Sunday Salon ~ August 1st, 2010

Do you ever feel like just reading and not blogging about it at times?  I’m sure some of you know what I’m talking about.  This summer , actually, this year has been that way for me.  I’ve been reading but not actively documenting my opinions of what I’ve read.  I have read some fabulous books this summer and I promise you that I will tell you what they are and what I thought about them soon.  What have you been reading this summer?  Have you attending any author/book events?  I went to see Jennifer Weiner for the second year in a row with some of my friends, including one of my best friends, Library Love

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The Sunday Salon ~ June 27th, 2010

 

Today I was listening to NPR’s Book Podcast for June 24th and the topic was “Summer Books That Make The Critic’s Cut” and the host wrapped things up with an interesting yet curious (to me) phrase. 

She said, “It’s summer – a great excuse to read whatever and whenever you want.” 

Well I thought that anytime was a “great excuse to read whatever and whenever you want”, especially as an adult who isn’t in school and therefore, doesn’t have homework.  The only time I’m reading something that wasn’t picked by me is when I have to read something for book club, but my rule for my book club is if you aren’t feeling it, the book isn’t grabbing you and you just can’t get through it, than by all means don’t read it.  There are too many books out there to get hung up by just one! 

What are your thoughts out there in The Sunday Salon?  You!  Over on that fabulous red velvet chaise!  Or you!  Laying in the hammock off the deck!  What does summer, or any season reading for that matter mean to you?

Sunday Salon ~ May 2nd, 2010

Well, HELLO Stranger!  Man, it has been awhile since I did a Sunday Salon post.  Sorry about that!  It seems that the weekends here fly by so quickly that it’s almost mid-week before I remember that I should have written a Sunday Salon post. 

Okay, enough of the excuses.  I haven’t been lagging to badly when it comes to my reading lately.  Though it took a long two weeks, I finally finished reading Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol.  This book is my book club’s May selection.  My club’s meeting is going to be pretty cool because we are (weather permitting) going to have a picnic lunch on the grounds of The National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.  I will be posting my review here on Planet Books closer to the date of our meeting which is scheduled towards the end of this month. 

In The Neighborhood: The Search for Community on an American Street, One Sleepover at a TimeThe good thing about finishing The Lost Symbol is that I can now read In The Neighborhood – The Search For Community On An American Street, Once Sleepover At A Time by Peter Lovenheim. 

What an interesting book!  This sociology project of sorts was executed and written by an author, who with his family, moved into his childhood home on a picturesque street outside of Rochester, NY.  After a shocking murder-suicide occurred in a house down the street, Peter wondered who his neighbors really were and why there was no sense of community and neighborhood.  His way of getting to know his neighbors is a common practice but usually among America’s youth, not their parents.  He decided to get to know his neighbors by sleeping over in their homes and observing them during a “typical day.” 

I think my interest in reading this book stems from being a first-time homeowner in a brand new and beautiful neighborhood in Northern Virginia.  It’s a very quite place most of the time, what with adults working days, children in school and busy social and television watching schedules keeping most neighbors inside or away from home.  Sure, we all wave at each other when neighbors drive by and others are checking the mail or doing yard work but I only know the names of my immediate neighbors.  I have built some kind of a relationship with the neighbors we share fence lines with and have even had our lovely neighbors on the left over for dinner and I occasionally go over and pop a squat on their couch and catch up with them, but others, as we have, have fallen between the cracks. 

I can’t wait to see what Peter Lovenheim concludes about his neighborhood at the end of his book and I’ll be curious to see if he inspires me (the daughter of very private parents who have lived in their house for 33 years this summer and still only know their immediate neighbors) to branch out and get to know the people who live in floor plans just like mine. (80% of the houses in my neighborhood are the same model as ours.)

Sunday Salon ~ Happy Easter 2010!

Happy Easter Sunday Saloners!  All in all this weekend was a busy one.  Today was family day at my in-laws with my parents and Hubby’s sis-in-law and our niece and nephew.  It was a nice afternoon and thanks to my mom-in-law dinner was delicious.  Yesterday Hubby and I celebrated our sixth wedding anniversary by catching Clash of the Titans at the movies and enjoying a nice dinner at Firebirds Rocky Mountain Grill.  Friday night Hubby and I helped one of my dear friends celebrate her birthday at Maggiano’s, which also happened to be the same Maggiano’s location where Hubby and I had our wedding rehearsal dinner. 

The Grapes of Wrath

Well, believe it or not I did find some time to start a new book on my Kindle!  I decided on John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath.  It’s a part of American literary history really.  I really enjoyed reading Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates last year and felt a sense of accomplishment when I finished it so I thought another literary challenge would be good for me.  

As I was reading in bed this Easter morning an interesting thought came to me.  I’m reading one of America’s greatest works of fiction on a futuristic/present day controversial reading device, the Kindle.  The Grapes of Wrath was published in 1939 and is set during The Great Depression.  I wonder what Steinbeck would think about where books are going today?  I wonder the same of  Henry Ford and what he would think of my Sangria Red Ford Escape.

It’s an amazing world we live in today and it just continues to evolve.  For example, Apple’s iPad was released yesterday to great pomp and circumstance.  They say it will change laptops forever!  I have to admit that I have been seduced by the iPad and daydream about owning one some day but for now my love affair with my Kindle and red Sony Vaio laptop are both going strong and haven’t faded in the year that I’ve had both.  But, I still hope to have an iPad one day.  What are your thoughts on the iPad and Kindle or other e-Readers?  Have you been seduced by technology?

