Sunday, November 28, 2010

TSS: Thanksgiving Weekend Edition

I love Thanksgiving. As as kid, it signaled the beginning of the Christmas season.  As an adult, it's every bit as special as Christmas... but without the pressure to find the perfect gift!  I enjoy the planning, cooking, and baking, and it was truly a blessing to have 18 family members at our dinner table on Thursday.

Our Friday family gathering (which included two sisters who spent Thanksgiving with in-laws) turned out to be a surprise anniversary celebration.  How in the world did they pull that off? My husband and I will mark our 25th wedding anniversary on Tuesday. It sounds like such a long time, but often seems like yesterday.  We were planning a trip to London in late April.... then the royal wedding was announced.  R had arranged coverage, but tickets were not purchased.  Suddenly prices are higher and we're wondering if that's really the best time to be in London anyway. We may head to Florida instead and try to get to London during the winter.

Yesterday featured more family togetherness, and today there is even talk of cutting the Christmas tree before Daughter #1 heads back to college.  We usually wait until she comes home for winter break, but there's snow on the ground now, so we may get into the holiday mood early!

Although I wasn't blogging last week, I did read.  Holidays on Ice is classic David Sedaris. I think audio is the best way to experience his books but, since I have his voice in my head, this is still very funny.

I also started Freedom by Jonathan Franzen. The Corrections has long been a favorite and I have high hopes for Freedom, too.  The New Yorker magazine ran a short story "Good Neighbors", excerpted from the novel, earlier this year.  You can read it here.

Finally, Pearl S. Buck's Pavilion of Women is wonderful.  I won this last month from Oasis Audio as part of the Friday Reads twitter meme. There was a snag this week when disk #3 was actually from a different book, but I borrowed a print copy from the library, read the missing section, and am ready to move on to disk four.

I hope you're enjoying the weekend.  What are you reading today?


  1. Sounds like you had a great Thanksgiving. I hope you enjoy Freedom--I am still on the fence about whether to read it or not.

  2. Also had a wonderful holiday. Just love this time of year! Am as excited as a child.

    Have not made my way to my copy of Freedom yet but maybe in January? For now, I have finally begun my read through Nancy Mitford's novels. Happy reading!

  3. I too am a fan of The Corrections. I'll read Freedom, but I need the hype to die down a bit first--maybe mid-2011. :-)

  4. Loved Pavilion of Women. Almost as much as Good Earth.

    And I checked out Freedom from the library, but I was not in the mood for another Horrible American Family story. I feel certain I will try it again when I am not quite so snarky.

    I'm reading(well, attempting to read, anyway) Midnight's Children in time for Rushdie's visit to Houston on Friday.

  5. Happy anniversary and warmest wishes to you and your husband for the next 25! How wonderful to be able to celebrate with those you love. Sounds like London in winter might be a better idea. We have been getting into the holiday mood here as well by putting out the Christmas decorations but will be waiting a couple more weeks for the tree. Still lost in Dickens land with Copperfield. Happy Sunday:)

  6. I'm so glad you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I have Freedom on my Reader but haven't gotten to it yet. I loved The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck but have never read anything else. Enjoy your week.

  7. Happy Anniversary!!! Your weekend sounded like it went great and I love Thanksgiving too! I'm not ready for the Christmas buying thing but I have a list and I'm prepared!! It's just the actual getting out there with all the people that I totally dread!!

    I have a great weekend of reading and am now going to get to Dating Mr. December.

    Have a great week!

  8. I really enjoyed Pearl S. Buck years ago -- I must re-read her works again. Thanks for the reminder!

  9. Congratulations on your coming Anniversary! Your trip plans sound like a perfect celebration!

    What a wonderful family-filled Thanksgiving! It reminds me of the large, wonderful Thanksgiving gatherings of my childhood.
    Going out & cutting down your Christmas tree would be a nice end to the weekend.

    I hope to read Holidays on Ice this holiday season!
    I'm looking forward to your thoughts on Freedom. Thanks you for the article link.

    It's been years since I read anything by Pearl Buck. Too long. Thank you for the reminder. I'm adding this one to my list.

