Literary Quote of the Month

“For poems are not, as people think, simply emotions (one has emotions early enough)—they are experiences,” … Rilke, The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Sunday Salon... "Books with Buzz"

What is the Sunday Salon? Imagine some university library's vast reading room. It's filled with people--students and faculty and strangers who've wandered in. They're seated at great oaken desks, books piled all around them, and they're all feverishly reading and jotting notes in their leather-bound journals as they go. Later they'll mill around the open dictionaries and compare their thoughts on the afternoon's literary intake...

It's been an interesting week, with a special giveaway underway courtesy of the author Allyson Roy for a signed copy of the book Babydoll and the wrap-up of the giveaway for a copy of Up For Renewal by Cathy Alter.... And there have been some interesting books I've seen in my travels this week (not to mention a few nice surprises in my mailbox!)...

If you love books, not just the inside of them but the whole "experience" of having a book in your hand,the beauty of the cover, the feel of the paper as you turn the pages, there's going to be another special giveaway this week for a copy of an ARC (Advanced Reading Copy) for The Man Who Loved Books Too Much: The True Story of a Thief, a Detective, and a World of Literary Obsession by Allison Hoover Bartlett. "Rare-book theft is even more widespread than fine-art theft. Most thieves, of course, steal for profit. John Charles Gilkey steals purely for the love of books. In an attempt to understand him better, journalist Allison Hoover Bartlett plunged herself into the world of book lust and discovered just how dangerous it can be." A book written by someone who really loves books! Read the review and enter the giveaway this wednesday! But hurry- this giveaway is running only one week! The end of the giveaway coincides with the release date of the book to the public the next day...

Another interesting book I came across this week is Voices of the Desert by Nelida Pinon. "From one of Brazil’s most beloved writers, a magical tale of lust, power, betrayal, and forgiveness set in the royal court of thirteenth-century Baghdad: a sumptuous retelling of the legend of Scheherazade that illuminates her character as never before..." We are all familiar with The One Thousand and One Night tales, and we know Scheherazade is the heroine of the story, but not much more is written about her. Voices of the Desert tells us the story of The One Thousand and One Night's from Scheherazade's perspective, alluding to her heroism for saving 1001 virgins that would have died had she not kept her 'husband' enthralled with her tales... this is what attracted me to the book, how the author takes this well known tale and puts life into the characters that take part in the story- not just the stories. I can't wait to read it!

A book with a lot of buzz around it recently is The Sound of Water by Sanjay Bahadur. This book was longlisted for the Man AsianPrize, (A literary prize designed for works created in Asia), and "provides an agonizing 360-degree account of an Indian mining disaster as seen from three perspectives: an old miner struggling to save himself and his coworkers hundreds of feet below the surface of the earth as water threatens to drown them; the company and government officials charged with managing the rescue efforts; and the miners' families anxiously awaiting word of survival or death..." The author, Sanjay Bahadur, is the former director of the Indian Ministry of Coal which lends quite a bit of authenticity to what he is writing about. How the author creates a full picture of an awful mining disaster thru the eyes of the victims, bureaucrats and the families involved sounds like an incredible task to take on, but to also give us an honest look of the conditions these miners must endure is truly amazing. I think we'll be hearing more about this book...

And finally one more book to check out before you turn the page... Strength in What Remains by Tracy Kidder. "Strength in What Remains is a wonderfully written, inspiring account of one man’s remarkable American journey and of the ordinary people who helped him–a brilliant testament to the power of will and of second chances. Deo arrives in America from Burundi in search of a new life. Having survived a civil war and genocide, plagued by horrific dreams, he lands at JFK airport with two hundred dollars, no English, and no contacts. He ekes out a precarious existence delivering groceries, living in Central Park, and learning English by reading dictionaries in bookstores..." And eventually overcomes all these obstacles to become a doctor! If this weren't true it would be hard to believe! An incredible true tale written like an adventure story! We are given a glimpse into the life & struggles of an immigrant as he overcomes incredible odds to survive and thrive.

Hope I've peaked your interest a little here! In the meantime, what are you cracking the spine on this week?! Let me know what books grabbed ahold of you this week! Remember to stop by this week to enter the giveaway for The Man Who Loved Books Too Much! There will be other reviews up this week too! And the short list for the BBAW awards (Book Bloggers Appreciation Week) will be announced too! I'll let you know what's going on there and how you can vote for your favorite blogs!

*P.S. Japanese Literature Update... I just picked up Strangers by Taichi Yamada thanks to a recommendation by Gnoe of Graasland, who is also participating in the Challenge. Thanks for sharing this with me- it looks wonderful! And look for a review in the future for Strangers!

Happy reading... Suzanne

9 comments:

rhapsodyinbooks said...

The Sound of Water has a great read-up! I also received this week The Man Who Loved Books Too Much and am looking forward to reading it.

Diane said...

These all sound great! I got TheMan WhoLoved Books too Much as well.

Suzanne said...

Hi rhapsodyin books & Diane! You both are going to really enjoy The Man Who Loved Books Too Much. It is so interesting to get a glimpse inside the world of book collecting and inside the head of the thief who Allison Hoover Bartlett met and writes about.

When are you doing your reviews? Would love to read your thoughts!

Suzanne

booklineandsinker said...

i'm in the middle of 'the man who loved books too much' right now and LOVE it. i also did a cathy alter 'up for renewal' giveaway--have to post my results--thanks for the reminder. :) happy sunday.

Amy said...

This is a great list of books! Tracy Kidder is one of my favorite authors ever since I read Among School Children years ago. The Sound of Water sounds like a sad, troubling but also beautiful book. The story puts me in mind of the Buffalo Creek Disaster which I read for a law school class. It's a completey different kind of book than Sound of Water, about a terrible flood in West Virginia's Logan County coal mining area, the destruction it caused and the law suit brought by the inhabitants of the towns that were ruined.
Have a nice weekend & happy reading!

Lisa said...

Just got "The Man Who Loved Books Too Much" in the mail this week and can't wait to get to it!

Book pusher said...

Some great books, I will definately have to chase up a copy of The Man who loved books too much. Also quite interested in the Sound of water. Thanks for the update.

Nan said...

The Man Who Loved Books Too Much sounds so interesting! I can't wait to read your review.

Vicki said...

They all sound really good, but I'm putting The Sound of Water on my Wishlist.

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