 

 

Sunday Salon ~ Valentine’s Day 2010

Happy Valentine’s Day Sunday Saloners!  I Love Ya!!  This weekend has been great so far.  The snow isn’t falling and the roads are clearing by the minute, as long as the sun keeps shining, here in the DC area.  I’m reading a fabulous book (I’ll get to that in a sec) and today Hubby and I are celebrating nine years together.  We had our first date on Valentine’s Day 2001.  It was a Wednesday evening and it was the only free night we both had that whole week so unknowingly we booked our date for Valentine’s Day.  I wore blue and Hubby wore a sports jacket, which led everyone in his office to think he had an interview that day.  In a way, I guess he did!  We went to a bar and had appetizers and drinks and talked for two hours straight.  It was awesome and we fell into easy conversation.  Hubby had our second date set up before the first one concluded and laid a fabulous and memorable kiss on me because, as he told me later, I looked like I wanted to be kissed.  And they say, the rest is history.

This past week I read Dear John by Nicholas Sparks and reviewed it HERE.  It was a good story and appropriate to read in the week leading up to the annual day of love.  Now I am reading a book that just came out on Tuesday.  It’s The Postmistress by Sarah Blake and it is sooooo good!  It is historical fiction set in London and Massachusetts during WWII.  Three women are the focus of this book and the people that fill their days and their hearts.  The descriptions of the Blitz in London are horrific and greatly written as are the scenes between two new lovers in Massachusetts.

The Postmistress

I am thrilled that Sarah Blake is a Washingtonian and has numerous readings/signings scheduled in the area.  On the last Sunday of the month I am taking my dear friend and fellow book devourer Library Love to Ms. Blake’s event at Politics and Prose in DC for LL’s birthday.  Though I am reading The Postmistress on my Kindle right now I will buy a copy of the book to be signed.  I like the book that much so far!  I just couldn’t wait to read it so while the snow fell last weekend I pre-ordered the book to be downloaded on it’s release date. 

Do you have an electronic reading device?  If you do do you still buy some books in regular old book form?  Do you buy the book for the shelf and if it’s a big one, like say Stephen King’s new 1000 page Under The Dome, read it on the e-reader anyway?  You have a collection going ya know.  I use my Kindle the same way I use my iPod.  I have all of Madonna’s and Dave Matthews Band’s albums on CD  but I burn them to my computer and than download the tunes to my iPod.  If  a book is just too cool to not have on my shelf, and the cover is too gorgeous to not look at and touch, I will buy the book and read it instead of buying it on my Kindle.  Those critics and companies are right!  The MP3 player and e-reader has changed the way I listen to music and read books and I LOVE it!

Sunday Salon ~ Superbowl Sunday 2010

Happy Superbowl Sunday Y’all!!  So, here in the D.C. Metro Area, we are starting to dig out from The Blizzard of 2010/Snowpocolipse/Snomaggedon and gearing up for a truly American holiday, The Superbowl.  Hubby is supposed to be driving down to South Carolina for a training class this week but he can’t even get get out of our neighborhood right now but will try again in an hour or so.  Thank goodness the sun is beating down through the below freezing temps today. 

Friday night, after the snow had been falling since the late morning hours and had been sticking since 4:00pm I started reading Dear John by Nicholas Sparks and have been reading it all weekend (when television isn’t distracting me like a moth to a flame).  It’s good so far but I have learned that I don’t really like reading a lot of inner monologue and scenery description and Dear John is FULL of John’s inner monologue.  But, the story is good so far, even if it is a bit predictable, and I am trying to stick to my new rule and if a movie I want to see is based on a novel, than I’m reading the novel instead. 

What are you doing this weekend?  Were you affected by Snowmaggedon or are you simply waiting for the Superbowl to begin later today?  What are you reading this weekend?  One quick note regarding who I want to win the Superbowl, I am indifferent.  Either way a great team is winning though it would be a great day for the city of New Orleans if their beloved Saints brough the Lombardi trophy home.

The Sunday Salon ~ November 15th, 2009

 

Long time, no see Sunday Saloners!  I have been so out of the loop but not when it comes to books.  Last week I received an e-mail from the publicist responsible for the sequel to The Nanny Diaries, Nanny Returns.  It will be in book stores and available on-line December 15th and I jumped at the chance to read and review it.  It arrived in the mail the other day and I have started reading it at night before I go to bed and so far it’s enjoyable and clever.  We’ll see what happens to Nan and the Xes and I’ll let you know what I think in a couple of weeks.  Also, authors Emma McLaughlin and/or Nicola Kraus will answer my questions for a special Q&A post here on Planet Books.  If any of you have a question for them let me know and I’ll ask them on your behalf!

The last book I read was for book club and it was The Lovely Bones.  I really loved it but was a bit disappointed with part of the end.  I will review it here on Planet Books after our discussion/lunch next Saturday.  It should prove for a very good afternoon with the ladies. 

I’m going to try to get at least three more books read before years end, including Nanny Returns.  I had discussed in the previous post on here that I had challenged myself to sing thirty-four books for my thirty-four years.  Well, I won’t hit that number but that is okay.  I will challenge myself to read thirty-five books in 2010 starting on my birthday, New Years Day.  Will you hit your challenge goals you set for yourself this year?  What has been your favorite book so far?  Mine was Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay.  You can read my review HERE.