Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Sunday Salon: Halfway

Yesterday's mail included (along with the assortment of ads and bills) a surprise of sorts: a letter from the kids' school announcing their teachers and their classrooms.

Boo was initially curious and then immediately declared the S word was verboten for the remainder of the summer. Betty was rather excited. Since we've only been here a year, we don't know anything about these teachers one way or another. Regardless, it was a reminder that here at the midpoint of July, summer is indeed halfway over and in 6 weeks the kids will be headed back to school.

My book of choice this week (America's Women: 400 Years of Dolls, Drudges, Helpmates, and Heroines by Gail Collins) is making me feel like I'm back in the classroom. This is a good thing, because I'm really enjoying this one. 

As the title promises, Collins truly does pack 400 years of American women's history into what is a chunkster of a book (450 pages, not including the notes and indexes). Make no mistake, though: this is no dry textbook. Collins presents a comprehensive and thorough view of American women's history in a way that is informative, engaging, shocking, and entertaining. What I'm finding especially interesting are the stories of the women who've gone unmentioned in the history books - the women we've never heard of. (At least, I haven't.)

Tuesday night was my writers' group meeting and faced with a combination of an hour's drive (each way) and feeling stressed, I dashed into the library en route. I'd realized earlier in the day that I didn't have an audiobook for the drive, which was not acceptable. With only 10 minutes to spare, I needed to find something FAST that met the criteria of being relatively short (because my driving time is short anyway these days, thanks to being unemployed and not having a commute) and funny (because I was in a depressed mood).

As soon as I spotted this on the shelf, I knew I had just the ticket to lift me out of my funk. Now, I Remember Nothing is narrated by Nora Ephron herself, so it is kind of bittersweet at first. Jarring, even.

But the humor more than makes up for it, of course, and listening to this 3-CD recording is like listening to an old friend (or a new one who feels like an old friend). This is almost like two books in one. The first part is Nora recounting all the everyday as well as significant and historical happenings in her life that she can't remember or may only remember trivial details of (meeting Eleanor Roosevelt! being outside the White House on the evening Nixon resigned!). The second part is more along the lines of reflections and musings on various topics. A little mismatched, yes, but good entertainment nonetheless.

And with that, Sunday is already halfway over. (Truth be told, there was a break in this post to take the kids out for breakfast and then to go grocery shopping.) There's something strange falling from the sky today; I think they call it rain. Hence, it's a lazy day here ... perfect for some reading, catching up on blogs, perhaps some scrapbooking or even a nap.

Hope you have a great Sunday!

What is the Sunday Salon? Imagine some university library's vast reading room. It's filled with people--students and faculty and strangers who've wandered in. They're seated at great oaken desks, books piled all around them, and they're all feverishly reading and jotting notes in their leather-bound journals as they go. Later they'll mill around the open dictionaries and compare their thoughts on the afternoon's literary intake.... 

That's what happens at the Sunday Salon, except it's all virtual. Every Sunday the bloggers participating in that week's Salon get together--at their separate desks, in their own particular time zones--and read. And blog about their reading. And comment on one another's blogs. Think of it as an informal, weekly, mini read-a-thon, an excuse to put aside one's earthly responsibilities and fall into a good book. 

copyright 2012, 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.

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