May 8, 2011

The Sunday Salon: In Which, Hopefully With Your Help, I Return For Good

The Sunday Salon.com

Hi! Remember me? I’m happy to report that the worst of my grad school deadlines are behind me now, and I’m determined to once again make room in my life for regular blogging. As I’m sure you can imagine, after more than a month away I have a bit of a backlog of books to write about. It’s not anywhere near what it would be if my reading hadn’t slowed down considerably for the past two months, but still, I don’t quite know where to start.

Which is where you come in: it would be really helpful if you told me which of the following books you’d like to hear about first. And it would be even more helpful if you were to ask me any specific questions about them. Even though I try to keep reading notes, I’m afraid that after all this time my memory might need some prodding before I can write a decent post about some of these. The books are:
  • Temeraire by Naomi Novik (I may or may not have compulsively read the whole series over the past few weeks.)

  • The 10PM Question by Kate DiGoldi (My first pick for the Kiwi YA challenge, and one of my favourite reads of the year so far. I really wish I’d written about it sooner after I finished it, because I’m worried about not being able to do it justice now.)

  • Rebel Girls by Jill Liddington (Excellent social history about the suffrage movement in Northern England.)
  • Tamara Drew by Posy Simmonds (I’d probably need a few questions to be able to review this one at all, as I failed to keep any decent reading notes. Which is too bad, as I really enjoyed it.)

  • The Equality Illusion by Kat Banyard (As the title suggests, non-fiction about gender issues.)

  • The Magicians and Mrs Quent by Galen Beckett (A Brontësque secondary world fantasy.)

  • The Hare With Amber Eyes by Edmund de Waal (A mix of memoir, biography and art history, and very deserving of all the accolades it’s been getting.)

  • Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson (My first Eva Ibbotson, and every bit as charming as I was hoping it would be.)

  • A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness (New Patrick Ness! Enough said, right? I swear, my head hurt from crying after I finished it.)
Also, the other day I decided to celebrate handing in my research proposal with a reckless book order of the kind I hadn’t placed in a very long time. I can’t take a proper picture of my loot, because they haven’t arrive yet, so here’s a cover collage instead:

Book loot covers

I’m so ridiculously excited to read them. Have you read any of them? And if so, are they as good as they sound?

Have a great Sunday, everyone. I can’t wait to catch up with you all.

48 comments:

  1. Good to have you back!

    and please review 10PM Question! Thea has a copy of the book waiting for me in NY and I can't wait to read it. Would love to hear what you have to say about it.

    I read The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland last week and it is one of my fave reads of the year so far. It is AMAZING.

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  2. I don't know any of these books, Ana. I'm glad you have more time again! Happy reading.

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  3. Welcome back! I'd be interested to read what you thought of Temeraire (I bought the e-book 2 years ago and need a push to actually start it!), Rebel Women and Hare with Amber Eyes. I haven't read any of the titles so not sure about question;P And what a way to celebrate giving in your proposal. I totally approve:)

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  4. great see you back ana ,I loved hare with amber eyes ,I hope he writes something else the mix of history and art and his own life made a wonderful read ,all the best stu

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  5. Hurrah for the chunk of library school being done! Very impressive :) Hope dissertation planning is going well.

    A Monster Calls please! And then The Hare With The Amber Eyes.

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  6. Woo - it's lovely to see you. I hope all things library school are going ok.

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  7. Oh oh oh!!! The 10pm Question!!! I loved that book so much!

    I'd say A Monster Calls but I haven't read it yet and I wouldn't be able to read the review - lol.

    So. The 10pm Question \o/

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  8. Did you read the whole Temeraire series? I loved the first few books but the last couple were a bit disappointing in my opinion. Would be interested to hear your opinion!

    And yay, welcome back!

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  9. So good to have you back! I've missed you. I would love to hear about the Patrick Ness book, and specifically what about it made you so emotional. And in your new stack, of course, please get to those graphic novels!!! I rely on your gn expertise.

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  10. I would have to say the Eva Ibbotson but that is because I am nearly finished The Dragonfly Pool (my first of hers) and want to know which of hers to pick up next!

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  11. Is there really any question? Has to be the Ness, surely! :)

    Although, i'd love to see what you think about The 10pm Question. I've seen it about and I'm intrigued!

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  12. ANA!!!!!!! I sorry, I just can't help...because I just can't wait to read what you have to say about *all* of them! Even though I know what it will do to my wish list (with A Monster Calls being the only immune book since it's already on its way). I'm just so happy that I'll be reading your beautiful words, your insightful thoughts more often again!!! Love you!!!

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  13. Glad to see you back! I'd love to hear about Rebel Girls.

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  14. Temeraire!

    Specific, (and in some cases incredibly leading) questions:

    How great on a scale of 1 to awesome did you think this book was? And where do you put it on your mental scale of 'books about dragons that I have read'?

    Who was your favourite female character?

    How did you feel about the amount of battle scenes - just right, or too many?

    What did you think of the stuff about the social alienation of being part of the Dragon Corps?

    #isdemanding (Obviously you don't have to answer all those).

    So cool to see you back in this space. I read your Herland review with interest, but my fried brain comment would have been something along the lines of 'good job' at that point in the week. So just a note to say YAY you're back.

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  15. Oh oh oh The Equality Illusion!!! How was it, what was it about, any one main point? Sounds fascinating!

