Sunday, January 24, 2016

Sanibel Sunday: January 24, 2016

Tybee Island Light Station

Good morning from sunny, chilly Sanibel, FL! We took our time on the drive down, spending two nights in in Fredericksburg, Va and then a couple more in Savannah, GA. Savannah has become a favorite stop along the way and on this trip we decided to explore Tybee Island.  We've been here in FL for just over a week now.

Daughter #1 flew down the day after we arrived and stayed for almost a week, returning to NYC in time to "enjoy" this weekend's blizzard. Twin A made it to Florida a couple of days later with her boyfriend, Zelda (our greyhound), and her two guinea pigs. They're all still with us, as is Twin B who will be here all winter. Needless to say our little house is very full!

It's taking a little longer to settle into a routine this year...more people, more animals, and some pretty wild weather, too! We missed the first batch of storms and tornadoes, but unfortunately not the next two. Torrential rains caused flooding, road closures, and beach erosion, while a tornado warning had us sheltering in the "cellar". They say this is all courtesy of El NiƱo. Still, I'd rather be here than frozen in the Great White North!

On to the books...


I haven't read much since we left home, but did finish listening to The Girls of Atomic City by Denise Kiernan. It was very good and covered an aspect of WWII I knew next to nothing about. I'd like to get back into a blogging routine this week and get caught up on reviews.

Current reading//

City on Fire by Garth Risk Hallberg

This is one LONG book and I'll likely be reading it for at least another week. I added in the audio version last week (Rebecca Lowman's narration is excellent), but still do not seem to be making much progress. Just past the halfway mark now and enjoying it quite a bit, but staring to feel like it should be wrapping up soon. The writing is excellent, the characters well-drawn, and the late 70s in NYC seem all too real, but, at this point, I can't imagine recommending a 950 page book to anyone. We'll see...


Up next//


If I ever finish City on Fire, I plan to read What Maisie Knew by Henry James next month with Audrey, Frances, and a few others. You're more than welcome to join us. I'd also like to watch the recent film version when we're done... perhaps all together on twitter. Could be a lot of fun.

The Classics Club Spin deadline is drawing near and I have not started Bunner Sisters by Edith Wharton. I should put City on Fire  aside for a couple of days to read it, but I'm afraid if I do that, I might not return... and it really is a good book. The spin may be a fail this time.


In the kitchen//
It's been chilly (by local standards, anyway) here in SW Florida and I made soup twice last week. I posted about The Best Minestrone Ever yesterday for Weekend Cooking and also made a delicious Turkey Chili Taco Soup. Both recipes are keepers!

Around the blogosphere//
After two weeks away, I'm not sure what's going on. Fill me in... What have I missed?


This post will link to It's Monday, What Are You Reading? hosted by Kathryn at Book Date.

54 comments:

  1. Oh, it's good that you have escaped The Great Blizzard on the East Coast, but it sounds a little stormy there, too.

    We are spoiled in California, although we do have earthquakes, fires, mudslides, etc. LOL

    It's been raining here all week.

    I have an e-book copy of What Maisie Knew, which reminds me that I've been wanting to read it. I saw the movie a while ago, with Julianne Moore, so I have an idea about the story.

    I'm curious about The Girls of Atomic City. Thanks for sharing, and here are MY WEEKLY UPDATES

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    1. Laurel-Rain Snow - I think the earthquakes, fires, and mudslides would freak me out... guess it's just what you're used to ;-)

      I'd forgotten that Julianne Moore was in What Maisie Knew. It should be interesting to see how the book works in a modern setting.

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  2. Oh gosh, The Girls of Atomic City! That book has been on my wishlist for ages because I'm obsessed with that era and anything to do with the atomic bomb. I'm glad you got to finish it up! And I'm glad you are safe from the weird weather.

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    1. Andi - I was familiar with Los Alamos, but never knew the story of Oak Ridge, TN. Interesting stuff... especially when she focused on the "girls" lives.

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  3. I have The Girls of Atomic City on audio, I think. I'll have to check. It will be the right book at some point for me. Glad you've missed the 'big snow' episode. Sorry about the wild weather. Storms and tornadoes and watches are such a normal part of our lives that I'm pretty calm about them. I mean - it's Texas and all my life - the storm, the watches, the tornadoes. LOL

    You have a 'cellar'? None of those here. No basements either. Too much limestone in the ground. Rocks, rocks, rocks everywhere. Hope your week is pleasant. Sounds like you guys are having a great time.

