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 6, 2013

The Sunday Salon and Mail Call...

Welcome to the Sunday Salon! This is the day during the week where we get together and talk books! So grab a cup of joe, find a comfy chair and relax! What bookish things have you been doing this week?

Thought I would share some of the great books you should see arriving in your bookstore soon! These wonderful pages arrived in my mailbox the past few weeks and I am so excited!

Charming by Elliott James... Not all Princes are Charming... He comes from a line of Charmings — an illustrious family of dragon slayers, witch-finders and killers dating back to before the fall of Rome. Trained by a modern day version of the Knights Templar, monster hunters who have updated their methods from chainmail and crossbows to kevlar and shotguns, he was one of the best. That is — until he became the abomination the Knights were sworn to hunt. That was a lifetime ago. Now, he tends bar under an assumed name in rural Virginia and leads a peaceful, quiet life. One that shouldn't change just because a vampire and a blonde walked into his bar... Right?

Just when I thought I was all through with Vampires and the like, Charming by Elliott James arrives in my mailbox to WOW me. The story is fun, the writing drew me in with it's easy laid back style and I loved the characters! Look for a full review soon, but for now, let me just say READ it! Charming was published late Sept. by Orbit books, an imprint of Hachette Book Group, and can be found at your local bookstore now!

Harvest by Jim Crace... On the morning after harvest, the inhabitants of a remote English village awaken looking forward to a hard-earned day of rest and feasting at their landowner's table. But the sky is marred by two conspicuous columns of smoke, replacing pleasurable anticipation with alarm and suspicion. One smoke column is the result of an overnight fire that has damaged the master's outbuildings. The second column rises from the wooded edge of the village, sent up by newcomers to announce their presence. In the minds of the wary villagers a mere coincidence of events appears to be unlikely, with violent confrontation looming as the unavoidable outcome. Meanwhile, another newcomer has recently been spotted taking careful notes and making drawings of the land. It is his presence more than any other that will threaten the village's entire way of life.

This book was a finalist in the Man Booker Prize, and has earned a lot of praise for it's writing, which has been referred to as "haunting" and "thought-provoking". The author puts us in the midst of an English village, probably in the mid 1600's, and the villagers that call it home. Published by Vintage Books, it is available on the bookstore shelves now, and it's a Kindle bargain at $7.99 right now! I always tend to pay attention to the books that are in the Man Booker lists, and I look forward to cracking the spine on this literary runner up!

The Drowning House by Elizabeth Black... Mourning for her daughter and her crumbling marriage, photographer Clare Porterfield returns to her childhood home in Galveston, Texas, hoping to find distraction in mounting an exhibition featuring the island’s vivid history. Things haven’t changed much during her decade away: her relationship with her mother and older sister is still fraught and competitive, and their neighbors, the Carradays, wield the same moneyed influence they have for generations. But Clare finds that she is now an outsider, out of step with the unique rhythms of Galveston life. As she copes with her grief by digging deeper into the past, she discovers secrets that have grown and multiplied like the wildflowers that climb up Island walls and fences—secrets that will give her a new understanding of her own history.

This sounds like a great reading group pick! Uncovering secrets long buried usually always spells interest and Elizabeth Black has gotten some great reviews for The Drowning House. Published by Random House, this will be on the shelves Oct. 8th!

The Antagonist by Lynn Coady... A piercing epistolary novel, The Antagonist explores, with wit and compassion, how the impressions of others shape, pervert, and flummox both our perceptions of ourselves and our very nature. Gordon Rankin Jr., aka “Rank,” thinks of himself as “King Midas in reverse”—and indeed misfortune seems to follow him at every turn. Against his will and his nature, he has long been considered—given his enormous size and strength—a goon and enforcer by his classmates, by his hockey coaches, and, not least, by his “tiny, angry” father. He gamely lives up to their expectations, until a vicious twist of fate forces him to flee underground. Now pushing forty, he discovers that an old, trusted friend from his college days has published a novel that borrows freely from the traumatic events of Rank’s own life. Outraged by this betrayal and feeling cruelly misrepresented, he bashes out his own version of his story in a barrage of e-mails to the novelist that range from funny to furious to heartbreaking.

This looks to be fun! I love epistolary novels! That is, novels that are written as a series of letters. Actually this is written in the form of emails that are dated and time stamped at the beginning of each one, and the ones I read so far are funny. But it's not all fun and games for Rank, who pours out his version of "the story". This is a kind of coming-of-age tale, and there are heart breaking moments as well. This is definitely on the top of the reading pile and has gotten a lot of early praise. It is published by Vintage Books, an imprint of Random House, and I think it would make a good reading group read, with what appear to be good discussion questions from the publisher. This will be available on the book shelves Oct. 8th! If you enjoy epistolary novels, you have to check out this one! Look for a review soon!

A BIG thank you to the publishers and reps who sent along these great books for me to review!

What Else Happened This Week?... On Monday, I wrote about Marcella Hazan,  a cookbook writer, Italian cooking extraordinaire, who died last Sunday. Her legacy will be the wonderful Italian cooking she taught from her home, cooking schools and cookbooks. I recently picked up a copy of her Essentials of Italian Cooking and not only was excited to read the recipes inside, but the wealth of cooking information she shares at the beginning and thru-out. I will be reviewing this and sharing what I decide to cook too!

Tom Clancy, author of numerous thrillers, including The Hunt for Red October and Patriot Games, died this past week. Fans of Jack Ryan will get one more chance to tag along, with Tom Clancy's last Jack Ryan novel Command Authority, coming out Dec. 3rd. This book was written with Mark Greaney, the second collaboration with Tom Clancy, which will probably keep the Jack Ryan legacy alive. 

How was your reading week?! Any great books you'd like to share?! I always like to hear what you're reading too! 

Happy reading... Suzanne


Kristen said...

I read Being Dead by Jim Crace many years ago and was completely blown away by it. Sounds like I should definitely check out Harvest.

Suzanne said...

HI Kristen! This is my first Jim Crace and I definitely will be checking out his other writing. Thanks for stopping by and letting me know about Being Dead!

Harvee said...

The Antagonist looks interesting...

Suzanne said...

Hi Harvee,
an update on The Antagonist... it's kind of depressing! The more I got into it, the more the protagonist seems extrememly angry. I had to put it down for now- I need uplifting!

my read shelf:
Suzanne's book recommendations, favorite quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)

Book & Blogs

Visit the Place Bloggers Talk...

New Feature! Follow Me!

giveaway over