Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sunday Salon: What I've Been Reading

I didn't get a chance to post last Sunday and I almost didn't today either. My head is not my friend lately. But anyway, time for a quick look at what I've been reading. Let's see ... since I last posted to the Salon two weeks ago I've finished Maus I and II (review here), Cave in the Snow (review here), Daisy Miller, and today I finished reading A Geisha's Journey.

A Geisha's Journey is part picture book, part memoir, and it was fascinating to read about the world of the hanamachi and enjoy the beautiful pictures at the same time. It makes me want to visit Kyoto again and wander around the geisha areas in the hopes of catching a glimpse of them.

I haven't reviewed the last two books yet but will do so this week. And even though the last two were both really short, I'm feeling pleased to have gotten through a few more books than I normally might have this month. I'm also pleased that I enjoyed Daisy Miller since I don't always get on with Henry James. One of these days I'll have to work up the courage to try one of his longer, wordier novels.

But now, just in time for the start of Carl's R.I.P. Challenge, I'm so in the mood for something gothic or spooky. So I think I'm going to start Sisters of Misery next. Never mind that it's still hot and terribly humid here from all the rain we've been having, I'll have to just pretend that the leaves are turning outside and the nights are crisp and cool. Hopefully it won't take too long for the weather to catch up to my reading mood.

As for recent acquisitions, I've been tempted by lots of books lately, but only two new books have arrived in the last couple of weeks. Three Shadows by Cyril Pedrosa, a graphic novel, and just yesterday Yellowknife by Steve Zipp, a Canadian author. (Thanks Steve!) I also got the Murakami Diary for 2009 that I mentioned awhile back. It's just as fun as I imagined and it makes me want to pull out something else by Murakami soon as well. With all the books clamouring for my attention these days, it's quite noisy around here!
Have a great week!

19 comments:

  1. I ought to try 'Daisy Miller'. Like you I don't always get on with James, but I always wish I did. The only one of his longer novels I've had much success with was 'Portrait of a Lady' so if you do try something more substantial you might like to start there.

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  2. Thrre Shadows sounds great. I'm putting it on my TBR list. Hope you feel better and have a great week.

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  3. I'll be adding A Geisha Journey to my wishlist now. I know I'd love it.

    BTW..Hi Nat..long time no talk! I've been so busy lately with my kids but life is starting to become my own again, well in some sort of werid, crazy, non-tradiational way it's my own life. :)

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  4. I can see how it could get a bit noisy with all those books! You've got a great collection of reads and to be reads there.

    I've been hearing a lot of good things about Yellowknife. I'll have to pick up a copy at some point. My latest Canadian read was J.D. Carpenter's Twelve Trees.

    One of the best books I've read so far this summer is The Pink Forest by Dana Dorfman. It's a great piece of fiction all about living within the moment, and it's inspired me to try harder to do just that. :)

    Happy reading, and I hope you find some peace and quiet in order to enjoy all your great books!

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  5. Table Talk- 'Daisy Miller' was a good way to try James again, it was short and one of his earlier works so not so wordy. I think 'Portrait of a Lady' is the other one of his that I have hiding in the stacks so it's good to know that you had some success with that one.

    N.Vasillis- Thanks. I'm hoping to read 'Three Shadows' for the R.I.P. Challenge this month. I've flipped through it and the drawing is really fun.

    Jen- Hi! Nice to have you drop by! :)
    'A Geisha's Journey' is a beautiful book. I think anyone interested in geisha would enjoy it.

    Ruth- LOL. Yes they're all shouting out trying to get my attention! :)
    Sometimes we need to be reminded to live within the moment, don't we?
    BTW, do you have a book blog?

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  6. I have The Turn of The Screw on my RIP Challenge list. I started it some time ago and stopped, mainly because it is so wordy, but I'm determined to read it this time. Looking forward to your Daisy Miller review.

    I keep seeing people are reading Maus, maybe I'll have a look too.

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  7. Wonderful to hear that you enjoyed A Geisha's Journey - I saw this book in a local bookshop not long and wondered if it would be more style than substance and didn't end up buying it. Sounds like I might need to go back!

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  8. BooksPlease- I read 'The Turn of the Screw' last year and didn't really enjoy it, like you said, it's too wordy. Good luck with it. :)

    Karen- Well, the writing is a bit simple at times, just descriptions of how she came to be a maiko and then a geiko, her daily routine and some of the important events along the way. The photos are the focus of the book so it may not as indepth as you're looking for. I read the biography 'Geisha of Gion' (US title: 'Geisha, A Life') a couple years ago which I thought was quite good.

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  9. I like the book list. . .sounds very interesting.

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  10. I hope your head is feeling better soon, Nat!

    I've been so good lately about not buying new books. I actually walked out of the bookstore on Friday night without any books, much to my husband's surprise (and mine--although, I admit my fingers were itching to pick up a couple!).

    I hope you have a great week!

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  11. blacklin- The problem is there are simply too many interesting books! ;)

    Wendy- I don't know what it is about Sundays and headaches lately. At least, for the most part, it hasn't bothered me much during the week.

    I've been quite good lately but I usually end up splurging after a period of not buying much! Book bulimia? ;)

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  12. A Geisha's Journey sounds very interesting. I look forward to your review. And a Murakami diary, how great!

    I can't wait to start my first RIP read either.

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  13. I hope you enjoy Three Shadows, I was really surprised by how much I liked the book.

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  14. Ooooo! A Geisha Journey sounds like something I would enjoy. I am adding it to my list now. (the ever-growing list. sigh)

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  15. Oh! I ordered two of the Murakami calendars, one for me and one for a prize for the Japanese Literature Challenge 2. I guess you won't be needing one now. :( I'm glad to hear that it's a good one, though. Amazon said it won't be released until September 20something so I'm glad you got yours already. Wait, did they send you mine by mistake? :)

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  16. When I got Daisy I was bending my brain to come up with a literary name for her. Finally gave up, threw up my hands, named her Daisy. Only to realize a few days later, given that my last name is Miller, she is indeed a literary dog. I haven't read the book yet, but it's on the list!

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  17. Nymeth- The Murakami diary is very fun. It has quotes scattered throughout and various images, like the black cat from the Kafka cover or cherry blossoms, here and there. :)

    Popin- I'm looking forward to it. :)

    mangomissives- I know what you mean. My list is so very long, and of course I keep adding to it!

    Bellezza- LOL. I got mine from the UK (The Book Depository), it was released there at the beginning of August. It's fun, I think you'll like it. :)

    Andi- LOL. Maybe your subconscious was at work. How is Miss Daisy? :)

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  18. Ruth- LOL. Yes they're all shouting out trying to get my attention! :)
    Sometimes we need to be reminded to live within the moment, don't we?
    BTW, do you have a book blog?


    We really do don't we? I'm taking my own advice and heading to the beach tomorrow. I haven't seen Lake Ontario in years even though I only live about 40 miles away. And yes, since you ask... I do have a book blog but I have been really lax in posting lately. It's at RuthieReads.com and sorely needs to be updated, but you're welcome to visit. :)

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  19. Ruth- Thanks for the link to your book blog. I asked because everytime you've commented I'd click on your name but it would only show me your blogger profile with those non-book blogs. Hope you had a good day at the beach. :)

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