Friday, June 12, 2009

Sunday Salon: A Glimpse Of What I've Been Reading and Crime Fiction on the Brain

My Bookmarks magazine arrived in yesterday's mail, but I have yet to flip through the pages for even a cursory glimpse. It is sitting here next to me, taunting me, full of books I will no doubt want to consider for reading.

Right now I am reading Sweeping Up Glass by Carolyn Wall, which is set in the fictional county of Pope in Kentucky. I have not made much progress in the novel, but it is not for lack of interest. I am already drawn to the main character, Olivia Harker Cross, and her grandson Will'm. Olivia's mentally ill mother promises to be an interesting character as well. As Olivia puts it: "All in all, I have a crazy ma'am who owns a hundred dusty Bibles, a leggy boy with a too-soft hear, and no man to bed down with." [pg 7] Olivia's taken up where her now deceased father has left off, caring for the area grocery store. Sometimes people pay in food and animals, too poor to afford their bills. Olivia has had a difficult life. She is bitter, but there is a softness to her that she tries to cover up with wry humor and a tough attitude.

Shortly, I will be starting on a nonfiction book about the underbelly of the drug world as a journalist offers the reader a glimpse into a Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) investigation. It is not my usual sort of nonfiction read, but I wanted to read the book both out of professional and personal interest. Plus, I love a good crime story.

A couple of brief book related stories of my own to share:

My husband and I were having lunch the other day, and he made the mistake of asking me how the book I had just finished turned out. I gave him the rundown, spoiler after spoiler, knowing he'll never read the book. He paused before asking, "And you liked this book?" I actually did. I liked the book quite a bit. I guess in the telling, it does sound a bit ridiculous. In the reading though, it was quite believable and was a story well told. I guess it's good I didn't write the book.

And then . . .

While we were out shopping for a new sofa set this past week, my husband kept sticking his hands under and behind the cushions. I didn't think anything of it until we got to the final store where we found one we liked enough to add to our serious consideration list. He told me that his favorite feature on the couch was the way the back cushions were positioned and sewn onto the couch. He said it would be perfect for hiding a gun. Not too obvious when you go to pull it out--no digging under the seat cushions; slip your hand in and out the gun comes. My jaw dropped, and I just stared at him for a minute. I finally asked him, "And why would we need to hide a gun in the couch?" Heck, we don't even own a gun. He replied that he's been reading a lot of mysteries recently, and they've gone to his brain.

I won't mention the direction my own mind went when we saw three police cars, sirens blaring and lights flashing, pass through the intersection in front of us on the way home that same afternoon. By the time I first saw them coming to after they'd driven out of sight, I had an entire crime scenario laid out in my head.

I had hoped to have my review of Last Night in Montreal up and ready for you tomorrow, but it looks like there will be a slight delay. Not a long one though. I am behind in writing of the review and, while I could whip one out tonight and post it before midnight, I am not sure how good it would be. And a book like that deserves more of my attention and care than that. Not to mention I just don't feel like putting the pressure on myself to rush it.

It is back to work tomorrow. I hope I can remember my gazillion passwords (or where I put the paper on which I wrote them all down).

Happy Reading!

Week in Review:

Review: A World I Never Made by James LePore & A Word from the Author
Wordless Wednesday: Riding the Highway (Part 1)
A Week of Bookish Memes on Thursday
TGIF: Mail Call and Friday Fill-Ins


  1. How funny about your husband! Now that I think about it, sometimes what I am reading effects my thinking in real life. I guess the author has done their "job" when we can't get a book out of minds.

    Have fun going back to work! I am off for a month and am looking forward to it, but also kind of worried with what I am going to do to fill that time.

  2. I just LOVE Bookmarks magazine - and I have already browsed through mine. I did not take time to note every book that I want to read (and there are several), but I just couldn't let it sit there feeling ignored.

  3. Okay, your story makes me want to admit something. Sometimes for a fleeting second when I'm not even reading I'll think the book I've been reading is real. Do you know what I mean or does that sound totally crazy? I guess I'll begin to worry once I think it for more than a second. LOL!

  4. That checking the sofa cushions thing sounds like something my husband would do - although he would keep the gun locked up in the safe until he actually needed it :-).

    Some reviews need a little time to brew. I'll look forward to your review of Last Night in Montreal - glad you chose not to rush it!

    I'm going to let my Bookmarks subscription lapse, I think - book blogs get me into enough trouble with new books I want to read!

    Good luck with your return to work tomorrow, Wendy - hope it's a smooth re-entry!

  5. Ugh to going back to work! :)

    Funny about your husband, and funny about the book. Some stories are better in the reading.

  6. I love the couch story! Dystopian fiction has made me paranoid so I've taken a break from it. Bookmarks Magazine arrived the other day over here and I finally glanced at it today. I'm trying not to stare too hard at the pages.I know more books will be coming in if I do. =) Happy reading.

  7. I know what you mean when you say the books sounds ridiculous in the telling but was really very good. Kind of frustrating when I want someone to like a book as much as I did!

  8. Last week I read a lot of Mysteries and kept thinking of those. Guns, murders and serial killers.

    And once when I read Nietzsche, I was almost suicidal. I stopped and never looked back.

    TSS: Lets talk about books and related suff

  9. I haven't peeked into my Bookmarks yet, either, because I am so close to finishing Tess of the D'Urbervilles, and I'm saving it as a pick-me-up, because I know Tess doesn't end well.

