The Sunday Salon: August 15, Playing Catchup

Oh blogs o' mine, you stand so neglected. I should know better than to promise to post a review of every book I read or to take a photo a day for a year and post to my photo blog.

So here on this ultra hot Sunday (100ish degrees), I'm sitting in front of a fan and looking at the long list of books I've read in the last several months. I post mini-reviews of most of them on LibraryThing, so I will begin my list here and re-post those comments, just so you know what I think about what I've read.

1. The Patience Stone by Atiq Rahimi. Must gather my thoughts after reading this short and powerful novel. Disturbing and poetic. 4/5. (Apparently my thoughts remained ungathered.)

2 .Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese. Wow. 5/5 Review coming (hopefully) soon. (And we keep hoping.) This was one of my favorite books so far this year, so well written and such a wonderful story.

3. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. Wow. Just wow. Amazing book. Will review soon. (4.5/5) (Do you see a pattern here?)

4. Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson. This is a re-read for me. I first read this book ~15 years ago and was struck by the lyricism. I didn't remember much about the story. On this re-read, I'm still struck by the lyricism - I feel as though I've read an extended poem. The story is almost incidental to the language. But the story, largely character driven, is wonderful, too. (4.5/5)

5. Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier. Excellent historical fiction about a little known fossil hunter, Mary Anning, in early 19th century England. (4/5)

6. The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance: A Memoir by Elna Baker. Quite a remarkable book - very funny with not a little twenty-something spiritual and romantic angst.(4/5)

7. Shadow Tag by Louise Erdrich. A wild departure from Erdrich's usual novels. Compelling, disturbing, readable; almost a psychological thriller. Will have to mull this one over awhile. (3.5/5) (Still mulling.)

8. Rush Home Road by Lori Lansens. Engaging story, but overly long for what it is. Also, a few too many convenient events and coincidences. Lansens wrote the fabulous novel The Girls after this debut novel. The Girls was stunning, so it was good to see she got better after this one! (3.5/5)

9. Ishmael by Daniel Quinn. I love this book. Probably my fourth read and it still gives me pause. I was especially moved by it in light of the gushing oil in the Gulf of Mexico. A little bit fantasy, a lot philosophy and a cultural message we should have taken in decades ago. (4.5/5)

10. Potiki by Patricia Grace. Excellent. Really stunning writing and good to read a story of exploitation through the eyes of the exploited Maoris.(4/5)

I'll stop there for now. There are another 15 or so, and I will try to get them posted by next week's Sunday Salon. I'm not sure why it's been so challenging for me to write reviews - I think I just want to get on to the next book! I have quite a list of good ones on the horizon, including All Passion Spent by Vita Sackville-West, The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy, Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri, and Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon.

Happy reading!


Jill said...

Thankfully, blogs are very forgiving and don't mind long absences! =)


Laura said...

Well, look what the cat dragged in! Nice to read your post, Terri !!!

Terri said...

Ha ha, you're both too funny!