Sunday, November 14, 2021

The Sunday Salon: November 14, 2021


I'm getting my weekend post in under the wire tonight! The last few days have been a blur, but we had an excellent weekend celebrating my husband's birthday. Our daughter and her boyfriend flew in late Thursday night for a whirlwind visit... and we made the most of every minute! We enjoyed  a couple of dinners out, some beach time, a little shopping, and a lot catching up.



Recent reading//

Oh William! by Elizabeth Strout

I'll post a brief review of this book in a day or two, but for now let me say that I loved it! Strout has long been a favorite and she certainly doesn't disappoint with her latest offering.



 
by Denise Kiernan, narrated by the author

My third book for Nonfiction November is a history of both The Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC and the Vanderbilt family. I won a paperback copy in a Goodreads giveaway a couple of years ago and used an audible credit to get the audio edition... I do love read/listen combinations for nonfiction! 

We've visited Biltmore a couple of times over the years (first for the costumes of Downton Abbey and later for a Chihuly exhibit) and I enjoyed this deeper dive into its history.  Kiernan's research was thorough and presented in a logical manner, with just the right mix of the "house" itself, its impact on the local residents, and the Vanderbilt family. 




On the blog//



Likely to read next//



I just learned about this book last week while reading Nonfiction November posts and was happy to discover it on the 'new nonfiction' shelf at the library. I brought home a couple of other books, too, but this is the top contender.


The week ahead//

We have been assured that work will resume on our downstairs renovation, but I'm not getting my hopes up. I also have a couple of routine doctor's appointments. And we're eagerly anticipating the arrival of our other NYC daughter next weekend. She and her new boyfriend (we'll be meeting him for the first time!) will be here for the entire week of Thanksgiving - can't wait!


That's it for me this week. How have you been? What are you reading?


The Sunday Salon is hosted by Deb at Readerbuzz.
It's Monday, What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date.

36 comments:

  1. Sounds like a wonderful week! Enjoy the upcoming one, and those books look great. I need to read more from Elizabeth Strout.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Laurel-Rain Snow - Elizabeth Strout has been a favorite for a very long time. I still remember that her debut novel, Amy and Isabelle, was the very first book I ever received from a publisher!

      Delete
  2. Your husband's birthday celebration sounds great! Glad you all had such a good weekend. Looks like nice weather, too.

    So glad to hear that you enjoyed Strout's latest novel. I still have Olive, Again on my shelf, but it will have to wait until I'm finished with Nonfiction November (which I may continue with on into December).

    I get my booster and flu shots tomorrow, so I'm ready to hang low and recover for a day or two, if I have the same sort of reaction as I did to my second covid vax. I may just binge on The Gilmore Girls since I can't usually read when I have a killer headache. We have a few other busy days leading up to the weekend, with a pre-holiday lunch with some girlfriends next Saturday, and then the final preparations for Thanksgiving. As much as I'm looking forward to seeing everyone for that holiday, I'm already looking forward to a somewhat quiet December.

    Take care and have a good week, JoAnn!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Les - I'm thinking of you today as you get your flu and covid shots. I had no problem with flu, but the covid booster knocked me down for about 12 hours.

      Your holiday plans sound wonderful! After a busy week around Thanksgiving, I think our December will be on the quiet side for the first few weeks... at least until everyone comes back for Christmas.

      I'm sure you'll enjoy the Elizabeth Strout novels whenever you get to them. It took me nearly two years to get to Olive, Again but it was worth the wait!

      Delete
  3. So glad you had a nice visit with your daughter and her boyfriend! No matter how fun they are visits can feel a bit whirlwind though. I'm so glad to see your thoughts on The Last Castle! I've had it sitting on my shelf for quite some time and I definitely need to add it to my reading list for next year. Have a great week!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Katherine - I think the audio helped me keep the momentum going with The Last Castle. I'm hoping to read more about the Vanderbilts.

      Delete
  4. Glad you had a fun-filled weekend! I enjoyed The Last Castle and would love to go back to Biltmore one day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Angela - If we can swing it, I'd love to stop in Asheville on our way north next summer. It would be fun to visit Biltmore again with the book fresh in my mind.

