Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sunday Salon: Summing Up

It's been an eventful week as far as the blog is concerned: Short Story Challenge - My First Challenge EVER (hopefully not my last) was launched by yours truly. So far, we're chugging along like The Little Engine That Could - slowly but surely the word will get around - we think we can, we think we can, we think we can...

  • Reviewed the new Lee Child book WORTH DYING FOR this past Monday. It's a winner - his second book this year. Second best seller. He is unstoppable and unflappable. A lovely man and a fabulous writer. If you like thrillers with a touch of the cerebral amid the mayhem, read Lee Child.

  • I was so pleased to see my review for one of my favorite books, THE WOODEN LEG OF INSPECTOR ANDERS by Marshall Browne posted on PATTINASE as part of Patti's on-going Forgotten Friday meme. I was in very intimidating, but wonderful company. Quite an honor.

  • Two reading disappointments this week: Allegra Goodman's THE COOKBOOK COLLECTOR and Michael Connelly's THE REVERSAL. Both not nearly as good as I'd expected. Finally gave up reading and just skimmed. No reviews forthcoming.

  • I began re-reading Jane Austen's PERSUASION just because and found myself, once again, bowled over by the writing and the story and the sheer genius of a writer who saw so little of life and yet still managed to see everything important.

  • Also picked up, from my tottering TBR pile, the Louise Penny book that won all the awards this year, BURY YOUR DEAD. Looks really good - this is a great series. I'm still having problems, for whatever reason, getting into WEAPONS OF CHOICE by John Birmingham, the time travel thriller I'd hoped to have read by now to comply with the Time Travel Challenge I entered at At Home With Books. Not doing too well with that challenge since I came to it so late in the year and I've been so sluggish about it. I think not liking Connie Willis' second book of the year, ALL CLEAR, got me down in the dumps about time travel books for now. I mean, she's the master of it all and yet I was truly disappointed in her latest. I think this is the first time I haven't liked a Connie Willis book. I feel like a traitor. Not a good feeling.

  • I think I'm starting to get the reading blahs again, hence my attempt to forestall it by reading Austen. We'll see what happens. I'm thinking to return most of my library stuff still lingering around the house and just concentrating on my own books off my shelves for a bit. I think sometimes I just get overwhelmed with what's left to be read and I shut down. Well, yeah, that makes a helluva LOT of sense - but it's my way. Luckily, it doesn't happen often.

  • So, how did your reading week go?


  1. I know what you mean by Austen's remarkable ability to discover entire worlds in a glance, layers of meaning in a remark.

    I can remember years ago reading "Sense & Sensibility" for the first time and being shocked at Lucy's duplicity, not having caught on to her until very late in the book. It occured to me then that were she writing today, Jane Austen would be a first-rate mystery novelist. What do you think?

  2. Oh, no question. In PRIDE AND PREJUDICE we get the duplicity of Wickham, the shock of the runaway forced marriage, the reveal of Darcy's younger sister having being duped. All elements that could have easily worked their way into deeper mystery, say, had Wickham been murdered. I mean, they would have had a whole stable of suspects. Ha!

    But seriously, I agree. Jane Austen's senses of observation must have been razor sharp. I'll bet she made others uncomfortable - genius is usually not considered a 'very feminine' attribute. I read Carol Shields short bio of Austen a while back and damn if I can remember much of it. Though I know I loved reading it. Maybe time to pick up another bio of Austen, or reread Shields.

    I admit that P&P and PERSUASION are my two favorites. I never get tired of reading them.
    I read SENSE AND SENSIBILITY many years ago, but haven't reread it since. Seen the films though. EMMA, I never read. Or the others. Maybe one of these days, I'll read MANSFIELD PARK which is something I've been meaning to do for years. So much to read, so little time.

  3. Ooh, Persuasion! It is my favourite Austen, I just love it so much!

    I am experiencing a bit of a reading slump as well, I basically start books, read half of them and then start another book..

  4. Me too, Iris. I am trying to stop the slump by any means I can. One way this weekend was to read an old Agatha Christie, hopefully that will get me back on the straight and narrow. HA!


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