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?

What I’m Listening To This Week

This week I was so happy that Vampire Weekend’s sophomore release finally “dropped.”  It’s called CONTRA and I just love it!  This band first hit the scene back in 2007 and I have loved them since my first listen on NPR’s All Songs Considered.  This tune is from this weeks release and it’s called “Cousins.”  Enjoy!

Today’s Favorite Song

Today I was listening to NPR’s All Songs Considered podcast while running errands.  The episode was the Fall Music Preview.  Now, I feel that music recommendations from this show can be hit or miss.  I love mainstream music and Bob Boilen and the other critics he shares the mic with for these preview/review shows tend to sway mostly towards the more unpopular, underground artists and groups.  That’s fine and dandy and everyone is entitled to their opinion but can’t they discover some tunes that are prettier and more enjoyable to listen too?  Songs by musicians that don’t leave me scratching my head in bewilderment. 

I have found artists that I have become fans of because of this show but it is rare when I actually like more than one tune on these preview/review episodes.  Today I discovered Blitsen Trapperand their new album titled Furr, as well as Kaiser Chiefs from the U.K.  Though I didn’t really enjoy the vocals or the all over sound of this next song, I LOVE the chorus.  The group is called The Streets and the song is titled Heaven For The Weather.  Below I have included the chorus as well as the video. 

I want to go to heaven for the weather
But hell for the company
I want to go to heaven for the weather
But hell seems like fun to me

Talk Amongst Yourselves

Well Hello There!!  A book discussion?  I think I may have forgotten how to put that together (though I was never any good at it in the first place).  So, the book that we read during March & April was “St. Lucy’s Home For Girls Raised By Wolves” by Karen Russell.  I know a few of you did read this book and at least one of you really enjoyed it.  I have never been a fan of short stories but I figured I would give it a chance for two reasons; one being it had the winning vote by Planet Books readers and two, it was a gift from my sister.

A few of you posted some great questions to get us started so I would like to re-post them here for us to work from.

Care asked these questions:  What was your favorite story, your favorite main character, which moral dilemma bothered you the most, did you read this in order, and what did you think of the use of setting as character? 

Beastmomma asked:  What did you think of the animals that were selected for each story?  What did the animal add to the moral dilemma?

My questions to you is:  If this book brought you out of your reading comfort zone, were you happy to be there?  Was it hard to get involved with these stories because they were so short or did that quick relationship seem more appealing to your busy schedules? 

My favorite story was “Children’s Reminiscences of the Westward Migration”.  It was smack dab in the middle of the book and I found myself very surprised at how much I enjoyed it.  The description of the journey the families made together to make a better life for themselves was full of great visuals and strife.  The Minotaur father who saw the prospects of living on acres and acres of land instead of his little home near the local asylum was such a strong character who tolerated so much due to his physical appearance.  His wife’s first thoughts of moving out west were fueled by the idea of not being the butt of jokes because her husband was part human and part beast.  The relationships between the family members were strong as well as their relationships with the people in the wagon train. 

I also enjoyed “Z.Z.’s Sleep-Away Camp for Disordered Dreamers”, “Haunting Olivia” and the title story, “St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves”. 

I came across this RADIO INTERVIEW with author Karen Russell on NPR as well as this INTERVIEW over at



I don’t have much to share tonight.  The hubby and I had a busy social calendar this weekend so there wasn’t as much down time as usual.  I just picked up BOOMSDAY last night and picked up where I had left off a few days before.

I do have a new obsession and that is downloading NPR podcasts that are available on iTunes for free.  Especially the show “All Songs Considered”.  I’ve also been listening to segments on and learning more and more about music.  I was inspired to create my own song list as if I was a guest DJ with host Bob Boilen.  It’s of course a very very long list but to give you a peek into what music has inspired me in my life here are ten songs and the artists that I love.

Baby Can I Hold You ~ Tracy Chapman
Pictures Of You ~ The Cure
No More Words ~ Berlin
True Blue ~ Madonna
Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover ~ Sophie B. Hawkins
Ants Marching ~ Dave Matthews Band
It Hurt So Bad ~ Susan Tedeschi
Morning Song ~ Jewel
Church ~ Lyle Lovett & His Large Band
Knock ‘Em Out ~ Lily Allen


Get your mouth watering with these links

Hey there!  I’m still waiting for my copy of “Garlic & Sapphires” to arrive via the USPS/Military Mail Service so to tide me over till then I came across these sites.  The first one is an INTERVIEW with Ruth Reichl from American University Radio WAMU.  Ruth is now the Editor-In-Chief of Gourmet Magazine. 

The second thing I found is an interview with Ruth on NPR‘s MORNING EDITION from this past summer.  It is an interview of Ruth discussing her favorite food memoirs.  Check it out!

The third site is for GOURMET Magazine.  I came across this RECIPE which has autumn drizzled all over it.  The weather here in Okinawa had started to cool off last week but today we are back up to eighty degrees and lots of humidity.  I hate it!!  I am looking forward to our trip to D.C. for Christmas and freezing my butt off at a Redskins game.  I’m excited about seeing my breath as I go from the car to the mall and having the heat pumping while sitting in traffic on 495 too.  Winters in Okinawa brings temps that dip into the low 60’s but because we are so acclimated to the warm weather here, the low 60’s feel like the low 40’s to me.  I had a scarf wrapped around my neck just last Friday while I went to Starbucks for my hot Chai latte for my drive down to the airport to pick up the hubby.  Earlier last week, on a chilly 70 degree day, I found myself roasting marshmallows on my stove with a fondue fork.  The wonderful aroma mixed with the burning Butter-cream Yankee Candle filled the house with a cozy and warm feeling that I just loved. 

I hope that you are enjoying your copy of “Garlic & Sapphires” and get to take a moment to listen to the interviews linked above and maybe even pick up an issue of Gourmet Magazine and make something delicious for yourself.