The Sunday Salon – Impending Storm

We’re waiting; waiting for Hurricane Sandy to appear. For the last few days that’s all the news has talked about. You’d even swear the election was over there’s so much Sandy coverage! I have my water, food, and batteries. Now, we wait.

I’ve been slacking on the blog lately. I don’t have a good excuse so I’m not going to make one. I’ve been lazy. Following with the lazy thing, I’m looking forward to sitting on my couch with a book or two. There’s nothing like bad weather to inspire some reading. I have The Courtier’s Secret by Donna Russo Morin to keep me company later today.

This morning, I need to work. That means this is the end of this post. I’d like to get as much done as possible so I have the whole evening to read.

I wish you all happy reading today.

If you’re in Sandy’s path, stay safe.

The Sunday Salon – Comfort Reading

The last few weeks have been, well, kinda crappy. I won’t go into details let’s just say we’ve had better months in our lives.

Anyway, during this time, I kept reading, reading good books I should say, but what I wanted was something comforting. I wanted something that made me feel safe and happy. A book that allowed me to escape to a place so different from my own life that it would be a momentary relief from the regular day’s drudgery. (Side note: I don’t think I’ve ever used the word drudgery in a sentence until right now.)

I’ve been picturing the books on my shelf wondering what would fill the gap. There’s The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien; always a favorite. I could go to Middle Earth. The new movie is coming out and I should read the book again just to be sure I’m properly re-acquainted with these wonderful characters. Fantasy has made up a large part of my reading this year which is not unusual for me since I do tend to go on reading binges. For as much as The Hobbit appeals, it wasn’t right this time. I wanted something I could fall into and imagine in great depth. (Please, I know this is more than possible to do with Tolkien’s work. I’m just saying it’s not the right time for me to pick this up. Besides, I think I have until the end of November to read it before the movie comes out so all good.)

What I wanted was historical fiction. Yes, that was it. I wanted to imagine hearing the swoosh of a long skirt dragging across stone floors, feel the heaviness of a velvet dress, the cold and damp corners of a castle. I wanted courtiers, royals acting badly, mistresses, and court antics. So, library, help me out. I found what I was looking for and got an email that my book is ready. It’s a new to me author and she writes exactly what I want to read right now. We shall soon see if success has been achieved.

Things were slow here on the blog last week but I’m hoping to fix that. I’m, for the most part, caught up with most reviews and will be doing some editing this weekend to get those reviews ready for public eyeballs. Posts will happen!

Now, go read. Happy Sunday.

The Sunday Salon – Rain

It’s raining here today and I decided it would be an excellent idea to stay in bed and watch TV. Random flipping and one show about the Loch Ness Monster now over, I’m up and moving.

I’ve been reading two books the last few days — Bag of Bones by Stephen King and To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Friday after work I decided I’d park myself on the couch and read. Husband came home and I was curled up on the couch looking, as he put, “slightly freaked out.” Conversation ensued:

Him: “What’s wrong?”

Me: “Nothing.”

Him: “OK.”

Me: “A book freaked me out.”

Him, glancing at books on the coffee table: “To Kill a Mockingbird freaked you out?”

Me: “No, the other book.”

Him, picking up second book: “You’re reading a Stephen King book and got freaked out. No sympathy.”

So, I’ve designated Bag of Bones my daylight reading and To Kill a Mockingbird as my evening reading.

Somehow amidst a week full of crap and more crap, I managed to draft eight reviews. Death in the Floating City by Tasha Alexander is waiting a review but after that I’ll be caught up. I’m feeling good about that development.

Finally, if you have ten minutes to waste today and want to see a digital painting come to life, go here.

With that, enjoy your books. Happy Sunday.

The Sunday Salon – Jumbles

It’s been a long time since I’ve actively posted anything here. A few weeks back I sat myself down and had a little chat that went something like this: “Finish up the reviews you’ve been hoarding and schedule posts!”

I listened. I edited my posts and scheduled them. I have posts scheduled until next week and then after that, well, who knows what will happen.

To be honest, this is the first time I’ve sat down to write in a few weeks and it feels nice. 🙂 Things on the home front have been somewhat complicated of late thanks to some work travel and a car accident. Unfortunately, it looks like we may be car shopping again soon which was not, NOT, in the plans. But we’re both fine and what more can you ask for in life.

