November 24, 2013
Good morning and welcome to this week’s edition of The Sunday Salon. Visit the Facebook Page for links to other bloggers’ posts.
The last time I posted a Salon post was way back on July 7th. This year has been one of ups and downs and lots of distractions. My reading is way down. I have been spending more time in my sewing room than curled up on the couch with a book. There are reasons, of course.
This weekend I took some time to update my blog (especially the prize lists) and caught up on some reviews that I had yet to write. I gazed at my towering to-be-read pile and felt some dismay. I don’t want to give up my blog, but I don’t want to feel the pressure of having to read and review books. So you may see some changes here come January 1st. Not huge changes, but changes nonetheless.
Today I thought I’d talk about the books I have read so far this month. The list is not long, but the books have been good.
I started out the month finishing up What the Dog Knows by Cat Warren – which I loved. I rarely read nonfiction because I love, love, love fiction. BUT, this book kept me riveted. The writing is excellent and it was a subject that interested me. Check out my review.
Chasing the King of Hearts by Hanna Krall (and translated by Philip Boehm) is a Peirene Press novella. I love getting these beautifully crafted little books and, once again, I was not disappointed with the content (read my review). Krall survived WWII hiding in a cupboard, and in her slim book she has crafted fiction which was inspired by real life. The writing is simple, yet poetic. It is sad, but there is also humor. She gives voice to the thousands who perished at the hands of the Nazis, but also to those who survived in spite of the odds. If you love literary and translated fiction, you won’t want to miss this little gem.
Browsing through Barnes and Noble one rainy day earlier this month, I was drawn to Quiet Dell by Jayne Anne Phillips. I have her award winning book Lark and Termite on my stacks to be read…and I have heard such good things about her writing. Quiet Dell is based on a true story – that of serial killer Henry Powers who lured women to their deaths through lonely hearts ads during the Great Depression. Phillips spent some of her childhood in the town where the murders took place and her memories of that time are stark (even though she was only six years old). Quiet Dell is her ode to the victims – it is both fiction and nonfiction, interwoven. I found the book compelling and one of the best of the year (read my review).
I finished Ade by Rebecca Walker early in the month for a TLC Book Tour which I post this Tuesday. This is another slim, but powerful book and I really loved it. You can read my review on the 26th…in the meantime, you can read what others have thought by visiting the tour page and clicking through to the reviews listed there. I am also offering a giveaway of this book. The giveaway will be open for one week, and Canadian and US readers are encouraged to enter for a chance to win. Come back here on the 26th to enter.
My current read is another novel based (loosely) on a true case. Those of you living in Northern California may remember the Trailside Killer who stalked the trails of Mt. Tamalpais and other parks in the 1970s. Joyce Maynard’s latest novel, After Her, centers around two sisters whose father is heading up the investigation into murders happening on Mt. Tamalpais. The girls spend a lot of time on the mountain – it is their playground…and the eldest child wants to help her father solve the case. Maynard’s writing is great and I’m nearly 100 pages into the book and should finish it soon as I can’t seem to put this one down for long!
Later today I am going for a bike ride with my husband and I’ll be sewing – working on some gifts for Christmas. I also hope to find a little time to read. What about you? What are YOU doing this lovely Sunday in November?