Sunday, 14 February 2010

Sunday Salon: Analysing Books

The Sunday

What Caught My Fancy This Week

When I was in high school I found that discussing books, even books I didn’t like made the books better. I didn’t like The Great Gatsby when I first read it but after we spent time in class discussing it, picking it apart, I came to understand it and appreciate it in a ways I hadn’t previously.

This is one of the reasons why I blog. Blogging allows me to discuss books even if it is just with myself. I have a very limited opportunity right now to discuss books IRL so the blog becomes my virtual book club even if it is just by myself.

The analysing of books is something I want to get better at doing here. Looking at aspects of the book and pulling them apart. To see what the book is really saying about different things. One of my goals for Notes from the North this year is to get better at the analysis and not just “this was a good book” but what made it good. I won’t be doing this for every book I read because it is quite draining, especially books I have read to relax. But I do want to bring up the amount of books that I analyse not just read and review.


I’m reading quite a few books this week :D

Rapture in Death Rapture in Death by J.D. Robb. I am continuing my re-read of the In Death series and this is my “my brain is dead and needs braincandy to function book” right now.


The French Lieutenant's Woman The French Lieutenant's Woman by John Fowles. This is actually a re-read for me as it was one of the assigned books for high school and now an assigned book for grad school. So I am counting it for one of the mini-challenges on the Flashback Challenge. I’ve only just started it and I really don’t remember much of the story from reading it last time (it has been over 10 years!)

The Souls fo Black Folk The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B Du Bois. I’m reading this for the Classic Circuit: Harlem Renaissance which will be visiting my blog on the 16th. This book has really captured me.


the namesake The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri. This is my current audiobook and I am really enjoying it. Lahiri’s writing is so beautiful. It just flows and I can really see it in front of me. This will be my first book for the South Asian Author Challenge.




History of the Medieval World History of the Medieval World by Susan Wise Bauer. This is a good introduction to the time period but I would definitely want to read more texts around it.



Madicken Madicken by Astrid Lindgren. This is a childhood favourite of mine and it was a great experience to re-read as an adult. It is a very sweet story about a young girl in Sweden during the first world war.


mrsdalloway Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf. Reading this book is what inspired this weeks “What Caught My Fancy” since I enjoyed the book more after analysing and learning more about Woolf. It has a beautiful, if complicated, language.



Not a challenge per say but I have joined the wonderful Spotlight Series. The Spotlight Series aims to shine a light on small presses that might not be able to promote their books in the way large publishers can. This series aims to showcase their titles in order to show you fantastic books you might not otherwise have found. The first small press is Unbridled Books and I will be reading The Distance Between Us by Masha Hamilton. Come and join the fun and help others discover a wonderful book. Oh and for those of you outside the US, most of Unbridled Books are available through

On the Blog

This week, apart from my reviews I also posted the first of my author portraits. This month I am featuring one of my favourite (probably the favourite) children’s book writers: Astrid Lindgren. She wrote so many beautiful books about childhood, many that made me whom I am today. Several of her books have been translated into English and are well worth a read by children and adults alike!

Copyright ©2010 Zee from Notes from the North.clip_image001This post was originally posted by Zee from Notes from the North. It should not be reproduced without express written permission.


Amanda said...

I do the same thing. For example, I hated both Don Quixote and Madame Bovary, but had to do research on both of them for my book club and in studying them, I came to appreciate them even while hating them. Discussing them with my book group was even better.

Nymeth said...

That's one of the reasons why I blog too - I don't know many people in "real life" who even read, so the opportunities for discussion I've had since I started blogging are precious for me.

I loved The French Lieutenant's Woman! It's one I need to re-read as well, actually.

Diane said...

Glad u r enjoying the Namesake; I've read all of Lahari's books and enjoyed each of them.

I just found your blog today; it's great so I'll be back!

readerbuzz said...

I'm fascinated with Lindgren. Loved Pippi as a child. Wanted to be Pippi. Still want to be Pippi.

Kristen M. said...

I also tend to improve my views on books after discussing them. There are things that you might not appreciate while you are reading but notice when someone else mentions them. It's a great process!

Zee said...

Amanda~~I might have needed someone to discuss Don Quixote because that book defeated me. Madame Bovary was one of the books that I thought was better after having discussed it in school.

Nymeth~~My problem is that I prefer to read in English, if I read in Swedish I would have plenty of opportunities to discuss books :D I'll be reviewing The French Lieutenant's Woman next week. I hope I like it this time because I really can't remember what I thought last time :D

Diane~~I hope you like what you find here. I read Interpreter of Maladies last year and loved it so I have really been looking forward to this book.

Readerbuzz~~Pippi is awesome. I've taken Pippi pills!

Kristen~~Exactly! Through others experiences you get a new experience of the book and a new perspective.