Sunday, March 09, 2008

Sunday Salon: plum blossoms and the end of the world

This has been a very nice Sunday as I got to read, take some pictures and enjoy the spring-like weather. But first let's backtrack a few days.
If you visited last Sunday you may remember that I was wondering what to read next. I did indeed finish Housekeeping vs. The Dirt (review here), then on Monday I stopped by the library on my way to a lesson. There I found Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata, winner of the Newbery Medal in 2005. So instead of choosing from the books I should be reading, I spent a couple of enjoyable days with Katie and her family (review here).
Finally, mid-week, I picked up The Road by Cormac McCarthy which was from last week's choices and I finished it tonight in the train on the way home from our outing. It was not a very good idea reading the ending of that particular book on the train as let's just say I was slightly emotional but it really was quite a moving, tragic, bleak, brave, desperate story. (Hence today's subtitle, with a nod to Murakami of course). I'm going to have to let it sit and percolate in my mind for a couple of days but I do think it's the best book I've read so far this year.
Now I'm back to the dilemma of what to pick up next but I think I'm going to try Surfacing by Atwood. We'll see if it grabs me.
As for today's outing, here is a sample of what we saw...

Have a good week and happy reading!


  1. I'm interested how much you enjoyed 'The Road'. It's on my Award Winners list but last week a friend said it was awful so I've been putting it off. I'm just going to have to read it for myself and make up my own mind.

  2. I felt the same way about The Road - I thought it brilliant and utterly compelling; then I had to sit with it for a few days and process my feelings.

    Thanks for sharing the cherry blossoms - I am anticipating the same here in Oregon soon!

  3. I thought I would stop in and say hello before finally settling on my next book to read. I have several here I want to get to next, it's just a matter of deciding which next is now. :-)

    I look forward to reading your review on The Road. It sounds like such an amazing book to read.

    Have a great week, Tanabata!

  4. Oh wow, I can't wait to read your review of The Road.
    Love the plum blossoms, how nice that you get to enjoy those.

  5. yes, sprintime is almost here..or is here depending on where you live!! It is such a wonderful time...I like it because my kids can go play outside and not be cooped up...they like it too.

    Anyway, I haven't read the books you are talking about, but I know that Housekeeping is one of my husband's all time farourites! Good luck selecting a book.

  6. sorry, i read your blog wrong...i understand that you FINISHED Houskeeping. hehhe...sorry.

  7. Yes, that's exactly the effect THE ROAD had on me too! I found I had to let it sink in awhile too.

  8. Oooh, those are so lovely!

    I really wasn't sure about The Road until some time ago (I know it's silly, but sometimes a big hype around a book can throw me off), but I have now read some reviews that convinced me that I ought to pick it up soon. I look forward to yours!

  9. Thank-you for the beautiful picture. Trees here are still bare, it is still cold.

    I couldn't put THE ROAD down, it left me with some of the same feelings, very emotional. I did see the movie NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN finally yesterday evening, I do not know if I liked it I will make a note of it on my movie blog later this week. The acting was superb, it is nothing like THE ROAD, I found it raw and violent. Of course this is the movie I did not read the book.
    I am progressing with THE CAT'S EYE by Margaret Atwood, I like the book a lot I hope you will find SURFACING to your liking. Did not read this one.

  10. I didn't love The Road when I read it, but as the days passed, I came to think more highly of it and wound up giving it a much higher rating than I would have right after finishing. It's a remarkable story. Bleak, yes. But so well-done. Have you read Alas, Babylon? I have the two books side-by-side on an endcap at work. I've recommended AB to several customers who loved The Road (and vice versa).

  11. Table Talk- I found it very compelling but I can definitely see how it wouldn't be everyone's 'cup of tea'. I'm curious what you'll think of it.

    TerriG- It was quite a powerful story. I'm sure it will stay with me for some time.
    I'm looking forward to the cherry blossoms too. Won't be too much longer now that the plum blossoms are out.

    Literary Feline- Sometimes I know which book I want to pick up next, others it all depends on my mood. Hope you picked up a good one. And have a good week yourself! :)

    Iliana- I was so happy to see the plum blossoms. Our neighbourhood is rather stark concrete with very little in the way of trees of plants and is always rather grey looking but seeing those blossoms really made me feel spring is on its way.

    Bethany- It was so nice walking around outside yesterday. Nice timing as today it's rainy and cooler again but spring is certainly not far off.

    Clare- So bleak and sad yet I couldn't stop reading it. I find myself still thinking about it today.

    Nymeth- The premise didn't really appeal to me either but I'm glad I read it anyway. I'm not sure I'll be able to do it justice in a review but I would certainly recommend it.

    Madeleine- I've started Surfacing and I've only read a couple of chapters but it's going ok so far. I'm curious about No Country for Old Men. I'll probably watch the movie on DVD. We almost never go to the cinema and I'm curious about the book now after reading The Road.

    Les- No I haven't read Alas, Babylon. I guess I need to revise my assumption that I don't really like dystopian stories because I also quite liked The Handmaid's Tale and have appreciated some others like 1984 or Fahrenheit 451 even though I didn't particularly love them. I'll add Alas, Babylon to my someday list. :)


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