The Sunday Salon – I’d think up a title but I’m going lazy today…

TSSbadge1I was sort of appalled when I realized I still had that awful rendition of a turkey up here. Then I continued to watch TV. Obviously, I quickly got over it. I thought taking a bit of a break would help, and it has especially on the reading front, but what it’s also done is make it easier not to do anything.

So, what have I been doing when I’m not reading or writing posts? I’ve been watching Call the Midwife on PBS for the last week. If you haven’t seen it, go watch it now. It’s a wonderful show and I’d say more but this whole post would just dissolve into a snotty love fest full of tears and joy and sappy language that I don’t even want to temp myself into writing. It’s better if you just watch it yourself. The show is based on a book and I’ll probably be buying it.

In the last week, when I wasn’t watching TV, I finished City of Dark Magic by Magnus Flyte which was a bit of ridiculous fun. I’ll be posting about it this week. I also finished The Sign of Four by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I’m still trying to figure out what I thought of it. It was interesting but fell flat at the same time. I’m not sure if it was the mystery or just that I wasn’t in the mood for it, but it was boring. I know; right now I suck as a Sherlock Holmes fan. Next book. A co-worker loaned me a book of short stories called The Firefly Dance which has a story by Sarah Addison Allen. She’s one of my favorite authors and never fails to cheer me up. This one did the trick. It’s called In My Dreams and was exactly what I needed to read. I’ll probably skip the rest of the stories in the book though. I’ve been reading The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan the last few days. It’s interesting and I’m hoping to finish it today as it’s pretty short. Also, I have Maureen Johnson’s The Name of Star waiting for me at the library so I don’t want to start anything new. I’m late to this one but now that everyone’s talking about the sequel, I now want to read it.

For the rest of today, I’m planning to sit on my couch and alternate reading and watching shows about the apocalypse on the History channel. Why? Because I can. I might also watch the first season of The Walking Dead too. I foresee a relaxing day ahead.

Happy Sunday readers.

The Sunday Salon – Conquering the Slump

Last week I refused to believe a reading slump was coming on. Much like I always refuse to believe I might be getting a cold. Anyway, it hit. Not too hard; it just sort of snuck up and nested itself right on my book making it impossible to read. Furry, little reading stealer… It’s odd because the book I’m reading (and have been reading for over a week now) is good. Really good. I thought that if any author would keep the slump at bay it would be Tana French. She’s good but sometimes, well, sometimes nothing can help.

If I’m honest with myself, it’s that time of year when my reading slacks off. Not only are we in the middle of trying to get a major purchase straightened out before the holidays and travel commitments descend upon us, but I’ve also got recipes trolling around my head making it difficult to sit still for any amount of time to read.

Here’s my plan — I’m going to finally finish up the last few pages of French’s The Likeness in the next two days. I’m going to put aside the book that hasn’t been interesting me and give it a few days without reading. I’m going to reset fellow readers. This will work. I know it will. We all need a break and I think it’s my time for that. My books will be there for me when I’m ready.

Enjoy this lovely Sunday.

The Sunday Salon – Brain Candy

Early Saturday morning, I got off a redeye flight from Las Vegas. An hour after walking in my front door, I was asleep and was pretty much in that state all of yesterday. Sunday has been much the same with one exception — I’ve been watching Finding Bigfoot on Animal Planet. It’s sick how addicting this show is! Seriously, someone come take the remote from me.

*Backing away from the TV now.*

Typically, the week I spend in Las Vegas is usually a very good week of reading for me. I can get in about 2 – 4 books depending on what I’m reading. I was prepared, as we readers are, with numerous choices in case my tastes changed somewhere mid-week. Unfortunately, I broke no records this year. I finished one book, a short story, and started two other books. Here’s the wrap-up:

A Crystal Age by W.H. Hudson — I downloaded this one from The Gutenberg Project a few weeks back in anticipation of this trip. It’s vintage science fiction and I was excited about this one simply because I have very little knowledge of science fiction from the early 50s and 60s. I wasn’t blown away but I did find it interesting. It falls into the anthropological category of science fiction with cultures trying to understand each other and the implications of those differences.

The Year of the Big Thaw by Marion Zimmer Bradley — This is a short story I also downloaded from The Gutenberg Project. I adore Bradley’s The Mists of Avalon, and knowing she has written outside of the fantasy genre, I wanted to explore more of her works. This seemed like a great candidate and it was. It’s only about 25 pages and reminded me so much of a take on Superman but it was a great little piece to read while drinking tea and eating breakfast in the middle of a casino.

Key Out of Time by Andre Norton — Another Gutenberg Project download. I love a good time travel story, and this one is interesting, but I’m having a bit of trouble with it. I want to like it so much more than I am and the problem I think I’m having with it isn’t necessarily the book. It’s me. I kept reading it in between work events and only for a few minutes at a time and I haven’t had the opportunity to get into it for more than a few pages at a time. I may decide to sit down with it this week and finish it and hope that I can get into.

