Sunday, April 25, 2010

TSS: 4.25.10

Only 8 months until Christmas!  I know, what an odd way to start a Sunday Salon post, but when I was younger, I was a Christmas fanatic and would always countdown the days from December 26th.  Every 25th of the month was a very special day for me.  It used to seem like time dragged on and on until the cooler fall months, but now it seems as though it is constantly rushing by.  Anyway, there is my happy thought for the day.

I have a unique outing planned for today.  A co-worker called me about a month ago and invited me to a Shakespearean Tea:  a local theater company will perform bits and pieces of As You Like It and serve a high tea refreshment.  Apparently some ladies really go all out and dress in period costume, etc.  This particular teacher is the art/photography at school and has all kinds of creative thoughts running through her brain.  She has made the two of us hats to wear to the event (but thank goodness she made mine rather subdued --- just a simple straw hat with sage green netting around the brim and simple white flower).  Anyway, this will be my cultural activity for the year!

I continue to be swamped with grading, but I am trying to use the advice:  "How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time."  I try to grade about 4-5 research papers each day off and this has helped me keep sane. There are only two more weeks of school (6 classes) and then a week of finals.  I now know that I can make it to the end, and that is a liberating feeling.

While grading definitely takes precedent over pleasure reading, I did manage to find time to read my recent edition of Bookmarks Magazine this weekend.  I already wrote in detail about 3 books that I have added to my TBR list, but I must confess that there are several others that have attracted my attention:

  • The 3 Weissmanns of Westport by Cathleen Schine  The few reviews that I have read about this book compare it loosely to Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility.  That, and the fact that I used to live in Westport, CT, has attracted my attention.
  • So Much for That by Lionel Shriver  The only other book I have read by this author is What About Kevin, and while deeply disturbing, it had a profound effect.  This one deals with retirement - and saving up a nest egg with grand plans for how to spend the golden years, only to have the best-laid plans turned upside down by a debilitating illness.  I don't know, it may hit a little too close to home (sans the nest egg portion).
  • Shadow Tag by Louise Eldrich  Secrets kept and falsehoods shared between a husband and wife are not the makings of a happy marriage.  The characters sound fascinating and the plot, while depressing, sounds intriguing.
  • Grange House by Sarah Blake  Actually this is not the new release book written by the author (the Bookmarks review was for The Postmistress), but a gothic story involving a Victorian hotel off the coasts of Maine sounds too good to pass up.
  • Blackout by Connie Willis  The setting is Oxford, the time is 2060 and the characters are time travel historians.  The plot seems to focus on World War II and it is my understanding that this is the first of a two book series, which apparently results in a cliff-hanger ending.
  • Doors Open by Ian Rankin  Three well-to-do Scots decide that the National Treasures housed in a warehouse should be liberated for the entire country to enjoy.  I have not read this author, so I have no ties to his popular Inspector Rebus series.  Those who adore this series seemed to be disappointed with this new release.
  • Making Toast by Roger Rosenblatt  Several of you have already read this touching memoir by a father who takes a year off to help his grandchildren and son-in-law cope with the death of his daughter (their mother and wife).  I simply must make the time to read this soon.

I mostly fill my free time by continuing to do research for my story idea.  I feel as though I know Degas, Cassatt, Caillebotte, Manet, and Renoir fairly well.  I am starting to look at their paintings with a more discerning eye, and sometimes I can even tell the artist's style before looking at the signature.  That is a huge deal for me - as I used to brag that I could tour the entire Metropolitan Museum of Art in half an hour!  Anyway, I am now wanting to do a bit of research on Time Travel novels.  I am not quite sure why I have the idea to write one when I have never been drawn to read this genre before, but there you have it.  So, I ask you dear readers, can you recommend any YA time travel novels that I might enjoy?  I know that the more I read books that are similar to my story idea, the more I will learn how to effectively write one.

And one final bit of "bookish" news ---- I have hit 300 followers on Google Reader!  That is simply amazing to me, as when I first started this blog a little over 15 months ago, I thought I would be writing for an audience of one.  While I try not get caught up in the "popularity" of the blogging world, or the occasional drama -- I am in awe how the world wide web can help bring total strangers together in a harmonious way.  I have "met" several online friends who truly enrich my life by their postings.  Thank you!

