Sunday, May 18, 2008

Sunday Salon - May 18

The Sunday
It has been a while since I have had time on a Sunday to both read and do a Salon post. Today I was finally able to make time during Maya's afternoon nap.

This afternoon I just finished reading The Sea, The Sea by Iris Murdoch. I have been meaning to read one of her books ever since I saw the movie Iris a few years ago, and this one has been sitting on my bookshelf for more than a year. It may be the length that kept me away, as it is a bit of a chunkster, or a fear that my high hopes would not be met. I need not have worried, this may become one of my favorite books of the year, and I can't wait to read more of her books! 

Charles Arrowby, the main character, is not very likeable, in fact he is downright ornery, conceited, arrogant, manipulative, and foolish. Yet Murdoch sets a scene that is both a beautiful work of prose and a page turner, something I did not expect. I especially loved the incorporation of several gothic elements. I will post the full review in the next day or so.

I have had quite a few books trickling in over the last few weeks. Here are some of my most recent acquisitions. Up next is Blood of Flowers by Anita Amirrezvani, a novel that takes place in a 17th century Persian village. I received this as a review copy, plus one more to give away in a raffle, so keep your eyes out for that upcoming giveaway!

Books received by publishers or authors to review:
- Blood of Flowers by Anita Amirrezvani
- Crimson Portrait by Jody Shields
- Mattland by Hazel Hutchins and Gail Herbert (picture book)
- Cheetah Cubs and Beetle Grubs by Diane Swanson (picture book)
- The Apprentice's Masterpiece: A Story of Medieval Spain by Melanie Little
- African Psycho by Alain Mabanckou

Books bought at the Barnes and Noble bargain sale:
- The Saffron Kitchen - Yasmin Crowther
- The Yacoubian Building by Alaa Al Aswany
- The Dance of the Dissident Daughter by Sue Monk Kidd
- Born to Buy: The Commercialized Child and the New Consumer Culture  by Juliet B. Schor
- Beasts of No Nation by Uzodinma Iweala
- Snakes and Earrings by Hitomi Kanehara
- The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid

Books passed on to me by my mother-in-law:
-Brookland by Emily Barton
- The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier

From Paperbackswap:
- Beirut Blues by Hanan al-Shaykh
- The Sandman Vol. 2: The Doll's House by Neil Gaiman

Right now, Maya is not so quietly asking for my attention, so I will try to get back with links to the above books later tonight. I would love to hear feedback from those who have read any of them!


Andi said...

I've meant to read Murdoch for a number of years now, but somehow I never manage to get around to her stuff! I have several of her books--The Bell and The Book and the Brotherhood come to mind. Thanks for a great review and a little push to finally get around to Murdoch.

Megan said...

Blood of Flowers sounds good because it sounds like nothing I have ever read before.

Look at all those books coming in!!
I received two books on Tuesday and they are both finished already. Wow. I just realized how amazing that is and am now proud of myself. *pats self on back* Problem is, now I don't know what to read next. I have picked up a few books, but nothing is grabbing me.

Literary Feline said...

I am looking forward of your review of The Sea, The Sea. From your description it sounds quite interesting.

I have been wanting to read Blood Flowers for awhile now. I found a copy on the remainder table not too long ago and picked up a copy so it's here when I'm ready. African Psycho is another one I am really looking forward to reading. As well as The Reluctant Fundamentalist.

I was really taken in by Beasts of No Nation and hope that you will find it worthwhile reading as well.

I hope you have a great week!

tanabata said...

I've had a copy of The Sea, The Sea for quite a long time but the size has always put me off plus other books clamouring for attention. I look forward to your review.
The only one of your new books that I've read is Snakes and Ladders. I didn't love it but it certainly is a look at a part of society that I don't have any contact with and was interesting in that sense.

Marg said...

I loved The Blood of Flowers when I read it a while ago - such an unusual setting!

gautami tripathy said...

My, got your hands full. I am envious! I have not bought any book for a while now. This weekend, I am gonna remedy that. I want to read The Murdoch book so much!

Bookfool said...

I haven't read a single one of those, but The Blood of Flowers has been on my wish list for a while. Several friends got advanced reader copies of the book and they all enjoyed it.