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The Sunday Salon

Happy Sunday! This weekend has been eventful; last night was the annual holiday party for work downtown. It’s a huge event—apparently, there were about 700 people there (employees plus guests plus other assorted people connected to the company who were invited). It was a semi-formal event, and people got pretty dressed up for it. It was pretty good—we’re a company with eleven different locations in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, so it was good to see people I haven’t seen in a long time. Regarding what I wore, I hate shopping, so what my mom did on Friday afternoon was go shopping for me! She basically bought a few options, had me try them on at home, and then returned what I didn't want. I eventually settled on a cocktail dress with black velvet sleves, with the rest blue satin. It turns out that I've lost a lot of weight recently, so it was amazing that she got my new size right. And I'm tinier than I thought I was!

At work, due to the holidays this week was the first five-day week we’ve had in a long time, and it was a bit hard to get back into the swing of things—it’s been very busy lately, too.

In terms of reading, I completed Fidelity, by Susan Glaspell (a Persephone) and The Queen’s Governess, by Karen Harper (coming out on the 21st). I’m now most of the way through Twilight of Avalon, by Anna Elliott. At first, I thought it was going to be more fantasy-oriented, but I’m pleasantly surprised that it’s not.

Coming up this week is the publication of Elizabeth Kostova’s new book, The Swan Thieves. I’m still puzzling over the fact that the author of such a great book as The Historian could have published something as awful as her new one (which, by the way, I couldn't finish). I really sort of struggled over whether or not to write a review of the book. But I'd like to be known for being honest. My review will be up this week, but I warn you it won’t be pretty. What about you? If you hate a book, do you post a review? Or are you one of those people who, if you have nothing nice to say, you say nothing at all? I’ll also post a review of Alice I Have Been, by Melanie Benjamin, which is also coming out this week. I also have a few other reviews scheduled for this week.

How was your week?


Anonymous said…
Sometimes, writing a review for a bad book is better than writing a review for a good book! I absolutely hated The Historian, but I really enjoyed writing that review. I try and review everything I read, so yes, yes I do!
dolleygurl said…
I haven't read a book I have hated since I started reviewing, but I would probably still review it. The one I'm reading now is only so-so, but I plan on telling why I feel that way. I think it is fair to let others know why something just didn't work for you.
judy said…
I agree with the other comments. Any review, no matter how erudite or amateur, is essentially an opinion. I enjoy seeing how different readers react to the same book.

Wow, you must be the only person who lost weight over the holidays!

This week I read a book that has been on my TBR soon list ever since I read The Magicians by Lev Grossman. Little, Big by John Crowley. I am having some kind of second childhood with fantasy lately. This book completely blew me away with its interaction between humans and fairies in the modern day. Probably not for everyone but highly recommended as a top example of the genre.
Diane said…
Katherine....congrats on your weight loss -- always a struggle it seems for me.

I was sorry to hear that Swan Thieves was disappointing for you. I was hoping to read it next weekend for the mystery read-a-thon.

I always write an honest review positive or negative. I do try to find something positive to say but then tell it like it was :) I'll be looking for your review.
Bookfool said…
It's often helpful to read a variety of opinions about a book before making a decision, so a negative review can be a great thing to read -- nice to see them in the mix, sometimes. As to writing negative reviews . . . it depends. If I don't have anything positive to say at all, I will likely skip reviewing or say very little. I do review DNFs, sometimes, though. I used to never write DNF reviews but even bad exposure is still exposure for an author, so I started to write them and have been surprised by the positive reaction.

I actually just finished The Swan Thieves and I enjoyed it, but I haven't read The Historian, so I have no basis for comparison. At times, I thought it was a drag and the ending kind of stunned me in a "don't buy that" way, but at the same time, I felt satisfied. Oh, dear. I can tell I'm going to have a terrible time with that review!

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