I hope you all have an enjoyable, relaxing Sunday.  I am off to read a summary of As You Like It so that I am not totally lost during today's performance.

15 comments:

Creations by Laurel-Rain Snow said...

Congratulations on your huge following!

On your list, I saw two books I've read recently, Making Toast and Shadow Tag. I enjoyed them, but Shadow Tag was a bit depressing and there were some issues...I reviewed it and linked to that review in my last week's salon post.

Here's today's salon:

http://laurel-rainsnowsaccidentallife.blogspot.com/04/sunday-salon_25.html

Happy countdown to Christmas!

Alyce said...

I love time travel books! I just finished one of the best YA time travel books I've read in a long time - When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead. I meant to save the second half of it to read for today, but couldn't stop myself from finishing it late last night.

I host a time travel reading challenge, and the challenge page has a list of time travel books: http://athomewithbooks.blogspot.com/2009/12/time-travel-reading-challenge.html

I found this list on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/time-travel-books-young-adult/lm/Z05MNI5NK7BX

I personally loved the Madeleine L'Engle Wrinkle in Time books as a kid. The only other kid's time travel book I remember liking from when I was younger was "In the Circle of Time" by Margaret Anderson. There were others that I liked when I was younger that I can't remember now (including one about a girl hearing the Greensleeves song and traveling back in time in the old house she was staying at for the summer - haven't ever been able to remember the title or find the book again).

Book Dilettante said...

Sounds like you have a lot to do! Good luck with your research for your story. Will it be about art or timetravel or both? Reminds me of The Swan Thieves...
Here's my Sunday Salon

Lisa said...

Congratulations on your 300 Followers! That is fantastic! Your outing with your friend sounds like it could be really something! I hope you enjoy your High Tea. Grange House reached right out and grabbed me as I was reading your post. I have not read anything by the author but that one is screaming my name! Have a wonderful time today Molly!

Nymeth said...

Oooh, I want Blackout! If it's even half as good as To Say Nothing of the Dog, it'll be excellent.

Congratulations on hitting the 300 mark! We all appreciate the connections we've made through blogging, so I see nothing wrong with you celebrating :)

Lynne said...

I love Bookmarks Magazine. I found it for the first time just last week.

Making Toast is also on my list.

Congrats on all your followers!

JoAnn said...

The 3 Weissmanns of Westport has been added to my list, too, along with Shadow Tag. Have a great week, Molly!

Sandy Nawrot said...

Way to go on the 300 followers...now please tell me your secret! In my dreams I would hit that number!

As far as time travel, my daughter piped up that she recently read a book called "Distant Waves", where a couple of girls on the Titanic traveled forward in time to save their lives.

Diane said...

Molly....congrats on the big 300 (impressive). Making Toast is very good, and guess what? I want to read EVERY other book on your list. Thanks a lot Molly LOL

Dani in NC said...

I hope you have fun at your Shakespearean tea! I'm attracted to events that are more than just Sunday lunch at the buffet restaurant, but I rarely get the opportunity to attend things like this.

bermudaonion said...

The Shakespearean Tea sounds like so much fun - we expect a full report afterward.

I've asked for Bookmarks the last 2 Christmases and haven't gotten it and I'm beginning to think that's a good thing.

Congrats on hitting 300 subscribers!

Kay said...

Molly, that tea sounds really fun. Will you have pictures? Of at least the hat? LOL

Enjoy and I'm still perusing my BOOKMARKS magazine. Some good stuff in there I think. There always is.

Nicole (Linus's Blanket) said...

I was debating about getting So Much For That when I saw it the other day, but decided to hold off. I have a couple more Shrivers to read for THIB, so I twill finish those before I buy a new one. It does seem to be very relevant and timely.

Kerrie said...

Molly, I think those disappointed in Doors Open were hoping for a Rebus-in-retirement story. But Rankin was playing with a standalone. I liked it

Jenners said...

Oh no no no no no ... you CANNOT start counting down to Christmas yet. That is just ... not ... right.

And I really must get this Bookmarks magazine. I'm putting it on my "here's what to buy me for Mother's Day" list. (I'm trying to be proactive this year.)

And I'm not surprised you have 300 readers! : )

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