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The Sunday Salon

What I read in April:

Gildenford, by Valerie Anand (4 stars)

The Royal Griffin, by Juliet Dymoke (3.5 stars)

The Young Pretenders, by Edith Henrietta Fowler (4.5 stars)

The Confessions of Catherine de Medici, by CW Gortner (4.5 stars)

The Campaigners, by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles (4 stars)

Jerusalem, by Cecelia Holland (4 stars)

The Expendable Man, by Dorothy Hughes (4 stars)

My Fair Lazy, by Jen Lancaster (4.5 stars)

The Peacock and the Pearl, by Jennifer Lang (3 stars)

Spooky Little Girl, by Laurie Notaro (3.5 stars)

The Brothers of Gwynedd: Sunrise in the West, by Edith Pargeter (2.5 stars)

Mistress of Rome, by Kate Quinn (2 stars)

Clouds of Witness, by Dorothy L. Sayers (4 stars)

I read a number of really great books this month; among my favorites were The Young Pretenders and The Confessions of Catherine de Medici. Unfortunately there were a few duds in the mix, but in all it was a solid reading month.

This past month I received a review copy of Every Last One, by Anna Quindlen, through the Amazon Vine Program. Well, within 48 hours of acquiring the book, my mom, who loves Anna Quindlen’s books (bording a wee bit on obsession), had made off with it. She ended up loving it and this past week has been begging me to read it, too. She even went out and bought four more copies of the book! On Thursday she went to see Quindlen speak at the Philadelphia Free Library and (somewhat embarrassingly) mentioned my blog to her!. On the other hand, Quindlen did sign my copy “For Katherine—one book love to another.” A signed ARC—can you beat that? I read Every Last One on Friday and finished it yesterday; yes, it is a good book, though I don’t think I love it quite as much as my mom does.

Speaking of review copies, this week I received another review copy that has puzzled me exceedingly: it's a finished copy of a memoir that I know I won't read--mostly because, with some notable exceptions, I don't read memoirs (Jen Lancaster's books are an exception; and a couple of years ago I read a collection of essays by Sloane Crosley that I enjoyed greatly). But other than that, I steer clear of memoirs--they seem like so much navel-gazing and name-dropping to me, and the one I just received sounds suspiciously like it might be more of the same. Reading reviews on Amazon was no help, either; there are three reviews of this book on there, and all are glowing five-stars reviews by people who have only reviewed one or two books. So I'm at a loss. I don't think I'll read or review the book, but it was nice that the publisher thought of me when sending this out. What about you? Have you ever received unsolicited books for review from publishers/authors?

What next for me? This upcoming week is Persephone Reading Week, and I’ve got a few unread Persephones to choose from! Should I start with William: An Englishman? Or The Crowded Street? Or A London Child of the 1987s? Or They Were Sisters or High Wages? Despite my current state of indecision, though I know I’m going to enjoy this week! I also intend to write a post about one of my favorite Persephone authors, Dorothy Whipple, so keep an eye out for that midweek. I'm still trying to figure out how to save pictures from the internet on to my computer, however, so that I can post some pictures of DW; so that post might sadly be photo-less.

Currently I'm reading The Tulip Virus, by Danielle Hermans, out from the library through ILL. It's a mystery set in the present-day and 17th century Holland, and focuses on the tulip frenzy of the 1630s. After a shaky start, in which I didn't know if I'd like the book or not, I'm reading on. Since we've had such warm weather here, I spent most of yesterday afternoon reading outside. At some point, hopefully soon, my copy of Elizabeth Chadwick's new book, To Defy a King, should be arriving from Bookdepository. Later, I'll be reading a number of Amazon Vine books. So I know that May will be a busy month!


Kristen M. said…
I've received a couple of unsolicited books that just really weren't in genres that I am interested in reading. My choice is to pass them on to someone that I think will enjoy them. I might have tried once or twice to read them anyway but only confirmed that they just weren't right for me. Better to give them a different home where they might be enjoyed!
Frances said…
I have also received some strange unsolicited books before, namely romances. Hmm. Clearly they have not read my blog. :)

Can't wait for that Dorothy Whipple post. She seems to be the Persephone poster girl - so loved by so many. Have one of her titles lined up for this week and hope I get to it.

That is an impressive amount of reading this month but the Dorothy Sayers at the end really caught my eye. I am craving a Sayers re-read.
Serena said…
There are just some books that arrive in the mail that have you scratching your head. I get a lot of humor books lately, which are often hit or miss with me. On this rare occasion, I got a good one...which I hope to review soon, but that doesn't happen often.
Marg said…
My most recent unsolicited book was an Austen spin-off which I know I just won't read. I also have no idea who sent it! Never mind!

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