Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Sunday Salon: Things I Don't Usually Do Edition

I'm not planning to move one muscle today, if I can help it. If we're Facebook friends, you already know why: I'm recuperating from the beginners Pilates class I took yesterday with several other Pittsburgh bloggers (all of whom are much more fit and active than yours truly). Let's put it this way: The Betty and Boo Chronicles won't be transforming itself from a book/autism mom/food/politics/unniched blog into a fitness blog anytime soon. 

Don't get me wrong: I'm glad I had the opportunity to try the class (which I'll write about in a separate post), and I'm even happier I had the chance to meet these lovely ladies. As you'll recall from my "You Could Have Wound Up in a Coma (And Other Phrases You Don't Want Your Doctor to Tell You" post, I sometimes need a kick in the ass to get moving (and believe me, this morning, I definitely feel like I've been kicked in the ass and everywhere else). 

The truth of the matter is that I never was good at group sports. (Support Group for Those Still Suffering from Being Chosen Last In Gym Class now forming here!) That's still true today. I just think that I am more suited to more solitary exercise pursuits ... such as, say, walking around the neighborhood while listening to an audiobook.

Speaking of which, I finished listening to Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food yesterday on the way home from the Pilates class. How apropos, as there WAS food involved as part of this event. We went to the restaurant Habitat afterward, which I'll be reviewing in a separate post. (Look at me, getting several blog posts out of several hours!) 

In Defense of Food is narrated by the incredible Scott Brick, who is a rockstar in the world of audiobook narrators. I adored him so much in the course of listening to this that I had to look up his audiography (alas, he mostly narrates books that fall outside of my preferred genre of choice). The whole concept of In Defense of Food can be summed up from the front cover illustration, which advises to "Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly plants." Since In Defense of Food was published in 2008, we've seen the benefits of this advice repeatedly. Most of us know that we'll be healthier if we avoid the processed and fast foods, eat seasonally and locally, focus on meals eaten with others rather than snacking on the go, and eat only foods our grandparents (or great-grandparents) would recognize.

I liked In Defense of Food as a reminder of all that, but as a vegetarian for 17 years who has been shopping from the farmer's market and avoiding as much processed crap as possible and eating seasonally ('cause all of the above are cheaper on this unemployed mama's budget), I didn't feel like I personally got much new out of the book. It felt dated, and that's probably a result of the 2008 publication date. Still, I liked it for the introduction of Scott Brick as an audiobook narrator I plan to look for in the future (and the fact that In Defense of Food was one of my personal TBR books that I knocked off the shelves. Booyah!)

You know that I don't often read the latest New York Times bestseller or whatever the hot book is at the moment. (Hell, my last two books read were published in 2008 and 1987.) However, I couldn't resist Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn any longer when I saw that my library had it in e-book format. I was #42 on the waiting list and when my number came up this week when I was betwixt and between books (I'd just finished Randy Shilts's amazing And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic), I was thrilled.

Gone Girl is currently #1 on the New York Times hardcover bestseller list, and with very good reason. People, THIS LIVES UP TO ALL THE HYPE and then some. This is one hell of a head fake of a book and I am loving it to no end.  I cannot remember the last time, if ever, that I was reading a NYT hardcover bestseller while it was currently a NYT hardcover bestseller. I truly can't. 

One of my Goodreads statuses for this recently was "I am going to be a gone girl to my family until I finish this," which is true. I've only been able to read this in short snatches (um, bad choice of words there?) but thanks to recuperating from the Pilates class, I gain some extra couch potato time today that will allow me to spend some time being figuratively and literarily (is that a word?) gone.

Later, my friends.

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.


Anonymous said...

It was great meeting you yesterday! I love the photo for your blog. I just read the story behind it and I was excited to see you were at the Jersey Shore! I vacation there every year with my family.
Also- I finished Gone Girl in about two days last week. Loved it!

Melissa said...

So great to meet you too, and even more glad to get the name of your blog! (I felt like an idiot not getting it before I left.) Gone Girl is freaking me out ... what an awesome book!

Alex @ Brain, Body, Because said...

"In Defense of Food" has been on my to read list for awhile because I really enjoyed "the Omnivore's Dilemma."

However, as a (relatively) health-conscious vegetarian, I wonder if I would have the same reaction as you.

Also, I keep hearing all this "Gone Girl" hype, but the story sounds really scary! Do you think so? I get scared very, very easily.

It was great to have met you on Saturday! Hope to see you again soon :)

Claire said...

It was great to meet you! Gone Girl is on my "to read" list for sure, and I love Pollan's books. I felt 100% uncoordinated at the Pilates class myself!