13 April 2008

Sunday Salon #4, 13 April 2008

Been quite a productive week, 7 blog posts including 3 book reviews and 2 progress reports.
I've taken to writing progress reports on the books that I am reading, because I think they help me clarify how I feel in the early stages of reading a book, and also to fill in the blog-post gap that might otherwise occur.

Post Summary
  • THE GIRL OF HIS DREAMS, Donna Leon, my rating 4.7
    This is the 17th title in the Guido Brunetti series. Donna Leon has produced a book a year since 1992, constantly enriching his Venetian world with believable characters, and focussing on the issues that beset modern Venice. She gives us a glimpse beneath the tourist veneer, and reading the next is always a pleasure.
  • BYE BYE BABY, progress report
  • Reading in the car, talking books
    Currently I'm listening to Ken Follett's WORLD WITHOUT END read beautifully by Richard E. Grant. I find it a cathartic way to start and end the day, even though my journeys are only 20-30 minutes
  • BYE BYE BABY, Lauren Crow, my rating 4.2
    An impressive debut crime fiction novel by an established Australian author, but it could have done with some editing.
  • Influencing what people read - reflections on the role played by Oprah Winfrey's Book Club, and making it onto Richard & Judy's best picks
  • A QUIET BELIEF IN ANGELS, progress report
  • A QUIET BELIEF IN ANGELS, R.J. Ellory, my rating 5.0
    It is rare for me to read a book in just 2 days. There has been a tendency not to consider crime fiction as having literary merit but I think A QUIET BELIEF IN ANGELS easily straddles both genres. There's a quality in its word pictures that puts it right at the top. This book should win awards!
What's next?
  • I'll finish listening to Ken Follett's WORLD WITHOUT END in the next few days.
    One of the things that happens when you listen to a book being read is that your mind is able to savour what you are listening to, but at the same time it gets harder to remember in detail the journey you've travelled. You can't turn back the pages to check details, or, as I do, when I write a review, skim read the first 50 pages again. Makes writing the final review a bit harder.

  • I'll also be reading THIS NIGHT'S FOUL WORK by Fred Vargas. This has been maturing on the "review" pile for a little while, kindly contributed free by Random House Australia. So I'll probably read this a little bit more slowly, perhaps making some notes as I go, and subjecting my blog readers to a progress report or two.
And just a word about football. I went to see the lot on the right play last night, and watched in disbelief as they snatched defeat from the jaws of victory - yes that's right!
I reckon what happened is that the "real team" went home at 3 quarter time and some mindless clones took their places. When it happened to Yvonne Goolagong we used to say her mind had "gone walkabout", but although the Power has a fair number of indigenous members, they can't all claim that an excuse. Nor was the deluge over Footy Park at the beginning of the final quarter an excuse- it rained on both teams!
More significantly they destroyed my chances of a perfect 8 in the footy pools! I picked the exact margin on Friday night's game and the Power debacle spoilt my chance of perfection. grrr.


Clare - The Super Mommy Club said...

Hi - I'm reading A Quiet Belief in Angels at the moment so I'll wait until I'm done before reading your related posts - interesting to read that you read it so quickly - I thought I would in the early stages but started struggling towards the middle - those word pictures have really started to detract from the story - I'm determined to finish it though and hope Ellory makes it worthwhile!

Kerrie said...

Keep reading Claire!
Hope you do enjoy it.

Anonymous said...

I'd forgotten about Donna Leon. I was at one time reading my way through her novels and then somehow or another managed to get distracted. A good project for Summer reading, I think. Vargas is another writer that I ought to pick up on; especially as she picked up a dagger last year.

Kerrie said...

Vargas has picked up 2 daggers in successive years. Adamsberg is a very interesting character
See my posts on 22 and 23 March


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