Sunday, May 19, 2019

Sanibel Sunday: May 19, 2019


Sunday morning in Sanibel... sunny, 77 degrees, a gentle breeze, a peaceful beach. Most of our neighbors have returned to their northern homes. In another week, it'll be our turn.



FINISHED THIS WEEK//

by Sally Rooney, narrated by Aoife McMahon

After a year of praise from abroad, this interior, character-driven novel about relationships was finally released in the U.S. last month. I placed pre-release library holds on both the ebook and audio, with the audio arriving first. When the ebook became available just a couple of days later, I was already fully invested in the voice - a lovely Irish accent - and  chose to keep on listening. (The lack of quotation marks may have impacted that decision, too.)

Quiet and well-written (longlisted for the Mann Booker Prize) the novel also deals with class, family violence, and, to a lesser extent, mental health. I've added Rooney's first novel, Conversations with Friends, to my list.






Finally! I finished this tome Monday, then perused the appendices. Trump's written answers to Mueller's questions were laughable, at best... how many times can one person say I can't recall?? This report is deeply disturbing, but the vast majority of Americans (and sadly, most members of Congress) will not read it in its entirety. The American people need to hear from Robert Mueller!




by Delia Owens, narrated by Cassandra Campbell

Oh my goodness! My plan was to skip this book. I mean, how can anything live up to that amount of hype? Plans changed when my book club announced it as our June selection.

Initially, I chose to listen. Cassandra Campbell is a favorite narrator, but the pace seemed to drag. Increasing the speed left me concerned about missing the full impact of Owen's beautiful writing. Finally, I decided to add the print version and make it a read/listen combination. It was perfection.

Reviews are everywhere, so I won't add one more... but this is my favorite book so far this year and the best book I've read since Pachinko(my #1 book last year)






CURRENT READING//

by Joan Biskupic, narrated by Jennywren Walker

I can't seem to get enough of the Supreme Court this year. I listened to the first forty minutes of The Chief  yesterday and, since I'm next on the ebook hold list, it will become a read/listen combo soon.



ON THE BLOG//

Book Brief: Cape May  by Chip Creek
Current Reading: Where the Crawdads Sing


THE WEEK AHEAD//

This is our last full week in Sanibel... and I definitely have mixed feelings about leaving. There's still a lot to do, so I may not blog until we're back in New York.

How was your week? What are you reading?



The Sunday Salon is now hosted by Deb at Readerbuzz.


42 comments:

  1. Isn't it funny how we get caught up in a subject? For me lately, it's been the opioid crisis.

    I need to pick up Where the Crawdads Sing.

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    1. Kathy - That may be the next one for me. I'd like to read Dreamland... you've read that already, I think.

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  2. I had a feeling you'd enjoy Where the Crawdads Sing! I really liked it and it probably would have been even more enjoyable had I followed your example by reading AND listening.

    I'm curious about Normal People, but my mom was less than impressed, so maybe I'll try the audio version.

    I'll bet you're feeling bittersweet about leaving the island. If it didn't get so hot and muggy, would you stay longer? The sun has come out here today (after several rainy days) and I'm eager to go for a long walk.

    I'm currently reading Nomadland, which is both fascinating and somewhat depressing. Recently finished The Scent Keeper (which was disappointing) and A Spark of Light (which was pretty good, but annoying structure).

    Safe travels homeward! I hope you have perfect weather until it's time to leave.

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    1. Les - I never would have picked Crawdads up without the book club nudge. The hype had me worried. Owens is an award-winning nature writer (didn't realize that until I'd finished the book) and that certainly shines through here!

      Normal People is one of those books I enjoyed on audio, but am not sure whether it would be the same in print. I think it was hard to read with quotations, especially since it's such an interior novel.

      I really liked Nomadland! I have a friend that bought a camper and is camp hosting during the winter/spring. She's been in Arizona the past couple of year, then comes back to NY briefly in the summer. I though of you and all your travels as I read this, too. I wish the author would do a follow-up article with the people she interviewed/befriended while writing the book.

      I'd like to stay here a little longer, but miss my parents and know they're very anxious for us to return. It'll be good to see my sibling, too... only one of my sisters was able to get here over the winter this year.

