Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sunday Salon (on Monday): Reading Retrospective - August 2002

Seven years ago, the highlight of my reading month was Fall on Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald. In my brief notes at the time, I wrote, 'to quote Rose from the book, this was a "crude and compelling" story of a very dysfunctional family, with well-written characters as well as an interesting look at religious and misguided zeal.' This book and MacDonald's more recent The Way the Crow Flies are both chunksters but they were both great reads and very worth spending the time on. I've forgotten many of the details of the story in Fall on Your Knees, and it's one that I'd really like to read again. I only wish she had another book out that I could look forward to too.

The rest of August 2002 was spent with easy reads, from kidlit, to chicklit, to ladlit, some of it more enjoyable than others. First off, the third and fourth books in Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, which I again enjoyed for the sarcastic, tongue-in-cheek humour, but I apparently thought the fourth one, The Miserable Mill, was a little too unrealistic. I haven't read any further in the series, or felt any desire to, to be honest, but maybe one day.

Then I read Under the Duvet by Marian Keyes, a collection of articles and essays that were fun to read, and gave some insight into an author that is loved by many. I really liked Rachel's Holiday, so I'm not quite sure why I haven't read anything else by her yet. I do have a couple on my shelves though, so I may just have to pick one up the next time I'm in the mood for some chick lit.

And last for the month was some rather disappointing ladlit, Turning Thirty by Mike Gayle. I only rated it 4/10, and wrote down simply that it was 'an easy read but nothing special'. Apparently, since I don't remember a single thing about it now.

Back to the present, this week I finished reading the utterly surreal novel, Paprika by Yasutaka Tsutsui, where the line between dreams and reality became very tenuous indeed. Now, continuing with my recent Japanese-themed reading I'm about halfway into Be With You by Takuji Ichikawa. I can't quite decide yet if it is a touching love story or just plain cheesy but I guess time will tell. Next up I think will be something more seasonal. In fact, my Poe book, from my recent Book Depository order just arrived and I think I'll try to read a couple of stories a week, so expect to hear about them on Sundays over the next little while.

And please come back tomorrow, when I'll announce a new giveaway in conjunction with the Japanese Literature Challenge. Plus later this week, I hope to get up my reviews of Polite Lies and Paprika. Have a great week!

Week in review:
R.I.P. IV Challenge
Review: Beyond the Blossoming Fields by Jun'ichi Watanabe
Review: Shakespeare Wrote for Money by Nick Hornby


  1. Of course I've heard a lot about MacDonald's books, but I have never read them... Maybe I should :)

  2. lol, this made me laugh: "I can't quite decide yet if it is a touching love story or just plain cheesy" :P I look forward to your final verdict!

  3. You have accounts on what you read back to seven years. Impressive. I had no clue you ran this blog for so long.

  4. I still have yet to read Fall on Your Knees. I loved The Way the Crow Flies and really should get to FoYK. It seems to be one every enjoyed. Not sure why I've let it languish on the shelf.

  5. I also read and loved MacDonald's books. I'm not even sure how to describe the way she writes about such difficult topics but still keeps me wholly interested! It's beautiful writing, that's for sure.

  6. It's so much fun to look back at what we were reading "way back when." Unfortunately I lost some of my digital reading journals along the way (pout), so I'm envious that you can go back to 2002!

    Missed you, Nat! Hopefully I'm back on the bloggy map now.

  7. I really enjoyed Fall on Your Knees but I haven't read The Way the Crow Flies..I need to remedy that problem. I started reading the Unfortunate Events but stopped at #2. However, this is wildly popular at my middle school. I have a hard time keeping any of these books on the library shelves.

  8. I just discovered your blog today, and wanted to let you know that I LOVED: Fall on Your Knees and The way the Crow flies. Glad u did too!

  9. I haven't yet read Fall on Your Knees but I absolutely loved The Way the Crow Flies when I read it. I could relate to so much of it, even though it was set in a different time and country.

    I look forward to reading your upcoming reviews of Polite Lies and Paprika, Nat!

    I hope you have a great week.

  10. Ah, Mike Gayle. I believe I wrote him a letter earlier this year. Well, in my blog I did anyway. Very much along the lines of never again (but I did let him down gently...).

  11. gnoegnoe - I really enjoyed both of her books. Yes, I think you should definitely try at least one of them. :)

    Nymeth - LOL. I have a low tolerance for overly sentimental stories sometimes. :P

    Harry - I've only had this blog since January 2006, but I've kept a reading journal since 2002. I actually wish I'd started sooner but what can ya do?

    Les - They are both big books, FOYK is a great read though so hopefully you'll get a chance to pick it up before too long.

    regularrumination - I know what you mean! Big books about difficult, uncomfortable topics yet completely compelling.

    Andi - I missed you too! I'm so glad to see you back in blogland again! That's too bad that you lost some of your journals. I love being able to check back and see what I was reading, and wish I had records that went back even further.

    Staci - I think The Series of Unfortunate Events is a fun idea, maybe we're just too old! ;)

    Diane - Welcome! I'm glad you stopped by. I have no idea if she is, but I hope she's working on a new novel.

    Wendy - It's been so long since I read Fall on Your Knees, I really would like to read it again sometime.

    Tony - LOL. I've had no desire to read anything else by him either.


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