Literary Quote of the Month

"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies," said Jojen. "The man who never reads lives only one." - George R.R. Martin, A Dance With Dragons

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Sunday Salon... National Reading Group Month, Books you might have missed, and 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...

The week has seemed to slip away... I've had my nose in a book, of
course, and that book was Michael Connelly's newest book, 9 Dragons. Michael Connelly's detective Harry Bosch is back, traveling to an
exotic location for a not so glamourous reason. The book will be available in bookstores on tuesday, and so will my review. Chick with Books is part of Michael Connelly's Book Blog Tour that starts tuesday!

Something else starts this week at Chick with Books... the celebration of National Reading Group Month. October is National Reading Group Month and wednesday I'll start the week off by talking about reading groups and how to start your very own! Plus resources to help you along...

A few books you may have missed, but should remember to add to your reading list are Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger, author of one of my favorite books The Time Travelers Wife. In her newest book, "The endurance of love animates this gothic story set in and around Highgate Cemetery, in London. When Elspeth Noblin dies of cancer, she leaves her estate, including an apartment overlooking the graveyard, to the twin daughters of her twin sister, from whom she has been estranged for twenty years. When Valentina and Julia show up to claim their inheritance, they soon discover that Elspeth is still in residence, in ghostly form..." I love a good ghost story and I like Audrey Niffenegger's writing, so I can't wait to crack the spine on this book! As soon as I do, I'll let you know all about it in a review!

OK, for you Jamie and Claire fans, Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon was released a few weeks ago. The time traveling romance of Jamie Fraser and Claire Randall continues in the highly anticipated (the last book came out 4 years ago!) 7th novel of the series! If you haven't read any of the books in the series, and you like romance, go out and buy Outlander! It's the first book in the series and you will fall in love! It is a magical adventure! Diana Gabaldon writes wonderfully, and creates such a believable world and great characters! If you own a KINDLE you can download Outlander by Diana Gabaldon for the bargain price of $2.39!

On to a new book that caught my eye this weekend... The Owl Killers by Karen Maitland. I know you aren't suppose to judge a book by it's cover, but I picked this book up because of the cover... the colors of the owl mask on the front cover just jumped out at me. When I read what the book was about I was giddy! I love medieval times! This is being called a medieval mystery, and here's the blurb from Random House, "England, 1321. The tiny village of Ulewic teeters between survival and destruction, faith and doubt, God and demons. For shadowing the villagers’ lives are men cloaked in masks and secrecy, ruling with violence, intimidation, and terrifying fiery rites: the Owl Masters... But another force is touching Ulewic—a newly formed community built and served only by women. Called a beguinage, it is a safe harbor of service and faith in defiance of the all-powerful Church. Behind the walls of this sanctuary, womenhave gathered from all walks of life: a skilled physician, a towering former prostitute, a cook, a local convert... But life in Ulewic is growing more dangerous with each passing day. The women are the subject of rumors, envy, scorn, and fury…until the daughter of Ulewic’s most powerful man is cast out of her home and accepted into the beguinage—and battle lines are drawn... Into this drama are swept innocents and conspirators: a parish priest trying to save himself from his own sins…a village teenager, pregnant and terrified…a woman once on the verge of sainthood, now cast out of the Church.…With Ulewic ravaged by flood and disease, and with villagers driven by fear, a secret inside the beguinage will draw the desperate and the depraved—until masks are dropped, faith is tested…and every lie is exposed." I'm anticipating a great read. It kind of reminds me of Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett... you have read that one, right?!

Another book with a lot of buzz is The Blue Notebook by James Levine. The Blue Notebook is "the story of Batuk, an Indian girl who is taken to Mumbai from the countryside and sold into prostitution by her father; the blue notebook is her diary, in which she recalls her early childhood, records her life on the Common Street, and makes up beautiful and fantastic tales about a silver-eyed leopard and a poor boy who fells a giant with a single gold coin." An interesting part of how this book came to be was that Dr. James Levine was part of a medical research team interviewing homeless children on a street in Mumbai where child prostitutes work. He noticed a young woman writing in a notebook (outside her cage) and the image haunted him... "Even as the novel humanizes and addresses the devastating global issue of child prostitution, it also delivers an inspiring message about the uplifting power of words and reading–a message that is so important to hold on to, especially in difficult times. Dr. Levine is donating all his U.S. proceeds from this book to help exploited children."

