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, April 3, 2011

The Sunday Salon... Spring Reads, Literally!

Welcome to The Sunday Salon! It is BEAUTIFUL weather finally in Connecticut! I am done with winter! How about you?! We heated up the end of the winter a little this week with some romance, but for the start of Spring, which "officially" came over a week ago (with the prediction of a Nor' easter that didn't quite make it), I thought we would look at "Spring Books"... literally! To get our minds onto Spring, I've gathered together some books with Spring in the title. Not only are these literally spring books, but these are books written by well known authors, that may not be as well known as the books you associate these writers with...

Cold Springs by Rick Riordan... Chadwick’s life was balanced on the edge of a knife — his career, his marriage, his relationship with his dangerously troubled daughter. And then one autumn night, the worst possible thing happened . . . Nearly a decade later, Chadwick’s heart is on the mend. Working for an old military buddy, he now saves kids for a living — escorting troubled teens to a Texas wilderness school that specializes in the toughest brand of love. Until he gets a call that threatens to shatter his new life. Mallory Zedman, the daughter of his oldest friend, is taking the same terrible path Chadwick’s own daughter once took. Defiant and out-of-control, Mallory is determined to destroy herself and anyone who tries to stop her. No sooner does Chadwick snatch her off the streets than he discovers she is wanted for questioning in a brutal murder – a slaying that seems directly linked to Chadwick’s past. To save Mallory, tough love will not be enough. Chadwick must find the truth behind the murder – and in doing so, revisit the infidelities, broken promises, and violent passions that cracked his world apart. From the wealthy enclave of San Francisco’s Pacific Heights to the gang-ruled streets of West Oakland to the stark open spaces of Cold Springs, Texas, Chadwick must race to save not only Mallory, but the one thing he still has left to lose – a slim hope of redemption.

Rick Riordan is off the charts in popularity with his children's books such as the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, and The Kane Chronicles, both of which involve the wonderful world of mythology. But Rick Riordan also writes for adults, and Cold Springs is one of those books. This book is quite a departure from his childrens' books and from his Tres Navarre PI series. Cold Springs is a dark thriller that has gotten the gambit of reviews. The plot is complex and the characters are suppose to make even the reader uncomfortable, but the final kick is suppose tomake it all worthwhile.

Goddess of Spring by P.C. Cast... Lina’s trendy bakery in Tulsa is proving to be less than lucrative, and she must come up with a plan. When she stumbles upon an Italian Goddess cookbook, Lina can’t help but think she’s found the answer to her problem – even if it means invoking a goddess to save her business. Soon enough, Lina finds herself face-to-face with Demeter, who has a plan of her own. She proposes that Lina exchange souls with Persephone, the Goddess of Spring, who will breathe new life into the bakery. In return, Lina must set order to the Underworld. Before all this, Lina’s problems mostly involved sourdough and second dates. Now that she embodies the enchanting Persephone, Lina has weightier things on her mind – like the formidable task of bringing Spring to a world of spirits. But when the handsome, brooding Hades kindles a spark in her heart, Lina wonders if this Lord of the Underworld might be the man of her dreams…

Long before the wildly popular The House of Night YA series, there was the Goddess Summoning series, which "retells ancient myths giving them a sexy, modern twist and introducing heroines to some of the most fantastic heroes the world has ever known." This of course is a romantic fantasy series for adults, and also seems to have a devoted following, although this is the first I've taken a peek at the series. Have you read this yet? The Goddess of Spring is the second in the series, and it's suppose to be the best.

Torrents of Spring by Ernest Hemingway... Set in northern Michigan in the mid-1920s The Torrents of Spring is about two World War I veterans, Yogi Johnson and writer Scripps O'Neill, both of whom work at a pump factory. The story begins with O'Neill returnning home to find that
his wife and small daughter have left him. O'Neill befriends a British waitress, Diana, at a diner and asks her to marry him immediately, but soon becomes disenchanted with her. Diana tries to impress her husband by reading books from the lists of The New York Times Book Reviews but he soon leaves her (as she feared he would) for another waitress, Mandy, who enthralls him with literary (but possibly made up) anecdotes. Johnson, who became depressed after a Parisian prostitute leaves him for a British officer, has a period during which he anguishes over the fact that he doesn't seem to desire any woman at all, even though spring is approaching. Ultimately, he falls in love with a native American woman who enters a restaurant clothed only in mocassins, the wife of one of the two Indians he befriends near the end of the story.

