Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sunday Salon: Wrapping Up


Happy Sunday happy friends! How are we feeling these days? Personally, at this moment, the stress level is much lower than it has been the last few weeks. Since I talked to you last, I have survived what I think was the last round of manic Christmas cheer...one outside Christmas pageant (at freezing temps!) and three Christmas parties. The kids are out of school now, and I can focus on my family and our upcoming Christmas feasts! I always make a traditional Polish meal on Christmas Eve (pierogies and kielbasa baby!), and have got plans for a filet roast and a spiral ham for Christmas day. Mmmmm....I'm hungry.

Yesterday was an exciting day for me, as the Best & Worst issue of Entertainment Weekly arrived in my mailbox! This is a big highlight in my year. It was satisfying to see that a few of my favorite books were a few of their favorites too (The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, One Day and Room for example). I added a few more books to my "need list". Even more interesting, however, are their worst books of the year. The Fall of Giants by Ken Follett, Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert and Angelina by Andrew Morton? Won't be reading those books anytime soon, thanks.

Some exciting news on the book club front. I convinced the girls in the Books, Babes and Bordeaux group to read The Lotus Eaters by Tatjana Soli, because I loved it so much (review coming tomorrow!). As it turns out, Ms. Soli is going to call into our book club meeting in January to discuss the book with us. How totally cool is that?

I experienced a strange amount of productivity this week with my books. Go figure. I finished The Island by Elin Hilderbrand on audio (eh) and started Sworn to Silence by Linda Castillo (a murder mystery set in Amish country, author recommended by Caite). I'm pretty close to knocking that one out...a nice long walk would do it. Then, I'm back to Assassination Vacation, which I had intended to listen to before my iPod went crazy. Yee haw!

In my print world, I finished up Lucky by Alice Sebold then headed for some graphic novel fun. If you are in a reading funk, graphic novels are a great way to get you out of it. Quick reads, visually and intellectually stimulating, and you are back on track. I read all three installments of the Color Trilogy, written by Kim Dong Hwa, a Korean author...The Color of Earth, The Color of Water, and The Color of Heaven. Wonderful stuff. Then I read American Widow, a GN about a woman who lost her husband in 9/11. I also read a short story called The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, that was recommended by the lovely Nymeth. Extremely creepy, deliciously fun with an unreliable narrator! Now I am reading Drew Brees' autobiography called Coming Back Stronger, and it is almost impossible to put down. God love than man. I got a signed copy of his book when I was in Indiana last summer, and I want to donate it to our Adult Literacy League auction this spring, but I had to read it first!

I wish you all a wonderful holiday with your families. Will any of you be taking part in the Day-After-Christmas chaos? My mom and I usually do. You just can't pass up half price wrapping paper and lights and bows and stuff. Hope Santa brings you everything you dreamed of (books, iPads, e-readers?). Merry Christmas!



26 comments:

farmlanebooks said...

Tatjana Soli is coming to your book club? Wow! I'm hoping to read The Lotus Eaters over Christmas and you have made me really excited about it.

Thank you for presuading me to get the audio version of Henrietta Lacks - I started listening this weekend and I am loving it!

I hope that you have a wonderful Christmas!

caite said...

pierogies and kielbasa ...yum. for some unknown reason, we are doing the Seven Fishes this Christmas Eve.
a filet roast is one of my favorite meals in the world. With it I make caramelized onions that I roast for hours and hours and roasted taters and creamed cauliflower...

hope you liked the Castillo book. I'll be looking to see your opinion.

gautami tripathy said...

I loved Sworn to Silence. Would be interested to know your thoughts about that.

Have a great Christmas!


Here is my Sunday Salon post!

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I love the day after Christmas chaos! As for Christmas dinner, we are doing again what we did for Thanksgiving - we are celebrating backwards. We start about five days before and have "leftovers" until we get to the big day. This started because I had all the food ready and we couldn't wait, and it turned out to be a great idea! :--)

bermudaonion said...

I'm coming to your house for Christmas Eve! Your meals sound divine. I can't believe we're on the final countdown to Christmas.

Julie P. said...

So jealous about THE LOTUS EATERS! And having the author call in -- wow!

Teacher/Learner said...

I get the EW end-of-year issue in my stocking every year & love it, too :) Your holiday menu sounds delicious. Enjoy!

Molly said...

Wishing you and your family a glorious Christmas, Sandy!!

Melissa M said...

Sounds like you've had a productive week, and I wish you a Merry Christmas!!

heidenkind said...

Merry Christmas, Sandy!

Melody said...

