Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Sunday Salon with "Books with Buzz"

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....

My reading week started out with a bit of a panic-NO INTERNET! Actually sporadic internet. I decided to try out my local Borders HotSpot (WiFi internet connection) and see how it worked. Actually it was pretty easy, and for $6.00 I could get online for an hour, or for about $8.00 I could buy a 24 hour pass and access away! Of course I'm sure that the management may have found it a bit odd that I was dressed in my pajamas and demanding to get my money's worth at midnight while sitting in the coffee shop for the past 12 hours! I opted to test it out with a hourly pass. After arriving with my laptop, having it already turned on, the first site I tried to connect to lead me to a T-Mobile popup that gave simple instructions on how to sign up for an account and log in to access the internet. Other options were available for other internet providers, but not knowing how to access my AT & T WiFi I just opted for the T-Mobile. I was good to go! During the week we determined that it was probably a faulty modem and after my DH went to buy a new modem and spent the morning hooking it up, we are now back to normal! But, at least we know that Borders is a good option just in case. Then yesterday morning in my email, Barnes & Noble made an announcement that they had FREE WiFi available at most of their stores. My local B&N was listed, but since last being there, there were only a few chairs to be had for sitting down.... I guess a low bookshelf may work out to put my laptop on.... Anyone ever use a HotSpot? I would love to know where you found one!

So,this week there has been an interesting mix of books coming my way. First I started reading our book club read, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford and was immediately drawn in. A whirl of events puts Henry Lee facing the painful memories 40 years later of his youth and the internment camps that had separated him from his boyhood crush Keiko. Keiko was an american, but of Japanese heritage and was swept up in the ugly part of WWII, that suspected any person of Japanese heritage to be a possible saboteur. Life went on and Henry grew up, married and had a family, but never forgot Keiko. When the belongings of some of the Japanese families are found hidden in the basement of a long abandoned hotel that is going to be refurbished, memories flood Henry Lee's mind and we are taken back with him to a different era... Look for my review later in the next few weeks! From what I've read so far it is a winner!

Putting that book aside for a moment I started reading a book that Caitlin of Unbridled Books sent my way - In Hovering Flight by Joyce Hinnefeld. I want to call it a quietly beautiful book, because it is thought provoking and stirring. I started reading it and didn't stop reading it until I finished it. It begins with a daughter coming home to say goodbye to her mother dying of cancer. The mother, a famous bird artist and environmental activist, is surrounded by her best friends from college and her dear husband, Tom. In saying goodbye, we are whisked off to the beginning of Addie and Toms humble beginnings as student and college professor. We learn of a complicated life that draws everyone back to Addie in the end. And with the gentle remembrances Addie's daughter gains a better understanding of her mother and who she really was. With rich characters set in a beautiful surrounding of nature with purpose. Check out the full review this week!

Another fun book that came my way is Up For Renewal, What magazines taught me about love, sex, and starting over by Cathy Alter. Cathy is a writer whose life was out of control. She was in her 40's, with a failed marriage and a slew of poor decisions and inappropriate men behind her. She decided what she really wanted and the list looked like what every women's magazine on the rack promised- "Find the love you deserve", "Perfect meals", "Paint to the rescue"... That's when she decided that for the next year she would follow the advice she could find in these magazines without question. And this is the book about the how, why and what happened during that year! I'm looking forward to reading about how it all went! Do you think you can solve your problems with a magazine article? I also have a extra copy thanks to the publisher! That means giveaway! And since I'm going to be mailing it out myself to the lucky winner, that means I can send it as far away as I like! (Do I hear international giveaway?!)

One more book I'd like to mention with A lot of Buzz this week is When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead! A YA(young adult) novel, but being enjoyed by adults as well... 6th grader Miranda and her best friend Sal enjoy navigating the New York City neighborhoods they are familiar with. One day Sal gets into a fight and stops talking to Miranda, who is left to her own devices and begins to mysteriously get these notes delivered to her. The notes slowly begin to tell a story and a mystery, which Miranda must solve, she believes, in order to prevent a tragic death... It is now on my TBR pile!

One more thing of note this week for my Kindle friends! On Monday August 3rd between 11 am EST and Wed. Aug. 5th 10:59am EST you can download a FREE eBook copy of Let The Great World Spin by Colum McCann... "It's 1974, and a man is dancing on a tightrope between the towers of the World Trade Center—risky business, but as Colum McCann reveals in Let the Great World Spin (Random House), so is simply living day to day." And the book is suppose to really depict the New York City of old remarkable well- all happening down below while the man is on the tightrope. You must belong to the Oprah bookclub to participate, but it's very easy to join and it's FREE. Here's the link for the download and to join : Oprah Book Club . Now it does not specifically say Kindle only eBook, but Oprah is a big fan of the Kindle, so I am assuming that the eBook will be able to be downloaded on the Kindle... **UPDATE: The download for this book is a PDF.

*P.S. All These Books are Kindle Ready! Click on the their titles!

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