For last week’s Sunday Salon, I began by talking about how I was looking forward to reading Sister Pelagia and the Black Monk by Boris Akunin, the second in his yet-to-be finished trilogy, after finishing Sister Pelagia and The White Bulldog by Boris Akunin (review here) the previous day. I didn’t anticipate get much reading done last Sunday since my parents, my sister, brother-in-law and nephew were visiting my wife and me to celebrate my 39th birthday, which was on Monday, and so I didn’t.
Unfortunately, though, I didn’t get much reading done throughout the week either and at the start of this week’s Sunday Salon, which I began slightly early at about 8 p.m. Saturday night here on the eastern coast of the United States, I am still reading Akunin’s second part of the Sister Pelagia trilogy. As of 10:30 p.m. tonight, I am a little over halfway the 356-page book and enjoying it immensely.
As I mentioned in my previous review of the first part of the trilogy, I discovered Akunin’s work through my local library, of which I gave a mini-book tour in one of three parts for this past week’s Weekly Geeks.
And now for an aside, jumping off from that, on…
The week in review:
Don’t worry; I won’t make you click on another link. Here’s the slideshow I created about my local library and its book sale:
I also created a second slideshow about my hometown bookstore:
I went a little bit crazy on Weekly Geeks this week as I also had this post (sorry, making you click here) with more photos.
On Tuesday, I joined Tuesday Thingers (a group of LibraryThing folks) with questions from Boston Bibliophile, and It’s Tuesday, where are you? at raidergirl3’s an adventure in reading.
Now back to our regularly scheduled programming…
I had never heard of Akunin, the pen name of Grigory Chkhartishvili, who is a philologist, critic, essayist and translator of Japanese, according to the biography in the backs of his books, before coming across this book at our library. However, I am naturally glad I did, because to me, he ranks up there with other great international mystery writers such as Andrea Camilleri who created Inspector Montalbano and Robert van Hans Gulik who popularized the Judge Dee mysteries.
So far, I am even more impressed with this second part of the trilogy than I was with its predecessor, which considering that I gave that one a 10 out of 10 in my review is saying something. In this one, after Bishop Mitrofani of Zavolzhsk, a remote Russian province in the nineteenth century, learns of strange happenings at an island monastery, including apparitions of the founding monk, Mitrofanii sends envoys to see what’s happening out there. Of course, each in his own way falters in his investigation and so the Bishop is forced to send Pelagia undercover to the island where nuns are not allowed to go. I have just begun the part where Pelagia has just arrived.
While the previous one was very serious in its approach from the start, although not without humor, this one has much to make one chuckle, especially how each envoy fails one by one until suddenly it is only Pelagia who can rescue the day. I can’t wait to see what happens next and will read a little more before getting to bed and another full day tomorrow as I go to my parents for Father’s Day, where I will be watching the NASCAR race with my father.
I most likely won’t check in until later tomorrow afternoon or evening. Until then…have fun Saloning all.