Sunday Salon – August 28, 2011

August 28, 2011

Good morning and welcome to The Sunday Salon. Grab a cup of coffee, pull up a chair and let’s talk about books!

I’ve been on vacation all week and in between helping my husband construct a new back deck, quilting, and taking a day trip or two – I’ve been reading! I blew through Mice by Gordon Reece – an unusual thriller that had its share of suspense, but also surprised me with a little black humor as well (read my review). This is a captivating novel narrated in the teenage voice of Shelly Rivers – a girl who has been brutally bullied and pushed to the edge of her limits. If you like a well-paced thriller, you should pick up a copy of this one.

My next read was another thriller: Darkness, My Old Friend by Lisa Unger (read my review). I thought I had read a previous book by Unger, but in going through my reading journals, it appears I have not. I enjoyed this psychological thriller for its fleshed out characters who rang true. In many ways, Unger’s writing style reminds me of Laura Lippman (especially Lippman’s latest novels). Darkness, My Old Friend is not really a mystery as much as a psychological profiling of its characters. I like that in a thriller – I like to get underneath the skin of the characters and deeply inside their heads. Unger manages to do that very well in this novel.

My current read is a debut novel which has been getting a ton of positive buzz around the blog-0-sphere. Rules of Civility by Amor Towles is set in New York City during the late 1930s. Narrated by a compelling female character named Katey Kontent, this novel has completely captured my imagination. I hope to finish it fairly quickly so that I can squeeze one final book in before the month ends.

Have you read any of these books? If so, what did you think?

Before I wrap up this post, I wanted to let readers know that I am giving up my blog A Novel Challenge. I’ve been keeping up the blog for more than four years now…and have decided it is time to relinquish it. Although initially my intent was to delete the blog on January 1st, Brianna from The Book Vixen convinced me to turn over ownership of it to her. She is currently looking for interested readers who would like to help administrate the blog. To get involved, visit this post on Brianna’s blog.

I also wanted to let people know I am continuing to post for the Sew You Wanna Quilt? series. The latest installment (Choosing Your First Project) may be found here.

Last, but certainly NOT least, I wanted to announce that Caribousmom has been nominated for the 2011 Best Literary Fiction Blog for Book Blogger Appreciation Week (BBAW). I feel incredibly honored to be nominated. There are many, many wonderful blogs out there which focus on literary fiction and I am very happy to be enjoying the podium with them. Many thanks to those readers who submitted my blog for nomination. The next round of voting is the judging round to determine the short lists. To learn more about BBAW, visit the dedicated blog.

Have a wonderful week – and whatever you do, I hope it involves a great book!


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  1. Congratulations on your nomination! It is much deserved!

    • Janny on August 28, 2011 at 10:29

    Which one did you like best, Mice or Darkness, my old friend? Love the way you write your reviews bij the way.

  2. So much congrats on the nomination!

    • Julie on August 28, 2011 at 11:34


  3. Wow, congrats on the nomination!

    I have the new Lisa Unger book, too, and hope to start reading it next week. I’ve read several of her other books, but missed Live to Tell.

    Hope you have a great week!


  4. Woo hoo, congratulations on your nomination!

    • Deb Nance at Readerbuzz on August 28, 2011 at 13:11

    I think I first “met” you through A Novel Challenge. And somehow that led to me creating my own blog. So thank you for A Novel Challenge and thank you for leading me into blogging!

    • Alyce on August 28, 2011 at 15:27

    Congratulations on the nomination – that’s awesome!

  5. A well-deserved nomination, Wendy! I’ve been following your exceptional blog for years and agree that your reviews are top notch and worthy of such praise. Congratulations!

    • Amused on August 28, 2011 at 19:23

    Congrats on your nomination! Totally well deserved!

  6. I just finished Ruses of Civility and I really enjoyed it!

    Congrats on your nomination!

    • Andi on August 29, 2011 at 05:03

    Congratulations on your nomination!!! You’re tooootally deserving. Also glad to know that someone will be taking over A Novel Challenge. You’ve done a wonderful job with it, and I know I use it regularly. 🙂

    • Wendy on August 29, 2011 at 06:30

    Heather: Thank you so much!

    Janny: Thank you 🙂 The two books, although thrillers, are really different from each other. I think I preferred Mice because it was very unique. Although, I really enjoyed BOTH books a lot.

    Pam: Many thanks 🙂

    Julie: Thank you!

    Laurel: Thanks!! I hope you’ll like the Unger book – I’d like to read more of her work.

    Kathy: Thank you, my friend!

    Deb: I’m so glad to hear that A Novel Challenge helped you find your way to blogging! I struggled with letting it go – but I am glad I made the decision and that there are other bloggers who will keep it going.

    Alyce: Thank you so much!

    Les: Aw, you are making me blush!!! Thanks for your kind words 🙂

    Amused: Thanks!!!

    Kailana: Good to know! I am liking it quite a bit. Hope to have it finished later today – but we’ll see!

    Andi: Thank you! I am very honored by how much people have loved A Novel Challenge – and I hope it will have many more years in the hands of a new owner. It is never easy to let go of “your baby” – but it was time!

  7. I’m really pleased to see that you made the BBAW list again this year. I love your blog 🙂

    • Wendy on September 12, 2011 at 07:13

    Thank you, Jackie!!!! I was also glad to see your blog nominated 🙂

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