Sunday Salon – August 12, 2012

August 12, 2012

Good morning and welcome to The Sunday Salon. We have been experiencing oppressive heat (into the triple digits even here at 3400 feet elevation) and a 12,500 acre fire in Lassen Volcanic National Park which is only 20 miles northeast of us. We are not in danger (the fire is burning away from us), but the smoke has been horrible…especially in the evenings and mornings when the air is cool and the smoke is dropping. This morning is the first morning in days that we have not been choking on smoke here. The fire is burning north, and I think it has moved far enough north of us now to give us some relief.

My husband and I are feeling a little heartbroken because Lassen has been our favorite place to go for hikes in the warm weather and to cross country ski in the winter. I can only imagine what it will look like after this devastating wildfire. Here is it in happier times just a few weeks ago when my sister was out here visiting:

Because of the hot weather, I have not felt much like sewing…the good news is that means I am reading more. I finished Gold by Chris Cleave this week and loved it (read my review). The novel revolves around elite Olympic athletes so it was an excellent choice for this past week as I am watching the amazing athletes in London. I previously read Little Bee by this author, and although I thought the writing was good, it did not blow my socks off…so I was pleasantly surprised by this latest effort by Cleave. The characters are well developed and there are just enough twists and turns and adrenaline to keep the pages turning.

I also just finished reading The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce. Wow. This one is exceptional on so many levels. First of all it had me crying at the end which almost never happens. Harold and his wife Maureen tore at my heartstrings in this novel about regret, loss, and forgiveness. Beautifully written. And that is all I can tell you right now because I’m touring this book for TLC Book Tours on August 15th (but watch for my review to post the night before). If you cannot wait to read reviews, check out the TLC Book Tour page for the book and follow the links.

Because of the generosity of the book publisher, I’ll have a copy of Joyce’s book to give away to one lucky U.S. reader…watch for the giveaway details at the bottom of the review when it posts.

My current read is The World We Found by Thrity Umrigar which I am also reading for a TLC Book Tour at the end of this month. I have barely started this book about four female friends from India. But, Umrigar’s writing is already reeling me in to the story. I think I’m really going to like this one.

I’m leaving for a trip back east on Wednesday and I’ll be taking some books along for the lengthy plane ride to and from and to keep my mind occupied during quiet moments. Here is what is going with me:

  • The Murder of Halland by Pia Juul (Peirene Press) – a novella and murder mystery translated from the Danish
  • Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes (Harper Collins) – a gripping, psychological thriller
  • The Plague of Doves by Louise Erdrich (Harper Collins) – literary fiction from one of my favorite authors
  • In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner (Simon & Schuster) – set in Cambodia during the Khmer Rouge period
  • And When She Was Good by Laura Lippman (William Morrow) – literary suspense-thriller

Most of these are thrillers or mysteries which just sound right to me for a long plane ride.

Today I’m doing laundry and beginning to gather my things for the trip. I’ll also be watching a little Olympics coverage from last night which we taped. And I’ll be reading some of Umrigar’s book. How about you? What will you be doing on this Sunday in the middle of August?

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  1. I can’t wait to order When She Was Good. I’m waiting until the budget improves…lol

    I went a little wild with the purchases in July!


  2. I can only imagine what the smoke would be like. When we lived in Auburn we were affected by smoke from a fire that was hundreds of miles away.

    • Kay on August 12, 2012 at 11:50

    Wendy, that fire stuff is just so scary and it does really mess up the landscapes doesn’t it? So sorry for all of you.

    I’ll be thinking of you as you travel this week. Hugs, hugs, hugs!

    • Gavin on August 12, 2012 at 15:45

    Sad about the Lassen fire, it is beautiful up there. Have fun on your trip and enjoy your reading!

  3. The Pilgrimage of Harold Fry sounds so good – I’m going to find time for that one soon. And I’ve been following your Facebook updates about the fire – that must be heartbreaking.

    • Susan on August 13, 2012 at 08:06

    Sorry to hear of the fire and smoke there. I just finished Cheryl Strayed’s Wild memoir so I’m in sort of a Northern Cal state of mind. I hope the temps cool there and the fire gets under control. I am looking forward to the Rachel Joyce book which everyone seems to love. good luck with your trip

  4. I’m glad the smoke is finally lessening, though I do hate to hear that such a beautiful area will have been damaged.

    Travel safe and have a great time!

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