    There was a scene in one of the Stephanie Plum mysteries I just read where she was almost killed because she couldn't find the gun hidden in her couch cushions fast enough. Just sayin'. :)

  10. Just a quick comments to tell you that Gwendolyn B. at Sea of Books has nominated me for my first award and I'm passing it on to you! Come to my blog to grab the graphic and to see who else I picked :)

  11. Men are funny! Most ladies would not shop for a couch that had the best gun-hiding cushions, but leave it to a guy. I love it! When I went on my Ann Rule true crime reading binge a couple of years ago, sleeping with my back to my husband even made me nervous! I just read a guest post from the author that wrote Last Night in Montreal (Serena's blog). It will be interesting to see how this sweet, mild-mannered author matches up against the book!

  12. Some books are definitely better in the reading than the telling. It all depends on the skill of the author.

    I find your husband's couch antics very, very funny, but I know I start thinking in certain ways if I read too much of a particular genre/author so I can't say anything really. =)

  13. Sweeping Up Glass sounds like my kind of book. Your husband has me wondering how many people I know have a gun hidden in their sofa!

  14. Books often go to my brain! I often read something in a mystery that sounds like a good idea if I found myself in that situation. Not that my real responses would take advantage of those good ideas... :) I'd probably just freeze and scream.

    Right now, I'm still pondering what I should keep in mind for a post-apocalyptic world after reading A World Made by Hand.

  15. That is funny! I would never in a million years have thought to check something like that on a couch. :-)


  16. Oh, if YOUR Bookmarks just arrived, mine should be here any day now too ... Yahoo!

    Glad to hear Sweeping Up Glass is a good read - I also have that one in my stacks.

    I laughed out loud at the story about the gun in the couch...*still giggling* I've been into reading mysteries lately and I agree - they can go to one's head!

    Have a great week, Wendy!

  17. That gun story is hilarious! It's good to know I'm notthe only one who starts seeing things in a new and paranoid light after reading too many murder mysteries in a row!

  18. My Bookmarks Magazine is sitting on the counter right now and I can hear it saying, "open me."

  19. A gun in the couch? Eeek! I would never have thought that's why he was so interested in the cushions. I can totally see what he means though about the books going to his head.

  20. I would love to see your husband gracefully moving the gun when the company turned out to harmless and in need of a seat.

  21. Very funny couch story...and I love my Bookmarks magazine, too!

  22. Ha,ha.. great story about the couch!

    Hope your week back at work has been going well. It's so hard to get back after vacation isn't it?

  23. I know how it's like too. When I read too much of sad stories (or too much of whatever), I tend to get affected as well.

    Have a great weekend (it's coming soon)!

  24. Ooooo ... favorite magazine ever! I got my copy last week too but haven't had time to sit down and look at it.

  25. Kristie - Somehow I managed to remember all my passwords for work. :-) I hope you are enjoying your month off. My next vacation is in September--another stay-cation. But I'm looking forward to it.

    Molly - It's a fun magazine. Full of temptation!

    Kristy - That's not crazy at all! Or maybe we are both crazy. Sometimes that happens to me too. :-)

    Florinda - I imagine if we actually had a gun it would be locked up in the safe too. Since it's fictional though, hubby's not so careful with it. ;-)

    I've considered letting my Bookmarks subscription lapse for the same reason, but I probably subscribe again next round. I'm a glutton for punishment.

    Amy - It was a long week, even if a short one. I survived though!

    Vasilly - Isn't it interesting how our reading can do that? Sometimes a break is the only way to go.

    I am taking my time reading Bookmarks. I've already discovered a few titles to add to my wish list.

    Myckyee - Isn't it though? I feel as if I am doing telling it all wrong in those instances.

    Gautami - Oh my! A book that made you almost suicidal! That would turn me off as well.

  26. Carrie (B&M) - Waiting to read your Bookmarks until after you finish your book sounds like a very good plan. Something to look forward to. :-)

    Haha! I imagine that happens a lot in some instances, losing the gun in the couch cushions. :-)

    Book Dragon - Thank you so much for the award! That is so nice of you.

    Sandy - It hadn't crossed my mind at all while shopping for a couch. LOL I've had instances like you did with the Ann Rule books you've read. I still can't park near a van, especially if the side doors would be on the side I'd have to park. And I get a little nervous if I discover one's parked next to me. All thanks to a book where the serial killer used a van.

    Meghan - Very true! My husband has been talking nonstop about how good his Hard Case Crime books are. :-)

    Kathy - Haha! Hopefully not many people you know do. I can just imagine us starting to root around the cushions of couches, just in case. :-)

    Sweeping Up Glass was so good!

    Jenclair - I know exactly what you mean. I find myself thinking I need to remember that little trick if I land in that pickle, but truth is I probably won't think of it when the time comes, I'll be in such a panic.

    Lezlie - It had not crossed my mind either. :-)

    Wendy - Hopefully your Bookmarks arrived soon after mine did.

    I can't wait to hear your thoughts on Sweeping Up the Glass, Wendy. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. My poor husband had to listen to be go on and on about it over dinner the other night.

    Isn't that so funny about the gun? It's still making me laugh just thinking about it. :-)

  27. Stacy - No, you are definitely not the only one. I do that too sometimes. :-)

    Staci - It's hard to resist, isn't it?

    Tara - Haha! I wouldn't have thought either! It's funny sometimes how books impact us.

    Carrie (Patience) - That would be hilarious!

    JoAnn - That's my husband for you. :-)

    Iliana - Thanks! My husband's glad we are all finding him so amusing. :-)

    Going back to work after being away is difficult. I always end up wishing I'd taken an extra day or two off.

    Alice - Yes, that happens to me too. My reading can color my moods sometimes.

    Terri - I'm glad I'm not the only one procrastinating. :-) Have you dived in yet?

  28. I just knew that couch cushion thing would end with a comment about hiding BOOKS in there!

  29. Lisa - That's actually not a bad idea . . . :-)


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