The Sunday Salon: Orange Intensity

Once again it’s Sunday, and I wonder where the last week went.  Life has been busy lately, all in a good way.  We’re now 10 days into Orange July, the annual reading event devoted to reading at least one book that has won or been nominated for the Orange Prize for Fiction.  I’ve posted about this a lot but it’s the focus of all my reading at the moment so I’m afraid I’m a bit Orange-obsessed!

We’ve had some great conversations in the Orange January/July group on LibraryThing.  Recently a member commented on the books she’s been reading, and how all of them seemed rather intense.  I thought about the books I’ll be reading this month, and I have to say there isn’t a light fluffy read among them.  And then I wandered over to the list of Orange books I’ve read.  My goodness, what a lot of intensity!

There are books dealing with war and its aftermath (Half of a Yellow Sun, The Memory of Love, The Siege).  Others explore  relationships (Amy & Isabelle, Unless), or explore difficult issues (Room, We Need to Talk about Kevin).  I’m sure you can find more intensity there; my point is, a month like Orange July does require a certain degree of stamina.  It’s worth it — Orange Prize nominees have been some of my favorite reads — but I also know that come August I’ll probably need a lighter read, just to ease the tension.

What about you?  Do you find the Orange reads more intense than others?


Read more from The Sunday Salon here.

12 thoughts on “The Sunday Salon: Orange Intensity

    • No need to feel dumb, Shannon! It’s a great excuse to learn more about it, and find some great reads. Check out the website for the Orange Prize for Fiction to learn more about the prize. If you like women authors, you can’t go wrong reading Orange winners and nominees.

  1. Yes, I think Orange books are intense in some ways. Come August, I will probably look for at least one book of a lighter subject matter. Admittedly, though, I will probably plunge right back into heavier content sooner than later!

    • Jill, I already have a mystery teed up to read after my Orange books. But I agree with you, I’ll be plunging back into heavy stuff sooner rather than later.

  2. I don’t tend to find Orange reads more intense, but I think the key part is what other reads you compare them to. I tend to mostly read literary fiction, so the intensity level is quite constant. Based on last year’s reading of the Orange and Booker longlists, I’d say the Booker reading was more intense. I also value emotionally intensity in my books, which perhaps explains my love and devotion to the Orange Prize!

    • nomadreader, I think you’re correct in saying that literary fiction tends to be more intense than some other types of fiction. I follow the Booker Prize too and now that you mention it, those books can also be intense. I guess I’ve never spent an entire month devoted to Booker reading so it hasn’t piled up on me the way it does with my Orange Prize reading.

      And I value the intensity too, so I don’t mind it but it does mean I need to inject a lighter read from time to time.

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