Sunday Salon – December 4, 2011

December 4, 2011

Good morning and welcome to The Sunday Salon – an online blogging event which celebrates reading. Visit the Facebook page to get more links to Sunday Salon posts.

This week was a rough one for me. I fell ill with the flu last Saturday and ended up flat on my back and very sick for most of the week. Even reading was difficult. I actually spent most of my time sleeping, drinking juice and watching bad television movies. I am happy to say that I am on the up side of this bug and feeling 100% better now.

As promised last week, I did get my review of The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides posted. I really loved this book. And I was thrilled when the publisher contacted me (after seeing my review) and offered to provide an audio version of the book for giveaway on my blog. The give is only for United States postal addresses (it will be mailed to the winner from the publisher). If you are interested in entering, visit this post by December 9th at 5:00 pm PST. The book is about three characters – all college age students – who are going out into the world in the early 1980s. Eugenides is terrific at character development…and if you loved Middlesex (as I did), you will certainly appreciate this latest effort by him.

I also devoured Men in the Making by Bruce Machart, which is a short story collection (read my review). I really adore this author – he depicts male characters very well, and has a talent for creating atmosphere and place in his stories. From what I understand, he is in the process of writing his second novel and I am very eager to get my hands on it. Have you read anything by Machart? He first came to my attention years ago when a short story of his was published in Glimmertrain, and then I read his debut novel, The Wake of Forgiveness, last year as part of the Barnes and Nobel First Look Book Club (read my review). Suffice it to say, I’ve become a fan!

I found the perfect book and movie to pass my sick bed time with Mr. Popper’s Penguins (read my review). The book is a classic children’s book from 1938 and it is delightful. The movie (which premiered in theaters this summer and is being released in DVD this month through Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment) is very, very loosely based on the book. But despite the fact that the movie is really different from the book, it still was fun to experience them together. If you are looking for fun family entertainment for the cold weather, consider picking up a copy of the DVD (or renting it). I giggled over Jim Carrey’s performance…and Angela Lansbury was classic.

I will be posting a review of The Devil’s Ribbon by D. E. Meredith later today. This is an historical mystery set in London in 1858 which centers around the conflict between the Irish and the English, and takes place during a cholera epidemic. Although it is the second in a series, it absolutely can stand alone (I did not read the first book). I really enjoyed this novel. It has just the right amount of historical detail mixed with mystery. The characters are spot on – perfect dialogue and enough quirkiness to make it interesting. Have you read Devoured, the first book in this series? If so, should I pick up a copy?

Last night I started reading The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins for a Yahoo book club discussion. It was late, and I had thought to just read a few pages to see what it was like…but, before I knew it I was nearly 100 pages in and not wanting to put it down. I’ll be flying through this book and should have a review up by Tuesday. I know I am late to the game here because this book was published some time ago. There are more books in the series…and methinks I will need to buy them! Have you read The Hunger Games and the books which followed? What did YOU think?

I should also mention that I have another book give away going right now…this one is for the 10th Anniversary edition of The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd. Here is another book which got tons of buzz (pun intended) but which never made it into my reading stacks. I really should read this one, don’t you think? If you want to enter to win, you must have a United States postal address and enter by December 12th by visiting this post.

Finally, I closed the survey about paid content and disclosure and have posted the results. I did not find any real surprises in the survey, but there were a couple of points which came up that I think could generate more discussion. I hope you’ll stop by my post and leave your comments. I think book blogging continues to be an evolving medium and it will be interesting to see where it will lead us in 2012.

I hope you have a wonderful day ahead of you and that you are finding time to enjoy the beauty of the holiday season. This is a busy time of year, but hopefully you are finding time to just sit with a good book and relax a little!

 

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17 comments

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    • Laura on December 4, 2011 at 10:44

    I really liked The Hunger Games. I haven’t gotten around to reading the other two, although we have copies in the house and they come highly recommended by a certain teenager … perhaps someday I will. They are quick reads.

    • Deb Nance at Readerbuzz on December 4, 2011 at 12:04

    Hunger Games, I thought, was fabulous. It’s the perfect beach read or vacation read or sick-in-bed read. Keep going with the series; each sequel is as good as the preceeding one.

    Thank you for the Marriage Plot giveaway!

