Sunday Salon – June 26, 2011

June 26, 2011

8:30 AM

Good morning to you and welcome to this week’s edition of Sunday Salon. Grab a cup of coffee or your beverage of choice, put up your feet and grab your nearest book – its time to talk literature!

But wait, before I talk about the books I’ve been reading lately, I thought I would share a little of what I’ve been doing which is non-book related. It is finally summer here, and I’ve been re-painting my porch furniture and potting the plants on the porch. I was really excited to get a great retro-style chair which my mother-in-law snagged at a yard sale. It looked pretty beat up until I gave it a coat of white paint and found some bright, mod cushions for it. Now it is the star of the porch and the perfect place to read:

Of course, I had a helper. Raven loves hanging out on the porch with me, and even if she sometimes dips her ears into the paint, she is great company. It is hard to believe she is nearly 2.5 years old now!

So now, let’s talk books a bit, shall we?

Since my last Sunday Salon post, I posted my review of The Boy in the Moon by Ian Brown. I was so moved by this book which is Brown’s memoir of raising his severely disabled son, Walker. I don’t know how many of you are aware that I have worked with adults with severe developmental delay for many years now. I actually started a consulting business quite some time ago where I provide evaluations, recommendations and training at group homes which service the developmentally delayed. I often get asked if my work is “depressing” or if I really like to work with people who have such profound disability. The Boy in the Moon perfectly captures why I love the time I spend with my patients in the group homes. I think from now on when I get those questions, I will press this book into the questioner’s hands and demand they read it.

Next up on my reading list was The Blossoming of the World by Brian Peterson (read my review). This collection of amazing photography and personal essays got a mixed review from me. But I think there will be many people who will absolutely love this book on all levels. It just wasn’t a 100% hit of the park for me. On the one hand, I loved the photography; on the other hand, the essays did not always resonate with me.

After two serious books with deep messages, I was ready for a light read…and The Wedding Writer by Susan Schneider perfectly fit the bill. This funny novel is a great summer read. It centers around four women who work in the bridal business at a fictional wedding magazine. Schneider pokes fun at love, marriage and the aging process, and I loved her tongue-in-cheek humor. I have a giveaway of this one which is open to US and Canada mailing addresses until June 30th at 5:00 pm PST. Just visit the review post, scroll to the bottom and fill out the form to enter.

Speaking of giveaways, there are a slew of great books being given away through the Literary Blog Hop Giveaway over at Leeswamme’s Blog. You can find links to all the giveaways here through June 29th (many are international opportunities). I’m offering up five books to US mailing addresses only (sorry, my budget is just not going to allow an international give this time around). You can see what I’m offering and enter to win by visiting this post and filling out the form no later than June 29th at 5:00 pm. I also have a link in my sidebar.

My current read is Anthropology of an American Girl by Hilary Thayer Hamann. I don’t want to say too much about it because I will be touring this book on July 6th for TLC Book Tours – you can see other reviews of the book by visiting the tour page and following the links. This is a book which is getting mixed reviews – some people quit reading it, others loved it. It is too early in the book to tell you which camp I am in (this is a 600+ page book and I’m on page 120)…so you’ll just have to wait!

I have a huge stack of books for my July reading – many will be Orange Prize books as I will be participating in Orange July. Do you know about this fun event? Check out this post to learn more about what is happening in July and the great prizes that Jill is offering. If you are interested in participating (and I highly recommend it), be sure to join the Orange January/July Facebook group…and I would love it if you would consider joining the group blog for the Orange Prize Project too!

Whew, this was a longer post than I meant it to be. If you are still with me, thank you! I hope to find some long stretches of time today to sit on my porch and read. What about you? What is on your agenda for today? Whatever you are doing, I hope that (at some point) it involves a GREAT book!

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    • Jill on June 26, 2011 at 08:01

    I love your “new” white chair – the white paint with the cushions looks great!

    Thanks for plugging Orange July – I am so glad you’re participating with us!

    Happy Sunday!

    Jill =)

  1. Oh, I LOVE the look of your porch…it looks pretty and shady and wonderful for reading. I wish I had a porch! LOL

    My patio is only mildly fun to read on, since the cool parts of the day are short.


    • Terri on June 26, 2011 at 08:51

    So funny, I had just poured my coffee, grabbed my book and put my feet up on the deck chair when I read the first couple lines of your post! Are you spying on me???

