Sunday Salon – February 5, 2012

February 5, 2012

Good morning and welcome to another edition of Sunday Salon. Visit the dedicated Facebook page to get links to other readers’ posts.

My January reading was the slowest of any time over the last four years. I only finished five books – half of my goal to read ten books per month. Not a great way to start a new year. I am really hoping that I can turn things around in February!

My final book for January ended up being The Invisible Ones by Stef Penney (read my review) which I enjoyed for its twisty plot and quality of writing. The novel is set in England and centers around the mystery of a missing girl, a family of gypsies and a private investigator. Penney narrates the book from two points of view and dips back and forth in time. Readers who enjoyed The Tenderness of Wolves will most likely not be disappointed in this one – although I preferred Penney’s debut myself.

I started February with Running the Rift by Naomi Benaron (read my review). This is an amazing book, although a heartbreaking one. Benaron won the Bellwether Prize for Fiction in 2010 for this novel and I think it was well deserved. Set in Rwanda in the years leading up to the 1994 Rwandan Genocide, Running the Rift follows the life of a talented runner named Jean Patrick. Very few books actually make me cry, but this one did just that. Benaron knows how to develop characters and by the end of the book I really cared about Jean Patrick, his girlfriend Bea and their families. If you like world literature, historical fiction and literary fiction…this is the perfect book for you.

My current read is a classic. Lord of the Flies by Nobel-prize winning author William Golding was first published in 1954 and was Golding’s debut novel. The book is not without some controversy having been challenged frequently for its violent portrayals of young boys who sink into savagery after being stranded on an island together. Lord of the Flies has been adapted to film – first in 1963, then in 1990. Have any of you seen the movie? Here is a trailer from the 1990 version:

Lord of the Flies is a relatively short book (200 pages), so I hope to finish it up by tomorrow. I have no idea what I will read next. I have a huge stack of books for February, as well as several that I had hoped to read in January. I am going to let my mood guide me.

In other bookish news, the folks over at World Book Night have extended the deadline to enter to be a giver to February 6th…so you have one more day to enroll! I was really excited to get an email telling me my application was chosen. Apparently, nearly everyone who completes an application will be allowed to participate. So don’t wait!!! I think this is going to be a fabulous event to look forward to in April!

Today is a sparkling, blue-sky day in Northern California. It is nippy out there this morning, but temps are supposed to get into the 60s later today. It feels more like early spring here than the middle of winter! I’m anticipating a hike with Raven and my hubby later, some reading, and a little quilting. How about you? Whatever you are doing and wherever you are, I hope it involves a great book!


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  1. The Invisible Ones sounds like a book I’d enjoy…if “enjoy” is the right word. Nice, twisty mysteries intrigue me. Thanks for sharing.

    Here’s MY SUNDAY SALON POST and here’s

      • Wendy on February 7, 2012 at 08:00

      Laurel: You’re welcome – I hope you’ll like The Invisible Ones when you get to it!

  2. I didn’t have a great reading month either, but I had a lot of family obligations, so I’m okay with that. I’ll be a giver on World Book Night as well.

      • Wendy on February 7, 2012 at 08:01

      Kathy: I’m glad I wasn’t alone! Yay for World Book Night!

    • Vasilly on February 5, 2012 at 10:49

    I still haven’t finished Running the Rift. *sigh* We’re having the same kind of weather in SoCal and I’m loving it. Happy reading!

      • Wendy on February 7, 2012 at 08:02

      Vasilly: Are you liking Running the Rift even though you haven’t yet finished it? This weather is crazy – I love it, but I also am nervous about what it means for fire season!

    • Amy on February 5, 2012 at 14:10

    The Invisible Ones sounds like a book I’d like. The fact that it’s set in England interests me since I love most things British! And I have read and heard wonderful things about Running the Rift, so glad you liked it.

    No worries about not reading as much as you hoped in January. There is plenty of time in the year to make it up! :o) I have found that we can’t always act according to our plans/schedules, sometimes things come up…an unexpected visit (yay!), illness (blah!) etc.
    Hopefully you’ll reach your goal of 10 books (or more) this month!

      • Wendy on February 7, 2012 at 08:03

      Amy: I hope to at least read 10 books in February so I have a little chance to catch up the rest of the year. I just really want to read 120 books this year LOL! But, of course you’re right – things happen, we are not robots.

    • Amy on February 5, 2012 at 14:11

    Oops! I meant to say Congratulations on being a World Book Night Giver!

      • Wendy on February 7, 2012 at 08:03


    • Laura on February 5, 2012 at 16:18

    I’m pretty excited that I will be giving out books on World Book Night as well. I’m also glad to hear that you enjoyed Running the Rift. I just got a copy from Indiespensible and I wasn’t sure it was something that I would like, but it sounds very worthwhile and moving.

