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

Friday, May 27, 2011

First Lines... Trader of Secrets by Steve Martini

"Most of the blood left on the concrete floor of the garage in Washington belonged to the big black investigator working for Madriani, the man named Herman Diggs, but not all of it..."
Trader of Secrets by Steve Martini, coming 5/31!

Steve Martini fans rejoice! Defense attorney Paul Madriani is back and is embroiled in a case as perilous as any he has ever faced: one that involves an angry killer who will stop at nothing short of vengeance, and two missing NASA scientists who are holding secrets that a hostile government desperately wants to purchase—in blood if they must.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

When We Danced on Water by Evan Fallenberg... A TLC Tour & Review!

When We Danced on Water by Evan Fallenberg... Have you ever been surprised by a book?! Thought it would be about something and it turned out to be something totally different? Something that burst with a story that faintly resembled what it started as? That's what happened as I turned the pages of When We Danced on Water. What I thought initially was that this was going to be a love story; a May/December romance between two people. One of which was recovering from a war she served in and a love affair that ended badly. What I read though was a story so rich and encompassing that I still feel the story even after I've turned that last page.

In a small cafe in Tel Aviv, Vivi, a waitress in her 40's reignites the passion of 85 year old Teo as they see each other every day. Their conversations become more intense until Vivi, a supposed artist who can't stay with one project too long, is inspired by Teo's passion for the beauty & discipline of dance; of ballet. Teo was once a gifted ballet dancer, well respected and applauded. As a gift, Vivi decides to celebrate his life and accomplishments. But what becomes an amazing gift has the consequences of almost crushing Teo as he is brought back to long-buried secrets and painful memories of his life spent surviving WWII and the extermination of the Jews by the Third Reich.

What I thought was a simple love story, swept me off my feet into a time and place where the carefree life of a young Jewish boy could change with the slightest bit of circumstance. With lush prose, we are transported back in time to both Teo's life during WWII and Vivi's life as a young girl madly in love during a time of war. Though both wars were different, both had a devastating effect on their lives. And it is their shared pain, and their opening up to one another that finally frees them from their pasts.

I was totally absorbed in the stories of Vivi and Teo. Heartbreaking and believable, When We Dance on Water is the kind of book that will stay with you... The characters, their stories, the consequences of their actions. The setting of this story is Poland, Berlin and Tel Aviv, which seems fresh and unique.

Beautifully written, but there are parts of Teo's life surviving the Holocaust that may disturb you, as there was sexual abuse at the hands of Teo's torturer. I would definitely recommend this book to reading groups, and readers who enjoy stories taking place during WWII.

About the Author... Evan Fallenberg is the author of Light Fell, winner of the American Library Association’s Barbara Gittings Stonewall Book Award for Literature and the Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction. His translation of Meir Shalev’s A Pigeon and a Boy won the Jewish Book Council Award for Fiction and was short-listed for the PEN Translation Prize. He lives and teaches in Tel Aviv.

Today's post is part of Evan Fallenberg's TLC Book Tour! I want to thank TLC Book Tours for sending along a copy for review! I thoroughly enjoyed it! And Readers can enjoy When We Danced on Water this coming June, when it will be released by Harper Perennial!

Friday, May 20, 2011

First Lines... Best Kept Secret by Amy Hatvany

Being drunk in front of your child is right up there on the Big Bad No-no List of Motherhood. I knew what I was doing was wrong. I knew it with every glass, every swallow, every empty bottle thrown into the recycle bin. I hated drinking. I hated it,,, and I couldn't stop...
Best Kept Secret by Amy Hatvany, release date: June 7th!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Man Booker International Prize... And the Winner Is?

Philip Roth wins The Man Booker International Prize! What is The Man Booker International Prize? It's the literary award presented once every two years to a living author for a body of work published "originally in English or widely available in translation in the English language." The prize is worth £60,000 (or about $97,000) to the winner.

Philip Roth's first book, Goodbye, Columbus (actually a novella and 5 short stories) won the National Book Award in 1960 and Roth has continued writing to critical acclaim ever since, in fact a career that has spanned 50 years!