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    1. Kay - Too much limestone here, too. It's not really a cellar, but I don't know what else to call it. The house is basically on stilts and part of the area underneath is enclosed. My FIL always referred to it as the cellar when he owned it and so far it's stuck :)

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  4. Oh I hate tornado weather. Hope the weather calms down. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts about the Henry James book!

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    1. Iliana - Tornado weather is pretty foreign to me... I'm much better at dealing with blizzards, lol! Looking forward to starting Henry James.

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  5. Some wild weather went through here, on its way to Florida. We're supposed to get storms tomorrow, but nothing major. I hope you get a nice long stretch of good weather.

    I don't want to be in the snow, but I am a little envious of those who get to stay home for snow days and read :)

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    1. Lisa - I'm much better at dealing with snowstorms, these tornados and storms are pretty scary! Today was beautiful and it looks like we're in for more of the same for a couple of days at least.

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  6. Chilly there too, sounds like! Sanibel area is so beautiful, glad you are out of the frozen zone! We avoided it because we're north of the area affected, but boy did they get hit looks like. I hope it warms up for you, and the nasty weather stays away!

    Have a great week!

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    1. Greg - My oldest daughter says NYC is still a big mess... happy to be to be in sunny FL even if it is a little cool. Hope you have a great week, too.

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  7. Interesting to read your thoughts on City on Fire. I really want to read it, but the length is scaring me!

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    1. Samstillreading - Hopefully I'll have a final opinion of City on Fire in a week or so... but I do think the book is too long!

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  8. I am still around the bloggers still reading and trying to comment. I am glad you are safely in Fl and didn't get that blizzard. One of my best friends lives in Ft Myers, we worked together at Lee Co schools for 14 yrs. We are going to England and Ireland in Sept. Our book club read Maisie a few yrs ago and all had a lot to say about it. It is quite interesting remembering the relationships between everyone. I haven't had time to get to my spin either and I have City on Fire in a pile to read this yr along with audibles audio book to share with the written copy. Have a great time this winter and don't get too close to the alligators.

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    1. Pam - I think the Lee Co. school system has grown tremendously in recent years... didn't realize you worked there! Hope to start Maisie soon, it seems like I've been reading City on Fire for ages. I'll be sure to keep an eye out for the alligators ;-)

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  9. I'm just north of you, well by a few hundred miles, but I am in north Florida. It's currently 29 F but we have been promised it will warm to 64. Sadly, my office will be about the same so I will eat thermal underwater to work, LOL!

    I have a stack of books to get goin in but your Henry James novel sounds appealing.

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    1. Tina - I think it feels so cold down here because the buildings aren't really insulated and the heat is inadequate! Hope you didn't freeze at work today...

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  10. Look at your bright blue skies!! Enjoy the warmth and sun and all your books.

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    1. Beth F - The sun rarely shines in central NY during the winter, so I'm enjoying those blue skies!

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  11. I'm eagerly awaiting your thoughts about City on Fire.

    http://readerbuzz.blogspot.com/2016/01/childrens-multicultural-book-day.html

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    1. Deb Nance - Hope I can finish it before too much longer... it seems to be taking me forever to read City on Fire!

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  12. Hopefully, the temps will warm up and you will enjoy beautiful weather. It's nice to have so many family members converge for a FL get together. I loved Savannah, GA when I visited there years back on our way to Hilton Head for conference.

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    1. Diane - I'm thinking we'll need a bigger place if we're going to have so much company ;-) Haven't been to Hilton Head in ages, but that's another island I love!

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  13. Looks like some great reads for you this week. Enjoy Florida. It must be better than here in NE Wyoming. We have family in Florida and I am always a bit jealous.

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    1. Grammajudyb - We were in NE Wyoming last summer. It was so beautiful, but I'm not sure I'd want to be there in winter, lol!

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  14. Hello, I'm hoping it warms up and melts all this crap on the streets. They just don't know what to do with the white stuff here in NC. I'm glad we never lost power. And I don't have to feel guilty about not subbing today because they closed schools. Kids got a 4 day weekend.

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    1. Care - When I read stories about cities being crippled by the snow, it makes me appreciate how well-prepared upstate NY really is. Hope you got some good melting today and enjoyed the day off :)

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  15. I've read a few by both Henry James and Edith Wharton ... and enjoyed. Have you read "The Master: A Novel" by Colm Toibin? I'm currently reading "My Life on the Road" by Gloria Steinem. Years ago I acquired a copy of a book by GS called "The Beach Book," published so early in her career it doesn't even make her list of published works.
    Wish I were on Sanibel to do the "Stoop" with Zelda and relax on the beach with a good book in hand. Have fun!

