The Sunday Salon – Impressions from a Readers Week

There’s been no rhyme or reason to this week, at least in terms of my reading. It’s been a week of novels, that’s the one constant, and each one of them has been impressive in it’s own way.

The week started with Kristen Hannah’s Firefly Lane, one of this very popular authors most popular books. It’s the story of a friendship, one that begins with two teenagers in the 1970’s and extends through time into the present day, with many ups and downs along the way. Reading it reminded me of my own life in so many ways – Hannah really gets to the heart of women’s relationships in a way I connect with every time.

I raced through all 400 odd pages of that one in no time, and turned to Prep, Curtis Sittenfeld’s microcosmic look at prep school life through the eyes of one very introspective, but cannily observant young woman. I thoroughly enjoy Sittenfeld’s writing style – loved American Wife, and love this one too. She sees deep into the internal workings of each character and their situation, and takes the reader there with her. Prep is taking me back to my high school years, but making me very happy I’m no longer a teenager!

This morning I found myself totally engaged in an unexpected reading pleasure. I stumbled upon a digital reading app for iPad called Subtext, which allows you to download books and engage in discussion with other readers and the author as you read. You can write comments on your reading (which you may choose to keep private or publish for others to read), and you’ll find links to other resources imbedded directly in the margin comments. You purchase books via Google Books or Kobo, and can get nice lengthy samples of every book in their digital library.

I spent the entire morning playing with this – which is quite something for me, since you all know I’m not a fan of eReading. But I actually think Subtext could change my opinion. It didn’t hurt that the book I downloaded is completely amazing. The Lotus Eaters, by Tatjana Soli, a novel about an American photographer in Saigon during the Vietnam war, is a stunning historical novel, and the author’s comments and additional resource material made reading the first chapter even more intriguing. Highly recommended. I encourage my reading friends to look into this app – it’s free to download, and extends the reading experience into a new dimension.

So with that, I’m back to reading. The weather here in Dallas is very strange – cold, dark, windy, and rainy. Perfect for curling up with a baby and a good book.

How about you? Has your reading impressed you this week?

The Sunday