Sunday Salon – December 18, 2011

December 18, 2011

Good morning and welcome to The Sunday Salon  – grab your beverage of choice, put up your feet and let’s talk books. To visit other Sunday Salon posts, check out the Facebook page for links.

The weeks are flying by – only a week until Christmas and then another week and we will be welcoming in a brand new year. I love the start of a new year and have already been thinking about my plans and goals for 2012. What about you? Have you thought about what your year will look like in terms of books, personal time, and travel? Do you set a reading goal for a number of books to be read, or are you more casual about your reading? Is there anything you are going to do dramatically next year which you did not do this year?

One of the things I am actually getting really excited about for 2012 is The Chunkster Challenge. Vasilly has joined me over there and we are coming up with what we hope are fun ideas to make the challenge more engaging. We have also decided to host The Chunky Book club – a book club designed to read the chunky books (one every three months). We’ll be doing some book features and giveaways too. Here are some links we hope you’ll check out:

Since last week, I have been busy Christmas shopping, working, and reading. I am very close to my goal of 96 books read in 2011…and I may even surpass my goal which would be great.

I finished reading The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (read my review) which I really loved for its amazing imagery and magical story. So many people are raving about this book, and I can see why. I was excited to see it has been optioned for a movie and am eager to see the outcome and who they will choose for the actors. If you haven’t read this one yet, I highly recommend you do!

I also finished reading The Puppy That Came For Christmas by Megan Rix (read my review) which wrapped up the 2011 Memorable Memoirs challenge for me. This is a heartwarming story which I mostly enjoyed. It is a quick read, and I think most animal lovers will find something to like in this memoir. Readers who are drawn to memoirs will find this a light read that explores loss, infertility, and the power of animals to heal our hearts.

My 94th book of the year and my current read is a collection of short stories by Diana Athill which was published in October. Athill was born in 1917 and her writing is feisty, observant and funny. I should be done reading this delightful collection in the next day or so. I hope to have a review posted by mid-week. In the meantime, let me share an excerpt with you from a short story titled No Laughing Matter which is about a young woman’s first love:

At first she was not always sure whether she was thinking of clothes or a party or men (or a man) because the dazzle of love could be on any of them, not coming out of them but streaming into them from the source in herself out of which the flames and the water and the imminent happening had come. Now, in her first year at the university, it was Stephen who received it.

I have a lot of wonderful books on my stacks for the rest of the month and it is hard to choose which to read next…but I think I will have to pick up We The Animals by Justin Torres. This is a slim book which apparently packs a big punch according to some bloggers who I completely trust. I think I will probably finish this book in record time so watch for a review later this week.

I hope you are having a joyous holiday season and finding some time to sit and read a great book. To keep in the spirit of the season, I thought I would share with you a photo of Raven dressed in her elf hat and looking for mischief:

Have a wonderful week ahead!

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    • Vasilly on December 18, 2011 at 09:33

    I love the Athill quote! She’s an author that I’ve been meaning to read for ages. I’m going to see if I can get my hands on this. Is it a chunkster? Happy reading!

  1. I’m going to check out that chunkster challenge. I have several chunksters on my TBR stacks, and since I’ve joined a challenge about those TBR books, I could kill two birds with one stone, to coin a cliche.

    I have already signed up for four challenges, though, so if I do this one, I vow that it will be my last! lol

    I’ve also created pages on Curl up and Read for books read, books purchased, review books, etc.


  2. aw Raven ♥

    For some reason there’s a lot of pressure in choosing the final books of the year to read. I hope you enjoy the rest of your reading this year, Wendy!

    • JoAnn on December 18, 2011 at 11:22

    Raven is just adorable! Diana Athill is on my ‘authors to read’ list.

  3. Raven’s beautiful! It doesn’t look like that hat is bothering her at all – Milou would have it off in no time.

  4. I’m listening to The Night Circus and have enjoyed it thus far, but a part of me wishes I had just read the ARC I’ve had on my shelf. The narrative moves back and forth in time and focuses on so many characters that at times I thought my Nano was on shuffle! I didn’t realize it was a trilogy. At this point, I’m enjoying it enough to say I’ll want to read more, so I guess I better look for the 2nd book.

    I’m still trying to decide if I should join any challenges this coming year. I’ve already signed up for one and am keeping a few others in mind, but the way my reading went this year, I seriously doubt I’d be able to complete more than two or three. That said, I have quite a few chunksters that I’ve ignored for far too long. Your challenge may be just the push I need!

    Raven is an adorable elf!

    • Wendy on December 18, 2011 at 13:06

    Vasilly: Diana Athill’s book is definitely NOT a chunkster 🙂 But it is delightful.

    Laurel: SO glad you will be joining us for the Chunkster!

    Amy: Thanks!!!

    Joann: Thank you! I hope you’ll like Athill’s writing!

