Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Sunday Salon: Here We Go ...

It's Super Bowl weekend here in the States, and for many, this is a national holiday. Alas, not so much for us Philadelphia Eagles fans. (That's why we had to create the absolutely disgusting and abhorrent on so many 700 levels Wing Bowl, which is another post altogether ... like this one I wrote about it in 2009

The Super Bowl is usually a non-event for us folks around here, given the fact that our Eagles have only been to two Super Bowls (1981 and 2005) and come up short each time. And given the shenanigans that the Eagles brass have been putting us through lately, I don't expect that to change anytime soon.

Anyway, given our family's upcoming move to Pittsburgh, hopefully our luck will change in that regard.  Needless to say, I am rooting for the Steelers today. 

If you're more into books than football (and chances are, if you're reading this, that's probably a good bet), Jenn from Jenn's Bookshelves is hosting The Big Game's On Read-a-Thon. It's currently underway and it's probably not too late to join in the fun.  It's very low-key, which is exactly what I need since I've been battling a little stomach bug this weekend.  I wasn't going to participate, but I'm feeling a little better today than yesterday. Besides, the likelihood was pretty good that I'd be reading and rooting for the Steelers at the same time.  (Given my under-the-weather predicament today, this Salon post is doing double-duty as my official kick off post.)

My book of choice today is Lyndall Gordon's 405 page Lives Like Loaded Guns: Emily Dickinson and Her Family's Feuds. (Just shy of qualifying for the  Chunkster Challenge!)  I'm only on page 70, but so far I'm enjoying it.  I loved The Secret Life of Emily Dickinson, and this one mirrors Jerome Charyn's novel in many ways.  Folks who have read Secret Life would definitely appreciate this one too, I think.  So far, it's a lot of biographical background material (which reads very well and is entertaining) but it promises to go much more detail about the feud that erupted within the Dickinson family, particularly in regards to Emily's poetry.  It's kind of fascinating.

Families.  Gotta love them, eh? 

Family dynamics and their influence on our identity and friendships was the focus of the other book I read this week, Molly Fox's Birthday by Deirdre Madden, which was a finalist for the Orange Prize.  This is a quiet, contemplative, reflective kind of novel - definitely not one to read if you prefer novels that have a strong plot, because there isn't one.  The characters and their relationships to themselves and each other are the focus of this one, which works well enough, but I wasn't entirely captivated by this.  It wasn't a bad read, and it wasn't the best book ever.  Just ... somewhere in between. 

And finally, my current audiobook is the acclaimed young adult (or middle grade?  I can't always figure out the difference) novel Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine.  This one is getting many, many raves among bloggers and from the very first opening lines it was evident as to why.  This is a heartbreakingly powerful book, and I think the audio version is especially so.  Narrator Angela Jayne Rogers is perfect for the character of Caitlyn, a fifth grader with Asperger's Syndrome who is trying to make sense of the death of her beloved and protective brother due to a school shooting. 

How about you ... are you participating in a Super Bowl party this weekend (either of the football or the literary variety)? 

copyright 2011, Melissa, 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.


Jenn's Bookshelves said...

So glad to have you as part of the read-a-thon! Sounds like you have some great books lined up! I particularly enjoy reading books about family dynamics!

Hope you have a great day reading!

Florinda said...

I'm doing Jenn's readathon too - spending a good chunk of the day with my Kindle and a book I'd really like to finish. Have a good Sunday!

Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness) said...

I'm at a friends house watching the game now, and she's a huge Steelers fan. They'll be a much more fun team than the Eagles after you move :)

Iliana said...

Where have I been... I hadn't heard of the Mockingbird book but it sounds good!

Not a sports fan here so I'm trying to catch up on a bit of blogging and visiting blog friends :)