You can read all about The Man Booker International Prize and who the other finalists were at And you can find a list of all Philip Roth books at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Memoir Monday... Lost in Shangri-La by Mitchell Zuckoff

I really had to look twice to make sure that this was indeed a true story even though its description reads like an fictional adventure. But that is what caught my attention with this one... Lost in Shangri-La by Mitchell Zuckoff is a story that sounds so amazing that it's hard to believe it's true... but it is...

In 1945, twenty-four American servicemen and women boarded a plane to see “Shangri-La,” a beautiful valley deep within Dutch New Guinea. But when the plane crashed, only three pulled through to battle for survival.

Emotionally devastated and badly injured, the trio faced certain death. Caught between spear-carrying tribesmen and enemy Japanese, they trekked down the jungle-covered mountainside and straight into superstitious natives rumored to be cannibals.

Drawn from interviews, Army documents, photos, diaries, and original film footage, Lost in Shangri-La recounts this true-life adventure for the first time. Mitchell Zuckoff reveals how the trio traversed the jungle; how brave Filipino-American paratroopers risked their lives to save the survivors; how a native leader protected the Americans; and how a cowboy colonel attempted an untried rescue mission to get them out.

From the excerpt of Lost in Shangri-La that I read, Mitchell Zuckoff does a great job holding your attention. His style of writing wasn't sensationalizing, but factual with the added creative style a good writer has. And what a story! Lost in a jungle with cannibals?! A rescue mission equally as dangerous?! This is definitely one on my TBR list! It has gotten quite a lot of praise since its release late in April and for people who think WW II stories are all dried up... think again!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Sunday Salon... What's New Pussycat? or Books with Buzz!

Welcome to the Sunday Salon! Grab a cup of joe, sit back and relax! It's the day of the week where we get together to chat about all the bookish things we've read, seen and done! This week was Read Like a Mother Week at Chick with Books, where we reviewed and highlighted books books that showcase women in the rolls of mothers, sisters or just simply friends, and,in the case of The Guardian by Margaret Mallory, lovers! Fiction (and nonfiction) that showcases women. Today I thought we'd finish up the week with some other great reading that isn't necessarily all about us girls...

Check out these great reads that I found in my travels this week... Of course those travels weren't to a bookstore this week. Alas my local bookstore has finally shut its doors. Yes, my local bookstore was a Borders. Now I'll be traveling a bit farther to get the feel of a real book in my hands when it comes to bookstores, but there is an independent bookstore I just love that I don't get to visit as often as I like and I look forward to driving off to visit it more often now. So, here are some great Books with Buzz...

Caleb's Crossing by Geraldine Brooks... from the author's website: "Geraldine Brooks takes a remarkable shard of history and brings it to vivid life. In 1665, a young man from Martha’s Vineyard became the first Native American to graduate from Harvard College. Upon this slender factual scaffold, Brooks has created a luminous tale of love and faith, magic and adventure. The narrator of Caleb’s Crossing is Bethia Mayfield, growing up in the tiny settlement of Great Harbor amid a small band of pioneers and Puritans. Restless and curious, she yearns after an education that is closed to her by her sex. As often as she can, she slips away to explore the island’s glistening beaches and observe its native Wampanoag inhabitants. At twelve, she encounters Caleb, the young son of a chieftain, and the two forge a tentative, secret friendship that draws each into the alien world of the other. Bethia’s minister father tries to convert the Wampanoag, awakening the wrath of the island’s strongest pawaaw, against whose ritual magic he must test his own beliefs. One of his projects becomes the education of Caleb, and a year later, Caleb is in Cambridge, studying Latin and Greek among the colonial elite. Bethia, also in Cambridge at the behest of her imperious elder brother, finds herself enmeshed in Caleb’s fate as he crosses between cultures."

What really caught my attention with Caleb's Crossing was the thought of being immersed in a story that would take me to a time and place virtually untouched by civilization, a landscape that was pure and in which we could enjoy the discovery of it's secrets as Bethia, our heroine, explores it's riches, which include a culture unfamiliar to her and how her friend Caleb finds his place in her world. Geraldine Brooks is a master at creating wonderful stories from pieces of history, and I can't wait to dive into this one!

