Monday, December 30, 2019

My Favorite Books of the Decade: Fiction

2010: Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese  (my review)

2011: The Easter Parade by Richard Yates

2012: The Homecoming of Samuel Lake by Jenny Wingfield (my review)

2013: Mudbound by Hillary Jordan (my review)

2014: The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer

2015: Shotgun Lovesongs by Nickolas Butler (my review)

2016: The Emperor's Children by Claire Messud (my review)

2017: Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue

2018: Pachinko by Min Jin Lee (my review)

2019: ... coming soon!

Sunday, December 15, 2019

The Sunday Salon: A Mid-December Update

Mid-December. How is that even possible? The last six months have been a blur - selling and buying homes, packing and moving, and beginning a home renovation. We celebrated Thanksgiving with a two-week trip to central New York and are now back in Florida. We're counting down the days until our NYC daughters arrive... this will be our first Christmas with palm trees!

Recent Reading//

by Ruth Reichl, narrated by the author

I loved everything about this audiobook. The combination of food with the changing world of magazine publishing made for fascinating listening. Reich's narration also added to my enjoyment.

by Ann Patchett
narrated by Tom Hanks

Ann Patchett has long been a favorite author, so my expectations were high. Thankfully, I was not disappointed. What started as a read/listen combination quickly became an audio experience as Tom Hanks's outstanding narration practically forced me to set my kindle aside.

The Dutch House  is a novel about an extraordinarily strong sibling relationship. After a mother abandons her family, the older sister assumes the role of nurturing parent to her younger brother. The distant father remarries, introducing an evil stepmother with two young daughters into the mix. They all live (unhappily) together in the castle (the Dutch House) until a dramatic event alters the course of their lives. The story is told from the point-of-view of the younger brother and looks back over decades. Brilliantly narrated by Tom Hanks, I highly recommend listening to this novel. Easily a 2019 favorite.

by Dorothea Benton Frank

A departure from my usual fare and a new-to-me author, I read this for the library book group which will meet on Wednesday. It was a quick, light, entertaining read with some interesting facts about honey bees. Probably a good choice for the busy month of December, but I hope it can sustain an interesting discussion.

Current listening//

by Ruth Reichl, narrated by Bernadette Dunne

Because I wanted more Ruth Reichl, I borrowed this older memoir about her time as  restaurant critic for The New York Times. After getting over my initial disappointment that Reich herself is not the narrator, I'm enjoying it almost as much as Save Me the Plums.

Home Renovation Progress//

The demolition phase is just about over. We're finalizing kitchen cabinet selection this week. I already feel like we're behind schedule, but better to slow down and make sure it's done right!

The week ahead//

My SIL is moving to SWFL! Her closing was last week, but she arrives tomorrow... just in time for the holidays. Our daughters will fly in on Thursday and Saturday. This will be a completely new Christmas experience, but I'm happy we'll all be together. Many traditions will carry over, but I'm sure new ones are about to begin... we will embrace the change!

Look for my yearly wrap-up and favorites at the end of the month. In the meantime, I wish you all peace and joy this holiday season!

The Sunday Salon is hosted by Deb at Readerbuzz.


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