I’ve been reading but have been very bad about writing reviews. Eight reviews are waiting to be written; most are done in my head but that means absolutely nothing since no one can read them while they’re floating around in my brain. At some point in the next few days (possibly weeks if I manage to procrastinate, which I will) I’ll be writing reviews for:

Abominable by William Meikle
The New World by Patrick Ness
The End of My Y by Scarlett Thomas
Ghosts of Manhattan by Douglas Brunt
The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells
The Venice Conspiracy by Sam Christer

Berserker by William Meikle

I started my October reading with Berserker which I finished yesterday. It’s about Vikings (I heart Viking stories so much!) and it was a good start to the creepy books I plan to read this month. I also picked up Stephen King’s Bag of Bones from the library along with The Loch by Steve Alten. Both promise to be good October reads too.

One thing I haven’t done and need to do is gather up a few of my reviews and post them to Bookstore Bookblogger Connection. And by the way, you should be doing this too. First, go here and see what it’s about and then do it. It’s a cool idea and I love the idea of helping independent book stores by offering up blurbs of my favorite fantasy and science fiction books. It’s a small project set up by bloggers Andrea at Little Red Reviewer and Elizabeth at Dark Cargo and it’s a great way for us bloggers to help our favorite places. And those favorite places are book stores if that wasn’t clear. 🙂

That’s all for me today. I’m starting to get my writing groove back so maybe I should get working on those reviews in my head and make them reviews on paper. Or I could pick up the book that arrived in the mail on Friday — Death in the Floating City by Tasha Alexander. Oddly, this will be the second book I read this week that’s set in Venice; weird how that happened.

Happy Sunday everyone. Enjoy whatever books you’ve got waiting for you this day.

The Sunday Salon – Falling for Fall

I’ve yet to step outside but from what I can tell, it’s shaping up to be a lovely fall-like day. I can only say fall-like because it’s probably go to end up in the 80s today and that’s not fall-like at all. Either way, I’m going to make a good attempt at enjoying today’s sun and cool breeze.

All last week, after reading two books that were good (actually, one was very weird but interesting enough to keep reading) what I really wanted to read were two books that featured heavily in other books I’ve been reading — The Time Machine and The War of the Worlds both by H.G. Wells. I finished up The Map of the Sky by Felix J. Palma last week and enjoyed it, as I did his first book, The Map of Time. Both books feature the works of H.G. Wells, and after finishing up the second of Palma’s books, I wanted to go back and read Wells’s books so guess what I’m reading this week. As a side note, I’m reviewing The Map of the Sky tomorrow if you’re interested.

Back to the fall theme, I confess that I’m hoarding books, beyond my regular book hoarding habits. I’m now hoarding special books to read during October — thrillers, horror, mystery. I have a list and will probably make a stop at the library to pick up a few Agatha Christie books too. I’m so looking forward to October. Normally I don’t plan my reading, even when I try it never works out, but I always manage to set aside time in the fall to read books like this. I don’t know what it is but it just makes it so much more fun.

Well, The Time Machine is waiting for me and I think I may have talked my husband into shoe shopping with me this afternoon. I need to take advantage of that offer while I still can. Happy Sunday and enjoy your books today fellow readers.

The Sunday Salon – Rory’s Dad is Arthur Weasley!

If you don’t watch Doctor Who, this will mean nothing to you. Sorry in advance. Anyway, Rory’s day is Arthur Weasley! OK, Filch was in last night’s episode too. Really, mixing two of my favorite things, Harry Potter and Doctor Who — does it get better than that in TV watching land? The correct answer is no, no it does not.

Although, I may have to stop watching Doctor Who with my husband. He doesn’t get it and says silly things like, “Why are there dinosaurs on a space ship? That makes no sense.” *big sigh* I don’t want to ruin the episode for anyone who didn’t see it but I do have to say something about Amy and Rory. We all know they’re leaving (that’s not a spoiler people!) and that’s making me sad enough because I like the Ponds but then there’s this scene at the end where the Doctor is standing behind them and looks at them so sadly. He knows it’s coming and, ack, it’s making me sad. Oh, the life of the Doctor, and the companions too. If you don’t watch, here.

So as not to make this all about Doctor Who, cuz I could, let’s talk books. I read books this week. And what were those books you ask? Let me tell you.

