Sunday, 2 September 2012

First post for September...

Happy Labour Day weekend!  I'm enjoying the fact that I have yet another day off work tomorrow, so this morning has been a bit less busy than my usual Sunday mornings.  It's a lovely sunny breezy morning, and I think it's going to be a low-key lazy reading day - hurray for those types of days!!

My husband met with a former colleague of his recently just to catch up, and during their conversation, she asked for a link to this blog, as she was having a tough time finding good books to read.  She is one of the people who read Mary Doria Russell's The Sparrow upon my recommendation, and she loved it!  He forwarded her email address to me, and I sent her the link, along with what I thought was a randomly-selected book recommendation, based on something that I recently read and enjoyed, Ann Patchett's State of Wonder.  I wasn't sure if she would like it or not, because it is a very different writing style from Russell's book, but Patchett is, in my opinion, a great writer with interesting stories to tell and a wonderful writing style, despite her books being a bit "slow" - it seems to take forever for anything to happen, but she manages that really well and seems to use it to her advantage.  Anyway, the more I thought about State of Wonder, the more I realized that there are many similarities between that book and The Sparrow.  Both deal with an individual or group going off into another land or culture with a mission to learn something new that they expect will benefit their own culture or people.  The intervention of both groups on these new cultures/peoples has unexpected results, and the information learned may or may not be as beneficial as originally expected.  While the settings and styles may differ, the main themes or messages are remarkably similar, so it appears that it is not such a random selection.  I hope she enjoys that novel, but if not, she can always refer to this blog to check out what other books I've been reading and hopefully find something of interest out of those titles (which are all conveniently underlined so they are easy to pick out of the rest of the text).

This reminded me of one of the original purposes of this blog - to make book recommendations to people who don't work in the library or book industry.  I guess I don't actually make book recommendations, but I just comment on what I've been reading.  Making recommendations involves so much more information from and about the reader - what he or she has enjoyed in the past, what types of books appeal to the reader, what "reading mood" he or she is in at a particular time, what season it is, what's going on in his or her life, and many other factors.  Even with all of this information, there is still a chance that what one would recommend will not appeal to the reader, which is why the library is such a great resource.  Readers can borrow books free of charge and try them out, rather than spending money to buy books that they may or may not like and ending up with a shelf full of unread items.

So what have I been reading this past week?  I've been reading The Help by Kathryn Stockett, and am really enjoying it.  I saw the film some time ago, and feel that they did a good job of adapting the novel.  I will write more about this novel once I've finished it and after my book group discusses it next Saturday. 

And I'm listening to another Agatha Christie audiobook, The ABC Murders.  I think I read this mystery many years ago, but as I mentioned in an earlier post, Christie's books are great to listen to as audiobooks because all the important details are reviewed several times, so the listener really can't miss anything important.  I'm just downloading a few more of her books even as I write, in anticipation of this mystery's end.

Enjoy the rest of this lovely long weekend!!  Welcome, September!

Bye for now!
Julie

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