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  3. I wouldn’t want to leave the island for the city, though I hope it goes smoothly. I see you have finally finished the Mueller report, I would think it would be a relief to have finished even if the contents were disturbing.

    Have a great reading week

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    1. Shelleyrae - I wouldn't want to leave here for the city... we actually live on a small lake almost 5 hours outside of NYC. Two of our daughters live there, so we get to visit often. The best of both worlds :)

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  4. I have Where the Crawdads Sing on hold at the library. Maybe it will come in a few weeks.

    I can't believe how Trump and his team are getting away with so much, despite the efforts from the House. The Senate is worthless.

    I agree. Mueller needs to speak.

    Enjoy your week, and thanks for visiting my blog.

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    1. Laurel-Rain Snow - I have a feeling you will enjoy the Crawdads book, too. The writing is so good. Hope you're feeling even better today.

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  5. Safe travels home JoAnn; I bet it's getting hot in FL. Glad you enjoyed Normal People and Where the Crawdads Sing. I love Crawdads and Pachinko! Normal People was good but I had a few issues with it.

    I feel so miserable about the way Barr spun the Mueller Report, that I can't bring myself to try to read it....not yet at least. I am so disgusted by the spineless sheep/clan that are suppose to be "for the people". sigh

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    1. Diane - I'm not sure if I would have enjoyed Normal People as much in print. The accent definitely added to the experience. I might have had trouble with the lack of quotation marks, too, especially with the way the novel was structured.

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    1. Patty - You were right! Now I wish I didn't wait so long to read it.

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  7. I loved Where the Crawdads Sing and am glad you're enjoying it too! It would be very hard for me to leave Florida, but a perk is that you'll be so much closer to NYC!

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    1. Vicki - I really do like it here, but think I'd get pretty nervous during the height of the hurricane season. I'm looking forward to seeing my parents and siblings in NY and spending some time with our daughters in NYC, too.

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  8. Ooh you've tempted me with Where the Crawdads Sing. I'll probably wait for the pbk but I do want to read it.

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    1. Vintage Reading - I really resisted reading this book, but am so glad I finally did. Have a feeling you'll enjoy it, too.

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  9. I finished Normal People last night and loved it. Darn it, but now you have got me requesting Crawdads (#51 on the wait list for this one...eek!), Sally Rooney's previous book, and Pachinko.

    I'm going to have to stop visiting your blog if I'm ever going to finish the books that I've got sitting on my nightstand. Lol.

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    1. Deb - LOL, sorry! You haven't read Pachinko??

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    2. Pachinko came in for me at the library today, so I will be reading it soon. I (sincerely) thank you for all of your wonderful recommendations.

      I heartily recommend Richard Powers' The Overstory and The Gold Bug Variations. I'm rereading Gold Bug now. I saw Powers in Houston a month ago. I need to write up my thoughts on the reading before I forget everything.

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    3. Thanks, Deb. I've got The Overstory on hold now. I saw on another blog that it might make a good read/listen combo, so will consider that when the time comes. Will look forward to your post about Powers. Hope you love Pachinko as much as I did. (Not to add to your stack yet again, but I picked up Lee's first novel- Free Food for Millionaires- shortly after and thought that was excellent, too.)

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  10. I decided to skip Where the Crawdads Sing, but now I’m rethinking that...thanks for the recommendation. Yes, we need to hear from Mueller—the last 3 years have been so stressful, and more stress is yet to come, but I have faith in the system in the end.

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    1. JaneGS - The hype really put me off... and the fact that it was chosen for Reese Witherspoon's book club. After finishing, I had to look up the other books she's chosen. I've only read four, but loved them all and actually included them on my year-end favorites list. Maybe I should read the rest of her list!

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  11. Where the Crawdads Sing is on my wishilst. My weekly update

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  12. I love doing read/listen combos, esp. of nonfiction. YAYAYAYAY that Crawdads worked for you. :) Now I guess I have to add Normal People to my list. Beautiful photo. Mr. BRF is reading the Report now. I get to hear about it as he works his way through.

