Sunday, August 9, 2009

Sunday Salon... Books with Buzz, a Reading Challenge, and a Book Download Freebie!

What is the Sunday Salon? Imagine some university library's vast reading room. It's filled with people--students and faculty and strangers who've wandered in. They're seated at great oaken desks, books piled all around them, and they're all feverishly reading and jotting notes in their leather-bound journals as they go. Later they'll mill around the open dictionaries and compare their thoughts on the afternoon's literary intake....

So the past week has been a great one for reading... I finished Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford! What a wonderful story! A childhood romance, a story that demonstrates the horrors of a time in history with internment camps, and the story of family. I'll be posting my review this week... This week has also been a great one for finding some new books to put in the TBR pile...

This week I received a copy of Mr. Darcy, Vampyre by Amanda Grange. Vampires are all the rage these days and Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice now has it's own! The book starts where Pride & Prejudice leaves off- the morning of the wedding of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy. Written in the same manner as the era it represents, it has gotten great buzz from Austen fans as the prepublication has hit the road! Mr. Darcy's aloofness is finally explained as he tries to keep his secret - he's a vampyre! The cover is perfect too! And I can't wait to read this! If you are a Austen fan and love a good vampire, Mr. Darcy, Vampyre will be on the shelves this tuesday Aug.11th! You can read more about the book at the blog Mr. Darcy Vampyre!

Another book with a lot of great buzz is The Sister by Poppy Adams! The story of two sisters who reunite after being estranged for 50 years! "Virginia is the sensible older sister who stayed, carrying on the family tradition of lepidopterology (the study of butterflies), while the reckless and free-spirited Vivien left to lead a cosmopolitan life in London. The story, told from Virginia’s eerily limited perspective, involves their parents’ descent into sadistic and capricious behavior, an accident in Vivien’s youth that left her unable to have children, and a plan that she had for her husband to impregnate Virginia instead. Adams creates an engrossing atmosphere of gothic mystery"... I picked this book up this week and can't wait to crack it open! I had heard some "If you Like The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield you'll like The Sister." And if you haven't read The Thirteenth Tale, it is a good story, with a gothic air of mystery in a run-down house, with dark secrets & lies, and sisters...

Also this week I picked up a couple of books by japanese authors. One of which was The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami, who is a critically acclaimed author of japanese literature. His work tends to mix the mundane things of everyday life with the bizarre. His writing is described as being poetic and his stories never boring. And so, I picked up The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle... "Bad things come in threes for Toru Okada. He loses his job, his cat disappears, and then his wife fails to return from work. His search for his wife (and his cat) introduces him to a bizarre collection of characters, including two psychic sisters, a possibly unbalanced teenager, an old soldier who witnessed the massacres on the Chinese mainland at the beginning of the Second World War, and a very shady politician."

Picking up the book by Murakami was perfect timing because as I was reading Bird Book Dog a blog by my friend Harvee Lau, I saw she joined a reading challenge! The Japanese Literature Challenge! There are many "reading challenges" on the blogs. It's a fun way to try reading something new, nudge you into reading something on your TBR pile, and a great way to meet other people who love to read! The Japanese Literature Challenge is organized by Bellezza at her blog Dolce Bellezza . Anyone can sign up for the challenge, which is to read one book of your chosing of a Japanese author. She has reading suggestions too! I'll be posting about the challenge this week on the blog. In the meantime, you can check out Docle Bellezza and Bird Book Dog by clicking on their names, I've linked it to their blogs.

And a quick note here for my Kindle readers! And anyone who loves a free book! Simon & Schuster is offering a free download of Uglies by Scott Westerfeld until Sept.5th. It's a YA book that I've been wanting to read for a while. Uglies is the first in the trilogy. It's about this future world where at the age of 16 you must get an operation to become "beautiful". The Uglies are the pre-sixteen girls who are tend to play tricks and get into mischief as they wait their turn. But of course not everyone wants to go thru with this procedure and there is a rumored rebel settlement and there is a reason behind the required transformations too... Lots of great buzz and thanks to Simon & Schuster for the free download. And Thanks to Debbie of Debbie's World of Books for sharing the information about the download on her blog! The free download is in celebration of Scott's new book Leviathon, which is the start of a new series for him. You can check out his blog HERE! And click on "free download" above to get your PDF of Uglies. I already put this on my Kindle DX without a problem this time!

Happy Reading... Suzanne

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