Sunday Salon – August 22, 2010

August 22, 2010

Good morning to all my readers. This has been quite an emotional week for me. I posted earlier about my sister’s battle with cancer and my plan to head back to New Hampshire to help take care of her. I mentioned that I was trying to get my PT license in NH so that I could stay as long as I need to, and still work a little bit. Well, that finally came through thanks in large part to Congressman Wally Herger and his staff. Then on Friday, my sister went into surgery. I was a complete wreck. She is on the surgical intensive care unit and doing well. She will be in the hospital for a week to ten days as this was very serious surgery. I head to New Hampshire on the 1st of September and will be staying with my sister indefinitely. But, I’ll have Internet access, and will still be posting here, so I will keep you updated. Thank you to all who have been keeping my sister and our family in prayer and good thoughts…you cannot imagine how comforting it is for me to know that there is so much positive energy being directed our way.

I currently have a couple of book giveaways going. You can enter to win a copy of The Breaking of Eggs by Jim Powell (contest closes at 5:00 pm PST on August 25th) AND also enter to win one of five books for my 50th Birthday Gift giveaway (contest closes at 5:00 pm PST on August 27th). The Jim Powell giveaway is limited to US and Canada addresses, but the five book giveaway is International.

So what did I review last week?

I finally sat down and wrote my review for One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey…terrific classic literature (made me want to rent the movie again).

I also blew through Still Missing by Chevy Stevens (read my review) which was pretty terrifying and graphic (not all readers may be able to stomach this one). It definitely lived up to the hype of being the thriller of the summer…but I have to admit, some of the violence got to me a bit.

After that bit of genre fiction, I decided to delve into something  a bit more literary. Earth and Ashes by Atiq Rahimi fit the bill perfectly (read my review). This is really a novella (almost a short story), but it packs a big punch. This is certainly a keeper for those readers who love literary and world fiction.

My current read is City of Veils by Zoe Ferraris (released by Little, Brown and Company earlier this month) which I have been eagerly anticipating ever since I read the first book by this talented author (read my review of Finding Nouf). City of Veils is the sequel to Finding Nouf…so readers will find the characters familiar. The novel opens with a dead girl on a beach in Saudi Arabia. Then Ferraris begins to introduce her cast of characters which include Nayir (the desert guide from the first book), Katya (one of the only females working in the coroner’s office – also a repeat character from the first book), Miriam Walker (an American woman living with her husband in Saudi Arabia), Eric (Miriam’s husband who disappears), and Detective Osama Ibrahim. The book is told in multiple points of view…and so far I am thoroughly enjoying it! I should have a review up mid-week.

I also picked up  Home Repair by Liz Rosenberg which has been in my to-read stacks for far too long. I have a feeling it will be an easy and satisfying read for me.

Later today, I am going to finish a quilt I am making for a Romanian orphan. Judi (from Green Fairy Quilts), and her husband have traveled to Romania for two years in a row to deliver quilts to an orphanage there. This September will be the third such trip…and so I decided I wanted to help. I have pieced the quilt I’m sending…so only the actual quilting remains. My goal is to have it in the mail by the end of this week. I promise to post photos soon!

What are YOU doing today? Whatever it is, I hope it involves a GREAT book!

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  1. I am so glad you’ll be able to join your sister – I’m sure your being there will be a great comfort and joy to her in her recovery. I read City of Veils recently and really liked it a lot.

  2. I send my best wishes for your sister. And very glad you will be with her. I have three brothers and very close too.

    Finding Nouf is on my wishlist.

  3. I’m continuing to send healing thoughts and best wishes for your sister. So glad you’ll be able to stay with her as long as necessary.

    Do keep us posted when you can and don’t forget to take care of yourself along the way

    • Kay on August 22, 2010 at 08:28

    Wendy, I’ve been thinking of you and your sister this last few days. Glad the surgery went well and I’m especially pleased that your license isses were solved. You take care of yourself. I know that you will be such a comfort to your sister and her girls.

    On the book front, I’m looking forward to reading Zoe Ferraris’ books. They look really interesting.

    Hugs, hugs, hugs!

  4. I’m so happy to hear that you’ll be able to be with your sister during this time — it’s so important and it will be such a boost for her, and as we all know, sometimes that little boost of morale and emotional happiness can overtake all of the negative ones and help, even just a little bit. I will think and send good thoughts and energy your way — have you heard of the Intention Experiment? I mean, it can be looked at as a little New-Agey, but I don’t know, sometimes it makes sense, too. I mean, mind over matter, that sort of stuff. Anyway, I’ll be looking out for your posts and all of us in your book blogging family internationally will all be here for you and your sister during this time — it’s awesome to hear that her surgery went well!

  5. So glad to hear that the PT license certification (?) came through and that your Congressman’s office was so helpful and efficient. That must be a huge relief off your mind in the midst of what must be such an emotional time.

    All of you will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers during this time.

    As for the books, I didn’t realize that City of Veils was a sequel to Finding Nouf. I knew (probably from your blog 🙂 that Zoe Ferraris had a new one out. I really enjoyed Finding Nouf, so I am going to look for this one.

    Again, all good thoughts and all my best to you.

