Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Sunday Salon: War-Torn and Carnival

It doesn't seem right to put those two words in the same phrase: war-torn and carnival. First, the carnival: there is a new one that is perfect for book bloggers, aptly named the Book Review Blog Carnival. You can peruse the first carnival here at I'll Never Forget the Day I Read a Book. There are 38 reviews in all, incuding one of mine. The next carnival will be coming up on October, so if you'd like to submit a review, follow the directions here.

Moving on to the "war-torn" part of this post. For the past two weeks I've been immersed in communities and individuals ravaged by war. I've reviewed The Cellist of Sarajevo, a sparse but immensely powerful novel about the siege of Sarajevo in the 1990s. I've just finished Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's phenomenal Half of a Yellow Sun, which is about the three-year civil war in the late 1960s when the Igbo people seceded from Nigeria to form the independent nation of Biafra. I'll be reviewing this astonishing novel soon and looking for Adichie's Purple Hibiscus, which I've been told is even better.

This week I'm back in the south with Janet Beard's
Beneath the Pines. My friend Amy (my real friend Amy, not the My Friend Amy of Book Blogger Appreciation Week fame!) handed me this book a couple of days ago and said, "Read this! My son's first babysitter wrote it!" I was instantly skeptical because, well, I have no idea. I'm sure many fabulous authors were once just teenagers who babysat. But I was intrigued when I read the back cover and became immediately engrossed when I started reading it last night. Janet Beard is an excellent storyteller. I'm only a hundred pages into the book, but I'm enjoying it so much that I can't wait to head for bed so I can read for awhile.

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