Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Sunday Salon... "Books with Buzz" and a peek at a new eReader!

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.

Summer finally came in Connecticut and by the end of the week the rain came back! But rainy days just give us an excuse to stay inside and crack open a book- without too much guilt...

This week I finished a "spicy" read by Allyson Roy called Babydoll. This wednesday, the husband & wife team of Alice and Roy, who make up the author "team" Allyson Roy, will visit Chick with Books and talk a little about their working relationship. I'll have a review of Babydoll, which they call Madcap Noir, where crime, comedy and romance meet- and such a fun read! Think of it as a Stephanie Plum novel with a bit more "heat"- you see Saylor Oz, our "detective", is a sex therapist who handles the occasional murder... this is the second novel starring Saylor Oz and I'm sure there will be more in this series. Then we can take the fun little quiz Alice & Roy wrote up especially for us here! Wednesday will be a fun guest post to promote the recent release of Babydoll and is part of their virtual book tour!

Gregory Maguire is well known for his adult books, Wicked, Confessions of an Ugly Step Sister and A Lion Among Men, where he re-imagines the stories of well known fictional characters. But he is also a children's author. And recently he published a YA book, Missing Sisters, which I picked up for my Kindle this week. The story of a young 12-year old girl living in an orphanage, not being adopted because of hearing and speech problems, but with a lot of spunk touched me... "Set in 1968, Alice, a 12-year-old beset by hearing and speech impediments, lives in an orphanage run by nuns in upstate New York. After Sister Vincent de Paul, Alice's closest friend and supporter, is severely injured in a fire, no one explains to Alice that the sister has been sent for a long stay in a nursing home. Alice, worrying that Sister Vincent has died, makes a pact with God: until she knows that Sister Vincent will recover, she won't even consider an offer of adoption that has been extended to her--her first. A girl Alice despises gets her place, but Alice has a drama of her own, inadvertently learning that she may have a twin sister. With a mixture of cunning and courage, Alice finds her." I haven't seen too much publicity for this book, but sounds like a wonderful read! Look for a review this coming week...

Last sunday, Marie of The Burton Review recommended Burnt Shadows by Kamila Shamsie. She called it one of her most engrossing reads! She also pointed out that Burnt Shadows is shortlisted for the 2009 Orange Prize... The Orange Prize for Fiction is awarded to the woman who, in the opinion of the judges, has written the best, eligible full-length novel in English and first published in the United Kingdom. Burnt Shadows starts on that fateful day in 1945, when the bomb dropped in Nagasaki and ends in a prison cell in the United Stateds in 2002. "Hiroko Tanaka is 21 and in love with the man she is to marry, Konrad Weiss. As she steps onto her veranda, wrapped in a kimono with three black cranes swooping across her back, her world is suddenly and irrevocably altered. In the numbing aftermath of the atomic bomb that obliterates everything she has known, all that remains are the bird-shaped burns on her back, an indelible reminder of the world that she has lost. From here she starts her search for new beginnings..." An epic tale that touches on a tragedy and the way our own histories can be transformed by one... I picked it up this week and opened it up to find Kamila Shamsies writing to be simply wonderful. Not only is the writing beautiful, but so it the cover! This is a book that should not disappoint! Thanks Marie for the recommendation!

And now a peek at a new eReader that just came out this week... Sony just released 2 new eReaders- The Sony Reader Touch, and the Sony Reader Pocket Edition. I had the opportunity to look at both this week and was impressed with the Pocket Edition that Sony released. It's just shy of being the size of a mass market paperback. It's easily held in one hand, although you need to click the wheel to turn the pages with the other hand, and it's slim. The text has a nice contrast- one of the problems Sony has been dealing with in it's development of their eReaders. There is no wireless connection with this eReader, but it's easy enough to download books from your computer. The Sony eReaders also work with ePub format, which Google just announced that it was going to use with it's book downloads and also quite a few text book publishers announced that it was going to use. Although I'm still a Kindle girl, this eReader is a temptation. And it might tempt other people as well because the Pocket Edition is about $100 less expensive than the Kindle 2.

Ok, that's what I've been reading and reading about this week, what about you?! What books have you read?! Don't be shy, share what you've been reading this week! Or let me know what you think of this week's "Books with Buzz"!

Happy Reading.... Suzanne

No comments:

Post a Comment