Sunday, July 06, 2008

Sunday Salon: In Between Books

There are holes in the shelf of books above my desk. I almost hate to fill the gaps, wiping away my progress. It isn't as if I do not have books to fill the spaces because I most definitely do. There are some stacked on top waiting for the cat to nudge them over just a little so they take a flying leap below. I could easily fit them into the holes. I will get to that, but for now I am enjoying the illusion that I am making progress in whittling away my TBR collection.

I spent a good portion of this past week trudging through the December snow in Wyoming, chasing down leads to find a killer. While yesterday I stopped in for a visit at a small seaside town in England where I consorted with ghosts. As of right now, I am in between books, and you know where that usually leaves me: wondering where to go next.

Craig Johnson has solidified his place on my favorite mystery author list. I have only read two of the four books in his Sheriff Longmire series so far, the fourth one I am itching to get my hands on sooner than later. I have the third sitting here on my desk. It is one of the books that I am considering reading next. As hot as it is this summer, another visit to cold wintry Wyoming is sounding awfully good right about now.

Michael Marshall Smith is a new-to-me author, The Servants being the first book I have read by him; although it appears he has written a number of books of varying kinds. He seems to be a bit of a renaissance author, which has my curiosity piqued. I no doubt will be looking for his earlier books to give them a try.

Where should I go now? While I definitely will be making another trip to Wyoming shortly, do I first want to stop off in Lebanon, or perhaps a visit to China is in order? Louisiana is sounding mighty fine right now as well. Ah! The joys of being able to go anywhere at just about any time, stepping into someone else's shoes, and seeing the world through their eyes for a short while . . . Is it any wonder I love to read?

On a different note, I have an assignment for you, my dear readers. Anjin's and my 10th wedding anniversary is coming up on the 12th of July, just a few short days away. While we are putting off the actual celebration until September when we both could get time off from work for a romantic getaway, that doesn't mean we cannot have a little celebration here at Musings of a Bookish Kitty right now. I thought a little contest was in order for the occasion.

Is there a book on your wish list that you have had your eye on for awhile now? One lucky winner will finally be able to add that book to his or her TBR collection. I also have a few ARE's to give away and thought I would throw those into the pot as well.

How to Enter For the Book of Your Choice:
  • Answer the following question: Name a favorite literary couple and tell me why they are a favorite. If you cannot choose just one, that is okay too. Name as many as you like--sometimes narrowing down a list can be extremely difficult and painful. Or maybe that's just me.
  • You may answer here in the comments or post your response on your own blog (please leave a link to your post if you choose this second option).
  • Book of your choice is limited to $25 or less in price. You do not have to name the book now--the winner can let me know upon learning he or she won.
  • Deadline to enter contests is July 11, 2008 at 11:59 p.m., PDT. Winners will be chosen randomly.
  • Must have a valid mailing address to enter.
For a second chance to win, if you are feeling extra lucky, you can also enter your name in a giveaway for any of the below listed ARE's.

ARE Giveaways: (keep in mind these are uncorrected proofs--they are not the exact copies you will find for sale in bookstores. The covers are plain in most cases and the books may contain typos.)

The Accidental Mother by Rowan Coleman
Dedication by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus
Waiting to Surface by Emily Listfield
Sex Wars by Marge Piercy
The Last Blue Mile by Kim Ponders
Leftovers by Laura Wiess

How to Enter the ARE Giveaway:
  • Answer the following question: Name a favorite literary couple and tell me why they are a favorite. If you cannot choose just one, that is okay too. Name as many as you like--sometimes narrowing down a list can be extremely difficult and painful. Or maybe that's just me.
  • If you would like to be entered in the giveaways for the listed ARE's, please state in the comment section which ones you are interested in.
  • If you are interested in all of them, please let me know so I know to enter you in each drawing.
  • You may request as many ARE's as you like, but winners will be limited to only one ARE book. Each drawing is held separately.
  • Deadline to enter contests is July 11, 2008 at 11:59 p.m., PDT. Winners will be chosen randomly.
  • Must have a valid mailing address to enter.

Happy reading and good luck!

