Hello, friends. It's Sunday again and I'm happy to report that on Friday we closed on our new home! The process was smooth and relatively painless. We also signed the renovation contract. Tomorrow the contractor will file necessary permits and, hopefully, our project will be underway soon. My head is still spinning over how quickly this has all unfolded... guess it's time to take the official "before" photos.
With our location change, the blog name Lakeside Musing no longer applies. I've decided to become Gulfside Musing! Yesterday I changed my profile photo - a palm tree seems more appropriate than the dock now. The next task is a new header photo with the new name... ideally before Nonfiction November begins.
Finished this week//
The Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall
This character-driven debut novel is beautifully written and thoughtful... but it was also painfully slow at times. The second half of Part 1 seemed to drag and I even considered putting it aside... but I'm very glad I did not! Things picked up again in Part 2 and I read Part 3 in one sitting.
The book has been compared to Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner, an all-time favorite, and I acknowledge the similarities. Both novels center around a long-term relationship between two couples, but in this novel the husbands are ministers rather than academics. I liked Stegner's characters more but very much appreciate the way Wall developed the relationship between the wives.
This novel will certainly not satisfy every reader, but I ended up loving it.
by Colson Whitehead
narrated by JD Jackson
This is my first time reading Colson Whitehead and so far I'm impressed. The novel tells a story of two boys sentenced to a "hellish reform school in Jim Crow-era Florida." The school is modeled after the real Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys, which finally closed in 2011. At one time, it was the largest juvenile reform institution in the US.
I started listening to the audiobook on my walk a couple of days ago. A book group at the local library will discuss it next month, and I plan to attend. I miss my NY book club...
Nonfiction November starts tomorrow! I'm so excited about this event and will get my first post up later in the week. All the details are here.
In the kitchen//
Not much happened in my kitchen last week, but I plan to make this Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake this afternoon. My FIL and SIL are coming for dinner today... I'll let you know how it turns out.
How was your week? What are you reading?
The Sunday Salon is hosted by Deb at Readerbuzz.
Congrats on all your house details coming through. My next book will be The Nickel Boys but right now I am moving slowly through The Game of Kings by Dorothy Dunnett. It is one of those books that requires close attention, learning new things, and there is no coddling from the author. I think I am going to love it but it doesn't feel that way yet.ReplyDelete
Judy - A couple of my reader friends are huge Dorothy Dunnett/ Lymond Chronicles fans, but I've never read her... sounds a little intimidating. I think you're going to like The Nickel Boys!Delete
Ohhhh you're Gulfside now? I am, too, but up in the panhandle.ReplyDelete
I'm really looking forward to Nonfiction November!
Monika - Yes, we're down here near Ft. Myers permanently now . Mo more winter - hooray!!Delete
Awww why does the Gulf have to be so big? Hahaha but yay so happy for you!Delete
Thanks, Monika :)Delete
I loved The Dearly Beloved! I'll see if I can find Crossing to Safety at the library. The Nickel Boys sounds good.ReplyDelete
Can't wait to see your before photos! I like the name Gulfside Musing!
Vicki - It's been a long time since I read a novel as character-driven as The Dearly Beloved. I got a little bogged down at the beginning, but am so glad I stuck with it. Crossing to Safety is definitely worth trying. I haven't read it in more than a decade, so it's time for me to reread!Delete
Wonderful news about the smoothness with which your home changes are taking place. It will take me a bit to get used to the new blog name, but I have to say that I like it. And now we will be neighbors---of a sort.ReplyDelete
Anything that compares to Crossing to Safety is something I will want to read. Thanks for sharing it, and I especially appreciate the warning not to give up too soon.
Have a lovely week!
Deb - Yes, neighbors across the gulf! It's bee a long time since I read Crpssing to Safety, but The Dearly Beloved made me want to reread it right away.Delete
Congrats again! And I wondered if you were going to change your name! Lol. Fun, I love it!!ReplyDelete
And Cinnamon Apple Cake sounds delicious.
Erin - The cake was delicious! My FIL asked for seconds and I sent him home with most of the leftovers. It's going to take me some time for me to get used to the new name.Delete
Congratulations on your new home! Our son closes on his house Thursday. He's got a contractor lined up, too, but only to do a few minor things.ReplyDelete
I loved The Dearly Beloved and feel sure it will be a favorite of the year.
