Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sunday Salon: June and July Book Travels

I've actually had not too bad a year of reading so far, considering the 3 months after the earthquake this spring when I didn't read much at all. Books really are a great way to escape real life though and I've had some great armchair adventures over the last couple months. I've lost my memory, been banished to Canada, kidnapped in Nigeria, and trapped in a small town by the sea in Japan. I've survived the Siege of Leningrad, read how books helped one person overcome grief, and opened my own restaurant. I travelled deep into the Amazonian jungle, escaped captivity, and now I'm learning about the history of tea. Whew. It's a good thing these happened in the pages of books and not for real!

What were the books?

Before I Go To Sleep by S. J. Watson
A fascinating, suspenseful read that left me thinking about the importance of memories.

Joyner's Dream by Sylvia Tyson
Written as a diary passed down through the generations, it made for an engaging family saga.

Tiny Sunbirds, Far Away by Christie Watson
A touching story of life for one family in a Nigeria, unsettled by civil conflict.

The Woman in the Dunes by Kobo Abe
Japanese classic. A claustrophobic tale that I doubt I'll forget anytime soon.

The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons
An epic love story that I just couldn't stop reading!

Tolstoy and the Purple Chair by Nina Sankovich
About the author's project to read a book a day for a year, in an effort to come to terms with the death of her sister. It has inspired me to set aside more time for reading every day.

The Restaurant of Love Regained by Ito Ogawa
A foodie book set in Japan. Reading this one made me hungry!

State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
Such a compelling read! I became completely engaged in this literary page-turner.

Room by Emma Donoghue
Narrated by a 5 year old boy who has lived all 5 years of his life in a single room, and what happens when he starts to question what is outside. A memorable character.

The Book of Tea by Okakura Kakuzo
Essays on the history, and importance, of tea in Japanese culture, for a western audience.

A nice variety, don't you think? I wonder where my reading will take me next.
What book travels have you gone on lately?

The Sunday Salon is a weekly virtual gathering of book lovers to read and talk about all things bookish.

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  1. Oh, I do love how books take us away from everything in our lives...and I'm looking forward to some books on your list, like State of Wonder and ROOM.


  2. You've had some diverse "travels" the last 2 months! I love Ann Patchett, so need to read State of Wonder. Also would enjoy The Book of Tea!

  3. I loved State of Wonder too!

    I've been doing a lot of traveling in time. To the future for dystopian reads and to the past for historical fiction. And then some travel to the sun and to see pychopaths on my nonfiction travels. :)

  4. I have State Of Wonder and your comment here makes me want to pull it to the top of the TBR :)

    Hope things are settling down for you a bit! Enjoy the books!

  5. I love travelling all over the world through the pages of the book! I am so glad you loved The Bronze Horseman, and I really enjoyed Tiny Sunbirds, Far Away when I read it earlier this year.

    Happy reading!

  6. I LOVE your re-caps! I think the first time I read one of your re-cap posts I actually thought you did all those things. Then my rational brain kicked in...LOL:) You've read some interesting books. I've got myself a copy of The Restaurant of Love Regained which I'm really looking forward to and I'm also dying to read the new one by Ann Patchett.

  7. The Book of Tea is one of my perenial favourites - hope you enjoy it as much. I also find myself rereading Leonard Koren's Wabi-Sabi: for Artists, Designers, Poets and Philosophers and Jun'ichiro Tanizaki's In Praise of Shadows. These three embody so much of what I love about Japan.

    Currently reading Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto (on your recommendation!) and The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino. Both are wonderful!!

    Next on the Jlit list: The Restaurant of Love Regained.

    Love your blog.

  8. I loved Room and thought Before I Go To Sleep was quite good. I have State of Wonderin my stacks. You've had a good bit of reading going on!


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