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 10, 2023

The Sunday Salon and There's a Buzz in the air, but not from the bees... it's from people talking about these 3 books...

Welcome to The Sunday Salon! What is the Sunday Salon? Imagine Some university library’s vast reading room. It’s filled with people — students and faculty and strangers who’ve wandered in. They’re seated at great oaken dests, books piled all around them, and they’re all feverishly reading and jotting notes in their leather-bound journals as they go. Later they’ll mill around the open dictionaries and compare their thoughts on the afternoon’s literary intake. That is the Sunday Salon, but all virtually. Book Bloggers from around the world sharing their bookish finds with one another in a virtual place called The Sunday Salon. Thank you to Deb at ReaderBuzz for keeping us all together on Sundays and hosting The Sunday Salon now! I also visited with Kim at The Caffeinated Reader, another Sunday gathering place for us bookish people called The Sunday Post.

It has been a HOT, and I mean in the high 90's all week hot, in South Carolina this week. And then of course we get the thunderstorms to go along with that. So I spent some time outside because even though it's been hotter than, well you know, because it hasn't really been humid. But I have been able to escape into Central Air, which is a godsend (remind me to tell you about the hottest week in history last year and how our Central Air died). But whether I was in or out this week, I have found some great books! What kind of bookish finds do I have this week? Well, if you haven't had the opportunity to be in a  library, bookstore or other bookish place, let's talk about Zadie Smith...

Zadie Smith's newest book, The Fraud, came out this week. There has been so much buzz about this book! The Author is known for her stories to shine a light on religion, race, and cultures in a way that keeps us entertained but aware. They have a bit of humor added. And her writing just pulls you into whatever story she has written. Her newest addition to her long list of published works is winning readers over. Published by Penguin Press, coming in at 464 pages, and released this past tuesday. Here is what the publisher shares about the story...

It is 1873. Mrs. Eliza Touchet is the Scottish housekeeper—and cousin by marriage—of a once-famous novelist, now in decline, William Ainsworth, with whom she has lived for thirty years.

Mrs. Touchet is a woman of many interests: literature, justice, abolitionism, class, her cousin, his wives, this life and the next. But she is also skeptical. She suspects her cousin of having no talent; his successful friend, Mr. Charles Dickens, of being a bully and a moralist; and England of being a land of facades, in which nothing is quite what it seems.

Andrew Bogle, meanwhile, grew up enslaved on the Hope Plantation, Jamaica. He knows every lump of sugar comes at a human cost. That the rich deceive the poor. And that people are more easily manipulated than they realize. When Bogle finds himself in London, star witness in a celebrated case of imposture, he knows his future depends on telling the right story.

The “Tichborne Trial”—wherein a lower-class butcher from Australia claimed he was in fact the rightful heir of a sizable estate and title—captivates Mrs. Touchet and all of England. Is Sir Roger Tichborne really who he says he is? Or is he a fraud? Mrs. Touchet is a woman of the world. Mr. Bogle is no fool. But in a world of hypocrisy and self-deception, deciding what is real proves a complicated task. . . .

Based on real historical events, The Fraud is a dazzling novel about truth and fiction, Jamaica and Britain, fraudulence and authenticity and the mystery of “other people.”

This is definitely on my wishlist! I can't wait to read it and see how all these characters come together to make another amazing story by Zadie Smith. You can read an excerpt on Penguin Press.


Next on my list of "You HAVE" to put this on your TBR list, even if you are NOT a fantasy reader, is Rebecca Yarro's Fourth Wing. I am not usually a fantasy reader, but I think I need to rethink that. I picked this book up after hearing some buzz about it and opened the pages to find myself unable to tear myself away! OMG, I was enjoying this story so much and Rebecca's writing. Was it because the main character, Violet, is a girl with a lot of spunk, but quietly vulnerable trying to hide her weaknesses away so she can survive and I can empathize with her?  This book has gotten tons of love from Tiktok and just about everywhere. Here's the publisher's description...

Welcome to the brutal and elite world of Basgiath War College, where everyone has an agenda, and every night could be your last...

Twenty-year-old Violet Sorrengail was supposed to enter the Scribe Quadrant, living a quiet life among books and history. Now, the commanding general - also known as her tough-as-talons mother - has ordered Violet to join the hundreds of candidates striving to become the elite of Navarre: dragon riders.

But when you're smaller than everyone else and your body is brittle, death is only a heartbeat away... because dragons don't bond to 'fragile' humans. They incinerate them.

With fewer dragons willing to bond than cadets, most would kill Violet to better their own chances of success. The rest would kill her just for being her mother's daughter - like Xaden Riorson, the most powerful and ruthless wingleader in the Riders Quadrant. She'll need every edge her wits can give her just to see the next sunrise.

Yet, with every day that passes, the war outside grows more deadly, the kingdom's protective wards are failing, and the death toll continues to rise. Even worse, Violet begins to suspect leadership is hiding a terrible secret.

Alliances will be forged. Lives will be lost. Traitors will become allies... or even lovers. But sleep with one eye open because once you enter, there are only two ways out: graduate or die.

