Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Sunday Salon: Summer, finally...

Summer has arrived! Time to kick back, relax, and read by the lake... right? That's what I keep telling myself as I make the list and pile up a huge stack of books. The reality, however, is that I actually read less during the summer months. Even audiobook time dwindles. There are family activities, gardening chores, and usually a few short trips (mostly college visits this summer).

So this year, I'm taking a different approach. It will be a "no pressure summer"... no reading or blogging commitments. I'll still visit Paris in July and possibly start the Japanese Literature Challenge, but beyond that I'll read whatever catches my eye, whenever I have the time. As far as blogging goes, I'll aim for a couple of posts a week here and one at Lakeside Kitchen.

This week I finished Cheri by Colette and loved it! My edition also contains The Last of Cheri, so I will read that soon and review them together.

I started A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg and began recommending it to friends after reading just the introduction. Now, at page 70, I am confident this book will be a keeper! The recipes look wonderful, too.

My week started in New York City. By the time we got home, I'd missed the first couple of days of Audiobook Week at Devourer of Books. There was a catch-up post on Wednesday, a query about earbuds on Thursday, and a list of audio favorites on Friday. The House at Sugar Beach by Helene Cooper is my current audiobook.

Saturday's Weekend Cooking post was at Lakeside Kitchen. I love Wegman's, their Menu magazine, and discovered a couple new products for summer meal shortcuts.
On the home front, yesterday marked Zelda's one month anniversary with the family. After a couple of sleepless nights and a trip to the doggy ER, her transition to life as a pampered pet has been a breeze. We love her sweet, gentle disposition and silly antics. She loves being around us, and insists on following me from room to room. Zelda really enjoys her walks around the village, too, and has made quite a few friends.

My parents and siblings are visiting this afternoon. It will be a hot, muggy day, so we'll definitely get out on the lake before dinner. Later this evening, I'll get back to A Homemade Life. What are you reading today?


  1. I always read far less during the summer months too. I blame the appeal of the outdoors! Your plans for just relaxing and taking things easy sound perfect.

    Zelda is so beautiful! I'm glad to hear she's settling in nicely :)

  2. I have a few books I'm reading at the moment, but I think the book I will be reading today is The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov.

    I have heard so much positive comments on Colette. I really should try and read some of her novels.

    And Zelda looks so cute! :)


  3. I know how it goes with the summer and reading. I manage to squeeze it in, but is more difficult to find the time. I am amazed, when I have very little on our agenda, that we get NOTHING DONE! Lazy days! Your doggy is so sweet. Such a lucky girl.

  4. Sounds like you have a lovely day lined up. Zelda is lovely, so glad things are going smoothly now. Enjoy the nice weather.

  5. I was surprised that I read all three of the books on my stack this week, but I took my book poolside while the kiddies were splashing around, and it's been too hot to go many other places.

    A Homemade Life sounds wonderful...I've been noticing it around, and it's going on my list.

    Here's my salon:

  6. Colette is wonderful, isn't she? I love her writing. I have still to read The Last of Cheri (I don't have them in the same volume).

    I am taking a relaxed approach to summer too; I don't want to feel pressured by my reading in the slightest.

  7. I like the sounds of your pressure-free summer. Works for me. I added A Homemade Life to my new Kindle and I completely agree with you. I'm in the middle of the first chapter and I already love it.

  8. I like the sounds of your pressure-free summer. Works for me. I added A Homemade Life to my new Kindle and I completely agree with you. I'm in the middle of the first chapter and I already love it.

  9. I will be reading by the lake later today! But yes, with all the busy-ness of summer it happens rarely!

  10. I've picked up A Homemade Life so many times, but have yet to buy it. I'm not sure why I'm attracted to books like that...I hardly cook or bake anymore!

    I'm reading Stranger Here Below, an ARC of Joyce Hinnefeld's latest, and it's fantastic. I hope to finish it today.

  11. Zelda looks so at must melt your heart to have her accompany you around the house. I have spied Wizenberg's book at the library a couple of times but have yet to pick it up...perhaps sometime this summer it will makes its way to my house. A no pressure summer sounds perfect and I hope you enjoy yours. It is muggy here as well...ran to the grocery store this morning and was muttering to myself how yucky it was, and was embarassed to find a lady watching me while I was talking to myself:) I am in the middle of Barbara Pym's Crampton Hodnet and wish I could stay in the middle indefinitely as I don't want it to end. Happy Sunday!

  12. Your summer sounds great! Maybe next summer I;ll make sure not to schedule any reading or blogging commitments. Have a great week!