The Story of Beautiful Girl by Rachel Simon... It is 1968. Lynnie, a young white woman with a developmental disability, and Homan, an African American deaf man, are locked away in an institution, the School for the Incurable and Feebleminded, and have been left to languish, forgotten. Deeply in love, they escape, and find refuge in the farmhouse
of Martha, a retired schoolteacher and widow. But the couple is not alone-Lynnie has just given birth to a baby girl. When the authorities catch up to them that same night, Homan escapes into the darkness, and Lynnie is caught. But before she is forced back into the institution, she whispers two words to Martha: "Hide her." And so begins the 40-year epic journey of Lynnie, Homan, Martha, and baby Julia-lives divided by seemingly insurmountable obstacles, yet drawn together by a secret pact and extraordinary love.

This sounds like an amazing story. What further convinced me to put this in the TBR pile was part of a Publisher's Weekly review that said...
"Although their stories diverge and unfold independently of one another, memories of their short time together sustain them for more than 40 years..."
I love stories where we hear the story from two characters separate from each other. And my heart tugged at the notion that their "memories of their time together sustained them for 40 years." A love story, a story that shows that love isn't restricted to people with disabilities, and an adventure all wrapped up in one make this a must read for me!

The Lake by Banana Yoshimoto... From Publisher's Weekly: Yoshimoto delves into an elusive romance between an artist and a
student, each of whom bears scars from unusual upbringings, in this clever, off-beat novel. The 30-year-old narrator earns a modest living as a mural painter in Tokyo, supported by her businessman father whom she sees only occasionally since the death of her mother; her parents never married, as her mother was a Mama-san of a nightclub, her father the devoted customer, and his family dead-set against the match, seeding a deep sense of shame and inadequacy in the girl. Presently, she has befriended a curious young man, Nakajima, who begins to sleep over at her place, though chastely. A student in an advanced program of genetics, he hints at terrible secrets in his childhood, which are gradually revealed after the two visit Nakajima's very strange friends in the countryside, and it's revealed that Nakajima had been kidnapped as a boy by a cult and brainwashed. Unsettling as Nakajima's story is, the narrator has grown to cherish him and must decide if their uncommon connection—not passionate, but comforting and near-maternal—will bring lasting happiness.

Banana Yoshimoto is a wildly popular Japanese author, who I discovered while reading for the Japanese Literature Challenge. Her books are often short, amazingly wonderful stories with quirky characters. As a fan of Japanese literature, it's a treat when an author is translated for us, and this should be welcomed by fans of the author as well as anyone who enjoys a good story. This has gotten a lot of great buzz since it publication at the beginning of this month! It's coming my way, so keep a look out for a review soon. BTW, A portion of the sale of this book will go to Japanese Disaster Relief.

Weekly Recap... We started this weeks theme of "Read Like a Mother" Monday with Two Kisses for Maddy by Matt Logelin, the heartfelt memoir of Matt Logelin, who lost his wife, Liz, 27 hours after the birth of their daughter Maddy, from a pulmonary embolism. Matt's story is one of learning how to be a single dad at the same time as becoming a widow. Originally he poured out his heart on a blog he created after Liz's death. Wednesday, I highlighted Ann Brasheres, a favorite author of mine who gave us the wonderful story of 4 young girls, their friendship, their coming-of-age story, and their shared pair of magical jeans. The story of course is The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, which became 4 books, and now 10 years later those friends have grown up and we can revisit them in Ann's new book Sisterhood Everlasting! Thursday this week brought the sexier side of women, with a review AND GIVEAWAY of The Guardian by Margaret Mallory! Men in kilts, history, adventure and ROMANCE await ye in this wonderful book by Margaret Mallory! Don't miss your chance to win a copy! Follow the link above to enter! Friday's First Lines gave us a sneak peek at Wallflower by Holly-Jane Rahlens. The novel is set during the fall of the Berlin Wall. It's "Wallflower is four hours in the life of Molly Lenzfeld, sixteen-year-old New Yorker in Berlin." After the fall of the Berlin Wall, Molly decides to visit her mother's birth house in East Berlin, that's when she meets Mick & the Berlin no one really knows..." This is on my reading table right now. Holly-Jane Rahlens writing is fresh & the story is entertaining. I'll be righting my review for it soon...

