Sunday, May 18, 2008

Sunday Salon: adding to the wishlist

I finished 3 books this week! But it's not nearly as impressive as it sounds. After finishing Every Secret Thing, which in itself was a pretty quick read, I picked up Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes. Considering I only got it last week, that's a pretty rare, quick turnaround for me. But it's only 62 pages long and a children's story so you can imagine it didn't take long to read. And then, because I found it in the library and I don't seem to have enough of my own books to read (sarcasm intended!), I started How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff. I had to return Other Voices, Other Rooms so of course I had to have a browse at the library while I was there. I'm counting How I Live Now for the Book Awards Challenge though so there is a bit of method to my madness. Being a YA title, it was also a quick read and I finished it off earlier today. So you see, it sounds good but those 3 books together only add up to a total of 638 pages of easy-to-read prose, only about 400 of which were read this past week. The result of this though is that I'm now really behind on writing up reviews. I think I need to start a longer, denser book to read over the next week or two to give me time to catch up! I'm thinking either Kafka on the Shore or My Name is Red. I'll see which one grabs me when I head to bed soon.

As for book acquisitions, only one in this week, Leftovers by Laura Wiess. (Thanks Nancy!) So while I was good about not buying anything this week, I have been adding to my wishlist, primarily from the latest copy of newbooks magazine, from England, which just arrived. Always lots to tempt me in there! In this issue there is a long article about Barbary Gowdy and my hardback copy of Helpless, in the stack by my desk where it has been for a few months, is now openly leering at me. One of the featured books in this issue is Reading in Bed by Sue Gee. I'm certainly drawn to the title! There's also an excerpt from Run by Ann Patchett. I really enjoyed Bel Canto when I read it a few years ago. I really should try something else by her and this new one sounds quite good. I'm sure I'll find plenty more to tempt me but I'll peruse the rest of the magazine another day. I usually have to limit my reading of book magazines so that I don't end up with a very large order of books on its way! Surely I'm not alone in that!

Speaking of ordering books, after keeping my blog ad-free for over 2 years I finally joined Amazon Associates on the US site,, a couple of weeks ago. A lot of people seem to belong to one program or another and a little bit of pocket money for books would be very useful. I still want to keep the ads as unobtrusive as possible and will mainly just add links to books in the posts or sidebar. But if you happen to be heading there anyway, I'd be very appreciative if you'd click through from my blog. If you're also an associate, let me know so I can do the same. Thanks and happy reading!


  1. And what did you think of 'How I Lived Now'? It was very well received but I think it the weakest of her three books. If you did enjoy it then do try 'Just in Case' a really interesting exploration of teenage angst.

  2. I can't wait to hear what you thought of Other Voices, Other Rooms! I need to pick it up soon. Probably after I finish Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.

  3. Hi Nat :)

    I have been womdering since friday what 2 books to buy with my book allowance ( I try to put aside a certain amount a month and not go over, haha ) Anyway HOW I LIVE NOW seems interesting and I bought it, with it came another book MADAPPLE by Christina Meldrum which seems very good, starred review and because they where less expensive boughtenn together, I bought a third THE BOAT by Nam Le also starred reviews and interesting and in all this, forgive me....:( I forgot to use your acc. will do next time, promise. By the way I to have an acc. with them, you'll find it on my sidebar.

    I gave up on OTHER VOICES AND OTHER ROOMS, 2 things, the book was usual...decrepid, from the library (I am done with this library!)

    I'll write my sunday salon later, if I go on it will be right here on your post :P

    have a very nice week, not to stressful I hope and sleep aplenty

  4. I liked Other Voices, Other Rooms. It's an atmosphere thing. I'm intrigued by Southern Gothic. It wasn't really a pleasant read due to the ever present sense of decay, but none-the-less I enjoyed it and would read it again.

    Thanks for the reminder about the Associates. I need to remember to help out other book bloggers and click through. I mean, if I'm going to buy the book anyway ...

  5. You're welcome. Hope you like Leftovers. :)

    How I Lived Now was on my wish list but I dropped it after a very negative review. I've waffled about putting it back on the wish list, ever since.

    So, is there an easy way to add Amazon links? I gave up in frustration, a few months back. It was just too much effort trying to add the links via the Amazon site.

  6. It is always good to have a little bit of extra money for books, isn't it? :)

  7. You've mentioned a lot of great titles in this post! I like the title 'Reading in Bed' too, I'll have to take a look and see what the book is about.

    I'm also an Amazon Associate, but I'm really bad about putting the links on my blog. There's probably a way to do it automatically, but I haven't figured it out yet.

  8. Three books in a week is something to be proud of, no matter how quick or short they may be.

    I have heard great things about Kafka on the Shore--as well as some not so good things, but I've been blocking those out because I really want to read the book. :-)

    I hope you have a great week!

  9. I'm looking forward to reading, Run which I got this week through newbooks. I haven't read Bel Canto but really enjoyed The Magician's Assistant by Ann Patchett. I'm also drawn to Reading in Bed, mainly, I suppose, because I do.

    Good luck with the Amazon Associates. I joined the UK site and so far have earned - nothing!