      • Wendy on February 7, 2012 at 08:04

      Laura: So glad you are also participating in World Book Night! I think you would like Running the Rift – it is world literature and you seem to have appreciated other books which I think are similar to this one. Hope so, anyway!

    • Deb Nance at Readerb on February 5, 2012 at 16:58

    I’m excited to be participating in World Book Day, too.

    And if I’d read Lord of the Flies early in my life, I would have probably never become a teacher!

    I’d like to invite you to sign up for my February Giveaway! Win All Kinds of Kisses or a $25 Amazon gift card!

      • Wendy on February 7, 2012 at 08:05

      Deb: Yay, another World Book Night participant!! LOL re: Lord of the Flies – it is a bit on the edge, isn’t it?

    • Staci@LifeintheThumb on February 5, 2012 at 17:16

    I requested Running the Rift from my library. Just by the synopsis it sounds like a worthwhile read. Have a great week!

      • Wendy on February 7, 2012 at 08:05

      Staci: Oh, hope you love Benaron’s novel – I’ll look for your review!

  3. At least you read some good books?

    Lord of the Flies traumatized me when I read it in high school.

      • Wendy on February 7, 2012 at 08:06

      Amy: Oh, yes – most of what I read in January was worthwhile. I don’t remember my reaction to Lord of the Flies in HS – that’s a plus to getting older LOL!

    • Melissa on February 5, 2012 at 18:47

    My January was similar … only 5 books read, which was rather slow for me too. February is starting off on a much better note, so hopefully that will be the case for you as well!

      • Wendy on February 7, 2012 at 08:06

      Melissa: Glad to hear your Feb is starting better…mine is too! I hope we BOTH have great reading months!

    • Kath on February 5, 2012 at 19:33

    We’re having a clear blue skied sunny day here in Taipei today, it’s beautiful. I’m taking advantage of it to get some laundry done – oh the fun never stops! 😉

    I’ve neer read Lord of the Flies, it sounds a tad terrifying but I will eventually get to it. I didn’t realise that it was only 200 pages long – this is an added bonus!

    Hope February sees a lift in reading mood for you! 🙂

      • Wendy on February 7, 2012 at 08:08

      Kath: LOL re: the laundry – why can’t it just wash itself?!?! Lord of the Flies is eerie, a bit frightening…but it is a classic that I think is worth the read. Have a great reading month, too!

  4. I was chosen as a giver, too, and am thrilled to bits.

    All your books look like wonderful reads; I had two duds this past week and am pretty ticked off about it, especially since they’re follow ups to books I enjoyed.

    You win some, you lose some.

      • Wendy on February 7, 2012 at 08:08

      Jennifer O.: And yet ANOTHER World Book Night participant … yay!!! Don’t you hate when a book doesn’t live up to your expectations!??

  5. I loved Lord of the Flies! Movie and book. I hope you have a great time being a giver and tell us all about it.

      • Wendy on February 7, 2012 at 08:09

      Serena: I never saw the movie – but I agree that the book is terrific. I will definitely be blogging about World Book Night 🙂

  6. I loved Lord of the Flies when I read it in 10th grade. It was one in a long line of great books I read at that time in my life that have stuck with me. It’s also one I’d desperately like to re-read to see if it stands the test of time.

    So far I’ve read a book a week in 2012 and that’s on track for my goal. It may be less than many in the blogosphere, but it works for me. The quality of books I’ve read this year has also been exceptional with only one DNF so far.

    I hope it was a wonderful day, Wendy!

      • Wendy on February 7, 2012 at 08:11

      Andi: Lord of the Flies is a quick re-read, unlike a lot of the classics. It is such a great book on so many levels. A book a week is a great goal…it is such a personal thing, how much we read and what we read. The last few years I’ve read just under 100 books every year and decided I wanted to push myself in 2012 – not to just read more, but to continue to read excellent quality AND more. We’ll see though – so far I am falling way behind!

  7. Like Andi, I think I read Lord of the Flies in 10th grade. I, too, remember so much about that book. And I’ve seen both versions of the film. Such a disturbing story. I can’t remember if you read The Hunger Games. If so, didn’t it remind you a little bit of Lord of the Flies?

    Five books is disappointing? I was thrilled that I finished five books in January! And two were audio books. 🙂

    Happy reading!

      • Wendy on February 7, 2012 at 08:13

      Les: Yes, I just read the Hunger Games recently (in December) and loved it…it has some of the similar themes of Lord of the Flies, but because it is futuristic, it has a little different feel (the media element in Hunger Games takes it to another level). LOL re: the five books. Well, normally, I easily read 8, and I am shooting for 10 a month in 2012, so that is why I was disappointed. But, I realize that five books is not terrible 🙂 Thanks for keeping my perspective clear, my friend!! LOL!

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