Sunday Salon: More Experimentation
Now, as much as I’m enjoying my new approach to blogging, and as grateful as I am that I’ve found a way to keep such a fun hobby, I must admit to a little bit of internal angst at the temporal impossibility of posting about all of my reads. At most, I’ll be posting four ‘reviews’ a week, and I never post more than once a day (not to mention I wouldn’t be able to handle that much typing). Now, this week I’ve read fifteen books; almost all of the books this week have been great, ones that I’d definitely recommend, but how do I tell you about them? I don’t always read at this pace (obviously not, since extrapolated that would result in my reading over 600 books a year, which has never happened), but bar a fibro flare-up, I do read at least five books a week. And considering I have eighteen books from my triaged backlog yet to blog about, arithmetic has become my enemy.
Last year I managed to blog about almost every book I read, because I used Sunday Salon posts to do ‘mini’ reviews of books I couldn’t devote individual posts to. Due to the pain typing causes me, I can’t do posts with paragraphs about each book; and yet, I can type a sentence for each one. I’m not sure if further scaled back reviews have any value, but I thought I’d give it a go. I feel like every other post recently I’ve been asking for your feedback; I suppose that that’s in the nature of transitions. But do let me know if you think I should continue this or not! Since this was my first go, I just decided to do all of the books I’ve read this month that won’t be getting their own posts, rather than limiting myself to the past week. In the future, I envision TSS posts combining more general bookish musings with a few of these at the end of the post.
Read An Artist of the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro if…you’re interested in subtle characterisation and how individuals deal with post-war guilt when the cause they believed in is now on the ‘wrong’ side.
Read The Small House at Allington by Anthony Trollope if…you’re working your way through the Barsetshire series (I love Trollope, but this is my least favourite that I’ve read so far).
Read The Pluto Files by Neil deGrasse Tyson if…you’re looking for a light-hearted, corny-humour-filled scientific explanation of Pluto’s demotion.
Read The Postmistress by Sarah Blake if…you have opposite taste in fiction from me and/or your book club makes you. ;)
Read Fireflies in the Mist by Qurratulain Hyder if…you’re willing to ignore structural issues, weak characterisations, and a somewhat dull writing style in return for an issue-filled story and impressively intelligent, panoramic look at the Indian Subcontinent from WWII onwards.
Read The Discarded Image by C.S. Lewis if…you have a soft spot for the Middle Ages or want to better understand the mindset of the Medieval authors you read.
Read Mexican Enough by Stephanie Elizondo Griest if…you enjoy funny, smart, honest travelogues or are interested in self-identity stuff related to biracial or bicultural backgrounds.
Read Jonah’s Gourd Vine by Zora Neale Hurston if…you love your fiction richly textured, your settings Southern, and/or your plotlines classically inspired.
Read Passed On by Karla FC Holloway if…you like your nonfiction short and powerfully written, are interested in the African American community, or are curious about how different cultures experience death.
Read The Story Girl by L.M. Montgomery if…you have a taste for old-fashioned stories that leave you smiling and uplifted when you turn the last page.
Read A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper by John Allen Paulos if…a good dose of nerdiness and excellent diction in your nonfiction appeal to you and you’re willing to overlook an author’s occasional biases.
Read Trickster Travels by Natalie Zemon-Davis if…you enjoy history told in a ‘narrative’ style but still scrupulously researched and/or you’re interested in Medieval Europe and the Middle East and relations between the two.
Read Strong Poison by Dorothy Sayers if…you’re a mystery lover and/or intellectual reader who hasn’t yet discovered the treat that is Lord Peter Wimsy and Harriet Vane!
Read Thus was Adonis Murdered by Sarah Caudwell if…you’re a mystery lover, enjoy sardonic academic narrators, or have a weakness for epistolary novels.
If the one-sentence descriptions do seem helpful, I’m not sure how to categorise them. They’re not really book ‘reviews’, and they seem too brief to place in my book review directories or link to as ‘thoughts’ on my books read page. But then, if someone’s wondering what I thought about a book, at least one sentence is better than silence! Anyway, I’ll meditate more on that if they become a regular feature.