Sunday Salon – November 22, 2009

Sunday Salon

November 22, 2009

9:30 AM

Good morning to all my readers! I’m getting a little later start this morning as Kip let me sleep in while he got up with all the animals (Raven is a very early riser). It is raining here, and the sound of the rain dripping through the trees was like a lullaby. We  had our first snow of the season – on Friday the winds howled and the temperatures dropped…and down came the snow. It was a wet snow, and didn’t really accumulate. Now it is pretty much a mud pond in the back yard (the dogs think this is wonderful).

Yesterday I went to a free-motion quilting class which was absolutely wonderful…but much harder than you would imagine. Free motion quilting is like flying a plane without a pilot. The feed dogs are dropped and instead of the machine controlling stitch length and direction, the quilter is in complete control. Stitch length is controlled by how fast or slow one moves the fabric (my stitch length left much to be desired – I would not say it is consistent in the least!). There was a lot of laughter…and by the end of the class we were starting to get the hang of things. I can see I will have plenty to keep me busy in the creative realm over the cold, wet winter months.

This past week I plowed through Wally Lamb’s latest novel: The Hour I First Believed (read my review). I was not enthralled with the book although I give Lamb credit for his ability to write and for the first half of the book which captivated me. But, I think he tried to tackle a little too much in this giant tome. Some have agreed with me, others not, so you may want to try it out for yourself.

My current read is delightful. Rosy Thornton’s novel Crossed Wires takes place in England and is a light romantic comedy of sorts. I’m half way through it and really enjoying Thornton’s writing (although it is taking a little work to sort through some of the British phrasing). I should get this finished soon, so watch for my review.

Not sure what is next in the reading pile. I have a few choices and think I’ll just wait and evaluate my mood when it is time to pick. How do you pick your next book?

Have you been following any of the controversy surrounding the top ten list for Publishers Weekly? There were no books written by women on the list, and that has gotten some attention. My library is about 55% female writers vs. 45% male writers…and many of the books I’ve read this year which are in MY top ten are by women. Florinda at The 3 R’s Blog wrote a great post about this topic and she lists some of her favorite books this year by women. The Weekly Geeks is asking for YOUR top ten books for the year, and I am eager to see how many of the finalists will highlight women writers. Finally, author Katherine Center (whose books I absolutely adore…see my review of Everyone Is Beautiful and The Bright Side of Disaster), was motivated by the Publisher’s Weekly controversy to create a fabulous You Tube video For the Girls . If you haven’t seen it yet you should. It is a trailer for the book Kirtsy Takes a Bow…a celebration of women on line (which is now on my wish list). I would be remiss not to also mention an on line magazine which celebrates women writers from around the world: Belletrista. Have you checked this out yet? It is wonderful. And I suppose this is the perfect time to once again mention the Women Unbound Challenge. Readers are already posting their reviews for this challenge…so if you want some terrific book recommendations which celebrate women, this is the place to go.

For my American readers, I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving this Thursday – stay safe and eat to excess! For those of you who have a mellow Thanksgiving weekend planned, don’t forget about the Thankfully Reading Weekend – a chance to relax and read next weekend along with other bloggers.

As for me, I’m having a relaxing morning and plan to read and quilt today. Kip and I will be with friends on Thanksgiving. What are your plans today? Whatever they are, I hope they involve a great book!

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    • Kathy on November 22, 2009 at 10:25

    I just took a look at PW’s list and don’t agree with many of their choices, but I guess lists like that are always subjective. It’s cold and wet here today.

    • Laura on November 22, 2009 at 10:48

    Snow already?! Wow.

    No surprise, I agree with you on the PW list. It just drives me crazy!!

  1. Hooray! Thank you for mentioning me and the For the Girls video in your Sunday Salon! And your day of quilting and reading sounds completely divine! I hope you have a great Thanksgiving, and thanks again so much for the shout-out!!

  2. Thank you for sharing the link for the Thankfully Reading Weekend. I hope to join in.

    • Gavin on November 22, 2009 at 13:53

    Wendy – Thanks for the great links. I hope you have a wonderful week.

  3. Thanks so much for linking to my women-writers post, Wendy 🙂 – I really enjoyed writing that one. When I worked on my Weekly Geeks post, I ended up with 9 out of 10 books by women, but it’s skewed a little because it’s limited to books published in 2009. I’m very excited about the Women Unbound challenge, too!

    • Verbatim on November 23, 2009 at 08:12

    I’ve been thinking a lot about your earlier comment about the quality of your machine vis a vis free-motion quilting. And I think, once I hear you say (after week two, three, four?) you’ve got it down, I may have to go out and reward myself with a brand spankin new machine. I like hand quilting, but at this point in my life (working full-time to put 2 kids through college), it’s just not feasible to take the time to hand quilt everything. If you’re comfortable, perhaps you could let us know what type of machine you’re using and whether you would recommend it. Good luck and happy quilting!

    • Teddy on November 23, 2009 at 23:04

    I love free motion quilting! I almost feel like I’m painting with thread when I do it. With practice, it doesn’t take long to improve.

    • Wendy on November 26, 2009 at 10:24

    Kathy: All these lists are so subjective…but it does burn me when women get ignored on them, especially because I could list a bunch of great books published this year and written by women. It makes me wonder who is doing the judging…certainly not women!

    Laura: I knew you’d feel the same about the PW list…makes me think of leaving them off the notables list for the challenge this year!!!

    Katherine: Thanks for stopping in! I am happy to share your wonderful trailer!! Hope you also have a terrific Thanksgiving 🙂

    Deb: No problem…I’ll see you over the weekend when we share what we’re reading 🙂

    Gavin: Thanks! And I hope you are having a terrific week too 🙂

    Florinda: I loved your post! My top ten for 2009 ended up with 7 books by women! What were those judges with PW thinking?!?!??!?

    Teddy: Free motion is really fun…I expect it does get easier…and describing it as painting is perfect!

    • Wendy on November 26, 2009 at 10:33

    Verbatim: I am going to write a post about my sewing machine choice because I bought one to begin with which I ended up trading in and getting a more expensive machine. I currently have the Janome 6600 and it is an amazing and wonderful thing!

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