The Sunday Salon–on Friday!

I know, I know—it’s not Sunday yet. My fiancé and I are taking a small excursion this weekend for his daughter’s birthday. She is having a birthday party this weekend so we will be out of town attending that. Thus, I figured it would make more sense to post my Sunday Salon early as opposed to Sunday night when I get back.

This week, I read Ethan Frome, by Edith Wharton, for The Classics Circuit. Check out my tour stop here. I also started Girl in a Blue Dress, by Gaynor Arnold. I just realized this book was long-listed for the Man Booker prize in 2007 and I can definitely understand why. It is the compelling, fictionalized account of the spurned wife of Charles Dickens. I am telling you, I cannot put it down. I hope to finish it over the weekend but with all the birthday activities going on, it may not be possible.

So, speaking of the Man Booker Prize one of the challenges I am most excited for this year is The Man Booker challenge. I can’t really explain why I have been anticipating it so much, but for whatever reason my appetite for challenging literary fiction has been whetted for the past few weeks and it’s all I want to read. I chose to participate in the Winners Circle , which means that I will (hopefully!) read six winning books. I have already bought a few of the winners, including the 2009 winner Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel. I got to thinking that maybe I should read some books from other challenges as well. So I perused over the list of winners of the Orange Prize for Fiction and then I decided What the heck, I should read six Orange winners as well. So that’s what I have decided to do. I have already chosen five of the books I will read. These five books are books I have either been wanting to read or having at least heard about. The sixth book will be decided at a later date. The five books I have chosen to read are:

Home, Marilynne Robinson

Half of a Yellow Sun, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

On Beauty, Zadie Smith

Property, Valerie Martin

Bel Canto, Ann Patchett

There is actually a blog, The Orange Prize Project, devoted to the perpetual challenge of reading all of the Orange Prize winner. If you are interested in reading some of the winners, or some of the books shortlisted/longlisted, it’s a good resource to check out. I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!