Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Sunday Salon: November 16, 2014


Hello again! I'm back, at least for a little while. We left upstate New York just over a week ago (in the snow, of course) and drove to Florida. After a short overnight stop in Virginia, we spent a couple of days in Savannah, GA. What a fun city! We arrived in southwest Florida early Monday evening, unloaded the car, and, following a long-standing tradition, headed straight to our favorite spot for peel-and-eat shrimp and a pitcher of beer. Daughter #1 and my brother-in-law arrived Wednesday just in time for my husband's birthday celebration.

We took long walks on the beach, rode bikes, and  sipped a "Happy Gator" mojito or two. There was very little reading on this trip, although I listened to a few hours of The Paying Guests  on the flight home yesterday evening. And now here we are, back in the snow belt.


Current Reading//


The Hotel by Elizabeth Bowen
A quiet novel set, obviously, in a hotel on the Italian Riviera in the 1920s



A beloved collection of essays to be released in a new ebook edition by Open Road Media this week


Listening to//


The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters
Under 2 hours to go in this nearly 22 hour book... can't wait to see how it ends.


Blog updates//


The Classics Club Spin landed on number 13, which means I will be reading They Were Sisters  by Dorothy Whipple before January 5. A beautiful Persephone edition, purchased at Persephone Books on my last trip to London, has been waiting on my shelf for several years.



Nonfiction November is happening all over blogland. I posted about my year in nonfiction before we left for vacation, but totally missed out on week two. My nonfiction reading list has exploded, but I'm still looking forward to wading through last week's posts.

In an attempt to get caught up I will try to post some mini-reviews this week, but we're only home for a few days. Friday we'll head to Philadelphia to cheer for our daughter who will be running the half marathon over the weekend... and by the time we get home, the Thanksgiving holiday will be well underway. Where has November gone???

This post will link to It's Monday, What are You Reading?  hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.


64 comments:

  1. Sure would love to be on that beach around now...

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    1. Jill - It was tough to come home to the snow...

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  2. Welcome home! I I have Home Cooking on my Kindle, too, courtesy of Open Road, and I just dipped into the chapter about stuffing (of course) while I try out a new one for next week. I love her books!

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    1. Audrey - The is my first time reading Colwin... a little dated, but very enjoyable!

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  3. Sounds like you are having a busy yet family-filled November! That's the best kind of "busyness". Hope you get some quality downtime before heading out again. It's so cold here right now (no snow yet) that I would love to head to the beach and bask in some warm sun.

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    1. Athira - It's been wonderful seeing so many family members this month! I'm hoping to see my brother and his family when we are in Philadelphia, too. Maybe I'll get some downtime after Christmas ;-)

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  4. Sounds like a busy week, but fun! We used to live in West Central FL and we made that long drive from NY to FL many, many times. Glad you had fun with the family and hope you enjoy your books this week.

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    1. Rita - It's a long drive, but we like to stop and see things a long the way. Fingers crossed for some reading time this week! (It took me a minute to figure out it was you... missed the changes last week!)

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  5. Glad you enjoyed your time away - the beach looks very inviting. A lovely Persephone to read for the spin which I'm sure you'll be pleased about. Have a good week and another great trip at the weekend.

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    1. Cat - I've never been so excited to begin a spin book! Hope I can finish my books in progress this week and then get started on They Were Sisters.

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  6. What a lovely trip! I would love to visit Savannah--sounds like such an interesting city, rich in history and atmosphere. Love the cover of The Hotel.

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    1. JaneGS - We just got a quick overview of Savannah, but I'm already planning a return trip with time to visit more of their historic sites, including a nearby plantation. It may also be time to reread Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil ;-)

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    2. Midnight is a great book--I'm a fan of John Berendt. The movie is pretty good too!

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  7. Weather down here has been absolutely GORGEOUS. Already hearing a lot of complaining about the cold up north, but right now I don't want to be inside. I just started The Paying Guests on audio and may bounce to the book as I go along since I have both. Her books definitely are a journey.

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    1. Sandy - I had to return the print copy to the library, so I'm all audio for The Paying Guests now. Juliet Stevenson is amazing... will finish within the next couple of days.