    Kathy: LOL – Raven is hilarious with hats.

    Les: OMG – I am so out of it. The Night Circus is NOT a trilogy…my mistake…I guess I was still thinking of The Hunger Games when I wrote that…either it was a blond moment or an elderly moment – I don’t know which is worse! I agree, the shifting narrative was a little confusing…but, if you ignore that it seems to read better! Glad to see you may be joining the Chunkster 🙂

  5. You have a beautiful dog. Hope you have a restful week.

    Here is my Sunday Salon.

    • Wallace on December 18, 2011 at 13:49

    I tried Night Circus and could not get into it. I’ve been convinced to try again, and you loving it reconfirms that. Now the question is when? I’ve had such reading ADD that I’ve had a hard time finishing anything in order to start something new (or new-ish).

  6. Elf hats are not a look many dogs can pull off, but Raven looks both happy AND cute!

    • lisa on December 18, 2011 at 16:23

    Love love love your dog in his little Santa hat!! I will look into the Chunkster Challenge…I have decided not to enter any challenges, or at least minimize them, because it’s hard for me to stick with it when I am also having to weave in books for my book club and book reviews. However, I love the word “chunkster” term we use here for babies little legs, and can’t resist 😉

    • Laura on December 18, 2011 at 16:42

    I’m hoping to be a little more casual about my reading next year. I too want to accept fewer review books, maybe get through the ones I have, and tackle some of my TBR. I’ll probably sign up for the Chunkster Challenge again this year, even though I didn’t succeed in 2011:(

    • gavin on December 18, 2011 at 18:04

    I want to read the Athill stories, have it on my wishlist. And I can’t wait to read what you think of We the Animals. Raven looks stunning in her hat. Have a wonderful week and joy-filled holiday season!

  7. I love those colors on Raven! LOL

  8. Glad you enjoyed The Night Circus, I just loved it. I bought myself some books for Christmas so I’ll probably be reading a couple for the end of the year. But i can’t open them until Christmas!

    • Kailana on December 19, 2011 at 02:36

    Hi! I am glad you noticed my post about reading sort of with come the end of next year. 🙂 I hadn’t had a chance to tell you, but I just noticed you commented.

    Moving on, I hope you have wonderful week, too! Merry Christmas!

    • Care on December 19, 2011 at 08:23

    Yay Raven! – so adorable.

    I love Diana Athill and love seeing her name mentioned in blogland.

    • Serena on December 19, 2011 at 09:53

    I love that picture of Raven. So cute and goofy at the same time. We the Animals is very raw and powerful. I hope you “enjoy” it, though I wouldn’t exactly call it enjoyable…I can tell you that it reads as if it were a memoir.

    I so want to read Night Circus…I have to borrow Anna’s copy and check out your review. Have a great week.

    • Wendy on December 19, 2011 at 12:36

    Melissa: Thank you!

    Wallace: Oh, I hope you will find that your second try at the Night Circus is successful!

    Jill (Softdrink): LOL – I think it is her crazy grin that allows her to wear it so well 🙂

    Lisa: LOL – I like that: Chunkster = fat baby legs!!!

    Laura: I don’t think I’ll succeed with last years Chunkster – but I’m determined to finish the one in 2012! Glad to hear you’ll be joining us again!

    Gavin: Raven thanks you for the compliment! I should have a review up tomorrow on We The Animals – for now, just let me say: Wow.

    Jill (Rhapsody): She looks good in green, doesn’t she LOL!

    Bookmagic: Oh you have such good control! I would be ripping into them 🙂

    Kailana: Merry Christmas to you too!!

    Care: LOL. I had not heard of Athill until I got this collection – don’t know how I could have missed her!

    Serena: We The Animals is, well, raw, powerful, amazing, stunning…I could go on and on. Yes, Raven is a goof – great word to describe her. Hope you love The Night Circus!!

    • Trish on December 21, 2011 at 11:16

    Raven’s smile made ME smile! What a beautiful pup. I hope you and yours have a really beautiful Christmas, Wendy!

    • Wendy on December 28, 2011 at 09:20

    Trish: Sorry for my late response! Glad you enjoyed Raven’s photo 🙂

    • Pooch on December 28, 2011 at 11:46

    At this point, I read solely for pleasure as my whims and current interest lead me. I’m not really drawn to challenges or keeping count of the books I read. Goodreads has replaced my reading journals, so I do have a record of my reading and reactions to books.

    I find myself using Audiobooks more frequently than ever so I can do other activities while reading. Knit-knit-knit and crochet-crochet-crochet as well as occasionally cleaning the kitchen!

    Since my wonderful DH gave me a Nook for Christmas, I’m sure that will become the “next step” in my reading life.


    • Wendy on January 1, 2012 at 15:17

    Pooch: Thanks for stopping by…challenges are not for everyone! I know a lot of readers like you who love the audiobooks!

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