Sunday, May 21, 2017

The Sunday Salon: May 21, 2017


Sunday already? Another week has flown past... Twin A returned to NYC on Monday after a long weekend at home, I took my sister for her MS treatments on Tuesday and Thursday, and managed to cross the last winter catch-up appointments off my calendar. Summer-like weather descended for two days midweek before ending abruptly with violent storms. We spent all day yesterday on outdoor chores. The lawn, patio, and gardens look so much better, but I was in bed with a book before 9 PM, exhausted!

Finished this week//


Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay
Gay has been on my radar for several years, but this was the first time I've read her. The essays here range from the personal to larger issues of gender, politics, and race. Some were deeply thought-provoking, while others were thoroughly entertaining (apparently there is such a thing as competitive Scrabble). All are well-written, logically structured, and interesting. Bahni Turpin's narration further added to my enjoyment.  I'd like to read more of Gay's nonfiction. Any recommendations?
My rating:



Current reading//


My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout
I always love Strout's writing, and this was a favorite a couple of years ago. It's also so short that I impulsively decided to reread it before beginning her new book, Anything is Possible. I'm finding it every bit as beautiful the second time around, and should finish later today.



The Two-Family House by Lynda Cohen Loigman
The plot summary of this novel caught my eye when it was released last year. My sister gave me her paperback copy last weekend saying she thought I would love it. After 50 pages, I suspect she's right... I'll let you know for sure next week.


On audio//


by David M. Oshinsky
You knew there had to be at least one non-fiction in progress, right? I'm listening to this one, but also have a print copy from the library. Anything medical usually appeals to me and, after 100 pages, I'm thoroughly invested in this interesting history.



In the kitchen//


This Slow Cooker Banana Nut Oatmeal from The Lemon Bowl  was delicious, and it kept me full until lunch. I've made it twice so far and will be having the last of the leftovers this morning. The recipe calls for 1/2 teaspoon of salt, but that made it too salty for our taste, so I cut it to a scant 1/4 teaspoon. It's such treat to wake up to a warm breakfast!


Later today//
It's Dock Day here on the lake. My family is coming over to help us put in our heavy old wooden docks (we really need to upgrade), then we'll have our first cookout of the season. The lake is high this year, and temperatures will only be in the 60s, so it might be tough work... glad the nephews will be here to help. Fingers crossed the weather holds.

How was your week? What are you reading today?

30 comments:

  1. I am always especially interested in your nonfiction reads. Bellevue sounds fascinating. I'm off to add it to my wish list.

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    1. Deb - Bellevue is interesting, but it hasn't been a quick read.

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  2. Enjoy your day JoAnn. I'm looking forward to your thoughts on My Name is Lucy Barton. I enjoyed The Two Family House. I hope you do as well.

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    1. Pat - This was actually a reread of Lucy Barton for me. It was one of my favorite books a couple of years ago... definitely 5 stars!

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  3. I've been eyeing Bad Feminist...glad you enjoyed it.

    I love the look of that oatmeal! I'm always fond of the slow cooked kind, and bemoan the fact that I usually do the instant!

    I enjoyed The Two-Family House. Have a great week, and thanks for visiting my blog.

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    1. Laurel-Rain Snow - I usually make instant oatmeal, but I really like the texture of steel cut oats, especially when they cook in the crock pot. The Two-Family House is very good so far.

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  4. I am on Long Island so I am experiencing the same weather as you. It is a bit chilly here as as of Sunday morning.

    The Bellevue book sound so interesting. I remember when growing the term "take him to Bellevue" had all sorts of connotations. I am also generally interested in medical non - fiction.

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    1. Brian Joseph - Being an upstater, I never really knew the connotations associated with Bellevue until I was an adult. This book is really very interesting, but not a quick read.

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  5. Glad the storm wasn't worse than it was. We still remember being in the Hudson Valley during Superstorm Sandy, and having 6 days with no power, ugh!

    I've wanted to read another book by Ms. Gay in the past, An Untamed State but never got to pick it up. My S-I-L worked at Bellevue when she first became an RN years ago. Quite the experience to hit the ground running with that job.

    Have a good week ahead, JoAnn.

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    1. Rita - Superstorm Sandy was really something! My oldest daughter just moved to Manhattan a week or two before the storm, then was without power and water for days. She also hadn't developed a strong network of friends, yet so I was a nervous wreck. I'll bet your SIL has some very interesting stories about working at Bellevue!

