Skip to main content

The Sunday Salon


It’s been a while since I did a Sunday Salon! I’ve just not felt that I had much to report recently. Summer has started, and I’m a little less busy than I was in the spring—I’m only taking one class this semester instead of two. I find that I actually do better in my classes when I have more work to do. I’m a list-maker; when I made a list of things I need to do, it makes me do those things all that much faster (I also make lists of things I’ve already done, so I can cross them off!). I did well (for me, at least) in the two classes I took in the spring, although they were difficult. But I like a challenge!

I’ve also had some time this weekend to fool around with the layout and template of this blog. I’ve had the same one up for so long that I figured it was a time for a change. I've also been playing around with Blogger's new interface; there seem to have been some improvements. It's easier to upload photos; on the old interface, my computer kept crashing (or maybe that was just my computer).  Over the last 6 months or so virtually the only content on this blog has been reviews; I’d like to get back to creating a variety of content. Back when I started, I had this “Cover Deja-Vu” feature of identical or similar book covers; it might be fun to revive that if I run into any more.

I’ve recently come into the possession of some new furniture for my apartment. I as recently given as a verrry early birthday gift an enormous reproduction of an 1890s wall map of London. It is FABULOUS; I could spend hours looking at it. I’m endlessly fascinated by detailed vintage maps and imagining what a place might have looked like in another era (on the map I easily honed in on some of my favorite places in London: the British Museum and Lambs Conduit Street, now where Persephone Books's shop is located). The problem is how I'm going to get it hanged, it's so large and heavy. I’ve also come into the ownership of two new couches to replace the two ugly wicker chairs (ouch) in my living room; and I’ve also gotten a new bookshelf to hold the overflow of TBR Mountain (reduced due to a curtailing of book buying and increase in book reading, but it still takes up more than one Ikea Billy bookcase. My goal is to have TBR Mountain reduced to just one bookcase by the end of the summer).

Speaking of reading, I’ve been doing a lot more this year, mostly because I’ve been carving out more time in my day to read. I usually get about an hour in during the morning and then about half an hour during my lunch breaks. So in May I read 12 books, in comparison with only 7 in May 2011 (that said, though some of my reads last month were easy reads on plane rides; Mary Stewart, DE Stevenson, and the like). Yesterday I began reading a lesser-known, harder-to-find Virago; Geraldine Jewsbury’s Zoe, a mid-19th century novel set in the early 18th. Highly melodramatic and meant to titillate readers at the time it was published, but entertaining. It's one of those "classic" historical novels that say as much about the time in which they were written as about the time in which they were set (Katherine or Forever Amber, I'm looking at you). I’m trying to read “A to Z,” but not in order, again this year and this of course counts for my Z title—always a tough letter to find titles or authors for. 

Personally speaking, over the past couple of months I took a mini vacation in April to go to Arizona and last weekend I attended my high school reunion--my 10th. We had a good turnout with roughly half my class returning.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Review: The Tudor Secret, by CW Gortner

Pages: 327Original date of publication:My edition: 2011 (St. Martin’s)Why I decided to read: Heard about this through Amazon.comHow I acquired my copy: Amazon Vine, December 2010Originally published as The Secret Lion, The Tudor Secret is the first in what will be a series featuring Brendan Prescott, an orphan foundling who was raised in the household of the Dudley family. In 1553, King Edward is on his deathbed, and William Cecil gives a secret mission Brendan. Soon he finds himself working as a double agent, as he attempts to discover the secret of his own birth.There ‘s a lot to like in this novel, mainly in the historical details that the author weaves into the story. He knows Tudor history like the back of his hand, and it definitely shows in this book. Because it was his first novel, however, there are some rough patches. There were a couple of plot holes that I had trouble navigating around—primarily, why would a secretive man such as Cecil entrust a seemingly nobody with this …

Review: Forever Amber, by Kathleen Winsor

Pages: 972 Originally published: 1944 My edition: 2000 (Chicago Review Press) How I acquired my copy: Amazon.com, 2004

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…

Review: Jane Austen's Letters, ed. by Deirdre Le Faye

Pages: 667 Original date of publication: 2011 My copy: 2011 (Oxford University Press) Why I decided to read: How I acquired my copy: Amazon.com, April 2013
This is a compilation of many of Jane Austen’s letters, most of them sent to her sister Cassandra between 1796 and 1817, the year of her death. Although many of Austen’s letters were destroyed by her sister in order to preserve the family reputation, the collection contains over 160 letters in which Austen gives her sister details about her life in Chawton—as well as giving us a tantalizing glimpse of what was going through her mind as she was writing her novels (especially the novel that was to become Pride and Prejudice, First Impressions). There are other letters here, too, giving advice to her niece and professional correspondence to publishers—as well as a couple of letters that were written by Cassandra Austen after Jane’s death.
To the sisters, the letters acted in the way that phone calls do today; Austen’s news is all about pe…