Skip to main content

The Sunday Salon


Sunday, Sunday, Yesterday after running a few errands, I went to Barnes and Noble to use up some gift cards from last Christmas and my birthday. I came away with:

Bride of Pendorric, by Victoria Holt. I read Mistress of Mellyn last year and loved it, so I’m looking forward to reading more by her.

The Russian Concubine, by Kate Furnivall. Historical fiction set in Russia and China in the early 20th century.

Fire From Heaven, by Mary Renault. A novel about Alexander the Great. I’m really trying to branch out in the historical fiction I read, and read more eras, and this book is sort of a part of that.

I spent most of this past week reading Boudica: Dreaming the Eagle, which is a 700-page novel, the first in a series, about the great Icini warrior queen (the author, Manda Scott, spells it Eceni, though I'm not sure why). It's excellent. My current read is The Fraud, by Barbara Ewing, which I bought in London last month on vacation. It’s a novel about a painter in mid-18th century London, and some very deep, dark secrets. The author is fond of run-on sentences, but I’m enjoying the story immensely.

Yesterday I went and counted all of the unread books in my possession—I have 46 of them, plus a few ARCs coming to me in the mail (I snagged Barbara Kingsolver’s The Lacuna through Vine, and I’m super excited about that; plus I was notified that I would be receiving a copy of Edward Rutherfurd's new book, which runs to 900-ish pages). Yikes. I really need to get cracking on my reading, don’t I? Right there is about four months' worth of reading. I only really have time for about three books a week, so I really need to be a bit selective when it comes to my reading choices. But I'll get there before long. So much to read, not enough time to do it in, you know?

Comments

I love the Boudicca series! I've read them all, they are fantastic.
Oh, Lord, run-on sentences. I've been too abused by reading Falkner in high school- it will be many a year before I can bring myself to read anything with run-on sentences again.

The Boudicca novel sounds fascinating. I think I'll put it on my list (book number 200 to read!).
Oh, gees. So I just counted my unread books on the shelves and I have an ungodly 174! Not to mention the 9 or so more coming in the mail from various giveaways. I think I have the sickness...
Frances said…
Oooo, I envy you that new Barbara Kingsolver. Lucky you. And I admire your willingness to admit that size of that stack in the waiting. My own will remain a secret. :) Happy reading!
Joanne said…
Love all of Victoria Holt's earlier writings - especially Mistress of Mellyn. You must read Kirkland Revels and The Secret Woman by Victoria Holt - my favs by her. Happy reading!
Marg said…
I really enjoyed Manda Scott's take on Boudica. Less impressed with the other book I read by her but that is okay.

I really enjoyed Kate Furnivall's book, but know others who didn't so I will be interested to hear what you think in the end.

My library pile is going down because I am returning books unread because I simply cannot possibly read the months and months worth of books that I have out, let alone the books that I have been buying/receiving.
Serena said…
still using up gcs from last christmas...wow! You have some serious willpower.

Popular posts from this blog

Review: Forever Amber, by Kathleen Winsor

Pages: 972 Originally published: 1944 My edition: 2000 (Chicago Review Press) How I acquired my copy: Amazon.com, 2004

Forever Amber takes place in the 1660s, immediately follwing Charles II's ("the Merry Monarch") return of the Stuarts to the English throne. The book features Amber St. Claire, a young woman who starts out as a sixteen-year-old country girl, naieve to the workings of the world. She immediately meets Bruce Carlton, a dashing young Cavalier, with whom she has a passionate love affair in choppy intervals throughout the book. They have two children together, but Bruce won't marry her for the reason he tells his friend Lord Almsbury: that Amber just isn't the kind of woman one marries.

Upon following Bruce to London, he goes to Virginia, leaving her to fend for herself. What follows is a series of affairs and four marriages, with Bruce coming back from America now and then. Amber's marriages are imprudent: her first husband is a gambler, her second is…

Review: Jane Austen's Letters, ed. by Deirdre Le Faye

Pages: 667 Original date of publication: 2011 My copy: 2011 (Oxford University Press) Why I decided to read: How I acquired my copy: Amazon.com, April 2013
This is a compilation of many of Jane Austen’s letters, most of them sent to her sister Cassandra between 1796 and 1817, the year of her death. Although many of Austen’s letters were destroyed by her sister in order to preserve the family reputation, the collection contains over 160 letters in which Austen gives her sister details about her life in Chawton—as well as giving us a tantalizing glimpse of what was going through her mind as she was writing her novels (especially the novel that was to become Pride and Prejudice, First Impressions). There are other letters here, too, giving advice to her niece and professional correspondence to publishers—as well as a couple of letters that were written by Cassandra Austen after Jane’s death.
To the sisters, the letters acted in the way that phone calls do today; Austen’s news is all about pe…

Review: Midnight in Peking, by Paul French

Pages: 259 Original date of publication: 2013 My copy: 2013 (Penguin) Why I decided to read: How I acquired my copy: Phoenix bookstore, May 2013
In January 1937, the body of a young British girl, Pamela Werner, was found near Peking’s Fox Tower. Although two detectives, one British and the other Chinese, spent months on the case, the case was never solved completely, and the case was forgotten in the wake of the invasion of the Japanese. Frustrated, Pamela’s father, a former diplomat, tried to solve the crime. His investigation took him into the underbelly of Peking society and uncovered a secret that was worse than anything he could have imagined.
At first, I thought that this would be a pretty straightforward retelling of a true crime, but what Paul French (who spent seven years researching the story) reveals in this book is much more than that. Foreign society in Peking in the 1930s was stratified, with the British colonials at the top and the White Russian refugees at the bottom, but…