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, September 20, 2015

The Sunday Salon and Mysteries, Histories and Something to give you the Down Right Creepies

Welcome to The Sunday Salon! It's that time of the week we share a little reading time, or at least share what we've been reading! My reading this week has been going back and forth between my hardcover copy of Circling the Sun by Paula McLain (which I am loving) and my Kindle edition of The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald (which I am equally loving!) I don't read two books at the same time too often, but forgot the one book one day and started the other and can't really let go of either for too long. While I've been wrapped up in these two books, there were a few other books that were trying to get my attention… one is a kind of history (of a marriage), one is a mystery, and one is a dark story that will give anyone the creeps…

Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff… Every story has two sides. Every relationship has two perspectives. And sometimes, it turns out, the key to a great marriage is not its truths but its secrets. At the core of this rich, expansive, layered novel, Lauren Groff presents the story of one such marriage over the course of twenty-four years. At age twenty-two, Lotto and Mathilde are tall, glamorous, madly in love, and destined for greatness. A decade later, their marriage is still the envy of their friends, but with an electric thrill we understand that things are even more complicated and remarkable than they have seemed. With stunning revelations and multiple threads, and in prose that is vibrantly alive and original, Groff delivers a deeply satisfying novel about love, art, creativity, and power that is unlike anything that has come before it.

I have read so many starred reviews of this book I wonder if it's really that good or if it's just the momentum that's carrying it along. BUT, I did read the beginning of this novel and have to say that Lauren Groff's writing is captivating. I was immediately drawn into the story and wanted to read on. But will the writing live up to itself through the whole novel? I'm hoping so and have put this on my must read list! This is written in two interwoven stories and that in itself sounds like it would make for an interesting read! This was just released this week in hardcover. Paperback due to arrive in January.
In a Dark, Dark, Wood by Ruth Ware… What should be a cozy and fun-filled weekend deep in the English countryside takes a sinister turn in Ruth Ware’s suspenseful, compulsive, and darkly twisted psychological thriller. Leonora, known to some as Lee and others as Nora, is a reclusive crime writer, unwilling to leave her “nest” of an apartment unless it is absolutely necessary. When a friend she hasn’t seen or spoken to in years unexpectedly invites Nora (Lee?) to a weekend away in an eerie glass house deep in the English countryside, she reluctantly agrees to make the trip. Forty-eight hours later, she wakes up in a hospital bed injured but alive, with the knowledge that someone is dead. Wondering not “what happened?” but “what have I done?”, Nora (Lee?) tries to piece together the events of the past weekend. Working to uncover secrets, reveal motives, and find answers, Nora (Lee?) must revisit parts of herself that she would much rather leave buried where they belong: in the past.

Looking for the next "The Girl on a Train"? This is suppose to be it! And it reads like it a bit, with a story that is simple on the outside, but with twists and turns hidden deep within. Touted as a psychological thriller, this is Ruth Ware's debut novel and it is a hit in the UK. I have this waiting in the wings when I'm done with my other two books and can't wait to dive it!
Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh… The Christmas season offers little cheer for Eileen Dunlop, an unassuming yet disturbed young woman trapped between her role as her alcoholic father’s caretaker in a home whose squalor is the talk of the neighborhood and a day job as a secretary at the boys’ prison, filled with its own quotidian horrors. Consumed by resentment and self-loathing, Eileen tempers her dreary days with perverse fantasies and dreams of escaping to the big city. In the meantime, she fills her nights and weekends with shoplifting, stalking a buff prison guard named Randy, and cleaning up her increasingly deranged father’s messes. When the bright, beautiful, and cheery Rebecca Saint John arrives on the scene as the new counselor at Moorehead, Eileen is enchanted and proves unable to resist what appears at first to be a miraculously budding friendship. In a Hitchcockian twist, her affection for Rebecca ultimately pulls her into complicity in a crime that surpasses her wildest imaginings.

This is one of those books that has gotten so much "interesting" praise that your curiosity is what will win out. Eileen is suppose to be very dark and morbid, shocking at times, but also fascinating and witty. How does the author manage all of that at the same time? Great writing, but hard story. This book was on so many "lists" pre-publication, that I made a note to take a look at it when it finally came to print. I think if I can get through the self-loathing the Eileen shares at every chance to arrive at the mystery and crime to follow, it might be worth it. What do you think?
On a sad note, author Jackie Collins has died. She died from cancer, and had kept her illness a secret until the very end. Personally, I have not read any of her romances, but they are a world wide sensation, with larger than life characters and hollywood glamour. She kept writing throughout her illness and published 5 novels since being diagnosed with cancer. Looking at her wealth of novels, I think I may give Chances a try. It's a family saga with all the trimmings and one of Jackie's all time favorite characters, Lucky, is born. Have you read any Jackie Collins?

That will wrap it up for this weeks great books round-up! What have you been reading this week? And do you feel curious about what an author has written after they die if you've never read any of their books?

Happy reading… Suzanne


Becca said...

Some great recommendations here! October is the perfect time for those sort-of-scary suspense novels.

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

In a Dark, Dark Wood sounds very compelling! Thanks for sharing this.

Suzanne Yester said...

Hi Becca!
Yes, October is the perfect month for some scary reads and I'll be searching for more "appropriate" reading! Thanks for stopping by!

Suzanne Yester said...

Hi Deb!
I couldn't resist In a Dark, Dark Wood, so I'll let you know if it's two thumbs up or not.

Thanks for coming by and sharing your Sunday Salon!

Anne Bennett said...

I am looking forward to reading the new Garth Stein and the new Sara Gruen, thanks for giving me the reminder by your little notices on the side.
My Sunday Salon

Hibernators Library said...

Fates and Furies and Dark, Dark Wood sound really good. Hope you enjoy them!

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