Sunday, May 14, 2023

A Mother's Day Sunday Salon: May 14. 2023


Hello, friends, and Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there! We started our day with a short beach walk and a delicious brunch at home. This afternoon I'm planning some quiet reading time on the lanai... something that hasn't happened in what feels like a very long time. Later on, we'll go out for dinner.

The past week has been a buzz of activity around here. The big news is that we have sheetrock! After a couple of very loud days, they finished hanging sheetrock downstairs. This week they'll get it ready for priming, then eventually painting. The exterior garage wall that blew out during the hurricane has been rebuilt, stuccoed and is now ready for paint. We're still waiting for the siding above it to be replaced. It's a process!


Recent reading//



An excellent book! This is a comprehensive, objective look at the Supreme Court from roughly the death of Antonin Scalia in February 2016 through the most recent term. There is a lot of information here, so I read it slowly. Highly recommended for anyone interested in the Court. I'm planning to post a full review later this week.


Currently NOT reading//


K√ľnstlers in Paradise by Cathleen Schine

I've enjoyed a few of Cathleen Schine's novels in the past, but had a hard time getting into this one. Perhaps that's because I was wholly absorbed in the Supreme Court book above, had a houseguest, and contractors were in and out all day. Anyway, it finally grabbed me around the 30% mark, but then the ebook was clawed back to the library at 40%. Now I'm back on the hold list... we'll see what happens when my turn comes again.


About to start//


Happy Place by Emily Henry

Emily Henry has been hit or miss for me. I loved Book Lovers  last summer, but abandoned People We Meet on Vacation the year before. My current mood likely has a lot to do with any reaction, but I think something light and fun is in order this week!


The week ahead//

After a hurricane-shortened season, this will be our last full week in Florida. The winter/spring has been all about clean-up and recovery, plus just enough time with friends to keep us all sane. There is still plenty more to do when we come back but, considering the extent of the damage, I am pleased with the progress.

I'm hoping to post a review for Nine Black Robes  sometime this week and then I'll check in from CT at the end of the month.

How was  your week? What have you been reading?


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





44 comments:

  1. Seeing progress on getting your house back together sounds like a wonderful thing!
    best, mae at maefood.blogspot.com

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  2. Great news about the progress on your repairs. That must have been maddening to wait on the work. Also so noisy when they are working.
    Glad you had a nice mother's day brunch. I just finished up The Plot and a Yorkshire mystery. Love my British detectives! Also thinnkning of linking with the Classic Club but i need to see if i have a list of 50 books.

    Safe travels to CT.

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    1. Tina - It is so good to see walls instead of just studs downstairs!! If all goes as planned, we'll close up next weekend and be ready to paint when we get back!

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  3. So very glad to hear things are moving forward! I had this out from the library too but never even started it. Her books are a mixed lot for me. I LOVED some of them (The Love Letter, They May Not Mean to But They Do, The Three Weissmans of Westport) but the one before this wasn't as appealing. I'm back on the reserve list for this one too, so we'll see.

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    1. Audrey - The Three Weissmans of Westport and They May Not Mean to But They Do are the two I really loved, too! I think I'll look for The Love Letter instead of going back to Kunstlers in Paradise. I still have my daughter's copy of The Grammarians, too, but have not read it. The premise sounded so unusual, but I haven't been inspired to pick it up.

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  4. Happy Mother's Day! The progress sounds good! Where do you spend your summer if not in Florida? Have a great week!

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    1. Thanks, Cindy. We go up to Connecticut in the summer... I grew up in the northeast and have lived there most of my life.

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  5. That's great that you're seeing so much progress done on your house. And I'm glad the judges book was good!

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    1. Jinjer - That progress has been a long time coming, but I haven't complained too loudly because our contractor is also working on some ground-level homes. Those folks have been homeless since the hurricane! We were able to put up a temporary wall closing our main living area on the upper level off from the flooded out lower level... so at least we could live here in the meantime!

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  6. Happy Mother's Day, JoAnn! For me, it's a Happy Dogmother's Day.
    JoAnn, Are you thinking of doing the 20 Books of Summer, by any chance? I just posted about it and was thinking how much fun it would be if you were participating. I always get so many good book referrals from you!
    I'm so glad that everything is progressing at your home on Sanibel!
    Judith

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    1. Hi Judith, it's good to hear from you! I haven't ever participated officially in 20 Books of Summer, but will likely post my rough summer reading plan in early June. At the moment it seems like it will be heavy on new releases with a couple each of backlist and nonfiction, plus one very long book. I'll finalize it once we get back to CT. I will look forward to seeing what you choose to read this summer.

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  7. A fun book seems to be in order. I hope Happy Place works for you!

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    1. Thanks, Joy. I loved her last book and hope this one is just as good.