    I'm reading some feel-good books right now because it's been a bit of a rough few days for me. I need books that don't require intense focus but which I can lose myself in - Cleo by Helen Brown is making me laugh and cry and The Wednesday Sisters is very interesting.

    Enjoy your Sunday!
    ~ Amy

  10. I am looking for some Sedaris to see if I truly like him or not. Glad to know I should go the audio route. Thanks :)

  11. Happy Anniversary! Sounds like you had a good Thanksgiving as well.

    I have been reading stuff here and there but haven't had the attention span to tackle anything heavy. Yet.
    I usually save Christmas time off for that.

  12. Stephanie- The word seem to be that if you liked The Corrections, you'll enjoy Freedom. The short story from The New yorker should help you decide.

    Frances - You've just reminded me of the two Nancy Mitford novels I have waiting...

    Amy - The hype had me a little worried, too, but I loved The Corrections and just couldn't wait!

    Readerbuzz - The Good Earth is one of my all-time favorites and it looks like Pavilion of Women will be almost as good. Have you read any of Buck's other novels?

    Stacy - Thank you! We did end up getting the tree before Daughter #1 went back to school... will wait a little longer before putting it up though. Glad to hear you're still into David Copperfield. It will most likely be my next Dickens, but not for another year or so...

    Darlene - The Good Earth is the only thing I've read by Buck. I loved it and am glad to finally read more.

    Staci - I haven't even gotten my list together yet. This is my week to get organized for the Christmas holidays!

    Coffee and a Book Chick - After I finish Pavilion of Women, I'd really like to read the other two books in The Good Earth trilogy, too!

    Amy - Thank you! Hard to believe it's been 25 years. I think feel-good books are probably exactly what you need after such a difficult week...

    Christina - If you like audiobooks even a little, that's definitely the way to go with Sedaris! I'm only reading this one because I bought it for a quarter at a library sale.

    Ti - I usually read lighter books in December, then get heavier after the holidays. Just couldn't wait any longer for Freedom though...

  13. One of my book clubs is reading Freedom for February. I just hope that the audio comes available in time. Long waiting list! I love The Corrections though, so I am hopeful. And happy 25! That is not all that far away for my husband and I. And if you come to Florida, let me know!

  14. Happy anniversary! Glad to hear you had a great Thanksgiving!

    It sounds like you got a lot of reading in last week. Happy reading and have a good week.

  15. Happy Anniversary, JoAnn, and many more!! If not April, then perhaps next fall for London?
    Sounds like your Thanksgiving was lovely.

    I'm curious about Freedom and everyone's thoughts because contrary to popular opinion I did not care for The Corrections, and so have been off Mr. Franzen...

    Anyway, enjoy your special day, your holiday preps and your reading (Sedaris is fun)!

  16. I'll have to give Pavillion of Women a go!

  17. Sounds like a wonderful Thanksgiving, JoAnn!

    Congratulations on reaching the silver anniversary! I bet London will be a madhouse in April, so I would probably opt for a trip to Florida as well :) Also, I think the Olympics are in London in 2012, so that may also affect some overseas travel plans.

    Hope you have a terrific week!

  18. Sandy - I've read the first 50 pages and love it, but I'm a big fan of The Corrections. We usually stay at my inlaws place in Sanibel... sure hope it works out this spring!

    Vasilly - Thanks. I hope to read a big chunk of Freedom this week.

    DS - I don't think you're unusual in your view of The Corrections... my book club was split down the middle. I'm loving Freedom, too.

    Eva - Pavilion of Women is just excellent. Can't wait to get in the car today to 'read' more!

    Molly - At first I was very excited about being in London during the wedding. But the more we thought about it, we decided that really may not be the best time after all :-(

    Care - Thanks... hard to believe it's been 25 years!

  19. Ptthpt on the royal wedding! They should elope, so it doesn't interfere with your travel plans!

  20. Sounds like a wonderful holiday JAnn, and congratulations on for approaching 25Th.

  21. I LOVED FREEDOM! Anxious to hear your thoughts!

  22. Softdrink - My feelings, exactly ;-)

    Diane - Thank you. We're going to our favorite restaurant tonight to celebrate.

    IngridLola - So far, I am loving Freedom. Hope it stays this good!


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