The Sunday Salon – The Past, Present and Future

by Rachel Baker on December 7, 2008

Sunday SalonHappy first Sunday in December.  Can you believe how fast this year has passed?  I realized yesterday there’s only three weeks left until Christmas, which means four weeks left until 2009.  Where has the year gone?  Ah, but that’s a conversation for another day, I think.

This week (the Past) I received The Reincarnationist and The Memorist, both by M.J. Rose from Becca at Bookstack.  I had never heard of M.J. Rose previous to reading Becca’s review of The Memorist.  The book sounded fascinating (Becca has a great knack for writing reviews), and she was offering to give away both books.  Lo and behold, I won.  I absolutely absorbed The Reincarnationist in approximately two and a half days.  I finished it this morning about four hours ago and have been fighting the urge to start The Memorist.   I’m not sure yet if I’m going to actually review these two, or if I’m just going to absorb them as pleasure reading.  Thank you so much Becca for this wonderful gift of books!

I’ve been reading The Magician’s Book. I’m having a tough time with this one.  I loved the Narnia books, but I don’t think I ever fully believed in Narnia as it appears Laura Miller did as a child.  I am enjoying her writing very much, but I’m not sure I’m relating well with the book. I’ll keep you posted on this one as time goes on.

I received is it me or is everything shit by Steve Lowe and Alan McArthur with Brendan Hay a few weeks ago.  This is a hilarious look at the ridiculous-ness of modern things.  This book is an A-Z look at things like airbrushing cigarettes out of history, bratz dolls, colors of the season, dictionary services for text messaging, and on and on through the alphabet.  Each chapter is the beginning of a new letter and in short blurbs discuss the “insanely annoying modern things” that start with that letter. This is an excellent book to read random sections of.  I, wholeheartedly, suggest getting a copy of this book!  But don’t leave it around where young children could get their hands on it – there are many words you wouldn’t want your child to repeat in school.

I also finished Bisingr by Christopher Paolini.  What a thrill this book was.  I enjoyed Eragon and Eldest, and was very excited when the third book came out.  Paolini has grown up!  If you’ll remember he started writing these books when he was something like fifteen years old. His writing has matured greatly in this third book and he’s decided there will be a fourth.  The only thing that bothered me a bit was too much detail in some plot lines that didn’t seem to really need as much indepth detail as he wrote.  I caught myself skimming several pages here and there, rather than reading them, to get to the next section.  I think what has happened is that as Paolini has grown up he’s begun delving into the history and the inner workings of each society he’s introduced thus far.  I’m curious if he’ll be able to end with just four books or will there be books that relate to the Inheritance Cycle in the next decade – think Tolkein and all the subsequent books he wrote to explain what he couldn’t add into the Lord of the Rings epic.

This week (qualifying as the Future), I’m planning on starting three non-fiction books I just received for review:

  • The Man from Pakistan by Dougas Frantz and Catherine Collins,
  • Giants: The Parallel Lives of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln by John Stauffer, and
  • A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America by Ronald Takaki

I’m excited about these three books.  Non-fiction is really hard to review indepth for me because in my opinion to review it critically, you should really do some fact checking.  However, I am not sure I’m going to review them in that sense.  I tend to review non-fiction by way of the ideas I pondered while reading.  Does that make sense?  Anyway, we’ll see how it goes with them.

Okay, friends, because there’s no time like THE PRESENT, I’m off to crack open The Memorist.  I wish for you all a wonderful week of reading!

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