Satisfying Sunday

What a great day! It began with singing in the choir at my new church. It’s so much fun to sing at this church because everyone in the congregation looks so happy and it fills me up with joy. Then we spent time (hours, really) at two bookstores. A two-bookstore day is a very good day indeed. Here’s what I bought:
THE ANATOMY OF A SECRET LIFE by Gail Saltz, non-fiction, for research purposes. Of course, I consider all my reading to be research as I study how different authors structure, plot, write, create, etc. The rest of the books I bought are fiction:
SANDCASTLES by Luanne Rice. I’ve liked Luanne’s books since her very early days with CRAZY IN LOVE and the much more sober, STONE HEART. I think our books have a similar nature.
THE ART OF MENDING by Elizabeth Berg. Elizabeth Berg is another favorite of mine and I somehow missed this book when it first came out, so time to catch up.
MY SISTER’S KEEPER by Jodi Picoult. I really like Picoult’s writing and creativity, and I love when my agent compares me to her. 🙂 I don’t know how I missed this book, but I did. I’m going to start it first.  
THE MEMORY KEEPER’S DAUGHTER by Kim Edwards. I’m drawn to this book by the title and the description on the back. I’m not familiar with the author–yet.
THE NAMESAKE by Jhumpa Lahiri. I’d not heard of this book, but my neighborhood book group is reading it this month. It’s about immigrants from Calcutta as they adapt to America. Lahiri’s a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and I look forward to reading this.
LOST IN THE FOREST by Sue Miller. I once loved Sue Miller’s writing (THE GOOD MOTHER, INVENTING THE ABBOTTS, FAMILY PICTURES, etc) but then read a few of her books that simply didn’t engage me. I thought it was time to give her another try, and this book appears to focus on a teenaged girl, and I’m always drawn in by coming of age type stories, so we’ll see. . .
SLIPSTREAM by Leslie Larson. I never heard of this author, and this book is a thriller–not my usual reading material–but it received a starred review in Publishers Weekly and something about the review caught my interest enough to write down the title on a now-crumpled little piece of paper. I’ll let you know what I think.
Finally, SWEETWATER CREEK, by Anne Rivers Siddons. She’s a perennial favorite of mine. Her books always have a strong sense of place (Outer Banks, Charleston, the Low Country) and characters who care about preservation of the environment as well as of their relationships. A friend told me this is one of her best, so I’m excited to get to it.
So, it was a great day, except for the guilt I feel over not working. Tomorrow, I’ll start my WIP reports again. . . a bit anxiously after my last aborted attempt. Wish me luck.


  1. Brenda on August 13, 2006 at 8:29 pm

    For ideas and research esp. for your MEMOIR: THe following are great. I used them in my personal essay grad classes that I TOOK and I use strategies in my own writing and in teaching my students.
    WRITING LIFE STORIES by Roorbach-magnificent book
    CREATIVE NONFICTION-Philip Gerard-Very good
    The Art of Personal Essay-Lopate-really good
    The 4th Genre-Root and Steinberg=really good
    On Writing Well-30th addition-really good
    IF YOU ONLY BUY TWO-get the first two…they address many things about the personal essay/memoir-memory…etc…
    The books you have chosen:
    Sounds like good choices…I buy Anne Siddons books…and reread them…
    along with Mary Alice Monroe…I lived near Myrtle Beach for 5 years (teaching) and love their books.
    I agree with Sue Miller-but will give her another try.
    There was a review of the book by Kim Edwards in our Sunday paper today…that sounds good.
    As soon as I get caught up (Ha) I plan to read that one…

  2. Brenda on August 13, 2006 at 8:32 pm

    Dorthea Benton Frank is another favorite of mine-she, Siddons, and Monroe-write about beach…south, etc…

  3. Diane Chamberlain on August 13, 2006 at 8:44 pm

    Mary Alice, AKA the Turtle Lady, is a dear friend and I love her books.

  4. Cheryl on August 13, 2006 at 8:46 pm

    Will you let us know how you like My Sister’s Keeper? It is on my list of things I want to read, but just haven’t had time for yet.
    I enjoy your books and your blog. Good luck with your new WIP. I am looking forward to hearing about it.

  5. Diane Chamberlain on August 13, 2006 at 10:38 pm

    Thanks, Cheryl. I’ll be sure to post my thoughts on MY SISTER’S KEEPER. Such an intriguing premise!

  6. Lorene on August 14, 2006 at 9:26 am

    What a haul! I’ve read some but not alll and tend to forget after a few weeks 🙂
    I Loved MY SISTER’S KEEPER! Jodi Picoult’s books are great and you’ve chosen one of her best.

  7. Margo on August 14, 2006 at 9:56 am

    Sometimes Laura and I will visit 2 bookstores in 1 day, have lunch and visit about all the wonderful books we’ve bought…it’s the best of days!!…I’m 3/4 thru SANDCASTLES and love it…I’ve read Luanne Rice for a long time with one of my favorites being SUMMER LIGHT…I just bought MEMORY KEEPER’S DAUGHTER but have never read the author before…SWEETWATER CREEK was bought last year but It’s still in my stack to read…I love Anne River Siddons and have read almost everything she’s written with my favorite of hers being ISLANDS…I highly recommend it…never have read the others Diane listed but from what Diane and Lorene said, I think I better add her to my list!!…Mary Alice Monroe is another favorite of Laura’s and mine and we’re looking forward to her sequal to the BEACH HOUSE which I think comes out next year…my husband is a constant reader and has a huge library all his own, but his reading if very different from mine (he reads James Michenor, Tom Clancy, Jim Marrs etc.)…what’s nice about my reading interests and Gary’s is that when we’re each thru with a book we sit for hours and talk about it to each other…I love that part…..(-:

  8. Brenda on August 14, 2006 at 4:31 pm

    Margo-how wonderful…you and your husband sharing your books…that is great…
    I wish we could “raise” more students as readers…many of mine prefer television/movies to reading.
    You are unique.

