Sunday Salon – July 29, 2012

July 29, 2012

Good morning! It is hard to believe we are closing in on August. My reading for July practically ground to a halt…but the books I did read were really good.

This past week I finished two books:

The Emperor of Lies by Steve Sem-Sandberg (which was the featured book this month on the Chunkster Challenge blog) is a real doorstopper at well over 600 pages (read my review). It took me most of the month to finish this book – not because it isn’t beautifully written, but because it is so heartbreaking. I found myself having to take long breaks from the narrative because of the emotionally draining aspect of the book. This novel won the August Prize and it is easy to see why. The volume of research that went into the writing of the book is vast. Readers who love historical fiction and want to gain a better understanding of what happened in the Lodz ghetto during WWII will not want to miss this one.

I read The Personal History of Rachel DuPree by Ann Weisgarber for Orange July (a special event which parallels the Orange Prize Project). This book has a quiet, understated feel to it, but I ended up really appreciating the story (read my review). I enjoyed gaining a unique perspective into pioneer history through the eyes of a courageous black woman in the beginning of the twentieth century. If you enjoy historical fiction, I can recommend this book.

I think I will be reading Gold by Chris Cleave next – it looks like a good book and one I hope I can finish before the end of the month.

I continue to find myself mostly overwhelmed with keeping up on my Google Reader as well as answering comments on my blog. I’ll be trying something new beginning this week – instead of commenting in the comment section of my blog, I’ll be responding with an email to anyone who leaves a comment. I hope this will help me to keep up and continue the conversation. Without going into too much detail, I’ve been dealing with some pretty serious health issues within my family…and because of that I’ll be heading to New Hampshire mid-August for a ten day visit. I expect that my reading will continue to suffer.

That said, I find myself spending more time in my sewing room these days – finding comfort in creating and designing quilts and bags and tiny mug rugs. I have been discovering a vibrant sewing community on line and enjoying making connections with friends who share my love of fabric. This sinking into the creative aspect of my life feels right…so if you follow my blog, you can expect to continue to see posts about my sewing which will be interspersed with book reviews, and book related posts.

I hope this summer day finds you enjoying a good book, or conversation with a friend, or exploring some undiscovered part of your creative side.

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    • Kay on July 29, 2012 at 10:55

    Wendy, thinking about you as you make the trek across the country to NH – to see your sister? Many thoughts and prayers go with you whatever the situation. Hugs, hugs, hugs.

    • Becca on July 29, 2012 at 11:04

    I’m glad you’ve found something that’s comforting during a stressful time, and with such beautiful results! Your quilts are so lovely 🙂

    Thinking good thoughts for you.

  1. I hope life becomes less stressful for you soon…and that you enjoy your break. Love the quilt in your photo. I don’t quilt, but I have collected some over the years and once hung them over the railing in a loft-like room I had in my townhouse.


    • Laura on July 29, 2012 at 11:19

    Wendy, you’re very much in my thoughts as well these days. I’m glad sewing is a source of comfort.

  2. Since The Emperor of Lies was such a heavy book, I’d say you had a good week of reading. I’m sorry to hear that there have been health issues in your family. Take care of yourself during this stressful time.

    • Susan on July 30, 2012 at 06:31

    I have read Gold and posted on it and look forward to what you think. Best wishes with the health issues in NH.

  3. I really loved the Rachel Dupree book, and do agree that it was quite understated and had a bit of elegance to the writing. So glad that you found two that you loved this week, and that they both took you to far off destinations in the past.

      • Ivy on July 31, 2012 at 04:23

      That’s good, because I follow your blog strictly for the sewing posts. That is, indeed, how I discovered it. 🙂

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