Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Sunday Salon: The Thrill of Someone New

Is there anything more deliciously indulgent than discovering a new-to-you-writer?

I just love when this happens. Then I become a ravenous fangirl, wanting to consume everything the person has written, adding their blog to my ne'er to fall below 1000+ again exploding Google Reader.

In this case, I'm speaking of author Lauren Groff. I've been reading her short story collection, Delicate Edible Birds, this week. It was the title alone that made me choose this incredible ensemble of nine stories (many previously published in literary journals, including my favorite, Glimmer Train) from the library's New Books shelf.

These are the type of stories where, immediately after finishing one, you think, "Damn, that was good. Definitely my favorite one in this book." That happened with "Majorette," a scene of which occurs at Penn State. (We are!) It happened again with "Blythe" (a particular favorite of mine, given its Philadelphia area setting). And a third time, with "Watershed," and again this morning, with "Sir Fleeting." It's my intent to read the two remaining stories today, probably after going back-to-school-supplies-and-grocery-shopping.

In other bookish updates for this week's Salon, I've been listening to Jennifer Weiner's Little Earthquakes on audio. Dare I say ... I am liking this so much more than I thought I would. I'm not a big chick-lit kind of gal, but every so often you find yourself in need of a light read, and Jennifer Weiner is the go-to-girl for such.

I have way too many library books, more than my night table can accommodate. I'm thinking Tomato Girl by Jayne Pupek may be my next read after Delicate Edible Birds, but John Green's Looking for Alaska and Esther Freud's Love Falls are also contenders.

And speaking of Love Falls, which new-to-you author have you fallen in love with this summer?


Table Talk said...

Very often what introduces me to a new writer is the Pulitzer and that was certainly the case this year. I'd never heard of Elizabeth Strout, but 'Olive Kitteridge' turned me into a devoted fan.

Melissa (Betty and Boo's Mommy) said...

I've heard so many good things about her, Table Talk. I'll have to give that one a try!

JoAnn said...

My latest new-to-me author is Louise Erdrich. So far, I've just read some of her stories, but hope to get to her novels soon. I think you had something to do with this discovery...thanks!

Stephanie said...

Hi Melissa!
I feel in love with Kelly Corrigan. The Middle Place was a beautiful memoir that made me laugh, cry and jealous...she's good.
xo Steph

Melissa (Betty and Boo's Mommy) said...

JoAnn, are you reading The Red Convertible? I think that's a great place to start. I'm looking forward to reading her novels, too. (I have "The Painted Drum" as an audiobook.)

Stephanie, I'm so looking forward to reading The Middle Place. I took it with me on vacation but didn't get to it ... unfortunately. It is very high on my TBR list because I've heard such good things about her, too. (And she sounds delightful in every interview I've read.)

JoAnn said...

Hi Melissa,
Yes, I am reading The Red Convertible. I bought it shortly after reading your review :-) I love Erdrich's writing!

Memory said...

The best short story collections are always the ones where it's nearly impossible to choose your favourite. I just love it when a collection hooks me in like that!

Lori said...

I found 2 new to me authors this summer and love both! I loved Bone by Bone by Carol O'Connell and I just finished The Last Child by John Hart. I went right to the library to reserve their other books! Both great mystery suspense if anyone is looking for a new one!

Ali said...

I have The Red Convertible on my nightstand right now but I keep not reading it. I should read it! I've read one of Erdrich's novels (Birchbark House) with my kids and it was good.