August 7, 2011

Sunday Salon - August 7, 2011

I’m back! No, really. This time for sure. :)

I feel as if I’ve found my blogging mojo and have been composing posts in my head while walking on my treadmill. It’s been far too hot & humid to walk outside, so I’ve opted for the treadmill. Nothing like a lot of summer traveling (read: overindulgence) to motivate one to get back into exercising! Forget swimsuit season. I need to fit in my work clothes!

In addition to working off several quarts of the world’s best clam chowder, along with margaritas, guacamole, thirst-quenching beer, Papa Bill's delicious ebelskivers, and ice cream...lots of ice cream...I’ve managed to catch up on all my favorite blogs. I love my iPad! I prop it up on the treadmill tray and spend an hour reading all your interesting posts while walking the pounds away.

Every. Day.

After spending a full day at work.

On my feet.

See how much I love you guys? Now if only I could figure out a way to type while walking. That way I wouldn’t have to wait until later in the evening to re-visit those posts and leave my comments.

One decision I made while I was catching up on all the latest in the book world, is to join in on the Sunday Salon chatter. It seems like a good way to share what I’m reading, which books I’m looking forward to, what I’ve ditched and just say hi. Good idea, eh? Especially since I’m so far behind with my reviews (which, by the way, I do intend to write in spite of the fact that the oldest is overdue by more than a month!).

So on to the books…

I decided I wanted to read something that had been on my shelves for a few years, as well as a book with a beach or summer theme, and settled on Brian Groh’s Summer People (love the cover!). Unfortunately, after close to 50 pages I decided to call it quits. I’ll write a short synopsis later, but suffice it to say this is a case of being swayed by an attractive cover.

Wanting to keep with the summer/beach theme, I picked up Sea Escape by Lynne Griffin. I’ve had the ARC for over a year and found notations that both Bellezza and Wendy (Caribousmom) read it last July. So far, I’m completely engrossed and anxious to get back to reading more later this afternoon.

As I mentioned, I have several reviews to write. Perhaps a list would help keep me organized:

Think of a Number by John Verdon (thrilling)
Before I Go To Sleep by S. J. Watson (a nail-biter!)*
Turn of Mind by Alice LaPlante (excellent!)
Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok (nice audio)
One Summer by David Baldacci (ugh)
Awakening by S.J. Bolton (good new series—to me)*
Summer People by Brian Groh (blech)

*What are the odds that I’d read two books in one month by authors who have the same initials, S.J.?!

Of all of those books, my favorite is Turn of Mind. What a great read! It’s definitely going on my 2011 Top Ten list.

When I’m at work (before the store opens), I use my Nano to listen to audio books. It’s a great way to get a big chunk of listening in (almost 2 hours) and the time passes quickly. Right now, I’m listening to The Mapping of Love and Death by Jacqueline Winspear. I accidentally downloaded and started listening to this before I realized it’s #7 in the Maisie Dobbs’ series. I haven’t read #6, but I’m not going to worry about it. I’ve already discovered one spoiler, but I’ve gotten to know these characters so well that it really doesn’t bother me to learn something out of order.

I rarely read more than one book at a time, but I’ve been scheduled to man the Nook Desk at work quite a bit this past month and have started reading Zeitoun by David Eggers. This is one of the One Book, One Lincoln nominations and so far, it’s fantastic! I really should just buy a copy so I can read more than a few pages at a time. If Eggers’ What Is the What is half as good as Zeitoun, I’ll have to get a copy of that, as well.

So, that’s all the book news for now. In other news, last night I dreamt I was walking down my street and the sidewalk was covered with leaves, the tree branches bare. Yes, this past week has been a little bit cooler, relatively speaking, but it certainly hasn’t felt like autumn. A 20 degree temperature drop from 104 does not a fall make. However, we had a nice drenching rain on Friday, followed by a terrific storm last night (winds clocked at 65 mph!), so I happily crossed watering off my weekend to-do list.

Now to catch up on emails, comment on some blogs, work on my vacation photos and run a few errands. I really want to spend some time relaxing on the front porch, reading more from Sea Escape, so I'd better get moving!

I hope everyone’s having a good weekend. For those of you in Lincoln, I hope everyone survived last night’s storm!

Links to the books mentioned in this post can be found by clicking on the cover art in my sidebar.


