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, May 27, 2012

The Sunday Salon... Summer Travel Thru The Pages of a Book

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 desks, 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....

Welcome Back! It's Sunday and that means The Sunday Salon for all of us readers and virtual visitors. As you know, it's been a while... I've missed all the chit chat about the books we've been reading and all the bookish things we've been doing! So as things settle down in my life, I'm picking up the pen again (really the computer keyboard), and writing about something I love... reading! Grab a cup of java, pull up a chair and relax... Let's talk books!

There is still a month before Summer "officially" comes according to the calendar, but if you step outside here in Connecticut, Summer has landed. This week it's been hot & muggy, and you can feel in the air just the slight tingling of lazy summer days and GREAT SUMMER READING! So, today we're going to look at a few books that we can get in the car and drive to... or at least be transported to once you open the pages of these new releases...

Canada by Richard Ford... First, I'll tell about the robbery our parents committed. Then about the murders, which happened later." Then fifteen-year-old Dell Parsons' parents rob a bank, his sense of normal life is forever altered. In an instant, this private cataclysm drives his life into before and after, a threshold that can never be uncrossed. Undone by the calamity of his parents' robbery and arrest, Dell struggles under the vast prairie sky to remake himself and define the adults he thought he knew. But his search for grace and peace only moves him nearer to a harrowing and murderous collision with Remlinger, an elemental force of darkness. A true masterwork of haunting and spectacular vision from one of our greatest writers, Canada is a profound novel of boundaries traversed, innocence lost and reconciled, and the mysterious and consoling bonds of family.

When I read about this book before its publication I was so excited. The story seemed fresh and fun...True Grit meets the Montana skies. I had never read Richard Ford before. He won a Pulitzer for Independence Day, has been compared to Faulkner and Hemingway and has generated a lot of press for Canada. What I was looking for was a good story writer, and after cracking the spine on Canada, I think I've found just what I was looking for. His prose is easy going, and colorful. Canada was released this past week by Ecco publishing, a division of Harper Collins. Look for a review in the near future. P.S. This book is Kindle Ready!

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn... On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick Dunne’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick Dunne isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but hearing from Amy through flashbacks in her diary reveal the perky perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer? As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister Margo at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was left in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?

OK, this may be a stretch for Summer travel stories, but the "Gone Girl" did go on a trip, although probably a long trip on a short river bank. This book has gotten a lot of great buzz and it piqued my interest. I'm a little tired of the "Husband did it" murders you see on the news almost every day (what is it with these guys- ever hear of divorce?), but this story seems to take that idea and move it towards a different direction. Gillian Flynn is known for visiting those dark places of the human heart as well as writing good suspense, so I'm looking forward to cracking the spine on this one. BUT, I'm going to have to wait about a week... Gone Girl will be released on June 5th by Crown Publishing, a division of Random House. P.S. This book will be Kindle Ready!

What books have you been waiting to crack the spine on? Share those great books you're excited about so we all can have a great read! In the meantime, I'll be changing the batteries on my reading light because I think I'll be turning the pages late into the night!

Happy reading.... Suzanne

Friday, May 25, 2012

First Lines...

Nothing but shadows and an eerie stillness in the heat of a simmering night as a figure stoops under a lintel and makes his way quickly, through a labyrinth of alleys, before finding Berry Street and heading north along the Farringdon Road. For a fleeting moment he pauses and looks over his shoulder, to be seen briefly against the backdrop of a Smithfield's butcher 's shop... and grasped tightly in his hands, a book. Musty pages from another lifetime, another world away and on its broken board, just one word-- Liberty.                 
"A trail of beribboned murders. A ticking bomb. A city about to explode"

 The Devils Ribbon by D.E. Meredith, Published Nov. 2011 by Minotaur Books

Monday, May 21, 2012

Memoir Monday... Women Speaking Their Minds and Not Just Their Lines

We are back with Memoir Mondays! There are a few books from some wonderful publishers just sitting here waiting for their turn in the spotlight and today we are shining a little light on a new memoir from Random House.

For a while it seemed that every celebrity known to mankind was writing a memoir. Frankly, not all of them had something inspiring, uplifting or memorable to say. So, we took a little break from memoirs... until today.

I grew up with Annie Hall, not understanding Looking for Mr. Goodbar or the love story between Diane Keaton and Woody Allen. Diane Keaton was independent, fearless and larger than life on the big screen. A kind of role model for us young girls beginning to seek our own independence and find ourselves. But there was a larger picture to Diane Keaton and her new memoir promises to open up and let us peer in to not only what made Diane who she is, but also that unique relationship between a mother and daughter, and how our Mother's have a part in who we become....

Then Again by Diane Keaton... From the Inside Jacket,  In Diane Keaton’s unforgettable memoir about her mother and herself, you will meet the woman known to tens of millions as Annie Hall, but you will also meet, and fall in love with, her mother, the loving, complicated, always-thinking Dorothy Hall. To write about herself, Diane realized she had to write about her mother, too, and how their bond came to define both their lives. In a remarkable act of creation, Diane not only reveals herself to us, she also lets us meet in intimate detail her mother. More than the autobiography of a legendary actress, Then Again is a book about a very American family with very American dreams. Diane will remind you of yourself, and her bonds with her family will remind you of your own relationships with those you love the most.

Can we fall in love with Annie Hall again? I guess we'll have to read the book! P.S. This book is Kindle Ready!
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