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  8. It must feel fantastic to finally have walls up and be almost done. What a process! I hope the Emily Henry book is a success for you. I've got it on my shelves as well.

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    1. Helen - It really is a great feeling! They're back at work again this morning, so we just might get it done and ready for painting before we leave.

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  9. Enjoy Happy Place! I really enjoyed it and think it’s her best novel to date. Have a great week ahead!

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    1. Jodie - Oh, good! I'm glad Happy Place was a hit for you.

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  10. Oh….how lovely to start your day on the beach! Yea! Progress is good! Though beach life has it’s price sometimes, I’m so very grateful your home is being put back together!
    Looking forward to your thoughts on Nine Black Robes!
    I agree – our moods tend to dictate what we enjoy reading!
    Take good care!

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    1. Miaismine - Hope to have that review up for the second half of the week . I did end up starting Happy Place last night... just right for my current mood. Hope you have a great week.

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  11. Happy Mother’s Day.
    I’m glad that work on the house is progressing.
    I enjoyed Happy Place though I loved Book Lover.

    Wishing you a great reading week

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    1. Shelleyrae - Book Lover was my favorite, so I'm hoping this is pretty close. Fingers crossed!

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  12. I thought Happy Place was a nice change after I finished Poverty by America. It's frothy, of course, but the setting is lovely and the plot considers smart-woman-choosing-an-average-guy in a rather achievement-oriented family, a plot I haven't run across before now. And I do like snappy silly dialogue.

    I've got Nine Black Robes, but I've had to put Life in Five Senses and The People's Hospital ahead of it as there are many holds at the library for these. I hate feeling rushed in my reading, and I decided to go ahead and buy the Abraham Verghese book---frustrated that my independent bookstore is sold out and even Amazon couldn't do better than a June 23rd arrival date.

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    1. Deb - Happy Place seems like exactly the change of pace I need after Nine Black Robes, plus I love a Maine setting! I'm planning to but Abraham Verghese's book when we get back to CT. No sense in hauling a huge book back with me... sure hope my local bookstore there has copies! I know I won't be able to finish that one on the library's schedule!

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  13. Nice looking assortment of books. I've been seeing Happy Place around a lot. I hope this is one of Henry's hits for you. Glad to hear that the reconstruction is moving along. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

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    1. Kathy - I read 10% of Happy Place and decided I'm not in the mood for it right now... sigh.

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  14. That beach photo is beautiful!
    Glad your repairs are getting done.
    I haven't read Book Lovers but I loved People We Meet on Vacation.
    My library doesn't have any late fees so I can keep books until I finish them and I love that.

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    1. Vicki - I loved Book Lovers, but People We Meet on Vacation opened with a scene set in Sanibel that didn't feel right, so I wasn't able to continue. That is amazing that your library doesn't have late fees! Is that a new pandemic accommodation or has that always been the case?

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  15. It sounds like you had a lovely Mother's Day, JoAnn. I went for a long walk, but goodness, it was so hot. We hit 92! Thankfully, it's back to a normal 58 this afternoon. I made scallops, shrimp and risotto for my mom and Rod last night, which is so easy and delicious.

    Your repair work is coming along nicely, isn't it? It's crazy to think that you're already winding down your time in Florida.

    I finished listening to Stoner (John Williams), which I know you loved. Wish I could say the same, but it wasn't a winner for me. Review to come. Now I'm listening to The Huntress by Kate Quinn and reading The Pure in Heart by Susan Hill. So far, so good.

    Have a great week!

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    1. Les - It was just a perfect day... so relaxing, too, as my SIL had just left after a nearly month-long visit. A down day was just what I needed! Risotto seems like such a hard/fussy dish. I love it, but have never even attempted to make it! I need to try.

      This had been our shortest 'season' ever in FL. So many things are just not as they should be, plus my lingering knee issues. (Much better but still not able to do my long walks.) We'll likely stay north longer than usual, too, since we have our daughter's wedding in late October and my nephew's a few weeks later in November.

      So sorry about Stoner. I read it in print and really loved it. I recently purchased that author's lesser know Butcher's Crossing which is a western... and I NEVER read Westerns. We'll see! But I am planning to try Lonesome Dove this summer...

      Hope your next reads are more to your taste.

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    2. JoAnn, I have a very simple recipe that I've used at least a half dozen times, so it's now my go-to for risotto. I have tried the traditional recipe of cooking it on the stovetop, but it never turned out quite right. Give this one a try. It's so easy! risotto recipe

      Ah, knee issues are such an annoyance at this point in our lives, aren't they? I have discovered that riding the Peloton creates too much pain in my left knee. I can walk and play pickleball, but biking is out. :(

      So, six months in CT? You'll have lots to keep you busy with two weddings. Will you stay through the holidays? We have two big trips planned (both for Canada - Alberta & BC and later over to Vancouver Island, which is also BC). I think we have everything squared away for the first trip. Just wish the wildfires weren't an issue.