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  6. Glad to hear that you are settling back in to your Northern home. Bellevue does sound interesting - might try it on audio. And I remember thinking that I might read The Two-Family House, but kind of lost track of it. Will watch for what you think. Hope your weather cooperates today.

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    1. Kay - The same thing happened to me with The Two-Family House, I just kind of forgot about it. Glad my sister bought a copy because I'm enjoying it a lot. The guys managed to get the docks in yesterday despite a few showers, and we all enjoyed the first summer meal of the season!

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  7. Smart of you to reread Lucy Barton before reading Anything is Possible. I found myself having to put on my thinking cap to recall events in LB. Elizabeth Strout is a wonderful writer. I think I have two books going and could probably put both down and not pick up again. I really hate when that happens. I may give them the benefit of having a go at a few more pages, but not optimistic. On the other hand, I love getting a great book that you just hate it when it ends; it spoils you for anything else.
    Hope your weather improves. Those outdoor picnics sound like fun! Thankfully, I'm getting rain this weekend and more on tap next few days. I still have fingers crossed, however, that our summer will not be as bad as last year.

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    1. JudyMac - I actually started reading Anything is Possible and kind of remembered that janitor in the first story (and the Nicely girl, too) but it drove me crazy that I couldn't come up with the details. I had visions of being frustrated throughout the book, so decided to reread Lucy Barton. Finished last night, so now I'll finish The Two-Family House and move on to more Strout. I hope your books improve... that's such a frustrating situation! We got a little bit of rain yesterday, but still enjoyed the day. Definitely looking forward to summer!

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  8. I definitely liked Bellevue, but listening to it went a little faster :) than reading it. I hope your sister is doing well; she's lucky to have you! I'll look forward to our #PalliserParty whenever you're ready. :)

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    1. Audrey - Bellevue is striking me as a little dry, but so interesting. Glad I'm mostly listening because I think I'd get bogged down with just print. As soon as I finish, I'll be ready to continue the #PalliserParty!

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  9. WE got some nice weather too (high 80's) early in the week, then it cooled again. and we had some storms roll through as well. Hope the dock day went well and cookout season- yay! Looking forward to hopefully nice weather over Memorial Day...

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    1. Greg - We definitely get your weather a day or two later! The guys got the docks in yesterday despite the rain. Fingers crossed for Memorial Day...

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  10. I am reading a Jim Crais detective novel as I am visiting friends in the U S. I didnt realise you have a sister with M S. Hope she is responding well to treatment. My MS is pretty stable now. Fingers crossed.I have Lucy Barton and think it will move up the list to read. Everyobe says how good it is. Cheers.

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    1. Pam - Hope you're enjoying your trip. My sister's MS has been fairly stable for years, but she's had relapse this spring. They've started her on plasmapheresis after Easter and she is doing much better. The treatments are twice a week for now, but hopefully she'll go down to weekly in June. I didn't realize you had it, too... so glad you are stable now!

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  11. Each season you have to put in your dock?? That sounds like a lot of work. I have a friend who lives on a lake and although her dock is static, the taking out of her boat is always a chore.

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    1. Ti - Yes, our lake freezes, so temporary docks have to come out. The trend is to build permeant docks fit with machines to keep the water circulating and prevent freezing, but they are very expensive. I'm not ready to make that kind of investment yet...

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  12. Most of last week was wet and miserable here in the UK, but now the sun has come out! I am currently loving My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier.

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    1. Jessica - Glad to hear you're loving My Cousin Rachel. I wanted to read it last fall for RIP... this year for sure!

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  13. I'll be interested to hear how you like Two-Family House--I marked that as a definite possibility. Makes sense to reread My Name is Lucy Barton before Anything is Possible--I may go that route myself.

    Happy summer!

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    1. JaneGS - The Two-Family House is very good so far. I've only read about a quarter of it, but I think it'll be a good choice for the upcoming rainy holiday weekend. Lucy Barton was just as wonderful the second time around... now on to Anything is Possible!

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  14. Oh the banana oatmeal looks good; I hadn't thought of using the slow cooker for that but I'm glad you included the recipe. I will try it out, how nice! Enjoy the upcoming Memorial Day weekend and your books. Let me know if I need the new Strout book.

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    1. Susan - I'd planned to make more of that oatmeal last night, and am kicking myself this morning because I never got around to it... would have loved a bowl. Almost halfway through Strout's new book. I think you're going to need it!

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