Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Sunday Salon: Post-Thanksgiving Reading Edition

As I write, The Husband and I are finishing up what has been quite the luxurious, decadent weekend.  No, we didn't jet-set to a fancy hotel and we didn't dine in any five-star restaurants.  None of that nonsense for us.  For the past three days, the furthest we've traveled has been to get the newspaper at the end of our driveway.  (Yes, we still get the newspaper delivered.) And the finest of dining we enjoyed was a simple Saturday brunch I made of scrambled eggs, bacon, and toast.

This weekend has been a much-needed gift to our sanities from my mother-in-law, who offered to have Betty and Boo stay at her house for the long Thanksgiving weekend.   Truth be told, things have been a bit stressful 'round here recently. Everything and everyone is basically fine; there's nothing more going on than the typical life craziness and pressures and what-if's that we all have going on in our lives. 

As a result of this weekend, it has been a wonderful reading week.  I finished The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot and I must say, this one is definitely worthy of all the acclaim it has been getting from bloggers as well as from the various best-of lists.  I thought this was incredibly fascinating and this will definitely be one of the best books I've read in 2010.  I'm pretty certain that I would not have picked this up if it wasn't for all the buzz in the blogosphere about this, so thank you for this one!

After finishing The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, I decided to start my Thankfully Reading Weekend a little early.

On Wednesday evening, I started and finished Bad Marie by Marcy Dermansky.  This is also another one that has received much-deserved acclaim from bloggers. The plot moves quickly, Dermansky's prose is smooth, and the characters are ones who you welcome being kidnapped by for a few hours.  It was the perfect book for a read-a-thon, and another one that will make my Best of the Year list. 

As unusual as it is for me to read a book in one sitting, it is downright rare for that experience to happen twice in one week.  I chose Wendy Mass's debut novel A Mango-Shaped Space as my first (official) Thankfully Reading Weekend book, and again, I wasn't disappointed.  I usually don't read many young adult novels, but when I do, I like them to be more of the realistic type than paranormal or fantasy. Although I don't have synesthesia, I could really relate to Mia, the 13 year old narrator who does have this condition.  She sees colors in addition to words, letters, and sounds.  How she navigates this while trying to fit in among her siblings and classmates made for an enjoyable book.

Finally, I've been partaking of some of the stories in Alice Munro's latest collection, Too Much Happiness.  Of these ten stories, I've read four so far.  This is the first time I've read any of Alice Munro's work, and while I like the stories I've read, they're different than what I expected.  Munro is an acclaimed short story writer and I've been wanting to read her work for a long time.  So, I don't know whether I'm not connecting as strongly with these because of high expectations or because of something else.  I think I might have to read some more Munro in order to decide on this one ... if that makes sense. 

In a few minutes, I'll drive north to pick up Betty and Boo from their weekend.  My audiobook is Malcolm Gladwell's latest What the Dog Saw (and Other Adventures) which is narrated by Gladwell himself.  I like his work, but I'm not sure about him as an audiobook narrator.  His voice is a bit monotonous and flat, so we'll see if I stick with the audio. 

How was your week and your Thanksgiving (if you celebrated such)?  And if you're participating in Thankfully Reading, how did you do?

copyright 2010, Melissa (Betty and Boo's Mommy, The Betty and Boo Chronicles) If you are reading this on a blog or website other than The Betty and Boo Chronicles or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.


Elizabeth said...

How wonderful that you had so much leisure time at home -- I think we all rarely do that -- stay at home during vacation and "rest." I look forward to reading the Henrietta book -- I downloaded it on my Kindle months and months ago after reading an excerpt and just haven't gotten to it!

Amy said...

Not Thanksgiving here in Canada so it was a regular weekend for me of friends, house work, and reading. I'm glad to hear you had such a wonderful and relaxing time - and that you read some really great books! Congratulations.

Florinda said...

I didn't read as much as I'd hoped to this weekend, but I did finish one book, review it, and get about halfway through another. I did all the TRW mini-challenges, and I got nearly current on blog-reading - overall, I'm pretty satisfied.

Glad you had such a good reading-and-relaxing weekend!

Peppermint Ph.D. said...

I stayed in my pj's all day Friday and most of Saturday. I didn't get any reading done bc of catching up on essay grading...I am caught up now though and that is a huge check off my list :) Sounds like a wonderful weekend!!

christa @ mental foodie said...

HeLa definitely is one of my top read in 2010. Glad you like it too!