The Sparrow Readalong – Sunday Post 92

Posted 17 August, 2014 by Trish in Reading Nook / 37 Comments

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Happy Sunday! We are back from Toronto and I’m feeling quite refreshed after a little social media/blogging break. I haven’t yet opened Feedly to check it out but all those posts will be marked as read (with a bit of scanning because I’m compulsive). I keep wondering why I don’t delete that little Facebook app on my phone. I really should. But that’s neither here nor there today. For almost a week it was nice to be absolutely unconnected.

Ahem, speaking of connections…

You know what I haven’t had in a long time? A good readalong!

Lately The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell has been getting a lot of buzz around the book blogosphere (I love when that happens with older books…this one published in 1996). Here’s what I know about the book: Sci-Fi and Religion. Two areas where I don’t typically dive into with my reading (I’ll do sci-fi before religion, though). I’m intimidated to pieces by The Sparrow but too many of my favorite bloggers have raved enough that I can’t ignore the chantings anymore.

So who wants to join me of a little readalong of The Sparrow?

sparrow readalong

The details:

When: Begin September 1st (I’ll put up an introductory linky post), Halfway (through ch 19, pg 201 of my copy) on Monday September 15th, Finish Tuesday, September 30th.

Synopsis from Goodreads (if you can believe it, I copied and pasted this without reading a word):
In 2019, humanity finally finds proof of extraterrestrial life when a listening post in Puerto Rico picks up exquisite singing from a planet which will come to be known as Rakhat. While United Nations diplomats endlessly debate a possible first contact mission, the Society of Jesus quietly organizes an eight-person scientific expedition of its own. What the Jesuits find is a world so beyond comprehension that it will lead them to question the meaning of being “human.” Words like “provocative” and “compelling” will come to mind as you read this shocking novel about first contact with a race that creates music akin to both poetry and prayer.

So…what do you think? Join me! Join me! Let me know in the comments below. I’ll use #SparrowRAL as the hashtag on Twitter.

In related news, I’ve been thinking of starting a monthly readalong here on the blog–thinking that those who are interested can suggest books and then we can put it up to a vote. I’ve been really missing readalongs lately. Would you be interested? I’m thinking low pressure and backlist (ie not new) books.


sunday monday reading

And some bookish news…linking up to Kimba’s Caffeinated Book Reviewer and Sheila’s Book Journey

Books Recently Finished: I did finish The Buddha in the Attic and it’s saving grace was the short length of the book (125 pages or something). The subject of women coming over from Japan to marry and their subsequent lives in America was very fascinating and the chapters dealing with the internment camps during WWII were heartbreaking, but I would have preferred to read a more character driven story. I also finished Austenland while on my trip. It was cute.

New Books in the House: None. Yay me! Though in the airport I discovered a cute little storybook called 101 Things to do With Baby. I passed it up but it’ll go on my wishlist.

New Books on my E-Reader: Kindred by Octavia Butler. I’ve been wanting to read this book for a while so as soon as it popped up on Nook Daily Deal I snatched it up!

Books on the Nightstand: I’m reading Good Chinese Wife for a book tour this week but I’m about to abandon ship. It is a memoir of an American who married a Chinese man while she was living/studying as an expat in Hong Kong. Interesting story but the author’s voice is terribly irritating to me. I’m curious to see where her story goes but I’m not sure I can stand to finish. We’ll see. Soon I’ll be reading Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand for book club.

 What’s going on with your Sunday today? Bookish and otherwise?





37 Responses to “The Sparrow Readalong – Sunday Post 92”

  1. Kristi Mickelsen

    A monthly readalong would be amazing. I’ve been trying to find a way back into the blogging thing for a while so I would jump on that for sure.

    I read The Sparrow before I moved last summer, and it was great. Tough to get through emotionally, but worth it. I’m not big into sci-fi or reading religious books either. I wouldn’t be too worried about the religious aspect. It’s not preachy. It just makes you think.

    I read The Kindred last summer too. So very good as well. You have some great books coming up.

  2. I’m not really interested in reading The Sparrow despite the fact that everyone else seems to be reading it or has raved about it in the past BUT I am totally interested in a monthly backlist read-along. There are so many books I’ve missed and I’m sure there will be some that I’ve been meaning to reread as well.

    It’s still Saturday night here (11:41 pm) but tomorrow I’ll likely be taking my mother-in-law to Seattle to do some touristy things. Sometimes I forget that I’m allowed to do those things even when there isn’t someone visiting. :) Have a happy day!

  3. I loved Kindred a lot! I hope you enjoy it too. It starts off with a bang and holds on till the end. I got the husband also to read it last night. Looking forward to hearing what you think!

  4. I don’t think The Sparrow is for me but I’m definitely interested in a monthyly read-along! I know there are a lot great books out there that I’ve missed and a read-along would be a fun way to read them. I love when a book I’m wanting to read comes up on daily deal. It’s like a mini version of Christmas! Sounds like your trip to Toronto was lovely. I’ve started sorting my Feedly queue on my phone and saving the ones that I want to get back to. It doesn’t take long to sort through a huge amount and that way I don’t worry about missing something. Because the world would end if I didn’t have another cookie recipe. Have a great week!

  5. Oooo…I might be able to do this readalong with you! I’ve been wanting to read The Sparrow for a while now. sj and I were going to read it together…maybe I can talk her into doing it as a larger readalong. I’ll tell her about it today!