  9. Brenda on August 14, 2006 at 4:36 pm

    Satisfying Sunday…because I have been in grad classes this summer and gone so much-London with teachers, D. WOrld with grandchildren, and my daughter’s….my husband and I needed some together time…Don’t laugh…
    After church (he too sings in the choir, Diane, and he sings Southern Gospel with just the right nuance (that’s how I met him and fell in love with him a few years ago). He sings Squire Parson songs…anyway…after church, we ate at a lovely home-cooking type place-some place we seldom get too (I am a vegetarian and find it difficult to find places I can eat…) anyway…after that–I wanted to take a country drive on a road I had not visited in 40 years (or since I returned to the area in 1999).
    We also wanted to try out our new “toy”…a mini-refrig/cooler that works in the vehicle on the cigarette lighter/battery and works in motel room with electricity. My daughter used hers in the van all the way to the resort at D. World.
    The toy worked…we also ate old-type licorice candy and others…rolled down the windows-and remembered being teenagers (he is l0 years older than I) and so our memories were somewhat different on those roads…(I was remembering my childhood sweetheart without whom I spent 30 years and we laughed…)
    It was a great Sunday….something I needed in the midst of stress school, etc.
    Something we don’t get to do-we spend our autumn days driving 3 hours to WVU football games, watching the games, and returning home-he has done that all of his life…
    It was just a great Sunday…I loved it…came home and worked on my column, and one of my books for my classes…
    Diane-when I lived in the south, one of my favorite bookstores was the B&Noble in Charlotte-I don’t know why but I liked it better than any others…even the ones at Myrtle Beach near where I lived…

  10. Brenda on August 14, 2006 at 4:37 pm

    P.S> Anyone seen the 9/ll movie?
    I don’t want to go because everytime I go to NYC to watch my son in the marathon, I get upset about Ground Zero…

  11. Margo on August 14, 2006 at 5:19 pm

    Hi Brenda…my husband and I have always asked about what each of us our reading and what it’s about…after finishing a book, we talk and talk about it…something I haven’t shared with many but will now, for a change of pace I decided to read a Danielle Steel book called THE GHOST…I couldn’t put it down because it was so diff from her other books…lots of history in it and went from present day to years earlier in England…anyway, I was SO involved with that story and by the end I just drifted into space…my husband Gary asked what it was about so, I promptly told him the WHOLE story and cried and cried while he listened and held me and talked about it with me…I feel pretty fortunate to have him…as far as 9/11, no I haven’t seen it but plan on watching when it comes to the satellite…

  12. Brenda on August 14, 2006 at 6:40 pm

    Margo-I own every book D. S. has ever written. What has happened?
    The last few—I have no comment…

  13. Brenda on August 14, 2006 at 7:01 pm

    Memoir: Hillbilly Gothic Adrienne Martini-whew!!!!

  14. Diane Chamberlain on August 14, 2006 at 7:03 pm

    What a lovely Sunday, Brenda! Sounds like the weather was as gorgeous there as it was here. And i am planning to see 9/11, but we rarely make it out to the movies, watching instead on our biiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiig TV, so it might be a while before I get to it. I’m a little nervous about seeing it. When things make me uncomfortable in movies (especially when bad things happen to animals) i just repeat to myself “it’s only a movie. it’s only a movie.” But of course, i won’t be able to do that with 9/11. so we’ll see how brave i’m feeling when the time comes.

  15. Margo on August 15, 2006 at 9:03 am

    Brenda…I have many Danielle Steel books, too…I really, really liked THE GHOST because it was so diff from her others…earlier this summer I read 3 recent books by her, THE HOUSE, IMPOSSIBLE, and SAFE HARBOUR…all were very good and I particularly enjoyed the last 2 because they were about artists!!…(-:

  16. Brenda on August 15, 2006 at 10:37 am

    I am talking about her book that came out this summer….the reviews were terrible, but I am faithful to at least four authors…she being one…
    I couldn’t believe that she wrote a book and was so concerned about two girls coming out at a party but neglected to get to the gist of the book COMING OUT…
    Read it and let me know…I wish I could send it to you as it is not one I will reread.
    Margo-interestingly enough-I have a theory. D. S. has usually two books a year…one is long, researched and historically interesting…one is simple and almost as if someone else wrote it…what think YOU????
    Also-don’t forget to read hers about VIETNAM, and read THE GIFT…touching…so many good ones…but…

  17. Margo on August 15, 2006 at 10:54 am

    Brenda, I know what you mean…I got to the point where I quit buying her summer short book…I wasn’t even interested in her newest COMING OUT…but I DID really enjoy THE HOUSE which came out in Feb…haven’t read the Vietnam book or ‘The Gift’ but have both and will definitely read them…

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