Sunday, April 27, 2014

The Sunday Salon: Post-Readathon Edition


Good morning! I hope all you Readathoners out there had a great time yesterday. Although I couldn't join in, it was such fun to see random tweets, posts, and Instagram photos throughout the day. I'm thinking I should add the October event to my calendar now.

The big news this week is that I FINISHED MIDDLEMARCH! The plan was to devote the entire month of March to my last Classics Club Spin selection, but I soon realized it is not a book you can rush. After nearly two months, I can say I enjoyed this all-encompassing novel very much, but not quite enough to declare it a favorite.

On to the the rest of it...

The scene//  8:00 AM. A quiet, gloomy Sunday morning... snowflakes in the air. My husband has been in NYC for the past several days (meetings and a visit with Daughter#1), the twins are still sleeping, and I'm sipping my second cup of coffee.

Reading//  I started The Summer Without Men by Siri Hustvedt on a whim last Sunday evening. At the halfway mark, I'm marveling at the author's prose and general intelligence.

Listening//  After finishing Middlemarch, I seem to be at loose ends. The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer is ready to go, but I'm wondering if it might be better in print. I've had very good luck with nonfiction on audio lately, so am also considering using an audible credit for Five Days at Memorial.

Watching//  It's been a cold, rainy week... not at all conducive to reestablishing my outdoor morning walks, so I've started watching Orange is the New Black on my iPad while on the treadmill. Each episode is just under an hour - perfect for a brisk walk. The treadmill is extremely boring, but the show keeps me engaged and walking.

In the kitchen//  I was not especially inspired this week. We had leftovers from a big Easter dinner early in the week, went out one night, and I haven't cooked much since my husband went to NYC. The girls and I visited Wegman's for take-out yesterday.

Planning//  One final trip to Florida. We'll fly down Wednesday night, meet with the contractor on Thursday, and spend a couple days packing up the kitchen and preparing for the project. We left a car there in December, so we'll be driving it back home next week.  Our exact route has yet to be determined, but we may visit Charleston or Savannah, Williamsburg, VA , some Civil War battlefields... and I hear Costumes of Downton Abbey  is a current exhibit at Winterthur in Delaware.

Later today//  A drive to the train station to pick up my husband, them maybe steaks on the grill.

How was your week? Any big plans for today?

36 comments:

  1. I love your new spring blog header!

    The Summer without Men looks good...and I LOVED Orange is the New Black. Can't wait for Season II.

    I also enjoyed The Interestings. Thanks for visiting my blog.

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    1. Laurel-Rain Snow - Thanks, I actually too that picture with my iPhone - no filter. The Summer Without Men is very good and The Interestings is starting very strong, too!

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  2. I didn't do the read-a-thon either which is why I'm one of the few people out leaving comments today. I may do it after I retire if it's still going on then.

    Middlemarch is one of my favorites. Glad to hear that you enjoyed it

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    1. James - LOL, I guess there are a few of us around this morning ;-) I'm so glad to have finished Middlemarch. I actually started it nearly ten years ago with a Yahoo group, fell behind, and gave up. Since it had been so long, I decided to start over... which was a good thing.

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  3. snowflakes in the air.

    Seriously?! We're in the middle of a terrific thunderstorm and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we don't have anything more severe in the coming hours. I'm off to B&N (where I work) to meet William Kent Krueger (author of Ordinary Grace). Other than that fun event, I have nothing planned. Hoping to get back to Tell the Wolves I'm Home later this evening.

    Congrats on Middlemarch. I was so pleased to get East of Eden read in under one month. And, happy it turned out to be such a good book! It's usually hit-or-miss for me with the Classics.

    Have a great week, JoAnn!

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    1. Les - Yes, we're higher elevation and noted quite a few flakes this morning. Seems like it's not quite spring yet, although my daffodils have finally bloomed. Saw a photo of your event on instagram... totally jealous!

      I loved Tell the Wolves I'm Home and have been trying to get my book club to read it. Will look forward to your opinion. So glad you enjoyed East of Eden - it's one of my all-time favorites! Hope you have a good week, too!

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  4. I actually did the readathon last minute, which isn't quite as much fun but at least I got reading time! If you get into it, with the occasional meme and the cheerleading, snacks and such, it is a ball. If you are coming down here, it is hot and humid. You'll be ready to go back after a few days. And The Interestings was good on audio. I really liked the narrator, and I never got confused as it is pretty linear. I'd definitely recommend it.

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    1. Sandy - I don't cope well with humidity, but this will be mostly a working trip. The drive back will be the vacation part! I listened to the first few chapters of The Interestings and love it. Those people are my generation and I'm looking forward to more. Also bought the paperback today, so may make it a read/listen combo.

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  5. Congratulations on finishing Middlemarch! I have no plans for today than to write a few reviews and curl up with a book.

