Sunday Salon – February 26, 2012

February 26, 2012

Good morning and welcome to this week’s edition of The Sunday Salon – get all the links by visiting the Facebook page.

I can’t believe it is almost March – this month has just flown by. I have two reviews to share with you today from my reading over the last week.

I blew through The Brothers by Asko Sahlberg which I completely loved (read my review). This translated work is less than 150 pages but it reads like a longer novel in that the characters are fully developed and the story feels like a saga. There are multiple narrators and the lives of the characters are slowly revealed and surprising. Peirene Press has another winner in this latest release. If you love literary fiction and family sagas, don’t miss The Brothers.

I did a 180 degree turn from literary fiction to psychological suspense-thriller with Blue Monday by Nicci French. This is the first in a planned eight book series and I really liked the main character – a psychotherapist named Frieda who is quite complex (read my review). This is the first book I’ve read by this author (actually this is a husband wife team writing under the pseudonym of Nicci French) and I enjoyed it. I will be interested to read the future books in the series as they are published.

I’m hosting a giveaway for this book which will run through March 4th (sorry, the contest is only open to US and Canada mailing addresses). You can read a terrific Q&A with the authors and enter the giveaway by visiting this post.

My current read is Half-Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan which was short listed for the 2011 Booker Prize. The novel opens in Paris in 1940, then shifts to Berlin in 1992. The story is about the disappearance of a black jazz player. I’m about a third of the way into the book and am just now getting used to the dialect which is German American slang. One thing I am really enjoying is the ability of the author to set the reader into the scenes. Edugyan is a gifted writer. So, watch for my review early this week (I hope!).

I feel the need to apologize to all the wonderful readers who have consistently left comments on my blog. These last two months have been odd for me – and I have found myself falling very far behind in responding to comments. I have vowed to be better about that in the coming months – but, because I was so far behind, I have decide to just move forward from here. So, if you left a comment on my blog in January and early February and I did not respond to it – please accept my sincere apologies…but, know that I did read all the comments and very much appreciated them!

I also have made a decision not to attend BEA this year. This decision was difficult for me because I was looking forward to connecting to other bloggers as well as industry professionals who I have gotten to know through my blog. A combination of some personal things happening in my life and financial considerations led me to this conclusion. Despite the fact that I won’t be in New York City in June, I will be (hopefully) participating in the Armchair BEA again this year.

Those of you who regularly read my blog have probably noticed more quilting posts of late. I still consider Caribousmom a book review blog, but I also want to continue to share other parts of my life with my readers…so the quilting posts will be mixed in between reviews and discussions about books. I hope my followers will want to read along despite my expansion into other areas. Those of you with crafty leanings may also find some links in my sidebar to quilt-alongs and other sewing related sites.

So, what is on my reading agenda for the remainder of this month? I would love to get at least two more books read including Alice in Bed by Cathleen Schine and A long-Forgotten Truth by Rachel Ballard. I also need to start reading Stephen King’s massive Tome 11/22/63 for the Chunky Book Club which is debuting in March (watch for some introductory posts the first part of the month and formal discussion questions beginning the second week of the month). I have another chunkster slated for early March as well. My Yahoo Book Group is reading The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton.

What about YOU? Are there books you are looking forward to reading in the next couple of weeks? Are you reading something wonderful right now?

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  1. Uh-oh to Half Blood Blues having dialect!

    I’m not going to BEA either, it’s such a huge money suck tbh. I also don’t feel like I’m in the same place I used to be where it was hugely important.

      • Wendy on February 26, 2012 at 11:13

      Yeah, you and me both re: dialect, Amy. I have a hard time with books that use so much slang. But, I am sort of getting used to the voices now and it is not too bad…actually it is her writing re: description that is keeping me the most enthralled.

      I know what you mean about BEA and being in a different place now. I really just wanted to go to connect with friends (both in the publishing industry and on the blogs)…but life is what it is and sometimes we can’t always do exactly what we want to do…and I am okay with that!

