The Sunday Salon: Second Quarter wrapup and a new puppy!

The Sunday Happy July! Now there are two of my favorite events in July - Wimbledon and Orange July! I'm watching the men's final as I type, with my first cup of coffee at hand and our brand new puppy, Liza Jane, in my lap. Something tells me I won't get quite as much reading done with this little bundle of joy in our lives.

First off, here's my second quarter report. I read 25 books this quarter, some amazingly good and some forgettable. My favorites include:
  • Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
  • The Master by Colm Tóibín
  • East of Eden by John Steinbeck
  • The Spare Room by Helen Garner
  • The Hiding Place by Trezza Azzopardi
  • The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse by Louise Erdrich
  • The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar
  • Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
  • The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters
  • Three Junes by Julia Glass
  • Delicate Edible Birds by Lauren Groff (short stories)
  • The Wilderness by Samantha Harvey
  • The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff
  • Crow Lake by Mary Lawson
  • The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
  • All Over Creation by Ruth Ozeki
  • The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje
  • The Frozen Thames by Helen Humphreys
  • Tales from Outer Suburbia by Shaun Tan (graphic short stories)
Among these I'd have to claim the Erdrich as my favorite, though it's difficult to choose from this stellar list. A couple of surprises: Oryx and Crake was a book I'd tried to read two or three times in years past and hadn't gotten far. The timing was right this time, it was a great sci-fi story and Atwood's writing, as always, is incredible. I'm anxious to read her brand new book, due out soon. The Woman in White was a nice surprise. I hadn't heard of Wilkie Collins until recently - he's a contemporary of Charles Dickens and this was a great story with mystery, intrigue and plenty of humor and memorable characters. Sarah Waters, who apparently was a Collins fan, disappointed me a bit with her new novel, The Little Stranger. It just didn't have the pizazz that her other books have had, but I still enjoyed it.

And now, let me introduce you to Liza. She's 1/2 dachshund and 1/2 chihuahua, nine weeks old, full of piss and vinegar, sweet and cuddly and quite smart. We were relieved that the neighborhood fireworks didn't seem to faze her last night; she did keep us awake a lot her first night, though, not quite getting the message that her bed is separate from ours. I'll keep you posted on her progress as she settles in. Enjoy your July reads!

Liza Jane

See more photos of her on my photo blog.


JoAnn said...

You've got some great books listed there! I just discovered Louise Erdrich last month through her short stories, and am looking forward to trying one of her novels soon. Liza is absolutley adorable!

Lezlie said...

Liza is a doll! But you knew that already. :-)


Gavin said...

What a great list of books! I have to agree, Erdrich is on of my favorites. I read The Plague of Doves last summer and loved it.

Liza is very sweet but she must be tiny! Have a great week.

Diane said...

i LOVED The Space Between Us and Crow Lake.

Caspette said...

Wonder how long the separate bed arrangement will last? they always find away into your bed!

I have Bel Canto lined up for Orange July. It might be the only one I get to though :( I like Orange "months" as it forces me to read something just a little different.