  6. I’ll be honest that Facebook has been getting to me too and it’s nice when I’m not connected there. I think, at least, for the time being I’m planning on taking the app off my phone and tablet and staying off it during the week. I do like connecting via The Sunday Salon to others’ posts, but I’m thinking I might be one of those people who only check in once a week. I just don’t like what I see in my timeline most of the time with a few exceptions.

  7. Glad you had a good trip. I understand the need to pass up print books but right now I am collecting some as I donated all my prints books when we moved. I’m interested in learning more about The Sparrow and Buddha in the Attic. Kindred has been on my kindle for quite a while; I need to get to it!
    Have a good, and relaxing, week.

  8. Lu

    I feel like I’ve commented on a lot of posts lately about The Sparrow! All saying the exact same thing: I want to reread this book, but the ending DESTROYED me and I don’t know if I can read it again. But I want to? It’s such a powerful book and makes you feel a lot of things, one of which is totally gut-wrenching sadness, but a lot of it is beauty and wonder, too. So, my answer is… I’ll think about it. :) But otherwise, I’d love a backlist readalong every month. I have a ton of books I’ve been sitting on for forever and there are so many books I feel like I miss every year.

  9. good for you, The Sparrow is so good! After, you will have to read the sequel, Children of God, a bit more positive on humanity. She’s one of my favorite women writers. She writes so very well, in scifi, historical fiction or just history. Amazing

  10. I haven’t heard anything about The Sparrow, but I’ve also been ignoring my feedreader for, oh, about two months now so I’m sure there are loads of gushing reviews waiting for me.

    But I can say that I would totally be up for monthly readalongs. I’ve been considering hosting some myself, but I’m not sure if any one would even been interested in the backlog books I have on my shelf to read (other than the scary classics).

  11. I’m join you on the readalong. It’s been on my radar for years, and I picked up a copy in San Francisco last year. I was kind of intimidated by the premise, but a readalong sounds perfect.

    Also, deleting the Facebook app off my phone was the best thing. I never interacted with anyone, but would get on constantly to scroll through my feed. It was such a time suck, and I wasn’t getting anything out of it. Now I’m only on once a day (at most) and am much more aware of making my time on there meaningful. I couldn’t do the same with Twitter though. I love it too much.

  12. I’m in for The Sparrow. It’s way out of what I’d pick myself, but I need to step out of my reading comfort zone once in a while.

    I’d love to join your monthly backlist readalong!

  13. I’d like to say that it’s the first time I visit your blog and I love its title and your presentation :)
    I’ve heard very good things about Kindred and I want to read Major Pettigrew’s last stand too. The Good Chinese wife made me think of East wind, west wind by Pearl Buck, though slightly different.
    Enjoy your books and have a great week !

  14. I can’t wait to hear what you have to say about The Sparrow. I’ve read it two times and loved it just as much the second time around as the first. I’m glad you didn’t read the blurb. It really doesn’t do the book justice!

  15. Farin

    I loved A Thread of Grace, so I really should read The Sparrow, and read alongs are always fun! I might join the Twitter party. And I’d be in for a monthly read along, too!

  16. Well it’s been on my TBR list for ages and it’s already on my ereader so it seems kind of silly for me not to join in, right?

    OK – you got me. I’m in.

    I tend to be a serial readalong failure but I’m going to give it a try.

    I love the idea of a monthly readalong that focuses on backlist books. So much of the book blogging world seems to only think about what’s new or not even out yet. There are a gazillion books I want to read that I haven’t picked up yet.

    Obviously it worked for The Sparrow ;-)

  17. jennygirl

    I’m in, as long as I can get the book from Amazon or something.
    Thinking of starting a new blog too, so this would be a great vehicle for it!

  18. Just might have to reread The Sparrow just so I can keep up with you squeeing about it. And don’t worry if the first few pages don’t grab you – KEEP GOING cuz it will be worth it. I had a friend push through and she ended up loving it, too. So DO NOT be intimidated… just roll.

    Good job scooping up Kindred. That was a pleasant surprise for me, too. (you know I love how time travel is ‘done’.) And I liked Major Pettigrew… Reminds me that I need to find out if my mom read that. I think she’d like it. LOTS to talk about, too, for a book club.

  19. Jo

    I’ve never heard of Sparrow and I’m not sure it sounds like my kinda thing. But I love readalongs, and it’s been so long…

  20. Can you believe I started reading The Sparrow the day before you posted this? I’d read three chapters! I laid it aside to wait for you though, because 1) it’s more fun to read with friends and 2) I’m afraid I’ll need the push of reading with friends! There is just something so intimidating about that book!

  21. YES with the being intimidated by The Sparrow. Glad I’m not the only one picking it up and casting a wary eye…

    Also, one of my Af-Am Lit classes did an outloud group reading of Kindred, all in one sitting. I’m interested to see what you think…

  22. One of my favorite books :) I hope you enjoy it.

    I only succeed with readalongs about 50% of the time I host them myself, so I won’t be joining in that, but good luck! I know what you mean about missing them.

  23. As usual, I will immediately fall behind on a readalong thanks to a scheduled review book. I have GOT to learn to say no to those so I can be more flexible. But I’m definitely joining in!