[Edited to make contest rules more clear; none of the rules changed.]


  1. Aww.. The kitties are always so cute! and the little pawprints everywhere, too!

    Congrats on your 10th aniversary!

  2. Wendy, I'm so glad I found your blog through Sunday Salon. My kind of blog - cats, mysteries, and tons of books. I like Cuddle Time!

    My favorite literary couple - Bill Pronzini and Marcia Muller, of course. I picked mystery writers who enjoy each other's success, have written together, and enjoy that, and can joke about their lives together. Perfect - humor, writing, and mysteries!

  3. Happy Anniversary, early, Wendy!! Also, what a fun contest to celebrate!

  4. I forgot to wish you a happy anniversary! Enjoy! (And, I just added your link to my blog. I couldn't resist.)

  5. Happy Anniversary! What a great theme for a giveaway!
    My favorite literary couples are:

    Elizabeth Benet and Mr. Darcy (Pride and Prejudice)

    Beatrice and Benedick (Much Ado About Nothing)

    Anne Alliot and Captain Wentworth (Persuasion)

    I would love to have a book from my wishlist!

    Thanks for hosting this!

  6. Anne and Gilbert would be my pick. I just love them as a couple!

    Other favorite couples include:

    Laura & Almanzo
    Elizabeth & Darcy
    Anne & Captain Wentworth

  7. Claire and Jamie from Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series - because, cheesy as it sounds, their love goes beyond time.

    I'd love to win either Leftovers or Waiting to Surface.

    Thanks for the great giveaway - and congrats on your anniversary!

  8. Happy (early) Anniversary, Wendy! What a great way theme for a giveaway... and of course I'm sitting here thinking and thinking and can't come up with a favorite couple. How about Bella and Edward from Twilight. Ok, Bella got a bit on my nerves but Edward is dreamy :)

  9. Happy (early) anniversary, Wendy! And thanks for sharing what you were doing in Wyoming this week :-).

    I'll probably be back with a contest-related comment when I've had more time to think about it.

  10. Happy Anniversary, Wendy!! And many more years to come!!

    My favorite literary couples would have to be:

    Tom Sawyer and Rebecca Thatcher (I grew up close to Hannibal, MO and read all the Tom Sawyer books as a kid!)

    Also, I really like the Lord of the Rings series, so I would have to say Aragorn and Arwen. I love how she waits for him!

    Moving to relatively newer fiction - I love Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter series. Especially because it takes her the longest time to figure out that she likes him! (Oh, I know you haven't read these yet, but it's inevitable!)

  11. Alisha - Thank you! You should see the little kitty on my wall calendar--she's sitting in a little water tube in a pond. I've never heard of a cat who likes to swim, but this one seems to. :-)

    Lesa - Thank you so much! The Sunday Salon has definitely introduced me to blogs I didn't know were out there. I added you to my links too. :-)

    It sounds like Bill Pronzini and Marcia Muller do have a wonderful relationship! It's good that they can share so many of the common goals and interests. I bet they never run out of things to talk about. :-)

    I added you in for the drawing! Thanks for entering!

    April - Thank you! My dog wants to know why I didn't mention his anniversary, which falls two days before my anniversary . . . ;-)

    Jaimie - Thanks! I think I am going to keep a list of all the couples people mention and post them on Saturday (or Sunday). It'll be interesting to see which names come up most often.

    I put your name in for the drawing. Thanks for entering!

    Becky - Great choices! I see Jane Austen is making a good showing already. :-) Thanks for entering the drawing! I got you down.

    Carrie K. (Mommy Brain) - Thank you for the anniversary wishes! I know a lot of people who love Claire and Jamie. Maybe someday I will take the time to meet them.

    I added you into the main drawing and also for Leftovers and Waiting to Surface! Thank you for entering!

    Iliana - Thank you! I wanted to do something fun besides just holding a drawing. And now that I've come up with the idea, I'm not sure I can come with a favorite either. Some of the couples mentioned so far are great choices. I do hope to meet Bella and Edward soon.

    Thank you for entering the contest, Iliana. I added you in.

