Sunday Salon – March 18, 2012

March 18, 2012

Good morning – Happy Sunday – Happy Sunday Salon! Check out other blog posts for this event by visiting the Facebook Page.

Before I talk about my current read, let me get a little business out of the way. The Chunky Book club is a little slow getting rolling, but there is some discussion over there on Stephen King’s 11/22/63 and I hope you’ll drop by and add your thoughts if you’ve read the book. My review can be found here and other readers’ reviews may be found in the Mr. Linky at the bottom of this post.

I also wanted to add that if you are a Stephen King fan, you may be interested in the Stephen King Project which I have decided to join.

Yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day and I was really thrilled when author D.E. Meredith emailed me and asked if I would like a guest post. I read Meredith’s novel The Devil’s Ribbon (read my review) at the end of last year and really enjoyed this atmospheric mystery. I hope you’ll check out her post which gives some insight into her motivation for writing the novel.

Kip and I enjoyed a wonderful corn beef and cabbage meal last night to get into the spirit of the day. What about you? Did you do anything fun and Irish yesterday?

Speaking of Irish, have you seen what nice things Frank Delaney had to say about book bloggers this week over on the Algonquin Tribune? When asked what he thought about people saying the novel was dead, Delaney responded (in part) with this:

In fact, there’s an argument to be made that it’s healthier than ever, because we now have this wonderful new creature, the Literary Blogger. I’m a massive fan of this gorgeous animal, with all its fur and feathers – for a number of reasons. My main complaint about the general direction of literary criticism over the last century has been – and Joyce is a case in point – that it tended, in its lofty tone and often impenetrable language (not to mention occasional vendetta behavior), to be antidemocratic, to keep certain areas of literature to itself, whereas my own passion is for as many people as possible to be reading as widely as possible. 

The Literary Bloggers have no axes to grind, they’re not protecting their reputations, they don’t fear being sneered at by other critics, they’re reading what they want to read, writing what they want to write, and they don’t want to keep what they enjoy to themselves. They want to share. They want to expand the constituency of reading. They want to hail and applaud good writing. To my mind this is a very significant development – uneven, I grant, here and there, but, dammit, not as uneven as the generations of formal literary critics, and the blogging intention is so good and so worthy of loud vocal support that you can call it truly a new and, to my mind, incomparably welcome development in the world of reading and writing.

Delaney’s latest project is a series of short story e-books called “Storytellers” that mimic the cadence of natural speech, and which can be seen as an example of the changing relationship between authors and readers. The first in the series, “The Druid,” is free for Saint Patrick’s Day weekend.

I just finished up a really wonderful novel this week. A Good American by Alex George is a family saga that begins in Germany in 1904 and ends in America in 2004. Narrated by James Meisenheimer, the grandson of German immigrants, the novel is a heartwarming family saga that take the reader through WWI, prohibition, the Depression, WWII, the Kennedy assassination, and beyond. Watch for my review later today.

Today is a blustery day – it snowed last night and there is a film of ice on Raven’s outside water bowl. So it does not feel much like Spring. I’ll be laying low and starting my next book which looks really fantastic. The Gods of Gotham by Lindsay Faye has just been released through Amy Einhorn Books and is the BOOK CLUB read for March – although we’ll actually be discussing it on April 3rd on Jen’s blog. This book is set in New York City in 1845 when the City is forming its first police force and the great potato famine hits Ireland. How are these two events related? I guess I will have to read the novel to find out!

Besides reading, I have been busy in my sewing room this week as well. I thought you might like to see a couple of things I am working on. First is my Block of the Month Club blocks for the Ripples and Reflections quilt. We had to make four blocks for this month (all the same) which were quite challenging – but I am happy with the result:

I also finished piecing all the blocks for the Garden Steps Quilt-a-Long – so they only need the center embroidery! This photo is not the formal layout for the quilt – and I think I will be putting white sashing between the blocks – but this will give you a general idea:

I hope you have a wonderful week ahead – full of great books and happy projects!

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  1. I love quilts! Can’t make them, but sure enjoy them.

    I’m hoping to dive into 11/22/63 soon….

    I was longing for corned beef and cabbage yesterday…but alas, didn’t have any.


    1. I will look into that King project. I havent’ read as much of his recent stuff, but the few I have is making me remember what a great storyteller his is.

      For St Patrick’s Day, I was reading Faithful Place by Tana French, and I made a Beef Stew with Guinness beer – very yummy. My husband’s birthday is St Patrick’s Day, so we always celebrate! Plus, my heritage is Irish, so I’m entitled.

      Wasn’t that a lovely comment by Delaney? thanks for reposting it Wendy.

  2. We skipped spring and headed right to summer – our air conditioner is on.

  3. We had a fun St. Paddy’s day luncheon with friends yesterday – it was nice – good food, great conversation. I loved what Delaney had to say – I already loved him because of his books, but what awesome things to say about book bloggers! Have a great week, Wendy. 🙂

  4. Thanks so much for posting about The Stephen King Project! I’ve found that my recent education on his work has been a wonderful ride, and it certainly isn’t all horrror. 11/22/63 is one of my favorite books!

    The Devil’s Ribbon sounds wonderful! An atmospheric mystery is always a nice way to spend a quiet weekend afternoon. I might have to check this one out 🙂

  5. Looks like you have been busy and it looks like you had the same meal we did here with Anna and her family…though we put potatoes and carrots in too — for me who hates cabbage!

    I love Frank Delaney! Isn’t he just the greatest?!

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