Finally something for those of you who enjoy a bit of sci-fi... Boneshaker by Cherie Priest. "In the early days of the Civil War, rumors of gold in the frozen Klondike brought hordes of newcomers to the Pacific Northwest. Anxious to compete, Russian prospectors commissioned inventor Leviticus Blue to create a great machine that could mine through Alaska’s ice. Thus was Dr. Blue’s Incredible Bone-Shaking Drill Engine born. But on its first test run the Boneshaker went terribly awry, destroying several blocks of downtown Seattle and unearthing a subterranean vein of blight gas that turned anyone who breathed it into the living dead. Now it is sixteen years later, and a wall has been built to enclose the devastated and toxic city. Just beyond it lives Blue’s widow, Briar Wilkes. Life is hard with a ruined reputation and a teenaged boy to support, but she and Ezekiel are managing. Until Ezekiel undertakes a secret crusade to rewrite history. His quest will take him under the wall and into a city teeming with ravenous undead, air pirates, criminal overlords, and heavily armed refugees. And only Briar can bring him out alive." Cherie writes on her website..."If you have any interest whatsoever in steampunk pulp adventuring, alternate history, dirigibles, pirates, zombies, secret criminal societies, and Bonus! extended deleted scenes from the Civil War, this book may well be right up your alley!" A little bit of Dystopia, referred to as Steampunk and it all adds up to what looks to be an interesting read! And it's on my nightstand right now!

So, what have you been reading lately!? Any recommendations?! Have you read any Dystopia or Steampunk before? Let me know what's on your nightstand or TBR pile! It's a busy week on the blog this week, so come back and check out Michael Connelly's Blog Tour tuesday and a guest post with Shobhan Bantwal author of The Sari Shop Widow! A few book reviews and the start of recognizing National Reading Group Month...

*P.S. All these books are Kindle Ready , except for Boneshaker - which is in the works for Kindle...

Happy Reading.... Suzanne

OH, and if you haven't entered the Banned Books Week giveaway, there's still time! Drawing ends tonight, Oct. 11th at midnight! Here are the Details...


Book Bird Dog said...

I'm not part of the book tour, I don't think, but just got Dragon from Hachette and am looking forward to reading this mystery/thriller.

Suzanne Yester said...

Hi Book Bird Dog! I double checked for you about the blog tour and I didn't see you listed, wouldn't that be a surprise with 2 days to go!

Enjoy the book! It's a gentler side of Harry Bosch!


rhapsodyinbooks said...

Yesterday Gabaldon was here in Tucson talking and signing copies of her new book and I actually forgot to go! Oh well, it's not like I need more books!!! But I would have liked to have heard her speak, at any rate!

Suzanne Yester said...

OH Rhapsodyinbooks! Too bad you missed hearing her speak! I know EXACTLY what you mean about not really needing more books! :D

Hope it's a wonderfully sunny day in Tucson!

Heidi V said...

The Blue Notebook and Boneshaker both sound good! I love the cover of the Owl Killers and it sounds like another good book!

Thanks for recommendations...

J.T. Oldfield said...

I just picked up Her Fearful Symmetry today! I probably won't get to it right away, but I'm pretty happy just to have it!

Anonymous said...

Niffenegger is in the hands of Mr Gnoe! We both loved The Time Traveler's Wife too :) I'm really curious about Her Fearful Symmetry!

Suzanne Yester said...

Ok EVeryone!
Let's cross our fingers that Audrey N. doesn't disappoint us!!!

Tam @ Bailey's and Books said...

I will be cracking in to Her Fearful Symmetry this week, and have really been wanting to read The Blue Notebook.
Here is a look at my reading week.
Happy Reading!

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