Feb 27, 2021

Sunday Salon: Reading Books Other than Mysteries, Thrillers

 Since last week, when I decided to skip thrillers and mysteries for a month or more, I've read the following books in other genres, realizing that I might not have picked them up or even finished them so soon before that decision! 

The Stationery Shop by Marjan Kamali, June 2019, Gallery Books

Genre: historical novel, romance

Setting: Tehran and USA

I cried a lot reading this one, especially towards the ending, and loved how the main characters expressed their sentiments, in sometimes poetic fashion. Set in Iran during the country's 1953 revolution, this romance breaks hearts, more than just the lovers', who are constrained by family as well as by the country's politics.  Roya and Brahman meet and fall in love in the stationery shop owned by Mr. Fakhri, who has a hand in the ultimate fate of these two lovers. 

I gave this an enthusiastic five but won't reveal more of the plot so as not to be a spoiler!

We Two Alone by Jack Wang, September 1, 2020

Genre; short stories, Chinese diaspora

I read this book at different times - the wonder of reading short stories I've found is being able to read them as you wish, over time or all at once. The collection is described as covering the Chinese diaspora across the globe over the past hundred years, and yet there are only seven stories, a few heartbreaking. Cultural and racial prejudice,  the demands of society and family, and the intrusion of real life impact the relationship between people in each of these stories. This explains the title of the short story collection, We Two Alone. 

Another five stars.

A Woman of No Importance by Sonia Purnell, April 2019, Purnell

Genre: biography, history 

Setting: London, France, Spain, Italy, USA

A great book for WWII history buffs who want to follow the resistance in France that was aided by England and the Allies. It details numerous underground and subversive activities in Europe, many led by a young American woman, who was recruited by the British into Churchill's spy organization. One of the greatest spies in American history, she is called, although this book is the first to detail all Virginia Hall did to help win the war.

 I had to read this book slowly, as it's so packed with information and people and events during the resistance, told chronologically, that it's hard to digest all at once. Kudos to the author for putting these events all together and to show us the woman, the spy, and the heroine.  war. 

I'm currently reading Leonora in the Morning Light by Michaela Carter, April 6, 2021, a novel based on the life of Surrealist artist, Leonora Carrington, and set in France, England.

Next on my list will be The Anglophile's Notebook by Sunday Taylor, a book about Charlotte Bronte. 

Also Days of Distraction by Alexandra Chang, March 2020, HarperCollins

What are you reading this week? 

Memes: The Sunday Post hosted by The Caffeinated Bookreviewer. Also,  It's Monday: What Are You Readingand Sunday Salon


Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

I am happy that your venture into non-mysteries/thrillers for a month (or more) has been thus far so successful. I think that's one of the most difficult things to do as a reader, to try to step away from genres that have given us such happiness in the past and try something that is not a sure thing.

I enjoyed The Stationery Shop very much when I read it last year. It was sweet and sad, and that's always a good combination for me. And a stationery shop is such a great setting.

Mystica said...

All your reads sound absolutely delightful.

Mae Travels said...

Great idea to read books about different times and places than our own!
I definitely love to do that.

be safe...mae at maefood.blogspot.com

Suko said...

Harvee, I am interested in reading The Stationery Shop. Thank you for your thoughtful reviews of these books.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

Seems like you had a successful "no thrillers" month. I am drawn to thrillers as well and in February I only read (1) thriller and (1) mystery and ventured into other genres as well - it felt good. The Stationery Store was really a different one for me --so sad but so good.

IzaBzh said...

I want to read them all, I knew about the last but not the first two and wow, a novel about Charlotte Brontë, perfect for my Brontë project :D

Laurel-Rain Snow said...

I am curious about The Stationery Shop...and A Woman of No Importance.

Enjoy your week and your books, and here are my WEEKLY UPDATES

Jinjer-The Intrepid Angeleno said...

The Stationery Shop sounds really good. How I do love going into a stationery shop and looking at all the pens and papers. Sounds like the characters also find something extra special there.

JoAnn said...

The Stationery Shop is on my wish list, and now I want to move it to the top!

Girl Who Reads said...

I love the cover of The Stationery Shop. I'm glad it turned out to be a good book. See what I read Girl Who Reads

Greg said...

I love the sound of the Chinese stories.

Emma at Words And Peace / France Book Tours said...

I am also going to TRY staying away from dark and disturbing thrillers. I love reading all kinds of genres, and by authors form different countries. Very interesting how different cultures approach the art of story telling

Anne@HeadFullofBooks said...

Why are not reading mysteries/thrillers? Is it just a taking a break or some other reason? I rarely read them and most are quite violent. Is that the reason? My Sunday Salon post this week

shelleyrae @ book'd out said...

It seems the break will hardly be a deprivation at all!

Wishing you a great reading week

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