  12. Florinda - Thank you! I decided to get an early start on the celebrating. :-) I should be posting my review of Craig Johnson's book in another week or two.

    I look forward to seeing who you come up with as your favorite couple(s)!

    Ladybug - Thank you so much! Aragorn and Arwen have to be among my favorites too!

    I added you in to the drawing. Thanks for entering.

  13. Great question! I got inspired and wrote a whole post:

    I know I've forgotten somebody.

    Happy anniversary to you and Anjin.

  14. Happy 10 Years! I'm glad to hear that you will be able to take a little vacation together!

    My favorite literary couples are:
    Gilbert and Anne and
    Clare and Henry (The Time Traveler's Wife)

  15. Happy Anniversary, Wendy!
    I love the idea of your giveaway. :)

    My favourite literary couples are:
    Elizabeth & Mr Darcy (Pride and Prejudice)
    Whitney & Clayton Westmoreland(Whitney, My Love)

    I hope you've a great weekend!

  16. Happy upcoming 10th Anniversary!! :)

    My fave couple would be Noah and Allie from The Notebook. Can't really think of any others :P

  17. Elizabeth - Oh, wonderful! I love your list and am glad to see that others are can't help naming more than one couple too. :-)

    Thank you for the anniversary wishes and for entering the contest.

    Laura - Thank you! We haven't had a chance to get away in awhile, so I'm really excited that we are able to this year.

    I added your name to the drawing, Laura. Thanks for entering!

    Melody - Thanks! I thought it would be fun to do something special for the occasion. :-)

    I've added you into the drawing. Thanks so much for entering! I hope you have a great week.

    Bunny - Thank you! I was just thinking about The Notebook characters but couldn't remember their names. That really is true love, isn't it? I love that story.

    I added your name into the drawing. Thanks for entering.

  18. I actually did a post about this, but now I am thinking of others that I did not include... so, it will probably be added to later on. Anyways, the URL

    Happy Anniversary!

  19. Great contest idea!!!

    I know that some of my favorites will be mentioned other places, so I'll skip right to the lesser known ones.

    From The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan:
    - Lan & Nyneave, and Perrin & Faile (both make odd, but strangely pleasing couples)
    - I'd also have to say the author Robert Jordan (real name John Rigby) and his wife Harriet - she is an author in her own right, and was his editor for many, many years - what a wonderfully compatible marriage, don't you think?

    From a childrens book (also movie):
    - Mrs. Frisby and Justin the rat (I was in love with him as a kid!)

    I didn't write a post about this, but you can visit my blog if you like. :)

  20. Happy Anniversary, Wendy!!!

    I thought about this one for a while...I think one of the most intriguing couples in literature are Dr. Zhivago and Lara (and perhaps the most romantic as well).

    I'd love to be entered in the main drawing as well as in the ARE drawing for Leftovers.

    Thanks - this is a fun giveaway!

  21. First off: Welcome back.

    Secondly: Congrats! Being in love is great, even though it's hard work. Here's to another ten.

    I don't know if my couple is so much literary as they are sappy and fun. My favorite is Edward Cullen and Bella Swan from the Twilight series. I think it's because they are young and passionate and crazy and fabulous.

  22. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! I went on and on about my literary couple:

  23. Happy Anniversary!!
    Reading about snow sounds good right about now. Maybe I'll take a book with a snowy setting with me to AZ later this month. July and August are not my preferred months to visit AZ, but I guess I shouldn't ask my sister to re-schedule her wedding for November.

  24. Lol clearly I am not alone when I say Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy. I wish I had something fun and unique :) As for why, I just love reading about their adventure. Like Elizabeth, I hate Darcy in the beginning. And like her I gradually fall in love with him...!

    I'd love to be entered into the first giveaway :)

  25. What about Gone with the Wind? Scarlet and Rhett, both arrogant in their way, and he really truly loved her. And Ashley and Melanie, both gentle people.

    More modern- I love Eve Dallas and Roarke from the In Death series.

    I'd love to be in the drawings!

  26. Happy anniversary!!!

    Favorite literary couple without a doubt is Catherine and Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights. They have a smoldering passion that surpasses all. Which reminds me that it's time to re-read it again...

