The Sunday Salon appears here.
I've read a great deal in the past week or so. Here are my opinions about some of them:
84.The Mysteries of Glass***** by Sue Gee (UK) 2004 (346 pages)
I loved it. A perfect Victorian novel about a young assisting minister who finds himself emotionally attached to a woman he cannot have or even show affection toward, and the crisis of faith that ensues. Very smooth writing with the natural elements so well described, it put me in mind of Hardy's Return of the Native. I must read more by this author. Highly recommended.
86.Shipwrecks***** by Akira Yoshimura (Japan) 1982 (180 pages)
Translated from the Japanese. A very good story about a small Japanese fishing village whose dangerous secret is that it takes advantage of its rocky coast to lure ships inshore to sink. They retrieve the cargo, usually foodstuffs, and it keeps them from starvation. But one day they take something from a wrecked ship that brings retribution and terror to the people of the village. Well written, an excellent story with a strong Gothic sense. Highly recommended.
87.This is How**** by M.J. Hyland (UK) 2009 (377 pages )
I read Hyland's previous novel Carry Me Down****, about a troubled boy, which was nominated for several literary prizes. I really enjoyed her psychological insights into human behaviour and wanted to read more by this author. This Is How is narrated by a man who inadvertently (so to speak) commits a crime and goes to prison. It's an odd story about a not entirely likable bloke, which I found interesting and well written, but am not certain that I actually enjoyed the experience. I suspect that the failure lies with me. I'm not very sympathetic toward young people (he's 22) who expect everything in life to go their way. Other opinions on this book will help you decide if it's for you.
88.The Diving-Bell and the Butterfly***** (France) 1997 (157 pages)
Translated from the French. A true story told by a paralyzed writer and editor who could move only one eyelid after a massive stroke. A remarkable memoir that is touching and as life-affirming as it gets. Highly recommended.
89.The Sign for Drowning****+ by Rachel Stolzman 2009 (194 pages)
Four and a half stars. About a single woman who adopts one of the deaf children she teaches. This woman saw her sister drown when she was a child and first learned sign language in order to (in a child's way of thinking) talk to her dead (silent) sister. The story steps back to show us the tragedy and the lives of her family in trying to recover from it. She wonders if she is right to adopt this child as she herself is a hearing person. Self doubt persists as she encourages the girl in her education and continues to face her own past. A very enjoyable read. Highly recommended. A fuller review will be posted soon.
90.Conceit***** by Mary Novik (Canada) 2008 (403 pages) The best historical fiction I've read for quite a while. Highly recommended. A brief review appears here in a new feature. A fuller review will be posted soon.
Today I'm reading Silver Birches by Adrian Plass (UK) 2009, previously published as Ghosts in 2002.
How are you spending your Sunday?
Comments, questions, opinions, reading recommendations, or links to reviews are always welcomed. I'd love to read them. No Spoilers though please.
"25 Books That Caused A Commotion" (1) 4 1/2 stars (5) 4 stars (6) 5 stars (8) American literature (21) Asian American authors (1) Australian literature (3) book awards (10) book giveaways (23) book news (4) booking through thursday (3) Books Read This Week (2) Books TBR in 2009 (1) Burma (1) Cambodia (2) Canada (11) Canadian lit (3) Canadian literature (11) Columbian literature (1) Cover Attraction (3) doctors (1) education (1) elephants (1) England (3) English literature (5) environment (1) epistolary fiction (4) Ex-Cottagers in Love (1) family (3) fiction (2) five stars (2) forewords (1) four and a half stars (1) four stars (1) French literature (3) Friday Finds (6) Giller Prize (2) Giller Prize longlist (1) Giller Prize Winner 2008 (1) guest reviews (10) Hachette (2) haiku (4) Haiku Friday (5) historical fiction (6) humour (1) immigrants (1) Index of Books Reviewed (1) interview (1) Iraq (1) Israel (2) Israeli literature (1) It's Monday What are you reading this week? (2) Italian literature (1) Italy (1) Jerusalem (1) Jewish Book Month (3) Jewish Literature (6) Jewish Literature Challenge (2) Judaism (1) Latin American literature (1) Latin American Reading Challenge (1) library books (1) Library Loot (28) Library Loot July 22 (1) literary fiction (38) literature (20) literature in translation (1) love stories (2) Mailbox Monday (19) male friendship (1) marriage (1) medicine (1) memoir (1) music (1) Musing Mondays (2) My Favourite Reads (1) my work (1) mystery (1) Native Canadians (1) New Crayons (6) New Crayons July 5 (1) New England (1) New York (1) Nigeria (1) Nigerian literature (1) Nobel author (3) Nobel authors (1) Nobel Laureate (1) non-fiction (1) Norway (1) Norwegian literature (1) Nova Scotia (1) Orange Prize (2) ornithology (1) Orthodox Judaism (1) psychological fiction (3) Pulitzer Project (1) rating system (1) Read 'Em Yet? Wednesday (1) Read in 2008 (1) reading challenges (62) reading challenges 2010 (1) reviews (46) Russia (1) Russian literature (1) Salon Sunday (1) Scandinavian mystery (1) short stories (2) Show Me 5 Saturday (2) Spanish literature (2) Sunday Salon (3) The Complete Booker Reading Challenge (1) The Martel-Harper Challenge (1) The Sunday Salon (12) Thursday Tea (4) Toronto (1) translation (2) triplets (1) TSS (2) TSS June in Review (1) TSS March in Review (1) TSS May in Review (1) TSS Week in Review (2) Turkish literature (2) Venice (1) Waiting on Wednesday (8) Waiting on Wednesday July 15 (1) war stories (2) Weekly Geeks (11) What Are You Reading On Mondays? (10) What's On Your Nightstand? (8) winners (14) women writers (2) Wondrous Words (1) Wordless Wednesday (3) writers (1) WW II (2) Wyoming (1)