Sunday, November 19, 2023

A Pre-Thanksgiving Sunday Salon



Hello, friends and welcome to a pre-Thanksgiving edition of The Sunday Salon. It really doesn't seem possible that we are here already, does it? Do you have big plans for the holiday or are you looking forward to a quieter weekend? Our house will begin filling up on Tuesday and reach maximum capacity by Wednesday night when both NYC daughters with husbands/fianc├ęs, our grandpup Winnie the Whippet, and a guest pup, Miss Moonshine, AKA Moonie, will all be in residence. My SIL has (wisely) opted for a nearby hotel!

We are at home this weekend and resting up. Friday we went out to dinner in New Haven and to the combined Yale-Harvard Glee Club Concert. We did not attend "The Game" yesterday afternoon, but I did go to my fist post-pandemic library book sale. That was almost as good... plus I picked up five books!


Today we are having brunch with friends, then attending a pre-holiday wine tasting at a local wine shop. On the reading front, I finished three books, including two novellas.


Recent reading//


An enjoyable novella (short story?) to read in a single sitting, this little book contains sparse prose, an intriguing storyline with a gentle mystery, and even a bit of humor. I first learned about it from The Book Club Review  podcast, then Ann Patchett mentioned it in her “New to You” Friday Instagram videos. I was happy to find the ebook available through my library! ⭐⭐⭐⭐


The Idiot by Elif Batuman

I plan to write a review post about this litereary novel. I think that will help in sorting out my thoughts. In short, it's a coming-of-age story about the daughter of Turkish immigrants as she begins her freshman year at Harvard in 1995. It was nominated for the Pulitzer and Women’s Prize for Fiction in 2018. Look for a post in a week or so. 



We The Animals by Justin Torres
audiobook narrated by Frankie J. Alvarez

Justin Torres won the National Book Award last week for his new novel Blackouts. That was not available from any of my libraries, but his 2011 semi-autobiographical debut novel was. The audio was also available in the audible plus catalog. At under 130 pages, it qualifies for Novellas in November which I seem to be unofficially participating in.

This novel is beautifully written and quite sad. It's one I'll continue to think about about, and I have a feeling my rating will increase over time. ⭐⭐⭐⭐



Current Reading//

Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney

This was a 5-star read for me back in 2017 and now it's the December selection of the Modern Mrs. Darcy book club. I just started my reread yesterday and, so far, it is every bit as good as I remembered.



by  Kwame Alexander, narrated by the author

I learned about this memoir from author and Newbery Medalist Kwame Alexander through the MMD Summer Reading Guide. A month or so ago I picked it up as a daily deal from Audible. I started listening to it on my walk yesterday. Very good, so far.


On the blog//


The Week Ahead//
... will likely be a busy one. I'd like to wish all of you a happy and peaceful Thanksgiving holiday.



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














 

49 comments:

  1. Great reading list — I enjoyed your brief summaries which are a lot more welcome than a repeat of the publishers’ blurb (which unfortunately some bloggers use instead of anything original).
    Have a great TG with all your family and pups.
    best… mae at maefood.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks, Mae. I hope you and your family have a very happy Thanksgiving.

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  2. Congratulations on the nice book sale picks. I've read the two on top the stack and enjoyed both of them. We the Animals is quite an intense coming of age story, and realizing that it is based on Justin's own makes it all the more so. I'll be curious to see what you think of it. I was impressed enough to want to read his new one, but like you, my library doesn't have it on the shelf yet despite its big win. Have a great Thanksgiving with family, sounds like you're going to be very busy.

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    1. Sam - I read several pages of each book sale book last night and am excited about all of them. I finished We the Animals and it's a tough book to say you loved, but I am so impressed with the writing and they way he chooses to tell the story. Torres grew up in central NY, close to where we lived for nearly 35 years. Hope my library gets a copy of his new book soon. Hope you and yours have a happy Thanksgiving.

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  3. Happy Thanksgiving! Your gathering sounds fun and boisterous!

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    1. Thanks, Joy. It will be interesting to see how it goes, especially with the extra dog. Happy Thanksgiving!

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  4. It is crazy how fast the year is going. I hope you have a great Thanksgiving week! cindysbookcorner.blogspot.com

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    1. Cindy - Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family, too!

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  5. I LOVED Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk, I'll check the other books to see if I want to add them to my list.

