Sunday Salon – May 12, 2013

Sunday Salon

May 12, 2013

Good morning and welcome to this week’s edition of The Sunday Salon. Visit the Facebook Page for links to other bloggers’ posts.

Before I start talking about books…HAPPY MOTHER”S DAY to all you moms out there – and also to those of you who may not have your “own” children, but certainly have children in your life who you mentor and love…because you are mothers by my definition! I hope you are finding something lovely to do today, being kind to yourself, and getting a bit spoiled by someone who loves you!

ConstellationLast Sunday I promised you that I would be posting my review of A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra and you may find that review here. I LOVED this book on so many levels. And after I wrote my own review, I went out to read what other people were saying. This book is getting universally awesome reviews. Last time  I checked, it was garnering an average of 4.86 stars on Library Thing (go to this page to check out those reviews). I have a feeling this book will be showing up on the best of the year and prize lists for 2013. I’m offering a giveaway to US and Canada mailing addresses which ends on Tuesday. Go to this post to enter.

GardenOfStoneI also finished reading another book for TLC Book Tours last week. In the Garden of Stone by by Susan Tekulve is a lovely, quiet novel about successive generations of one family living in West Virginia and Virginia. I’ve been reading some mixed reviews of Tekulve’s novel which feels a lot like a series of linked short stories. I enjoyed the beautiful descriptions of place and the dreamy quality of the writing. My review for this book goes up on May 14th and I’ll be offering one book for giveaway to US mailing addresses – so I hope you’ll come back to read my thoughts and enter for your chance to win a copy.

WheredYouGoMy current read is hilarious. Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple has been short listed for this year’s Women’s Prize for Fiction and I can see why. It is witty, original and clever. And that is all I’m going to say right now because I am only half way through the novel (although I expect to finish it soon). Bernadette claims she has trouble making friends, but I just want to go on the record and say I think we could be the best of friends! Have you read this book yet? If not, what you are waiting for?!?!? My review should post by Wednesday – hope you’ll come back to read more of my thoughts.

BurgessBoysI think my next read is going to have to be The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout. I won this book as part of Library Thing’s Early Reviewer program and I adored Strout’s previous novel, Olive Kitteridge (read my review). The book came out in March and I have not read any reviews on it yet so I don’t know what other readers are thinking about this novel. Have you heard anything about this book? Have you read it?

Today promises to be beautiful here – warm and sunny with a little breeze. I’m going for a bike ride this morning (I’m loving my new bike!) and then I’ll be in my sewing room working on this quilt:


Since I took that photo, I’ve added about 5 more diagonal rows. This is a very picky quilt – everything is pieced diagonally and because I am working with bias cuts I have to be very careful about distortion. I think I’ve used about half a can of spray starch so this quilt could actually stand on its own! Anyway, I’m hoping to get the rest of this top pieced today so I can go back to working on the back of this quilt:


So you can see – I have a lot on my plate…but it is a wonderful therapy for me!

What about you? What are you doing today? Whatever it is, I hope at some point it involves a great book!


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  1. I have the same sense about A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, too…it’s one of the highest rated books I’ve seen so far this year and it seems to be getting nothing but (well deserved) praise.

    My book club is (finally!!) reading Bernadette next month. I am SO excited.

    I read The Burgess Boys right before it came out and had a rather so-so reaction to it. I was impressed by Strout’s writing, but the characters felt very recycled to me. It seems like it’s fairly well received in general, though.

  2. Oh what great books you have. I am very interested in Bernadette and The Burgess Boys. I also love your quilts. What a gracious life you seem to have — piecing, stitching and reading.

  3. I loved Bernadette on audio; it’s one of those books I wish I could read for the first time again.

  4. I tried reading one of Semple’s previous novels (can’t even remember the name) and was totally underwhelmed. As a result of that previous experience and the fact that I hate the cover, I can’t make myself do it! Though, I do wonder mightily since I see so many bloggers I love and trust who dig the book.

    • Ti on May 13, 2013 at 12:04

    The first two books you listed are ones that I am reading right now. I have mixed feelings about Constellation right now but I am not that far in.

    • susan on May 14, 2013 at 19:12

    Yes, I read The Burgess Boys last month and enjoyed it. It’s a bit different than Olive Kitteridge but still in Maine. Here’s my thoughts on it :

    And I hope to read the Semple book soon!

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