Sunday Salon

It’s finally SUNDAY!  I think a lot of us bloggers have a BBAW hangover this weekend.  So many posts to read, so many giveaways, so many awards and so much excitement!  It was a great week, put on by the tireless My Friend Amy, who did a phenomenal job putting it all together and keeping track of everything.  A round of applause for AMY!  (clap, clap, clap)

My BBAW giveaways will be ending this week too;  this one on Monday, and this one on Tuesday.  Hurry and enter if you haven’t already!

Fall has arrived here in Southern California. I used to love this time of year growing up in Michigan- back to school, sweater weather, fall colors, apple picking.  The change of seasons is more subtle in So. Cal. but when you’ve lived her awhile you start to notice small things.  We go from hot to warm, green to brown, and dry to not quite as dry, over the course of several months.  It’s still blazing hot right now, but it cools off in the evenings, and it’s chilly in the early morning.  The kids are back in school (and already have tons of homework), and by next weekend we’ll start to see pumpkins and scarecrows on porches to remind us that it’s fall, since the weather doesn’t offer much of a clue.

I’ve got so much reading lined up but it’s a challenge to find time.  My husband is in China on business, so I’ve been a “single mom” for the past week.  Things I’ve had to do without him include:

* going to Back to School night alone

* taking the girls on an overnight campout at their school (I  made the kids put the tent up, so it wasn’t that bad- it was just the carting things back and forth and the sleeping on the ground that sucked!)

* dealing with the emotions (“I miss daddy” sniff sniff)

* hauling the garbage cans to the curb and back (his job)

* feeding the dog and picking up poop (also his job)

* taking my youngest to her golf lesson (always a daddy/daughter thing)  

On the plus side, I’ve only cooked dinner once all week.  A couple nights we had leftovers, a couple nights we went out, and one night we had “breakfast for dinner”.  Oh, and I haven’t shaved my legs.  Ha!

Right now I’m reading Peony in Love by Lisa See.  I’ve wanted to read this since it came out, but was waiting for my book club to vote it in.  So far I LOVE it.  I was already a big fan after reading Snow Flower, now I’m a bigger fan.  Her writing is so lush and evocative- you get such a sense of the surroundings, you can almost smell the jasmine on the breeze.  Lisa is going to join our book club meeting in October by speaker phone and we could not be more excited!  

Next on the TBR pile is Immortal by Traci Slatton for Jennifer’s online book club at Literate Housewives (not to be confused with her regular blog, Literate Housewife). This one is somehow a cross between historical fiction and time travel.  It’s set in Florence in the 14th century, and the back cover says something about a golden boy having to make a choice between immortality and his only chance to find his true love (I’m paraphrasing wildly).  

After that, it’s on to The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff for a TLC Book Tour stop here on October 30th.  It’s about Ann Eliza Young, 19th wife of Brigham Young, prophet and leader of the Mormon church.  There’s also a parallel story about a present day murder in a polygamist family.  I can’t wait to start it.  

And last, but hopefully not least, I’ll be reading Run by Ann Patchett.  The only Patchett I’ve read is Bel Canto, which I intensely disliked, but because my friend Jill at Fizzy Thoughts liked Run so much, and then offered to send me her copy, I’m going to give it a try.  I’m also interested in Patchett’s Truth and Beauty, about her friendship with Lucy Grealy (Autobiography of a Face), so I’m going to give her a second chance, and then possibly a third.  

I’m curious- If you’ve read a book that you didn’t like at all, do you give an author another chance and read more of their work?  Or do you “fire them” forever?  

Happy Sunday!

22 Responses

  1. A BBAW hangover is right! I hadn’t even gotten caught up after being on vacation. I am definitely ready to slow down a bit. It sure was fun though!

    I am glad you enjoyed Peony In Love. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan is one of my favorite books and I hope to read Peony In Love one of these days. I gave my mother a copy for Mother’s Day this year and she loved it too.

    The 19th Wife is on my calendar to read soon too. I have a couple of other books I want to get to first, but I am determined to do more reading than I have been able to lately.

    Have a great week, Lisa!

  2. Happy SS…so sorry to hear you’re a married single mom…I so know that feeling and have done it at various times during my 17 year marriage…lol.
    I’m currently reading Run and hope to have it finished today so that I can participate in Wednesday’s online discussion.

    I usually give author’s three chances before I give up on them.

  3. I don’t fire an author after one miss, but after two, I’m usually less likely to try something of theirs.

    I read two of Joyce Carol Oate’s books – one was The Falls, I can’t remember the other – and disliked them both. I still have We Were the Mulvaneys and The Gravedigger’s Daughter sitting on my to-read shelves, but I keep skipping over them.

    I really disliked Atonement by Ian McEwan (I know, I’m in the minority), but I enjoyed his On Checil Beach, so I’ll probably give him another try someday.

  4. I enjoyed BBAW a lot but am ready for a more regular pace. I will still be checking out new blogs as I have time though.

    I live in Michigan and I LOVE fall. It’s my very favorite season and is especially beautiful here.

    I will usually give an author another shot if I don’t like one book by them though I admit it’s not usually as high a priority as those authors I like.

