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, February 8, 2015

The Sunday Salon and 4 Women You're going to Want to Meet

Welcome to The Sunday Salon! It's that day of the week we relax a bit and talk virtually with our reading friends about what bookish things we've been doing. So, pull up a chair, grab a cup of Joe and let's talk books…

It's going to be another snowy weekend in Connecticut, but I am tired of "snowy" reads and want something a bit warmer. Let's turn our attention to some great books where not a snowflake can be found, where all the attention this week is in the bookish world and to these 4 great women...

I like books with strong female characters. Whimpy and whiney are not for me. And these days there are so many great female characters.This week, I found 4 women telling their tales from within the pages of some hot new and soon to be released books! We travel to the Jersey Shore, Tombstone, Arizona, and to France during WWII to meet these women, and here are their stories...

The first book that caught my eye this week and that I downloaded an eGalley of was The Summer after Me and You by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski. The premise sounded like your typical teen summer romance, but when I read the excerpt I fell in love with the easy going, wonderful writing and have been turning the pages for the last day or so. Here's the publisher's blurb...

 Then Superstorm Sandy sweeps up the coast, bringing Lucy and Connor together for a few intense hours. Except nothing is the same in the wake of the storm, and Lucy is left to pick up the pieces of her broken heart and her broken home. Time may heal all wounds, but with Memorial Day approaching and Connor returning, Lucy's summer is sure to be filled with fireworks.
For Lucy, the Jersey Shore isn't just the perfect summer escape, it's home. As a local girl, she knows not to get attached to the tourists. They breeze in during Memorial Day weekend, crowding her costal town and stealing moonlit kisses, only to pack up their beach umbrellas and empty promises on Labor Day. Still, she can't help but crush on charming Connor Malloy. His family spends every summer next door, and she longs for their friendship to turn into something deeper. 

You've got the Jersey Shore, that stirring of first love, a great FEMALE lead character and plenty of sunshine for a great summer read! The book reminded me of a teenage version of Barbara Delinsky's Sweet Salt Air, which I absolutely loved! Our girl Lucy, is a wonderful character. She's fresh and honest with her feelings, which made me open my heart to her. But you'll have to wait until May 5th to put your flip flops on with this one, because that's when Sourcebook Fire has it slated for publication! It looks like it's going right to eBook and Trade Paperback when it comes out. When I finish this read up, I'll let you all know what my final judgement is, but so far, it's two thumbs up.

Next book I stumbled across was Epitaph by Mary Doria Russell. It's a novel about Wyatt Earp and The O.K. Corral, but it's told through his wife, Josephine Sarah Marcus, and I was so frustrated by only getting a sample of the first few chapters, because it is so GOOD! Josephine opens the story in Tombstone, Arizona. We soon learn she is the live-in girlfriend of not Wyatt Earp, but the sheriff, Johnny Behan. Hmmm, now how does she end up Wyatt Earp's wife? We also learn the creative way Josephine ends up in Tombstone, which just goes to show you this girl has spunk (I don't want to spoil anything here by telling you how)! What a compelling character! If this were not a book about the O.K. Corral, Mary Doria Russell could have probably written a great book on Josephine Sarah Marcus, because her back story is that interesting! The writing definitely grabbed me from the start, and whether or not you are familiar with the O.K. Corral and all that legend says about those boys in Tombstone, Mary Doria Russell brings this time period to life from a different perspective… The Girl's. Coming March 3rd! Here's the blurb from the publisher about the book...

A deeply divided nation. Vicious politics. A shamelessly partisan media. A president loathed by half the populace. Smuggling and gang warfare along the Mexican border. Armed citizens willing to stand their ground and take law into their own hands... That was America in 1881. All those forces came to bear on the afternoon of October 26th when Doc Holliday and the Earp brothers faced off against the Clantons and the McLaurys in Tombstone, Arizona. It should have been a simple misdemeanor arrest. Thirty seconds and thirty bullets later, three officers were wounded and three citizens lay dead in the dirt. Wyatt Earp was the last man standing, the only one unscathed. The lies began before the smoke cleared, but the gunfight at the O.K. Corral would soon become central to American beliefs about the Old West. Epitaph tells Wyatt’s real story, unearthing the Homeric tragedy buried under 130 years of mythology, misrepresentation, and sheer indifference to fact. Epic and intimate, this novel gives voice to the real men and women whose lives were changed forever by those fatal 30 seconds in Tombstone. At its heart is the woman behind the myth: Josephine Sarah Marcus, who loved Wyatt Earp for forty-nine years and who carefully chipped away at the truth until she had crafted the heroic legend that would become the epitaph her husband deserved.