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    1. Vicki - Lillian Boxfish was one of my favorite books of 2017 and I'm happy for the incentive to reread it now. Think I've done more rereading this year than I have in the last decade, at least!

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  6. It sounds like you'll have a houseful for Thanksgiving. We are hosting, with 5 of our neighbors here, but other than Thursday, the week should be fairly calm and quiet. I plan to do some prep on Wednesday, and I'm sending (FedEx!) my daughter a batch of my homemade dinner rolls for her Thanksgiving dinner with her in-laws, but most of the other details will fall into place on Thursday. No Black Friday shopping for me, so I may spend the day curled up with a book.

    I finished Count the Ways by Joyce Maynard, which I loved, and am working on my review for that book. We The Animals is on my list, so I may give the audio a try. Did you know that Spotify now has audiobooks?! You to have a "Premium" subscription, which I do, so I may start listening on that platform. I'm currently listening to The Push, which is heavy & depressing, but I can't stop listening!

    Have a great week and enjoy your time with the family!

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    1. Les - Your Thanksgiving sounds perfect... love that you're sending dinner rolls to your daughter!! No Black Friday shopping for us either. I'm hoping it's a day of football, jigsaw puzzles, and reading, but we'll see what an extra dog adds to the dynamics. (That's a long story!) Gald you got a chance to read Count the Ways, it was my favorite book of 2021! Maynard's latest, The Bird Hotel, is on my 2024 tbr. How is the Spotify audiobook selection? I saw the news last week, but do not have a premium subscription. That would be a great resource if the have newer offerings. Hope you have a happy Thanksgiving weekend!

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    2. I searched for a few novels (Holly by Stephen King, Yellowface, Hello Beautiful, etc.) and they all showed up as available with the Premium subscription on Spotify.

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  7. It's so hard to believe that it's already Thanksgiving. I hope you have a great holiday and a great week!

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  8. You've got some great reading going, but my guess is that it will all cease when the family arrives. How fun to have a household full of loved ones (and their animals) for the holiday.

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    1. Helen - I've always loved Thanksgiving... family and plenty of good food, without the pressure of finding the right gift! The NYC daughters are both readers, so I'm hoping to fit in some reading while the puzzling and football is happening.

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  9. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving making some lovely memories.

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    1. Thanks, Jodie. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

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  10. JoAnn, hope you have a lovely Thanksgiving! Sounds like it will be busy, but fun. We're hosting our family here, but not everyone. Some will be with their 'other' family for this holiday. We'll have some visits in the afternoon too from those (like our daughter and son-in-law) who will be having the big meal with their other side. Our kids are cooking for his family and she said that they would not be able to stay long, but have to return home to cook. Happily, we will be having our big meal in the noon-ish time and their cooking will be for an evening meal.

    Oh, I have never, never shopped on Black Friday - horrifying for me! I don't like shopping anyway. We'll see what the decision is for gift exchange in the family. No little kids, so not as much 'fun' for Christmas. We'll see if we continue to exchange names or maybe someone will come up with something else.

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    1. Thanks, Kay. Sounds like you'll be having a good Thanksgiving with family in and out. We won't have everyone here at Christmas, so this will be our big family holiday this year. Black Friday shopping has never been a thing for me and now we try to keep gifts at a minimum. That may change if there are kids in the future though. Happy Thanksgiving!

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  11. Nice looking assortment of books! I haven't read any of them but they look intriguing. Have fun with family this Thanksgiving. It does sound like you will have a houseful. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

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    1. Kathy - Happy Thanksgiving! Hope you enjoy the long weekend.

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  12. Your books look tempting. Enjoy your reading and Thanksgiving.

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    1. Thanks, Laurel. Happy Thanksgiving to you, too!

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  13. Hello there, just popped in from Book Date
    It’s great to see what everyone else is reading, your list there is full of books I’ve not seen before but interesting enough for me to put some on next year’s TBR list.
    Enjoy your special holiday with family and friends.

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    1. Cathy - Thanks for stopping by! Hope you enjoy checking out some of these books... I've had some good reading lately.

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  14. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!

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    1. Thanks, Erin. Hope you and your family enjoy the Thanksgiving weekend, too!