  27. Happy 10th Anniversary, Wendy! :D

    I will not be participating in the giveaway but I love the idea and your generosity.

  28. Alice - Thank you! Are you sure you don't want to enter? I know how much you enjoy reading Nora Roberts. Maybe you have a favorite couple from one of her books? :-)

    Karen - Thanks so much! Yes, Catherine and Heathcliff definitely fit the bill. I added your name into the drawing. Thank you for joining in!

    Lisa - Thank you for entering! I've got you added in for the book of your choice. Were there any particular ARE's you were interested in putting your name in for or did you want me to add you in for all of them?

    I haven't read Gone With the Wind, but I do know of Scarlet and Rhett. :-)

    Kathleen - Elizabeth and Darcy definitely would make my list of favorites too. I don't think my answers would vary much from those already given. It's not as easy a question to answer as I originally thought!

    I added your name into the first drawing. Thanks for entering!

    Terri - Thank you so much! I can just imagine how appealing something from a cooler environment might help with the Arizona heat! I hope you have a nice time at the wedding!

    Chris - What a wonderful post! My husband got a kick out of it too. :-) Jane Eyre is my favorite classic novel, you know. Great choice!

    I added you into the drawing! Thanks for participating.

    Nikki - Thank you! Marriage certainly is hard work, isn't it? Sometimes though I feel like it's a breeze. Probably because I married such a great guy. :-)

    I use "literary" in the most general sense here so Edward and Bella are more than acceptable! You could even list author couples since I didn't say they had to be fictional. :-)

    Thank you for entering!

    Wendy - Thanks! Now there's a couple I haven't seen mentioned yet. :-) I added your name into the main drawing and also for the Leftovers giveaway. Thank you for entering!

    Heather - Thank you! I thought it might be fun to see what others came up with. :-) You're added into the drawing.

    I love your choices! Although I haven't yet read the Wheel of Time series, my husband has read several of the books and her recommends them highly. And another author couple! I hadn't known that.

    Kailana - Thank you so much for playing along! I enjoyed reading your blog post. I'll check back later to see if you've added anyone new. :-) I added you in for the drawing.

  29. Happy anniversary!

    Favorite literary couples:
    Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy (Pride & Prejudice)
    Romeo and Juliet (Romeo & Juliet)
    Bella and Edward (Twilight series)

    Thanks for having such a fun drawing!

  30. Ack, as I read through the comments I realized that it's hard to pick - too many good ones!

    I think, though, that Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe are top of my list. I like couples where the woman is the strong tempered one. And where there is a little bit of the "suffering man."

  31. I'd like to enter for the Book of My Choice Drawing.

    My favorite literary couples:

    Elizabeth & Darcy (Pride and Prejudice)
    Jane & Rochester (Jane Eyre)
    Harry & Ginny (Harry Potter)

  32. Jessica - Thank you! No list is complete without Romeo and Juliet! I added your name into the drawing. Thanks you entering.

    Janssen - Strong tempered woman and a wee bit of tortured man make a good combination, I agree. I put your name in for the drawing. Thanks for entering!

    Ruth - I added you in for the drawing. Thanks for entering!

  33. Happy Anniversary,Wendy!! My favorite couple are Rhett and Scarlett. There was so much fire and passion beteen them. I'm not entering the give-a-way though, just adding my 2 cents. LOL!

  34. Teddy - Thank you for the anniversary wishes and offering your two cents. :-)

  35. Happy Anniversary!

    I don't need any more books, but when I first saw the words "favorite literary couple," I didn't think of fictional characters. I thought of Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. I find them fascinating because they were such a case of life immitating art -- fortune followed by downfall.

    Anyway, don't enter me, but I hope you guys have a terrific anniversary!

  36. Hi there, Happy Anniversary!

    Please count me in for the Book of Your choice drawing!

    My favourite literary couple would be Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester. Jane Eyre's one of my favourite books and probably the only romance book that I like. :) Therefore, I choose them as my favourite!


  37. Happy anniversary!! :)

    It's not very original but my favourite literary couple would be Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy as well. And like others have mentioned, Anne and Gilbert and Anne Elliott and Captain Wentworth would be up there too.

