Sunday, June 26, 2016

The Sunday Salon: June 26, 2016


Good morning, friends. We're in the middle of a beautiful summer weekend... it just doesn't get much better! We spent much of yesterday out on the lake and plan to do the same today.

We have a four-legged houseguest for the rest of the month. Remember Angus the greyhound? We're "grey-b-sitting" him again while his family is away on vacation. Zelda seems happy to have company, at least most of the time, and now that he's stopped whimpering all night, I'm enjoying the two-dog life. My husband says "don't even think about it!"

It's a dog's life!
Zelda (left) and Angus


Finished this week//


This book features an unreliable narrator, unlikable characters with questionable moral values, and a gripping, twisted story that drew me in right away. I'll be posting a book brief soon. Koch has a new novel coming in September.


Current listening//


Nobody's Fool by Richard Russo
Ron McLarty's narration is so good that I've stopped reading and am exclusively listening. But this book is long... over 24 hours! I'm approaching the half-way mark, and am in no hurry for it to end. It's my favorite audiobook so far this year.


Up next//
I'll sample a few books tonight or tomorrow and then decide. Here are a few titles up for consideration. Have you read any of them?

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi


The Emperor's Children by Claire Messud


The Children Act by Ian McEwan


On the blog//

Book Brief: Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell
Top Ten Tuesday: Midpoint Favorites 2016

The week ahead//
 Will revolve around preparations for our annual 4th of July celebration. My brother and his family will be visiting, other friends are coming up from Philadelphia for a few days. Menus must be planned, food prepared, and so much gardening and outdoor 'sprucing up'... I need to come up with a master schedule for the week!

How was your week? What have you been reading?


This post will link to It's Monday, What Are You Reading? hosted by Kathryn at Book Date.

58 comments:

  1. It looks like an ad for 'The Real Greyhounds of Central New York!' :)

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  2. Aw, Angus and Zelda look so comfy. Our street has a block party for the 4th and it's always a great time!

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    1. Kathy - Block parties are so much fun! My sister's street has one at the end of every summer.

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  3. I'm about half done with Homegoing and really liking it. It's not an easy read, but an important one, I think, in terms of gaining more understanding of racism and slavery.

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    1. Amy - Not sure I want anything especially heavy or important right now. I definitely want to read it, but may save Homegoing for fall.

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    2. I totally get that, and if that's the case, I'd say wait. It's a harsh book in spots. Not gratuitous, but harsh.

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    3. Amy - I appreciate that input... will definitely save it for fall!

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  4. Your summer sounds very busy but filled with fun!

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    1. Patty - It's crazy, but I really love every moment!

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  5. I am visualizing myself on your lake and now feel cooler....lol.

    Cute dogs, and I can see how it might be tempting to get a second dog.

    I haven't read Herman Koch, but his books look very intriguing. I must check them out.

    I enjoyed The Children Act, and enjoyed it more than some of the author's other recent books.

    I want to read Nobody's Fool, as I enjoyed that movie with Paul Newman and Melanie Griffith.

    Have a great week, and thanks for visiting my blog.

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    1. Laurel-Rain Snow - I hope you get some relief from the heat soon! It must be at least 10 degrees cooler right next to the lake... my favorite spot when it gets hot! Herman Koch is the master of dark fiction. The Dinner was unputdownable, too. Glad to hear you enjoyed The Children Act! I read the first few pages and think that's the book I'll read next.

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  6. The Emperor's Children is very good, and anything by Ian McEwan is always tops with me. Some of his recent books have been sort of short; I'm waiting for a nice thick one from him, one of those you just don't want to end. Just finishing up with The Lady in Gold. Tall stack in waiting. If you find book containing instructions for a Rain Dance to ring on some rain, let me know. 😆

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    1. JudyMac - Think I'm going to go with The Children Act next. I liked the first few pages of The Emperor's Children, too, but I'm in the mood for a shorter book right now... especially because Nobody's Fool is so long. Hope the Lady in Gold is living up to your expectations, and I'm sure you have many excellent choices in that stack, too. Hope you get some rain soon!

