Sunday, February 05, 2012

The Sunday Salon - A Mixed Bag Week

Happy Sunday morning, everyone! I have a breakfast casserole in the oven, a cup of coffee beside me, and a book open on the bed. I stayed up entirely too late finishing Ann Patchett's State of Wonder for my 2012 Tournament of Books personal reading challenge. I did have the luxury of sleeping until almost 9:00 this morning, and I almost never do that. I'm rested and ready for the day. I'll take some more time to read books and blog posts after I post assignments for my online classes. Fun fun fun. While today is slated to be relaxing, the earlier part of the week was not so great.

This past week was the most stressful I've had in a while. I mentioned in a blog post a while back that my job will eventually be going away. With that in mind, we had some very important visitors on campus one day this week, and while I do not have blood pressure problems in the least, their visit alone made my head feel like it was going to explode. Long story. Not a story for the blog, but it was suitably heavy to make me glad to see the end of the week.

My job is still secure for now--every day is business as usual--but it was still enough to take a toll on my writing and reading habits this week. The good news is that I've been poking around online, and there are some interesting prospects posted here and there. Not a ton of jobs, but a few that excite me.  I would like to get into a more significant position in the online education sector. If I could work from home I would soil myself with glee. Seriously. Cross your fingers.

The weekend has been much better. In fact, yesterday was super bookish. I met up with my former graduate school colleague and good buddy, TheOtherFeminist, for Chinese food and book talk. I pulled up at the restaurant a touch early and got a table for some reading. Fem came in a few minutes late. All told, we got the party started around noon and the next thing we knew we'd talked until 4:00!!! Any time we get together we have scads to discuss, and much of it is related to teaching and reading and literary theory and all that awesome stuff.

We started brainstorming a new anthology of short stories we're affectionately calling The Kickass, Bookgasmic Anthology of Undersung Short Stories. You'd buy it, right?! The whole idea is that most of the anthologies for teaching literature (and simply reading!) have the same old stuff in them. We started a list of lesser-known stories we think would blow professors' and students' skirts up. We also have a penchant for the twisted, FYI. *wink*

We also talked about what we've been reading lately and what's on the docket for later. And of course, there were recommendations, and iPhone e-mailing of recommendations. You know how it goes when book nuts gather. It's rare that I get to indulge in heavy book talk with a face-to-face buddy. We have plans to get together at a Real Bookstore soon and do it all again!

While the week started out rocky, it certainly ended strong. This coming week should be much more even keel (knock on wood). I hope your weekend is wrapping up right and you'll be off to a good start tomorrow.

What are you reading today?

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  1. Fingers are crossed, and I want that anthology!!!

  2. LOL, Trisha! I thought you could appreciate that. Anything different is good when you're in our position.

  3. I'm glad your weekend is making up for a lousy week.

  4. I would but that anthology. :)

    I hope this week gets better.

  5. The anthology does sound awesome. Thanks for sharing...and good luck on the job search.

    Here's MY SUNDAY SALON POST and here’s

  6. Sorry the beginning of your week sucked, but that anthology would be super awesome. Also, can't wait to hear what you think about State of Wonder cause I've been itching to read it.

  7. *jealous*

    Because 1) I wish I had a bookish friend I could meet and talk all things bookish with and 2) I wish I could meet YOU and do that!



    The anthology sounds completely kick-ass. I would totally buy it.

  8. My fingers are crossed, Andi! I would definitely buy your anthology. What stories would you guys include? I love Margo Lanagan's "Singing My Sister Down", "Fare Thee Well" by Cathy Clamp, and "Brownies" by J. California Cooper. I wish I lived closer. I would love to hang out with you sometime.:-) Enjoy your day.

  9. Um, what an amazing title for an anthology!

  10. Work sounds very stressful for you at the moment, uncertainty is the worst. Glad you are having a relaxing, enjoyable weekend.

    And yes, I would buy your anthology :)

  11. Eh, I'd skip the anthology. I just haven't found a book of short stories that makes me want to read more. It's not the short format, I love essays.

    BUT, I hope your week is better next week.