  1. Wow, you are busy! I'm tired just thinking about all you do!

  2. I liked Girl in Translation and Zeitoun. A lot of the other books you read as well sound good too Bonnie.

  3. Great to see you back Les! I'm also finding it hard to work out because of the heat. Yes, I know the gym has AC but I'm just so worn out from the heat! Ugh.

    Hopefully this Maisie Dobbs book is going much better for you than the previous one. I did like this one a lot more so keeping my fingers crossed.

  4. Thanks for being such a faithful visitors!

    Kathy - I'm a little tired, too, but it's been a fun-filled summer. Winter will be here before I know it and I'll have lots of time to curl up with my books.

    Diane - Aren't they good books?! I'm anxious to get back to Zeitoun.

    Iliana - Thank you! I've been visiting your blog quite frequently, but don't comment as often as I'd like. I keep watching the weather down there and think about you and Andi and Kay (and my daughter in Dallas), all melting in that Texas heat! Ugh is right! Hang in there. Winter, or at least fall, will be here before we know it, right?

  5. I would really like to get an iPad so I can work out AND check blogs at the same time! what a great idea! I'm glad to hear that Turn of the Mind was good - I recently added that to my GoodReads TBR list.

  6. Turn of Mind does sound good. :) I am all caught up with Maisie, so I am just waiting for the new book. Did you see this review on Whimpulsive: http://www.whimpulsive.net/2011/08/return-of-captain-john-emmett-by.html. It sounds like a good book to read when you are out of Maisie books and I assume it will be a series...

  7. I was SO surprised to see my blog header on your treadmill! I have yet to figure out how to do the same on mine. It is in the bedroom. I have no tv. I have no place to put a book. I don't have an iPod, etc. All these excuses = never using the treadmill. :<)

    I love how you said, "A 20 degree temperature drop from 104 does not a fall make."

    My word verification: steryo

  8. So many books, so little time- a wonderful problem if one can choose their problems.

    I loved seeing your home full of books- they make a home so cozy. I could survive your NE hot summers and cold winters inside your home reading-- but I'd never go out!

  9. Wow! I have lots to respond to here.

    I think the iPad is the best thing ever! I use it on the stationary bike, as well as the treadmill. :)

    I bought Summer People for the cover only. I didn't know anything about it. After I brought it home, I looked it up and decided to not even open it. It only cost me $1 at a library sale, so no big loss.

    I'll comment on the plethora of books you listed when you post individual reviews. :)

    You've made me very curious about the book by Eggers. I have What is the What on my shelf and iPod, but just haven't attempted either. No real reason behind that.

  10. Stephanie - I love my iPad! It comes in handy while walking on the treadmill, but since I don't have a laptop, I use it when I travel (which has been a lot this summer!). Heather (Capricious Reader) just got me addicted to a new app called Reeder, so now I can keep up with all my favorite blogs even more easily. :)

    I'm hoping to get my review for Turn of Mind written today or tomorrow. I'm soooooo behind!!

    Kailana - Turn of Mind is excellent. I still think about the characters and their situations. Wish I had time to read it again.

    I'm slowly listening to the Maisie Dobbs book. I generally listen while at work. I've been on vacation for the past 2 weeks, so I haven't listened for a long time. Thanks for the link to SuziQ's review for the Captain John book. I did see it and may have to give it a try once up catch up on all of Winspear's books.

    Nan - I thought you'd get a kick out of that! :) That's too bad that your treadmill doesn't have a place for a book. I know they make trays/racks that you could order. I have a hard time reading a book while walking, though. You'd think it'd be the same as the iPad, but I can make the font much larger and don't have to hold anything. I would think you could use your Kindle, though. If you had something to set it in.

    A 20 degree drop in temps may not a fall make, but the leaves are already beginning to turn! :( I'm not ready for summer to end!

    Jill - Yes, it's a wonderful problem, isn't it. I managed to read a couple on all the flights I took this past week, although during the time our visitors were here, I didn't read a single page. Too tired at night...

    I'm glad you guys were able to stop and visit, if only for an overnight stay. Yes, our house is FULL of books. Hope you enjoy some of the ones I shared.

    I don't mind reading outside on the porch, but once winter rolls around, we pretty much hole up in the house. Perfect for reading by the fire in our cozy living room.

    Joy - Yeah, I know this turned out to be a rather long post. Not my typical deal, huh? ;)

    Wow! I thought I was the only one who used an iPad on the treadmill. Isn't it great?!

    Ah, Summer People. Yeah, I love that cover, but the book really stinks. I still need to write a short blurb about it...


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