  6. What an adorable picture with the quilt. I’m glad you’ll be posting from NH and keeping us updated!

    • Julie on August 22, 2010 at 09:55

    I’m thrilled to learn that there’s a sequel to Finding Nouf, which I found absolutely fascinating. I just put a copy on hold but there are quite a few people ahead of me, unfortunately…

    Very best wishes to you and your sister. I hope all goes well.

    • diane on August 22, 2010 at 10:23


    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your sister at this difficult time. I have been there, helping to care for my mom and brother when they had cancer and it is emotionally draining. Be sure to take care of yourself in the process. I found it important to take and occasional ME day. Be good to yourself!

  7. Zoe Ferraris sounds like an interesting author. *sigh* Yet another book to add to the TBR pile…

  8. What a wonderful sister you are, to go and take care of your sister during this difficult time!

    • gavin on August 22, 2010 at 14:33

    Wendy – Sorry I missed your birthday! I hope it was brilliant and that you took time to celebrate. I’m glad your sister’s surgery went well and that you are going to join her in NH. Maybe you’ll have time to view some fall color while you are there. I miss the trees and that wonderful sound of crunching through leaves on the ground. Is Raven traveling with you?

    • Amy on August 22, 2010 at 15:31

    Good luck to your sister. I’m sure it will make a big difference for her to have you there. I’m glad thinks worked out for you to go to NH and you got your PT license. I will be thinking of both of you.

    The picture with the quilt is adorable and the quilt is beautiful. It’s a wonderful reason for making the quilt and I’m sure it will bring comfort to a little one.

    One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is an intense, amazing book. I haven’t read anything by Zoe Ferraris yet but hope to soon.

    I hope you have a good week.
    ~ Amy

    • Megan on August 22, 2010 at 15:50

    Glad to hear that your sister is doing well after surgery. I hope that things get better for her from here on out, and I’ll keep you both in my prayers.

  9. This is my first time visiting your blog, and I’m sorry to hear about the issues your sister is going through. I’m very glad you’ll be able to join her, and take care of her. I’m sure she is ecstatic to have you around. My thoughts are prayers are with you.

  10. I am glad to hear that the situation with your license is all cleared up! And I am still keeping your sister in my prayers and wishing her well.

  11. We are all with you and behind you and so glad that you can be where you are most needed. Much healing love to you and your sister.

  12. I just started Home Repair yesterday – it’s good so far!

    • Teddy on August 22, 2010 at 21:08

    I’m so relieved that your sister came through surgery and is in recovery. My thoughts are still with you both.

    Congrats on the PT license. I will be good for you to do some work while your in NH with your sister.

    • Wendy on August 23, 2010 at 07:19

    Kathy: I can’t wait to see my sister! I am about 2/3rds of the way though City of Veils now and it is not disappointing me!

    Gautami: Thank you for your warm wishes…

    Suzi: Thank you…I will give periodic updates here. She is doing well following the surgery – should be moving to a regular floor today (from surgical intensive care).

    Kay: Thank you so much for the hugs and good thoughts…you should definitely read a little Zoe Ferraris!

    Coffee and a Book Chick: Thank you so much for your kind words. I absolutely believe in the power of positive energy and good thoughts and belief in healing…as a PT I see the benefit of positive thinking all the time! This book community has been so wonderful and warm – I feel very grateful to be part of it.

    Melissa: Thank you for the continued good thoughts and prayers…it was a huge relief to get my license (one less thing to think about!). Yes, City of Veils is a sequel…and it is really good!!! Hope you’ll get a chance to read it 😉

    • Wendy on August 23, 2010 at 07:24

    Rhapsody: Thank you 🙂

    Julie: Thank you 🙂 Hope you’ll get a copy of City of Veils soon – a very good read!

    Diane: Thank you for your kind words…they mean a lot to me.

    Samantha-Kathy: I hear you! I keep adding to my wish list almost daily!

    Debnance: I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else!

    Gavin: Raven will be staying home with her daddy…and I will really miss that little dog! The fall is the best time to be in New England…I am sure I’ll be there for the color.

    Amy: Thank you for your kind words…the quilt in this post was actually one I made for my sister back in May 🙂 I’ll be posting the charity quilt next week, I think! I agree about One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – really intense!!

    Megan: Thank you for your prayers

    • Wendy on August 23, 2010 at 07:26

    Mrs Q: Thanks for visiting my blog! And thank you very much for your kind words and prayers.

    Zibilee: Thank you SO much.

    Beth: Thank you for your warm and kind words … the outpouring of support from all my book friends has been amazing. I am deeply grateful.

    Carrie K: Oh, good to know!

    Teddy: Thanks, friend! It is good to have things going right…a relief.

  13. My thoughts and prayers will be with your sister as she recovers from her surgery and with you as you go to NH to help her. I’m glad things worked out for you (with a little help from Congress!) and at least that can be a load off your mind.

  14. I’m glad that you made it to your sister safely. Keep us posted on your sister’s progress.

    • Molly on August 24, 2010 at 18:38

    Wendy – I have been too busy this week to keep up with blogs, but I have continued to keep you and your sister in my thoughts and prayers.

    Thank you for keeping us updated, and I will now add safe travels for you on September 1st to my prayer list.

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