Sunday Salon – August 7, 2011

August 7, 2011

Good morning, and welcome to this week’s edition of Sunday Salon. Grab a cup of coffee, put your feet up and let’s talk books!

This past week I finished reading and posted my review of The Long Song by Andrea Levy – a book I loved for its sharply drawn characters and the voice of its strong female narrator. This is not a light read. In fact, there are some tough scenes depicted, and given that the story is about a young girl growing up as a slave on a sugar plantation in Jamaica in the nineteenth century…there is much tragedy in this novel. That said, it is still a book I highly recommend. It is brilliantly written, honest, heartfelt, and completely satisfying. Convinced? This book garnered lots of attention by the literary awards, and I believe it was deserved. Have you read this one? What did YOU think?

I just finished reading The Homecoming of Samuel Lake by Jenny Wingfield for a TLC Book Tour. My review will post on Tuesday, so I do not want to say too much about the book until then. It is set in the south during the 1950s and features a precocious young girl named Swan. And that’s all I’m going to say for now! Check out the reviews of other readers on the TLC Book Tour page. And be sure to come back on Tuesday when I’ll be hosting Jenny Wingfield for a guest post and also offering a giveaway of the book (for US and Canadian readers).

I have been dipping in and out of Steinbeck: A Life in Letters edited by Elaine Steinbeck and Robert Wallsten. This is really a fascinating look at one of America’s best loved authors through the letters he wrote over the course of his life. The editors have organized the book chronologically and so far I am still in Steinbeck’s early years (the book is nearly 900 pages long!). I’ll be reviewing this book for The Classics Circuit on August 17th. I hope I finish it by then…but if I fall short, I will still be writing about my feelings about the book.

The next book in my stacks will be By Nightfall by Michael Cunningham. I am eager to start this book. It really looks great, and I loved The Hours by this author when I read it years ago.

What about you? What is on YOUR nightstand these days?

Before I head off to enjoy my Sunday, I thought I would share a couple of my recent quilting projects with you. I wrote about the Summer Sampler quilt-along here, but I’ve now managed to finish 2/3rds of the top, so here is a sneak preview of the blocks I’ve completed:

I also joined the Rockin’ Robin quilt-along and wrote about that here. On Friday, I worked on this project for several hours and finished the house and star rows. Here is the photo I took of those completed blocks:

I really enjoy these quiet days of quilting – they feed my creative spirit and bring me great joy.

So, on that note, let me wish you a wonderful week ahead with lots of great books and some time just for YOU!

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    • Deb Nance at Readerbuzz on August 7, 2011 at 09:18

    Beautiful quilts! I keep thinking that I’m going to finish a quilt I started six years ago, but it’s too hot now.

    Here’s my Sunday Salon for this week:
    Sunday Salon: New York! New York!
    And don’t forget the Readerbuzz August Giveaway!

  1. I love Steinbeck, so I will be interested in hearing what you think of the book. I also love the quilts that you have been working on. Such lovely colors and combinations!

  2. That quilt is gorgeous! I wish I had the patience to do something like that!

    The Long Song is definitely going on the to-read list. Have a great Sunday, Wendy! 🙂

  3. Loved BY NIGHTFALL when I read it a few weeks ago … so much so that it is going on my best of the year list. Hope you enjoy it just as much!

  4. Beautiful quilts!

    I’ll have to check out The Long Song. Hope you enjoy By Nightfall. Maybe it’s just me, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as The Hours and A Home at the End of the World.


  5. Love your quilts! I’m so impressed by people who can do this intricate work. Your recent reads sound great. The Steinbeck book is new to me! Must check that out.

  6. Your quilts are gorgeous! I wish I had talent in that department.

    • Laura on August 7, 2011 at 15:39

    I thought about doing the Steinbeck tour (as you know from my post today, I have a couple of his books I could read…), but timing wasn’t good for me. I look forward to hearing about the book you’re reading though — sounds very interesting!

    • gavin on August 7, 2011 at 16:12

    The quilt is lovely! I enjoyed your review of The Long Song and have moved it up on my TBR list. I also can’t wait to read what you think of the Steinbeck book, it sounds wonderful.

    • Becca on August 7, 2011 at 18:14

    Wendy, your quilts are amazing! I love quilts, and luckily have some that my great grandmother and great aunt made for me. I treasure them, believe me!

    It’s Sunday night, and I’ve finished all my reading for the week, so I get to pick something new from the stacks for bedtime reading tonight 🙂

    • Wendy on August 9, 2011 at 06:34

    Deb: Thank you! I would love to see your quilt when you get it done (notice I said “when” – I just know one of these days you will do it!!!)

    Heather: I am really enjoying the Steinbeck book – he was so funny…and the letters he wrote are wonderful! Thanks for your kind comment on my quilts 🙂

    Carrie: Thank you! I hope you enjoy the Long Song!

    Melissa: Now I can’t wait to get to Cunningham’s book – so glad to hear you loved it!

    Laurel: I read The Hours a long time ago – but I remember really liking it. I’m sorry to hear his latest was not as good…thanks for your kind comment on my quilts 🙂

    Karen: Thank you so much! I think you’d like the Steinbeck – it is huge, but very interesting!

    Kathy: Thank you!

    Laura: It is a bit like reading an epistolary novel – Steinbeck was a great letter writer and it is amazing how these letters give such a deep look into who he was….loving it.

    Gavin: Thanks! I hope you’ll love the Long Song! As I said above – the Steinbeck book is really good. Surprisingly engaging!

    Becca: Thank you! I love old quilts and we have a couple that Kip’s grandma hand stitched which are really special. I love that feeling of finishing a book and getting to pick my next read! Enjoy!!!

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