Sunday Salon – April 1, 2012

April 1, 2012

Good morning and welcome to this week’s edition of The Sunday Salon (check out the Facebook page for other bloggers’ posts). And Happy April Fool’s Day…has anyone fooled you yet today?

We have had a windy, wet and stormy week here in Northern California. It has felt more like winter than Spring. But, today the sun is shining and the weather is warmer. I think I will have to get out for a walk a little later.

I have had an interesting week of reading. I finished The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng and will posting my review of that novel on April 3rd as part of a book tour. Until then, I can tell you this is a really special book on several levels. The writing is beautiful and profound, and the story is a quiet meditation on survival, memory and war. I really loved this book and I can’t wait to share my review with you…so please come back on Tuesday!

I also finished two wonderful collections of short stories this week.

One More Year by Sana Krasikov was published in 2008 by Spiegel & Grau and was recognized for the 2008 5 Under 35 Award (which is administered by the National Book Foundation). This is a well-written short story collection which looks at the lives of Russian immigrants. Although bleak at times, I found the writing exceptional and the characters very realistic. Krasikov was born in the Ukraine and grew up in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia and the United States, which is maybe why her characters’ lives resonate so authentically. I bought this book when it was first released and wish now that I had read it sooner. Watch for my review of this book later today.

I spent some time browsing at Barnes and Noble this week and could not resist picking up a copy of Birds of a Lesser Paradise by Megan Mayhew Bergman. Bergman is a young writer and this is her first collection of short stories which center around characters whose lives are shaped in some way by the natural world and their connection to the animals and wild places around them. I breezed through this beautifully written book in just a couple of days. Watch for my review later this week and in the meantime, visit the author’s website for more information about Bergman and her work.

You might remember that I talked about The Gods of Gotham by Lyndsay Faye last week. Well, I finished that book and have posted my review. This was an incredible book – loved it! We’ll be talking about the novel this Tuesday over at Jen’s blog and I hope you’ll considering joining the discussion if you’ve read the book.

Since today is April 1st, I thought I should at least take a look at my stacks and come up with a loose reading plan. This is what is on my MUST READ list for April:

  • The Testament of Jesse Lamb by Jane Rogers (long listed for the Booker Prize and to be discussed for BOOK CLUB on Nicole’s blog for April 24th)
  • The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey (for Bookies Too Yahoo Group on April 16th)
  • Let’s Pretend It Never Happened by Jenny Lawson
  • A Beautiful Place to Die by Malla Nunn (2010 Edgar Award Nominee, and for my Reading Literary Novels from My Stacks Challenge)
  • The Submission by Amy Waldman (2012 Orange Prize nominee)
  • When Captain Flint Was Still a Good Man by Nick Dybek
  • Some Assembly Required by Anne Lamott

I also have some books in my stacks from the last couple of months which I would love to read…but, we’ll see how things go.

What about you? Are you reading anything wonderful? Do you have some books lined up as must reads for April? I hope whatever you have planned today it will involve a great book at some point! Have a wonderful week!

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  1. I’m hosting a read-along of The House at Tyneford for April, so that’s on my to-read list for the month, along with The Shoemaker’s Wife by Adriana Trigiani for a tour, and The Fault in Our Stars by John Green just for me. 🙂 I’m hoping to get a chance to read The Gods of Gotham soon, too!

    Have a great week, Wendy!

      • Wendy on April 1, 2012 at 13:25

      Oh, it sounds like you have some awesome books in your stacks for April, Carrie! Hope they are all as good as they look. I hope you also have a wonderful week ahead!

    • Harvee on April 1, 2012 at 16:37

    I am on the lookout for The Garden of Evening Mists, but it won’t be printed till autumn. I’ll have to wait!!!

      • Wendy on April 13, 2012 at 07:01

      Harvee: I hope you’ll get a copy sooner!

    • Susan on April 1, 2012 at 19:42

    Of your April picks, I have read Amy Waldman’s “Submission” novel, which I found impressive and quite liked. Chalk it up for this newspaper reporter turned fiction author. There’s a hint of Bonfire of the Vanities in it … a bit.
    On my horizon for April …. might be two survival tales: one nonfiction, The Unbroken, and one fiction The Lifeboat by new author Charlotte Rogan. We will see where the will to survive takes us …

    • Wendy on April 13, 2012 at 07:02

    Susan: Good to hear you enjoyed Submission…I hope I do, too. I loved Unbroken, so I hope that is a winner for you!

  2. Sounds like you have some good reviews coming up. I’m so behind in my Reader but hope to be caught up soon.

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