Sunday, 21 September 2008

Sunday Salon: A random variety, plus Short Story Sunday

This weeks Sunday Salon is going to include a random mixture of bits and pieces. Firstly, I have to say that reading this week has been slowly, some of that is down to the fact that I started a book I thought I would love and just didn't want to admit to myself that I couldn't be bothered by it, I wasted 3 evenings on A Carnivore's Inquiry, only reading 120 pages when I could had guessed after 30 pages that I would be giving up on this quickly. I also spent 2 evenings with that horrible foggy brain you get before a cold comes out, which has really affected my reading.

I'm now reading The Famished Road, which I'm loving, but wondering how I'm going to review. I'm quite tempted to do a WG style review, so if anyone has any questions about this book that they'd like to ask, ask away here as it will help me structure the review. I'm hoping to finish reading this by mid week.

Talking about Weekly Geeks, this week is catch-up week and while I don't have any outstanding reviews to write up or completed challenges, I have this mammoth reading list for Fall into Reading to tackle, as I really need to catch up with my reading or I won't be completing many challenges in time. So I'm going to try and finish The Famished Road this week, read Coraline and tackle at least one of my bookring reads. Outside of reading, I also need to catch up on my sign language lessons, I haven't been for 9 weeks, largely because of the school holidays (its run at school), but I haven't practised as I should so I've seemingly forgot nearly everything I spent a year learning, and I need to catch up on my A Level course this afternoon.

Less babble about me, now time for Short Story Sunday. This morning I read Keepsakes and Treasures by Neil Gaiman, from his Fragile Things collection. This story is definitely only for adults but is first rate.
This story is about a man who was born to a woman locked away for clinical nymphomania in the 50's, despite being in an asylum she still managed to fall pregnant, and his father can only be one of the men who are supposed to be protecting her. From a young age, the boy has used murder as revenge and punishment for those who harmed him and his mother. His actions are noticed by Mr Alice, one of the world's richest men, but a man who used his money to stop the public finding out who he is. The boy comes to work for Mr Alice for the rest of his life, he is the person who seeks out and fulfills Mr Alice's desires, whether they are business desires or personal ones. Mr Alice's main desire is for young men to have sexual encounters with. The main part of the story centres around Mr Alice's acquisition of the Treasure of Shahinai, a young exquisitely beautiful boy.
This is an excellent story, but avoid if you dislike sexual scenes or bad language.

I also read yesterday Gaiman's excellent story Bitter Grounds, in this story we follow a young man who is clearly bored of life and just looking for an escape. He decides to drive around America, and meets a professor on his way to a lecture. When the professor mysteriously disappears, the man steals his papers and goes to the conference himself, giving a speech about the zombie coffee girls.
These where read for Short Story September


gautami tripathy said...

I am having a whale of a time reading short stories online! Out of 13, I read only one from a book.

Isn't it fun?!

Interesting blogs, links and books

Anonymous said...

I wonder why it is that we re so reluctant to admit that a book isn't going well and put it down? Perhaps too many of us came through that kind of school experience where we were forced to finish a book whether we liked it or not and are still riddled by guilt. I'm trying to learn from my friend Peter who at 76 says he is far too old to read anything that he isn't enjoying. He gives it fifty pages and if he isn't so caught up he doesn't ant to put it down he dumps it.

katrina said...

I usually have a 50 page rule, but it had a nice cover, what a sucker I am =)

Literary Feline said...

I don't often give up on books, but sometimes I will if it's really bad and I find myself not caring about the characters and what happens to them. With some books, especially ones I have high hopes for, I keep hoping the book will get better and so I give it longer than I might otherwise.

I have a couple of short story collections I need to get to. Fragile Things is sitting in my TBR collection waiting to be read. I'm looking forward to it as I've heard such great things about it.

I do hope you are feeling better. Have a great week!

Dewey said...

I just have to tell you that I fell in love so much with your header image that I found the artist, found her etsy shop, and ordered a print!

katrina said...

I'm asking for it for Xmas and a few other bits and pieces from the site.