Kathy - I'm happy Vance's closing is going to happen! I remember you saying there was some doubt a week or so ago. The Dearly Beloved will likely be on my 'Best of' list, too.Delete
I thought of Crossing to Safety when I read about The Dearly Beloved - not sure whether I will read it, but I take your recommendations seriously!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Jane. The Dearly Beloved made me want to reread Crossing to Safety... I'll put it on my list for 2020!Delete
Gulf Side Musing! I KNEW it was you.ReplyDelete
and because I loved Crossing to Safety, I will try The Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall.
Care - I was going to mention it was me, but I knew you'd get it! ;-) If you try The Dearly Beloved, be sure to push on to Part 2.Delete
Gulfside Musing is a great name. I'm listening to Dearly Beloved right now ... and I hope it doesn't get too slow. I'm just at the beginning and trying to get the 4 characters straight. I thought the Nickel Boys was excellent.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Susan! For whatever reason, it seemed to take me way to long to get the four main characters straight. The Nickel Boys is so good!Delete
I'm so relieved for you (and excited!) that things are moving forward so fluidly. I think that big life changes are so powerful, positive, and energizing, and I'm enjoying yours vicariously.
Things have been hectic here. Sandy needs to walk four miles a day, and here that's a rugged and hilly enterprise. Up hill and down dale. I have two other big projects I'm working on so reading has taken a hit. But I do squirrel away reading time late each afternoon and a bit before bed.
Judith - It sounds like your life is more than busy right now! I'm sure Sandy is a bundle of energy and enthusiasm, but all the hills must make it tougher for you... hope your knees are in good condition, lol! Glad you're still able to carve out a little reading time.Delete
Congrats on the smooth closing, and I hope the renovations go well! I'm excited about Nonfiction November starting, too!ReplyDelete
Angela - The prospect of making all those choices during the renovation is daunting, but exciting too! Can't wait to read all the Nonfiction November posts.... my tbr list is about to explode!Delete
So happy all went so well with your moving/closings. Wishing you much happiness in your new place. Can you see water from your new location?ReplyDelete
Have fun with NF November.
Thanks, Diane. No water view from the house, but we're across the street from the beach :)Delete
I love your new look here, and I'll be watching to see your before and after photos.ReplyDelete
Nonfiction November...I don't officially join, but I have already started reading some nonfiction, since I bought a few memoirs and biographies this month.
Enjoy your week, and thanks for visiting my blog.
Laurel-Rain Snow - Thanks. I'm still trying to adjust the size of the header photo... will play around with it some more tomorrow. Reading all the Nonfiction November posts will gives me enough NF titles for my tbr to last an entire year! Hope you have a good week, too.Delete
Nickel Boys is on my TBR. My weekly updateReplyDelete
Pussreboots - Hope you enjoy it as much as I am!Delete
Hope the renovation goes as smoothly as the closing! I just finished the new Margaret Atwood book, which I didn't love, but I didn't expect to either.ReplyDelete
Amy - I know I'm not going to love it either, so am not in too much hurry to get it.Delete
Yay on the move! I can't wait to see your changing Gulfside headers. So great that everything has gone smoothly so far.ReplyDelete
Beth F - I'm going to need a crash course in photo editing next time one of our daughters are here, lol!Delete
Congratulations on your new home! I saw gulfsidemusing on IG yesterday and had to check and make sure it was you :)ReplyDelete
Stay - Thanks, it's me!Delete
**Stacey** (autocorrect strike again!)Delete
Congratulations on your move, home renovations, and blog changes! Life happens fast, doesn't it? I love your new header photo. Looking forward to seeing what your reading plans are for Nonfiction November! :)ReplyDelete
Thanks, Monica. I'll have my NF November post up tomorrow :)Delete
And so a new chapter begins, right? There is something so soothing about being near the ocean, even if it isn't a view from your home. (Ours isn't either, but only a very short walk to see it every day.) Here's to all the new and great adventures in your new home. Now, instead of retreating to NY when it gets hot and humid in Florida, you can head west and explore the PNW! :) We'll be very happy to show you around.ReplyDelete
Adding Dearly Beloved to my list. Print or audio??
Les - I would love that!! I read The Dearly Beloved in print. It seemed to take me a long time to keep the four main characters straight and I did get bogged down toward the end of Part 1, but still ended up enjoying/recommending the book. Still thinking about the characters, too.Delete
Dearly Beloved is being compared to Crossing to Safety? Then I must read it.ReplyDelete
Ti - Yes! I've seen several reviewers make that comparison... and I can definitely see it. My only complaint is that it seemed to take me a LONG time to keep the four main characters straight, and there was a long draggy section (later in part 1) that almost had me putting it aside. Glad I persevered!Delete