Sunday, June 6, 2010

Sunday Salon--this week's reading

The Sunday Salon.com

I've spent the week immersed in Tanizaki's The Makioka Sisters. I love Tanizaki's style, and the wonderful detail about pre-war Osaka life, and how the traditional Japanese culture deteriorates as the country modernizes and prepares for war. I am fascinated by how Tanizaki crafts a plot out of countless small moments in this family's life. It is one of those books that sort of sneaks up on you, and all its layers come together to create a delicate and complete picture.

I also had time to zip through another book, a memoir called If You Knew Suzy: A Mother, a Daughter, a Reporter's Notebook, by Katherine Rosman, the sister of someone I know. It is the examination of a mother's life by her reporter daughter, after the mother has died of cancer. The daughter sets out to interview people who knew her mother, and in the process create a clearer picture of the mother, unclouded by their complicated relationship. It's an interesting idea for a memoir, and though the descriptions of the mother's illness and death were painful to read, it was thought-provoking on the subject of mother-daughter relationships, and how we as daughters see and don't see our mothers.

I've also started Laurie Colwin's book of essays, Home Cooking: A Writer in the Kitchen. I've loved Colwin's writing for twenty years--I've read all of her fiction, but this is the first time I'm reading her essays on food and cooking, which she wrote for Gourmet and other magazines. I love Colwin's easy, accessible, charming and very funny style. I'm looking forward to getting deeper into this one!

What have you been reading this week?

11 comments:

Wendy said...

I have both of Colwin's cookbooks and saved all her columns from Gourmet magazine...I love her writing!

Gentle Reader said...

Wendy--I love her writing, too! One of my favorite books of all time is her short story collection The Lone Pilgrim. I'm really looking forward to her food writing!

Anna van Gelderen said...

I read The Makioka Sisters about a month ago and was agreeably surprised how much I liked it. It's one of those novels I plan to reread in 10 years' time or thereabouts.

Gentle Reader said...

Anna--that's what I did! I read it first maybe 15 years ago, and kept a copy, because I had liked it so much. Rereading it was a real pleasure!

Ti said...

My entire week was consumed by The Passage. I just finished it last night and it was wonderful. I'm starting the 3rd Larsson tomorrow.

Gentle Reader said...

Ti--Can't wait to read both your choices--sounds like a good reading weekend and a good reading week ahead--perfect!

Iliana said...

I've only been reading The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest. I actually have a couple of others in progress but I want to get ahead in this chunkster!

Gentle Reader said...

Iliana--I'm jealous! I have the second book to finish before I can start Hornet's Nest...

Bybee said...

I must find Colwin's book next time I'm in the US.

Gentle Reader said...

Bybee--I just love Colwin's writing style. She makes me laugh! If you haven't already, her fiction is definitely worth reading, too :)

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