That's how my reading week was, how was yours?? What great books have you discovered this week?! Share them so the rest of us can enjoy them too! I hope you found something to pique your reading curiosity here today! And I hope you enjoyed Read Like a Mother Week! Take care and Happy Reading... Suzanne

Friday, May 13, 2011

First Lines... Wallflower by Holly-Jane Rahlens

The Wall's down and I'm stuck. It's always been like that. Not the Wall, of course. It only fell two weeks ago. But me. I've always been stuck. In a crack. And I can't get out. If someone ever decided to make a movie about my life, they'd call it The Girl Who Lived in a Crack...
Wallflower by Holly-Jane Rahlens: A Novel Set During The Fall of the Berlin Wall

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Guardian by Margaret Mallory... Blog Tour, Review and GIVEAWAY!

I just love the writing of Margaret Mallory! She never, and I really mean it, never disappoints me! Her characters are made up of strong women, hunky guys and stories that sweep you off your feet into a time and place that are so well described that you feel that you've lived there all your life... History and romance blended into a perfect dish!

How fortunate for us girls that Margaret has written another great romance! The Guardian by Margaret Mallory brings together...

Four fearless warriors returning to the Highlands to claim their lands and legacies. But all their trials on the battlefield can't prepare them for their greatest challenge yet: winning the hearts of four willful Scottish beauties."

After years of fighting abroad, Ian MacDonald comes home to find his clan in peril. To save his kin, he must right the wrongs from his past . . . and claim the bride he's long resisted.

As a young lass, Sìleas depended on Ian to play her knight in shining armor. But when his rescue attempt compromised her virtue, Ian was forced to marry against his wishes. Five years later, Sìleas has grown from an awkward girl into an independent beauty who knows she deserves better than the reluctant husband who preferred war to his wife. Now this devilishly handsome Highlander is finally falling in love. He wants a second chance with Sìleas - and he won't take no for an answer.

The Guardian by Margaret Mallory is humorous, sexy and truly a story you'll long remember after the last page, dripping with romance! I loved Sileas, who created a life for herself despite her childhood crush, Ian, who never thought twice about taking her into his arms until 5 years later when he is left speechless as he comes home to find the most gorgeous woman living in his house- and who happens to be his WIFE! The four warrior boys, who grew to men are a wonderful part of the story, showing their coming of age in a time of war and clan politics. Their relationships among themselves helped define Ian, and give us a sense of time and place where Margaret set her story. It's also so much fun watching the boys try and figure out women!

If you love a man in kilts (how can ye not?!) you have to pick up this book! If you are familiar with Margaret Mallory's other romance series, All The Kings Men, you will love the characters and setting just as much in The Guardian, which is the first book in her new series, Return of the Highlanders.

About the Author... Margaret Mallory surprised her friends and family by abandoning her legal career—and her steady job—to write novels. At long last, she can satisfy her passion for justice by punishing the bad and rewarding the worthy—in the pages of her novels, of course. She lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her husband and their two college-age children. Want to know a little more? Learn how Margaret became a writer at her author profile on Hachette's website!

You can find more about the author at Margaret Mallory's website, read an excerpt of The Guardian!, AND enter to win one
of three copies of The Guardian courtesy of Hachette Books! Here's how to enter...

* Let's all get in a little romance in this summer! All you need to do to enter is leave a comment with your email address!

* If you want to Tweet or Blog about the giveaway, that's great too! You'll get a bonus entry for spreading the word! Just leave me a link to where you tweeted or blogged!

This giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents only (No PO boxes). The books will be shipped to the winners directly from the publisher. Contest ends 11:59pm EST on May 29th. I will randomly pick the winners the next day and email them! (please check your email.. winner must reply to me within 3 days! Thanks!) Good Luck!

I want to thank Brianne of Hachette Book Group for sending along a copy of The Guardian to review! Today's post is also part of Margaret Mallory's Blog Tour for The Guardian!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Ann Brasheres and Sisterhood Everlasting... The Next Chapter in the Sisterhood Saga!

Ann Brashares Gets it! She writes with such beauty about the emotions of young girls. I'm referring to her books in the series of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, which took us into the friendship of four young girls, Tibby, Lena, Carmen, and Bridget, and their "coming-of-age", with all the excitement & confusion that goes along with all that, including finding love and heartache in almost the same breathe. I loved the time I shared with those girls and when I closed the book on the final chapter, it was bittersweet...

