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.
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?
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.
The 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.)
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.
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?
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.
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!
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.
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.
Happy Sunday fellow book bloggers. I hope you have had a great couple of weeks. My schedule has been so busy that my blogging, unfortunately, has fallen to the way side. I have been trying to keep up with my Google Reader feeds but that has been difficult too. I have been relieved to learn that there are at least a few of you out there in the blogesphere who have had an equally busy summer so far and their blogs have suffered the same fate. I have been reading though so that’s good. I was reading The Accidental Tourist but last week I received a book for review, Two Years, No Rainby Shawn Klomparens for TLC Book Tours, and have had to put The Accidental Tourist on the back burner. The book for review is really good so far and I’m hoping to find the time this week to get it finished so I can write my review by next Monday.
Next weekend has us going to Williamsburg, VA for a friend’s wedding and then the following Wednesday we fly out to Seattle for my cousin’s wedding. So the next couple of weeks will be very very busy for us. It’s hard to believe that Hubby, Rocky and I moved back to the States from Okinawa two months ago today! The house is coming along nicely and we now have a concrete basement floor. Woo Hoo!! There is a possibility that we could have our pre-dry wall meeting before we fly out to the Pacific Northwest but more than likely it will be after we return two weeks from tomorrow. I have been thinking about our bookshelves and the ones that will go in my office. Since I am doing a cream on white office with red accessories, I am thinking about either painting my bookshelves red or finding a nice red striped wallpaper to apply to them. What do you think?
So, what have you been up to lately? Reading anything worth while or is it killing you just to try to finish the chapter?
I hope your weekend was a good one! Mine was nice and relaxing. Read a little bit, ate out, caught a flick with Hubby and went to a great little concert with a couple of girlfriends.
I’m reading The Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler. I downloaded a free sample onto my Kindle last week and started reading that at the end of the week and just had to find out what was going to happen to Macon. What a great read so far! Hubby and I went down to our lot site and discovered that the builders started working on our house last week. The foundation/basement has started and the concrete should be poured this week. It was so cool to see that progress has started to finally show. We went to a recommended Korean BBQ joint near the future house but learned they aren’t open for lunch so we went to Red Lobster. It was really delicious and the establishment was really nice and new’ish. Last night we saw “The Hangover” and boy was it a doozy. Funny, outrageous and just plain wrong at points. We really liked it.
Today I stopped by my folks house in Maryland on my way out to Annapolis to meet up with two girlfriends of mine, Rebecca and Alison. We used to do theatre together back in the ’90’s and have reconnected thanks to Facebook. They thought I would enjoy one of their favorite east coast singers, Toby Lightman. They were totally right with their assumption. She ROCKED!!!!! It was an acoustic show with a total of three acts performing. The show was at The Rams Head On Stage in Annapolis, MD. If you live in the DC area it is a great venue for intimate performances. They have great headliners and the room is cozy (though a bit chilly), comfortable and has fantastic sound. The first singer/songwriter was Kentavius Jones and he was brilliant. His voice was gorgeous and sensual and his songs were smooth and rich. Second up was Luke Brindley. He was very very good and could make his guitar produce sounds I never would have thought could be made by a single instrument. Toby Lightman was the headliner and I really could have listened/watched her perform for many hours more. Her voice was so beautiful, rich, strong, soft, emotion filled and enjoyable to listen to. All three performers were incredible guitarists in their own right as well.
Here are a few videos of Toby Lightman. Enjoy!!
This week/weekend has just flown by. My friend Alison lent me her copy of My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult so I could read it before we see the movie version when it comes out at the end of the month. Today I went to Beastmomma‘s bridal shower which was lovely and just the beginning of the wedding festivities that pick up on Thursday and run through Sunday evening. This evening Hubby and I saw No Doubt live in concert at Nissan Pavilion in Northern Virginia. Gwen and the Boys were FANTASTICALLY AMAZING!!!! It was so wicked cool to see Ms. Stefani in person and hear all the bands great songs. There were over 24,000 people in attendance and when No Doubt performed Just A Girl, the estrogen in the pavilion was intense.
I tried to link the video of the band performing Just a Girlon The Ellen Show last month but it didn’t work. Sorry! I did find this footage on YouTube of No Doubt’s first late night network television performance on Late Night with Conan O’Brien from January 1996. It’s the song Just A Girl again but it really is cool to see their energy back then and compare it to now, thirteen years later and kids.