  5. Sounds like you’ve got a good reading week lined up!

    I’ll usually give an author at least two or three chances to catch my attention. I figure everyone is entitled to at least one bad book, and I wouldn’t want to miss out on someone spectacular just because I happened to stumble across their one stinker. I’m usually not in much of a hurry to try more of their work, though; if I really didn’t enjoy the stinker book, I need some time to recover.

  6. I’ve heard great things about ‘The Nineteenth Wife’ but it doesn’t seem to be available over here as yet. I shall have to keep waiting.

  7. I really enjoyed Run! I’m sorry to hear you didn’t like Bel Canto though, as I immediately ran out and bought it as soon as I started reading Run. I hope you like it too.

    I usually give authors a second chance. If I don’t like two of their books, then I won’t read anything by them again unless it’s free or recommended by every person I trust.

  8. I don’t usually fire an author after one bad book, but I might uh…lay them off for awhile. Glad to hear you’re going to give Ann Patchett another try – she’s one of my favorites. I loved The Magician’s Assistant and Truth and Beauty (though, for some reason I feel like I keep coming upon people who didn’t like it – but I did, …and perhaps it helps that I read it *before* Autobiography of a Face which is still languishing on Mt. TBR). Anyhow, hope Run is a better experience. Looking forward to hearing what you think about it!

  9. I laughed when you wrote about the time while your hubby’s away. I know how you feel, but now that our son is away at college, I enjoy my husband’s business trips – it gives me some ME time.

  10. Okay, I’m a dork. I didn’t even realize there was a separate URL for Jennifer’s book group.

    I’m reading Immortal too. It’s very good so far.

    I’ve heard such good things about Lisa See.

    Lisa, hang in there. It’s tough when the husbands are traveling.

    In answer to your question, it depends. If I’ve liked previous reads, I’ll give the author another chance. If I really dislike the first book I read, I must say I usually don’t pick up anything else by that author.

  11. I’m definitely adding The 19th Wife to my TBR list. Fascinating. Did you read Escaped, by Carolyn Jessup? (or is it Jessop?) Anyhoo, it was interesting to learn about the FLDS church.

  12. You are having such a busy time. I don’t know how single parents do it. My hats off to them!

    Thanks for the shout out about the book club. Immortal doesn’t have time travel in it (at least not yet), but it’s about a character who doesn’t age normally. It’s good so far, so I’m sure that you’ll like it, too. 🙂

    I bought Peony in Love as soon as it came out, but – just like with A Thousand Splendid Suns, i haven’t started it in fear that it will be a let down from the first novel. I’m glad you’re enjoying it and I’m looking forward to your review!

  13. If there is a book that got a lot of good reviews, but that I did not like personally… I will give that author another chance before writing them off. In those situations, I just feel as if it wasn’t the right time for me to read it. However, if the second books stinks too then I am done for good.

  14. Depends on the situation. If it’s the first book that I’ve read by that author, and it was just totally not my style, I probably would not bother with that author again. If it’s someone I generally like, and this one just didn’t do it for me, then I’d keep reading. Some of my favorite authors fall in that category- even the best writers don’t hit it out of the park (or even manage to hit a single!) every time.

  15. I had to take the weekend off from blogging I was so burned out from the BBAW festivities (reading all those new blogs was so tiring, but rewarding!). I won’t necessarily “fire” an author if I don’t like one book, but you can bet I will if I don’t like the second.

  16. Weeks like that are always rough – glad you didn’t have to cook! As a Patchett fan, I’m curious to see what you think about Run. And I’m on the fence with 19th Wife – reading reviews before I decide.

  17. I’m glad you’re giving Ann Patchett a second chance — I LOVED *Bel Canto* and thought *The Magician’s Assistant* was 3/5 stars (writing was excellent, I felt “empty” about the plot). I’m reading *Run* now and am enjoying it so far … I think if I disliked a book as much as you disliked *Bel Canto* I’d have a hard time going back for more (you must be more generous than I am!)

    Re: things at home … I laughed at the “up side”; good for you to be able to find it. My husband travels a lot too, and it takes its toll (I haven’t yet been subjected to camping in his absence though!)

    Thanks for finding me at my new place!

  18. I liked Peony too…but I liked Snowflower much better! 🙂

    I’m looking forward to hearing what you think of the 19th Wife. Looks like one I’d love!

    I left you a little award on my blog. 🙂

  19. I started Peony in Love at the gate waiting for my flight to Hong Kong and finished it on board! I love the extensive details of the customs, traditions, and superstitions. The plot was very twisted but it’s very authentic. You can read my reviews on my blog. 🙂

  20. You couldn’t be more accurate in your description of Fall in So. Cal. Back to School Night was a killer for me… the homework in middle school is scary!

    A Novel Menagerie

  21. Hang in there with your husband gone. I hate when my leaves for business. Thank God it’s not very often.

    I loved Peony in Love and Secret Fan.

    To be honest, I don’t pay much attention to an author unless I really, really like the stuff. Then, I search out more. (I’m a terrible example).

    PS I gave you an award!

  22. I so enjoyed Peony and Snowflower as well. With Peony it took me awhile to get into the hang of the opera and then the particular obstacle that came between Peony, but her life and growth was so rich. It was so good!

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