    Here’s my Sunday Salon.

  1. I have The Marriage Plot just waiting patiently on my office coffee table…soon!

    Secret Life of Bees was another one I loved.

    I don’t think The Hunger Games will be my cup of tea…but many seem to enjoy it.

    Here’s MY SUNDAY SALON POST and
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  2. Loved all three Hunger Games – just recently read them a second time – this time aloud to my kids. 🙂

  3. I read The Wake of Forgiveness, and while I gained a huge appreciation of his talent, he was a little too realistic for me! I think I need my characters cleaned up a bit by fiction! :–)

    • Vasilly on December 4, 2011 at 15:46

    Glad to hear that you’re feeling much better. Are you hosting the Chunkster Challenge again next year?

  4. I’m sorry you’ve been under the weather and I’m glad to know you’re on the upswing.

    • Laura on December 4, 2011 at 16:42

    Hunger Games is lots of fun. I enjoyed Catching Fire and well, but had mixed feelings about Mockingjay, which I just finished. I’m super excited for The Marriage Plot, which is among the many books that I would like to get to before the end of the year, but probably won’t.

    • Wendy on December 4, 2011 at 18:14
      Author

    Laura (Musings): Paula loved this series – it is fast paced. I don’t read a lot of YA – but this is a good book 🙂

    Deb: I think I will end up reading the whole series 🙂 Thanks for your feedback!

    Laurel: The Hunger Games is a bit outside my usual reading fare…but I like to do that sometimes and this is such a fast read that I am having fun with it.

    Carrie: Good to know you also loved the series!

    Jill: I remember you not loving The Wake of Forgiveness – it was a tough book on many levels, but I just love Machart’s way with the written word.

    Vasilly: The Chunkster actually runs past the end of the year…I am thinking of asking for help on that blog. Are you interested?

    Kathy: Thanks – I am happy to be feeling more like myself!

    Laura: I hope you will really enjoy the Marriage Plot. There are so many great books to read..I need another month in the year!

    • Sand on December 4, 2011 at 19:51

    I read “The Hunger Games” — I can’t honestly remember why, it might have been one of Katrina Stonoff’s reviews, but I’m not sure. I found the point of view of the writing to be extremely irritating, but subsequently requested from my library branch the remaining two of the trilogy. I read the dang book in a day, annoyed, but unable to put it down, annoyed but wanting to know the rest of the story. Same with the sequels.

    Grr. Now I find myself looking at the movie trailers on IMDb.com, and mumbling like a grouchy old woman about whether or not I will go see it in the theater.

  5. Oh my gosh I am so excited that you are reading The Hunger Games! I can’t wait to hear what you think, but I’m glad you are enjoying it so far. 🙂

    • zibilee on December 5, 2011 at 05:24

    Oh, I am so sorry that you were sick! I think it’s just going around, as it seems like everyone that I know has been ill in the past few weeks!

    • Wendy on December 5, 2011 at 08:24
      Author

    Sand: LOL – it is definitely an addictive read. I have only 60 pages to go…breezing through it. And I have a feeling I’ll be reading the rest of the books too!

    Amy: I am late to the party – but I can see why people loved The Hunger Games…such a compulsive read!

    Heather: Tis the season, I suppose! At least it was now and not over Christmas!

  6. Glad you’re on the upside of the bug. My mom had something over the weekend that was miserable and knocked her flat. Hoping that Greyson and I escape that fate.

    Have a great week, Wendy!

  7. I’m so glad you’re feeling better, Wendy. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I don’t get sick this holiday season. I’ve used up all my vacation and sick time and won’t get anymore until April 1st.

    I am very anxious to read The Marriage Plot. I loved Middlesex!

    As far as The Hunger Games series, I only really liked the first book. I devoured it very quickly, as I recall. Catching Fire was a bit disappointing. Too much backstory. I read a chapter or two of MockingJay and called it quits. That said, I can’t wait to see the movie!

    • Trish on December 6, 2011 at 11:16

    First time with The Hunger Games?! I’ve only read the first book but loaned all three to my mom and she DEVOURED them! Hope your group has a great discussion!

  8. I need to get to reading The Hunger Games sometime soon, especially since the movie will be coming out in March or April. Hope you have had a good week 🙂

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