Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Sunday Salon: Today's Salon is Brought to You By the Letter ...

It is truly the little things in life that tend to amuse me.  While thinking about my Salon post for today, I noticed that every book I've read (or tried to read) this week has something in common. 

They were all written by an author whose first name begins with J. 

Take a look:

At the beginning of this week, I was finishing up The Secret Life of Emily Dickinson by Jerome Charyn. I absolutely loved this and it will likely be one of my reviews coming up this week (as well as one of my best books read for 2011).  I can't wait to tell you more about it. 

Then there was Jane. Talk about switching gears!  Innocence started off fine for me in the beginning, but then ... not so much.  (You can find my review here.)  If you're a fan of the vampire and paranormal world of YA literature, you might like this a little more than I did.  

And then I found myself very much in the book blogger minority, unable to finish Jennifer's book. 

A Visit from the Goon Squad has shown up on many a book blogger's "best of the year" lists, and I've long been curious to find out what all the buzz was about. I love the format of interconnected stories and narratives, and I really appreciate the experimental and literary risk-taking that author Jennifer Egan took with the writing in this one, but it wasn't for me. I just couldn't connect with the characters. I just didn't care about these people and didn't want to hang out with them. I know I'm in the minority with this though, because people are raving about this one.  So, I'm sorry to say, this one became my first did-not-finish (DNF) for 2011. 

Between Innocence and A Visit from the Goon Squad, I thought I was headed for a mid-winter's book slump.  But then came Joshua to the rescue. 

I've seen some mixed reviews around the blogosphere for Joshua Ferris's second novel, but I am really enjoying The Unnamed.  I loved Then We Came to the End (which I named as one of my best fiction reads of 2010) and so far The Unnamed has a good chance of making it onto the 2011 list too. 

Even my audiobook fits into the author-with-a-first-name-beginning-with-J trend that seems to be going on with me. 

Having read The Audacity to Win by David Plouffe, as well as Notes from the Cracked Ceiling by Anne Kornblut, there are a lot of stories in John Heilemann and Mark Halperin's Game Change that I (we) already knew about the 2008 Presidential campaign - not to mention the tidbits from Game Change that were publicized at the time of publication.  But this definitely has some new, eye-opening material that I hadn't heard before ... which is making this an enjoyable listen. 

How about you?  Any trends or patterns in your reading this week?

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.


Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness) said...

Bummer about A Visit from the Goon Squad, but books don't work for everyone. I'm glad The Unnamed is good. I too liked And Then We Came to the End, and was just waiting on reading this one until I get a little space between them.

Trisha said...

I love it! Weird little things like this are just so fun.

Laurel-Rain Snow said...

That's an intriguing pattern....I haven't noticed any in mine this week. I have purposely mixed up my books to save me from the rut I sometimes fall into.

I agree with you about Egan's newest book. I especially hated the writing style she used like a Power Point presentation, and skimmed through those parts. I think that style did nothing to advance the story, and I also found myself often confused as the POV shifted, along with the time frames. I made my way through it because it was from Amazon Vine, but Ugh! Not a good fit for me.

Here's my salon:

(click on my name)

Elizabeth said...

No trends or patterns -- just reading way too many books all at once! I felt fairly ambivalent about the Egan book -- enjoyed it and then promptly forgot it. I adored The Unnamed -- it was one of my favorite books read last year. The whole premise was so startling and shockingly original.

Florinda said...

I haven't noticed any real patterns to my current reading, other than I'm on a nonfiction streak (thanks to judging that category for the Indie Lit Awards).

I'm interested in ...Goon Squad, but it's at least partly because I've read Jennifer Egan before and I tend to keep up with authors I've liked. I've had The Unnamed on my Kindle for months, and would love to get to it before too long; I really liked Then We Came to the End.