I bought The Lotus Eaters last week! Couldn't pass it up since the bookstore has 20% off for their members.

Happy Holidays, Sandy!

Iliana said...

That is so cool that you have the author calling in for your book group discussion!

Looking forward to your reviews of your books. I'm so behind on mine. I've told myself I've got to get them done before the end of the year but I may not be reaching that goal :)

Merry Christmas Sandy! I hope you and your family will spend a wonderful time together.

Jenners said...

How neat that you have the author calling in to your book club? How are you going to top that!!

And I would fly down to eat dinner with you just to get some homemade pierogies!! LOVE THEM! My mother-in-law always kept me supplied while she was alive and I miss that. Mrs T's is NOT QUITE THE SAME!

I'm impressed with your reading mojo ... I need to get mine back. I've been languishing around getting nothing finished. Oh well, less reviews to write as I'm in a review writing slump too. (I do this at the end of every year.)

Frances said...

Why Sandy, you sound nearly tranquil compared to the last few weeks. All ready to go for next weekend and back in the saddle reading wise too. I wish you every possible happiness for Christmas and beyond. Enjoy it all!

Zibilee said...

So, so cool that you will be having an author chat at your next book club meeting! Can I join your book club too? Mine is starting to fizzle, I fear. No one reads the books and they use the time to chat about off-topic stuff, and it's driving me nuts! This seems to be a new trend with them, but I really want to discuss books, you know?

Also, I am glad to hear that you are getting some relaxing in this holiday season and getting so many books read. I am having the opposite thing going on over here. Christmas cooking and baking and wrapping are in overdrive, and I haven't been able to sit and read in such a long time!

I am looking forward to your review of the Lotus Eaters tomorrow. That is my next read and I have been hearing such good things about it!

Carrie K. said...

I knew you'd love The Lotus Eaters! And wasn't American Widow amazing, too?

I'm going to have to look for the Color series - sounds good. :)

And, you know, I don't think I've ever eaten a pierogie?

ds said...

Okay, my head is spinning. From The Yellow Wallpaper (isn't it wonderful!) to Drew Brees to having an author phone in to your upcoming book group meeting--zowie!

Have a very Merry Christmas, Sandy!

Kristen said...

Hi Sandy! Thank you so much for the secret santa gifts! :) I love the books and bookmark. I posted about it a week or two back but forgot to comment and tell you how much I loved them! :)

http://www.bookworminginthe21stcentury.com/2010/12/in-my-mailbox-december-4th.html

C.B. James said...

Christmas madness in full swing here. My book club arrives in four hours. I've a dinner to prepare Friday and Saturday, and I still have not finished gift buying.

I get C.J. a big box of See's Peanut Brittle each year. That's easy to do, not much thought required, but I have to travel to the big mall in the next town over to do it. Still, he's worth it.


And, I have three books I still need to review.

Ti said...

I try to pick up a few Christmas decorations at 50% off and I usually pick up some wrapping paper too, but nothing big. I am usually all pooped out by then.

Your holiday menu sounds very yummy. We are cooking a traditional ham meal for the big day, proceeded by french toast and loads of bacon. Christmas Eve is at the in-laws so we could end up with Vodka Scallops, Southwestern Chili or Prime Rib. She never cooks the same thing twice. It's always a surprise.

Merry Christmas!! I am still on the look-out for my eggnog but it's not looking good.

Avid Reader said...

Sounds like a great week. Assassination Vacation and Yellow Wallpaper are both high on my list for January. I completely agree about GNs being a great way to get out of a rut. They always work for me!

Darlene said...

Yum - I want to be at your house on Christmas Eve. lol.

How awesome that the author will call in for your book club. We've had that happen in ours and it makes it so much more interesting and fun to have the author there.

Sounds like you're keeping busy as usual. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas Sandy!

The Bumbles said...

I always forget about those X-Mas cards and decorations that I buy at the after X-Mas sales and don't find them until after I've gone out and bought all new stuff during the following year's holiday season!!!

I have actually bought ourselves a boatload of stuff we needed this year while shopping for others - the sales were just too huge to pass up before all the good stuff is picked over. Now I can relax after the holiday and watch football :0)

Enjoy all of your feasts!

Kathleen said...

Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year!

Beth F said...

Merry, merry Christmas to you!!

CLM said...

My brother spent three years in Poland working as a diplomat - I bet he would love your pierogies and kielbasa dinner.

I enjoyed that Linda Castillo but must admit that despite sharing your fascination with WWII I disliked the Book Thief. Have you read my WWII favorite, While Still We Live? A fabulous book.