Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Sunday Salon - Memorial Day Edition

Happy Memorial Day weekend! Here in the US, the holiday marks the unofficial beginning of summer. And summer, of course, is that magical time when we, supposedly, can kick back, relax, and and enjoy long, leisurely afternoons of reading by the beach or pool. I'm almost finished with David Howe Colt's The Big House: A Century in the Life of An American Summer Home and, if it's possible, have grown nostalgic for a lifestyle I have never known.

"Two weeks in the days have a comforting sameness to them: mornings at the Bluff, afternoons at the Big Cove, evenings on the piazza. We live in our bathing suits. Our feet, callused from going barefoot all day, no longer cringe on the rocky shore. Rubbed by the sun, wind, and water, our city edges are wearing away. I feel as weathered s driftwood, as smooth as sea glass. When I woke this morning, I couldn't remember what day it is." (page 173)
My reality is that summer does, indeed, have a different rhythm, but I wouldn't exactly call the days leisurely! The set of activities changes from year to year as the girls' interests evolve. I've chauffeured kids to summer reading programs, a multitude of lessons, games, dance or sports camps, and various friend's homes. This summer, with 16 year old twins, our main focus is on Driver's Education. Two mornings a week will be spent in the classroom and two mornings behind the wheel. I will supplement their driving experience, too....they will do nearly all my driving this summer! My 19 year old is gaining what she hopes will prove to be valuable work experience at as she interns at a local university press.

My reading/blogging wrap-up this week:

Reviews were posted for The Home-Maker by Dorothy Canfield and Ethel & Ernest by Raymond Briggs (the most charming graphic novel ever).

Short Story Monday featured Double Birthday by Willa Cather.

I'm nearly done with The Big House...and this is a good thing, since my book club meets on Friday to discuss it!

My current audiobook is Brooklyn by Colm Toibin.

In trying to decide what to read next, I'm torn between The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry or diving right into Molly's summer vacation reading challenge with The Enchanted April. Decisions, decisions....
What will you be reading this holiday weekend?


  1. Little Stranger came in for me at the library so I've started that. It does a terrific job of drawing you in straight away. Tough decision for you on your next book, you could always use the tried and true Eenie, Meenie, Minie Mo method. Have a wonderful Memorial Day JoAnn!

  2. I am dying to start Molly's challenge but I must start and finish Misery first!
    Happy Sunday-

  3. This weekend I decided to read books just for me, not for any challenge or review deadline. I've read two so far and will start at third.

  4. Darlene -
    Sometimes the eenie, meenie, minie mo method is the only ay to go - lol!

    Kim -
    I read Misery when I went through a Stephen King phase after college, but don't remember much after all these years. I can't wait to get to Molly's challenge. They are all books I'm really looking forward to.

    Nise' -
    That sounds so good!! It's a perfect way to spend the weekend...enjoy!

  5. I enjoyed the excerpt you quoted from David Howe Colt's book. I wouldn't mind spending my summers that way. Instead, I'm trapped in an over-air conditioned office all day. I can dream though . . . :-)

    Sounds like you have a good plan for getting your girls behind the wheel this summer.

    I really want to read The Secret Scripture. It looks like such a good book.

    I hope you have a great week!

  6. So glad you're enjoying THE BIG HOUSE. I really connected with it, even though we certainly didn't have a big house on the water, or the family dynasty/legacy the author did. I found parallels with my own childhood in the comforting routines the family followed in "the big house"

  7. Literary Feline,
    I just loved that quote, made me long for a summer like that! I've pretty much decided to read The Secret Scripture next. I've heard great things about it.
    Thanks for stopping by!

  8. Dawn,
    I found some family similarities, too, that made me very nostalgic (not the old family/Cape house part, though!). I'm hoping other member of my book group are reading this. I saw a couple at the farmer's market that haven't started yet!

  9. I've read both the Secret Scripture and Enchanted April, and April wins for me!I'll keep checking your blog for your decision.

  10. All the great books and I have to focus on the fact that you have two teens starting to drive and already went through it before! I was a frazzled electric wire of nerves with just my one. I've gotta hand it to you! :D

  11. Nice blog you have here. I hope you had a nice Memorial Day weekend.

  12. Zetor - I think I'm going with The Secret Scripture first, since I listed that for the spring reading thing and I've got all summer for The Enchanted April.

    Icedream - Teaching two to drive at the same time is pretty may end up being a long summer! Thanks for visiting!

    Leslie - You're welcome!

    Charli and me - Thank you! Yesterday was great. We had the whole family over for a barbeque. Thanks for stopping by.

  13. I'm reading Emily Listfield's Best Intentions, and I cannot put it down! Review forthcoming in a few days if you like mystery/suspense.

    Wish I could help you with your choices, but I've read neither so you'll have to glean advice from someone better read than I! ;)

  14. Bellezza,
    I love 'unputdownable' books and I'll be looking or your review.


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