Sunday Salon and A Flurry of Books In The Mail (Several of Which Include a Future Give-Away)

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I have been so busy reading for the Man Booker Prize I’ve practically forgotten that other books are waiting to be read. And while reading for the Booker was extraordinarily interesting, it was also emotionally exhausting; the often heavy subject matter within those novels became quite a weight when combined with personal stress and the start of school. But now, look! Did you see The Secret Chord from Geraldine Brooks?! I’m so excited to begin her latest novel about the life of King David. (Viking tells me I can offer a copy as a give away with my review, too.)

Peirene Press sent me The Looking Glass Sisters, part of their Chance Encounter: Meeting The Other series, a “tragic love story about two sisters who cannot live with or without each other.”

SoHo Press sent His Right Hand, which Anne Perry describes as “A fast-moving crime story…Deep social and moral issues dealt with, and made real with compassion and honesty. I couldn’t out it down!”

The Mystery of The Lost Cezanne, from Penguin, continues the wonderful series by M. L. Longworth, with Antoine Veralaque and Marine Bonnet as investigators. You may remember how much I enjoyed Murder on the Ile Surdou this summer, not only for the mystery but for the wonderful menus and ambiance of Aix en Provence. (Look for a give-away to come with this novel, too.)

Although I own A Russian Concubine, it resides with so many books as yet unread, but still I look forward to Kate Furnivall’s The Italian Wife, set in Mussolini’s Italy.

I did not accomplish my goal of reading Emma for Roofbeam Reader’s Austen in August Challenge, instead I was swept up in plowing through the Booker long list. But, with the arrival of the 200th Annotated Anniversary edition of Emma, sent by Penguin, I am offered a second chance. This edition provides an introduction to the importance of the novel to Austen’s career, as well as original contextual essays. “Additional features include tips for reading, a glossary of eighteenth century usage, maps if Austen’s England  suggestions for further reading and illustrations from early editions of Emma…” (Another give-away opportunity to come.)

Finally, there is Bats of the Republic, An Illuminated Novel, by Zachary Thomas Dodson, which “offers a breathtaking tale of epic adventure and perilous heartbreak across multiple generations in a single family of restless and reckless explorers and wanderers. Presented in a stunningly designed package featuring hand-sketched maps, futuristic drawings, a nineteenth century novel-within-a-novel…complete with an actual sealed envelope integral to the plot’s climatic resolution.”

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As if those aren’t enough, I’m also going to read The Quick along with others at the Estella Society. They probably began yesterday, although I am beginning today, with a check in at the midway point on October 12. I can’t commit to the entire R.I.P. X, as I have in previous years, but one can’t help not welcoming autumn with such atmospheric reads.

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Initially reluctantly, perhaps, but now joyfully, I joined in the group of techies who are holding an iPhone 6 plus (inside its book-like leather cover to the right of my Italian journal). It baffles my family, both parents and husband, as to why I can be so enamored by technological gadgets, but I confess to that truth. I have two Nooks, one Kindle paperwhite, an iPad mini and now an iPhone 6 plus. Each one is so fun. They will never replace my passion for true pages, the scent of a leather binding, or the  gold leaf edges of my Bible(s). But, they bring a certain contentment and ease into my life which is irreplaceable. Not to mention necessary to those as young as my third graders.

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41 thoughts on “Sunday Salon and A Flurry of Books In The Mail (Several of Which Include a Future Give-Away)”

    1. Bats of The Republic reminded me, in form of S. by J. J. Abrams and Doug Dorst. Love the idea of inserts and clues as one reads through the novel, like hidden surprises and treats.

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  1. I am really coming to notice a difference between inspired and obligated reading, even when I am the person who has taken on the obligation and no one is going to disown me if decide a book is not working for me or if a review is not published by a book’s release date (in the case of advance copies). Sometimes we need to remember who it is we read for first and foremost. It looks like you have a wonderful selection of new books to carry you into the fall. Happy reading.

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    1. Man, if someone was going to disown me for not reviewing a book in time for its publication date I would be the loneliest person on the planet! I try. Really, I have the best intentions, but either a life obligation (work, son’s antics) or other reading offer (Hey, let’s read for the Booker prize!) pre-empts my plans. I like your reminder to remember who it is that we read for, and, as I used to say in earlier blogging days, I don’t want to turn my joy into a job.

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  2. The pleasure of receiving books never stops 🙂 as I mentioned earlier, I read on my kindle paper white, or Kidle HD. For me it is economical. The price of hardbacks is out of my reach, and our library carries little, and the wait is long, my patience short when books are involved.
    You have a lovely assortment of books, I have Geraldine Brooks novel through NetGalley for which I thank them. It seems a great read.
    I which you a nice evening, dear Meredith xo

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    1. We must have the same libraries, Sylvie, as ours so rarely has what I want. Or, if it does, the number of holds are prohibitive. I’m glad you have The Secret Chord from NetGalley. I like that site so much better than Penguin’s First to Read. Which, actually, I dislike enormously. But, that’s a post for another day. Thanks for your beautiful wishes, and the photographs on Facebook which accompany them. xoxox

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    1. Nan, I’m delighted when you stop here, too. It’s true that my reading tastes have grown beyond what might be considered the norm, especially as I have such a passion for translated books. I feel so fortunate to be the recipient of these titles, and at least I can spread the word briefly about them in a single post before I read them (which so often takes forever).

