Sunday Salon – April 22, 2012

April 22, 2012

Good morning and welcome to The Sunday Salon!

I woke up to a gorgeous day with the sun shining through the pines and a cool breeze blowing through my open windows. Our pair of redtail hawks have returned to their nest in the top of a huge cedar next to the house and their plaintive cries floated on the air. It is too nice to be inside, so I’ll be out in the yard today and enjoying the spring weather.

I continue to struggle with my reading mojo. This has been a painfully slow month of reading. This past week I read The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey for the Bookies Too Yahoo group discussion. I really wanted to love the book which it seems like everyone is talking about. The story is based on a Russian fairy tale. Ivey is a strong writer, and the early part of the book was wonderful. But then it faltered for me (read my review) and I ended up just feeling so-so about it by the end. I’ve read some 5-star reviews of this novel, so maybe it is just me. I would not discourage you from giving it a try.

I have been slogging through The Testament of Jessie Lamb by Jane Rogers which was longlisted for the Booker Prize and will be up for discussion on BOOK CLUB this Tuesday on Nicole’s blog. Here is another book I had hoped to love. It centers around a young girl and is set in the future. It is definitely a dystopic novel…and perhaps that is my problem with it. It is just such a downer. I am not relating to the narrator. I’m half way through the book, and I am seriously considering giving up on it.

Last night I picked up a 2010 Edgar Award nominated book: A Beautiful Place to Die by Malla Nunn. This book is set in South Africa and revolves around the murder of a white police captain in the early 1950s. The novel immediately pulls the reader into the underlying mystery. I read 50 pages last night before turning out the light. I’m hoping this book will get me out of what is beginning to feel like another reading slump.

What about you? Have you been reading some great books these days? Do you have months where everything you pick up seems to disappoint?

In other reading news, we’ll be featuring Overseas by Beatriz Williams (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, May 2012) on the Chunkster Challenge blog in May which will include a giveaway of this debut, romance novel. I’m getting a copy as well and, although I don’t read a ton of romance, I hope to enjoy this one. I totally love that cover!

Speaking of the Chunkster Challenge blog – we’re asking readers to give us some recommendations for nonfiction chunksters. Check out this post, and consider leaving us a recommendation in the comments! Then in June, we’ll be having our second Chunky Book Club discussion for The Memory of Love by Aminatta Forna. I hope you’ll join us!

Tomorrow is World Book Night – and on Thursday I picked up my box of books to give away. I’m giving away The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak which is probably my favorite book of all time. I’ll be posting about this event probably on Tuesday this week (and I hope I’ll have photos too!).

Are you participating in World Book Night? If so, which book are you giving away?

I hope you are having a wonderful day today and my wish for you is a great week with some memorable books in it!

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  1. Wow, lots of intriguing things happening…I especially liked your opening about the sun shining through the pines and a cool breeze coming through the open window…I could almost feel it!

    I’ve been curious about The Snow Child….but I often don’t “get” what others love. That’s how it goes, sometimes.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts today…and here’s MY SUNDAY SALON POST

  2. Oh, good luck with World Book Night. I’m really drawn to The Snow Child but yours isn’t the first negative review I’ve read. Hmmm.

    • Becca on April 22, 2012 at 09:50

    I’ve had a great reading month, so I’m sorry yours has been so-so. I’ve re-read a couple of old favorites this month (both by Anne Tyler), and also found a great historical novel (A Young Wife, by Kim Lewis) that had been languishing at the bottom of my stack for far too long. I also read Anne Lamott’s new book, Some Assembly Required, which was a treat.

    I hope thing turn around for your reading life soon!

  3. I’ll be giving away The Poisonwood Bible tomorrow. I planned to give it away outside one of our local grocery stores but they haven’t given me the go ahead so I may have to come up with another plan.

    • Kay on April 22, 2012 at 10:37

    So nice to hear about your lovely weather. We’ve had a few cool mornings too, but temps are creeping up during the days. Summer is coming. Sigh.

    I just check THE SNOW CHILD out from the library. We’ll see if I actually get to it. If not, I can try again later. I’ve been intrigued though and your difficulties with it didn’t put me off. Good to hear that the Malla Nunn book swept you in right away. We discussed mysteries set in Africa at my last mystery book group meeting and this was an author that a couple of people read. I have that book around here somewhere. Looking forward to hearing your experience.

    Have a good week, Wendy!

  4. Sounds like a lovely day, Wendy. It’s been beautiful here, although the wind is really gusty today. Makes for hard biking!

    I’m in line for the audio version of The Snow Child at my library. Perhaps listening will prove to be more enjoyable than reading the printed version. I hope! I’m not chomping at the bit to read the book, but I am curious.

    Have fun handing out The Book Thief tomorrow!! It’s probably my all-time favorite read, too.

    If you need help pulling yourself out of that reading slump, maybe give Mo Hayder’s Gone a read. I could not put it down!! Fabulous mystery/thriller. I just posted my review here, so check it out.

    Hope you have a great week!

    • Staci on April 22, 2012 at 15:01

    Egads…I have the second book to read at some point and I hope that I don’t have quite the time you’re having with it!! I’m so jealous of your lovely weather! We have the sun but no heat and high winds!!

    • pburt on April 22, 2012 at 15:48

    I think I may finally be digging my way out of my reading morass.

    I also struggled with Jessie Lamb – I did finish it but was pretty disappointed.


    • Vicki on April 22, 2012 at 17:06

    I’ve been in a slight book funk lately. But the last book I read was really good so hopefully I’ve got my book jones back.

    I’m handing out copies of The Stand by Stephen King for WBN.

    Here’s My Sunday Salon

  5. I can completely understand the frustration or let-down when reading books that you thought you would love, only to feel a bit disappointed. But, it’s much more unsettling when it’s not just one book, but multiple books. I do hope you get out of the slump! Sometimes, I just have to read a very light read to clear my head. Because I love reading, taking a book break is just not an option 😉 Good luck to you!

    Here’s my Sunday Salon:

  6. LOL – my five star review of The Snow Child posts tomorrow!

    • Serena on April 23, 2012 at 03:43

    I cannot wait to see how Book Night goes for those of you selected to participate.

  7. I’m reading a book that’s been raved about too – but that I’m having the opposite reaction to as well – it’s so weird when that happens because it makes us 2nd guess ourselves. But I suppose that’s the beauty of books – they invoke a gamut of emotional responses in folks.

  8. I’ve chucked all healthy reading for pure fun! I just finished and enjoyed A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. While I had some problems with it, the rich historical detail was enough to carry me away. Good thing for me right now!

    I’m jumping into Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon, to try to keep the good times rolling.

    Good luck getting your reading mojo all fired up, Wendy!

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