Sunday Salon – August 8, 2010

August 8, 2010

We are having just gorgeous weather here in Northern California…especially at our house up in the mountains. I wish I could take a week off of work to just laze around and enjoy it; but, alas, work is busier than ever. Today I am planning on spending a good portion of the afternoon just reading – a luxury I have not had for a few weeks now. I am also working on a couple of quilts that I would like to finish in the next couple of weeks.

Since my last Sunday Salon post, I have mostly been reading just one book. Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese is a huge, sprawling, wonderful family saga (read my review). Verghese’s writing immediately reminded me of John Irving’s novels…and then I discovered that, in fact, Verghese has been much influenced by Irving. At any rate, I now have to add Abraham Verghese to my list of “don’t miss” authors. His ability to create characters, along with his exceptional story telling, makes this book one I can highly recommend.

I also quickly read through a book of Henry David Thoreau’s quotations which was compiled by Kenny Luck and illustrated by Jay Luke and Ren Adams. Thumbing Through Thoreau would make a great addition to any library (read my review).

I started reading One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey last night. Up until now, I had only seen the movie starring Jack Nicholson (never read the book). Based on the movie, I had expected to have the book narrated from the point of view of Randle Patrick McMurphy…but instead, it is Chief Bromden who tells the tale. So far, I am completely enjoying this classic.

I have a mountainous stack of books on my bedside table. And I have no set plan on what will be up next. Lately, I have been choosing books more on whim and mood when I can…it is nice to have some part of my life that is not completely planned out! Here is a (small) sampling of books that may find their way into my current read pile this month:

  • Scent of the Missing, by Susannah Charleson
  • Still Missing by Chevy Stevens
  • Free to a Good Home by Eve Marie Mont
  • The Lumby Lines by Gail Fraser
  • The Blind Contessa’s New Machine by Carey Wallace
  • Home Repair by Liz Rosenberg
  • Simply from Scratch by Alicia Bessette
  • The Blessings of the Animals by Katrina Kittle
  • The Pages by Murray Bail
  • City of Veils by Zoe Ferraris
  • The Breaking of Eggs by Jim Powell
  • What is Left the Daughter by Howard Norman
  • The Language of Trees by Ilie Ruby
  • The Doctor and The Diva by Adrienne McDonnell
  • Red Hook Road by Ayelet Waldman
  • The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer
  • Wild Comfort: The Solace of Nature by Kathleen Dean Moore

By the way, I have a book giveaway going right now and you still have time to enter…click on this link to find more information on Love in Mid Air by Kim Wright and to learn how to get a chance to win a hardcover copy of her book (contest closes August 12th at 5:00 PM PST).

What are YOUR plans today? Do any of them involve a great book?

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    • Trisha on August 8, 2010 at 08:00

    Cuckoo’s Nest is a fantastic film! I teach it in my Intro to Film class from time to time, but I have to admit I have never read the book. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on it.

  1. I recently saw a review of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and they mentioned the same thing – that they were surprised by the narrator. Now I’m curious about the book too, so I’ll be watching for your review.

    • Molly on August 8, 2010 at 08:25

    What I would give to be up in the mountains reading a good book in gorgeous weather. It is supposed to reach 100 degrees here today with a heat index of 110 — UGH!!

    Sounds like you have lots of reading material available. I hope you are able to sit, read, and relax today.

  2. I keeping hoping I’ll run across a copy of Cutting, but, so far, nada. I may have to break down and—eek—buy a copy.

  3. Have thought about picking up Cutting for Stone several times but never seriously until you just brought up the connection to John Irving. I am such an Irving fan that any connection makes me take notice. Thanks for the info. Happy reading!

  4. So glad you loved the Verghese! His novel was one of my favorites of 2009, and I’m happy to report that he is just as delightful a person as his book is (he was in Richmond a few months ago). Totally agree w/ the comparison to Irving….beautiful writing w/ fabulous sense of place, sprawling stories…

  5. I have heard great things about Cutting for Stone and have my copy close by for whenever I get the time. I am glad you are enjoying it so much, and I hope I do too!

    • Alyce on August 8, 2010 at 19:19

    I haven’t read either of those two books, but I’ve heard so many good things about Cutting For Stone that I’ve got to get my hands on a copy sometime soon. Today I helped my sons take inventory of their clothes for our back to school shopping. I’m just happy that my youngest son thinks hand-me-downs are so cool. 🙂

  6. I am so glad you liked Cutting For Stone. I was so happy you mentioned the similarity between Verghese and Irving. I love Irving’s writing and have read so many of his books. I have Cutting For Stone and really want to read it before this year ends. I had hoped to read it this summer, but it looks doubtful at this point. Thanks for your thoughts.

  7. I’ve had Cutting for Stone on my TBR for too long. I really need to get to reading it. If only we had 48 hours in a day so there would be more time to read!

    • Wendy on August 15, 2010 at 08:43

    Trisha: I LOVE the Cuckoo’s Nest movie (one of my all time favorites)…the book is almost exactly the same as the movie. It really is a good read.

    Kathy: That is so funny when two people chose the exact same thing to focus on with a particular book!

    Molly: Ugh is right with 100 degree weather…I hate when it gets that hot!

    Debnance: Cutting for Stone is worth it to buy 😉

    Frances: If you love Irving, I think you will love Cutting for Stone…their styles are SO similar.

    Rebecca: Ohhhh, I’m jealous you got to meet Verghese!!!

    Zibilee: Given you and I agree on many books, I have a feeling you’ll really like Cutting for Stone.

    Alyce: Hope you got all the clothes organized for back to school. I am still amazed how EARLY kids go back to school these days (we never went back until after Labor Day when I was a kid!)…

    Wisteria: Verghese’s novel reads pretty fast – and yes, he is so like Irving. I think if you love Irving, you’ll love Verghese.

    Kathleen: I agree – there is just not enough hours in the day to do all we want to do!

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