      Delete
  5. Sounds like it was happy whirlwind week there. Love the blue sky in the photo! Yeah I need to get to the Strout novel ... but not sure when I will fit it in. Was it one of her best? Or somewhere down the list? I will look for your review. It's sure to be full on busy as we get closer to Thanksgiving ... so Happy days to you & your family.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susan - I'd have a hard time saying whether this is one of her best... both Olive books and all three Lucy Barton's were five start reads for me. There is always something so touching and insightful in all of her novels. Safe travels and I hope you enjoy your family Thanksgiving!

      Delete
  6. So much family goodness in here! Happy belated birthday to your husband!

    I am most certainly reading The Last Castle - I've visited the Biltmore Castle twice and have been very fascinated by the history and also the vastness of the castle. It's only a few hours from my place so I keep intending to visit again. The gardens and the nearby village are worth a visit too.

    Enjoy your time with your daughter and her new boyfriend! How exciting that first meet will be!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Athira - Oh, I just love the gardens at Biltmore! The first time we visited the azaleas were all in bloom...I've never seen anything so spectacular! The Chihuly exhibit has glass sculptures places all over the gardens and that was very special, too... especially at night. I'm hoping we can visit again on our trip north this summer.

      Delete
  7. The Last Castel looks like a great Read. Enjoy your books.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lisa - The Last Castle was such an interesting read. Now I want to learn more about the Vanderbilt family!

      Delete
  8. Sounds like you had a great week and Thanksgiving week is looking good too. Enjoy fitting in some nonfiction. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kathy - We had such a good time last weekend, but I am exhausted today! Need to rest up before the Thanksgiving marathon begins, lol!

      Delete
  9. Glad you had a nice weekend and were able to celebrate with loved one. So happy you loved Oh, William! I love her books. Looking forward to Anne Patchett new book later this month.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Diane - We had so much fun last weekend! I'm looking forward to the Ann Patchett, too.. I'm very close to the top if the library hold list, so I shouldn't have to wait too long to get it.

      Delete
  10. Sounds like you had a perfect weekend for your husband's birthday!

    The Last Castle sounds interesting.

    Have a great week and enjoy your time with your daughter!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gretchen - I think my husband really enjoyed his birthday this year... we really couldn't do much last year. Always great when you can celebrate with family!

      Delete
  11. It sounds like you had a great time for your husband's birthday. Isn't it wonderful that we can gather together again safely?!

    I am eager to read Oh William, but unfortunately I had to turn it back in today without reading it for the next person in line. Sigh. I will get back in line.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Deb - I just picked up a few new releases for Nonfiction November and am wondering which ones I'll have to return unread. There's never enough time to get to them all! You'll definitely enjoy Oh William! whenever you get to it.

      Delete
  12. Happy Belated Birthday to your husband!

    I never read anything by Elizabeth Strout but Oh William! looks good. Hope you have a great week!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Yvonne. Elizabeth Strout's novels are generally on the quiet side and character driven. I've loved them all!

      Delete
  13. The rest of the year is going to be really busy, I suspect, and will seem even busier to most of us because we all kind of had a holiday break due to COVID last year. Sounds like you guys are off to a great start of getting things back to normal.

    Loved the Strout book; glad to hear you did, too, and looking forward to your review.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sam - So true... it feels like years since I've done a normal Thanksgiving. This one will be less than half our normal size (we're not going to NY) so I'll be easing back into it gradually. Strout review posted today. Such a great read!

      Delete
  14. I think I need to read How the Word Was Passed. It's getting good press and coverage from bloggers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Helen - I just learned about How the Word Is Passed last week from NF November posts. Started it yesterday morning and think it's very well done.

      Delete
  15. Sounds like a great weekend! Happy reading.

    ReplyDelete
  16. How exciting to have your daughter and new beau for a whole week!
    stacy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stacy - We can't wait... counting down the ours now!

      Delete
  17. Thank you for your birthday wishes for Byron! And happy belated birthday wishes for your husband, too!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hope you've been having a wonderful time with your family! And, sounds like it's been a week of celebration - yay. Hope your husband had the best birthday!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! Be sure to check back, I always respond. Due to a recent increase in spam, all comments are moderated.

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails