Sunday, February 24, 2008

Sunday Salon: Out Sick

I hate being sick with the restless nights and what seems like endless misery and pain. The day is not proving to be much better. I was not able to settle in with my book like I would have liked this morning as a result. Instead I found comfort in updating my wish list. Both of them. I used to just keep one wish list. A regular Word document which later I moved to Excel. Then I decided it might be fun to keep an Amazon wish list for those family and friends who are always complaining they do not know what book to get me for those gift-giving holidays. It is also nice to glimpse quickly at what the books are about during my moments of forgetfulness. The downside to keeping such a list on a book buying site is that it's all the more easier to "add to cart" which itself is a simple click or two away from taking that final step to check out. Ho hum.

I currently am reading a book called Fangland by John Marks. It has been described as a modern retelling of Bram Stoker's Dracula, but with the author's own twists and turns added in. I can see why it earned such a description, both in story and style. I am not even a hundred pages in and the similarities between the two stories is very evident. At the same time, they are both very different. I am enjoying Fangland quite a bit. A friend who recently attempted the novel likened it to The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova, and I can see why she might do that.

When last I left off, Evangeline Harker, associate producer for an American news show, had just parted with her temporary traveling companion, a missionary (although, Clemmie much prefers to be called a change agent), who gives Evangeline a dire warning before fleeing the scene. Evangeline, of course, is not sure what to make of the warning or her new friend for that matter. Perhaps later this afternoon I will be feeling up to seeing just what is in store for the young protagonist.

I am drowning in books at the moment, ones I have on tap to read for a variety of reasons, mostly because of commitments I have made. They all sound rather appetizing. I guess it is a good thing that books do not have calories.

In the immediate to be read stack, there is The Sister by Poppy Adams about two sisters who come together again after a long estrangement; The Fisher Boy by Stephen Anable, a mystery set in Cape Cod involving a summer visitor, a local and a murder; and E.J. Rand's Say Goodbye, another murder mystery, this one with a twist of neighborly romance. I am still itching to read Matt Beynon Rees' A Grave in Gaza, which I keep asking myself why I haven't started yet.

I nearly have forgotten that I am participating in any reading challenges this year. As the Unread Authors Challenge draws to a close the end of this month, I am content with the effort I made.

Unread Authors Challenge List:
In A Lonely Place by Dorothy B. Hughes [read]
Broken for You by Stephanie Kallos [read]
The Haunted Bookshop by Christopher Morley [read]
Pursuit by Thomas Perry[read]
Friend of the Devil by Peter Robinson[read]
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

While I failed in terms of meeting the requirements of the challenge in the sense that I did not read all the books on my list, I did succeed in reading plenty of authors I had not read before but had been looking forward to trying. And definitely more than six. So, in that way, I at least succeeded on a personal level. Many thanks to Ariel from Sycorax Pine for hosting the Unread Authors Challenge.

I hope you all enjoy the week ahead and happy reading!


  1. I hope you feel better soon! I am reading The Sister next - it sounds so intriguing!

    =) Jill

  2. I'm sorry to hear you're sick :( Get well soon! There seems to be something going around, so many people are sick.

    Fangland sounds very intriguing! I look forward to your final review.

  3. I judge the severity of any illness by the ability to read during it, for if I'm too sick to read, I must be nearing death's door!

    I do hope you feel better soon!

  4. Sorry you are not feeling well. Boy, it has been tough year with the illness.

    I hope to read The Sister at the end of the week.

    Feel better soon!

  5. I hope you're feeling better now, Wendy. It's never fun to be sick.

    Fangland sounds intriguing, and I've yet to read The Historian though it keeps calling my name whenever I see it in my pile, hehe.

  6. Thank you everyone for the well wishes.

    Jill and Amy - I'm looking forward to reading what you think of The Sister. It does sound like a good one, and I'm glad to be reading it. :-)

    Nymeth - I think I'm finally ready to settle in and read a little more. I am enjoying Fangland and hope it continues to be as good as it's been so far.

    Becca - Usually illness doesn't distract me from reading, but when I'm in pain too, my focus and concentration is no good. :-( The worse kind of sick is when I can't read.

    Melody - I hope you won't put off The Historian much longer. It's really good! :-) Still, the size is kind of daunting, isn't it?

