Sunday, June 7, 2015

The Sunday Salon 6/7/15: A Week with the Greyhounds


Anther week has passed, and this one has literally gone to the dogs. Angus, the recently retired greyhound we are grey-b-sitting for friends, arrived on Monday and has captured our hearts. He is such an affectionate, well-mannered big boy - unusual for one so fresh off the racetrack. He even kept me company on a few morning walks. Angus will be with us until Wednesday... we'll all hate to see him leave.

His behavior and attitude have me even more convinced that Zelda was abused and traumatized during her racing career. She was a cowering, skittish mess when we got her, and it was months before she would even hold eye contact. I suppose I'm better off not knowing exactly what her life was like before she came to us five years ago. Greyhound racing is a terrible thing.

Anyway, being home with the dogs allowed for some extra reading time. My original reading plans were derailed by a netgalley approval and the arrival of a couple library holds.

Finished last week//


Enchanted August: A Novel by Brenda Bowen (via Netgalley)
This modern retelling of Elizabeth von Arnim's 1922 novel, The Enchanted Aprilis pure fun! Review coming soon.



Aquarium by David Vann 
An unusual coming-of-age in a dysfunctional family story. Well-written and creative, but I can't say I liked it much. I'll sort out my thoughts and write a review.


Current reading//


The Story of A New Name (Neopolitan novels #2) by Elena Ferrante
A read/listen combination. Very good so far. Put on the back-burner for the two books above, but now it's my top priority.


Other new Books:


The Folded Clock by Heidi Julavits 
Another library hold, this beautiful hardcover edition will probably be up next. 



Baltimore Blues (Tess Monaghan Novel Book 1) by Laura Lippman 
A $1.99 kindle daily deal... I think I need an intervention.

On the blog//

Tuesday Intro: The Story of a New Name  by Elena Ferrante
Everything Old is New Again: The Poldark Saga
Weekend Cooking: Chowderland  by Brooke Dojny


Around the blogosphere//

Shannon's (River City Reading) thoughtful post, Do Book Bloggers Know Their Worth?, is well-worth a read if you haven't seen it yet.

Have you ever thought about writing tweet-length reviews? Check out Fourth Street Review's post, Mini-Reviews (in 140 Characters or Less) and be inspired.


In the kitchen//

It was unseasonably cool last week and I made soup, twice. First a clam chowder from the Chowderland cookbook (recipe and review here) and then a very simple Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup from Gimme Some Oven.

We also had one of my "go to" quick and easy favorites, Honey Beer Chicken from Betsylife. I've made this countless times and it's always delicious, but Thursday I used a very hoppy beer and didn't care for the taste quite as much.

Later today//

My parents and siblings are coming over this afternoon for the first boat ride of the season. Later we'll cook hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill. Summer is here!

How was your week? What are you reading?

Zelda and Angus 

55 comments:

  1. It is great that you are caring for the greyhounds. It's a shame that anyone would abuse them. I couldn't resit, and hopped over to NetGalley to request Enchanted August. It is still listed. I'm looking forward to your review. Have a great day!

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    1. Pat - Enchanted August was such an enjoyable read. Being a fan of The Enchanted April and loving Maine helped, too. Hope you get approved quickly!

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  2. Sounds like you had a great week both reading and companion-wise. I am staying away from those Kindle daily deals--they are too tempting. I bought the first Ferrante book after you mentioned it last week, which I am happy about because the hold list at the library was in the hundreds.

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    1. Catherine - I think I need to unsubscribe from the kindle daily deal emails... was doing so well for a while there, but now I seem to be buying something every week. Which would be fine if I could read them at that rate, too ;-)

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  3. The dogs are beautiful. We considered adopting a greyhound at one time, but decided not to in the end because we were traveling a lot and didn't feel we'd be home enough to do it properly. Always admired those dogs though.

    Your Chowderland post made me hungry ha ha! Looks delicious!

    We're having burgers and dogs today too, can't wait! :)

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    1. Greg - Greyhounds definitely make wonderful pets, but the travel thing is starting to be a problem for us, too. We were lucky one of daughters could keep Zelda while we were in Florida last winter. I'm already worrying about next year. Hope you enjoy your burgers and dogs today, too!

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  4. Those are beautiful Greyhounds. It is nice to see that they have found a good home.

