Sunday, June 15, 2008

Sunday Salon: Power, Love & Inspiration

This past week turned out to be a good one for self-reflection, falling in love, and standing up for one's self. This describes all of the books I read when it comes right down to it.

Cecilia Samartin's Tarnished Beauty took me into the life of a Mexican woman hoping to rid herself of an ugly birthmark, wanting nothing more than to fit in and lead a normal life. She befriends an elderly man who is struggling to regain his strength, only wanting someone to listen to him.

Dave Pelzer once again pulls from his own life experiences in hopes of inspiring and motivating readers to Move Forward and start really living life to its fullest. Hopefully now I will not be so hard on myself when I am having a bad day; exchange "I'm such an idiot" for "It can only get better from here." Okay, so there's a lot more to it then that, but too much negativity can hold a person back.

Michelle Moran's Nefertiti is an example of what having too much power (and confidence) can lead to. Nefertiti and her sister, Mutnodjmet, could not be more different; both are strong women in their own right, one extremely ambitious and cunning and the other more practical and honest.

I am nearly finished reading Nefertiti, with about 164 pages left to go. It was a good choice for taking along with me for jury duty. I was not sure how long I would be sitting in the jury room waiting my turn to be called. What better way to spend the time than lost in a book?

I am kicking myself because I missed an opportunity to meet the author of Tarnished Beauty. She was a few short miles away at the beginning of the month, and I did not even know it. Hrmphf. I need to pay closer attention to these things. I do hope that when Michelle Moran's new book, The Heretic Queen, comes out in September, she will have a local signing (in the evening or on the weekend so I can attend--hint, hint). As long as the book doesn't come out earlier than scheduled, I should be home from Hawaii by then.

I will be posting my reviews of Tarnished Beauty, Moving Forward, and Nefertiti later this week so stay tuned!

Reviews posted this past week:
Beneath a Buried House by Bob Avey
The Raw Shark Texts by Steven Hall

Have a great week and happy reading!


  1. All three books sound good especially Tarnished Beauty. I'm looking forward to your reviews.

  2. Cecilia Samartin's Tarnished Beauty sounds like one of those "wow" books!

  3. Another productive week for you! =) Jury duty - at least you took advantage of it as reading time!

    =) Jill

  4. They all sound lovely and great ways to get into other worlds. Thanks.

  5. Nefertiti sounds like a good book. One to look out for.

    SS 2: Book Shopping

  6. I have been hearing such good things about Nefertiti and am looking forward to reading it. I saw the Raw Sharks Text at B&N the other day and thought of you. I may have to go back and get it!

  7. That drives me bananas, when I just miss an author I like. The other day when I bought David Sedaris's new book he was doing a reading IN MY TOWN and I was at another bookstore! D'OH! :-)

  8. Tarnished Beauty and N.efertiti sound good.

    How annoying that you missed the author

  9. 'Nefertiti' is on my library pile which means it will get read fairly soon. I'm glad you've found it such a page turner. It makes me the more anxious to read it.

  10. I better way to spend time then to read a good book. I've never been called up for jury duty (yet) but if I ever do I plan on having lots of reading material handy. =) I also know how you feel about missing an author. same thing happened to me recently with Greg Mortenson. He was literally 5 min from me but I didn't find out until 3 days after his appearance. Ugh!

  11. All those books sound wonderful! I'm sorry you missed the author. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Have a great week!

  12. You sound like me; every place I go I always take a book with me. This week I had a mammogram and had to wait quite a while but didn't even mind because I had my book to read.

  13. All those books sound good to me, Wendy! I'm looking forward to reading your reviews soon. :)

    Hope you've a great weekend!

  14. I've been looking at Nefertiti for awhile now. I think I may "pick it up for my sister" and give it a quick read before I send it her way (she loves books that deal with Ancient Egypt).

  15. Kristy - I did enjoy Tarnished Beauty. It had many layers and I liked the author's writing style.

    J. Kaye - LOL It had that potential, but it didn't quite wow me. I did enjoy it though and think that many others will too.

    Jill - It worked out well. :-) I spent a good part of one day reading and then had to go back the next day for the final selection questioning. I got to read a little more then too. There wasn't any place to sit and no walls to lean on the second day and so I stood in the middle of the floor and read for about 45 minutes before they called us into the courtroom. Not the ideal reading place, but it worked!

    Andi - That's one of the joys of reading, isn't it?

    Gautami - It is! I do recommend it.

    Jaimie - I think you would like Nefertiti. I saw The Raw Shark Texts in the store the other day too and considered getting my own copy, but then decided against it. I may want to reread it one day, but considering how rarely I do reread books, it wouldn't be practical.

    Marie - Oh no! To have come so close. If only you'd gone to the other bookstore . . . Those kinds of things just shouldn't happen to us.

    Alix - Yes, it was annoying. I let myself get excited about it too only to realize a minute later that the date had already passed.

    Ann - I look forward to reading your thoughts on Nefertiti.

    Irish - I was a bit annoyed when my name was called to go to a courtroom for possible jury selection because that meant I had to stop reading. I never mind spending a day in the jury room as it means I can spend a few hours reading rather than being at the office.

    You missed an author too! Oh no! It's very frustrating.

    Lisa - I am sorry I missed seeing her too. I hope you have a great week too.

    Linda - I rarely go anywhere without a book. Doctor's visits can be the worst when it comes to waiting, but like you, I usually don't mind because it means I have more time to spend reading.

    Melody - I hope you have a good weekend too!

  16. Tapestry - Haha It's important to know that you are giving your sister a book she'll like. A little taste test wouldn't hurt.

  17. I'll have to take a look at your review of Nefertiti - I'm thinking I might add it to my summer list. I've looked at it a couple of times in the bookstore - that cover is so eye-catching.

  18. I could have sworn I posted a comment earlier today.

    Good thing to be prepared for Jury Duty! I'm bringing my knitting, but if they take it away, I'll read.

    I picked up Raw Shark Tests from the library Friday. Which, hmmm. Why did I start the Hollow Crown this morning?

  19. Carrie K - That's right . . . They don't usually let people bring in knitting needles anymore. That's too bad. I know that some people have been able to sneak them in using various methods.

    I hope you enjoy The Raw Shark Texts. It's definitely different.

  20. Joy - Yes, the eye cover is an attention grabber. I will probably be posting my review on Wednesday. It's not a heavy book, but it's not light reading either.

  21. Tarnished Beauty sits high on my long, long wish list. I have totally enjoyed your review on that one. Now waiting to enjoy the book. Thanks!

  22. Alice - I hope you will enjoy it when you get to it!


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