Monday, August 02, 2010

The Sunday Salon on Monday

I'm off work today!!!!! Can you tell I'm excited? In fact, I was off on Friday, too, so if you're wondering why you haven't seen me, I took the opportunity to "unplug" for most of the weekend. Thus, I'm just getting around to The Sunday Salon.

The family spent some time swimming, grilling, and watching movies the last few days, and I'm feeling delightfully recharged and as ready as I'll ever be to get back to work tomorrow. This term promises to be a challenging one. I'll be teaching at 7:15 every morning, and working 10 hour days with Fridays off. It sounds good in theory, but we'll see how it goes.

I spent my morning today getting the new issue of Estella's Revenge E-Zine online. I hope y'all will enjoy this first issue back. There are some really great essays and reviews and an interview with historical fiction author, Elizabeth Chadwick. Go see!

I've been dipping in and out of By Fire, By Water, by Mitchell James Kaplan, for the last few days, and I'm not having much luck. That's not to say that I'm not enjoying the book--I am!--but I think I need something a bit shorter to keep me going and out of a slump after The Passage.

This morning I was ruffling through my shelves and happened to lay eyes on The Secret Lives of Bees, by Sue Monk Kidd. This is another one of those books that I'm coming to veryyyy late in the game. It's also one of those books everyone raved about in my online book discussion books back in the day. I'm not sure I've ever seen anyone say negative things about it. No idea why I've held off reading it so long, but I do know I finally broke down and added it to my shelves when I found it on clearance at Half-Price Books for a dollar. How could I resist?

I'm not very far in, but so far I really like the narrator's voice, and I can tell her story is going to be one to pull at my heartstrings. I'm hoping I can spend some quality time reading today while Greyson is napping and hopefully go ahead and take a big chunk out of it before the term madness starts on Wednesday.

So tell me: what books have you read lately that were so good they could keep you out of a slump?


  1. I loved Kate Milford's Boneshaker.

  2. I still haven't read The Secret Life of Bees either. I'm happy to know I'm not the only one. I'm off to check out the link to the magazine!

  3. I really enjoyed The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind - the story is just remarkable.

  4. Oh I really liked the Secret Life of Bees!

    I was the last person in the world to read Memoirs of a Geisha, so I know where you are coming from.

    Anything by Sedaris can usually get me out of a slump.

  5. Have fun with The Secret Life of Bees! One of my favorites! :)

  6. I still have yet to read this one, so thanks for the reminder! Trust me, I'll be the last one to read The Passage, so I'm right in that category, too!

  7. Wow: that work schedule sounds a bit crazy! I hope it works for you. :)

    I enjoyed Secret Life of Bees (I think I read in 07), and I really liked the movie too!

  8. I am listening to secret life of bees on my non-ipod, and it is so easy to plug into, and get carried away. I never want to stop! i hope you enjoy it as much as i am =D

  9. I work 10 hour days with Mondays off...and love it. I've done it for about 12 years. I work 7 to 5:30 now, but when I started it was 6-4:30, and that first month was brutal. So keep in mind it takes some getting used to (although you've had some long days in the past, right?). The 3 day weekends make it all worth it, though!!

  10. To get me out of a slump I usually pick authors I adore best like Diana Wynne Jones (mostly rereads of her books) or I pick up graphic novels. I think a trip to fantasy world or the sketched world is best to remove a reading slump :)

    But if I want to be all guilty and happy just the same, I pick up any Alisa Kwitney. Chick-lit and all that. But don't tell others :P

  11. My latest favorite is The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry. It took me by surprise and whisked me away. I love it when books do that!

  12. Enjoy Secret Life. It's sooo good.

  13. I just finished Coop for Book Club Sandwich :D It was fantastic!!! My current foodie read is Heirloom by Tim Stark and it's pretty cool so far too.

    OMG Andi! 7:15 every morning?? How the hell are you going to do that? :( I'll try to cheer you along! In bed....>>

    And hooray for Estella's Revenge being back :D

  14. Ah, "The Secret Life of Bees" - a great read, fun and hard to put down.


  15. Thanks for the rec, Becky! I'm not familiar with her stuff.

    Kathleen, you are definitely not the only one. Hope you like the 'zine this time around!

    Kathy, thanks for the recommendation. Another book I haven't heard of! Will investigate.

    Cold! Sedaris is really good at getting me out of a slump, too. I think I just have one of this left: Naked. I've been saving it for just such an occasion.

    Thanks, Kate!

    LOL, Coffee and a Book Chick! The Passage was the ONE book I got in on the front-end. All the rest, I read 3+ years after they're popular.

    Eva, my job is good at crazy schedules. Last term I worked at 11:00 and noon most of the week, sometimes til 11:00 at night. It will at least be nice to see the family at night and on Fridays.

    Lissa, I'm glad to hear it!! It does seem really easy to sink into. I didn't get much of it read before bed last night, but hopefully I can get into it at work today between meetings and when I'm not working on my syllabi.

  16. Jill, I've done a version of this schedule before. Usually it was several short days a week and two longggg days (crazy long, like 14ish hours), so at least it's all even keel and regimented. No crazy swings of time.

    Lightheaded, everyone is mentioning Wynne Jones lately! I had one of her books on my TBR, but I'm not sure if I boxed it up for storage or what. I don't think I got rid of it or anything, so it's bugging me now that I can't find it!

    Elisabeth, I love it when books do that, too! I had an ARC of Lace Readers, but I couldn't get into it at the time I tried it. I'm pretty sure I kept it to try again, though. I hope so, anyway!

    Thanks, Christina!

    Chris, I'm so glad you liked Coop! Heather sent her copy along to me, so I read a few pages of it yesterday, and I'll be bolting through the rest of it for discussion on the 16th. Can't wait to discuss! I haven't heard of Heirloom, so I'll be checking that one out. As for the 7:15 schedule every day: it sucks! But I've done it before, so it's possible. Oddly enough, my mom is starting the same schedule this week, so we're in hell together. I texted her this morning so we could complain a bit. lol Technically I don't have to be up at 5:30am until tomorrow, but Greyson woke me up this morning, so I'm "practicing" and getting in some blog time while the house is asleep.

    Thanks, Janna! I'm enjoying it so far. :)

  17. I've read The Secret Life of Bees a couple of times and recently watched the movie. I think you're in for a treat! I also listened to the audio of Traveling With Pomegranates (also by Sue Monk Kidd) a month or so ago and enjoyed seeing how she came to write about The Secret Life of Bees.

    Hope you aren't too exhausted with that early start time! I've been getting up at 5 for years now (start work at 7), but I know I'd have a harder time if I had a baby in the house! Good luck, Andi!

  18. Oh my, 7:15 is so early! I do not understand your scheduling at all. Do you have to put in 40 hours per week at the office?

  19. I'm so glad you are posting the ezine again! I love it! I've also never read the Secret Life of's on my shelf though =)

  20. 7:15?! I suppose it would be nice to have three-day weekends. I hope the term goes well for you and you still manage to find time to read and blog!

  21. Yay, the return of Estella's zine!

    Hope you enjoy Secret Life of Bees. I don't think I enjoyed it as much as I normally would have because I read it right around the time it was all the rave and like you I'm not much for hyped books and I think I was reading expecting to not like it too much. I probably should have read long after all the brouhaha had died down.


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