The Map of the Sky by Felix J. Palma — the sequel to The Map of Time. It was good and I need to write up a review today but I’m having trouble getting starting because there’s so much going on in the book and being honest, I don’t know where to start.

Abominable by William Meikle — a short story about the British mountain climber Mallory and what really happened to him. It was fun. I bought another one of Meikle’s books, Berserker, which I thought would be a good read for October. He does an excellent job with the weird creatures.

The New World by Patrick Ness — I’ve yet to read the Chaos Walking trilogy. I know. I’m the last as I tend to be with things like this. You all love it and I want to love it too but I’m not sure so I stay away. This one was a free short story download and I thought why not. I loved it. And now I think I need to see if my library has the others. You may all be right on this one.

I, on a last minute whim, decided to sign up for Book Blogger Appreciation Week. I’m a little torn about this. I want to participate but I have mixed feeling about it too. On the one hand, it’s great to find new blogs and connect with people but I don’t know how much time I’m going to have to read everything and comment. Maybe I’ll just answer a question or two and that will be it. At least they got rid of the awards this year. It’s not that I don’t appreciate things like that but they went to the same people every year and why bother if that’s what’s going to happen. Not that I don’t think those bloggers deserve the awards because they do, but it just didn’t mean much. Anyway, there you have it. I have no idea why I’m rambling on about this so I’m just going to stop.

Last week I was super productive on the blog front. So productive I managed to schedule posts through the week of October 1. No, really, I did. I even amazed myself. That means there will be reviews! Now, if I can keep this up, all will be well.

That’s all I’m going to ramble about for now. Enjoy the day and happy reading.

The Sunday Salon – The Short Version

A friend is training for a triathlon and I sometimes swim with her on Saturdays. This weekend, I hauled myself out of bed on Saturday and Sunday and managed to swim about 1.5+ miles in two days. For a person who doesn’t exercise regularly, this turned out to be very tiring. I’m moving slowly if you’re curious at all but I feel pretty good. I may do this again someday in the future, if I manage to regain the ability to lift my arms above my head again that is. So, today is a short post day. Also, I have to write some reviews and since I’m in the mood, I’m going to do just that.

  • I finished The Map of Lost Memories by Kim Fay this week and really enjoyed it. I’m working on the review now and hope to have it posted next week.
  • I wrapped up my re-read of Marion Zimmer Bradley’s The Mists of Avalon. This re-read took me about seven weeks and I finished five books before finally coming to the last page of this one. It was a labor of love though and I’m very happy I took it on again.
  • It being Shark Week, I felt I needed to up my shark reading and picked up The Devil’s Teeth by Susan Casey from the library. It was good, so good. I really do enjoy reading about great white sharks, little dork that I am. And I was also very happy to be swimming in a pool instead of open water this weekend because I’m sure this book would have made me want to swim quickly for shore.
  • I started The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula Le Guin yesterday and plan to spend some time with it today too.

So, that wraps up this week’s reading for me. Read anything good? Buy anything good? Visit your local library?

Happy Sunday.

The Sunday Salon – New Books

On Friday night, the husband and I made a stop at our neighborhood bookstore and walked out carrying three new books. Yeah for me! Not so much yeah for the bookshelves already straining under a tremendous weight. Logistics of my bookshelves aside, here’s what I got.

The Likeness by Tana French — I read In The Woods recently and was wowed so of course this one needed to be bought.

A Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss — I read The Name of the Wind earlier this summer and had to buy this one when I saw it on the shelf. Rothfuss is my new fantasy writer crush.

I’ve been on a bit of a book acquiring trend lately and I need to start backing off or clearing the shelves. Since I don’t want to think of either of these things coming to pass, I simply won’t.

I’m hoping to finish up The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley in the next few days. I’ve been reading this book for weeks, six weeks is my best guess, and it’s been an enjoyable re-read but I’m ready for it to be done. I’m also reading The Map of Lost Memories by Kim Fay which is set in Cambodia. It’s a very interesting read so I may spend some time with this book today if I find a few moments of time to steal.

That’s all for me. I managed to schedule some posts so it won’t be so quiet around here this week and maybe now that summer is approaching its end, I may actually get back to blogging regularly.

Enjoy the day in your part of the world today.

Happy Sunday.