  2. I want to read Blue Monday…I’ve read other books by Nicci French, but had no idea it was a husband/wife writing team.

    I have Alice in Bed on my Kindle. Next week, maybe.


      • Wendy on February 26, 2012 at 15:41

      Laurel: I didn’t know Nicci French was a pseudonym either – and this was my first dip into their work. I’ll look forward to comparing notes on Alice in Bed with you 🙂

    • Becca on February 26, 2012 at 12:13

    I have trouble reading books with too much dialect as well. Although it depends on the language, too.

    I’ve never been to the BEA – every year I read posts about it and am slightly envious. Large events like that tend to overwhelm me, though, so I know I probably wouldn’t enjoy it that much. What I would love is to be able to meet some of my favorite bloggers and authors face to face 🙂

      • Wendy on February 26, 2012 at 15:48

      Becca: I have no idea why my blog is insisting I moderate your comments since you have posted here many times before *sighs* Anyway, I agree with you re: dialect in books – not always my favorite thing. The BEA is really quite an experience – but there are also other ways to meet bloggers which I have discovered (and they are smaller events – like Booktopia). I would love to meet you in person some day 🙂

    • Harvee on February 26, 2012 at 13:07

    I’m reading the Invisible People by Stef Penney right now and really enjoying this literary mystery.

      • Wendy on February 26, 2012 at 15:43

      Harvee – Do you mean The Invisible Ones? I read that last month and liked it…glad to hear you are enjoying it, too!

    • Alyce on February 26, 2012 at 13:11

    I’ve been sporadic about responding to comments for ages and it’s not on purpose, life is just too busy to catch up, so I just do what I can and figure people will understand.

    I loved 11/22/63 – it was my first Stephen King read and it rocked! I’ll be curious to see what you think. 🙂

      • Wendy on February 26, 2012 at 15:44

      Alyce: I should probably not worry about the comments thing either. I just feel bad sometimes at how horrible I am with responses!! But you’re right – life is crazy. Glad you loved King’s book – will you be joining us in the discussion on The Chunkster blog next month?

    • Gavin on February 26, 2012 at 15:12

    Thanks for the introduction to Blue Monday. I am adding it to my TBR list. I hope to finish The Sense of an Ending today or tomorrow. Have a great week, Wendy.

      • Wendy on February 26, 2012 at 15:44

      Gavin: You’re welcome! I have A Sense of an Ending on my TBR list too – just so many great books out there!!!

    • Staci on February 26, 2012 at 15:55

    I have Blue Monday so I do look forward to reading in the next few months! I love reading your blog regardless of what you post about. I find your quilting amazing and I love learning more about the process!! Just continue to be you!


      • Wendy on February 26, 2012 at 15:58

      Aw Staci, thank you – that was such a nice comment and I do appreciate it! I feel like I have made some really wonderful friends here – and you are one of them. *hugs back*

    • Megan on February 26, 2012 at 16:41

    I am truly abysmal at replying to my comments, but I always let it go for too long until it feels like doing it would be a waste of time because nobody would even see it anyway. Usually if I can steal away a few moments on the computer, I dedicate them to post writing or trying to keep up with my Google Reader and commenting on other peoples’ blogs. Unfortunately, the blogs that I’m commenting on aren’t always the ones that belong to bloggers who have recently commented on mine. I truly hope that no one feels like I’m an awful, insensitive blogger who barely notices comments because that is hardly the case. I’m just drowning in my own good intentions!

    I’m sorry to hear you won’t be making it to BEA this year. I’m totally on the fence this time around. The last two years I tried to talk myself out of it but in the end just couldn’t resist the pull of it. This year, I don’t really feel that way, but since it’s only a state away, it seems a shame to miss out on all of it, but even though I’m nearby, it’s *still* a terribly costly thing.

      • Wendy on February 26, 2012 at 20:26

      Megan: I’m glad I’m not the only one that struggles to keep up with comments! I try so hard to go out and visit the bloggers who leave me comments, but I know I miss some. It is just really hard to keep up most of the time. I wish I lived closer to the BEA because maybe I could then pull it off this year – but having to fly all the way across the country is a little expensive on top of all the other costs.