And finally, The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. There has been so much press about this book. And again, we have female voices, two sisters, telling the tales of war and of love from their own perspectives. Weaving a story of WWII, one of my favorite historical fiction time periods, I wanted more from The Nightingale after reading about 30 pages. It just came out this week and definitely on my wish list! Here's the blurb from the publisher…

In love we find out who we want to be.
In war we find out who we are.

FRANCE, 1939. In the quiet village of Carriveau, Vianne Mauriac says goodbye to her husband, Antoine, as he heads for the Front.  She doesn’t believe that the Nazis will invade France...but invade they do, in droves of marching soldiers, in caravans of trucks and tanks, in planes that fill the skies and drop bombs upon the innocent. When a German captain requisitions Vianne’s home, she and her daughter must live with the enemy or lose everything. Without food or money or hope, as danger escalates all around them, she is forced to make one impossible choice after another to keep her family alive. Vianne’s sister, Isabelle, is a rebellious eighteen-year-old girl, searching for purpose with all the reckless passion of youth.  While thousands of Parisians march into the unknown terrors of war, she meets Gäetan, a partisan who believes the French can fight the Nazis from within France, and she falls in love as only the young can...completely.  But when he betrays her, Isabelle joins the Resistance and never looks back, risking her life time and again to save others.

What else is happening? Did you hear the news about the NEW Harper Lee novel? Yes, a new novel called Go Set a Watchman is about Scout (To Kill a Mockingbird) 20 years later. The book was found recently among some of Harper Lee's papers, and actually was the novel Harper Lee intended to write instead of To Kill a Mockingbird. Her publisher liked the flashbacks from Scout and asked Harper Lee to develop that aspect of the story and the result was To Kill a Mockingbird. I wrote about it this past wednesday, Follow this link for more details and links for a few other sources about the book and the controversy surrounding it. Questions abound about whether Harper Lee wrote it, and actually approved of it being published some 50 years after writing it without editing it. In frail health in an assisted living facility, people are questioning whether anyone is taking advantage of her. Fiercely private, it does seem suspect that she would welcome all the hoopla after so long. What do you think?

ALSO...For the past few years, publishers have put together a digital download called Buzz Books for Spring and Summer books. I love taking a peek and reading through the excerpts. There were about 40 books in all different genres and I bookmarked quite a few of them for future reading, a few books I downloaded to continue reading the full book and one book I downloaded and finished reading in about 3 days, which was about the romance of Audrey Hepburn and William Holden, called Audrey and Bill by Edward Epstein. It is a biography of Audrey Hepburn and William Holden written about them separately and as a couple. It was so wonderfully written and I was totally absorbed! Tomorrow, "Memoir Monday", will highlight that book and you can read my full review. Let's just say, if you are a true romantic and love old movies, this books for you!

What's on your reading plate this week? Any new books we need to know about!? Hope you found something here today!

Happy Reading… Suzanne


Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

It's funny but I almost always prefer female main characters over male ones. Wimpy or not is not terribly important, though, to me.

The main character of Hausfrau is deceptively wimpy. So far. We'll see how this works out.

wellwell2 said...

I like the idea of reading about Wyatt Earp from his wife's point of view. Have not read all the press about The Nightingale. So many recent WW II books/ movies out there. Now another one.

thecuecard said...

Yes I talked about the Harper Lee news on my blog too. I'm interested in reading the new book, but know it was written long ago and put aside. I think it's important nonetheless !

thecuecard said...

ps. I hear New England is really getting dumped with snow. Hang in there!

Jillian said...

Oh I highly recommend The Nightingale! It is so beautiful!

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