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    1. JudyMac - I've got The Master on my kindle. Love Colm Toibin's writing and hoping I can get to it sometime during the TBR Dare.

      Last week the beach was covered with sea urchins, in addition to all the shells. Today it was starfish... can't wait to see what washes up tomorrow :)

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  16. It sounds cozy there! And everyone is together and warm. I am impressed that you are sticking with City On Fire...I didn't love it but once I started it I could not stop...kind of like a train wreck?

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    1. Patty - LOL, exactly!! Guess I need to stick around and see the crash now ;-)

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  17. I saw so many weather pics over the weekend and to be honest, this Southern California girl would be totally lost in that snow! I would not know what to do.

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    1. Ti - That's exactly how I felt when we got the tornado warnings here! Give me a blizzard any day ;-)

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  18. Yep, El Nino is playing havoc with us here in SoCal too-- cool, gloomy, rainy. I used to live in FL for a very long time but we never got the chance to go to Sanibel Island, though my parents did. I've only driven by the Naples area while crossing Alligator Alley. Hope you get to enjoy lots of sunshine and good family times.

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    1. Rita - The sun finally came out today and it's looking good for the next couple of days... until El Nino decides to change thing again. I love FL in the winter. but would have trouble acclimating to the heat and humidity of the summer :)

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  19. That picture of Tybee Island is gorgeous and makes me long for some warm weather!

    And - I will say this about City on Fire...I was really enjoying it up until about 65-70% through. By the end, I wanted to throw my Kindle across the room. I'll be interested to see what you think once you're done...

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    1. Sarah - So I've got a little longer to enjoy City on Fire? Like Patty said above, this is like a train wreck, but I feel like I've got to see it through to the bitter end... I need to know how it turns out, but your kindle-throwing response has me nervous ;-)

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  20. Ahhh Sanibel Island, how wonderful! I'm living thru you vicariously. How I miss Naples. Haven't been there since 2013. I'm loving the audiobook to The Paying Guests novel (!!) and look forward to your review of the Atomic City book. Enjoy yourselves!

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    1. Susan - Yes, Sanibel seems like a little piece of paradise in winter... just like Naples. Didn't realize you were listening to The Paying Guests. Juliet Stevenson is one of my favorite narrators. Will look forward to your thoughts when you're done!

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  21. Glad the worst of the weather missed you, it missed my mom in Central FL too. Enjoy the sunshine and full house.

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    1. Nise' - Didn't know you mom was down here! We finally had some sun and warmer weather today... fingers crossed it lasts!

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  22. Such a great point about long books like City of Fire - they definitely have to be GREAT to get a good recommendation.

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    1. Shannon - There are a few really long books I've loved (The Count of Monte Cristo & A Suitable Boy to name a couple), but I can never seem to bring myself to recommend them. I'd feel so awful if someone invested all that time and hated them...

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  23. Holy cow, City on Fire is long!! I think you really have to be ready to commit to a book to approach one that is that long.

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    1. Lindsey - It sure is... what was I thinking? But now I'm hooked and have to know how it ends....

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  24. I'm late visiting but better late than never right? lol. Sannibel sounds wonderful despite the crazy weather, hope everyone stays safe and warm. My reading is almost at a standstill and I need to get caught up on reviews and blogging but that seems to be a sloooow process. Good luck getting back into routine and happy reading :)

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    1. Teddyree - Better late than never always works for me! ;-) Feels like my reading is at a standstill, too, because I've been reading the same book for SO long. Good luck catching up this week.

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  25. Did you climb to the top of the lighthouse? I loved the view.

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    1. RAnn - Unfortunately, no... but it was a clear, chilly day and I'm sure the view would have been spectacular.

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  26. I'm with your daughter - that blizzard was definitely to be enjoyed. We hadn't had such a big one in a long time, so this was welcome. Of course, the cleanup after wasn't fun at all!

    I also had to say that we made that same minestrone soup this past weekend and LOVED it! It is certainly the best minestrone ever.

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    1. Athira - I have loved almost every skinnytaste recipe I've tried. My moms making that minestrone this week, so I'm hoping she loves it, too.

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  27. You are really having quite an adventure in Florida this time around!

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    1. Lisa -Fingers crossed I never spend another winter in central New York! ;-)

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