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  7. I saw the Russo book on your blog posts several times but I just realized you are reading a new Russo, not an older title. And I'm so glad to hear how much you're enjoying it.

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    1. Deb - Nobody's Fool is actually one of his older titles. I wanted to read it before picking up the new sequel, Everybody's Fool ;-)

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  8. Angus and Zelda look very comfortable there around the pool! Glad you're having a nice weekend- it's been nice here too. Can you believe the 4th is only about a week away? Hard to believe! I think Summer House with Swimming Pool looks quite good- I'm very curious what happened at that house...

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    1. Greg - Those dogs have it made, lol! It's been a wonderful weekend, despite our AC breaking down today. Herman Koch has got this dark fiction thing down... his books are very addicting!

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  9. Angus and Zelda look so stylish!
    I had a patron at the library tell me that "Summer House with Swimming Pool" is one of her favorite books - I might have to give it a go. I agree with what Amy says about "Homegoing" - very good, yet very serious. It is a wonderful book, but not if you're looking for something more on the lighthearted side.
    Have a great week!

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    1. Anbolyn - That's good to know. I definitely want to read Homegoing, but I'm going to keep things a little lighter this summer.

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  10. Homegoing is on my list ... for someday. We usually have a July 4 party here, but have decided to have a quiet holiday instead. The dogs look very settled.

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    1. Beth F - Oh, that someday list! That may be where Homegoing ends up for me, too...

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  11. The pups are so adorable!
    I loved Homegoing and thought The Children Act was a really good (and quick!) read.

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    1. Shannon - I decided to go with The Children Act, mostly because of its length .I don't want two doorstops going at once!

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  12. Love the photo of the dogs! They are such a beautiful breed.

    I haven't read any of your upcoming books, but I do enjoy McEwan's writing, so maybe The Children Act?

    I'm fighting a summer cold, which I hope is gone by the 4th since we're flying to Oregon. Still not reading anything remarkable. I'm almost finished with Mountain Time by Ivan Doig. It started out promising, but now I'm ready to be done and move on to something else.

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    1. Les - The Children Act it is! Both for its length and McEwan's writing. Is Mountain Time your first Doig novel? I've got The Whistling Season on my kindle, but haven't read him yet. Sure hope you feel better before the 4th... flying with a head cold is horrible!

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    2. Yes, Mountain Time is my first Doig novel. I've wanted to read The Whistling Season, too, as my mom loves his books and said it was good.

      I'm hopeful that this cold will be gone in a week. I've flown too many times with a head cold. It's awful!!!

      I'll be anxious to hear what you think of The Children Act. I need to read more of McEwan's recent books. I still want to re-read Atonement, which I loved.

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    3. Les - My SIL just bought Whistling Season for my FIL to read on his flight back to Florida. Our taste in books seems to be similar, so I'm hopeful I'll like it, too.

      I've read three or four of McEwan's books and enjoyed them all. Atonement is on my reread list, too! I seem to be collecting his books and have another few that I've yet to read. The Children Act is off to a good start... read the first 10% last night.

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  13. Omg the dog cuteness!! I love Greyhounds - so gorgeous.

    Summer House with Swimming Pool sounds really good! I will have to see if I can get it anywhere!

    Enjoy your fourth!

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    1. Erin - Greyhounds are just the sweetest dogs! Zelda has been such a wonderful addition to the family and Angus fits right in here, too. Summer House is a very dark novel, but I couldn't put it down!

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  14. Good luck with your 4th of July preparations. All of your books are new to me. I hope you enjoy the ones comes up on your stack. Come see what I read last week. Happy reading!

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    1. Kathy - Out town goes all out for the 4th of July, so it's a great time to have houseguests. Still hope to fit in some quiet time to read ;-)

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  15. What beautiful dogs! I giggled a little at the "grey-b-sitting." ;) I just finished Homegoing, and it gave me all the feels. I didn't know about Herman Koch's book. I've wanted to read The Dinner for so long and pushed it aside. I hope it's a good one for you.

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    1. Kathy - I can't take credit for that term... the woman that ran our rescue group coined 'grey-b-sitting'. Cracks me up every time I hear it! The Dinner is another wonderfully dark novel. Every so often I'm in the mood for that.

