Skip to main content

the Sunday Salon

Happy Sunday! For someone as anti-social as I am, I was quite busy this week! On Friday evening I had drinks with an old friend from middle and high school, and then yesterday I went to go see My Week With Marilyn, about Marilyn Monroe’s 1956 filming of The Prince and the Showgirl (with Sir Laurence Olivier, played by Kenneth Branaugh in this film). The story focuses on a young third assistant producer/director (aka: gopher) who strikes up a friendship with Marilyn (played by Michele Williams here) on set. I thought it was a really enjoyable film. You may or may not know that Marilyn was actually a great reader, leaving behind a library of 400-plus volumes at the time of her death. There’s a subtle nod to that in the film; Marilyn has a copy of James Joyce’s Ulysses in her dressing room.
In other news, classes began again this week—I’m taking two, one on editing and the other on research strategies for biomedical writers. We had our first “meeting,” i.e., webinar, for the editing class on Wednesday evening, and already I can tell that It’s going to be fun—a lot of hard work, but fun. I’m doing it part-time, because there’s so much to do and I’m working full-time meantime. So I should be about 40 by the time I finish my degree! But I think it’ll be worth it.

Despite the business of everything else, I still had time for some reading; I finished EM Delafield’s Consequences, a bleak novel about what happens to one very socially awkward spinster during the Edwardian period. Oh, man, is it depressing! Certainly a lot different from Diary of a Provincial Lady.

So how was your week? What did you read?


Popular posts from this blog

Review: Forever Amber, by Kathleen Winsor

Forever Amber takes place in the 1660s, immediately follwing Charles II's ("the Merry Monarch") return of the Stuarts to the English throne. The book features Amber St. Claire, a young woman who starts out as a sixteen-year-old country girl, naieve to the workings of the world. She immediately meets Bruce Carlton, a dashing young Cavalier, with whom she has a passionate love affair in choppy intervals throughout the book. They have two children together, but Bruce won't marry her for the reason he tells his friend Lord Almsbury: that Amber just isn't the kind of woman one marries.

Upon following Bruce to London, he goes to Virginia, leaving her to fend for herself. What follows is a series of affairs and four marriages, with Bruce coming back from America now and then. Amber's marriages are imprudent: her first husband is a gambler, her second is an old dotard, her third locks her up in the house for days and won't let her out; and the last is a fop who a…

Review: This Rough Magic, by Mary Stewart

Pages: 254Original date of publication: 1964My edition: 1964 (William Morrow)Why I decided to read: it was 90 degrees outside at the time and I decided it was time to read another book by a favorite authorHow I acquired my copy: from Susanna Kearsley, December 2009Sometimes, whether or not I decide to read a book depends on the weather. Mary Stewart’s books are best read on either very hot or very cold days; and since it was 90 degrees out one weekend a couple of weeks ago, I decided that this one would be perfect. And it was.This Rough Magic takes its title from The Tempest, a play from which this novel takes off. Lucy Waring is a struggling actress who comes to visit her sister on Corfu. One of her neighbors is a renowned actor who’s taken a bit of a sabbatical and his son, a musician with whom Lucy comes to blows at first. This Rough Magic is vintage Mary Stewart, with a murder or two, a mystery, romance, suspense, and lots of magic thrown in. Lucy is your typical Mary Stewart hero…

Review: Joy in the Morning, by Betty Smith

Pages: 294
Original date of publication: 1963
My edition: 2010 (Harper Perennial)
Why I decided to read:
How I acquired my copy: Barnes and Noble, Phoenix, January 2011

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is one of my all-time favorite books and I’ve read it, oh, half a dozen times, so I was interested to see how Joy in the Morning would compare.

Set in the late 1920s, Joy in the Morning begins when Annie, aged 18, comes to a small Midwestern college town where her fiancĂ©e, Carl, is in law school. The novel opens with their marriage in the county courthouse, and follows the couple through their first year or so of marriage. It’s a struggle, because Carl and Annie are basically children themselves, for all the ways in which Carl tries to appear more adult-like.

Annie is endearing; she’s ignorant but a voracious reader, reading everything from Babbitt to War and Peace. Betty Smith’s novels are pretty autobiographical; Joy in the Morning is (unofficially) a kind of sequel to A Tree Grows in Brooklyn—cert…