Sunday, June 08, 2008

Sunday Salon: Latest stack from the library

The bulk of these, fortunately, comes from the university library which means I have more time to get them read before their due dates.

The Djinn in the Nightingale's Eye. A.S. Byatt. Eva's review prompted this check-out.

Was This Man a Genius? Julie Hecht. I think I might read this during Dewey's Readathon later this month. I'm a little obsessed with Julie Hecht at the moment.

Split Estate. Charlotte Bacon. Recommended by Katharine Weber.

Thirteen-Gun Salute. Patrick O'Brian. Time for another adventure with Stephen and Jack!

The Other. David Guterson. I read a terrible review of this last weekend, so bad, in fact, that I intended to cancel my library hold on it. Imagine my surprise when I saw that it was already on the shelf waiting for me. I'll read a chapter or two before deciding now if it's right for me.

The Plague of Doves. Louise Erdrich. It's been several years since I've read anything by Erdrich. . . I miss her.

The Comedies of Machiavelli. Niccolo Machiavelli. For Imani's ILL Challenge.

Shelter. Susan Palwick. Artificial intelligence and climate change. It's huge, but the customer reviews at Amazon make it sound as if it'll read fast.

The Mitfords: Letters Between Six Sisters. Charlotte Mosley. I probably ought to wait until the paperback version comes out in the fall and buy a copy instead of attempting a library book this big.

Collected Stories. Ellen Gilchrist. Already in progress. . .

The Sunday


  1. The Mitfords: Letters Between Six Sisters is already on my wish list! I've read several of Gilchrist's stories about Rhoda and enjoyed them.

  2. Mitfords and Split Estate are on my list, too! I read the same piece at NBCC--great readers read alike!

  3. Great list! Here's an addition: One Foot in the Black bt Kurt Kamm. Kind of man-against-nature, as the title character is a seasonal firefighter who battles wildfires in the California mountains. But it's also a literary read, too, as his firefighting training/exploits occur against a backdrop of him escaping his dysfunctional family, and having to find his own way, emotionally, in the world. Lots of great detail about firefighting and training, too.

    And this is completely off topic, but is your cat a russian blue? We had one and had many, many many issues with UTI. (Many hospitalizations, too.) Apparently it's fairly common with that breed.
    Just wondering...

  4. Wait for fall for the Mitford paperback! And take a look at Peter Sussman's collection of Decca letters. I'm wondering what it would be like to read the two collections simultaneously.

    Liz, I'll look for the Kamm; thanks. And yes, Claudius is a Russian blue. He had a complete urinary blockage a month before his third birthday (he's a couple months shy of 8 now) and almost died. I hate to think about how much the vet bills were. This time the vet called back after the lab looked at the samples and said it wasn't a uti after all, that she suspected crystals, painful urination, etc., and we were to watch for blood in his urine. Um, how? We never see him in the litter box. And we can't lock him in a room with a box because he's already too paranoid for his own good--no escape route would stress him way too much. . . Fortunately he seems to be feeling fine now. How long did your Russian live? Did he have a normal personality?

  5. Good thing you mentioned they're from the university, because I was going to say wow! how do you have time to read that many books (several rather thick) in a few weeks? My old public library had a lending period of four weeks; the new one is only two! So I only bring home one or two at a time. Great stack!

  6. We get three here. I've tried to wait until the university library gets the new fiction in, but I'm definitely bingeing on just-published fare this summer: I've eight books on hold at the public.

  7. I'll be interested to hear what you think about Ellen Gilchrist. I wrote about rereading her lately, and how I didn't think her stories had stood the test of time.

  8. I plan on buying the Mitford book when it comes out in paper, too. Until then I really need to read the Lovell bio. I'm tempted to read the Byatt, too. I have that one on my shelves. Maybe I'll read at least one of the stories one Sunday--I keep adding short story collections to my reading pile as I go. It would be nice to finish a few of them.

  9. I'm so glad you've taken to short stories, Danielle.

    Jeanne, I'm so behind on my reviews, but I definitely intend to write about Gilchrist's novel and how it was hard to relate to her characters. I'll be looking for your review. . .

  10. Great stack! (and yay for The Djinn) I've been coveting The Mitfords, and my libarary has it, but I'm in the middle of Flannery O'Connors letters right now, so I'm holding off.

  11. Anonymous1:56 PM

    I really enjoyed the Comedies of Machiavelli. Not at all what I expected after The Prince and Discourses on Livy....I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

    On a slightly unrelated note, I was wondering how you feel about electronic books. As an avid reader, the concept of not being able to hold a book in my hand is a little unsettling, but this ebook site caught my eye. It seems a useful technology...but I still hesitate. What do you think?

  12. For past month, I've been raving to anyone who will listen about how great THE PLAGUE OF DOVES is. If it's been a while, I think Erdrich's new book will the perfect one to get you back into the swing of things.

  13. Our Russian blue was also enormous -- like 22 pounds, which contributed to his health problems, the vets all said. I'm trying to think how long we had him. I'm thinking he made it to about 10. And crystals in the urine are definitely an issue, too. By the end, he had so many blockages of various kinds we just had to put him to sleep. It was horrible. But we had no guarantee that surgery would fix the problems and we also couldn't stand to see him undergo the surgery/procedures involved. So ... it was a painful decision, but we did it anyway. Again, very sad.
    Oh -- and personality wise, OK, but not as friendly as some of our other cats.

    Since that posting, I've finished the new Elizabeth George (OK, I've liked others better). And for anyone interested in the Kamm book (One Foot in the Black) on being a firefighter in the mountains, here you go.


"I don't believe in ghosts, but I see them all the time."

Sherman Alexie cancels book tour for memoir about his mother.