  10. Table Talk- Well, I enjoyed it but I didn't love it either. She did capture the voice of the teenager well though. It's the first book of hers that I've read so I'll look for 'Just in Case'. Thanks for the recommendation.

    Andi- I don't know if it was timing but by the end I just didn't care too much for it. I probably missed a lot though so I look forward to the discussion.

    Madeleine- You're very disciplined to set aside book money. I tend to just binge every now and then!
    That's too bad about the library. I suppose since there probably aren't a lot of people reading the small selection of English books, most of them are in pretty decent condition at the library here.
    I don't shop at the US site of Amazon all that often because of the shipping but will remember to click through you next time.

    Terri B.- You're right about the atmosphere of Other Voices, Other Rooms. That was the best part!

    Nancy- I enjoyed 'How I Live Now' but also don't think it was anything particularly new or different. If you're not sure I'd suggest getting if from the library or used if you're going to try it. Or skip it and pick up 'Just in Case' instead, like Table Talk suggests.
    They don't mention it on the Associates page that I could find but there are a couple of ways to add your Associate ID to the end of your regular links in your post. I'll send you an email.

    Samantha- A little extra book money is always good! :)

    Nyssaneala- 'Reading in Bed' is a great title! :)
    The way I'm doing the links is just adding a little bit to each link that I type. There do seem to be lots of other automatically generated options, I just didn't want anything too obvious.

    Literary Feline- I haven't really heard any negative things about 'Kafka on the Shore' so that's good I guess. I did end up starting it but only got a few pages in before falling asleep.

    BooksPlease- I think a lot of us can relate to the title, 'Reading in Bed'.
    I haven't earned anything yet either and don't expect to make a lot but even a little bit would be nice. I don't shop at the UK site very often but will occasionally buy DVDs from there so I'll have to remember to click through from your link next time. It's too bad The Book Depository doesn't have an associate program since I shop there more often.

  11. THree books a week is good. Even if those books are thin. I too read three books, including two Tintins!

    I finished reading My name is Red yesterday and I have posted the review on my blog. It took me a long time to finish it.

    I have read Kafka on the Shore and I finished it in one go. I say go for it first! You can read that review too, on my blog. J

  12. Crossing my fingers that you'll like Kafka on the Shore.

  13. Kafka on the Shore! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did :) (You may want to skip a particularly nightmare-inducing scene with something dreadful happening to a cat,'ll know when you get there)

  14. gautami tripathy- I did end up starting Kafka on the Shore. I think I'm in the mood for some Murakami so it should be fun. I'll come read your review of it and My Name is Red. Tintin is always fun!

    Kookie- Well I've only read about 3 chapters but so far so good. :)

    Nymeth- Thanks for the warning. I'll probably still read it since I don't really like skipping anything but we'll see how it goes.

  15. I want to read your review on "KAFKA ON THE SHORE" I liked it a lot, some did not, I thought it was very understanble, down to earth...for murakamy...

    I have to review some books and try to catch up on my reading which has been dismal this month...really bad :( and THE EMPEROR'S CHILDREN came from the library, so i do not have the reference of names, the book was new, I will take out books that are brand new, read 'clean'but still buy the majority.

  16. Madeleine- I'm enjoying 'Kafka on the Shore' so far. I'm about 11 chapters in at the moment. :)

  17. it sounds good but those 3 books together only add up to a total of 638 pages of easy-to-read prose, only about 400 of which were read this past week


    Can you imagine going up to someone and saying that?
    "Hi! How are you doing?"
    "Oh, not that great. I only read about 400 pages this week."

    I mean, I do the same thing... give myself crazy standards to live up to in my head and downplay everything I actually accomplish. It's hard for me to notice in myself, and harder to be willing to stop... so it's good to see other people do it and see how funny it looks from outside!

    I remember reading Sadako in like third grade, and having to make paper cranes in class... I think that must be a legally mandated part of the California curriculum, or something. Like, every third or fourth grade class must read Sadako and then try to make a thousand paper cranes. It's an intense story.

  18. danica- LOL. It does seem pretty silly to complain about it when you put it like that!
    I'd never heard of the story of Sadako until a few years ago. It is a sad story but that's kind of cool that you made origami in school.

  19. I'm an Amazon Associate, too. I didn't make too much when I first started, but now I'm up to about $40-$50 per quarter. I'll never get rich, but it's a nice little bonus and really doesn't take much effort at all. I've been doing it so long now, it's become second nature to add the links. The best thing is when someone buys some sort of electronic item or a Kindle. I earned $39 from one sale! I know they don't allow you to buy from your own ads/hyperlinks,but I've found a way around that. If I have an item I want to buy, I post it with an old date and ask my brother to buy it for me. I reimburse him and wind up with the earnings. Pretty nice when I've bought things like an iPod or an entire dvd collection to give as gifts. Good luck!

  20. Les- You're doing pretty well with Amazon Associates. So far I've made 78cents! ;)
    Clever way to get around not being able to buy through your own links. I thought of getting my husband to go through mine but they might get suspicious with the same address. Besides he doesn't shop at the US site very often either. Oh well. I'd be happy just to have a little extra now and then. Thanks.


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