  3. I wouldn’t worry about not responding to all the comments. i don’t have the time that I used to and I hope that others understand. I try to focus on those comments that need a response, like those asking me a question.

    I won’t be attending BEA or BBC for obvious reasons with the new house and baby…though she’ll be 1 soon enough! I had hoped to connect with blogging buddies, but that’s not going to happen this year. I hope all gets better financially and personally for you.

      • Wendy on February 27, 2012 at 08:06

      Good point about the comments, Serena – maybe I need to rethink my policy. I don’t see how anyone with kids as young as yours could make it to BEA!! I was really bummed at first, but I am okay with it now about not going.

      1. Cris was going to watch her, take a vacation and come with, explore the city with her…but it was too expensive….and I was only thinking of going for BBC and maybe 1 day of BEA…and spending another day in the city with them. but right now money is too tight.

        I’m sure I’ll see all of you again at some point. I hope that you are well and things shake out soon for you.

    • zibilee on February 27, 2012 at 07:26

    I am sorry that you won’t be attending BEA. I won’t be going yet again this year, because the money just isn’t there for that this year, but hopefully I can still get to SIBA.

      • Wendy on February 27, 2012 at 08:07

      Heather: I think a lot of people don’t go because of the expense – and that is at least part of why I can’t make it this year too.

  4. I just started 11/22/63, and I’m hooked just 40 pages in!

      • Wendy on February 27, 2012 at 08:07

      Amy – ooooh, good to know!

    • Kath on February 27, 2012 at 08:34

    I’ve got that Stephen King on my hit list (to buy when found) and Kate Morton’s Forgotten Garden is on my TBR. I’ve been reading Wild Swans. the second Hunger Games book and Eatng Animals by Jonathon Safran Foer. Three very different books!

    Hope you have a lovely week!

      • Wendy on February 27, 2012 at 08:41

      Kath – Sounds like you have some excellent reading in store! I have the second Hunger Games in the queue as well – can’t wait to see the movie coming out next month! Hope you have a terrific week as well!

    • Arial on February 27, 2012 at 09:15

    I hope you enjoy The Forgotten Garden as much as my friends and I did.

      • Wendy on February 27, 2012 at 10:09

      I hope so too, Arial!

    • Amy on February 27, 2012 at 13:56

    The Brothers is definitely going on my wishlist. I still haven’t read anything from Pereine Press but there are several books they publish on my TBR now so I hope to read a couple soon!

    I find dialect sometimes difficult to deal with. I have mixed feelings about whether or not I like when authors use it. But Half-Blood Blues intrigues me.

    BEA is costly. Because I live in Brooklyn, I don’t have to pay for a place to stay. But I’m not sure if I’ll be attending anyway…I have to think about and take into account health considerations and things. But I wil participate in Armchair BEA!

    I’m behind on comments, too. It’s to hard to keep up with everything. I am always thinking: Just do what you can, No Worries!
    I hope you have a good week, Wendy.

      • Wendy on February 27, 2012 at 15:10

      Amy: So many of the Peirene titles are wonderful. I hope you’ll get a chance to check a couple out soon (and they are short which is also great!) I am getting used to the dialect in Half-Blood Blues and am actually liking the book now and the “voices” feel more natural.

      You’re right about the cost of BEA. I think we spent $200 a night for our hotel room when I went 2 years ago (and that was “discounted”)…so $800 for four nights! Not to mention airfare which is really high right now. And I don’t have vacation time with my job (I’m a consultant and also work only part time for a home health agency)…so the costs for me are astronomical. But Armchair BEA is great, isn’t it?

      Hope you also have a wonderful week ahead of you!

  5. Here’s what I just wrote about beginning 11/22/63. (No spoilers; I don’t do plot recaps.) I’m excited about this book!

      • Wendy on March 2, 2012 at 07:57

      Amy Brandon: Thanks for the link! I have started the book and so far, so good!

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