      Oooh, Lonesome Dove is high on my list. If I do start listening, it will be after we return from our first trip, so maybe in early July. I'll keep you posted.

      Always good to chat with you. Take care, my friend. xo

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    3. Les - Thanks so much for that recipe. It sounds like a risotto even I could make - very unfussy!

      I can do water aerobics for easy-on-the-knees exercise here, but not sure about CT. Some friends have recommended biking. We lost our bikes in the storm surge and haven't replaced them yet... so many big debris haulers on the road and it doesn't seem safe yet. Still want to give Peloton a try, so we'll see.

      I recently joined the Modern Mrs. Darcy book club (mostly so I could get Anne Bogel's summer reading guide) and have decided to join in a community read of Lonesome Dove for June/July. I bought a copy last summer and left it in CT, so the timing is perfect. The audio is available on hoopla, so I'll probably make it a read/listen combo. Should be fun.

      Your trips sound so exciting... I'll have my fingers crossed that those wildfires are under control and a nonissue! Enjoy your travels!!

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  16. Yay for progress on your repairs! I loved Book Lovers too. I rated People We Meet on Vacation but it was a painful, emotional read. Not one I would re-read. Happy Place was wonderful! Hope you enjoyed a quiet Mothers Day!

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    1. Rachel - Book Lovers is by far my favorite of her novels. I started Happy Place but decided I'm not in the mood for it right now.... will try something else instead.

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  17. Wonderful progress! I'm sure you're glad to have the sheetrock done. It makes such a mess. Happy Place looks like the perfect reading for right now. I really need to read that author. Have a wonderful week!

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    1. Katherine - I'd forgotten about the sheetrock mess and am currently cleaning up the mess - yuck! Happy Place had such a cute beginning, but I'm just not in the mood for it now and decided to move on after 10%. Maybe a comfort reread is what I need.... we'll see.

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  18. Beautiful sunset photo. It's pleasing to hear of your progress on the garage wall. Wow great going. Little by little, your home will be repaired. You must be excited to go to CT after this week. I hope you enjoy some audios on the car ride north. I'm reading Demon Copperhead lately ... going slowly to absorb it ... Cheers.

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    1. Hi Susan - It was a beautiful sunset that night, but I especially like how the neon pink shirt stands out! We're going to pause interior repairs while we're away this summer... too many problems arise if we aren't on site. Hoping they will still finish the siding and soffit repairs! I'm still trying to come up with an audiobook we'll both enjoy. It'll likely be nonfiction. We are looking forward to being in CT again - closer to our daughters, my parents, and siblings!

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  19. A walk on the beach sounds so nice! Now that the weather has turned nice, I should dust off the glider and sit and read outside some evenings. We usually have a nice breeze going. It sounds like the repairs are coming along nicely, JoAnn. I bet you will be glad when they are all done! We have painters coming tomorrow to repaint our trim and shutters--and hopefully the front door. It's a smaller project in the scheme of things, but we want to avoid a nasty letter from our HOA.

    Nine Black Robes is on my wish list. I am glad you found it to be a worthwhile read! I hope you are enjoying Happy Place. I would like to read that one.

    Safe travels to Connecticut! I hope you had a great week and enjoy your weekend!

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    1. Wendy - I hope you painters showed up (always a concern here) and you were able to get your work done. Reading on a glider sounds wonderful... I've always wanted one, but it's never worked out. Nine Black Robes was such a thoroughly researched book and she presented it so well, too. Decided I wasn't in the right mood for Happy Place, but will read it later this summer instead. I picked up Pride and Prejudice for yet another reread, and am enjoying it immensely! We hit the road tomorrow. Hope you're having a great weekend!

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  20. Happy (very) belated Mother's Day! It sounds like you had a great day planned. I hope you made it safe and sound to your next destination, and I'm glad things are moving along on your beach house.

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    1. Thanks, Angela. We are on the road now and will reach my brother outside Philly tomorrow. Looking forward to spending a couple of days with his family!

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  21. Hello JoAnn, Those books look like some nice, calm summer reads. I'm glad your house is coming together. That beach photo is stunning.
    I'm sure I've missed plenty on your blog these last months but, since I can see again, I finally did a blog post with an update and some summer picks; have a good summer.https://bibliophilebythesea.blogspot.com/2023/05/its-been-while-bit-of-life-and-books.html

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    1. Diane - I am so happy to see your comment... and even more happy to know the surgeries must have been successful and you can see well enough to write a blog post! We just got back to CT last night, unpacked today, and tomorrow I can visit with all my blog friends!

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