    When I first read your post I actually thought author couples. In that case I guess I'd say Paul Auster and Siri Hustvedt. It's interesting how bits of their lives end up in each other's books. I really need to read more by Auster.

  38. Happy Anniversary!!

    I can never pick just one "favourite" ... so a more recent favourite is Bella & Edward from Stephenie Meyer's Twilight Series. It's such a well-written YA novel.

    And I always love getting an inside scoop, so any ARC would be great!

  39. Hi! I'm entering the "book of your choice" contest and to do so I've posted my own blog on this subject! I needed pictures! :)

    Click here for that!

  40. There are certainly many great literary couples to choose from. It warms my heart to see Anne and Gilbert on people's lists, as they are a favorite of mine. As are Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice. To go a bit outside the norm, however, I need to reach back to one of my favorite couples from my elementary school/early adolescent days:

    "Slippery" Jim DiGriz and his wife, Angelina, from the Stainless Steel Rat series. Their antagonistic meeting is a big part of the plot in the first book in the series and their later marriage, child-rearing, etc. is a part of the ongoing series. To read about a couple who are essentially the biggest thieves in the galaxy, working reluctantly for the good guys, is a great pleasure. Jim is a true rogue...Han Solo not watered down for a younger generation...and Angelina is a strong, and strong-willed, female character who seems to retain a 1950's attitude about love and marital commitment while being a very modern woman in other ways. Love their relationship.

    I am also a big fan of Archibald Hunter and Marjory in the Bram Stoker novel, The Mystery of the Sea. It is a favorite of mine. Archie saves Marjory from drowing and then proceeds to court her through most of the rest of the adventures they are on. He is so head over heels for her and I absolutely love it. I saw one reviewer describe him as insipid but I just don't see that. I'm just an ol' softy and I like seeing a male character who is honest about his own feelings of pining after a woman, who in turn is a woman worth wooing.

    Well, there are a couple for me. Great idea, this was really fun!

    By the way, my email is cvincent68 (at) comcast (dot) com. Not sure if that is the email that shows up here or not...I rarely use or check my gmail account.

  41. For me it's all about the couples with a good emotional vocabulary (hence, no Elizabeth & Darcy):

    1) Jane Eyre and Edward Rochester -unoriginal but true. They have a good sense of humor and learn from their mistakes.
    2) Greensleeves and Sherry from this Eloise Jarvis McGraw book nobody has read but me. They do good talking about feelings. Yay for them.

    Being a social worker's kid makes you a geek about feelings.

  42. Wow! Happy Anniversary, a big milestone:)
    My favorite couples are
    Laura Ingalls and Almanzo Wilder since her books were so important to me growing up.
    A current favorite would be Noah and Ally from The Notebook and the reason would be RYAN GOSLING:)
    Please put me in the running for both of your contests and thanks so much for having one!

  43. Firstly, happy 10th Anniversay! What an achievement, and also what an inspiration! By the way, thank you for giving me the opportunity to think about my favorite literary couples.

    My absolute favourite literary couple is Anne Shirely and Gilbert Blyth; I love the way that their love story unfurls itself. If there were ever two souls who were destined to be together it would surely be them for they are indeed what L.M. Montgomery called, “kindred spirits.”

    In addition to many of those literary couples already named, I would like to add a few more literary couples to that list, especially those that haven’t been named yet, at least not that I’m aware of: Robbie Turner and Cecilia Tallis from Atonement, Gen Watanabe and Carmen from Bel Canto, Frederic Henry and Catherine Barkley from A Farewell to Arms and lastly, Katharine Clifton and Almasy from The English Patient.

    Their love stories do not end happily, actually they end rather tragically; however, they have each shown me a love that is everlasting, one that does not end in death. Their love stories remind me of the quote by Tennyson; it is Tennyson who said, “’Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” But if you consider that this is true, then what this quote says is what a blessing it is to love and in return, to be loved; I am glad that you have been so blessed in life as to find love.

