Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sunday Salon: Book Coveting (R.I.P. edition)

This morning we went out with our cameras for the first time in ages. But boy was it hot out! This is why I tend to want to just hide indoors with the air conditioner all summer. I did get a few shots of some water lilies though, and it was nice to take my camera for a little spin.

As for reading, this week I finished Beyond the Blossoming Fields by Jun'ichi Watanabe, which I found completely fascinating. I also finished Shakespeare Wrote for Money by Nick Hornby. As always it was such fun to read his thoughts on reading. It's so sad that he's not writing the column for The Believer magazine anymore.

So now I've started Polite Lies: On Being a Woman Caught Between Cultures by Kyoko Mori. A Japanese American who has lived most of her adult life in the US, I'm looking forward to reading her essays about the differences in culture. I've read the first two so far, and already I've found myself nodding in agreement with much of what she had to say about Japan and the Japanese.

Even though it's sweltering, or maybe because I wish it were autumn already, I've been thinking of more autumn type books lately, specifically those that I'd like to read for Carl's R.I.P. Challenge which is coming up soon. So here are a few that I'm particularly coveting.

Mr. Darcy, Vampyre by Amanda Grange
I first heard about this one over at Stephanie's blog when she mentioned books for her Everything Austen challenge. Not being a fan of zombies, I've had no desire to read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, but vampires! This sounds like a fun twist that I just might enjoy.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
We watched the first two episodes of Jekyll, the BBC series, which is a modern re-telling of the classic, and it made me want to read the original. Moving interrupted our watching of it, but I'm looking forward to seeing the rest of the series when we get a chance to rent it.

something by Edgar Allen Poe
Can you believe that I've never read any Poe? Terrible, I know. And I think that this year I should definitely rectify that. Any suggestions on where I should start?

The Vampire of Ropraz by Jacques Chessex
I saw this on the Three Percent website, and it sounds positively delicious. Inspired by a true story, it's "a lyrical tale of fear and cruelty".

The Monster of Florence by Douglas Preston
This is a true crime story, about a kind of Italian Jack the Ripper. I heard the author on Simon Mayo's Book podcast and the story behind the story is fascinating in itself, including uncooperative police and the fact that Preston was essentially kicked out of the country because of this book.

The Nature of Monsters by Clare Clarke
Sylvie really liked this one, plus it's set in 18th century London, and it just sounds really good.

And of course I can't wait to read Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger.

What books are you coveting recently?

Week in review:
Favourite publishers (Monday Musing)
Wishing I were here... (photo, Friday Fill-ins)


  1. I coveted That Old Cape Magic but it finally came in yesterday at the library. Perfect timing for me.

  2. I read The Vampire of Ropraz a few months ago and it is definitely creepy. It was a little too explicit at times for me, but if you want to be creeped out the book will certainly do it!

    I can't wait for Her Fearful Symmetry either. =)

  3. That's right! Won't be long before I have to start thinking about R.I.P. books. Man, time goes by so fast...

  4. I just posted a little endnote about RIP also today! I have two books I'm planning on reading, so far: Duma Key by Stephen King, and Drood by Dan Simmons. Have you read Woman in White by Susan Hill? Excellent ghost story, really atmospheric and frightening. I have The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield to read also, so I'll see. We're really hot too here in Ottawa. Maybe thinking of RIP gets me thinking of cooler temperatures! lol and scary books, which I do love.

    I have P&P and Zombies, for the Jane Austen challenge - that's next up to read, after Persuasion. I don't mind zombies or vampires! I'm hoping it's good, everyone seems to really enjoy it.

    The Monster of Florence sounds really good, as does The Nature of Monsters, so you might have added to my book coveting!

  5. I've started thinking about R.I.P. too. I'm hoping to get to settle down with some creepy short fiction in September and October. I really want to read both volumes of LOVE IN VEIN, ed. by Poppy Z. Brite, and I'm hoping to get through at least one more volume of THE YEAR'S BEST FANTASY AND HORROR, ed. by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling.

  6. Generally, I don't covet books. Because of my budget, I try to put a book out of my mind if it isn't available at my library. However, I would like to read "Wife Dressing" by Anne Fogarty.

  7. Great list of books. I have to start gathering what I'm going to read for R.I.P. Have a good reading week!

  8. I thought Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was a great read. I hope you enjoy it too!

    Sigh, there are so many RIPish books I've been coveting. But for once I'm determined to read the ones I already own.

  9. I liked THE NATURE OF MONSTERS a lot.
    I am looking forward to reading HER FEARFUL SYMMETRY, i like Audrey Niffenegger.

    have a nice week Nat :D

  10. I have never read Poe too! I also plan to read him some time this year. I already bought one of his collection of stories from a thrift shop, so I'm ready to go. Well we have a few months time until the end of year. Go go go!

    ps: I never join the RIP challenge. I think I will this year.

  11. You've never read Poe? Oh my. Tell-Tale Heart is an absolute favorite--enough so that I read it to my husband aloud. I read a collection of his two years ago (for RIP) and found that there is a reason his famous stories are famous and you don't hear much about the others--stick with what's in the canons.

    I've been thinking about the RIP challenge lately, too. I think it must be the heat--that and the fact that the craft stores already have Halloween decorations out. Where does the time go?

  12. After seeing Julie & Julie (last night), I'm really coveting Julia Child's My Life in France. Other than the little bit I know about her from her cooking show, I know nothing about her personal life. The movie depicts such a lovely marriage and I'd love to learn more about her life in France with Paul.

  13. debnance - It's so exciting when a book we've been coveting arrives! Happy reading!

    Meghan - Hmmm... I don't usually read books that are very creepy or explicit, but I'm still pretty curious to read it.

    Kailana - Time really does go by too quickly! I'm really looking forward to some R.I.P. themed reading though.

    Susan - LOL. Sorry to add to your wishlist. ;)
    I have Drood to read this fall too. It's a pretty big tome but it got great reviews when it came out. I haven't read Woman in White by Susan Hill, but I love atmospheric. I'll have to look it up, thanks. Enjoy The Thirteenth Tale, it's a good choice for RIP.

    Memory - Even though it's still hot here I can't wait to read something a bit spooky and autumn-like.

    Dani - There generally aren't many English books in the libraries here so I'd be pretty lost if I couldn't buy some here and there. Hopefully your library has a pretty good selection.

    Gavin - I'm still thinking of other titles that I'd like to read this fall. I'm sure I'll never be able to get to all of them, but it's fun to make a list all the same.

    Nymeth - Oh you're making me want to read it even more. I know it's hard not allowing yourself to buy any new books but think of all the great titles you already have that you've been dying to read! :)

    Sylvie - I loved The Time Traveler's Wife, so I'm really looking forward to the new one.

    mee - I'm glad I'm not the only one who hasn't yet read anything by Poe. I'm definitely going to pick up a collection of his stories soon. The R.I.P. challenge is a lot of fun, I hope you'll join in this year.

    Trish - Yes, I know (hanging head in shame), but I do want to finally change that this year. Thanks for the advice to stick to his well-known ones.
    I agree that it must be the heat, and longing for cooler weather that's making us think about autumn reads.

    Les - I don't know much about Julia Child either, but I might have to try and see the film. It's been getting some good reviews.

  14. A RIP list already!!! Now I want one too. :D I love your picks, though I haven't read any of them.

  15. Eva - LOL. Thinking about which books to read and making a list is almost as fun as reading the books themselves! :)


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