Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Sunday Salon - June 21, 2009

I've been having kind of an interesting reading week.

In any given week, I'm usually reading at least one book and listening to a separate audiobook in the car during my afternoon commute home from work. (My morning drive is spent listening to Michael Smerconish, who people either like or don't like. I happen to be a big fan - so much so that a former coworker refers to him as my "radio husband." That's pretty accurate.)

So, as I was saying, usually my reading book and my audiobook are different from each other. But this week both of my choices (Without a Backward Glance as my reading book and Loving Frank as my audiobook) have similar themes. In each book, a mother abandons her children and husband to move overseas and try to find her true passion. Both are set in a time when women's issues are gaining prominence in society. Loving Frank takes place in 1909, during the women's suffrage movement, and the mother's departure in Without a Backward Glance takes place in 1967.

As I read and as I listen, I'm finding myself comparing the two mothers and their choices. (A foreshadowing of my reviews to come: I'm finding both women somewhat unlikeable and their choices unfathomable. I'll have more to say on that when I'm finished both of these works, which hopefully will be this week.)

When we were last together in the Sunday Salon, I mentioned that I was torn between reading The Condition or Without a Backward Glance. I started reading the former, but didn't get too far into it. There's an aspect of the plot that's hitting a little close to home right now, and I knew that would probably unfairly influence how I saw the book. Plus, it seemed as if I read this before. I haven't, but the beginning pages of the family heading to the beach house, the two sisters, the workaholic but uber-successful smart husband ... it seemed like the premise had been done before.

The kids are doing well with their Summer Reading. I'd originally thought about making that part of my Sunday Salon posts, but I decided to give this its own discussion.

Finally, I've been having a good time participating in the Bloggiesta being hosted by Natasha over at Maw Books Blog. I haven't done as much work as others have (we have my in-laws visiting this weekend) but I'll have a wrap up post on my accomplishments (or lack thereof) soon. Later this week, I'm also hoping to bring you my reviews for Loving Frank and Without a Backward Glance.

Hope you're having a wonderful Sunday and that you have a great week ahead!


Amanda said...

I imagine it's hard to be sympathetic to that sort of woman, especially when you're married and have kids yourself. Sometimes, though, I understand books like that, from that woman's point of view. Sort of depending on what her homelife is like. Like for instance, Kate Chopin's The Awakening didn't bother me at all.

JoAnn said...

I usually have both a book and an audiobook going, too. I love it when they happen to have similar themes, etc. I end up thinking more about both books in the end.
Will look forward to hearing about the kids summer reading - that's actually the subject of my post today!

Betty and Boo's Mommy said...

Amanda - I think I need to go back and re-read The Awakening. It's been awhile (and I'm not certain I even finished it the first time around) but it's come up a couple times recently, so maybe this is a message that I need to re-read (or read) this. I can definitely understand both books from the woman's point of view, yes. Which is part of what's making this such an interesting reading week.

JoAnn - I just left a similar comment (about the summer reading) on your blog, too. :) Enjoyed your post today.

christina said...

I wish I could do audio books. Unfortunately I can't stay focused long enough. At best, I can do short YA contemporary fiction.