Sunday Salon

I’m ba-ack!  Happy Easter everyone!  I had a ball in Florence.  It was absolutely amazing and I had fun spending the week with my three sisters, my mother and my aunt.  Unfortunately, my camera would not charge, so I have to depend on family members for photos, which I do not have as of yet.  Hopefully next Sunday!

As for reading on my trip, I read two books–most of which was the result of my transatlantic flight to and from Italy: The Girl Who Played with Fire, by Stieg Larssen and Murder of a Medici Princess, by Caroline Murphy.  The latter was kind of painful for me.  I found it too dry and boring.  The former was wonderful–better than the first book even.  And I read it just in time because look what I got in the mail–

I am so excited!!  At the same time, I am going to wait awhile to read it since it is the last book in the series . . . I love these books so much and I wish there were more!

Since I got back from Florence Friday night, I have been in a reading funk.  Not sure if it’s the result of reading for so long on the flight or if I am just too busy with other things to pick up a book.  I had started reading Wolf Hall again and now have read over 200 pages but I wasn’t enjoying it as much as when I first started reading it, so I decided to put it down for the time being.  I am now trying to focus on Nana, by Emile Zola, since my tour stop is in a few days, but so far I am not in the mood to read more than a page or two.  Hopefully I get back in my groove soon.

Now I am off to check out and comment on some blogs, of which I have been very remiss about in the past week or two.  Happy Sunday and Easter everyone!!

Book Review: O Juliet

O. Juliet

Robin Maxwell

NAL Trade

352 pages

I was so excited to read O. Juliet.  The whole love story is so enticing to me, which shocks me a little.  And I still think the whole love at first sight think is over the top, but I digress. 

I was worried that O. Juliet would bore me because there was no surprise.  I knew exactly what would happen.  Romeo and Juliet meet one night and instantly fall in love, only to discover that their families have a longtime feud.  Maxwell made tiny changes, such as renaming the families Monticecco and Capelleti as opposed to Montague and Capulet.  Romeo and Juliet were 25 and 18 as opposed to 13 or 14, not to mention that the setting was Florence, not Verona.

All of the coloring of Florence really added to the setting of O. Juliet.  I loved how Maxwell added the Duomo and the Medici’s to the background of the book.  As many of you know, I am in Florence right now, which is why I chose to read O Juliet at this point. 

Jacopo is the man Juliet is slated to marry, much to her dismay.  Boy was he a conniving villain.  He and his mother knew exactly what Juliet’s plans were and they had tried at every step to stop her from escaping her proposed marriage and fleeing with Romeo.  He was completely despicable and completely entertaining! 

This type of historical fiction is my favorite.  Realistic and based on the classic, Maxwell’s version does not disappoint.  I am still torn over the ending.  Do I think it’s romantic?  Not necessarily, but I can completely empathize with how Romeo and Juliet felt.  On the other hand, I am suspicious of Romeo and Juliet’s whirlwind relationship.  Part of me feels she was just desperate because of her impending marriage to Jacopo.  Am I alone in that feeling or do some of you agree with me?

If you found the Bard’s Romeo and Juliet enteratining, you’ll feel the same way about this version.

Other Reviews:

A Novel Menagerie

Booking Mama

Devourer of Books

The Literate Housewife

S Krishna’s Books

I borrowed this book from my local library.

Sunday Salon

By the time you are reading this post, I will be in Florence.  I am very excited–most importantly, I can’t wait to EAT. I think I will eat my body weight in pasta and gelato.  I haven’t had the opportunity to go to Florence before, so I am sure I will have a lot to share when I get home.

As always, I anticipate a lot of reading while I am travelling.  I am sure that won’t be the case though.  Plus, I need to remind myself that I don’t get to travel to Italy often, so I should savor my time there and not use too much of my time reading. 

I read two books this week.  Both book reviews will be posted while I am on vacation.  Commencement, by J Courtney Sullivan will be posted on Tuesday and O Juliet, by Robin Maxwell, will be posted on Thursday. 

I hope everyone has a great Sunday!!

The Sunday Salon

Ok, so I am having another slow start today.  What else is new?  I suppose there is nothing better than having a lazy Sunday, so I won’t beat myself up over it!

I am now finally realizing that I will be in Italy, so I am running all over the place trying to get ready for my trip.  Obviously, one of the most important issues to deal with is what books to take on my trip! So far, I have decided on the following:

Nana, Emile Zola

A Reliable Wife, Robert Goolrick

The Girl Who Played with Fire, Stieg Larssen

Roses, Leila Meacham

Wolf Half, Hillary Mantel

That is too many books–and some heavy ones at that!  I care not though.  They will all be coming with me, along with two others if they’re not finished by this Saturday.  Better to have too many books than not enough, right?

I read two books this week–The Cradle, by Patrick Somerville and The Postmistress, by Sarah Blake.  I am now in the middle of Commencement, by J Courtney Sullivan.  I may finish it today, but I am not holding my breath.  I hope to get in some more packing and some cleaning before I get back to reading.  I hope everyone enjoys their Sunday–happy spring!

The Sunday Salon

Once again, I feel like my week in reading was pretty weak.  That seems to be my mantra for February.  I finished one book this week–Passing, by Nella Larsen–and I am close to finishing the third part of East of Eden, by John Steinbeck.  I also read fifty pages of The Shack and decided it just wasn’t worth it.  The writing was so contrived and I just didn’t want to read it.  So I didn’t.

The good news is that there are really no plans for today.  I have some general housework to do, but other than that my day will be devoted to reading.

Despite the fact that my reading has been lagging, I decided to aquire some more books this week.  Firstly, I bought Cutting for Stone, by Abraham Verghese.  The reviews I read for it portrayed it as a phenomenal book, so I purchased it. 

I also got two review copies this week from Hatchette.  The first, The Little Giant of Aberdeen County, by Tiffany Baker, is a book I have had on my list for over a year.  It will also count towards the Deb challenge I am currently signed up for.  The other book I am super excited about!

I love Chelsea Handler.  I think she is absolutely hysterical.  When her last book was published, I was lucky enough to get to meet her.  As soon as the book arrived in the mail, I immediately texted my family members because I knew they would be insanely jealous!

I also got quite a few library books.

Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher (this is a re-check out)

Secondand Smoke, by Patti Friedmann (for my trip to New Orleans)

The Last Madame: A Life in the New Orleans Underworld, by Christine Wiltz (also for my trip to New Orleans)

Forever, by Judy Blume (for the Shelf Discovery challenge)

Murder of a Medici Princess, by Caroline P Murphy (for my trip to Florence)

Signora da Vinci, by Robin Maxwell (also for my trip to Florence)

Have you read any of these?  If so, what are your thoughts?

Have a great Sunday everyone!