    Also, re your loot order, good job! Always necessary every once in awhile. I may have done the same with, ahem, a bigger order just a week ago :S

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  16. I'd love to hear what you thought of Temeraire and The Magicians and Mrs Quent!

    And I am very glad you're back! I'm pretty sure I celebrated many aspects of my degrees with large book purchases. Only carried over in the job world. ;) I hope yours are fantastic!

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  17. Those comics all look awesome! I haven't read Rose Red, but love Fables so much that I'm confident it will be awesome.

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  18. Happy to see you're back! And it looks like you've been reading some good stuff. I have Tamara Drew on my own shelf and look forward to it... someday. No questions to help you review it, though, but I'm glad to hear you liked it!

    And a new Fables. Hooray!

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  19. Glad you're back! I haven't read any of those books, but I'm most interested in hearing about The Hare with Amber Eyes. Also, regarding the Eva Ibbotson book, the one Ibbotson book I read, I thought the main character was insufferably 'good'. So, for the book that you read of hers, how was the characterization?

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  20. Being a huuuuggge Patrick Ness fan like you, I of course want to hear about A Monster Calls; however, I am also really interested in The Magicians and Mrs Quent by Galen Beckett. I've been on a positive kick of homage-type books, so I am curious: Did you find the story a fitting homage/pastiche/etc. or did the story just come off as unoriginal or stolen material?

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  21. I don't have any specific questions I'm afraid, but I'd love to hear about the Equality Illusion!

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  22. It's good to see you back, Ana! I'd love to read your thoughts on any of those books, but I'm most interested in Rebel Girls and The Hare with Amber Eyes.

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  23. Welcome back!! I was so happy to see your post pop up in my reader :-)

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  24. Glad to see that you're back! I would love to know more about A Monster Calls.

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  25. The worst of my deadlines are behind me, too. THANK HEAVENS. I wish I could celebrate with a reading binge, but I have to get ready to move Friday. :(

    I have The Magicians and Mrs. Quent on my TBR shelf, so I think you should review that. Question: it looks loooooong; does it read fast or not?

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  26. I would love to hear about the Patrick Ness book, as I have been wanting to read one of his books for a long time. Glad to see you back!

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  27. I'd also love to hear about A Monster Calls as Ness is one of the authors I keep thinking about acquiring and haven't yet.

    The Magicians and Mrs. Quent is currently on my shelf, so if there's incentive to move it up I certainly would ;)

    Hope all the school work wrapped up nicely and you can enjoy your respite!

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  28. Welcome back! I didn't know Patrick Ness had out a new book! I am looking forward to your review on it.

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  29. How wonderful to have you back, and congratulations on surviving your deadlines! I'm sure that's a great relief. I would LOVE to hear what you thought of Journey to the River Sea, since I'm a great Ibbotson fan, but I'm equally intrigued by Rebel Girls.

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  30. Thank you so much for the warm welcome, everyone! Temeraire and A Monster Call seem to be winning ,so I'll probably start with those. But I'll definitely get to post about the other books too over the next few weeks. Extra thanks to anyone who included questions! I think I'm a little rusty on the review writing front and these will make my life easier :P

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  31. Welcome back, Ana! We've missed you! I hope things are going on smoothly and well for you over there!

    I've not heard of those books except Patrick Ness' so I guess I want to read that review from you first. But then again, you know I love reading your reviews no matter what books they are. :)

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  33. Glad to see you back!! I want to read more about Rebel Girls.

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  34. Oh! A Monster Calls, certainly, and then Journey to the River Sea. I haven't read Ibbotson yet and I'd love to read what you think of that one.

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  35. I'm glad most of your deadlines are past! Mine are as well, although we still have four weeks of school left. I haven't read any of the books you have listed!!! Yes, now is the time for me to pick up a few more books. :)

    I think your should review Journey to the River Sea, since I've heard about Ibbotson, and am curious about your thoughts! Best wishes, and welcome back!

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  36. Welcome back! I'm most interested in The Hare With The Amber Eyes, which I almost picked up myself yesterday and will definitely get to soon. Looking back over the comments, I think there's enthusiasm for all of these books to be reviewed... are you sure we are helping? ;)

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  37. Yay for diminishing deadlines! A Monster Calls has my attention.

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  38. Welcome back! I'm happy to hear that things are slowing down for you. I look forward to your reviews. I haven't read any that you've listed so I don't have a preference. I'm just excited to read any of your reviews.

    Good for you for indulging in some books. It sounds like you deserve it! Happy reading!

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  39. Welcome back! You've been missed!

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  40. You have read some good looking books. I look forward to hearing about all of them. Some of them sound like my type of books...

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  41. Welcome back! There's no better time period than the end of semester or the one after the end of semester.

    I'm so excited about Anya's Ghost!

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  42. Welcome back, Ana! :) Those titles look all pretty good, but I'd love to hear about the Liddington and the Beckett book.

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  43. Hi, you're back!! Yayyy! And A Monster Calls, I vote for Patrick Ness, always. I'm hoping you will say it is worth rereading twenty times, and then I will trot down to the Strand and buy my own self a copy. :)

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  44. Great to see you posting and ordering obscene amounts of reading material. Woohoo!!! Can't wait to hear about whatever books you decide to review.

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  45. So glad to see you back again!

    I'm hoping to go in a week to see the author of The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland ... etc. I'm really excited about that book!

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  46. So good to see you blogging again, Ana!

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Thank you so much for taking the time to comment - interaction is one of my favourite things about blogging and a huge part of what keeps me going.