  13. It was a hot and muggy day here with lots of rain and storms to add to the mix!! I would love to have a summer of reading like that.But I'm using this summer to get caught up on my ARCs and have been enjoying that so far.

    I love Zelda...she's such an awesome dog!

  14. A Homemade Life sounds like an interesting book. Glad you'll be relaxing this summer (how could you not, living by a lake?).

    Zelda is beautiful. So glad she's assimilated into the family. Happy summer (officially)!

  15. Ah yes, the canine secret service shadowing your every movement...I know the feeling well. Has it really been a month since Zelda's, time flies!

    I didn't read a single page of my book this weekend but perhaps I'll squeeze in a couple before nodding off tonight.

  16. I hope you are enjoying A Homemade Life-I really liked the book.

  17. I liked House on Sugar Beach a lot. I like you idea of a no pressure reading summer JoAnn.....and Zelda, well just too cute for words; glad all is going well.

  18. I want to sit on one of those chairs in your header to read and reflect.

    I'm glad to see A Homemade Life is so good already - it's in my TBR pile.

    Zelda sounds so sweet - I'm glad that she's found a good home.

  19. I definitely read less in the summer. There is too much fun to be had, outside of the house.

    Zelda is adorable.You are so lucky. I am so pleased she has settled in so well.

  20. I LOVED A Homemade Life, I loved that I could read a section then read something else make it last and last.

    Every time I click through to your blog I want to be by your lake.

  21. Oh - the book sounds wonderful. I will have to check it out myself.

    Zelda looks like such a regal princess - and quite content with her new family. I am so excited for all of you.

  22. Happy anniversary to Zelda and the family. She looks happy and well loved :)

  23. Nymeth - Beautiful summer weather is definitely responsible for a drop in reading time. This year I'll just go with it...

    Tiina - The Master and Margarita has been on my tbr list forever! Lookf forward to hearing your thoughts.

    Sandy - Getting nothing done is one of the beauties of summer...I'm off to a good start ;-)

    Sandra - Thank you! Zelda has been a wonderful addition to the family.

    Laurel-Rain Snow - A Homemade Life is Excellent! I'm about half done now and just love the author's voice.

    Paperback Reader - I'm going to be reading a lot more by Colette! Will get right back to The Last of Cheri after I finish A Homemade Life.

    Margot - A Homemade Life is a book that just grabs you right from the beginning. I may slow down with this so it'll last longer!

    Reviewsbylola - Hurray for reading by the lake! It's the best.

    Softdrink - A Homemade Life is an appealing book whether you cook or not... we all eat!!

    Book Psmith - Zelda doesn't seem to miss the track one bit. I think she's glad to finally be 'just a pet'! I think you'd really like Wizenberg's book, and may even be inspired to try a recipe or two. I hope you and your family are enjoying a peaceful summer.

  24. Vasilly - I'm all for simplifying life in the summer and cutting back on blogging/reading commitments seemed a logical step. I'm already having second thoughts with some great read-alongs popping up though.

    Staci - ...and I'm enjoying reading about all those ARC's you're catching up on!!

    DS - A Homemade Life is a joy to read! I almost want to slow down to make the essays last longer. It's going to be fun to see what recipes my bookclub members choose to try.

    Darlene - Sounds like you're very familiar with the canine secret service, LOL! Zelda's antics keep us all entertained.

    Esme - I'm enjoying A Homemade Life very much. Did you try any of the recipes?

    Diane - The HOuse at Sugar Beach is very good. I just wish I had more time alone in the car so I can finish it. I may just put it on my ipod so I can get through it sooner.

    Bermudaonion - Those chairs in the header photo are my favorite places to sit!

    Vivienne - Glad I'm not the only one whose reading slows down in the summer! Too much to do outside...

    Lisa - I am just loving A Homemade Life, and have decided to slow things down so it will last longer!

    Molly - Wizenberg's book is excellent. I'm sure you would enjoy it!

    Stacybuckeye - Thank you! Zelda has been a perfect addition to the family.

  25. I read less during the summer too - well this summer anyway. There always seems to be something else to get done. It sounds like a good idea to just have a relaxing summer.

    I just love Zelda. She's so beautiful and it sounds like she's the perfect fit for your family. Buddy follows me around everywhere as well. He can be in a dead sleep and get up and follow me.

  26. Darlene - Isn't it cute how dogs just follow you around? Yesterday we discovered that Zelda likes to ride in boats almost as much as cars!


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