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?
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! Sorry about that. Hubby, Rocky and I have been back in the good ‘ole U.S. of A. for almost three weeks and have been very busy, as you can imagine. We’ve been buying a car, getting phones, reconnecting with old friends, getting familiar with the area again and house hunting. We found a house but have to wait for it to be built so we will be staying with my in-laws through the end of the summer till the house is ready. It will be lovely though and so worth the wait.
Of course with all the distractions and things-to-do my reading and blogging have fallen to the way side. I have missed blogging and decided that a Sunday Salon post was the best way to get back on the blogging wagon and start June the right way. I just started reading the Pulitzer Prize winning novel Olive Kitteridge last night on my Kindle and though I’ve only read a few screens worth of it, I like it and am reminded of The Little Giant of Aberdeen County.
This Wednesday evening Hubby and I will be attending a reading/book signing event with George Pelecanos at a local Borders Books. Hubby is a big fan of Pelecanos and he is resides in my hometown of Silver Spring, MD. It should be a great evening. We missed Michael Connelly’s event at the same Borders last Tuesday but Hubby had just started his new gig that day and going out for the evening would have been a little much.
I’m also excited about two new releases this week. Dave Matthews Band will be releasing their latest studio album Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King this Tuesday and I plan on driving around with the volume all the way up and listening to it from beginning to end that day. (UPDATE: I just got our tix to see DMB at Nissan Pavilion on August 8th!!!)
The second thing that I will be picking up this week is Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes. I can’t wait to be in our new gourmet kitchen so I can make cupcakes and cookies till my heart and stomach’s content.
Hotels, limbo and waiting. They all suck when combined like they are for us. We are staying in a hotel while waiting in limbo to fly back to the states in a little over a week from now. I have been doing a lot of reading, both of review books and book blogs, watching CNN out of Hong Kong, renting The Tudors Season 2 as well as The Other Boleyn Girl and eating out for almost every meal. (I feel very full.)
I read/reviewed/posted an author Q&A and am hosting a giveaway (enter by Wednesday, May 6th @ Midnight EST HERE) of Mistress of the Sun by Sandra Gulland and am now reading Belong To Me by Marisa De los Santos for review. I enjoyed Mistress of the Sun and am finding that Belong To Me is just fabulous.
Of course I am spending too much time browsing the Internet while in the hotel. Rocky sometimes gets jealous that I pay so much attention to the one eyed monster and brings over a toy to play or lays in my lap to distract me. I just searched author events in the DC area and am excited about what I found. If you live in the DC Metro area there are some awesome author events coming up.
The following authors will be reading and signing their new books at the Baileys Crossroads Borders:
~ Michael Connelly on May 26th @ 7:30 pm
~ George Pelecanos on June 3rd @ 7:30 pm
~ Jeffrey Deaver on June 22nd @ 7:30 pm
~ David Sedaris on June 26th @ 7:30 pm
Emeril Lagasse will be at the Tyson’s Corner Borders on June 6th @ 2 pm for a signing event, and the event I might just be the most excited about is Annie Barrows, co-author of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Pie Society, will be at the Tyson’s Corner Barnes & Noble on June 10th @ 7 pm.
I am also looking forward to taking some cooking classes at the Sur La Table store at Pentagon Row and learning some new recipes and techniques. We are also planning on attending a few concerts at Nissan Pavilion and Wolf Trap. It will be a busy, fun filled and exciting summer and I am ready to dive in with both feet. What are you looking forward to doing this summer?
Happy Easter! What did the Easter Bunny bring you? Six years ago he brought me a marriage proposal and a GORGEOUS engagement ring. Not too shabby huh! This Easter he has brought me, on behalf of Lisa over at Books & Cooks
, the FRIENDS AWARD! I am so flattered and thrilled by this because of the description of why this award it given is:
“These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated.”
Now I have been asked to award eight other blogs with this award. The following blogs are just lovely. Some are old blogging friends and some of them are new to me but I immediately felt a connection with these bloggers and their sites. These bloggers are now asked to pass this award to eight blogs they deem worthy of the Friend Award.
Nat @ Book, Line & Sinker
Literary Feline @ Musings of a Bookish Kitty
Frances @ Nonsuch Books
Thoughts of a Lusty Reader from DC
Stephanie’s Written Word
Lisa @ Books on the Brain
Amanda @ Life & Times of a “New” New Yorker
Ti @ Book Chatter and Other Stuff…
This past week was a tough reading week for me. I started reading Graceling by Kristin Cashore on my Kindle and I also started reading Sandra Gulland’s Mistress of the Sun for an upcoming review. Planet Books will also be a stop on Ms. Gulland’s book blog tour on April 29th.
