Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sunday Salon: Baby It's Cold Outside!

 And I'm not talking about Florida...it is like a balmy spring day down there.  My husband and I took a quick trip with some work colleagues to Chicago.  Talk about a shock to the system!  We got a little dusting of snow when we arrived, and temps that maxed out in the 20's (and the teens at night).  While I was packing for the trip and worrying about how I was going to keep warm, I discovered my 25 year-old purple wool Limited coat I bought in 1988.  I cut out the football sized shoulder pads and away I went.  Who knows why I held onto this thing all these years, but it served me well in the tundra. 

The cold hasn't stopped our fun...we have shopped until we dropped.  I was thrilled to go by my beloved Sandmeyer's Bookstore, where I go every time I am in town.  The owner and I feel like fast friends and always have fun talking shop.  I love to let her walk me around and hand-sell me books, and this time I came away with "The Art of Fielding" by Chad Harbach, "Headhunters" by Jo Nesbo, "Dog On It" by Spencer Quinn, and "The Outlaw Album" by Daniel Woodrell.  Good thing I have room in my luggage!  

Before we left home, though, I attended our December Heathrow Literary Society meeting, which included a discussion about "Room" and a holiday book swap.  In the swap, I ended up with "The Birth of Venus" by Sarah Dunant.  Has anyone read this?  Let me know what you thought!  As far as our discussion of "Room", 99% of the group loved it.  One woman thought it was just OK, and one gentleman flat out hated it (and got so passionate he had to interrupt my love fest).  But it takes all kinds of opinions to fuel a book club.

I had a meeting for our Adult Literacy League, preparing for our Reading Between the Wines event in March.   You will be hearing more and more about this event as the time draws near, but in the meantime, I really need to read some Lisa See to prepare for her visit.

I received my Secret Santa package from Erica at The Book Cellar, a YA blogger in Boston.  OMG, guys, she has RABBITS!  Can't let my daughter see that.  Erica sent me "Tipping the Velvet" by Sarah Waters, one of my favorite authors EVAH (and is the only book I haven't read by her).  And she also sent me the coolest book light, that opens up like a robotic arm.  Sorry I don't have pictures, but I zipped out of town before I took one.

In print this week, I finished "Joy For Beginners" by Erica Bauermeister, who is a joy herself.  She has such a way with expressing the senses.  I have so much serious love for this author.  I just started a book I got from SIBA, "The Future of Us" by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler.  The book is about a couple of kids who log into AOL in 1996, and stumble upon their older selves on Facebook 15 years later.  I'm intrigued!

On audio, I started "In the Garden of Beasts" by Erik Larson.  I am struggling desperately to get through this, which is distressing for me.  I loved "The Devil in the White City", in fact it would probably be one of my top reads ever.  In this book, though, there are many names and facts, and I just can't stay engaged.  I am just a little over halfway through, and I'm invested to finish, but in the end I'll probably decide this book isn't suited for audio.

Today we fly back home, and rescue my poor parents from kid duties. I can think of a dozen things that might transpire once we get there...shopping, a movie, pedicure, homework, etc.  It probably isn't going to be relaxing, but I don't think that will happen until...January? 

 

19 comments:

Beth F said...

Love the coat story. I have a very cool duster Mr. BFR bought me years ago. I kept it alive by cutting out the shoulder pads. The sleeves are a little long, but I can still wear it.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

Birth of Venus = Girl With the Snake Tattoo. My review is here if you are interested: http://rhapsodyinbooks.wordpress.com/2010/12/08/review-of-“the-birth-of-venus”-by-sarah-dunant/
I love Dunant. And Tipping the Velvet - hah, better put it in a brown bag cover (I didn't know what the term meant until the end)

Zibilee said...

I read The Birth of Venus a long while ago, and remember liking it a lot. It is historical fiction, and it tells a rather interesting story. I am glad that you are getting some coolness in Chicago, and can't tell you how disappointed I am that it has been so warm here. I went out and got a few sweaters at the beginning of the season, and haven't worn any of them! I also saw the purple coat on Facebook, and I do have to say, you looked great with it on!

Have a safe trip back!

Alyce said...

I can see how In the Garden of Beasts would be a hard listen on audio. It was one of those books that does have dry parts, but on the whole I thought was fascinating.

I've had The Future of Us on my wish list since I heard of it a few months ago. I can't wait to see what you think of it!

Trisha said...

Someday when you come to Chicago or Indiana, we really must meet up! And yep, it is cold up here. It finally freaking snowed - the start of the season of nasty.

Nise' said...

I don't feel so bad that I still have my coat from the 90s! ;o) Headhunters was a good read, enjoy. We got a little dusting of snow Friday, but it has been sunny so it is gone.

farmlanebooks said...

I've heard a lot of fantastic things about The Garden of Beasts and thought you'd love it. I suspect it is one of those books not suited to audio. I suggest abondoning it and getting a copy in print.

Melody said...

I'd love some cold, but not the rain since we've been getting lots of them over here!

Ooh, you've got 'Headhunters' and 'Tipping the Velvet'! You must, must, must read the latter soon!! I loved that book!

Anita said...

So jealous you are in Chicago, I lived in Chicagoland once, good times. I still own the wool coat I bought at Sax Fifth Avenue in Chicago, I'm guessing circa 1983. It's a classic swing coat and I last wore it a few years and sizes ago!!
I hope you have a wonderful week, but I doubt you ever slow down!!

Meg said...

I read The Future Of Us a few months back and enjoyed it -- it definitely reminded me of my own youth during the "birth" of the Internet! Who doesn't remember the screeching sound of a modem dialing up? And AOL's "Free 100 Hours!" CDs laying all over the place?

Julie P. said...

Ugh. We're reading IN THE GARDEN OF BEASTS for book club next month.

Amy said...

Welcome home!

Good thing you found that purple coat! I'm sure it served you well in the windy city!
It's wonderful that the owner of Sandmeyer's takes such good care of you...nice book selections you picked up!
Love all the book info., too!

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

I just finished In the Garden of Beasts on audio. I agree that it's not the best on audio. It definitely wasn't my favorite of his, but if you liked Devil in the White City, you should read his book, Isaac's Storm. I loved that one.

Ti said...

Having just finished Thirteen Reasons Why, I can't wait to read Asher's next book. Can't wait to hear what you think of it.

Beth(bookaholicmom) said...

The purple coat story is funny! Fashion always comes back around..although I hope the shoulder pads don't. I found a blouse with some in it and showed it to my kids who couldn't believe I ever wore them. You should be in Chicago later this week. It is supposed to be near 50!

caite said...

I love the cold...maybe because I was born in January, and came home in a snowstorm.
Love it!!

Jenners said...

I was ready to give you grief about it being "50" and cold but I guess you can complain about Chicago! It would be fun to have a hater of a book in a book club … as long as it doesn't get personal.

I'm so intrigued by that future Facebook idea … I've seen that described and hope it lives up to the idea of the book.

softdrink said...

I'm 200 pages into Beasts and feeling the same way. And I loved Devil, too. I think this book needs that same dual story format. I'm getting dragged down by too much Martha and her sexcapades. I wasn't expecting it to focus so much on her and all of her men. I don't think she was the best choice of glue to hold this story together.

Natalie~Coffee and a Book Chick said...

I love Lisa See. When I read Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, I bawled so hard at one pont, my husband thought something was wrong with me. So, I would probably recommend that book to you as well! I had an opportunity to attend an author event at the indie bookshop in Neptune Beach a couple of years ago, and she was wonderful to listen to. I can't wait to see what you think of her books!