Sunday, July 19, 2009

TSS - My (virtual) Week in Italy and an Award

Good morning, Saloners! It's another quiet Sunday morning here. I'm the first one up, have poured the coffee, turned on the laptop, and am ready for my weekly visit to the Sunday Salon.

We've settled into a comfortable summer routine this week, and I finally finished The Enchanted April by Elizabeth Von Arnim. I read this book very slowly to savour every moment in Italy...yet my 'virtual vacation' still ended far too quickly! My review will be posted later in the week.

That time in Italy was so enjoyable, I decided to stay on and begin Marlena de Blasi's A Thousand Days in Venice. This is her true story of falling in love (almost at first sight) while on assignment in Venice, packing up her house in St Louis, and beginning a new life in Italy with the Venetian 'stranger'. It's a quick read, so I'll be finishing within the next couple of days. Both books are for Molly's Summer Vacation reading challenge.

On audio, I completed Interpreter of Maladies, Jhumpa Lahiri's Pulitzer Prize winning short story collection. Each story was very well done and I'd be hard pressed to come up with a favorite. Her other collection, Unaccustomed Earth, is one of my favorite books this year.

The Everything Austen Challenge is officially underway! My TV time was spent watching Lost in Austen on DVD. I'll be posting on that this week, too.

Finally, Miss Remmers' Review has presented me with the Kreative Blogger Award!
Miss Remmers is a blogger I have only recently discovered. She is a college student, aspiring author and teacher, and maintains a wonderful blog! In accepting the award, I need to list seven of my favorite things.

1. My family - I have a wonderful husband and three teenage daughters that mean the world to me. My parents and four of my five siblings also live close-by, so we see each other often.

2. Books - obviously!

3. The lake - Being near water has such a calming effect on my soul. I love watching the lake change daily and with the seasons.

4. Cooking - I love to cook and try new recipes.

5. Wine - Whether it's finding an ideal pairing to go with a meal, putting away an inexpensive wine for several years to find it aged to perfection, or visiting a vineyard, my husband and I both enjoy tasting and learning about wines.

6. Sports - I am the world's best spectator! My husband often says this interest was wasted on him, and insists that I would have made some sports fan a great wife. Whether it's the kids' games, pro or college football, baseball, or college basketball (my favorite) ...I love a good game!

7. Gardening - A newer hobby, I started a small perennial garden 5 years ago and have been expanding and experimenting ever since.

Thank you, Miss Remmers, for thinking of me! It's always hard to pass on awards, but I've decided to give this award to a few bloggers I have recently discovered:

Ivy at willing to see less - a new blogger from Croatia
Lilli at bookbabie - check out the beautiful photos
Becca at Bookstack - she's a wonderful writer!

Stop by and say hello to these new friends of mine.

If you're still reading this very long, rambling post (perhaps I should have done the award separately?), thank you! I'll be spending my afternoon in Venice. Where will your reading take you today?


  1. What a fun reading week! Congratulations on your award, I'm off to visit your new blogging friends. Have a great week.

  2. Virtual vacation is a really good idea!

  3. Aw, that is so sweet of you! My first award!Thank you so much!

  4. Happy Sunday. I am glad you are enjoying your time in Italy:) I enjoyed reading some of your favorite things. Now I am off to check out those new to me blogs.

  5. The award is fantastic-Congrats!!
    I must pick up the book you just finished. Visiting Italy is a huge dream of mine!!

  6. I really like rambling posts! I've just finished baking some banana bread, cookies and muffins. I'm thinking that I'll jot over to England for a bit and start All the Nice Girls.

  7. One of these days I'm going to get to Interpreter of Maladies. It's been in my TBR for quite a while. I've read half of Unaccustomed Earth. I need to get back to it.

  8. That is a lot of great reading this week! I envy you your virtual vacation. And congrats on the award. I need to cut this short to go visit your friends. Happy reading!

  9. Looks like you had a good reading week. I have de Blasi's book on my TBR pile and it is good to see you liked it. I also LOVED Unaccustomed Earth and have Interpreter of Maladies waiting for me to pick it up. Congrats on the award :)

  10. Congratulations on your awards! I can't wait to get to The Enchanted April and go on a virtual vacation myself :)

  11. Congrats on your award. Isn't 'Enchanted April' wonderful, I loved it . Will check out the 'Venice' book.

  12. Congratulations on the award. Too bad your virtual vacation ended so soon. I hope you can find another "trip" to go on. I will be adding both of Lahiri's collections to my TBR list.

    Have a great week.

  13. You definitely deserve it! I love checking in on your blog everyday!

  14. Gavin - It has been a fun week. I'm enjoying my 'vacation' very much.

    Amanda - It's much less expensive than a real Italian vacation, too ;-)

    Ivy - You're very welcome. I enjoy visiting your blog - keep up the good work and have fun!

    BookPsmith - It was hard limiting the favorite things to just seven...ten would have been easier!

    Staci - Reading these book has made me want to visit Italy even more! Maybe in another couple of years...

    Darlene - You've been busy in the kitchen today!! You deserve a nice cup of tea in England ;-)

    Kristy - Sometimes I have a hard time reading straight through a short story collection. A little break can be a good thing. The three stories at the end of Unaccustomed Earth are connected - they form sort of a novella. Hope you enjoy it!

  15. Frances - It's been a fun week - perfect summer reading! When I return from my 'virtual vacation', it'll be time to do some reading for Everything Austen.

    Wendy - Lahiri is such a talented writer! I liked her novel, but I think short stories are where she really shines. De Blasi's book would be good for a read-a-thon, or when you're in the mood for a quick getaway. I'm about halfway through now and enjoying Venice very much!

    Nymeth - The Enchanted April is such a beautiful book. I just got the movie from Netflix and can't wait to see what that castle looks like!

    Zetor - Your blog is the first place I heard about The Enchanted April. You made it sound so good that I had to run out and buy a copy. I'm so glad I did -Thank you!

    Vasilly - I'm already wondering where my next 'trip' will take me. Midwinter might be a good time for another virtual vacation! I hope you enjoy Lahiri's short stories.

    Miss Remmers - Thank you, again. I really appreciate the award...and I enjoy visiting your blog, too!

  16. I loved A Thousand Days in Venice (even if her husband did remind me of Peter Sellers). I can still remember her red lipstick, Opium perfume, draping the apartment with beautiful cloth...didn't they have a wonderful spirit? Congratulations on your award!

  17. I saw the film Enchanted April some years ago. I bet the book is even better, books usually are I find. I had Elizabeth and Her Garden listed as a possible read for my 19th century Women Writers challenge. It just sqeaks in there as it was published in 1898. It would be my first by this author. I'm doing Molly's challenge too. Congratulations on the award, you deserve it. You've actually named three blogs I don't know. I'm off to go look them up.

  18. I have Unaccustomed Earth on audio - I'm hoping to listen to it soon! Glad to hear it's so good.

  19. Bellezza - I haven't had a book give such a feeling of 'place' in quite a while. Now I'm saving for a real trip to Italy!

    Sandra - I recently received a copy of Elizabeth and Her German Garden from Kim (page after page) and hope to read it soon!

    Carrie K. - I love Unaccustomed Earth - both the audio and print versions. Hope you do, too!


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