    I had heard that Aquarium was an interesting book. Too bad that it was disappointing. I look forward to your commentary on it.

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    1. Brian Joseph - Aquarium was well-written, but something about that particular dysfunctional family disturbed me. It was not a pleasant reading experience. Hope to formulate some more coherent thoughts this week.

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  5. Those dogs are adorable!

    That chicken enchilada soup sounds yummy....and I am eager to read Enchanted August. Thanks for visiting my blog.

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    1. Laurel-Rain Snow - That chicken enchilada soup recipe is a favorite because it is SO easy... just throw it all in the crockpot and shred the chicken when it's done. I won't have to think about what's for lunch for most of this week now :)

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  6. We had a greyhound for a little while that we fostered for one of the rescue places here and she was sweet though very aloof. Watching her run was always a treat! I'm intrigued by Enchanted August! I'm looking forward to your review. Have a great week!

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    1. Katherine - Greyhounds really are beautiful when they run... almost takes my breath away to watch. It's sad that living conditions are so bad at the racetracks though. Enchanted August was a delight to read!

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  7. I look forward to a Ferrante book and always love Laura Lippman, have read most of her books.

    We adopted-- not a greyhound-- but an Italian Greyhound, now 12 years old, toothless (had surgery to pull all her teeth because of the shape of their muzzle they are prone to bad gum infections), only 12 lbs, and a real kook, lol, as always. I swear she was a puppy-mill dog because she isn't a good specimen of the breed (which we don't care about at all) and she has always been so utterly high-strung as to appear to have mental issues. We got her at age 2 and she was unsocialized to the max. She is my son's dog but lives with us because he can't have a pet on campus.

    I've done research on racing greyhounds since I used to live in FL and there is a track near Tampa. My mother used to go when she visited us with her friend, until I told her of some of the horrors of it. They teach the dogs to never sit down, only stand or lie down on command. They use the retired ones, that aren't put to sleep just because they get slower, as blood donors in some vet clinics where they are kept to draw blood from for dog surgeries, and more sadness. We looked into it because we wanted to adopt one from a person who had a sanctuary of sorts for them on the FL west coast, but they said we couldn't because we had cats.

    I'm so happy that you adopted one and gave her a loving home. Enjoy your doggie houseguest!

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    1. Rita - I have one of Ferrante's standalone novels to read after I finish the series, too. I read one of the Tess Monaghan books out of order and have wanted to go back to the beginning so I could be properly introduced ever since. The offer was irresistible!

      A friend of mine has an adorable Italian greyhound... such a little character. Some greyhound rescue groups now take the time to determine whether the dogs are 'cat safe'. That has opened up the possibility of many more potential 'forever homes'. I really will be sad to see Angus leave, but don't think we'll be adding a second dog to our family any time soon. Hope you have a great week :)

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  8. But did you buy the Heyer books, with the daily deals? I haven't heard about Enchanted August, but I love The Enchanted April, so I will be keeping an eye out for it!

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    1. Lisa - LOL, no. I was so proud of my will-power that day that I really felt like I deserved a reward the next. I must unsubscribe from those daily emails!!

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  9. I am so pleased that you love Enchanted...I totally loved Beverly...my favorite character...

    Have a lovely day today! My family has always had lake houses near Lake Erie's Geneva On The Lake...that's what you lake reminds me of...

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    1. Patty - Beverly was such a great character! This book belongs on my beach bag recommendation list... already made this year's, but look for it next year.

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    2. Totally! I agree with you! I love writers like this writer! They capture my heart!

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  10. Sounds like a good week. So nice that you guys have rescue dogs. Our 3 granddogs are all rescue dogs. Your cooking choices sound yummy. Have a good week and a good time with your family today.

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    1. Kay - Zelda didn't have a very notable racing career, but she has been a wonderful pet! Hope you have a great week, too.

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  11. We've always rescued our dogs, and quite a few seem to have come from abusive homes. I know I don't want to know what they went through, and it's so heartening to see them turn a proverbial corner and seemingly begin to unfurl. To relax. Accept some love. Learn that they won't be hurt. <3

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    1. Andi - Yes, exactly. These are such gentle, loving dogs... hate to think about life at the track.

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  12. Oh my. A new version of Enchanted April? I'm off to add that to my wish list, right now. Thank you.

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    1. Deb - Yes... check out Enchanted August!!

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  13. I love that Enchanted August cover! That looks like a fun beach read!