  12. Robin Presley2/05/2012 2:33 PM

    theotherfeminist here-- I knew it! I knew it! I knew that an anthologist such as we discussed would glean excitement. When I got home yesterday evening, I went through my library and started pulling books with short stories off the shelf and went through them. I became very excited because there are so many good unsung stories, and many of them are from well established authors. I think it is a must to include stories from long ago and different cultures. A few examples that I revisited last night are Stories from Eva Luna by Isabel Allende, Nora Zeale Hurston, Antov Checkov, Nabokov, Narayan, Marquez, I was even thinking about ancient saga or two since I think some of them sound just as twisted as contemporary lit. Eudora Welty, and of course Flannery O'Conner. I even think a fairy tale would be in order. I am thinking on this.

  13. Robin Presley2/05/2012 2:34 PM

    I mean an anthology.

  14. Oh, yes, I would definitely buy that anthology. I'm reading Rose: My Life in Service by Rosina Harrison. I am definitely dragging my feet when it comes to finishing The Phantom of the Opera (so I won't catch up with you on Vanity Fair -- also, not sure about East of Eden, unless I can get it cheaply for iPad because I don't want to carry a chunkster on the plane).

    I always love it when I get to meet up with bookish friends, but I tend to have to leave the state to do that. I got to meet Nashville Tammy (Under a Blood Red Sky -- you know her from old listservs) at Christmas!!! Always, always fun to meet up with like-minded souls.

  15. I will definitely check out your anthology. I love a good, weird short story: T.C. Boyle and Flannery O'Connor come to mind.

  16. Oooh...and Steven Milhauser.

  17. Yes, I would buy that :)

    Keeping my fingers crossed over here! I hope something great works out SOON.

  18. I'm not sure what's going on in education these days. It worries me a lot when I see that education is not supported by the Powers That Be.

    I'd like to invite you to sign up for my February Giveaway! Win All Kinds of Kisses or a $25 Amazon gift card!

  19. Fingers crossed for you, Andi! I hope you find something great. The anthology sounds fun :) Today I'm swamped with school reading...but hoping to make a little time for Wizard of the Crow, by Ngugi wa Thiong'o.

  20. Fingers crossed that you can soil yourself with glee sometime in the near future.


  21. Please consider this comment an advanced order for that anthology!

    Keeping all available appendages crossed for the possibilities for you working from home. I have one of those super stellar jobs that can be done from pretty much anywhere and I love it intensely.

    And oh how I love a get together with other bookish types. Sounds fabulous.

    I'm reading Wild Swans by Jung Chang, Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and Fathermucker by Greg Olear. Just finished Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, which I loved. Enjoy the rest of your relaxing Sunday!

  22. Hope this week is much smoother for you! My week was a good but a little intense, now after a fairly low key weekend I am ready to hit it again :)

  23. I'm sorry to hear that your week was so stressful but it sounds like you had a great day yesterday. P.S. I would buy the book of short stories!

  24. Thanks, Kathy! It most certainly did. Thank goodness!

    Allie, thanks chica! I would say it can't get worse, but that's just tempting fate. ;)

    Laurel, thanks! and thanks! Send the good vibes for the job hut, for sure.

    Brooke, I think so. I'm tired of reading the same old stories in anthologies. Can't WAIT to review State of Wonder. I'm percolating on it a bit first.

    Heather, I wish we could camp out and talk books TOO! We'd have so much stinkin' fun. Someday, as you say. :)

  25. Natasha, we started a running list of stories: some lesser known Flannery O'Connor stuff, I suggested some contemporary choices, and some I read in Tin House eons ago. Of course, titles largely slip my mind. I will be checking out the ones you mentioned!

    LOL, thanks, Aarti!

    Thanks, Sam! It is quite stressful in spurts. Thankfully, not all the time. This past week was just weird. Here's hoping this week is far less stressful.

    Thanks, Lisa! I can understand that!

    Amen to everything you said, Robin! I didn't know if you were still not putting your name online, so OtherFeminist it was! :) Many of my collections are in storage, but I will be getting my hands on 'em!

  26. Nancy, I'm totally envious that you're reading Rose! I've had my eye on that book and can't wait to read your thoughts on it. :) With Heather and I starting Vanity Fair (ack, the size!), we'll see if I'm in any fit condition to read East of Eden in March. If not, maybe we can bump it back to late spring/early summer? I'm opposed to carrying chunksters anywhere, so I feel ya. I would definitely download a copy.

    Amen, LBC! I like all of those authors.

    Thanks, Emily! Me too!

    Thanks for the invite, Deb!!! And yes, the state of education is puzzling and troubling. I try not to say it too often, but HELL IN A HANDBASKET. There, I feel better.


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