Then the other day I found a wonderful surprise in the mail from Random House! "The next chapter in the beloved Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants saga"! Yes, this coming June (June 14th to be exact) Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares will be released! It's the girls 10 years later! Can you believe it has been 10 years since The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants was published!?! Here's the blurb about Sisterhood Everlasting from Random House...
Ann Brashares comes the welcome return of the characters whose friendship became a touchstone for a generation. Now Tibby, Lena, Carmen, and Bridget have grown up, starting their lives on their own. And though the jeans they shared are long gone, the sisterhood is everlasting.

Despite having jobs and men that they love, each knows that something is missing: the closeness that once sustained them. Carmen is a successful actress in New York, engaged to be married, but misses her friends. Lena finds solace in her art, teaching in Rhode Island, but still thinks of Kostos and the road she didn’t take. Bridget lives with her longtime boyfriend, Eric, in San Francisco, and though a part of her wants to settle down, a bigger part can’t seem to shed her old restlessness.

Then Tibby reaches out to bridge the distance, sending the others plane tickets for a reunion that they all breathlessly await. And indeed, it will change their lives forever—but in ways that none of them could ever have expected.

As moving and life-changing as an encounter with long-lost best friends, Sisterhood Everlasting is a powerful story about growing up, losing your way, and finding the courage to create a new one.
If you haven't read the original series yet, READ IT! And I am so excited to be opening up the next chapter in the lives of Tibby, Lena, Carmen and Bridget! You will be too! So, have you read The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants? Did you have a favorite book in the series? A favorite character? This weekend for Mother's Day Ann Brashares wrote about Motherhood and the writing of her Sisterhood books in The Wall Street Journal. Here's the link: Creating a New 'Pants'—And a New Baby. It's a fitting touch to "Read like a Mother Week" on Chick with Books! Keep your eyes out for my review...

Monday, May 9, 2011

Memoir Monday... Two Kisses for Maddy by Matt Logelin

Our first book for "Read Like a Mother week" is a Memoir, Two Kisses for Maddy by Matt Logelin, which is a love story and the story of the devastating loss of new mom & wife of Matt, Liz, just 27 hours after the birth of her daughter. Matt poured his heart out in a blog, which became an amazing support system for him. When I read about this book, without even turning the pages I teared up. Here's the blurb from the publishers, Hachette...
Matt and Liz Logelin were high school sweethearts. After years of long-distance dating, the pair finally settled together in Los Angeles, and they had it all: a perfect marriage, a gorgeous new home, and a baby girl on the way. Liz's pregnancy was rocky, but they welcomed Madeline, beautiful and healthy, into the world on March 24, 2008.

Just twenty-seven hours later, Liz suffered a pulmonary embolism and died instantly, without ever holding the daughter whose arrival she had so eagerly awaited. Though confronted with devastating grief and the responsibilities of a new and single father, Matt did not surrender to devastation; he chose to keep moving forward-- to make a life for Maddy.

In this memoir, Matt shares bittersweet and often humorous anecdotes of his courtship and marriage to Liz; of relying on his newborn daughter for the support that she unknowingly provided; and of the extraordinary online community of strangers who have become his friends. In honoring Liz's legacy, heartache has become solace.
Matt still has a blog, and in Liz's memory he has created The Liz Logelin Foundation, which is a foundation that offers support and financial assistance to young widows and widowers with dependent children. This is definitely one book on my reading list and a perfect memoir for a week in which we celebrate Mothers!

Two Kisses for Maddy by Matt Logelin is available now from your favorite bookstore! And it's Kindle Ready!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Sunday Salon... Read Like a Mother!

Happy Mother's Day! To all the Mother's, Grandmother's, Daughters, Sisters, Aunts, and girlfriends this day is YOUR day! No matter if you've given birth, as women we are nurturers. We are born with the innate ability to comfort, show empathy, and know when just a smile is needed. So this day is for all the women out there who are mothers and for the women out there that we appreciate even if they aren't our mothers. I'm going to spend today with my Mom, who is an extraordinary woman, giving of herself not just to me, but to the people she helps as a volunteer every day. So, Happy Mother's Day!

