Sunday, May 18, 2008

Sunday Salon: What I've Been Reading

I love the diversity books have to offer. All in one day I can go from reading a heart wrenching short story about a boy who only wants to please his father and ends up getting badly beaten for his efforts to a memoir of a man whose family made weekend trips to the movies while he was growing up and who would later reach for his dream to be an actor.

Down to a Sunless Sea by Mathias B. Freese, with its beautiful language and dark and thought provoking stories, couldn't be more different from Emmett James' memoir, Admit One: A Journey Into Film, a fun romp down memory lane. One book made me cry with sadness while the other had me laughing out loud. Two very different books and yet each one remarkable in its own way.

Shortly, I will be stepping back in time to World War II and onto the battlefield of the African desert. I will join the British in a fight against the Germans, hoping to turn the tide of the war. From haunting to charming and onto suspense, I would say my reading has been quite satisfying of late.

What have you been reading lately?


  1. I love to read different types of books. It helps me from getting burned out on one type of genre. But I am also a mood reader and go through phases sometimes.

  2. what is the book that takes place on a battlefield in the African desert. Happy Sunday!

  3. I'm about to start Admit One, so I'm glad to hear that you're enjoying it.

  4. I've been doing alot of genre switching in my reading lately. I went from paranormal to dark Victorian mystery and now am on to America in the 1970's. I'm enjoying it.

  5. "I love the diversity books have to offer."

    That is so very true! Steve read "Down to a Sunless Sea" by Mathias B. Freese and loved it.

    I finished BLUE-EYED DEVIL today. It was worth trying out, but I won't read another book by her again.

  6. I'm just about finished with The Children of Men by P.D. James. Loving it, but I did have to start it twice.

    I'm also 100 pages into Losing Battles by Eudora Welty and would have to say that she is much better at short stories than she is at novels.

  7. Hi Wendy, I just love the way books transport us to places and time we could only imagine.

    I'm about to start on a book by Michael Cunningham titled A Home at the End of the World.

  8. I have been wanting to read Admit One and your comments on it just make me want to read it more. Thanks for your comments on it.

  9. Samantha - I am like that too. I do go through phases sometimes where I can read quite a few books from a similar genre, but I do like to mix things up a bit to avoid burn out.

    Alisia - The WWII book is called Killing Rommel by Steven Pressfield. So far I am really enjoying it.

    Andi - I hope you enjoy it Admit One. I will be posting my review of that one on Wednesday. I'm anxious to read your thoughts on it!

    Jaimie - You are all over the place! It is good to mix things up now and then. :-)

    J. Kaye - I saw Steve's review, and was so glad to see he liked Down to a Sunless Sea. I will be posting my review of the book tomorrow along with a link to Steve's review.

    At least you gave the author of Blue-Eyed Devil a try.

    C.B. - I have read a couple of P.D. James' mysteries and really enjoyed them. I am glad to hear that Children of Men is good as well. I am not familiar with Eudora Welty, but I will definitely look her up. I seem to be reading a lot of short stories lately.

    Alice - Isn't it wonderful? When you read, there are no boundaries.

    I look forward to reading your review of Michael Cunningham's book.

    Megan - I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did. I will be posting my review of Admit One later this week.

  10. I had a pretty varied week, genre-wise. Modern day Baltimore to post WWII Japan to England during a possible future world war. I usually like to mix it up for variety. I hope you have a good week.

  11. Tanabata - That is quite a distance between settings and time periods. I hope you have a good week too!

  12. I've started to read Down to a Sunless Sea too and have Admit One waiting in line.

    I've just finished reading Our Longest Days, diary entries from the Second World War. I love the mixture of themes and time periods but I also like to carry on the same theme for a while, so I'm also reading London War Notes by Mollie Panter-Downes and yesterday I bought Good Evening Mrs Craven: wartime stories of Mollie Panter-Downes.

  13. I so agree! I've gone from wars in western Africa (Allah Is Not Obliged) to Tudor England (The Last Wife of Henry VIII) to Revolutionary America (John Adams) in one weekend. :-)


  14. Margaret - I hope you will enjoy them! I read your thoughts on Our Longest Day and it sounds like an interesting book that I might enjoy as well. Now and then I get on a role and will read similarly themed books or I will go on a genre binge until I'm reading to move on. It's not so much about always mixing it up as it is about enjoying reading such a variety and appreciating the diversity that my book choices offer me.

    Lezlie - You've been on quite the historical adventure! Sounds like fun!

  15. I've been reading so much lately! I'm so proud of myself. I feel a big book review post coming up soon.

  16. Sounds like you have some good reading there! I'm currently working my way through The Enchantress of Florence by Salman Rushdie. I. am. amazed.

  17. Admit One should reach me soon. I look forward to read it! I finally finished reading My Name is Red. It took me a while.

    I agree. Books offer such wide and varied topics!

  18. I'm sending you a book that will take you inside the mind of a seriously delusional woman, and will be interested in your take on that one!
    Meanwhile, I'm trying to finish The Alchemist before my book club meets to talk about it.

    Have a great week, Wendy!

  19. The diversity books offer really is a great thing. I've been alternating between an old haunted Slavic forest in the company of C.J. Cherryh, and New Zealand, Zaire, Madagascar and now China in the company of Douglas Adams.

  20. Nikki - I am glad you've been able to read a lot lately! I am looking forward to reading your big book review post. :-)

    Terri - That's a great title: The Enchantress of Florence. I haven't yet read anything by Rushdie, but I want to one of these days. I look forward to reading your thoughts on it when you are done.

    Gautami - I bet you feel a sense of relief at having finished My Name Is Red at last. Hopefully you found it to be worthwhile.

    I hope you enjoy Admit One when you receive it!

    Florinda - Thank you so much! You are way too kind to me. I'll be interested to see what you think of The Alchemist. I hope you have a great week too!

    Nymeth - Ooo! I love the sound of your recent travels!

  21. Part of what I find so fantastic about reading is the diversity--being able to travel to different places and different cultures, different time periods, but also different styles of books. The WWII book you are going to read sounds really intriuging--I'm trying to remember if I've read any set in Africa. I'm still plugging away on All the King's Men--hope to have it finished soon.

  22. I was just about to ask you for the WWII book's title but I see it. Can't wait to read your review. I'm kind of a nut for anything set during WWII.

  23. Trish - Oh, yes! Reading can be a very rewarding experience--like taking a mini vacation while not incurring the costs and limitations of real travel. I hope you've been able to finish All the King's Men. I look forward to reading your thoughts on it!

    Nancy - I am too. There's something that draws me to that time period.

  24. Damn, you got a lot of comment action from such a short question! :-D

    So far this week I have re-read Diana Wynne Jone's Deep Secret, which is about... centaurs and magic and politics and universal secrets and a sci-fi convention... and a collection of three novellas from MaryJanice Davidson who really pioneered paranormal chick lit... and come to think of it, those aren't nearly as different from one another as I had thought at first. Weird!

  25. Trish - Oh good! I haven't been able to get online much at all in the last few days, so I'm way behind in visiting blogs. Hopefully I can fix that soon.

    Danica - I'm behind on my MaryJanice Davidson reading. She's hit and miss with me, and I have to be in a certain mood to fully appreciate her books. Diana Wynne Jone's book sounds interesting. I'll have to look it up.


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