Sunday, August 22, 2010
The Sunday Salon: On Quantity and Quality
Recently, it occurred to me that the number of books I've abandoned has significantly diminished. At the same time, it seems as if I'm on track to read as many books as I did last year (56) or perhaps even exceed that amount, which would be nice.
Curious to see if my sense of the books abandoned was real or a figment of my imagination, I read through some previous blog posts. Sure enough, in 2010 I've only abandoned four books (The House on Tradd Street, The Anthologist, This One is Mine, and It's Beginning to Hurt.)
I think the combination of fewer books abandoned and loving more books that I've read says something. What exactly, I'm not sure. Perhaps it is a combination of being more cognizant of reading stuff of substance or finding (thanks to book blogs!) more quality writing than I would have otherwise. Regardless of the reason or reasons, I like it - and I like the fact that my "favorite books of 2010" list is going to include many of the 40 books I've read thus far. (Yes, even though it is technically still summer, I'm already thinking ahead to such things.) It's been a very good year.
I'm now craving more Alcott, and have read the first short story ("The Rival Painters: A Tale of Rome") in The Early Stories of Louisa May Alcott: 1852-1860, which was part of my huge piles of Library Loot this week.
In my view, those ten words comprise one of the best-written opening lines for a novel EVER. It tells the reader so very much, doesn't it? It's going to be difficult to highlight a few passages from this one in my review because the writing is just so exquisite and breathtaking. The Queen of Palmyra has been compared to the classic To Kill a Mockingbird, and even though I am only 65 pages into this one, so far the comparison is accurate and incredibly well-deserved.
At first I nearly dismissed it, but then I realized it is a Harper Perennial book. Given the quality of the Harper Perennial books I've read and heard about (thanks to Beth Fish Reads featuring this imprint on her blog), I immediately grabbed it when I saw it on the New Books shelf at the library. The Queen of Palmyra is an extraordinary novel, make no mistake about it, and Minrose Gwin a brilliant writer.
Today's a gray Sunday full of rain here, which I'm kind of grateful for (all the better to curl up with a compelling book like this one). Alas, into my Sunday must fall some much-needed decluttering of several areas of the house (I can hear my mother applauding - and possibly laughing - from a state away), baking muffins and cookies (because I am on a mission for us to eat less processed food and reduce our grocery bill as much as I can), and sorting through outgrown kids' clothes in preparation for the upcoming months.
What book are you hoping to spend some time with during this Sunday?
copyright 2010, Melissa (Betty and Boo's Mommy, The Betty and Boo Chronicles) If you are reading this on a blog or website other than The Betty and Boo Chronicles or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.