Sunday Salon, Birthday Weekend Edition: Book-buying begins again!

The Sunday

Reading Progress and Plans

I’m trying to finish reading Nothing but Ghosts by Beth Kephart this weekend, and I think I’ll accomplish that. I’ll be reviewing it in tandem with Beth’s earlier YA novel, Undercover – I may not post it till next week, though, so as not to divert attention from my review of The Sparrow (see the Read-Along note below). Both of those books count for my Blogging Authors Reading Project, as does my next blog-tour read, Get Lucky by Katherine Center.

Double-booking is usually problematic for me, but I think I’ll try it again anyway, accompanying my reading of Get Lucky with In the Land of Believers: An Outsider’s Extraordinary Journey into the Heart of the Evangelical Church by Gina Welch (a LibraryThing Early Reviewer book). Pairing fiction and nonfiction seems to be the way this works best for me, based on previous attempts – wish me luck! I really don’t know how those of you who regularly read two, three or more(!) books at the same time manage it.

And as you may recall, my book-buying ban bit the dust last weekend. I know I said I wouldn’t tell you which books blew it until Easter, but since I bought two more after that, why play games any more? But I will note that all but one of these was already on my wishlist, so it wasn’t like I was swept off my feet or anything:

I also received two LTER books this week, one of which I’d given up on seeing (it was in December’s batch, and I’d already marked it as “not received”):

Meanwhile, the Wishlist continues to balloon:
If the Church Were Christian, by Philip Gulley
The Girl Who Fell From the Sky, by Heidi Durrow
Rapture Ready!: Adventures in the Parallel Universe of Christian Pop Culture, by Daniel Radosh
Searching for Whitopia: An Improbable Journey to the Heart of White America, by Rich Benjamin
The House of Tomorrow, by Peter Bognanni
The Language of Secrets, by Dianne Dixon

What are you reading, and did you stumble across any good books this week?

News and Notes and Announcements

The Sparrow Read-Along is wrapping up this week! We’ll be posting our reviews and thoughts about the book this Tuesday, March 30, led by Rebecca at The Book Lady’s Blog.
Also, if you’ve responded to any of Heather‘s discussion questions, don’t forget to leave her the link to your post (which should go up before your review does, if it isn’t already posted).

I am so glad to have read this book again, and having company for it made it even better. I’m looking forward to reading everyone’s reviews, and having some great discussions in comments all over the place!

  • It’s two weeks until the next 24-Hour Read-a-thon on April 10! Are you in? I think I am, but I’m pretty sure it won’t be for 24 hours – I won’t be able to have it eat my whole weekend (or take an extra day off before it starts) this time. But it’s too much fun – and too productive – to miss it completely!

There’s one other thing that I first announced on Twitter a few days ago – I’ll give you all the details about that later this week, but it has something to do with this.

BOOKMARKS: Reading-related Reading

What sort of reviews influence you to read a book – positive, negative, or impassioned, regardless of which side they’re on?

An author gives book bloggers credit as book reviewers, promoters, and influencers

Are you drawn to – or irritated by – books set in places you know?

I tend to connect in a special way with books set in places I know, but then I get particular about the details. I like to be able to recognize the city. But even when the book is set somewhere unfamiliar, I want the author to make me see what it’s like; I just won’t know how accurate that mental picture is.

Settings can be a source of frustration for me when it comes to TV shows and movies, since so many take place in Los Angeles (where most of the writers and producers live). When you live here, it’s so easy to nitpick about how places that are nowhere near each other are made to look like they’re practically next door! (That drove me insane when I used to watch 24…but I’ve finally dropped that show from the DVR rotation, and can only assume has made DC-dwellers and New Yorkers just as insane for the last two seasons!)

For maximum reading pleasure: Reader Age + 10 years = Author Age on Publication (+/- 5 years)Jackie‘s proposed formula for determining the optimal age relationship between author and reader. Does the age of an author matter? (Maybe, maybe not…but now that I think about it, I do tend to gravitate toward contemporary authors in my own age range, in large part because we have common frames of reference. I’m not sure that’s as big a factor in genre fiction.)

What do 2009’s best-selling books say about Americans’ collective reading tastes? (One thing they say to me: book bloggers’ tastes don’t necessarily reflect the mass market. This is NOT a bad thing.)

And now for a couple of “in case you missed it” items:

  • I was pleased to be Literary Feline‘s guest for her interview feature, “A Page in the Life,” this month. Wendy is a great interviewer, and it was a lot of fun!

“First thing I want to get out there: I hate Twilight, especially Edward Cullen. It may be because I read Twilight wanting a good vampire book, and got GUSH MUSH LOVEY-DOVEY GOOSH FLOOSH action GUSH GUSH GUSH. Gag me please. The Edward character creeped me out. The main character, Bella, woke up to Edward being in her room because ‘He liked to watch her sleep’. I dunno, but that (to me) screams STALKER. And I don’t see stalking as sexy. Bella also describes him as ‘sparkly’. What does she do at school? Other girls say things like, ‘My boyfriend is nice,’ or, ‘My boyfriend is funny,’ and here come vampy’s girlfriend, ‘Well my boyfriend is SPARKLY!!'”

Have a great reading week!

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