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    1. Thanks, TJ, but when I look at them on my post I see that my contacts prevented me from getting the focus and clarity I thought I had on my iPhone. Glad you can see through the fuzz, though!

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  3. I am so excited for The Secret Chord. I can’t imagine another story I would be more excited for Brooks to write!

    Bats of the Republic sounds so unique. I will have to look into that one!

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    1. I’m most excited to open The Secret Chord, too. I love the Bible with all my heart, and yet Christian fiction is such a disappointment in its triteness. At least, that’s been my experience. We’ll have to see what Geraldine Brooks does with Kind David, although I’m not expecting a Christian message as much as a wonderful interpretation of his life.

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  4. I have a net galley version of The Secret Chord coming up soon on my reading list. I have very little knowledge of this period in history so am hoping that won’t be a barrier to enjoying the book.

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    1. I hope we can discuss The Secret Chord when we both finish it! I don’t think the lack of knowledge you say you have about the history will block you from appreciating it, though. Just my personal guess.

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  5. I’m saving Emma for December, in honor of that anniversary (read it with me?) It’s perfect because there’s a wonderful Christmas party scene. I already own a copy but I am so tempted by that lovely cover and the annotations…

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    1. Yay! Emma in December! Let’s do it, and how fun to pick a classic like that for the Winter months. Somehow, they seem to go together, especially as you mention a Christmas party scene. Who knew? ;0

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  6. Emma is always fun and what a pretty edition with lots of goodies. I want to read The Secret Chord as well. I’ve loved other books by Geraldine Brooks and this one about King David sounds so interesting. I also want to read His Right Hand, but first I need to read the previous book, The Bishop’s Wife. Have heard good things. Have a good week and I’m hoping for cooler temps for you!

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  7. Beautiful new books. I adore the Emma cover and the Secret Chord songs very good. I adore my iPhone 6S and admit if I had to choose my iPhone or my spouse, I might have to let him go,,,LOL

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    1. There are some wonderful things about the iPhone…I may not need a new computer when I retire after all. It seems we can almost get one gadget to do almost everything. Except cook dinner and find more time. 😉

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  8. So many beautiful books! The Looking Glass Sisters and The Italian Wife are especially appealing to me. Love that edition of Emma, too. It is the only Jane Austen I’ve not read… and am not in a huge hurry because not have a Jane Austen novel to discover for the first time makes me sad.

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    1. Anything Italian appeals to my heart, as you probably know…

      The only Jane Austen I’ve read is Pride and Prejudice, but I can see where finishing a beloved author brings a certain sadness.

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  9. Wow! Those are some great new reads to experience. I always love getting new books in the mail – always puts a smile on my face. I’ve been wanting to read more Austen, perhaps when you read Emma, I’ll read my copy as well. Enjoy your books! Hope you have a great week 🙂

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  10. Wow, all those books look beautiful!

    I have an iphone and love it. I am big into gadgets as well and have to remind myself to slow down. Right now, I am fascinated with the smartwatch and test driving my husband’s Pebble.

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    1. Oooh, aren’t the Smartwatches expensive? I saw the icon on my iPhone which allows you to sync the phone and the watch. Except, I don’t have one. 😉

      Not sure what a Pebble is…off to find out.

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      1. The Apple Watch is expensive. The others are somewhat cheaper. Still, I wish they could cost even less and not almost as much as smartphones. The Pebble is one of the first smartwatches in the market. I have one that’s three years old and it’s as good as the new watches in the market today.

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  11. I’m looking forward to hearing about all of these books! I have especially been wondering about The Secret Chord – I’m hoping it’s as good as her others have been. Beautiful pictures. 🙂

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    1. I hope it’s as good as Year of Wonders. March was unimpressive to me, so of course it won the Pulitzer. So many prizes go to books I wouldn’t have chosen.

      Thank you for liking the photographs. To me, as I look at them online, they came out awfully fuzzy. 🙂

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  12. I love the new cover on Emma – it was my reread for Austen in August.
    The new Brooks looks fascinating & I hope to get to it soon, but after finishing A Little Life I needed a comforting classic – so I picked an angsty Bronte to ease me through this time 🙂

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    1. I had hoped to read Emma for Austen in August, but alas, it didn’t come to be. A few of us (Audrey and Nadia) will be reading Emma this December if you’d care to join in. We’d love to have you! Also, you will indeed need something light(er) after A Little Life.

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  13. The mail was very good to you! I know how you feel about post-Booker reading too. It seems like a wealth of opportunities have opened up. I’m particularly drawn to The Looking Glass Sisters here, and if you don;t mind me butting into other comments, I would happily be up for a holiday Emma read. 🙂

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  14. Bellezza, I love the artistic way you photographed these books! The first one, The Secret Chord, brings to mind a haunting, lovely song I first heard by Jeff Buckley, Hallelujah. I hope you’re enjoying all of your books, both print and electronic. My own reading has been quite slow and sporadic, yet wonderful. 🙂

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      1. I think I edited it for you, Suko, so that only the titles are italicized. And, I know what you mean about the song Hallelujah. It brings tears to my eyes every time I hear it.

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