Graceling is a young adult fantasy fiction piece that is really enticing and enjoyable so far. A “Grace” is a special gift that develops in a select few in the fantasy world of “The Seven Kingdoms” and the main character, Katsa, has the ability to kill people with her bare hands. She discovered her “Grace” when a cousin tried to have his way with her when she was eight years old. He winded up dead after a kick to the face from Katsa.
Mistress of the Sun is from the author who brought us the Josephine Bonaparte trilogy, Sandra Gulland. When I received an e-mail from her publicist I was incredibly excited and flattered that Planet Books was asked to be a stop on Ms. Gulland’s book blog tour. An old friend of mine had gifted the Bonaparte collection to me in 2002 and I really enjoyed the three books. Gulland’s latest book (to be released in paperback on Tuesday, April 7th) is an imagined telling of the life of Louise de la Valliere, mistress to Louis XIV, France’s Sun King. So far I’m really enjoying it as well. Since I am not a fan of reading more than one book at a time I put Graceling on the back burner and have only been reading Mistress of the Sun this weekend but life keeps getting in the way of my reading time.
We are getting ready to move back to the states after living in Okinawa for the last four years and all the stuff I have to do to prepare for this are keeping me from reading as much as I need to. Tomorrow I know I will have about an hour of definite reading time while I’m getting an oil change and detail service for Hubby’s car but the calendar is filling up with lunches and get togethers. So, if I don’t have much to talk about in the coming weeks regarding books, please bear with me. I will again soon.
Over the last two weeks the question hasn’t necessarily been, “What are you reading?”, but “How have you been reading?” I have been reading on my Kindle 2
and enjoying every moment of the new reading experience that it provides. It is such a natural way to read that I keep finding myself going to turn the page as with a regular book and having to remind myself that I have to push one of two buttons in order to actually turn the page forward. There is another button for going to the previous page. One of my favorite features is the dictionary. Say I don’t know what a word is. (When doesn’t that happen?) Well, I can just move the cursor with the five-way button to the word in question and the definition is displayed at the bottom of the page. If the first sentence of the definition doesn’t provide enough information then hit the return key on the Kindle’s keyboard and the definition entry will appear in it’s entirety as it appears in a real dictionary. I love it!
Living overseas, I am unable to use the Whispernet function which would allow me to be anywhere the Kindle receives service in the states, i.e. cell phones, but I can easily download my purchases from Amazon.com onto my computer and then transfer them to the Kindle in the blink of an eye. I have already read THE READER on it and am now reading LITTLE BEE. I have also downloaded DROOD, HANDLE WITH CARE, REVOLUTIONARY ROAD, THE COMPLETE WIZARD OF OZ (for $0.99), THE SCHOOL OF ESSENTIAL INGREDIENTS, THE BOOK THIEF, THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON (for $0.99), THE STORY OF EDGAR SAWTELLE, GRACELING and THE HOLY BIBLE (for free). When Hubby and I were coming back from Hong Kong two Friday’s ago, we had a four hour lay over in Taipei. Well, I finished THE READER in the first thirty minutes of us sitting down at the gate. I was able to use the notes function and start typing my book review right there on the Kindle and then I browsed the titles that I had downloaded before the trip and chose to start LITTLE BEE. Too cool!
I know I have been praising the Kindle seemingly nonstop since I received it in the mail two weeks ago, and I promise to reel myself in about it, but I can not recommend this little contraption enough. My idea for managing which books I buy in “real form” and the Kindle format is the same as how I buy music and use my iPod. There will always be that book that I have to have on my literal shelf and hold in my hands but there are so many that I want to own but don’t need to have the “real” book in house. Buying books in the digital format will help me control space on bookshelves, using paper and not lugging a bunch of books around when on trips, subways, and I can carry a bunch of books at once in one small package.
What a week! I spent it in Hong Kong with Hubby and we had a great time. I even had the chance to read a book on my new Kindle 2.0! I read THE READER and now I can’t wait to see the film. I didn’t mind picturing Kate Winslet, Ralph Fiennes and the other actors I’ve seen in previews in my minds eye as I read it either. It wasn’t exactly a happy book but it was an interesting idea.
Now I’m reading LITTLE BEE and am really enjoying the anticipation I’m feeling as the story unfolds. The characters and their narrations are vivid and rich, though again, the topics aren’t very cheery.
What are you reading this week/weekend? I’m looking for recommendations to load onto my Kindle!