The Sunday Salon ~ Discoveries

The Sunday
It’s rare to have a Sunday morning at home alone, but that’s exactly how it is this morning chez Ravenous Reader.  Husband is off to church early to sing in this morning’s service, and although I’m loath to miss it, I’ve come down with a killer case of bronchitis, one bad enough to make the folks at Urgent Care scurry around a bit more industriously than usual.  At any rate, I don’t feel I should subject the congregation to either my germs or my basso profundo cough, which truly sounds more like a crew of barking seals than anything that should emanate from my petite diaphraghm. Luckily for you, dear reader, we can chat without putting you at risk of either of those dire consequences.

So, on goes a second pot of coffee (I’ve been up since 5 am, and have already downed two cups, plus the mug of hot tea I brewed upon waking).  While it brews, let me tell you what I’ve read this week.

Yesterday, during my two hour wait in the Urgent Care lobby (the scurrying around obviously took place only after the doctor took a listen to my clogged and wheezy bronchial tubes), I finished my ARC of The Four Ms. Bradwells, the new novel by Meg Waite Clayton (author of The Wednesday Sisters).  Clayton does the ensemble friendship novel very well, and I love reading those kinds of books, so it was an all round enjoyable experience.  My complete review appears March 30, for TLC Book Tours ~ as a matter of fact, I wrote it yesterday afternoon and have already scheduled it (love that WordPress feature!)  Come back then for the complete low-down.

In Friday’s mail, I received a book called That Summer in Franklin, by Linda Hutsell-Manning, published by Second Story Press out of Toronto, Canada.  I don’t remember requesting this book (although it isn’t impossible that I did), but it’s certainly the kind of book I like.  Set in a small town outside Toronto, it’s the story of two women who were friends as teenagers back in the 1950’s, and then reconnect as adults sharing the experience of admitting their elderly parents into the local nursing home.  Their past includes an experience they’ve tried to forget, but which threatens to be unearthed by an ambitious young reporter writing a series about the historic hotel where they worked during the fateful summer of 1955. How will the revelation of this long held secret affect their lives?   So far, it’s quite an interesting read – if it can hold my attention through a feverish night of coughing, it must be pretty good, right?

One of the things I love best about book-blogging is the opportunity to find out about amazing new authors.  I’m so excited and encouraged by all the writing going on out there, and the way those of us who blog about books are helping to promote writing and reading in all genres.  It’s good for writers, it’s good for readers, and good for the future of the publishing industry.  In the past few weeks, I’ve stumbled across a couple of new writers whose upcoming books I’m eagerly anticipating.  I hope you’ll check out their work as well.

I think I first “met” Rebecca Rasmussen on Twitter, and was immediately interested in whatever she was up to because we share the same first name and the same last initial.  When I visited her blog, I was captivated by the description of her first novel, The Bird Sisters.  Set in a Spring Green, Wisconsin in the summer of 1947, it’s the story of sisters Milly and Twiss, and the series of events that will “change the course of their lives forever.”   Publisher’s Weekly says The Bird Sisters is “achingly authentic and almost completely character driven, the story of the sisters depicts the endlessly binding ties of family.” Rebecca is one of those writers who is eager to engage with readers – she’s on Facebook and Twitter, and her sparkling personality shines through in her online interactions.  I enjoy her comments, her posts, and I can’t wait to read her book.

While surfing the internet one sleepless night, I happened “across the pond” to find Deborah Lawrenson, who writes from Provence, France.  Her novel, The Lantern (to be published in the US in September 2011) is set in her “crumbling house in the Luberon,” which looks anything but decrepit from the gorgeous photos she posts on her blog.  Lawrenson’s writing is as rich and luminous as the Provencal landscape which inspires her.  Her blog is peppered with photographs, excerpts from the book, and her musings about life, art, and writing.  It has become a regular stop on my daily blog tour.

Now tell me, have you discovered any new authors this week? Or reacquainted yourself with an old favorite?


9 thoughts on “The Sunday Salon ~ Discoveries

  1. Wow, you have mentioned several books that I can’t wait to get my hands on. I love anything about sisters, sisterhood, etc.

    I’ll be reading The Four Ms. Bradwells this upcoming week; loved The Wednesday Sisters.

    That Summer in Franklin and The Bird Sisters are going on my list. I’m going to check out the author’s blog on the latter one.

    Thanks for sharing! Hope you feel better soon.


  2. I just discovered Meg Waite Clayton, through her blog and comments on SheWrites, I believe. I got one of her books from the library and am looking forward to digging in. Good to hear a good review.

  3. I’ve been too busy this week to discover anyone new other than Ruth Newman, about whom you already know. You take care of the chest. This is the wrong time of year to be getting ill, when everything is just beginning to look up and you want to be out and about.

  4. I hope that you’re much better very soon, Becca! I started reading Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner, new to me, and got back to reading The Perpetual Curate, which I started a while back, but got interrupted by several other books.

  5. Stumbled on this site recently & delighted you have put me on path back to good fiction. I’ve spent last 30 years submerged in researching & reading nothing but life in China in 18th & 19th century China Have written 5 books on Chinese custom & costume. My prize winning book on history of Chinese footbinding SPLENDID SLIPPERS published 1997 has just been reprinted by Random House for sixth time
    & my first novel THAT BEAUTIFUL LADY WAS A PALACE EUNUCH just completed final edit approval & out in May. So your recommendations are leading me to welcome change of scene. Thank you. And give yourself plenty of time for thoro recovery. It can sneak back!!! An 82 year old Californian with lots of bronchitis experience!

  6. You poor thing – I do hope you feel much better very soon. In the meantime, you’ll love Deborah Lawrenson, right up your street, I’d say. The other authors are new to me but all the books sound very intriguing. I love what the internet can do for new authors – it’s great when book bloggers share their new discoveries. I’m into Ross Macdonald at the moment – private eye crime fiction a bit like Chandler and Hammett, but better, wittier, a tad more psychological.

    • Ross McDonald was indeed a fine mystery writer (real name Ken Millar). Do check out his wife the late Margaret Millar’s work. Not as famous. Her “The Birds & Beasts were Here” is really fine. A funny story about this Ken used to delight in telling: He was honored speaker at a in Arizona university and after his talk to gigantic audience an elderly man in well worn cowboy clothes came up to him and said ‘I want to shake yur hand. Yes sir, I drove all night to get here to shake the hand of the man who is married to the woman who wrote The Birds and the Beasts Were Here'” Ken who was very famous by then with movies of his work etc. loved to tell this story!

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