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The Sunday Salon

It’s a quiet Sunday in New York, and I’ve spent most of my weekend reading The Needle in the Blood, by Sarah Bower. I’m currently about halfway through, and, except for the rather crude sex scenes, enjoying it. It’s a novel about the Bayeux tapestry and the man who commissioned it, Bishop Odo of Bayeux, as well as his mistress, Gytha. The book opens right in the middle of the Battle of Hastings, and continues up until 1077. Odo was at some point accused of defrauding the crown and his diocese, so it’ll be interesting to see how the author treats that subject.

Since my last Sunday Salon posting, I’ve posted three reviews, for Harriet and Isabella, The Black Pearl (not really a review—just thoughts about the book), and Dark Angels. I’ve also read The Miracles of Prato, by Laurie Albanese and Laura Morowitz, about Fra Filippo Lippi. The writing is very good, but the book is a little too heavy on the art metaphors.

I’ve got a stack of books waiting to be read, and I’m having a hard time choosing which to read next after Needle in the Blood. Which one do you think?

The Glassblower of Murano, by Marina Fiorato
The Founding, by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles
A Place Beyond Courage, by Elizabeth Chadwick
The Dud Avocado, by Elaine Dundy
Nine Lives, by Dan Baum (nonfiction about nine people in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina)
The Birthday Present, by Barbara Vine
Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, by Jamie Ford
The Little Giant of Aberdeen County, by Tiffany Baker (seeing as this is a review copy and it came out on the 8th, I should probably get cracking on it soon)
The Women, by TC Boyle


Alyce said…
I loved The Little Giant of Aberdeen County, so that would be my recommendation.
Meghan said…
Also really enjoyed The Little Giant of Aberdeen County! I'd highly recommend that one next, since it's good AND you have to get it read.

Good luck with your applications, by the way!

- Medieval Bookworm
Megan said…
I'm definitely interested in hearing about Nine Lives, so that one gets my vote. I've got Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet on deck myself, so I'll be interested in hearing what you've got to say about that one too! And the other ones sound good, too. See, this is why decisions don't get made at my house... ;-)
I recommend the Chadwick book - she is always a treat to read.

I agree with your comment on the crude sex scenes in Needle in the Blood. I ended up giving up on it not too far into it, although not because of the sex scenes. I couldn't get into it for some reason. I look forward to your review.
Literary Feline said…
Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet and The Little Giant of Aberdeen County are both books I am really looking forward to reading one day. I look forward to reading your thoughts on them!
Teresa said…
I'm starting The Oak Apple tonight or tomorrow morning, so if you read The Founding we'll be keeping each other company at Morland Place :-)
Angie in Divide said…
I would read "The Birthday Present" next. I've been hoping to just pick up a Barbara Vine in any of the bookstores here in CO Spgs USA -- without having to place an order but it still hasn't happened!! I think I will have to cave and order one online.
Anonymous said…
Thank you for putting my book, "Nine Lives: Death and Life in New Orleans" on your list. I am flattered. Please note, though, that it's not about nine people in the aftermath of Katrina exactly. It's the intertwined life stories of nine New Orleanians beginning in 1965 and going up through Katrina. So it's more about the city than the storm. You can read about it at But again, many thanks for including my book in your list.

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