The Sunday Salon – Out of Order

I did something I normally don’t do. I read a series of books out of order. I know, the horror, right. There was this book about two years ago that everyone was excited about. I was trying out NetGalley and requested a copy. I knew it was part of a series but I decided to go with it anyway because it was exactly the type of book I like. Well, about two years later, I’m getting around to starting the series, officially. If you’re curious, it’s Deanna Raybourn’s Lady Julia Grey series. I finished Silent in the Grave this week and I think I may be looking around for the next book for some holiday downtime reading.

In other non-book related news, our tree is decorated and has finally started to look like a tree instead of a large, pine scented bush. I’ve started the holiday baking, presents have been bought, and holiday spiced beer has been drunk. So, why am I not feeling the holidays yet? Hopefully I’ll get into the spirit later this week when all the crazy work stuff is done and holiday parties begin.

Well, I have pierogies to make so I’m off for today. Happy Sunday reading.

The Sunday Salon – Re-Cap

I had a wonderful post all planned out for today but I can’t find the piece of paper I had it scribbled on so today’s going to be a re-cap of sorts.

  • I finished The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley earlier this week. I’m such a sucker for a Scottish setting and it’s a good story too.
  • After The Winter Sea, I picked up Anne Enright’s The Gathering. It’s a short book but it took me most of the week to read it. I haven’t read a book this depressing, and good, in a very long time.
  • I spent most of yesterday buried in The Watchers by Jon Steele. I’m enjoying the setting (Switzerland) and there’s short list of good characters to cling to.
  • We watched Rise of the Planet of the Apes last night. The ape parts were all good, the people parts were meh.

The last one is not about books but it happened and I added it because it’s still in my head this morning.

I’m planning to find a quiet spot to read more of The Watchers today and then finish planning out our vacation. That’s my day people. Now I’m off to get some coffee and find a quiet spot to read. Happy Sunday.

Sunday Salon – Arthurian Legend(s)

Morning everyone.

I’ve said it here before and will say it again — I love all things King Arthur.  Honestly, I have no idea why, I just do.  When I heard Showtime would be airing a series called Camelot, I was on it.  Friday night I talked my husband into watching it with me and I don’t know what to think of it.  The actress in the role of Morgan is great and King Lott is also fantastic but from what we learned from googling the internets while watching, Lott will only be in two episodes so bad news for me.  Merlin, well, they went with the political advisor version which I’m good with and I actually think it works better than the magic-man Merlin here anyway.  There is a fantasy element to the show which could have easily been ignored (Unless it’s all fantasy and you go in with full fantasy blazing, I think you should forget it.  All in or all out is the way I feel.) but they seem to be adding it grain by grain.  I don’t know if it adds anything to the story yet; hard to tell with only one episode.

Notice how I haven’t mentioned Arthur yet?  I don’t know if I like him.  Reading a lot of Arthurian legend based books, I have an ideal Arthur vision and to put it kindly, it’s not him.  Maybe things will change but for now I don’t know.

Anyway, the reason I bring this up is this — when you read a book and have a set ideal of the characters, are you willing to edit them to fit a TV/movie version?

I’ll admit I don’t see a lot of movies but when I do, I can usually separate out the differences and move on.  A book is a book and a movie is a movie.  Different mediums, different stories.  For instance, The Lord of the Rings — I loved the books and loved the movies.  I was fine with it all even if it wasn’t what I had previously envisioned in all my readings of the books.

Somehow, I found myself having trouble with Camelot.  I think the reason is that having read so many Arthurian legend books and their numerous takes on the characters, their faults, etc., I have a cobbled together Arthur but one I’ve come to like very much.  Seeing the show and how its writers put together the different people and places, made me a tad annoyed that it wasn’t my version.  But then again, maybe it was something my husband said:

“Ya know, some of the writing and acting here are pretty bad.”

I had trouble not agreeing with that statement.  So maybe that’s it.

A few links to share this week…

A Game of Thrones.  Oh, how I loved this book.  George R.R. Martin, you are a genius.  Tonight at 9PM there will be a 15 minute preview of the series which is set to start April 17th on HBO.  After the above discussion, I still have high hopes for this series but we’ll see what happens. If you haven’t read the book yet and want to; join the book club.

50 books you don’t need to read before you die.

Cooking bibles?  Mine – Julia Child’s Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom.  By the way, I haven’t completely forgotten about the post where I mentioned I would take a look in some of my cookbooks and share a recipe.  I just haven’t gotten around to it yet.

Want to know what it was like to edit Harry Potter?  Here ya go then.  Oh, and if you want to see the latest movie poster, here.  Funny how they don’t even mention the name of the movie.  Oh, the Harry Potter marketing machine.

Yeah!  A DC landmark bookstore will be here for me still.

The Hobbit is finally in production which means we might see Ian McKellan’s Gandalf looking the same age and not older than he did in The Lord of the Rings.

Happy Sunday.

Sunday Salon – A Little Library Loot & A Little of This and That

I skipped last week’s Sunday Salon to sleep late. I had a Friday Library Loot post in the works and decided to again sleep late. See a pattern? Yes, I like my sleep. This Sunday, I thought I’d clear up two posts in one so off we go.

First, the library loot.

The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner. I read The Thief a few months back and enjoyed it so on the library wait list I went for next two books in the series, The Queen of Attolia and The King of Attolia. Unfortunately, The King arrived before the Queen so I took it off my list and waited patiently for the Queen to arrive which she finally did this week. The thief, Gen, is back and this time he’ll be stealing a man, a queen, and some peace to make it a hat trick.

Witch Week by Diana Wynne Jones. This is for the Diana Wynne Jones Week being hosted by Jenny at Jenny’s Books. It takes place August 1 – 7. I know I’m a bit early with my book but considering my luck with the library holds system, which is pretty much nada, I thought it best to put my request in early. I was planning to read Howl’s Moving Castle since that one has been on my list for eons but this one really caught my eye. Kids, boarding school, witchcraft…yes, it’s for me. I’m looking forward to cracking this one open.

Now, the this and that.

I tend to browse NPR online, mostly I listen in the car, but when I need a break I like to check out the books section and see what’s being talked about. Last week I found this – Killer Thrillers: Vote for the 100 Best Ever.

I’m not a thriller person. I do read them everyone once in a while but it’s not my genre of choice. I’m a historical fiction and fantasy type but I have a co-worker who is a fan and he’s been gracious enough to lend me a few. And I’ll admit that I have on my own gone out and bought a few because I find them to be great reads for plane rides since they have a tendency to suck you in which is a fabulous way to ignore the person clutching the seat next to you and asking the flight attendant for anything with vodka in it. (Is it just me or do other people have to sit next to people like this on planes? I have trouble thinking it’s just me…) Anyway, I thought some out there might find the list interesting. I haven’t read many on the list but did find a few to add to the list.

I Write Like. This is a website that analyses your writing style and tells you who you write like. I put in a few samples but haven’t had the chance yet to explore further. So who did it tell me I write like? Drum roll please…

James Joyce

David Foster Wallace

H.P. Lovecraft

Cory Doctrow

Ha! Yes, I laughed too. It’s good clean internet fun so have at it folks.

Well, that’s all for me this week. But one final thing — this week’s wrap-up. I read:

The Scarlet Contessa by Jeanne Kalogridis

The Whale: In Search of the Giants of the Sea by Philip Hoare

I’m currently reading Kraken by China Miéville and it’s strange, downright weird, funny, and lovingly sarcastic. I have to admit that I might have found a new author to faun over.

Happy Sunday! If you’re in the Mid-Atlantic enjoy the air-conditioning.