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, August 20, 2017

The Sunday Salon and 3 Thrilling Books to Read While You Wait for the Next Solar Eclipse...

Welcome to The Sunday Salon! Or instead of the SUNday Salon, maybe we should be talking about the SOLAR Eclipse Salon, because as everyone probably knows, tomorrow we will be experiencing a Solar Eclipse. Where are you going to be? Will you be able to see the full eclipse? Here's a link to see exactly what you'll be able to see...

When you get to the link, just enter YOUR city & state. The duration of the Solar Eclipse, from start to finish will be 2 hours and 36 minutes. And remember if you do want to "see" it, you'll need protective eyewear and/or protective filters for your cameras (you could ruin your camera by pointing it directly too). Want more Solar Eclipse knowledge? Click the link for NASA and learn about the Solar Eclipse and how to view it safetly.

In the blink of an eye, the  2017 Solar Eclipse will be over and the next North American total solar eclipse won't be here until 2024... So while you're waiting for that, let's talk great books! (Okay, that may have been a cheap seque to today's books

For the last few months, I've been reading, but haven't found "that book". You know that book that you don't want to end, and that you feverishly are glued to 24/7. I've also been busy with a lot of personal stuff, like planning to retire from "the day job" and starting "the great purge" to move. But I spent some time at my great local indie bookstore recently (Byrd's Books) and the great reading fire was lite once again! Yay! So here's what I picked up for that last hurrah of summer reading...

The Lying Game by Ruth Ware... On a cool June morning, a woman is walking her dog in the idyllic coastal village of Salten along a tidal estuary known as the Reach. Before she can stop him, the dog charges into the water to retrieve what first appears to be a wayward stick, but to her horror, turns out to be something much more sinister... The next morning, three women in and around London—Fatima, Thea, and Isabel—receive the text they had always hoped would NEVER come, from the fourth in their formerly inseparable clique, Kate, that says only, “I need you.” The four girls were best friends at Salten, a second rate boarding school set near the cliffs of the English Channel. Each different in their own way, the four became inseparable and were notorious for playing the Lying Game, telling lies at every turn to both fellow boarders and faculty, with varying states of serious and flippant nature that were disturbing enough to ensure that everyone steered clear of them. The myriad and complicated rules of the game are strict: no lying to each other—ever. Bail on the lie when it becomes clear it is about to be found out. But their little game had consequences, and the girls were all expelled in their final year of school under mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of the school’s eccentric art teacher, Ambrose (who also happens to be Kate’s father). 

This is what I'm addicted to now. I walked into the bookstore originally intending to buy the Lizzie Borden story reimagined (See What I Have Done) and did, but this book caught my eye, and after reading a little bit, the writing just hooked me. Ruth Ware is laying the foundation for something OMG, and I can't wait to find out what it is! BTW, Ruth Ware has two other books that have hit home runs in the literary department (In A Dark Dark Wood, The Woman in Cabin 10) and I'll be putting them on my reading list if this is keeps up the literary feast that I'm enjoying now. 
See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt...  Sarah Schmidt recasts one of the most fascinating murder cases of all time into an intimate story of a volatile household and a family devoid of love.

On the morning of August 4, 1892, Lizzie Borden calls out to her maid: Someone’s killed Father. The brutal ax-murder of Andrew and Abby Borden in their home in Fall River, Massachusetts, leaves little evidence and many unanswered questions. While neighbors struggle to understand why anyone would want to harm the respected Bordens, those close to the family have a different tale to tell―of a father with an explosive temper; a spiteful stepmother; and two spinster sisters, with a bond even stronger than blood, desperate for their independence. As the police search for clues, Emma comforts an increasingly distraught Lizzie whose memories of that morning flash in scattered fragments. Had she been in the barn or the pear arbor to escape the stifling heat of the house? When did she last speak to her stepmother? Were they really gone and would everything be better now? Shifting among the perspectives of the unreliable Lizzie, her older sister Emma, the housemaid Bridget, and the enigmatic stranger Benjamin, the events of that fateful day are slowly revealed through a high-wire feat of storytelling.

In the hands of a great writer, a historical event (or well known story) can be reimagined and be just wonderful. You know all the players and yet a different take can electrify the story once again. A GREAT example, and still one of my favorite reads, is Dracula in Love by Karen Essex. OMG, this story is told thru Mina's (Dracula's love interest) point of view and it is simply delicious! This seemed to start out a little slow, but interestingly, so I chose to read The Lying Game first, but will definitely be reading this next. This book has gotten rave reviews and I hope it lives up to the hype.
Girl in Snow by Danya Kukafka ... When a beloved high schooler named Lucinda Hayes is found murdered, no one in her sleepy Colorado suburb is untouched—not the boy who loved her too much; not the girl who wanted her perfect life; not the officer assigned to investigate her murder. In the aftermath of the tragedy, these three indelible characters—Cameron, Jade, and Russ—must each confront their darkest secrets in an effort to find solace, the truth, or both. In crystalline prose, Danya Kukafka offers a brilliant exploration of identity and of the razor-sharp line between love and obsession, between watching and seeing, between truth and memory.

This is characterized as "Suspense", but my first impressions as I was reading a bit of it were more like literary fiction with a sprinkling of suspense. I suppose when I hear suspense, I think of "thriller", which is not always the case. BUT, I really enjoyed the sample writing of Danya Kukafka and had to put the book down before I became totally absorbed. 
AND Coming Soon to a Bookstore near you... There are a few books that are on my radar... The Burning Girl by Claire Messud, "A bracing, hypnotic coming-of-age story about the bond of best friends" and a book by none other than Nancy Pearl, "America's Librarian, who can recommend a good book in a heartbeat, but now has written one herself. It's called George & Lizzie, "an intimate story of new and past loves, the scars of childhood, and an imperfect marriage at its defining moments". Will Nancy Pearl's novel writing live up to her review fame? I'm willing to give it a try, just because I'm a Nancy Pearl fan. May be more practical to borrow this one though, I've heard some mixed reviews. 

That about wraps up this weeks book finds... We'll be back with more great books next week, because there were definitely more books I could have talked about! I think this fall is going to be a great book reading season!

Happy reading... Suzanne


Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

You have some great thrillers there. And I'm terribly curious about the new Nancy Pearl book! Thanks for sharing the eclipse info, too.

Suzanne Yester said...

Hi Deb! Yes, interesting to see Nancy Pearl deciding to write her own book. Thanks for stopping by!

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