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  16. I want to read Homegoing, but like you, might wait until after the summer. It seems like an important, but heavy, read.

    I love the pic of the greyhounds! We wanted to adopt a retired racer when we lived in FL (they have plenty there) but we always have cats, and they don't recommend having them with cats in the house. We do have an elderly Italian Greyhound who thinks she is a human baby and wants to be held as much as possible if she's not swaddled in a comforter with only her nose showing. They're a quirky breed for sure!

    Enjoy your week.

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    1. Rita - Homegoing sounds like an excellent read, but I'd like to keep things a little lighter this summer. We'll see about fall. Greyhounds are definitely a quirky breed! Several rescue groups 'cat test' the dogs when they are in foster homes after leaving the track. Zelda is not 'cat certified', but Angus is around cats all the time at his home.

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  17. The dogs look like great friends. We had dogs for 25 years, and usually there were two at a time. They were great company for each other, but definitely more work than just one.

    I read The Children's Act last year. McEwan's representation of Witnesses is so off-base, it's made me question the veracity of history and portrayal of other non-WASP groups in his other work. I loved Atonement but I'm not sure sure I'll ever be confident enough again of his facts to read anther McEwan.

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    1. Debbie - I decided to start The Children Act today. Had not heard that about McEwan's portrayal of Wittnesses before, and am disappointed. I can see how that would make you leery of his description of other minority or religious groups. I have not reached the heart of the story yet, but will keep that in mind and do a little research.

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    2. The basic premise of Witnesses refusing blood is accurate, but the reasons for that, the language they use, and their reaction to the court decision are really skew-as.

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    3. Debbie - I don't know anything beyond the basics of refusing blood, but will be sure to investigate further.

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  18. I had no idea Nobody's Fool was so long! That is a beast of an audio book - I think my longest yet was Edgar Sawtelle which weighed in at something like 18 hours.

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    1. Lisa - I didn't realize how long it was before I got started either. We were supposed to discuss it last Friday, but nobody had finished so we moved out meeting to July 7. Hopefully that will give me enough time!

      Not sure what my longest audiobook is... probably one of my read/listen combinations of Trollope, or maybe Middlemarch. City on Fire has to be right up there, too... that was 37+ hours!!!

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  19. We're prepping for the 4th here too. One of my favorite holidays!

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  20. I've just finished A Russian Journal by John Steinbeck - very interesting, and I'm now on Truman Capote's Breakfast at Tiffany's, quite a difference.

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    1. Katrina - A Russian Journal has been on my wish list for a while. I've read Breakfast at Tiffany's and imagine that must be very different, indeed! Enjoy!

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  21. Sounds like you and the dogs are having a lovely time. I'm afraid I've been upset about recent events here in the UK - I have been escaping from it all in The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown and looking forward to Wimbledon starting today.

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    1. Jessicabookworm - We are shocked by recent events, so I can only imagine how hard it has hit all of you in the UK! The DaVinci Code is a great escape and I hope Wimbledon will offer a lighter diversion, too.

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  22. The dogs look quite content lounging by the pool! Good luck with the 4th of July prep! :)

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    1. Lindsay - Those two have got it pretty good... it's a dog's life! I'm sure everything will fall into place for the 4th.

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  23. Cute pooches:0 I enjoyed Nobody's Fool, Children's ACT and Summer House with Swimming Pool. Looking forward to Homegoing myself. Have a great week.

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    1. Thanks, Diane. I always seem to be following a step behind you in my reading ;-)

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  24. Great picks this week. Happy Reading!

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  25. I've heard that warning from my hubby too.."don't even think about it!". I loved the hot mess of Herman Koch's book. I really look forward to his next one.

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    1. Nise' - The wait isn't too long now...

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  26. I'm very late here. (My week got hijacked from me.) But I wanted to comment on that adorable doggy photo! My cousin recently got a greyhound so I have been hearing about this wonderful breed a lot lately. Hope you have a great fourth!

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  27. I hope you had a great 4th. The greyhounds are lovely. So glad Angus and Zelda are back together. I'll definitely check out the audio for Nobody's Fool! thanks

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