There was a lot of nail biting when I got to the part where Violet was entering the school to start her training. And it's not all dragons and swords... there is also some romance. But I'm not finished yet and I shouldn't say anymore. I think if you enjoyed The Hunger Games, this would be a no brainer, but if you aren't into fantasy, dragon rider reads, I would say, you should give this a try I don't think you'd be disappointed. I haven't been... 

Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarrow published by Entangled Publishing this past May, has a 514 page count. You'll want to read this soon because the sequel Iron Flame will be released November 7, 2023! 


Finally this week, a book that has gotten an equal amount of buzz and has been called "A wrenching love story” by author Chris Bohjalian in his review in The Washington Post. It is based on the true love story of Anne Lister and Eliza Raines, two young girls who meet at their English boarding school. Here's what the publisher shares...

Adding to the already moving, richly told and gripping collection of historical fiction from Emma Donoghue, Learned By Heart is the breathtaking story of two young girls on the margins of life, forging a connection that will last forever.

Eliza and Lister have never been this wide-awake in their lives, and the Slope, with its curtains drawn wide, is bright with starlight. They talk in whispers, not to disturb the maids who lie sleeping on the other side of the box room. The question Eliza's been needing to ask swells like a great berry in her mouth, and all at once she's not scared to let it out, not scared at all, not scared of anything...

In 1805 fourteen-year-old Eliza Raine is a school girl at the Manor School for Young Ladies in York. The daughter of an Indian mother and a British father, Eliza was banished to this unfamiliar country as a little girl. When she first stepped off the King George in Kent, Eliza was accompanied by her older sister, Jane, but now she boards alone at the Manor, with no one left to claim her. She spends her days avoiding the attention of her fellow pupils until, one day, a fearless and charismatic new student arrives at the school. The two girls are immediately thrown together and soon Eliza's life is turned inside out by this strange and curious young woman.

Learned by Heart, Emma Donoghue's mesmerising new novel, tells the heartbreaking story of the tangled lives of two women whose intense, and unlikely, relationship will change them for ever.

I know author Emma Donoghue by her book (which was also a good movie adaptation), Room. But she has written many more books than that one. As I was diving more into the story behind Learned by Heart, I discovered many historical references to Anne Lister, books written solely about her and her diary, and that there is actually an HBO Max series based on the life of Anne Lister. She seems like a very interesting woman. If you'd like to hear just a small bit of Anne's diary, Here is a clip from the reading of her diary by Sarah Waters of the group Historic England.

Published by Little,Brown , running 336 pages, Learned By Heart by Emma Donoghue was released on August 29th and should be available at your favorite bookstore!

This Week in Review...

Thursday... Pick Me, Pick Me, September book club selections from 2 of my favorite online book clubs.

Friday... First Lines Friday, They say the first lines of a book can make it or break it, and here are the first lines of a little book called  Amazing Grace Adams by Fran Littlewood

Also Friday... NEW Look for Chick with Books! It's been almost 25 years (next Feb will be 25years) and I thought it was time to update the look and feel of the blog. Tell me what you think!

Do you read fantasy books?

I hope you found something here that piqued your interest! These are a few of the books on my nightstand, in my Kindle, on my wishlist... I'll be sharing some more exciting finds during the week, so stop by soon...

Happy Reading... Suzanne


R's Rue said...

I need to read Fourth Wing. I’ve been seeing Zadie Smith’s book everywhere. Thank you for sharing. Have a wonderful day.

Harvee said...

I like the new look for your blog! May you have many happy hours on it.

I don't read much fantasy. The author I remember liking wrote Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder - books in a series of sci fi and fantasy that I did like for the wonderful imaginary situations, persons, and worlds.

Have a great week.

The Book Disciple said...

I have Fourth Wing (kindle, physical, and audio) but I just haven't taken the plunge yet. I'm not even sure why!

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

Your new header looks great!

I like the sound of all three of these books. I hope to look for the new Zadie Smith book, and I'm interested in the Emma Donoghue book. The fantasy book is new-to-me, but you have convinced me to look for it as well.

I used to read fantasy all the time, but it has been several years since I've read it regularly.

Greg said...

It's awful when the air goes. We had that happen too. Of course right when it was super humid!

I've heard so many good things about the Yarros book!

Hope you're having a nice weekend :)

Barb said...

I recently bought a copy of Fourth Wing. I'm hoping to read it in November. Its supposed to be a cooler week here in WV this week and I'm looking forward to it. Glad you had some good reads!

Mae Travels said...

Interesting booklist.
best,mae at

shelleyrae @ book'd out said...

I loved Fourth Wing too, I can’t wait for the sequel!
I’m intrigued by Fraud, I’m familiar with the case it’s based on.

Wishing you a great reading week

Suzanne Yester said...

Yes if you like or want to give fantasy a try Fourth Wing is good bet. I read the first 1/4 of it so far and am hooked. And I just received my Zadie Smith book in the mail yesterday!

Suzanne Yester said...

Do it!!!

Suzanne Yester said...

I finally figured out how to answer comments! For some reason I can't answer them on the blog direct anymore. Ugh. Thank you so much for the compliment on the new blog look. It was about time. Lol.

Suzanne Yester said...

Wow, I had never heard of that case in Fraud. I've read a really great review that says the woman fascinated by it poses as a journalist? To get an interview. Crazy.

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