      We had gorgeous weather in Sanibel - perfect temps, bright sunshine, low humidity, a nice breeze. Such a shock to return to snow, cold, and gray skies. I'm over winter already...

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  8. Great photo. Really need to read The Paying Guest!

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    1. Thanks, Emma. I'll have to see how The Paying Guests ends before I can compare it to Waters other novels, but it's a great story... maybe a little too drawn out.

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  9. We lived in Georgia when I was a child, and I know we visited Savannah, but I have no memory of it, and I've been thinking that I'd like to go there for a visit. Someday you should take the long route to Florida via Texas :) You'd get through a lot of audiobooks on that route.

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    1. Lisa- Do you know I've never been to Texas? We usually end up doing more talking than listening, but I love a good road trip. When we retire I'd love to see the whole country :)

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  10. What a wonderful getaway! I love beaches and feel the need to go to one regularly....and since I haven't been in a while, that could be why I have this feeling that something is missing...LOL.

    I hope to be reading The Paying Guests soon...enjoy! And thanks for visiting my blog.

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    1. Laurel-Rain Snow - There is something about water and beaches that seems to soothe and restore my soul. Maybe a trip to the beaches just what you need, too :-)

      I'll reserve final judgement on The Paying Guests until I know how it ends, but it's a very good story.

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  11. Savannah and northwest Florida are 2 of my most favorite places to go!

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    1. Kathy - I've never been to NW Florida (yet), but I definitely love Savannah. Last spring on the way home we drove up the east coast of Florida and I thought St. Augustine was beautiful, too.

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  12. November has truly flown along... looks like you had a good trip. That beach certainly looks inviting, after all the white stuff we've got this week. Florida looks good right about now, and so does a Happy Gator or two. :)

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    1. Greg - Our snow turned to rain this afternoon, but will change back over tonight. I'd rather be at the beach!

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  13. I'm not sure I could listen to a book for 22hrs! I read really quickly so not in love with the idea of audio books!

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    1. Deborah - I love audiobooks! I listen in the car and while I walk. Mostly they allow me to fit more books into my life. A long book is a huge time investment, so I try to be careful with my choices.

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  14. Ohhh a lovely Persephone for your spin - lucky you :-)
    The non-fiction bonanza has been wonderful - although, like you, my wishlist has blown out & I have no idea when I will find the time to read them all - more time at the beach for all of us!!

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    1. Brona -Although I'm adding to my nonfiction list like crazy, I couldn't be happier to have a Persephone title coming up! I loved Whipple's Someone at a Distance.

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  15. Love the spontaneity of your Classics Club. And I just finished a Laurie Colwin...loved it. Must read more.

    www.readerbuzz.blogspot.com

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    1. Deb Nance - I'll have to give Colwin's fiction a try!

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  16. JoAnn you are making me think I should rethink Florida! I still have 2 cousins there but it would be really far from the grandkids. Although they LOVE the beach. I've never been to Savannah but always hear great things about it. But the Hurricanes are a worry.

    The Hotel looks Interesting to me!

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    1. Peggy Ann - Hurricanes scare me to death... give me a blizzard any day, lol! We're still trying to figure things out. I'll be curious to see how this winter goes.

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  17. JoAnn, your trip to Fla. sounded wonderful! It looks like you have a nice collection of books to read. Enjoy! Time is flying by and the holidays are now approaching quickly.

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    1. Pat - I had some great books along for the trip, even if I didn't get to read much of them! My reading usually slows down around the holidays... I doubt I'll be reading anything too taxing for the rest of the year.

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  18. OH, I'd love to get out of this weather and head south for a bit. But of course, the kids have school. :) Enjoy your reading!

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    1. Leila - Our twins graduated from high school 3 years ago... it's been wonderful to be free of that calendar!

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  19. Your trip to Florida sounds heavenly. It seems like months rather than weeks that I was on the California coast and now I'm complaining about the cold temps (single digits at night), snow and wind. Wish I had my feet back in the sand & water!!

    You are in for such a treat with Colwin's collection of essays. I have a copy of the book, which I read back in 2010. Loved it and will read it again one day.

    Added The Paying Guests to my audio queue. Hope it doesn't come too soon, as I have so many on my Nano right now!