Today's Sunday Salon is just a stepping stone for this week. In honor of Mother's Day, I'm having a week of "Read Like a Mother", or books that showcase women in the rolls of mothers, sisters or just simply friends. Fiction (and nonfiction) that showcases women.

So enjoy your day! And come back on Monday for our first "Read Like a Mother" book!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Midwife's Confession by Diane Chamberlain... A Review

Dear Anna,
What I have to tell you is difficult to write, but I know it will be far more difficult for you to hear, and I'm so sorry…

The unfinished letter is the only clue Tara and Emerson have to the reason behind their close friend Noelle's suicide. Everything they knew about Noelle—her calling as a midwife, her passion for causes, her love for her friends and family—described a woman who embraced life.

Yet there was so much they didn't know.

With the discovery of the letter and its heartbreaking secret, Noelle's friends begin to uncover the truth about this complex woman who touched each of their lives—and the life of a desperate stranger—with love and betrayal, compassion and deceit...

What can I say about The Midwife's Confession by Diane Chamberlain other than it is a wonderful story full of mother's & daughters, friends & lovers, and long held secrets. I read A LOT and yet I found something very special in this book. The story invited me in, the characters welcomed me with their deepest thoughts, and the mystery of why one of three close friends kills herself unfolded before my eyes. The Midwife's Confession was such a pleasure to read. Almost immediately I was drawn into the story and I didn't put it down until I was done.

Tara, Emerson and Noelle are close friends, who've known each other since the beginning of college. The story begins with the suicide of Noelle, and opens with Noelle saying farewell to the world around her. When Emerson discovers Noelle dead, the investigation into why she would do something like that begins. What unfolds are long held secrets that will change the lives of the women left behind. And did I want to know what those secrets were, because after reading the first chapter I wanted to know why a person so appreciative of the world around her would say goodbye.
"Lifting her arm, she outlined the circle of the moon with her fingertip. Felt her eyes burn. I love you, world, she whispered.
I also enjoyed the way the novel was put together - Diane Chamberlain tells us the story through the voices of the main women in alternating chapters - Noelle, Tara, Emerson, plus a couple of others. The story unfolds as each woman puts forward a little piece of the puzzle. There is a satisfying twist at the end to boot. This would make a great book club selection too! Diane Chamberlain really touches on quite a few issues, including are we the sum of our actions or are we left to be defined by a single action.

If you enjoy stories involving women's friendships, a good mystery and good writing, this is the book for you! Book clubs make a note of this title too!

I want to thank the publisher for sending along a copy for review! I thoroughly enjoyed The Midwife's Confession! And, it's available from your local bookstore right now!

Friday, May 6, 2011

First Lines... Dead by Midnight by Carolyn Hart

"Glen Jamison looked every one of his fifty-two years, his fair hair flecked with silver, his aristocratic face mournful, his six-foot-two frame too thin. He hunched at the desk in his study and felt a sense of panic, like the beginnings of a fire flickering at his feet then billowing to an inferno..."
Dead by Midnight by Carolyn Hart ( a Death in Demand Mystery! On Sale Now!)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Memoir Monday... What There is to Say We Have Said by Suzanne Marrs

What There Is to Say We Have Said: The Correspondence of Eudora Welty and William Maxwell by Suzanne Marrs... Here's what Publisher's Weekly wrote: While Welty and her New Yorker editor Maxwell were contemporaries, he 34, she 33 when they first met at a New York literary party in 1942, they seemed to be virtual opposites. He was a devoted family man; she was a loner. His nearly 200 letters to her divulged his entire personality; among the surviving letters, Welty omitted any reference to the love of her life, married crime novelist Ross Macdonald. But Welty and Maxwell recognized from the get-go that they were kindred spirits. The correspondence of this volume, gracefully edited and annotated by Welty's biographer Marrs, takes off in 1951, when the New Yorker began to publish Welty's fiction. Maxwell was an accomplished writer, too, and in these unfailingly cozy letters, which take us up to the 1990s into his old age, the pair discuss not only their work together and apart, but the orchids they loved, their day-to-day lives, and the writers they admired, from Virginia Woolf and Dylan Thomas to J.D. Salinger. Both correspondents were blessed with personality-plus, mirrored in these letters.

