Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Sunday Salon - 1.4.09

I have done more buying of new books and reading of blogs than I have actual reading of novels this week. I think I subconsciously did this because I know my "carefree" life of the past 2 weeks will end at 6:00am tomorrow. We have a teacher in-service tomorrow from 8:00 to 3:00 (where I am scheduled to talk about Excellence in Writing for 90 minutes -ugh!) and then classes start on Wednesday. I am also adding a new school this semester that will meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays (not many students per class, but 4 new classes to teach, which requires the same amount of prep time no matter the class size), so my free time will be drastically reduced in less than 24 hours. SO....I thought I could write about the new books that I discovered that I absolutely MUST read (mostly because of fellow bloggers' recommendations), and leave the actual book discussion for another TSS post.
  1. The Sister by Poppy Adams. The Literate Housewife reviewed this book earlier this week and I knew I had to read it when she compared the narrator's voice to that of Vida Winter from The Thirteenth Tale, one of my favorite recent reads.
  2. The Secret Papers of Madame Olivetti by Annie Vanderbilt. Kathy at Bermuda Onion wrote a compelling review that included several of my 'hot buttons': a memoir (of sorts) - taking place in Europe (my dream) - and involving such classic themes as "love, forgiveness and acceptance."
  3. Firmin by Sam Savage. To be honest, this is not my typical read --- the coming of age story of a well read rat?! But somehow the review given at Caribou's Mom caught my attention. It is also a relatively short read - 176 pages - so the unfamiliar subject matter would seem rather easy to digest.
  4. Just After Sunset by Stephen King. To be honest, I am not sure what prompted me to investigate this book - I am not a fan of the horror genre - but I downloaded the sample of this book to my kindle and thoroughly enjoyed what I read. I then read many, many reviews on Amazon about the book and it appears that those who did NOT like the book were disappointed that the stories were not "horrific" enough for them. Hmmmm....sounds like it might be my kind of book. I also like the fact that this is a collection of short stories - perhaps a refreshing change from all the novels I have been reading lately.
  5. The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory. I have never been a reader of historical fiction (not because I have an aversion to it, but mostly because I have never been exposed to it), so this series did not attract my attention until the movie release. Even then, it only became a minor blip on the radar (after all, I have so many other books on my TBR pile) --- but several bloggers have posted such favorable comments about this book, that I decided that it was worth a "free sample" download to my Kindle. Again, the free sample has convinced me that this is a book worth reading.
  6. The Somnambulist by Jonathan Barnes. This book has been on my list since its release earlier this year. The author was a guest on the "new reads" board at Barnes and Noble online. It is a suspense thriller set in turn-of-the-century London --- now that IS my preferred genre!
  7. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. This has been on my list for years --- it is one of my husband's all time favorite movies. Last year I had a student select this author (and novel) for her senior research paper and she gave such an amazing book review that I just knew I had to read it ---soon!
These are my top TBR -- for now. Of course, it is always subject to change, especially the more I read y'alls wonderful reviews. This list would be perfect to participate in Sheri's Just for the Love of it Reading Challenge 2009 - but alas I am just not sure that I will have enough free time from now until April to finish these books PLUS those I need to read for class. So....this is a public plea for Sheri to consider running this as an on-going challenge, say three times a year?! I would most definitely sign up for the challenge that runs May - August, as I have LOTS of free summer time to read to my heart's content.


  1. THE OTHER BOLEYN GIRL is such a fun book! I hope you enjoy the rest of it as much as you enjoyed the sample.

  2. I will host another reading challenge over the summer. But, why don't you choose just 1 or two books for this challenge. Remember, part of the rules is that you can change your list AT ANY TIME! So, if you finished one, you could add another. Well, at lease consider it.... for me.... (can you hear the violins?) Happy Sunday, M!


  3. I hope you'll like Firmin :) I've also read Rebecca (which I LOVED) and The Sister (which I also can highly recommend). Looks like you have some great books on your list!!!

  4. I just got The Thirteenth Tale! Can't wait to read that one!

  5. I put in a library request for Firmin last week after reading about it as a quiet treasure on Nancy Pearl's list.

  6. I know just how you feel--tomorrow it is back to work for me and school for the boys! We had an unexpected 1.5 weeks off extra due to snow, so it seems even harder than usual to go back. :)
    I have a hard time keeping up with weekly events during the week--I try to get a few ready in draft form over the weekend--like for Tuesday Teaser,Friday Finds,Poetry Friday and some other static events on my other blog. But the ones where you have to wait for the question to get posted, like Booking Through Thursday I can't do that.

    Have a blessed week and I hope your transition back to the *real* world goes smoothly! :)

  7. I have been doing just that too,
    This is my second semester back to school. Last semester while I was studying I could not find the time to read. I would blog surf regularly. Not as many posts. I missed reading so much. When school was over I told myself I was going to read a fun book. But alas I couldn't because I promised publicist I would finish a couple books. And then try to get to my book club read at least this month. I really wanted to read a chick lit book. But that did not work out. I am trying to get into People of the Book. But because school starts back in a week I quess, like you I want to get in some time to read some blogs before the real fun starts.
    I am working 1 more day and then I have 3 days off. Hopefully I can get some reading in before next Monday.


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