The Likeness by Tana French — With my Nook battery running low, I went for the one real book I brought with me, Tana French. I loved, loved, loved In The Woods. Half asleep on a layover but happy to be back on the East Coast, I wanted to stay awake to board the plane and get home and I knew French would keep me awake. She did. I’m about 55 pages into this book and let me tell you how good it is. I thought In The Woods was great, well, this one is already better.

If I can pull myself away from the TV for a few hours later tonight, I plan to pick up The Likeness again. For now, Bigfoot is calling. I’m scared to stop watching; they might find something when I’m not looking.

Happy Sunday readers. Finish any great books last week? Tell me about them. My stack is getting low.

(Also, ignore any typos. I’m still recovering from last week.)

The Sunday Salon – Out of Pocket

When this posts, I’ll be on a plane somewhere over the US heading towards Las Vegas. Before you get all excited about sparkly Las Vegas and how exciting it is, I’m going for work. Also, Vegas is not a favorite place of mine but I do get a ton of reading done when I’m there so yeah for that.

I had grand plans to schedule posts but between work, a hurricane (superstorm?), and the weird life I seem to be living right now, that didn’t happen. Instead, I’m going to consider this a short break. I will return soon with news of books read.

Enjoy and read on you readers you.

The Sunday Salon – Impending Storm

We’re waiting; waiting for Hurricane Sandy to appear. For the last few days that’s all the news has talked about. You’d even swear the election was over there’s so much Sandy coverage! I have my water, food, and batteries. Now, we wait.

I’ve been slacking on the blog lately. I don’t have a good excuse so I’m not going to make one. I’ve been lazy. Following with the lazy thing, I’m looking forward to sitting on my couch with a book or two. There’s nothing like bad weather to inspire some reading. I have The Courtier’s Secret by Donna Russo Morin to keep me company later today.

This morning, I need to work. That means this is the end of this post. I’d like to get as much done as possible so I have the whole evening to read.

I wish you all happy reading today.

If you’re in Sandy’s path, stay safe.

The Sunday Salon – Comfort Reading

The last few weeks have been, well, kinda crappy. I won’t go into details let’s just say we’ve had better months in our lives.

Anyway, during this time, I kept reading, reading good books I should say, but what I wanted was something comforting. I wanted something that made me feel safe and happy. A book that allowed me to escape to a place so different from my own life that it would be a momentary relief from the regular day’s drudgery. (Side note: I don’t think I’ve ever used the word drudgery in a sentence until right now.)

I’ve been picturing the books on my shelf wondering what would fill the gap. There’s The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien; always a favorite. I could go to Middle Earth. The new movie is coming out and I should read the book again just to be sure I’m properly re-acquainted with these wonderful characters. Fantasy has made up a large part of my reading this year which is not unusual for me since I do tend to go on reading binges. For as much as The Hobbit appeals, it wasn’t right this time. I wanted something I could fall into and imagine in great depth. (Please, I know this is more than possible to do with Tolkien’s work. I’m just saying it’s not the right time for me to pick this up. Besides, I think I have until the end of November to read it before the movie comes out so all good.)

What I wanted was historical fiction. Yes, that was it. I wanted to imagine hearing the swoosh of a long skirt dragging across stone floors, feel the heaviness of a velvet dress, the cold and damp corners of a castle. I wanted courtiers, royals acting badly, mistresses, and court antics. So, library, help me out. I found what I was looking for and got an email that my book is ready. It’s a new to me author and she writes exactly what I want to read right now. We shall soon see if success has been achieved.

Things were slow here on the blog last week but I’m hoping to fix that. I’m, for the most part, caught up with most reviews and will be doing some editing this weekend to get those reviews ready for public eyeballs. Posts will happen!

Now, go read. Happy Sunday.

The Sunday Salon – Rain

It’s raining here today and I decided it would be an excellent idea to stay in bed and watch TV. Random flipping and one show about the Loch Ness Monster now over, I’m up and moving.

I’ve been reading two books the last few days — Bag of Bones by Stephen King and To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Friday after work I decided I’d park myself on the couch and read. Husband came home and I was curled up on the couch looking, as he put, “slightly freaked out.” Conversation ensued:

Him: “What’s wrong?”

Me: “Nothing.”

Him: “OK.”

Me: “A book freaked me out.”

Him, glancing at books on the coffee table: “To Kill a Mockingbird freaked you out?”

Me: “No, the other book.”

Him, picking up second book: “You’re reading a Stephen King book and got freaked out. No sympathy.”

So, I’ve designated Bag of Bones my daylight reading and To Kill a Mockingbird as my evening reading.

Somehow amidst a week full of crap and more crap, I managed to draft eight reviews. Death in the Floating City by Tasha Alexander is waiting a review but after that I’ll be caught up. I’m feeling good about that development.

Finally, if you have ten minutes to waste today and want to see a digital painting come to life, go here.

With that, enjoy your books. Happy Sunday.