Sunday, July 13, 2008

Sunday Salon: War, Pulp Fiction, Book Clubs

When I sat down this past week to begin reading Cathy Sultan's book, I filled two and a half pages of my reading notebook before I had even read the first sentence. The notebook is where I keep my running thoughts about a book as I read. I write down questions, feelings and thoughts as I go. Books like Tragedy in South Lebanon sometimes inspire me before I open the book.

My thoughts are coming out faster than I can write them, and it is slowing down my reading. I am in no way complaining. I love books that make me think and question. I am ignorant to much in the way of politics and the Middle East. I have been trying to remedy that, but it is a slow going process. This book is not so much about the government or the politics, but of the general public, the civilians impacted by the war of 2006. The history and political situation are significant to their story, however. It explains the why--at least as much as it ever does.

I am barely into Cathy Sultan's book, but I imagine I will have many more full notebook pages by the time I am finished with it. Whenever I read a book like this, I always find myself wondering why I do not read more nonfiction.

I have been completely remiss in doing any reading in regards to the Graphic Novels Challenge since I first signed up for it. This may be a great time to get started. In between the more serious reading about war, I can entertain myself with a little something else as well. Coward by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips is looking mighty appetizing at the moment. It is a part of the Criminal series, which my husband recommended I might like. He is rarely wrong when it comes to knowing what I will enjoy reading. But then, I am pretty easy to please. Sometimes.

Speaking of Criminal, Anjin came across mention of the Hard Case Crime book club which offers one pulp crime novel every month at relatively low cost, lower than what you'd spend in the store anyway. He received a copy of Steve Fisher's No House Limit in the mail last week and gobbled it right up. I've been eying it myself.

Frankly, I am still in shock that my husband joined a book club. I thought I was the only one in our family who did silly things like that. I have tried a few over the years but currently only belong to one, BOMC2 (formerly known as Zooba). Do you belong to any book clubs? Have you ever? Do you think they are worth it or a waste of money?

Week in Review:
Review of Nightwalker by Jocelynn Drake
See what magazines I have been reading: Weekly Geeks: Magazines
Review of The Servants by Michael Marshall Smith
General book talk: Tuesday Thingers and Booking Through Thursday
I asked; you answered. Your list of Favorite Literary Couples
Off Topic Chatter

If you have the time, please tell me what you have been reading lately. Happy Reading!


  1. Tragedy in South Lebanon sounds like a good one. Like you, I've been steadily trying to educate myself about the situation. Must check this one out!

  2. I'm reading The Bookman's Wake - the second of John Dunning's Bookman mysteries. They're fun, and when you combine a page-turning mystery with a character who loves books - what could be better?

    I'm also reading part 3 of Kristin Lavransdatter.

  3. I'm reading Look Homeward, Angel by Thomas Wolfe...

    I keep saying this Bookmarks Magazine in every one's lists of magazines this past week at Weekly Geeks. I guess I need to look for it.

  4. I like your idea of a "reading notebook". I write my notes on a little notebook (like a steno pad size), then tuck them inside the book after I've written my review. It might make more sense for me to keep them separate, in a simple spiral notebook ... thanks for giving me something to think about!

  5. Andi - It is very interesting so far. I'm finding that I know more than I thought I did, but still so much of it is new to me.

    Carrie K. - I really want to try Dunning's series. I've heard it's a must read for book lovers who enjoy mysteries. :-) I am glad you are enjoying it!

    Just A Reading Fool - I liked the excerpts you posted of Wolfe's book in your post!

    I enjoy Bookmarks. It makes for enjoyable light and quick reading.

    Fond of Books - You have a good idea though--keeping your notes in the books you read. That way, you always know where to find them.

  6. I can't wait to find out what you think of Criminal. :)

  7. I try to keep a notebook too but I've found it's much easier to keep it on the laptop. Mainly because when I go back I hard time reading my hurried handwriting (because I think faster than I write, I think I need one of those recorder-things reporters use lol). I love it when books inspire me before I even start writing although I haven't had too many like that.

    Manga can be considered graphic novels right? If so, you should try the Vampire Knight books (it's also a really wonderful TV series but I've only found ones that are in Japanese with English subtitles- they're still wonderful!).

    The only book clubs I'm in are online ones and they're free. Besides, I get WAY too many recommendations now to ever keep up with one.

    I haven't actually read anything this week :( I tried to start one book and realized it was the 11th in the series (the author's website was set up wrong) and after that I haven't started anything else yet. Hopefully Twilight will arrive at the library soon!

  8. I'm not terribly knowledgeable about politics in the Middle East either. I do love books that make me think though. I was thinking to pick up a mystery to go alongside my current NF read but a graphic novel is a great idea! Hmm..I'll have to see what jumps out at me from the shelves.

  9. Now I'm reading Friday's Child by Georgette Heyer. Hmm, it's taking me days to finish it! It's not really spectacular and secondly, I'm back to attending classes in uni, so my studies have been taking up my time too. Anyhow, I hope to finish it by Friday, if possible! :D

  10. Hi Wendy, I love the way you go about your books, jotting down thoughts and all that. I do that too but perhaps not as intense as you do.

    As you are probably aware, I'm chasing the Indiana Jones series. And a non-fiction I hope to finish by this weekend. :)

  11. Anjin - I'll let you know as soon as I finish it! :-)

    Jen - Since I don't drag my laptop everywhere and I often read away from home, it's easier for me to keep a small notebook for writing in when I read. I used to solely use my computer--I prefer it in many respects, but it isn't the most convenient. A recorder would be awesome! Then I could "take notes" in my car on my way to and from work!

    I'll have to look for the Vampire Knight books. Maybe my husband knows something about them. He's really into Manga.

    Nat - I am trying to stay better aware of what is going on in the world. I think it's important. I definitely need something light to read on the side of the more serious NF book. I think your idea of reading a mystery is a good one!

    Josette - I always struggled with pleasure reading while I was in school. I spent so much of my time reading journal articles and texts and writing papers that there wasn't time for much else. :-( I hope your book picks up for you.

    Alice - I'm not always so intense. It depends on the book. Sometimes I can't think of anything to write down. :-)

  12. I've been reading a number of things (including listening) -- Kathy Reichs, John Sandford among them, plus just finished a fun romantic suspense book, "3 Aces." The latter includes a trucker (vietnam vet), a female gambler and the dog who brings them together. There are also big corporate firms and Vegas-type cardsharks, so it's got fun, suspense and romance all together.

  13. Liz - Sounds like you've been reading some good ones! Sanford and Reichs are both on my TBR list. 3 Aces sounds like a fun book. Thanks for stopping by!


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