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    1. Beth F - Hope you go the audio route with Normal People. I'm guessing listening to Mr. BFR's commentary on The Mueller Report is almost as good as reading it yourself... my husband certainly heard enough as I read it!

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  13. I tried to read the Rooney, but just didn't click with it. And yes, I think the lack of quotation marks had something to do with it. I'm really curmudgeonly about that. I wish I could do audio books, but my attention wanders too much (same with podcasts--I need something visual to hold my focus).

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    1. Amy - I don't think Normal People is a book that is universally appealing, but it sure worked for me on audio. Not at all sure I would have had the same experience in print. As you know, I've loved audiobooks for a long time. Now I'm starting to experiment with (mostly bookish) podcasts and have found I few I like.

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  14. Sanibel looks so lovely! My mom's neighbor has a home down there too. It just seems like a perfect place.

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    1. Carol - My in-laws bought a place here in the late 80s, so we've been visiting/vacationing here for ages. We love it!

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  15. Glad you liked the Crawdads novel. I liked it too. I think I'm #174 on the library wait list for Rooney's print novel and #21 for the audiobook. Hmm. Luckily there are multiple copies so I'll be patient for now. Thx for the lowdown on the Mueller report ... when will BOB Speak?! I'm so fed up with what's going on ... it feels like needles in my eyes. Enjoy your last week there.

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    1. Susan - I think you will enjoy Rooney's novel. It's dark, but very perceptive and well-written. Politics is driving me crazy lately. Seems like there's some new twist or drama daily... so thankful for an escape into books!

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  16. A friend has lent me her copy of Crawdads. After your review I will be reading it sooner than later. I just finished Sisters In Law about the first two female Supreme Court justices, so there is that! We saw the movie Vice the other night. And I am reading Caro's bio of LBJ. The beat goes on. I was truly heartened by what I learned in Sisters In Law. We do still have 3 branches of government.

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    1. Judy - Wasn't Sisters In Law an interesting book? I learned a lot, too, and was struck by the contrasting paths RBG and SDO took on their journey to the highest court. Biographies have been appealing to me this year... seems timely to learn more about John Roberts at the moment. Biskupic's book seems to be a good one. Will look forward to your thoughts on the LBJ bio.

      Hope you enjoy Crawdads as much as I did. Never would have picked it up without the push from book club. Owens is an award-winning nature writer and it shows in her first novel!

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  17. My cousin read the Mueller report and said the same thing.

    I have heard such good things about Normal People- another to add to my list!

    Enjoy the rest of your time in Florida! It looks so peaceful. :)

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    1. Erin - I'm glad your cousin read the report. So few Americans are reading it and, unfortunately, most took Barr's false summary and concluded the whole thing was baseless. Hard to believe we only have a few days left here!

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  18. I want to say that Conversations with Friends was a movie too. I could be wrong but if it was, I saw it and it was quite good.

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    1. Ti - I just found an article saying Lenny Abrahamson (Oscar-nominated Irish director of Room) will direct an adaptation Normal People for the BBC, but didn't see one about Conversations with Friends. Maybe the changed the title...

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  19. I haven;t read the Mueller Report and I think it will just make me mad. No....not this long weekend!
    Really, your favorite book has been the Crawdads Sing? Now I need to give it a try as I had passed it over many times.

    Just finished A Keeper by Graham Norton and enjoyed it. It's been so hot here already that I will in more and probably reading. Hope the noseeums/midges didn't bother you near the coast. They are wicked!

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    1. Tina - I guarantee the Mueller Report will make you mad! Hope Congress can find a way to get him to testify publicly... the American people desperately need to hear from him.

      Yes, Crawdads is my favorite book so far this year and I don't think anyone is more surprised about it than I am! Was planning to skip it, mostly because of the hype, until my book club decided to read it. Now I'm glad they did.

      The no-seeums got us good the other night... my ankles are so itchy today!

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  20. I was going to read Where the Crawdads Sing, but then decided not to...maybe I will return to it later this year.

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    1. Bryan - It really was a wonderful book! I'd decided to skip it, but picked it because it was a book club selection... such a pleasant surprise.

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