Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Sunday Salon: Good-bye Winter

Good morning! After the gorgeous supermoon last night, it's sunny and cold in central New York. As the last few hours of winter tick away, signs of spring are finally beginning to appear. The snowbanks will be here for weeks to come, but I've heard birds singing, geese honking, and noted growing cracks in the ice on the lake. A new banner photo features this most welcome sight.

The week passed quickly as the first few days found me home and slightly under the weather. I read a couple of short stories and posted on "Eveline" by James Joyce for The Reading Life's Irish Short Story Week. The stories in Dubliners are unexpectedly accessible, but the feminist angle of "Eveline" provided an even greater surprise.

I also began reading Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. Tudor England is an ongoing interest and our recent trip to Hampton Court Palace gave me the extra push to get started but, after 200 pages, I'm finding it a very slow read. The story will pull me through, but it may take the rest of the month to finish.

My current audiobook is The Big Rock Candy Mountain by Wallace Stegner. I've listened to about a third of the nearly 26 hour download. Stegner is a favorite (have I mentioned Crossing to Safety lately?) and Mark Bramhall is an outstanding reader. This is definitely a winning combination.

The most exciting news of the week proved to be the announcement of next season's Rosamond Gifford Lecture Series speakers. Elizabeth Strout has been my sole lecture of the current season, but check out this line-up:

  • Jonathan Franzen
  • Dennis Lehane
  • Alexandra Fuller
  • Sherman Alexie
  • Laurie R. King
  • Abraham Verghese

I'm sure at least a couple members of my book club can be persuaded to purchase season tickets.

Finally, March Madness is here. Excitement, upsets, controversy, human drama... I love college basketball. Our Syracuse Orangemen play this evening. All reading and blog-hopping will happen this afternoon. Will the Madness interfere with your reading?


  1. Loved that moon last night though I had to see it through a bit of fog and haze. Hello spring!

  2. I am going to have to check out the Lecture Series. That is an amazing line up! Thanks for sharing.

  3. I am envious of your lecture series. If I was a memeber of your book club, you could count on me to participate.

    Your new banner photo is absolutely gorgeous.

  4. what a fantastic lecture series line up. how great it would be to attend. glad spring is slowing sneaking into your area. just a few patches of snow left here and there for us.

  5. Wow, I'd definitely stand in line to hear Lehane (I'd take a pass on Franzen). And yes, we LOVE March Madness. It seems like it is on all the time in our house.

  6. I adored Crossing to Safety. The Big Rock Candy Mountain is on the perpetual, neverending List... As for the Madness, take heed: I will be rooting for Syracuse tonight. Sadly, that is usually the kiss of death :( Maybe I'll change allegiances...

  7. Madness? What madness? ;) We don't watch basketball in our house so it won't affect my reading. Can't say that about other shows, though!!

    Glad spring is on it's way to you--even if slowly. And the lecture series sounds fantastic! I really need to learn more about what's going on (if anything) in Dallas.

  8. Book Dilettante - Wasn't that moon amazing? Hurray for spring.

    Abby - I love the Gifford Lecture series. Got season tickets last year with my book club, but only managed one talk this year. Thanks so much for visiting!

    Lee - Wish you could be part of my book club! I'm planning to take a few more pictures as the ice breaks up, then put them together for a Wordless Wednesday.

    Diane - They say this is the largest library-sponsored lecture series in the country. I'm always impressed with the authors they bring in.

    Sandy - I'm excited that this will give me the incentive to finally read one of his books. Any suggestions on where to start?

    DS - If Syracuse loses tonight, I'll know who to blame ;-)

    Trish - With my oldest daughter in London, March Madness isn't nearly as much fun... she is actually the biggest fan. Countdown to the game is on!

  9. Winter leaving at last! And loving the looks of that lecture series. Laurie King is great in person - tremendously witty and entertaining. And I have such a thing for those Russell novels. Happy reading (and watching basketball from this Hoyas fan)!

  10. That moon was incredible!! We were driving home last night and taking photos from the car...amazing.

    I think your lecture series has some amazing authors!!!

    May the ice continue to melt!!

  11. I just found a web page with a lot short stories on line in audios format-they have, for example, all of Joyce's Dubliners online-no fee-I am listenin to Evangeline now-great reader-

  12. I like the new banner picture. It should probably be titled Hope. I'm envious of your upcoming lecture series. Wish I were nearby.

  13. Oh JoAnn, the powers that be are calling for 10cm of snow on Wednesday...humph! Still, there is light at the end of the proverbial tunnel I suppose.

    For as long as I live, March Madness and you will go together.

  14. great post.

    I woke up Sunday a.m. to find my blog, my 500 plus followers, my 100plus author interviews, and my 200 plus reviews gone. Blogger gave no explanation, but I think the account was hacked. Change your password often!

    I have reloaded the interviews and reviews, plus redesigned the blog. But if you could, please hit the "follow" button so I can reclaim the fellow bloggers I miss. I'm still following you, as my account remained--thank goodness!

    Thank you!
    Kelly Moran

  15. Frances - A few members of my book club have already expressed interest in the lecture series. My March Madness hopes have been dashed, but I'll follow the games ahead anyway.

    Staci - No ice melting for the last couple of days :-( Look like we may get season tickets to the lectures again.

    Mel U - Thanks for letting me know! I'll go take a look...

    Margot - Perfect, our hope for spring! Wish you were close enough to attend the lectures with us, too.

    Darlene - My dreams for March Madness fell apart last night, but I'll still follow the road to the final four. Hope your forecasters are wrong about Wednesday... we had snow today :-(

    Kelly Morgan - Thanks. Just changed my password today.


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