Sunday, January 6, 2008

Novel Sunday

I'm back from the greater beyond...nothing wrong, just extremely busy between work and home and trying to fight the boys for time on the computer. I thought that if I designated certain days with a task it would be easier to keep up with the blog.
So starting with Novel Sundays...the goal this year is to try to read 60 books (to give some perspective...2005 I made it to 59, 2006 it was only 50 and last year I read 53 books). I have some tricks up my sleeve to keep me on task...namely my friend Jill who read almost 80 books last year, the writers' strike, and some reading challenges. I have already read two and just started the third.

Here are the pages that I have turned already:
A Thread of Grace by Maria Doria Russell

Let me set the of my favorite books of all time is the author's very first book, The Sparrow, although the sequel left a lot to be desired. Glad to report that I'm back to being a devoted fan! This story is set in the latter stages of World War II in the mountains of Italy where I was fascinated to learn that many native-born Italians took in Jewish refugees saving them from the horrors of the concentration camps. There are multiple characters to keep track of and thankfully there is a cheat sheet at the beginning of the book so I didn't get thoroughly lost. The reader is immersed wholeheartedly in the almost feel as though you are hiding out along with the refugees fighting the elements in the dead of winter in the Italian Alps. If you love good historical fiction, pick up this book.

The Sonnet Lover by Carol Goodman

I only discovered this author in November and promptly read everything that she has written to date with The Sonnet Lover being her latest (and I believe best so far). The author's books can best be described as literary thrillers. This novel takes the reader to present-day Tuscany and I can still recall the overwhelming scent of lemons and figs from her descriptions. The college professor heroine of the novel is on a mission to unravel the mystery behind the mysterious death of one of her students while at the same time trying to find the missing sonnets by Shakespeare's presumed Dark Lady. I always enjoy a book where I lose track of time and get annoyed if I'm interrupted in my reading. A page turner to the very end!

Current is an advanced copy of Tracy Chevalier's Burning Bright, which I'm just getting to reading now so not so advanced anymore. After that the plan is to pick up Great Expectations by Charles Dickens for this year's first reading challenge, My Year of Reading Dangerously.


Anonymous Jill said...

Welcome back to the land of blogging! So glad I can help you stay on task. You're off to a good start! I knew you would like A Thread of Grace!

Right now, I am almost finished with The House at Riverton by Kate Morton (an ARC I got from B&N). This book was released last year in the U.K. and did really well. She's releasing it in the states this year. It's a really good book - I should have my review posted soon.

If you plan on posting on Sundays, you may want to check out Sunday Salon. Maybe another way to stay motivated?

Sorry for the long comment!
=) Jill

January 6, 2008 at 11:05 AM  
Anonymous Jill said...

I just read your blog comment, and I am so glad you joined the crazy bunch of readers at A Novel Challenge. Make sure to drop the group an e-mail to introduce yourself!

And don't forget - it was you who got me into this reading back when we worked together at MPM. I read, but you opened up my world to so many wonderful authors that I had not heard of! =)

January 6, 2008 at 3:27 PM  
Anonymous Carrie K said...

Welcome back! The Sonnet Lover looked good, I'd forgotten about it.

Good luck on your numbers this next year!

January 6, 2008 at 4:04 PM  
Anonymous Christy said...

Welcome back Phoebe! I've missed you. :)

January 6, 2008 at 8:29 PM  
Anonymous a blossom knits said...

I have been so worried . . please call me so we can get together.

Just joined the Tampa Bay Book Club via Reading Eco's "Foucault's Pendulum" right now. Your books look so good too!!

So many books . . too little time!

January 6, 2008 at 10:20 PM  
Anonymous tonni said...

I'm soooo glad to see you back!!! Don't disappear for such a long time again, you hear? Thanks for the book reviews... i'm in need for some new reads :)

January 8, 2008 at 2:17 PM  

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