Sunday Salon (July 26)

This Sunday Salon is a bit of a modge podge of sorts.

Book Fairs

Many bloggers that I follow have had the luxury of attending either the book expo in NY (my ultimate wish since books and the city is a dream come true!) or the ALA fair. I have no issue in admitting my out right jealousy at their trips. Of course, I love them for posting all about it, so that readers such as myself can live through their author-meetings, book-signings, and book-gabbing moments!

This is where my own excitement grows. Fingers crossed, I might just be able to manipulate the universe, timing, finances and all to attend the National Book Fair in Washington D.C. this September.

Seriously? Check out some of the authors that are going to be in attendance:

  • Kate DiCamillo
  • Lois Lowry
  • Shannon Hale
  • John Irving
  • Jodi Picoult
  • Julie Alvarez
  • Sue Monk Kidd
  • JUDY freakin' BLUME

It's only one day, Saturday, so I can't imagine that I'll be able to make it to all of the authors that I'd like to meet, but I can certainly try. *Ahhhh* I'm already talking as though it's a definite. (Hahaha, maybe I'm trying to work the law of attraction?).

Anyways, has anyone else been or plans on attending? Let me know!

Oh, and a very cool link that lists all of the book fairs and leads you to their websites. Clicky-clicky.

Sex in Fiction

That's right people. S-E-X. I wanna talk about sex, and more importantly good sex and bad sex. In fiction, of course. The other day at the gym, sweating at the treadmill, ipod buds in ear, I began listening to Mercy by Jodi Picoult (side note - I know that most either fall in the hate her/love her camp; me, I think of her as my "Lifetime movie" read). So there I was, people next to me huffing and puffing, me huffing and puffing and I hear something along the lines of "she cupped him and began to feel him grow". Ugh. Really?! I've read many of Picoult's books and cannot remember in the past there being sex scenes (I could be wrong and perhaps I forced them from memory). In any event, I was more than a bit taken aback with the cupping. Ahem. Now, I'm hardly a prude. Give me a good piece of erotica (say, Anais Nin) any day and I can appreciate it to kingdom come. But come on people, most sex scenes are pretty poorly written. It reminds me back in the days of middle school when I would read trashy harlequin historical fiction. I'm not knocking anyone who reads them, mind you, but what a disappointment many years later when I realized how over-the-top the (er) 'romance' scenes were.

Upon writing ranting, I realize that I don't really have a discussion outside of stating that bad sex scenes are - well - bad. (I know, real eloquent, right?)

So, in general, what are your thoughts about sex in fiction? Love it. Hate it. Eh it.


I don't know who's blog I spied this from, so please if it was yours let me know in the comment section so I can give you credit, but check out the Twilight Fans who have tattooed themselves.

Also, took this quiz (and once again, do not remember where I first saw this) that determines what kind of reader you are. Being me, I managed to score three different types.

Involved Reader: You don't just love to read books, you love to read aboutbooks. For you, half the fun of reading is the thrill of the chase - discovering new books and authors, and discussing your finds with others.

Serial Reader: Once you discover a favorite writer you tend to stick with him/her through thick and thin.

Eclectic Reader: You read for entertainment but also to expand your mind. You're open to new ideas and new writers, and are not wedded to a particular genre or limited range of authors.

Figure out yours and let me know!

Books this Week

Finally, I'm working through three different books this week, all non fiction.

On Writing by Stephen King - Yup. *Still* working on this one. I think that I mentioned last Sunday Salon that I put it aside about mid way through. Weeeellll....I haven't picked it back up yet.

Naked Reading by Teri Lesense - Again *still* working on this one,but hardly because it doesn't interest me. Alternatively, I'm reading bit by bit so that it sticks with me longer.

Gang Leader for a Day by Sudhir Venkatesh - New this week!! Quickie - it's about a sociology student at U of C who ends up meeting a gang leader that will allow him to observe the ins and outs of the Black Kings.

Finished this week and ready to review:

The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen joy Fowler and The Reader by Bernhard Schlink


  1. Wow look at all those amazing authors! You'll have a fantastic time for sure :D

    As for sex in literature, I actually wrote a post about this, but it was focused on YA lit. I think it has its place. Sexuality is a part of being human, and I think everything about our lives belongs in books. I'm also not a fan of poorly written sex scenes that are obviously only there to "spice up" the book, but I can think of some sex scenes that made the books so much better. Like in Fingersmith by Sarah Waters or Girl Meets Boy by Ali Smith.

  2. Ana - I agree. When sex is written well it flows in the story. But most euphemisms are tragic and take away from the character/relationship development. I haven't read either of the books that you suggested, but have no doubt of their authenticity.

  3. Your jealous of all these people attending these book fairs, you want to try living in England and feeling the jealousy! I would eat my dog to attend one of these, perhaps that is a little extreme, but I would so love to go to one of these book fairs, but they just don't do them in England and it is far to expensive to go to America for one.

  4. Wow what a fantastic list of authors! I'd LOVE to meet Lois Lowry. Some of those are going to have really huge lines. Judy Blume came to ALA and signed for two hours, and there were like 1000 people in line for her. More than for Gaiman. Anyway, have fun. I hope you make it there.

    As for sex, I'm not all the fond of graphic sex scenes. I prefer scenes to leave off before the actual sex starts, or to use implications. I can get really caught up in an attraction scene, watching people come together, but reading about the actual sex really puts me off. I'm not a prude, either, but those sorts of scenes often feel gratuitous and badly written. Disappointing. I prefer something more like - well, think of The Illusionist, the movie, when the two finally get together. I like the way that was done. It was artistic, graceful, and exciting, and didn't dissentigrate into something embarrassingly off-tone. Does that make sense?

    Can't wait to see what you think of the Jane Austen Book Club!

  5. I live just outside DC and I *still* haven't made it to the book festival. I end up with something else I have to do every single year. I wouldn't mind seeing DiCamillo and Irving but the Festival's Web site also lists Marilynne Robinson. She is one of my top favorites, which means I really ought to make a concerted effort to get there this year.

    If there are several book bloggers going, a meet-up might be fun.

  6. I'm an Amtrak ride away from D.C, definitely doable for the day, and am thinking about going to the Book Festival. It's the same day as a reunion at my college for everyone who worked on the newspaper, though (the newspaper is turning 50) so I might not make it to DC this year ... we shall see. I'd love to see Judy Blume; I'd probably be speechless, or cry, or something idiotic like that.


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