  44. Great Topic & great lists. I would have to say my list would include Amelia Peabody & Radcliffe Emerson from the Amelia Peabody Series by Elizabeth Peters, Bella & Edward from the Twilight Series, Goldy & Tom from the Goldy Bear Catering Series by Diane Mott Davidson, and I have to add Clare & Henry from Time Traveler's Wife, and Harry & Ginny from Harry Potter. These are the couples I find I think about and want to get to know them more.

  45. I'm having a nice evening catching up on your posts! The first couple (not really) that came to mind was Laura and Mary from the Little House books. Romantically speaking, I am going to say Anne Eliot and Captain Wentworth.

  46. Thank you everyone for the birthday wishes and to those of you who have entered the contests! I've enjoyed reading your responses. :-)

    Nancy - Author literary couples count too! Scott and Zelda Fitgerald are an interesting couple. My husband is really drawn to F. Scott Fitzgerald's work and his life. He still hasn't read The Great Gatsby, but I'll get him to try it yet! He's liked everything else Fitzgerald wrote.

    Josette - I adore Jane Eyre. I actually couldn't stand Mr. Rochester when I read the book for the first time. He grew on me after awhile, but I still wasn't too fond of him. With my second reading of the book, I liked him much better. I added you in to the Book of Your Choice drawing.

    Nat - I think it says something that Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy are frequently mentioned. Their story has certainly stood the test of time, hasn't it?

    I didn't know Siri Hustvedt and Paul Aster were married! I love the idea that bits of their own lives end up in each others books. How neat is that?!

    I added you into the drawing for the Book of Your Choice.

    Monica - I really do need to sit down and read the Twilight series. I've heard such great things about it.

    I added you in for all the drawings. :-)

    Suey - How wonderful! I love pictures. I added your name in to the drawing.

    Carl - Ooo! Some new names! The Stainless Steel Rat series sounds well worth reading. I really need to read more by Bram Stoker. I have only yet read Dracula by him--which I really liked. I love your description of your choices. You've convinced me I need to read the books.

    I added you into the main drawing!

    Jenny - Being able to communicate and share feelings is significant in having a good relationship, that is for sure.

    I added you into the drawing!

    Tracy - I entered you in for the contests. :-)

    Noah and Ally's story really touched me. As I read the book, I knew that that was the kind of love I wanted to share with my husband.

    Katelyn - I really must read Montgomery's series. I can't believe I missed it growing up.

    Some of the most beautiful love stories end tragically. There is something very inspiring about such stories, isn't there?

    I do feel blessed to have found my husband. :-) Thank you so much for your kind words!

    I added your name in for the drawing, Katelyn.

    Carey - Mystery couples! Yay! I am glad you brought them up!

    I added you into the main drawing!

    Tara - It's so easy to get behind, isn't it? I need to play catch up too.

    Laura and Mary did have a great sister relationship, didn't they? All this talk of Jane Austen's characters makes me want to put in a DVD . . . :-)

    I've added you into the main drawing, Tara.

  47. Hi Wendy,
    I already commented before to be in the drawing for my choice of book. Could I have my name in for the following AREs too?
    The Accidental Mother,
    Dedication, and Leftovers? Thanks!

    Btw, I also read The Wedding by Nicholas Sparks and that was a sweet story too :) It's of Allie and Noah's daughter, Jane and their son-in-law, Wilson.

    bunnybox9 at gmail . com

  48. My favorite literary couple is Rhett and Scarlett. I love the verbal sparring and the sexual undercurrent.

    I want Michelle Richmond's new book No One You Know. Oh, I hope I can win so I can get this book! We're poor since we just got married. :-)

  49. Bunny - I added you in for the ARE drawings you requested!

    I had heard that Sparks had written a sequel to The Notebook but didn't know the title. Thanks for the heads up.

    Trish - Thank you so much! We started celebrating last night after my husband got off of work--went out to dinner and the animals got some cat/dog friendly milk. If anything, we will gain a few pounds this weekend. :-)

    I've added you in to the Book of Your Choice drawing! Thanks for entering.

    I just picked up a copy of Michelle Richmond's previous book, Year of Fog. I am looking forward to reading it.


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