    I heard Ian Brown interviewed on Fresh Air awhile back and was so impressed by his candidness and obvious love and devotion to his son. I need to add that book to my wishlist.

    Have a wonderful day in that gorgeous chair!

  2. Raven is just so beautiful! Love the retro chair, too! Today I’m working on re-reading Kate Atkinson’s Case Histories. I hate having to re-read when there are so many new books, but I guess if you don’t remember so much that you feel you need to re-read, then it’s as if it’s new, if you know what I mean!

    Have a wonderful day!

    • Terri on June 26, 2011 at 09:22

    P.S. I know what you mean about Raven already being 2 1/2. On the 4th, Liza will have lived with us for 2 years! Hard to believe! And yet, it seems like she’s been part of my life forever.

    Raven looks great.

  3. I love the covers on that chair! Did you make them, or find them in a store? I also love the great shots you got of Raven. She is a beautiful dog!

    • Wendy on June 26, 2011 at 09:48

    Thanks, Jill! I am so looking forward to reading the Orange books in July – fun, fun, fun!!

    Laurel: The best part of the day on my porch is morning until about 2:30pm – then it starts to get some hot sun. Glad you like it 🙂

    Terri: Watch out – I know it exactly what you are doing – hahahaha! I think you’ll really appreciate Brown’s book when you get to it – it was just so beautifully written and honest. I agree about the dogs – man, I cannot believe our pups are into their third decade – seems like just yesterday we were bringing them home!

    Jill (Rhapsody): thank you, thank you! I know what you mean about re-reads – I rarely do it!

    Heather: I bought the cushions at Pier 1 (on sale too!!)…immediately fell in love with them 🙂 Raven is pretty photogenic (when I can get her to stop moving for five seconds!)…thanks for the nice comment 🙂

  4. You are quite busy this summer, aren’t you? Well, I’ve (once again) frittered the day away on my computer. As soon as I finish this comment, I am stepping away from the keyboard and heading out for some wonderful reading time on the front porch.

    Here’s my Sunday Salon: Une Petite Visite à Paris. (And don’t worry….it’s in English. I just like to pretend to speak French.)

  5. Your Raven is beautiful!! My Layla is 14 weeks and I’m already so over the moon with her!
    I’m doing some fluffy reading today…after my Sunday afternoon nap with my sweet pup 🙂

    • Aths on June 26, 2011 at 12:51

    I love the repainting job you did! I’m so excited about Orange July as well – still planning my stack for it!

    • Megan on June 26, 2011 at 16:26

    I love your new old chair – it looks like it has tons of personality! Raven is such a beautiful dog….hey, wasn’t she just a little puppy, like, yesterday? 😉

  6. I definitely spent some time reading today – from Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry (Zombies!) and 22 Britannia Road by Amanda Hodgkinson (WW II fiction). A book for every mood, I say! Have a great week, Wendy. 🙂

  7. I’ll be interested in your take on Anthropology of an American Girl – you’re right about it generating mixed responses (my review posted last week).

    • Wendy on June 27, 2011 at 06:09

    Deb: I am very busy!! Hope you got the chance to relax with a book on your porch!

    Patti: Thanks for stopping by and thank you for the compliments on Raven 🙂 Your Layla is so adorable – they are such wonderful dogs!!

    Aths: Can’t wait to see what you’ll be reading in July!

    Megan: Thank you! *laughs* Yes, Raven was just a teeny thing not all that long ago – they grow up fast! She weighs in around 60# now…a far cry from the 7# we brought her home at!

    Carrie: Sounds like you are enjoying your varied reading 🙂 Hope you also have a great week!

    Florinda: I went over and read your review – but had a problem leaving a comment (again!!!). Looks like you enjoyed it more than I am…I’m struggling with this one.

    • Molly on June 29, 2011 at 07:22

    Raven is 2.5 years old?! Oh my, where has the time gone!

    I love what you did to the chair. It is amazing what a can of spray paint can do, isn’t it?

    The Orange July challenge is so creative! Not sure that I can take part, but it does get my creative juices flowing for other color/month combinations to help me work through the TBR shelves.

    • Wendy on July 10, 2011 at 19:55

    Molly: Hard to believe she is in her 3rd year of life, isn’t it!?!??! Paint can cure anything – that is my new motto!

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