Sunday Salon – February 27, 2011

February 27, 2011

Here we are, the last Sunday in February – how did the month go by so fast!?? We’ve been blasted with a winter storm here in Northern California which dumped more than two feet of snow on us in about 24 hours. It is beautiful outside with the pines heavily laden with snow.

This weekend we have some visitors. Kip’s two nieces and their significant others, along with niece Sarah’s baby girl, Holly (she is two months old). I was so excited to meet little Holly and give her the quilt I made for her. She is so adorable.

I have had a productive week of reading. I finished The Sweet Relief of Missing Children by Sarah Braunstein and posted my review here. This was a beautifully written first novel which read like a series of linked short stories. My only complaint was that at times I felt like the novel was a bit disjointed. Despite that, this is definitely an author who piqued my interest. I look forward to more from her in the future. Readers who are interested in reading a novel that is raw and gritty will be interested in The Sweet Relief of Missing Children.

I absolutely loved The Last Brother by Nathacha Appanah which I read for a book group discussion over at Devourer of Books (read my review). This book is a haunting novel which has been beautifully translated from the French by Geoffrey Strachan. It is short (less than 200 pages) but packs a huge punch. Literary novels don’t come much better than this one.

Next up in my stacks was Shadow Tag by Louise Erdrich which I read for a TLC Book Tour. Wow. This book is shocking, relentless, and amazingly written (read my review). I love Erdrich’s writing. In 2009, I read her novel Love Medicine (read my review) which also blew me away with its brilliant prose…so I was ready to love Shadow Tag too. I will warn you, however, this is not a light, nor enjoyable read – it is dark and disturbing. Still, it is a novel that I won’t soon forget. If you’d like a chance to win a trade paperback version of the book (brand new!), come on over to the review and giveaway page and leave me a comment letting me know you want to be entered by March 4th at 5:00 PM (PST).

After all these intense, literary tomes, I was glad to pick up a lighter read in the form of Letters From Home, by Kristina McMorris. This novel is an historical romance centering around three female friends during WWII. I don’t read a lot of romance novels, but I think this book represents its genre well. I hope to get this one finished up today…and am planning to do a giveaway of the book. So if this is just the type of book you are longing to read, make sure you check back here in the next couple of days for the chance to win a copy.

I hope to squeeze one more book in before the month comes to a close and I think it will be Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin because the Bookies Too Yahoo Group will be discussing it the first two weeks in March. You check out their upcoming reads – they always have terrific books on their schedule. Have any of you already read Franklin’s book? What did you think of it?

The rest of the day here will be sent visiting with family, then maybe taking a walk in the beautiful winter wonderland outside our house. I hope by mid-afternoon to be curled up with my latest book, sipping a little tea and relaxing. What about you? What plans do you have on this last Sunday in February? Whatever they are…I hope they involve a great book!

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    • Megan on February 27, 2011 at 12:00

    Glad to hear you were impressed by Shadow Tag. After my last read by her, I’m back on the fence about Erdrich, but I still have much more of her work to try including Love Medicine (and Shadow Tag, for that matter!). Loved The Master Butchers Singing Club, but struggled with The Beet Queen. I guess it’s about time to revist my Erdrich collection! 😉

    • Staci on February 27, 2011 at 12:15

    I do not really care for Erdrich’s writing. I tried really hard to finish The Plague of Doves and just couldn’t…confusing and strange. I’m not sure if I’ll ever read her again, but The Last Brother is one that I want to read from your review earlier this week.

    Have a great Sunday!

    • Gavin on February 27, 2011 at 14:10

    Erdrich is one of my favorites but I haven’t read “Shadow Tag” yet so I’m going to pop over to the review and leave a comment. You have mentioned two other titles that are on my TBR list. Have a great week, Wendy.

    • Andi on February 27, 2011 at 15:32

    Wendy, I’m consistently amazed by how many books you can put away. You read more in a week than I’ve read this year! I’m totally envious (in the best, most supportive way). I can’t wait to get my hands on the Erdrich book! Loved your review.

  1. What fun to have a houseful of company! You can keep the snow, though – it was 78 degrees here today!

  2. It sounds like you had a great week of reading. I’ve been wanting to read Edrich for some time now and Shadow Tag sounds like a great read. Hope you have another great week of reading!

    • Wendy on February 28, 2011 at 08:42

    Megan: I haven’t read Beet Queen yet – I know some readers are not big Erdrich fans…but I have loved her work (so far!!)

    Staci: I have The Plague of Doves on my TBR stack, but haven’t read it yet. I think Erdrich sometimes uses a bit of magical realism in her writing because of the tie-in with Native American themes…sorry she has not sucked you in!!! I hope you’ll love Last Brother 🙂

    Gavin: If you love Erdrich, I think you’ll love Shadow Tag. Good luck in the giveaway!

    Andi: Thank you! I don’t always feel like the fastest reader (there are people out there in blog-land that read 2 and 3 times MORE books than I do…which always astonishes me!). Hope you’ll love Shadow Tag!

    Kathy: oh, I’m totally jealous!!! LOL!

    Samantha: Thanks! Erdrich is someone you should definitely try!

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