This book really caught my attention because we can really see these authors for more than their fiction by opening up the pages of this book. Unlike love letters, the letters between Welty and Maxwell show the burgeoning friendship of these two people over the course of almost 40 years! And while their friendship grows it's as if we are part of that correspondence, getting an intimate look at life and pursuits, and just the everyday banter usually saved for the best of friends. But other than the intimate look at Welty and Maxwell, the letter writing itself should be wonderful as well due to the fact that these two are amazing writers! If we were to This is on my wish list!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Sunday Salon... Books to Movies Part 2

Welcome to the Sunday Salon! It's the day of the week where we can get together and chatabout all the bookish things we did this past week! It finally turned into Spring in Connecticut! May 1st has given us blue skies and warm weather! I've been spending timeoutside fusing with the garden, getting ready for the hummingbirds. But there's some great things to do inside these days and great things to come! What am I talking about?! Why some of our favorite books coming to the big screen! Time to see how it all plays out on film! Do you read the book before seeing the movie? I always try to do that, because once I see it on the big screen I tend to not want to read the book. Let's talk about bookadaptations today!

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen... It's finally here! The movie we've all been waiting for! I am patiently waiting for a couple of my friends to finish the book so we can all enjoy a girls night out with Rosie the Elephant (ok, Robert Pattison isn't such a bad excuse to go either)! The scenery from the trailers looks just as I would have pictured it, and I have high hopes for the total package. It has gotten great reviews so far. A friend of mine did say that it's not an exact blue print of the movie, generally that is what happens, but she enjoyed it immensely! Have you seen Water for
Elephants yet?

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins... Readers have plenty of time to read this trilogy, or at least the first book that the movie is based on! The release date for this futuristic YA novel is March 23, 2012! Ok, I must be the only one who has not read this series yet and I WILL read it before seeing it on the big screen! Have you read the books yet? Are you looking forward to the movie?

A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan... This Pulitzer Prize winning book is being adapted for the little screen! HBO has optioned this book for a series. A Visit from the Goon Squad is a novel of interconnected stories and this series should be very interesting. "The sprawling bookcovers three decades in the lives of its characters, opening in the 1980’s San Francisco punk rock scene. Egan uses unorthodox writing methods to tell her story, with different characters and stories interwoven throughout the book." I've had this book on my wish list for a while, and I guess it's about time to crack the spine on this one. The book has gotten rave reviews ever since being released June of last year. Have you read this one? Seems to me this would make a great TV series in the right hands.

Other books to movies coming soon... The Help by Kathryn Stockett. This is scheduled to be released August 12th. I am a bit leary about seeing this one. The book was so wonderful, I just can't imagine the big screen adaptation meeting all my expectations. We'll have to wait and see. I felt the same way about the movie adaptation of The Time Travelers Wife and was pleasantly surprised to find that I really enjoyed it. Any thoughts
on this one? Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer (Part 1) will be coming our way November 18th, 2011. They are breaking this up into 2 parts, with part 2 coming ONE YEAR LATER! And if you really want to look ahead, in 2013 Pride Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahme-Smith will be coming your way onto the big screen! Natalie Portman is to play Elizabeth Bennett, and casting is going on now for the rest of the players. This may be fun. I do have the graphic novel in my TBR pile as we speak.

Weekly Recap... This weeks Memoir Monday highlighted Dreams in a Time of War by Ngugu waThiong'O. A coming-of-age story about the author growing up in Africa, it's such a nice departure from all the celebrity tell-all memoirs flooding the local bookstores. Ngugu wa Thion'O is a acclaimed writer of fiction, and has gotten such praise for the wonderful writing in his own story. Friday's First Lines highlighted The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente. I love the title and the YA fantasy sounds like a wonderful adventure tale sprinkles with plenty of sci-fi! AND GIVEAWAY UPDATE... There is still a few more days to enter to win Song of The Silk Road by Mingmei Yip! I loved this book and you can read all The Giveaway and The Book by clicking on the links!

How was your reading week?! Any good books you'd like to share? I'd love to hear about them! And what do you think about your favorite books being adapted to the big (and little) screen? Do you like seeing how your favorite book comes to life before your eyes?

Take care and Happy reading... Suzanne

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