Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sunday Salon: literary excitement

Happy Sunday! Despite the unseasonably hot weather (I am not a fan of having the air conditioning on in October!), I am starting to feel the anticipation of fall I adore so much. Thanksgiving and Christmas are coming in a few months, and I adore both holidays. But first, the next two weeks are filled with literary excitement. 

1. The Marriage Plot comes out Tuesday, October 11. Since I read The Virgin Suicides in high school, I've been a fan of Jeffrey Eugenides. Somehow I've never gotten around to reading Middlesex (I know, I know), but I'm eagerly awaiting The Marriage Plot. I've pre-ordered it for my Kindle, and I'm planning to wake up early Tuesday and get a head start on it before work. I'm fascinated with stories of academia and marriage, so the plot of this book coupled with its author makes it one of the fall releases I'm most excited to read. I'm carefully planning my reading to coincide with its release, so I'll be spending this afternoon and tomorrow night finishing up Jamrach's Menagerie by Carol Birch.

2. The National Book Award finalists are announced Wednesday, October 12. You know you're awards-obsessed when you plan your lunch hour around their announcements. The announcement is coming at 11:06 Des Moines time, and I'll be ready. The field is wide open this year, and I'm eager to see what fiction titles will make the list. Last year brought numerous surprises, and I won't be making predictions. There are a few authors I'm hoping get some NBA love, but I also love discovering new authors with prize lists, so I'll find happiness either way, I'm sure.

3. Zone One comes out next Tuesday, October 18. Although I haven't read any of Colson Whitehead's earlier novels (for shame, I know), I love literary fiction writers switching to genre. The description of this novel is intriguing enough, but I'm curious to see where a writer of Whitehead's quality can take it. I've pre-ordered it for my Kindle too and plan another early morning reading session next Tuesday. 

4. The Booker Prize winner will be announced next Tuesday, October 18 too. I'll finish Jamrach's Menagerie tomorrow if all goes as planned. I plan to squeeze in the last of the shortlisted books, Half-Blood Blues after I finish The Marriage Plot. I certainly had my doubts that I'd be able to finish the shortlist this year, so it's quite affirming to be so close to completing the goal. I'll weigh in with my final thoughts before the winner is announced.

5. Dewey's Read-a-thon is Saturday, October 22 - Sunday, October 23. I haven't been able to participate the last few read-a-thons, so I'm excited to be at least a partial participant this year. I've been stocking up on graphic novels (a read-a-thon favorite), novellas, short story collections, Newbery winners, mysteries and a few carefully chosen young adult novels. I like variety during read-a-thons, and I will have plenty of it. I aim to get up for the starting point at 6 a.m. and read for at least twelve hours. I'll probably bow out around dinner time. I greatly admire those who can read for twenty-four hours (or even eighteen), but it tends to stop being enjoyable for me around hour twelve. Want to join the fun in reading for up to 24 hours? You can sign up here.

Now tell me, what are your literary excitements in the coming weeks?

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  1. I LOVE your literary excitement! That and your passion for the awards lists are one of the things I love about you and your blog. It makes me get excited, like I want to pre-order that book too and get up early to read! (I know I won't in this case because of my other reading plans right now but still it's the principle). I actually am not participating in the read-a-thon though. Last time I think I got a bad headache just from the prolonged reading and then it wasn't fun anymore. Bug I'll read just as much as I always do that day!

  2. Lots of great things to be excited about in the coming week it seems! I have to agree with Jenny about loving the passion and enthusiasm you have for book awards. It makes me happy to know that I can always pop on over here and get all the info about what is going on in the world of literary prizes. I am also excited that you will be reading The Marriage Plot the very minute that it comes out, as I have really been eying that book and can't wait to hear what you think. Have a very wonderful and bookish week ahead!

  3. I'm not an enormous Eugenides fan but after the Times Square billboard I am curious (and v amused!). Can't wait to read your thoughts.

    Love your book award excitement -- and thanks for mentioning the read-a-long. I've never done one yet, but I'm tempted!!

  4. Lots of everything literary going on for sure. I am sure anxious for The Marriage Plot as well. enjoy Carrie

  5. I enjoyed The Virgin Suicides but like you, I haven't gotten around to reading Middlesex either. The new one sounds very intriguing.

    Also, I am so excited for the readathon!!!


  6. I love your excitement and share most of it :-) I'm going to a Booker party organised by the publishers so am extra excited about that. I'm also lucky enough to have a copy of The Marriage Plot and am loving it so far. I hope you enjoy it too. :-)

  7. Yum, literary excitement. I share yours re The Marriage Plot, but I don't have it yet, so I have resolved to ignore everyone who talks about it, until I actually get the book in my hands. :) And let me rub it in: Please read Middlesex, please, please, please?

    I've signed up for the Readathon too. I haven't done one in so long, haha. My hobby of late is making plans on what to read on the 22nd. I'll probably finish long-standing short story collections, haha. And a lot of short novels. And, yes, maybe steal some of my housemate's graphic novels.


Thank you for taking the time to comment. Happy reading!