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    1. Sarah - It will definitely be on my beach bag recommendation list next year!

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  14. I love the name Angus and if we got another dog that would be his name! Greyhounds are such sweeties.

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    1. Nise' - His racing name was Red Angus and his owners have shortened it to just Angus. The name seems to demand respect ;-)

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  15. Oh, look at those two fur-babies!! SO adorable. I would hate to know the details if my dog had been previously abused. Makes you feel very helpless. But it is of course important to know them - more dogs can be rescued if the depressing stuff is public.

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    1. Athira - I think the word about the horrors of dog racing is getting more publicity, but it could be that I am just more aware of it these days. Either way, these dogs make wonderful pets.

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  16. The Folded Clock has been on my list for ages. I'm surrounded by unread books, so I returned it unread to the library. I'm looking forward to your thoughts on it.

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    1. Vasilly - I just read the first entry and the writing is striking. May end up buying a copy because I think this will be a book to read slowly. We'll see.

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  17. Zelda's going to miss Angus! I've been trying very hard to stay away from those book deals but when it's only $1.99, it's hard not to push "buy now!"

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    1. Lisa - I'm starting to think the same thing. Zelda was resentful of Angus at first, but now they are pals and I think she'll be lonely when he leave.

      Those deals will be the death of me, lol!

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  18. My neighbor adopts rescued greyhounds. They're lovely dogs.
    I love mini book reviews. One of my favorite blogs is "One star book reviews" on Tumblr. I'm pretty sure they're taken from the amazon customer reviews, and they're always very brief, and sometimes articulate and other times the reviewer appears to be eight years old.

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    1. Patience_Crabstick - Greyhounds are the sweetest, gentlest creatures. In our experience, they make wonderful pets. I don't use tumbler, but will check out the One Star Book Reviews... sounds like fun :)

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  19. Angus is awesome! and so is Zelda. LOVE
    Happy Reading!

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    1. Thanks, Care... He's almost making me want to get another dog!

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  20. Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup is so good!! Zelda and Angus are beauties! I wonder if they'll miss each other when Angus goes home?

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    1. Vicki - Had more of the soup for lunch today -yum! I think Zelda will be lonesome after Angus leaves, and possibly a little relieved, too ;-)

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  21. Awwww the puppies are so cute! That makes me so sad for Zelda. No dog should ever have to live a life like that. She and you guys are lucky to have each other now.

    That's quite the list of books you have there. Enjoy! Give the dogs a squeeze for me. I'd have a hard time giving up Angus even after one day let alone a week. Oh and grey-b-sitting gave me a laugh.

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    1. Darlene - The woman who ran the adoption group came up with the term 'grey-b-sit'...always told her she should patent that one! I love it, too.

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  22. I love the pictures of Zelda and Angus! I love Laura Lippman's novels, but I need to go back and actually read her original material that I missed as a new fan. I really need to read Baltimore Blues!

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    1. Laura's Reviews - I hope to make time for Baltimore Blues this summer. Lippman's stand-alone novels are great, but I made the mistake of reading a Tess Monaghan out of order. Felt like I was missing a lot of character background :(

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  23. I love dogs. Angus looks nice and spry. We have a yellow Lab named Stella, who is a joy. Your summer sounds gorgeous, there by the lake. Enjoy the beginning of summer!

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    1. Thecuecard - Angus left this morning and I miss already. Hope his family decides to take another vacation soon! Summer is off to a great start... can't wait to get the kayak out.

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  24. Ha ha Grey-b-sitting...love that! I adored Shannon's post. She's a smart cookie ;) I hope you're having a wonderful week!

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    1. Jennifer - Shannon always keeps me thinking, lol! Hope you're having a great week, too :)

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  25. Didn't think I'd say this but I'm Ferrante'd out now! By the third book the unrelenting selfishness of some of the characters is starting to get me down. I still think I'll read the new one in September, though.

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    1. Vintage Reading - It is a draining series... and I'm only at the halfway mark on The Story of a New Name. I can see how you might need break between them.

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  26. Replies
    1. Melissa - Zelda was feeling like she hasn't appeared much on the blog lately ;-)

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  27. I can't believe you've had Zelda five years. Blogging years just fly by don't they? It's nice that Zelda had a friend for a few days :)

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    1. Stacybuckeye - I know... time passes so quickly!

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