Skip to main content

The Sunday Salon

Happy Halloween! I’m not really a Halloween person anymore, but this year I kind of got in the mood for it. Last night I was catching up on CSI episodes; there’s one from a couple of weeks ago where there’s this serial killer that breaks into the homes of do-gooders and kills them for having skeletons in their closet. This was especially scary to me considering I’m at my parents’ house home alone, while they’re on the opposite coast this week! I couldn’t fall asleep, thnk that there might be a man dressed in full-body latex lying under my bed! (where do the writers of CSI come up with these ideas?). Another good reason why I’m eager to move into my new apartment building (which, with any luck, will take place sometime in December)—at least I’ll constantly have people above, around and below me rather than being isolated in the suburbs.

I only read ten books in October but at least one of them was a 700-plus-page chunkster (Penmarric). October was a busy month for me personally; I closed on my new condo and I’m starting to take on more responsibility at work. So lots going on that’s exciting.

Also read this month were The Countess, by Rebecca Johns, The Abyss, by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles, Cranford, by Elizabeth Gaskell, Vile Bodies, by Evelyn Waugh, Making Conversation, by Christine Longford, Mary Lavelle, by Kate O’Brien, The Gentlewomen, by Laura Talbot, Dimanche and Other Stories, by Irene Nemirovsky, and Dark Road to Darjeeling, by Deanna Raybourn. I had a lot of luck with my Persephone and Virago reads this month, as well as with the other classics I read and Dark Road to Darjeeling. Least favorite of the books I read this month was The Countess, which sadly didn’t live up to what I expected of it. My current read, which I’m already halfway through, is another chunkster: Lords of the White Castle, by Elizabeth Chadwick. The weather has gotten a bit chillier here recently and I needed a good, thick read to match my mood!

Comments

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…