October 14, 2012
Good morning and welcome to The Sunday Salon – a place where readers gather to talk about books! Check out the Facebook page for more links and to play along.
I have been absent from the Salon since September 2nd – my dad passed away on September 17th after a long illness and I found myself back in New Hampshire for an extended stay…so my blogging life really slowed down. But, I’m back now and thought I would share some of the books I read over the last month.
I read Home by Toni Morrison for a book club discussion and found it to be a sparse book (less than 150 pages) which packs a big punch (read my review). I have not read a lot of books by this author, but what I have read I have appreciated. Morrison is a gifted writer whose prose is poetic, rich, and character-driven. If you have not had a chance to pick up one of her books, Home would be a good first choice.
My next read was a chunkster which I read for the Chunkster Challenge and the Chunky Book Club (read my review). Fall of Giants by Ken Follett is the first book in a proposed trilogy (the second book, Winter of the World, was released in September). Ken Follett is known for his novels based in the spy genre, as well as for his well-researched historical fiction. Fall of Giants does not disappoint with dozens of characters (both real and imagined) and a look at the historical events between 1911 and 1924. Follett uncovers the lives of five interrelated families from America, Germany, Russia, England and Wales, and explores such historical events as WWI, the Russian Revolution, and Women’s Suffrage. After finishing this book, I ran out and purchased Winter of the World which I hope to read sooner rather than later.
Next up in my reading pile was The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman – a debut novel which has been getting a little buzz (read my review). I read it for a book club discussion where it got mixed reviews. Despite its slow start, I enjoyed the novel for its alluring imagery and the lyrical cadence of Stedman’s prose. Stedman ultimately creates memorable characters and a story which reminds readers that life is complicated and the decisions we make can have devastating consequences not only for ourselves, but for others.
I then turned to some genre fiction (suspense-thriller) and picked up The Other Woman by Hank Phillippi Ryan (read my review). This novel is the first in a series and centers around an investigative reporter, a homicide detective and a political senate race. Fast paced, tightly plotted and introducing a likable female character, the book will appeal to readers who like their novels suspenseful and twisty. I am interested in reading book two when it is released.
I’m heading down to Santa Cruz next weekend for Booktopia, so I will be trying to read some of the books for that event in the next week or so. My current read is The Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones which I hope to finish today. This is a beautiful novel about two teenage girls who share the same father…the twist is that the father is a bigamist – married to both mothers and one of those marriages is a secret. Narrated from both girls’ perspectives, this is a novel which looks at love, jealousy, and the impact of secret lives. I am really enjoying the book. Jones is a talented writer who keeps the tension balanced and creates believable characters.
Other books on my Booktopia reading list include:
- Swim Back to Me by Ann Packer
- The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson
- Girlchild by Tupelo Hassman
- Murder at the Lanterne Rouge by Cara Black
- The Baker’s Daughter by Sarah McCoy
What about you? What is on your to-be-read pile?
Today I hope to read and have a little time to work on a Christmas quilt I started in August…it just needs to be pinned and quilted. It also looks like it is going to be a gorgeous fall day here in Northern California so a walk may be in order. What are you doing today? Whatever it is, I hope it involves a great book!