Sunday Salon – June 19, 2011

June 19, 2011

Good morning and welcome to The Sunday Salon – a weekly event where readers sit down and talk books. Before I start talking about literature, let me extend a Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there in blogger-land! I hope you are enjoying your day.

We are closing in on the halfway mark of the year – and I am very happy to see that I am ahead of my goal to read 96 books in 2011. So far this year I have finished 51 books…which, if I continue at this pace, will put me over 100 books for the year.  I have only surpassed the 100 book mark once before, so I have to admit, I am a little giddy with the thought that I could do it again!

Since my last Salon post, I have reviewed Down From Cascom Mountain – a beautifully rendered, and quiet novel about grief and its aftermath (read my review). I really loved the guest post from Ann Joslin Williams which resonated with me in large part because I grew up in New Hampshire. Regardless of the fact that I now live 3000 miles away in the northernmost part of California, there will always be a large part of me that embraces New England. I am very happy to be able to offer one reader of my blog a copy of this wonderful novel. To enter the giveaway, simply visit the giveaway post and leave me a comment by June 23rd (5:00 pm PST) telling me one thing about the natural world which deeply resonates with you. I will be randomly choosing a winner and announcing their name on my blog by the 24th of the month.

I have been dipping in and out of The Blossoming of the World by Brian H. Peterson. This is an unusual book and I have mixed feelings about it. The photographs are lovely – and unique. The essays are rather personal, almost journal-like entries. Peterson suffers from Parkinson’s Disease and much of his thoughts spin around how he is impacted by the disease. As someone who works with those with disability, I find Peterson’s words interesting, however there is a strong Christian belief running through this work which overshadows everything else. I am probably going to post a review of this book very soon – perhaps mid-week.

I just finished reading The Boy in the Moon by Ian Brown last night. This is an amazing, heart-breaking, yet strangely uplifting memoir about Brown’s son, Walker, who is severely disabled. Brown’s honesty and candor, as well as his ability to maintain a sense of humor in the face of terrific challenges, kept me compulsively reading. I work with adults with profound developmental delays, and so much of what Brown shares resonated with me. This is a tough, emotional book – and yet, I feel like more people need to read it. Brown searches for meaning in his son’s life, and looks for the value in a single human being – it is deeply moving. I’ll be posting a review of this one by tomorrow.

After reading so many intense books about grief (I find it so interesting when that happens – a bit of synchronicity in my reading where the books all share a central theme), I thought it was time for something lightweight. I’m diving into The Wedding Writer by Susan Schneider today. It looks like a fun read and I have a feeling it will be a fast read too.

I wish I could read all day today – but there are a number of things I have to do, including finishing up the re-painting of my porch furniture. Everything was looking so drab and old out there and I decided it was time to spruce things up. Once the furniture is all done, I’ll be shopping for plants and flowers to pot. In the meantime, my husband is working on building a back deck which is going to be ginormous…and I can’t wait to begin picking up pieces for it once it is done. One of these days, we’ll be able to landscape that back yard and the dirt will become grass and plants and maybe a raised kitchen garden at some point. Ah, dreams – they’re fun to envision!

I hope you are doing something enjoyable today – and at some point, I hope it involves a great book!

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  1. I have noticed themes in my reading weeks, too. When I’m planning ahead lately, I do try to mix the themes enough to allow for some lighthearted moments.

    Enjoy your reading and your day.


  2. It sounds like you’ve got a great reading year going on! I do hope to get some reading in today, but I’m going to the movie with Carl – it’s his Father’s Day present from me. He gets to pick the movie and I’m going without complaint.

    • Megan on June 19, 2011 at 10:01

    I’m hoping to read as many books as you’ve read in this half of a year in a whole year. Hope you make your 100, that would be exciting!

    Looking forward to your review of The Boy in the Moon.

    • Jill on June 19, 2011 at 10:58

    Congrats on reaching 50+! I bet you’ll get to 125 this year.

  3. I’m trying to focus on light reads for the next few months. Wedding Writer sounds perfect. Thank you.

    Here’s my Sunday Salon.

    • gavin on June 19, 2011 at 12:06

    The last three books I’ve read have been about war. They have been wonderful and heartrending and I’m ready for a change! I’m a bit behind in my reading goal for the year but hope to catch up over the summer. Your Sunday Salon has added two to my TBR list. Have a great week, Wendy.

  4. Hello! I am enjoying my day, thanks. Those books do sound really intense. I have been dipping in and out of books this week and I’m looking forward to finishing one (The Passage) that I had started a while ago and put down while I picked up others.

    Have a good week and enjoy your reading.

  5. “Boy in the Moon” is on my desk. I love the “Mystery Diagnosis” TV show, so this is right up my alley.

    • Wendy on June 20, 2011 at 07:52

    Laurel: I know what you mean – although sometimes it just seems to happen that all the books lined up for that month are similar in theme! LOL!

    Kathy: I love it! Hope it was a movie you enjoyed!!

    Megan: I hope I make it to 100, but I’m not pressuring myself LOL! My review of The Boy in the Moon is now up 🙂

    Jill: If I hit 125, it would be a new record for me! I’m trying not to be too giddy because it always seems like my reading slows down in November and December and even if I’m ahead in June, I slip back in those last two months!

    Deb: I’m 100 pages now into Wedding Writer – very light, funny, no stress kind of read 🙂

    Gavin: *nods* I also read a few war themed books lately – I love them, but I need to lighten up a bit from time to time! Hope you catch up this summer – and I am always happy to add to your TBR/wish list 🙂

    Helen: Thanks for stopping by! I’ll be interested to see what you think of The Passage – I haven’t read that one, but it seems to get mixed reviews.

    Sheltiemama: Oh, I hope you’ll love The Boy in the Moon – a very powerful, beautifully written memoir!

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