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    1. Vasilly - Thanks, it gave me a real sense of accomplishment. Your day sounds great to me. Have a good week!

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  6. I got The Summer Without Men just the other day! Looks like I made the right decision.

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    1. Ana - Oh yes, you did! I'm getting a little bogged down in the middle, but am very impressed with Hustvedt's writing. I plan to seek out her earlier books.

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  7. Wonderful new header. It makes me happy! Have a great week.

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    1. Pat - Thanks. That view makes me happy every day!

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  8. I was busy all weekend so wasn't able to do the read-a-thon either. As for today, a cleaning spurt --- when I spirit moves me i go with it and the dust got my attention today.

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    1. Diane - I need to start a major spring cleaning/organizing project here, too. That could mean more audiobook time :)

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  9. I'm not sorry for not living in Delaware anymore, but I miss Winterthur so I'm a little jealous! Do go - it's an amazing and beautiful place. I hope Middlemarch had its moments, anyway! I made the mistake (in hindsight) of reading it with an online read-along that lasted about 20 years, I think, so your months of reading had to have been better than that! Oh, and our Wegmans (or our latest Wegmans, I should say) opened today! I'm thinking that in two or three months the crowds will have diminished and I can go there.:) Have a great week!

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    1. Audrey - I've never been to Winerthur, so I'm really hoping our journey takes us in that direction. Middlemarch suffered from a very slow start, but I ended up enjoying it quite a bit. Rosamund definitely exhibited traits of Undine, but I still don't think another character can compare to Wharton's. I can't wait to hear what you think of your new Wegmans. I loved our time in SW Florida this winter, but nothing there even begins to approach Wegmans quality and variety.

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  10. I would've loved to join the readathon too, but we've got my inlaws visiting! Maybe next time. Have a great week!

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    1. Diana - Fingers crossed we both get to join in next October!

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  11. I enjoy watching Netflix shows while exercising. It really helps! But I haven't tried Orange is the New Black yet. I'm currently watching The Land Girls.

    I hope you can join us for the Read-a-thon in October!

    Joy's Book Blog

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    1. Joy - Watching Netflix is a fitness revelation for me... not sure why it never occurred to me before now.

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  12. Congratulations on finishing Middlemarch! I still have it as a goal for 'one day'.
    How fun it would be to drive up the coast and visit Civil War battlefields! I've visited a few in Tennessee and Mississippi and they are always so fascinating.
    Have a great Sunday!

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    1. Anbolyn - Once we sit down and combine all the stops we would like to make, I have a feeling it might take a month to do it all! Think we'll both have to prioritize ;-)

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  13. Also LOVED Middlemarch and Orange is the New Black is on hold at the library . Still some others ahead of me. My friend lives in Florida and she said it's very hot there now. I lived in Ft Myers for 14 years before moving to Australia. Yesterday was cold and windy here as we're at the end of autumn waiting for winter. So I slothed on the couch all day and read The Heart is a Lonely Hunter for our book group by Carson McCuller's. Have been meaning to read this since the 70s when I saw the film with Alan Arkin and Sondra Locke. Loved it. Have a good trip on your holiday.

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    1. Pam - I didn't know you lived in Ft. Myers! Our condo (house with a condo association, actually) is on Sanibel Island. The temps have been pretty warm there this week, but I guess I'll mostly be working indoors.

      I've had The Heart is a Lonely Hunter on my shelf for years, too. Maybe your review will convince me to finally read it!

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  14. I didn't do much of anything. I had church and then hit the market for dinner fixings and then did laundry! I also watched a lot of TV but did not read a darn thing.

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    1. Ti - Sometimes that kind of weekend is the best... hope the TV was good :)

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  15. My vote goes to Williamsburg - I went to William and Mary and just love the town! My parents are actually stopping on their trip home from Florida in two weeks - they haven't been back since I graduated (which was longer ago than I care to admit!) The readathon was fun although I am always amazed at how much others can read - impressive!

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    1. Colleen - Williamsburg is pretty high on my list. Can you believe I've never been there??

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  16. Yay for finishing Middlemarch! It is long, but so worth it.

    I had a very busy weekend, so am just now commenting on Sunday Salon posts. I finished Almost Emily today, a gothic mystery about a young Emily and Charlotte Bronte. It was enjoyable. :)

    Have a great week!

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    1. Carrie - Middlemarch was definitely worth it, and what a sense of accomplishment! Hope you're having a good week :)

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  17. Orange is the New Black is a perfect treadmill show!

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  18. A trip to Florida sounds good to me!

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  19. I think I am giving up on Middlemarch. I read about 150 pages but then put it down for too long. Started over and read the firs 50 pages and I'm just not enjoying it much.

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    1. Thomas - The beginning of Middlemarch is certainly a slog. It actually took me several hundred pages to really get involved and enjoy it. Still, it will not be a favorite... and I think your life will not be any less rich for putting it aside.

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