Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Sunday Salon: The (Bookish) Week That Was

Well now, THAT was quite the bookish week we just had, wasn't it?

Between participating in Armchair BEA, and the reports coming in from folks who were at the actual BEA, and spending part of this weekend reading the recaps from those who attended BEA "Bloggers" event, it was ... interesting.

(Can I just say that, after reading the recaps of BEA "Bloggers" that I am quite glad that I had the experience of having gone in 2010 and 2011? Reading about the Book Bloggers UnCon gives me hope that there is someone who GETS IT and understands this whole book blogging scenario and what book bloggers are looking for in such a conference. I don't proclaim to be that person, but it sounds like there were at least a handful of people in New York last week who did. Thank God.)

I'll tell you one thing. If anything, this week - and the posts surrounding BEA, Armchair BEA and the various events - have made me think more about blogging and what the hell I'm doing (and not doing) here in this space than I have in a long time. And that's a good thing. I think.

Anyway, onto the books that I finished this week. There were two.

I told you a little about Buzz Bissinger's Father's Day in last week's Salon and I'll tell you about it again here - and in a review, when I get my thoughts together enough to formulate a coherent sentence. This is such a powerful book. I absolutely loved it, related to so much of it as a parent of a child with special needs, and I can see myself re-reading this one again. (A rarity for me.)

Lots of time in the car recently (traveling for work) allowed me to indulge in the audiobook of The Time Traveler's Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger. I'm usually one to avoid novels that get a lot of hype, such as this one did when it was first published in 2003. But, I read Her Fearful Symmetry and really enjoyed that, so when I was looking at several long hours in the car, I thought this almost 18 hour audiobook would be a nice accompaniment. It did not disappoint, and in fact makes my list for one of the highest recommended audios. The narration is superb. (I like when there is a male and a female narrator.)

I worried that the jump in time would be confusing in this one, and it really wasn't.  If you have a long trip ahead of you this summer and are looking for an audiobook, you might want to consider this. (I will warn you though: there are several graphic scenes, so if you're traveling with someone who might take offense to some ... uh ... descriptive activities and terminology, you might want to select a different audio for public consumption.)

I seem to be on some kind of streak in that regard, because my current read has a bit of that, too. With My Body by Nikki Gemmell was sent to me for review by the wonderful ladies at TLC Book Tours.  (My tour date is June 21.) This intrigued me because of the premise: that of a married woman, mother of three, who is bored to death with her life, which seems to consist of a workaholic physician husband and the company of insufferable competitive mothers. Who can blame her (she doesn't have a name, a symbolic device for illustrating that the main character is all of us) for reaching backward for a time when she "lived her life with the honesty and passion that once drove her." (quotes from the back jacket cover)

I just started this one last night (I'm on page 43) but this seems to be a fast read. The chapters (which are titled "lessons") are brief, and even at 462 pages, I wouldn't be surprised to finish this one this week.

Another exciting bookish note along the lines of "the week that was": our library got e-books this week! This makes me so very happy. I checked out The Lola Quartet by Emily St. John Mantel. I don't think there are any renewals on these, however, so I might have to spend some time with this sooner rather than later, but that's OK. This is one that I've been looking forward to, and apparently, so have several other people. The e-books were just launched on Monday and more than a few e-titles already have holds on them.

Hope you're having a good Sunday!

copyright 2012, Melissa, 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.


Dani in NC said...

My local library got e-books over a year ago, but they started pushing them more about three months ago. There seemed to be quite a demand for novels in digital form even before the PR push. This was a surprise to me because this is a small semi-rural county where the residents aren't exactly tech-savvy. You should see the looks I get when I pull my tablet out!

"With My Body" sounds interesting. I've added it to my TBR list.

Sam (Tiny Library) said...

It has been a reflective week, hasn't it? I've been thinking about my blog and what I'm using it for too. I'm not sure I like the way blogs are coming to be seen as marketing tools by publishers - I don't mind providing reviews but don't want to be seen as a marketing tool.

Peppermint Ph.D. said...

I hope I can attend BEA soon...I don't usually read much of the armchair stuff bc I'm so jealous :( I think it would mean a lot more to me if I had really been there before :)
Can you believe I still haven't read The Time Traveler's Wife?