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  15. We aren't hosting Thanksgiving, but have been asked to bake pie or pies to bring to our daughter and DIL who are hosting a group of 8 at their new house this year. Our New York daughter will go there on Wednesday and then stay with us Friday night. I'm looking forward to having Friday and Saturday off, but am not sure how much reading will happen. Probably more than will happen BEFORE Thursday, though!
    So many of your books are going on my TBR. I had We the Animals once from the library but didn't end up reading it. I loved Lillian Boxfish, too, and so did my library book club. That's the only one I've read on your list, but the others all sound great!

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    1. Laurie - It sounds like you have a very full weekend ahead! Baking pies is the fun part of Thanksgiving prep for me. Very exciting for your daughter and DIL to be hosting in their new house... that will be extra special!

      Lillian Boxfish is turning out to be just as wonderful the second time through. I tend not to reread much, but this is my fourth or fifth title this year and I've loved the experience! We the Animals is well worth a read or listen, and The English Understand Wool is a short, fun diversion. Happy Thanksgiving!

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  16. I'm reading a Louise Erdrich right now, The Painted Drum, and I plan to find more of her books. Library book sales are the best! Glad you found some winners. The English Understand Wool is a perfect title--and if both you and Ann Patchett recommend it, then I'm sold...plus it is short, so I am on the waitlist at the library. Lillian Boxfish is on my list for audio. Happy Thanksgiving--enjoy your full house, family, and good eats.

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    1. JaneGS - This library sale wasn't big, but it had a surprisingly good selection! I could probably read exclusively backlist books I already own or have on my kindle for an entire year and have a really great reading year... hmmm. The English Understand Wool is unusual, short, and so enjoyable. Glad I took Ann Patchett's advice! I tried Lillian Boxfish on audio, but returned to the print version for my second read. It may work out better for you... most readers love Xe Sands narration. Happy Thanksgiving!

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  17. Sounds like you will have a full and happy house for Thanksgiving! I hope you are having a wonderful week and are able to get a little bit of reading in!

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    1. Katherine - It's been a great weekend so far. Hope you're enjoying it, too!

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  18. We will likely have a quiet turkey day here in Canada since the holiday was in Oct. but I hope you have a wonderful holiday with the girls and dogs! Take pix if you can get both dogs together. Lol. Maybe I will check out We the Animals since it is so short. Enjoy all the good food.

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    1. Susan - We had a wonderful weekend and the extra dog was such a delight! She's a 10-11 year old rat terrier mix (a breed totally unfamiliar to me) and was a nice counter-balance to the puppy. I'd forgotten how much I love old dogs (!) and that's making my husband nervous again... ha!

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    2. You have me curious now about rat terriers, which I just looked up and they seem nice looking and cute. Gosh now I could get one, lol, if I didnt already have two dogs. I think you need another old dog!

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    3. Susan - It's funny, but I'm not generally drawn to terriers... and "Miss Moonshine" is an older mix with an underbite and built like a tank! Told my daughter to let her parents know she's welcome here any time!

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  19. I put a hold on The English Understand Wool and I was startled to see how many people have already reserved it. Perhaps I will get to read it some day!

    Happy Thanksgiving! I'm just getting around to visiting my blog friends this week---apologies for being so late to the table.

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    1. Deb - I think a little publicity fro Ann Patchett goes a long way! Hope you enjoy The English Understand Wool, too.

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  20. I went ahead and put The Idiot on my TBR while I wait for your review!

    I hope you're having a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend with your family!

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    1. Jinjer - The Idiot is more 'cerebral' than other books I've read this year, but surprisingly appealing if you're in the right mood. We had a great Thanksgiving with everyone here... now I'm trying to catch up!

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  21. happy holidays Friend! I just added the Kwame book to my tbr. and I want to read Lillian Boxfish so badly! ha. The Idiot has some awesome pie passages, did you notice? ;)

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    1. Hi, Care. I did notice pie in The Idiot and naturally thought of you! Parts of that book were slow going and I wasn't sure whether I'd read the sequel or not, but there was a preview in the back of my paperback... it drew me in enough to add Either/Or to my tbr. I see you read that one, too. Worth it?
      I'm enjoying Lillian Boxfish almost as much the second time around. Tried to listen this time, but couldn't get into the audio... back to print!

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  22. and that comment just prior was from me, Care of Books and Pie but this system won't take my URL for some odddddddd reason. (commenting is just annoyingly annoying these days)

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    1. Care - Thanks for taking the time to comment! It's such a pain on blogger, but WP is beyond my tech ability :(

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