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    1. Les - It's sad how quickly our time away fades as we ease back into the daily routines. I'm really enjoying Colwin's essays - so much warmth in them, even if the foods are a little dated. I already want to read her second collection!

      Juliet Stevenson's narration of The Paying Guests is excellent... still not quite sure what my overall reaction to the book will be though.

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  20. Savannah is a lovely city. I'm looking forward to going back one day. Glad you had a nice visit! I really enjoyed the Laurie Colwin and am very curious The Paying Guests and The Hotel. Your picture looks so warm! Hope you're avoiding the cold!

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    1. Katherine - I feel like we just scratched the surface of all there is to do and see in Savannah. It could become a regular stop on our north/south journeys.

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  21. Sounds lovely!

    I tried The Paying Guests on audio and was bored to tears. I need a print copy.

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    1. Ti - LOL, I think I'd have a harder time sticking with The Paying Guests in print! ;-)

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  22. That weather looks gorgeous! It is so cold and snowy here already. I am mourning the loss of warmth and color too soon this year. Lol. Sounds like you had fun! Enjoy your week!

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    1. Erin - Your comment makes me realize it's time to change my banner photo again!

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  23. Aah - some Florida sun sounds great about now! Good luck to your daughter! I ran my first half a month ago. I'll be interested to see what you think of The Paying Guests..and, this is the second time I've seen the Colwin book. I need to check her out - I love reading about food!

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    1. Sarah - She's tapering now and is already getting excited about the race. I just hope it's not too cold for the spectators ;-)

      Colwin wrote both fiction and nonfiction. The essays are fun to dip in and out of. I'd be interested in trying some of her fiction, too.

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    2. JoAnn, I tried one of her novels (Happy All the Time) and just couldn't get interested. I'll be anxious to hear what you think if you get around to some of her fiction.

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  24. I've always wanted to go to Savannah! Hopefully one day we can make it there and I'll be peppering you with questions for suggestions. ;) Glad you had a great trip south and hope it wasn't TOO cold upon your return (we had flurries last night in Dallas!).

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    1. Trish - Our snow has changed to rain, but the flakes will reappear tonight. I seem to be liking winter less the older I get ;-)

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  25. I so want to read The Paying Guests.

    Nice week for you.

    ENJOY your reading week.

    Elizabeth
    Silver's Reviews
    My It's Monday, What Are You Reading

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    1. Elizabeth - The Paying Guests is probably just a little too long. Fingersmith is my favorite Waters novel so far.

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  26. Sorry you had to return to the great white! We are having heavy lake effect snow and its only mid-November. Grrrr. My non-fiction goal took a dive this year, I think I've only read 3 NF books. Oh well, there is always next year.

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    1. Nise' - The heavy lake effect will pick up again tonight. You'd think I'd be used to it by now, but I seem to dread it more every year...

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    2. I love the sound of your road trip from upper New York to Florida. So many great things to see between both points. I'm glad to hear there is going to be an ereader version of Home Cooking. I didn't discover the book until a few years ago. I will definitely buy and happily reread those essays. Have a good week JoAnn.

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    3. Margot - I can certainly see why readers love Colwin's essays so much!

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  27. Your holiday sounds so relaxing and blissful, and mojitos are always good :)
    Glad you had a nice time.

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    1. Thanks, Sam. The snow and cold here at home have made it hard to readjust to reality!

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  28. It's so dang cold!! I finished Florence Gordon yesterday ... I need to digest before writing about it. THANK YOU for making me read it.

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    1. Beth F - I'm SO glad you read Florence Gordon! It certainly requires a little digestion, but I loved Morton's writing so much I went on to read Starting Out in the Evening.

      It's very cold and windy here, but thankfully the lake effect snow fell mostly north of us. And I'm so glad I'm not in Buffalo this week..

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  29. I've really liked some Bowen and at least one I found impossible to read. But the subject matter of The Hotel and that cover make me want to run out and get it today.

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    1. Thomas - For such a short book, it is taking me forever to read The Hotel! My only other experience with Bowen is A House in Paris...not an especially rewarding reading experience. Which ones have you read?

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  30. So jealous of your time away from winter!

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    1. Lisa - I've had a real change of heart as far as winter goes... can't get to Florida soon enough this year!

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