This was Ernest Hemingway's very first novel published in 1926. It was a parody, full of satire and written in ten days for the sole purpose of breaking his contract with publisher Boni and Liveright. It seems Hemingway wanted to sign with the more prestigious publisher Scribner and the only way he could get out of his contract with Boni and Liveright was to write something "so bad" that they wouldn't publish it. This wasn't really the case with Torrents of Spring, that it was "so bad', but because it was a parody of Sherwood Anderson, another author that Boni and Liveright published, the publishers rejected it and thus terminated their contract with Hemingway. Of course Scribner only had 1250 copies of Torrents of Spring published for the first printing, but Scribner remained Hemingway's publisher from then on.

Do you have any Spring books to offer this week?!

Weekly Recap... This week was a week of world travel, time travel, hot romance with a bite or two added by a hot vampyre, and it all started with monday morning coffee at My Korean Deli. This past monday I highlighted My Korean Deli by Ben Ryder Howe in Monday Memoirs. It's the story of the senior editor of The Paris Review, Ben Ryder Howe, turning his life upside down buying a deli for his immigrant in-laws. The story revolves around this deli and the interesting people that he crosses paths with. Then we heated some things up with a review of the Historical Romance Legacy by Jeanette Baker. Mix together a mysterious letter, Scotland, an ancient castle, and ancient curses with romance and a bit of time travel and you've got the recipe for Legacy by Jeanette Baker. I loved it! But you can read my full review by following this link to Legacy. And if vampyre's are more your style, then check out my review of It Happened One Bite by Lydia Dare, which I reviewed thursday on Chick with Books! A bit of Paranormal Historical Romance with an ancient coven of witches, and a handsome vampyre locked away for 20 years in the late 1700's in the Highlands! A great story, great characters and lots of sparks! Then we step over the threshold to China, and 3 generations of women who fight their way back to being a loving and caring family in A Thread of Sky by Deanna Fei. A Thread of Sky made a stop at Chick with Books as part of its Virtual Book Tour with TLC. Deanna Fei does an amazing job showing us the complexities of women's relationships as well as dealing with racism and prejudice. This was a wonderful book, that captured my attention with the well developed characters and interesting story line. The writing itself was beautiful as well. You can read my review by following the link to A Thread of Sky. And what would a week be without a little teaser for fridays First Lines? This week we opened up the pages to Daughters of the River Huong by Uyen Nicole Duong, which is "a richly woven tapestry of family, country, conflict, and redemption. A saga spanning four generations of Vietnamese women, we discover lives inextricably tied to their country’s struggle for independence. Narrated by the teenaged Simone, a girl who flaunts convention and enters into a forbidden relationship of love and sensuality, readers are drawn to the lives of four of Simone’s ancestors, from Huyen Phi, the Mystique Concubine from the extinct Kingdom of Champa, to Ginseng, the Mystique Concubine’s second daughter and a heroine of the Vietnamese Revolution." I just received a review copy in the mail of Daughters of the River Huong, and am so looking forward to continueing the story. I love stories that deal with generations of women and the fabric that ties them together. This looks to be one of those stories that we can wrap our arms around while traveling to a place that will fascinate us as well as sadden us. You can find the beginning of this story at First Lines.

So what are you reading this week? What books caught your eye this past week? Share your great finds right here with all of us! And in the meantime...

Happy reading... Suzanne


Creations by Laurel-Rain Snow said...

Love the Spring theme...I got a book last week called Waiting for Spring, by R. J. Keller. Haven't read it yet.

As for my incline bike, I'm finding that it is not so hard on my knees (as other bikes I've tried) and even seems to work those stomach muscles, which is absolutely a good thing!

Thanks for visiting my blog.

Suzanne said...

Hi Laurel!
Yes, the incline bike is suppose to be especially good on the knees!

Thanks for sharing Waiting for Spring for todays "Spring" reading! And thanks for stopping by!

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

Love Rick Riordan; after all, he is a good ol' Texas boy and he writes books. I've read one of his Navaronne series, but I've not heard of this new grownup book. Thank you for sharing it.

Mason Canyon said...

You always have such a vast array of books to check out. It's fun stopping by and finding new books to add to my wish list. I have read It Happened One Bite and loved it.

Thoughts in Progress

Alyce said...

I haven't heard of that Hemingway book before, but then I haven't read a lot of his works.

I finished reading In Stitches by Anthony Youn earlier today and just started reading The Adoration of Jenna Fox tonight. So far it's pretty good, but I think I've already guessed at what's really going on.

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