  7. Hope you're feeling better. This thing is hitting everyone this year. I hate it when I get the chance to stay home for a day but can't read because I'm too sick.

  8. Sorry you're feeling poorly. This has been a hard winter for everyone it seems. Hope you will get some good rest tonight and you'll be able to at least read a little tomorrow. Best wishes!

  9. BookGal - Thanks. Fortunately, I didn't have to be at work this weekend so it makes being laid up a little easier. Sort of, anyway. I was able to get in a little reading tonight, which helped make up for it a little.

    Kay - Thank you. I'm feeling a bit better tonight, so we'll see how it goes. It's back to work tomorrow. Great fun.

  10. I'm sorry your feeling sick. It sounds like the same thing I had a ways back. Take good care of yourself, drink lots of fluids and rest!

  11. Sorry you weren't feeling well this weekend, Wendy - hope you're on the road to recovery now!

    Since I haven't managed to make it all the way through The Historian for all these months, I'm not sure that comparing Fangland to it is what's I'd consider a strong recommendation, although it does sound interesting in its own right. As for your "immediate TBR" stack, The Sister sounds like it might intrigue me; I'll look forward to reading your comments about it.

  12. I hope you're feeling better! I started an Amazon wish list, but I never seem to keep it updated.

  13. I just finished chapter 12 of Stoker's Dracula today. I have added Fangland to my wishlist on Amazon as a reminder.

  14. Jaimie - Thanks for the well wishes!

    Florinda - Thank you. Although I am feeling better right now, I'm waiting to hear back from my doctor. My current health problems are more chronic these days and we're still trying to figure out exactly what's wrong. I see more tests in my future . . . Great fun.

    Have you read Dracula? If you at least liked that, you might like Fangland. It's not nearly as long as The Historian. I loved every bit of The Historian, I admit, but I know not everyone did.

    Alisia - I'm really bad about keeping mine updated too. Sometimes it seems like more work than just jotting down a title elsewhere. And thanks for the well wishes.

    Deshep - I hope you are enjoying Dracula as much as I did!

    Kookie - Thanks!

  15. Oh I hope you feel better very soon. It's never fun when you're too sick to read. Browsing wishlists and Amazon sounds like fun though. I probably should go and update my lists one of these days since I have them at 4 different Amazon sites!

  16. Ugh I hate not getting a good night's sleep and being sick just makes it all worse. Hope you are feeling better!
    And, glad you have lots of books to keep you good company. Some of those titles sound really intriguing.

  17. Tanabata - Thank you for the well wishes. It's always fun to browse through my wishlists and organize them. My interest is renewed in my choices and I sometimes come across titles I completely forgot about.

    Iliana - Sleepless nights do not a happy Wendy make. Ugh, is right!

  18. Now that the week is beginning to come to a close, I hope that you are feeling better!

    I noticed that the one book you didn't read for the challenge is The Book Thief. Read it!! It's longish (550 pages), but very quick--and well worth it.

    Fangland sounds fabulous. I'm not big on "vampire" stories, but I did really enjoy The Historian.

  19. Trish - I am feeling better, and I hope it continues that way. Thanks!

    I had hoped to get to The Book Thief, but I have too much else on my reading plate right now and that's gotten shuffled to a later time.

    I am reading very slowly this week, unfortunately, but I am enjoying Fangland still. I hope to get it finished this weekend.

  20. I really think you should shuffle The Book Thief right up to the top of your pile.
    Sorry to read you've not been well.

  21. Julie - I would if I didn't have other reading commitments hanging over my head right now. I really do want to read it. Now's just not a good time. :-(

  22. Somehow I missed this post, Wendy - my bloglines don't always catch each new post...and I was also sick on this particular February weekend! Hope you are all better now - the flue was terrible this year and I, for one, am tired of it!!

    You sound like me with your wish lists - I love browsing through the one I set up on Amazon...and did you know you can create a shopping list (but not actually buy...just list those you WANT to buy?!?!) there as well?

    Hope you are making it through your large stack of TBR - sounds like you and I are in the same boat!

  23. I hope you are feeling better too, Wendy.

    I think I did notice the shopping list feature for Amazon, but I wasn't sure what it was so I ignored it. I'll have to put that to use too!


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