Sunday Salon – June 30, 2013

Sunday Salon

June 30, 2013

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

ShastaLavender.PandWcloseup0001I have not posted to the Salon since June 9th! But I have a good reason. My sister arrived from New Hampshire and we had a wonderful two week visit which included short day trips and lots and lots of sewing/quilting. We are in the process of constructing medallion quilts…and they will be collaborative, which means that we will be trading them back and forth and each person adds a border before sending it back to the other. Here is what we have done so far (Paula’s quilt is on the left…she did the center and did the first border which begins with the dark blue border and works out to include the flying geese; my quilt is on the right, and I did the center and Paula did the first round which starts with the tangerine border and works out to include the trees). Click on any of the photos to enjoy a larger view:

SistersMedallion.RoundOne0001 SistersMedallion.Wendy.RoundOne0001

I also had a lot of fun stitching a bunting for my niece, Abby, to celebrate her outstanding first year of college (she made the Deans list, among other things!):

Bunting.Abby.020001 Bunting.Abby.BackReveal0001

StillMidnightI have also enjoyed some reading time since my last Salon post…some great books in my stacks and never enough time to read them all! I finished reading Still Midnight by Denise Mina (read my review) which I enjoyed, although it wasn’t perfect. There was some good discussion of this novel over at Nicole’s blog (beware of spoilers!) and I am looking forward to diving into the next book in the series titled The End of Wasp Season which will be discussed on Jenn’s blog on July 11th.

DinnerThe next book in my stacks was a real page turner – although the characters are pretty unlikable (read my review). I think The Dinner by Herman Koch is one of those “love it” or “hate it” type of books. The reviews out there have been very mixed…and I do understand why. For me the book’s positives (compelling narration, moral questions, stunning writing) outweighed its negatives (a questionable plot and unlikable characters). We discussed this book for the Bookies Too Yahoo group, and it was an interesting discussion. I really liked how one of our members broke down the actual food references as symbolic of what was going on with the characters!! Join the Bookies Too group to read our whole discussion.

yonahlossseeJust the other day I finished reading Anton DiSclafani’s debut novel The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls (read my review). This is a book which has been getting a fair amount of buzz, and I do think it deserves it. This is, at its heart, a coming of age story – and I think it is a cross over YA/Adult title (or could be), although Riverhead Books is marketing it as adult fiction. DiSclafani is a talent, atmospheric writer. I’m looking forward to more from her in the future.

Darwin's GardenerI also finished the lovely new novella published by Peirene Press this month. Mr. Darwin’s Gardener by Kristina Carlson (translated from the Finnish by Emily Jeremiah and Fleur Jeremiah) feels like a long poem. I really enjoy these kinds of books, although they take longer to read and absorb. This was the perfect book to enjoy on the front porch with the butterflies fluttering around my plants. I’ll have a review up on this one by Tuesday. But suffice it to say that I was not disappointed with this little book – it is a Peirene Press classic.

AlwaysWatchingI’m trying to squeeze at least one more book into my reading before the month closes. So I am starting what I hope will be a page turner and quick read. Always Watching by Chevy Stevens promises to be haunting, heart-pounding, and sinister. Just what I need to blow through in the last days of June!

My stack for July is huge. I don’t even know where to start. I will definitely be reading Handling the Truth by Beth Kephart (her non fiction book on memoir set for release in August), Life After Life by Kate Atkinson (for both my face-to-face book club AND Bookies Too Yahoo group), This is Paradise: Stories by Kristiana Kahakauwila (for a TLC Book Tour on July 23rd), River Thieves by Michael Crummey (for Bookies Too Yahoo group on August 1st), and TransAtlantic by Colum McCann (a Library Thing Early Review book). That may be it – but perhaps these books will have me sailing right along and I might be able to cram a few more reads in before the end of July – we’ll see!

handling_the_truthFINAL lifeafterlife ThisIsParadise RiverThieves Transatlantic

I hope this Sunday finds you enjoying a beautiful day – and that it will, at some point, include a great book! Have a wonderful week!

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    • Serena on June 30, 2013 at 12:25

    TransAtlantic by Colum McCann is a book I’ve heard good things about. I love the quilt with Tangerine…gorgeous.

    And you know I love Beth Kephart’s books.

  1. I’m skipping a Sunday post too — just don’t feel I have much to say yet. But you have been very busy both quilting and reading. I’m thinking of reading Life After Life.

  2. It sounds like you had a wonderful visit with your sister. I think your quilts have a character all their own and I suspect I could pick them out if I saw them somewhere. They’re gorgeous!

  3. Those quilts are gorgeous! You both are so talented. By they way, thanks for answering my questions awhile back on quilting. I’m definitely still thinking about taking it up.

    I’m so glad you had a nice visit with your sister. And good luck with your July reading. 🙂

  4. A visit with your sister, that’s fantastic 🙂 My sis lives an hour north of me and we try to get together often.

    • Anne on July 1, 2013 at 09:16

    You are reading such interesting books. The picture is stunning.

    • Ti on July 1, 2013 at 12:34

    Normally, I am thinking up my summer reading list but this year, I don’t think it’s going to happen. With how far behind I fell with my ARC’s last February, I feel the need to get through them. The problem there is that I only requested the ones I really want to read, but they were ones that I really wanted to read back in FEBRUARY. Now it’s summer and they have lost their sparkle. BUT, I did read two of them over the weekend and the sparkle came back. They were good. I was happy. Now I am reading Night Film. Good lord. So good.

    I love your quilting pics and I think it’s so nice that you got to spend some time with your sister.

    • susan on July 4, 2013 at 20:50

    Nice photo. Mt. Shasta? Sounds like a good visit & past month for you. I liked McCann’s last novel and will be interested to hear about his latest. cheers

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