you haven’t picked up one of his books yet, you really should give him a try.

Promises to Keep by Jane Green (read my review) was a delightful surprise. I had not read anything by this author before…and I assumed this would be the standard issue kind of chick lit – but, I was wrong. Green really captured me with this novel…and I hope to read more of her work in the future. Have you read any books by this author? If so, can you recommend one for me to read?

Whiter Than Snow by Sandra Dallas (read my review) was also a good book for me. Again, this was a new to me author and I enjoyed how she set up the story, then went back in time to fill in the gaps with her characters. Dallas is known for her western literature and historical fiction…she is another author I’d like to read more from. Are you a Dallas fan? What books of hers have you enjoyed?

My current read is Sea Escape by Lynne Griffin which I am reading for a TLC book tour on July 13th (I hope you’ll come back then as Griffin has agreed to write a guest post on that day). This book is set in New England and is about a mother and daughter’s strained relationship. It is pretty classic women’s literature, and so I am racing through it! Watch for my review on the 13th. If you can’t wait until then for a review, the first review for TLC will be on July 6th at Peeking Between the Pages.

I have about a gazillion books crying out for my attention these days. The other day I made an attempt to get really organized by creating a spreadsheet of titles for review and their release dates, commitments to tours and giveaways and book club reads. What that did for me was to remind me that I need to be MORE disciplined when it comes to accepting books for review. And I am trying – really, I am. But there are just so many great books coming out!!

Here is what is in the stacks for July:

  • The Lacuna, by Barbara Kingsolver – this is actually one I bought … and it has been in my TBR pile for far too long. I’m thinking it is the perfect read for Orange July.
  • Stay by Allie Larkin – a carry over from June
  • Tomorrow River by Lesley Kagen – another carryover from June
  • The Lovers by Vendela Vida – released in June and a book I am really anxious to read
  • 31 Bond Street by Ellen Horan – for a TLC Book Tour on July 26th
  • By Fire, By Water by Mitchell James Kaplan – look for a book giveaway and possibly an author guest post for this one
  • Home Repair by Liz Rosenberg – I am way behind in reviewing this one…my apologies to the author!
  • Still Missing by Chevy Stevens – a review book being released this month (watch for a giveaway!)

There are about ten other books in line, so don’t be surprised if you see some different titles popping up here over the next month.

I also want to read something for the Social Justice Challenge which is exploring the idea of poverty this month. Here are my choices:

  • The Well and The Mine by Gin Phillips
  • There Are No Children Here by Alex Kotlowitz
  • The Blue Sweater by Jacqueline Novogratz

Do you have a reading plan for July? How do you decide which book to read next?

Whatever you are doing today, I hope it involves a GREAT book! Happy reading!!

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13 comments

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  1. I know your pain! I’ve got a spreadsheet too – I just need to look at it more often. Happy 4th of July!

    • Kay on July 4, 2010 at 09:05

    Happy 4th, Wendy! I think you guys are hotter than we are as we’re having odd weather because of Hurricane Alex. We’ll get back to a more normal pattern this week I suspect although I am so glad we don’t have the drought and plus-100 temps for months on end that we had last year.

    Looking forward to hearing about your reading for July.

    • Lenore on July 4, 2010 at 09:20

    STILL MISSING is an exciting thriller. Hope you enjoy!

  2. I love my “review commitments” spreadsheet – I wouldn’t be able to keep track without it! Happy 4th of July, Wendy. 🙂

  3. I see several books I’ve either read or have on my stacks…I just got Still Missing, and awhile back, I read Home Repair. Promises to Keep is on my wish list.

    Here’s my salon:

    http://laurel-rainsnowsaccidentallife.blogspot.com/2010/07/sunday-salon-july-4.html

    • gavin on July 4, 2010 at 15:41

    I can’t wait to see what you think of The Lacuna and of I Curse the River of Time. Have a great week, Wendy.

    • Wendy on July 4, 2010 at 17:11
      Author

    Kathy: You get SO many books – even more than I do…I don’t know how you do it!!!

    Kay: Well – it did get very hot here today, but it was bearable. Tomorrow is supposed to be hotter. From here through August we get more triple digit days than double digit 🙁

    Lenore: I am so eager to read Still Missing…I’ve wanted to delve into it ever since it arrived!

    Carrie: Happy 4th to you too 🙂 I have trouble keeping track even WITH my spreadsheet – *laughs*

    Laurel: I’ve noticed you and I seem to read similar books 🙂

    Gavin: Well, you won’t have to wait long! Hope you had a great day!

  4. Your post is the second that I’ve read today that talked about July reading plans. I really need to start on my own. I’m finding these posts to be inspiring. There’s so many great books on my shelves that I would love to read soon. Can’t wait to read your review on By Fire, by Water. I haven’t read any of my Other Press books yet! I’m hoping to finally sit down with The Quickening this week. Have a great reading week.

  5. You have such a beautiful mix of books there. Still Missing is one I am trying to get and have failed so far. Knowing that you intend having a giveaway is giving me hope!

    • Andi on July 6, 2010 at 12:29

    Always happy to see anyone mention Simon Van Booy and The Secret Lives of People in Love. Great, great collection–one of my favorite of all time. I really need to read Love Begins in Winter.

    • Wendy on July 7, 2010 at 04:33
      Author

    Vasilly: I’ll look forward to reading your thoughts on The Quickening. I started By Fire, By Water last night and am already completely sucked in!

    Mystica: I hope to hold the giveaway of Still Missing by the end of the month – stay tuned!

    Andi: Van Booy is really talented, isn’t he? I thought Love Begins in Winter was even better than Secret Live…will be interested to hear your thoughts!

    • Serena on July 7, 2010 at 06:53

    wow, sounds like you’ve been productive. I don’t think I’ve been that productive in the last couple months.

    • Wendy on July 11, 2010 at 07:28
      Author

    Serena: I don’t understand WHY I’ve been so productive…some months are just like that…although when I look at other readers’ quantity of reading, mine looks pitiful 🙂

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