February 20, 2011
Good morning and happy Sunday to all of you. Winter was late arriving for us here in Northern California, but it has now made its presence known. We’ve had several days of snow, cold weather and icy winds. The pines and cedars are laden with heavy snow and our roads are a bit treacherous (the photos above are clickable to enjoy a larger view). The good thing, however, is that this kind of weather lends itself to indoor joys like quilting, cooking, and (of course) reading.
Since my last Sunday Salon post I finished reading Charles Jessold, Considered as a Murderer by Wesley Stace (read my review) and I am currently holding an international giveaway of my unread Advance Readers Edition of this novel – the contest ends on the 25th, so hurry over to the giveaway post if your want to have your name thrown into the hat. This book took me some time to get through. There is quite a bit of music history included (much of which I was ignorant about and so needed to look up a few things to make sense of it), but the way Stace constructs the story is intriguing and once I got into it, I had a hard time setting it aside. I would classify this novel as a combination historical fiction (it is set in the early part of the 20th century in England), mystery, and literary fiction. An interesting mix of genres.
I next picked up The Sweet Relief of Missing Children by Sarah Braunstein. This is an odd little book, but I am liking it because Braunstein has peopled it with quirky, interesting characters. In many ways, it feels like a book of linked short stories as the narrative shifts back and forth in time and introduces what appears to be unrelated characters (although as the novel unfolds, it is clear there are connections between them). The novel is dark at times, exploring themes of identity, loss, sex, love and parenthood. Braunstein has been honored as one of the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 nominees for 2010 for this novel. She is also from Portland, Maine – one of my old stomping grounds (I love this Maine city and actually lived there for a time while I was a physical therapy student at the University of New England in Biddeford, Maine). I love reading work from up and coming, young authors. Watch for my review of The Sweet Relief of Missing Children later today.
I’ve also picked up The Last Brother by Nathacha Appanah which I am reading for Book Club (our discussion will be happening over at Jen’s blog The Devourer of Books on February 22nd). This is a work in translation (from the French by Geoffrey Strachan), published through Graywolf Press. I don’t want to tell you too much about this one quite yet as I have just started it, and hope to have a review up by Tuesday morning before the discussion starts.
I also need to start reading Shadow Tag by Louise Erdrich for a TLC Book Tour on Friday. Yikes, I am suddenly feeling very much up against the clock!!! Luckily, I have what looks to be a slow week of work coming up, so I hope to have some good periods of time when I can just read.
With just over a week left in the month, there are several books I still want to read. They include:
- Madame Tussaud by Michelle Moran
- The Murderer’s Daughters by Randy Susan Meyers
- Island Girl by Lynda Simmons
- Tapestry of Love by Rosy Thornton
- The Winter Ghosts by Kate Mosse
- Little Princes by Conor Grennan
- Letters from Home by Kristina McMorris
- The Fates Will Find Their Way by Hannah Pittard
- Save as Draft by Cavanaugh Lee
- Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin
Obviously, I won’t get to them all … but whatever I don’t read this month, will be moved onto March’s TBR pile. I fear I will never catch up!
What are YOU doing today? Whatever it is, I hope it involves a great book.