Sunday Salon – June 15, 2008

June 15, 2008

11:00 AM

I slept past 9:00 AM this morning having stayed up very late last night. Kip and I entertained friends for dinner on the porch, and afterwards we all sat outside sipping wine and talking until almost midnight. It was a wonderful time. Today Kip’s parents are coming down for a barbecue to celebrate Father’s Day, so my reading will all be happening this morning…probably right out there in one of the wicker chairs on my porch.

Last week I skipped Sunday Salon out of sheer exhaustion after participating in the 48 Hour Reading Challenge – and no, I didn’t read for 48 hours straight…but I did manage to read for about 15 hours and finish 2 books. My post about the challenge is here.

Since my last Sunday Salon post I’ve finished:

Yesterday I picked up Atonement, by Ian McEwan – a book that has been sitting on my shelf for quite some time now. I’ve never read a McEwan novel and this one is a little slow getting started. For one thing, it is not completely clear in what time frame McEwan is writing (it sounds very old fashioned, but the women are smoking…so I’m thinking 1920’s…but then everyone is riding in “traps,” so I’m not sure). Anyone know the setting for this one? I’m only 34 pages into the book and I hope it will become more clear as I make my way through it.

I’ve gotten some very intriguing ARCs this week. One in particular has captured my imagination: The White Mary, by Kira Salak. Salak is a journalist and this work of fiction draws from her experiences in the Congo. I have several other books ahead of this one in the stacks, but I have to admit that I’m thinking seriously of moving it up in the pile.

I’m going to wrap up this post now and make my way out to my porch with Atonement in hand. I hope you all have a joyous day of reading and/or celebration of Father’s Day. See you next week!

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    • Jill on June 15, 2008 at 13:16

    Can I come and hang out with you on that porch swing? It’s so pretty! I am guessing from the flags that this is your front porch???

    I haven’t read Atonement yet but saw the movie. It’s World War I time frame in the movie. Hope that helps?

    • John on June 15, 2008 at 13:47

    The Story starts in 1934 and with the key part of the film set in 1939/40
    This week’s post

    • Jill on June 15, 2008 at 14:47

    I just realized that I left off a Roman Numeral on my response. World War II! Jeez, what a dingaling! =)

  1. I’m going to have to check out your review of Bridge of Sighs – that’s one I’ve been planning to read for a while now. Your porch looks so wonderfully inviting! What a great place to read or just hang out. I’m so envious!

  2. I thought Atonement got off to a slow start too, but it did pick up for me later on. I hope you enjoy it. I also received The White Mary in the mail this week. It sure sounds good, doesn’t it?

  3. Just finished Atonement and I had trouble in the beginning too but once I got to the “event” of the story, it really picked up for me. Hope you enjoy it. I am planning to watch the movie tonight.

    • Andi on June 15, 2008 at 17:21

    Congrats on the late sleeping. I actually slept until 8:00 this morning which is highly unusual for me. It was great!

    I hope you enjoy Atonement, and I look forward to your review when you finish up. I’ve only read On Chesil Beach, but I adored it.

    • Wendy on June 15, 2008 at 18:17

    Jill: You’re welcome to come hang out on my porch ANY time! I’d love to sit out there with you and talk books 🙂 And you are NOT a dingaling!!!!

    John: Thanks for the time frame…I wonder why everyone is riding around in traps? Weren’t cars more the mode of transportation at that time!?! *laughs*

    JLS Hall: Thanks for visiting, and thanks for your kind words. Our porch is my favorite hang out place!

    WendyCat: I hope the pace picks up a little…although McEwan writes beautifully and that much I’m appreciating. I am really excited about reading The White Mary – when are you going to read it do you think?

    Juliann: It sounds like I’m not alone with the slow start of Atonement. I’ll hang in with it because I have heard mostly positive things about the book. I haven’t seen the movie…

    Andi: I love sleeping in! Although, like you, I rarely do it 🙂 I haven’t been tempted to read On Chesil Beach, but perhaps I should reconsider since so many people seem to like it.

  4. I have heard so much of Atonement that I am truly put off by it. Too much hype spoils my reading.

    SS 1: Books read/received
    SS 2: Book Shopping

  5. oh, you have done a lot of reading, great work! I am almost done with the Kite Runner….I am stunned by it.

    • Wendy on June 16, 2008 at 00:57

    Gautami: I know what you mean about reading the hyped books. I usually avoid them too! But this was one that caught my interest. I’m at page 114 now and it is getting better 🙂

    Bethany: It *is* stunning!

    • Bree on June 16, 2008 at 06:35

    Wow! I love your porch. I’d want to read even more if I had a place like that to read. I just glanced at your house remodel picture/story. What a pain. I feel for you on that project. I hate it when just one room is messed up from a project, let alone a whole house.

    • Ethel-to-Tilly on June 16, 2008 at 21:05

    Haven’t read Atonement yet, but I just recently finished another McEwan book Saturday. Very, very impressed.

    • Wendy on June 17, 2008 at 09:09

    Thanks Bree! The remodel was a HUGE pain, but looking back it was well worth it. We still have rooms to do – the bathrooms and bedrooms…but I haven’t yet recovered enough to get started on them *laughing*

    Ethel to Tilly: I’ve heard wonderful things about Saturday!

    • Julie on June 17, 2008 at 12:15

    Interesting that you’re reading Atonement so soon after Kite Runner. The two books are thematically quite similar. I believe the reason I’m the only person on earth (apparently) who didn’t like Kite Runner is because I’d read Atonement first. 🙂

  6. Your Sunday plans sound marvelous -there’s nothing I love more than hanging out on the porch with friends and wine…not even reading, actually!

    I’m sure you’ve figured out the time line of Atonement by now. It’s a little slow going at first – but it’s worth it. I’ve read it twice, and the movie is quite good too.

    Now I’m off to read your thoughts on Bridge of Sighs- it’s on my list for this summer.

    • Bryce on June 18, 2008 at 15:42

    AAHHHHH, Atonement by Ian McEwan, one of my favorite books (possibly THE favorite). I was lucky enough to read it soon after it was published and well before it was to be made into a film… I certainly don’t think I would have enjoyed it as much if I read it while the hype was at a fever-pitch.

    Please, please finish it before you see the movie though. The big payoff is so much bigger in the novel.

    Julie, I didn’t like The Kite Runner either. Same reason. Crazy how your situation/context can influence the reading experience so much.

    • Wendy on June 18, 2008 at 20:03

    Julie: I hadn’t realized the similarities until I got further into Atonement. I ended up liking them both 🙂

    RR: Oh, I love hanging out with friends on the porch with good food and wine…and most of the time my hubby and I end up out there at the end of the day, rocking and talking and sipping. So relaxing!

    Bryce: It was my first McEwan and I liked it quite a bit! I haven’t seen the movie (I refuse to watch the movies before I read the books!) Check out my review if you’re interested.

    • Nan on June 19, 2008 at 09:02

    I love your porch. It is just perfect and right out of a book description – “sitting in her white wicker chair, she looked up from her book to gaze at the flowers on the little table.”

    • Wendy on June 21, 2008 at 08:18

    Nan: Thank you! Which book is this quote from??!? It *does* sound like my porch 🙂

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