Tag Archives: audiobooks

The Sunday Salon: Three from ’93

The Sunday Salon.comWith a busy work week spent reading (and editing) all day, every day, I didn’t read much besides blogs in the evenings. But during this three-day weekend, I finished So Far from God by Ana Castillo and began The Robber Bride by Margaret Atwood. Both were originally published in 1993, I noticed today.

I loved the first half of So Far From God, but I found the latter part of the book disjointed and even didactic. Being a fan of magical realism, I loved Caridad’s story. Loca was a stretch for me, however. Sofi came to life as an interesting character for awhile, but ultimately fell flat.

I’m about halfway through the audio version of Three Cups of Tea, and I hope it remains as absorbing and entertaining as it’s been so far. When I first began listening to audiobooks, I planned on nonfiction only – travel, food, and the like. But I’ve since enjoyed many works of fiction while driving, so I suppose I’ll continue to mix it up. Greg Mortenson’s quest to build schools in Pakistan began when he stumbled into a small village in – yep, 1993 – although his story wasn’t published until 2006.

The Robber Bride is the third of Atwood’s books I’ve read. I found it during lunch one day at a used bookstore, shortly after reading Caribou’s Mom review (link to Wendy’s site on the right). I’m wondering if Zenia will turn out to be anything like Zozie in JoAnne Harris’s The Girl with No Shadow – one of my favorite literary villains!

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Sunday Salon

The Sunday Salon.comWhat a week! The toilet didn’t fall through the floor, and I am happy about that.

I finished the contemporary fantasy I began last week, Solstice Wood, and I enjoyed it much. I need to pay more attention to this genre. It was a good story, and Patricia A. McKillip writes so well. I understand why she’s won awards.

 Now I’m reading The Writing Life by Ellen Gilchrist.  Her essays are wonderful and are just the dose of non-fiction I needed. I found it at the used bookstore I frequent.

I’m well into Ines of My Soul, the audio book I’m listening to. A good historical fiction novel, and the reader  is excellent.

In the used bookstore, I picked up a hard copy of  Thirteen Senses by Victor Villasenor. Reviewers suggest reading Rain of Gold first, but I won’t. If I like Thirteen Senses, I’ll go backward and read the others. I also found a hard copy of City of the Beasts, a YA book that I considered for my friend Susan’s daughter. But the reviews are so mixed on this one, so I’m not sure.

Happy reading to all!

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Sunday Salon (Dec. 7)

The Sunday Salon.com

This week I finished Something Rising (Light and Swift) by Haven Kimmel. Although I’ll read other works by the author, I can’t recommend this one. It doesn’t touch A Girl Named Zippy (which I listened to). Something Rising never took off in the second half, as reviews promised. The plot finally thickened and the pace picked up in the last 50 or so pages, which I thoroughly enjoyed, but it took too long to get there.

Now I’m about three-quarters of the way through Solstice Wood by Patricia A. McKillip. This seems an appropriate time of year to read it, although the title refers to the summer solstice, not winter. I rarely read fantasy, but I do enjoy the genre when the story is set in contemporary times, as this book is, and the fantasy isn’t overwhelming. In the late summer and early fall, I read three such books: The Limits of Enchantment by Graham Joyce, an intriguing novel with a touch of fantasy, and two books by Lisa Tuttle, The Silver Bough and The Mysteries, my favorite of the two. The latter was more a detective story with elements of fantasy woven into the tale. Solstice Wood is pretty good, too. Until this recent surge of interest, I probably hadn’t read fantasy in a decade – unless The Time Traveler’s Wife qualifies. It’s a pleasant change of pace.

My current audio book is Isabel Allende’s Ines of My Soul. I listen to audio books only in my car, and with my short commute to work and the limited driving I do around town, it takes me awhile to hear a book – except when I go out of town, of course, which I often do. I’m almost through the second of nine discs, and it’s a good story so far.

I’ve discovered that I really enjoy listening to books set in foreign lands (Memoirs of a Geisha, A Thousand Splendid Suns) because I don’t have to stumble over the pronunciation of names and words . Were I reading this book, I’d be pronouncing Ines with a long i instead of a long e, for example, and I’m sure I’d have difficulty with which syllables to accent, as my Spanish is limited.  Although I’ve read several of Allende’s books, this is the first time I’ve listened to one.

Hope everyone has a good week ahead and enjoys the season of lights during these long nights!

Edit 12/08: I suppose I should have mentioned the Harry Potter books when mentioning fantasy. I read all of them.

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Musing Mondays: Holiday Books

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This week’s question:
With the holiday season now upon us, how does it affect your reading? Do you have more, or less, time to read at Christmas? Do you read Christmas themed/related books?

I’ll be off work for nearly two weeks, most of it after Christmas Day, so I imagine I’ll have far more time to read. In fact, I put aside a book last week to save for the coming days off. I’ll have more listening time for audiobooks as well, traveling back and forth to visit family.

I don’t read Christmas-related books, although coincidentally, today while I was at the library looking for a new audiobook, I considered Elizabeth Berg’s The Handmaid and the Carpenter, in which the author imagines the relationship between Mary and Joseph. I passed on it this time, though.

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