Sunday, October 25, 2015

A Rainy Sunday Salon: Hurricanes, Browsings, and Other Nonsense

     When you don't watch tv, you miss a lot of things. All I can do is try to connect the dots, but I think a hurricane came from the Pacific all the way across Mexico to us here along the Texas Gulf Coast. We don't usually get storms here from the Pacific, over a thousand miles away, but I see that forecasters are saying that this Hurricane Patricia may be the strongest storm ever measured. In any case, it is raining here. A lot.

     I like rainy days. My plan for today is to spend time on the Cybils. I'm on the Fiction Picture Book panel this year, and, so far, we have 243 books to read and evaluate. Whew. I've managed to scrounge up and read 27, and I've got 93 requested from one library, 18 from another library, and 15 from a third library. Who does math out there? How many do I have left to find and request? How many to read? Anyone who can figure out how many hours this will take me? And how can I possibly come up with a shortlist of 5-7 books?

     The Cybils definitely inflate my book totals for the year. How many people can say they have read 27 books in a week?! 

     I've read two other books this week. Chocky is another 1001 Children's Books You Must Read title, and I had the odd feeling that I've read this book before, back in my scifi/fantasy heydays during my 20's. Matthew is a regular boy until he suddenly starts talking about Chocky. Chocky is more than just another imaginary friend; Chocky asks questions about math and physics and brings Matthew to new levels in physical and artistic accomplishments. So who is Chocky? And what's he doing with Matthew? Chocky is just the kind of book that I steeped in during my youth, with lots of things to think about that take you outside this tiny world of planet Earth. Browsings took me straight into my favorite place to go: deep inside the best and brightest books. Browsings is just what the subtitle says: "A Year of Reading, Collecting, and Living with Books." Author Dirda compiled fifty of his columns from The American Scholar to put together Browsings. He loves the obscure books and so do I. This is the fourth Dirda book-about-books that I've read, and it is just as fantastic as the other three.

     I'm working on three other books right now, all nonfiction: Nonsense: The Power of Not Knowing by Jamie Holmes; Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert; and Where I'm Reading From: The Changing World of Books by Tim Parks. If it keeps raining like this, I should finish all of these this evening.
     Oh, and did I tell you that we are eagerly awaiting the arrival of Miss Annie Readerbuzz, our first grandchild? They say hurricanes can get babies here quickly so let's see if this huge Pacific hurricane can help Annie into the world. We can't wait to meet her.

What is the Sunday SalonImagine 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. Click here to join the Salon.

The Sunday Post is a meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It's a chance to share news and recap the past week.

Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia at The Printed Page. We share books that we found in our mailboxes last week.  It is now being hosted here.

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews in which you can share the books you've acquired.

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is now being hosted at The Book Date.


  1. Those look like some good books right there...

    ...hope you're safe and sound as I did hear the hurricane had been downgraded. Fingers crossed...

    ...also for your first grandchild. Hope she arrives soon! And healthy and strong!

  2. Thank you. A few limbs down. Power off for an hour. Wind. Lots of rain. So far, so good.

  3. Glad you got only rain. The monster hurricane couldn't take the mountains on the west coast of Mexico and just dissipated into a tropical storm.Whew!

  4. Glad you got only rain. The monster hurricane couldn't take the mountains on the west coast of Mexico and just dissipated into a tropical storm.Whew!

    1. That's what we were hoping. Some worried that the storm might strengthen when it hit the gulf, but it didn't.

  5. Great books this week! I loved Browsings and just the way he talked about books. Glad you've only gotten rain! This one was making me a little nervous. Katrina is still pretty vivid in my memory.

  6. Oh, great news about your first grandchild! I remember how exciting it was...and it was twenty years ago for my first!

    Hurricanes scare me, but then people who don't live in California think we are constantly having earthquakes and wildfires...and we have our share. But all that water....sigh.

    Hope it passes you by. Enjoy your books. If I had liked Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat Pray Love, I might pick up one of her other books...but I'll wait. Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog.

  7. Congratulations on the impending arrival your first grandchild... such an exciting time, I'm sure!!

  8. That storm is seriously scary..every time a storm becomes the biggest in history I worry about what will come next. We lived in Florida and along the east coast most of our lives and the damage and devastation these storms can inflict is scary. Awesome haul this week.

  9. Oh I bet you can't wait to get your hands on Miss Annie and to create a wonderful library for her! The Dirda and Parks books really appeal to me.

  10. That was a monster storm, glad it weakened before you guys got hammered. I remember hearing biggest storm ever and I was like, yikes.

  11. We keep looking at the weather maps and can't believe the scope and size of that storm. Hope you are OK.

  12. That's a lot of books, even if they are picture books. Enjoy.

  13. Oh wow lot of picture books to get hold of and read. No doubt picking out what you'll be noting for new grandchild as well as the Cybil award. I am not a huge NF reader but my those three look very interesting so off to explore a little more about them!
    We had the hurricane noted on our TV news and how it had gone into Texas - sounds like a lot of rain.

  14. Welcoming a grandchild into the world, especially the first, is such a wonderful time. Hope all goes well . Glad you escaped the worst of the hurricane. Enjoy your picture books and the rest of your reading!

  15. An early congratulations to you and your family on your grandchild.

    Wow on the books read.

    ENJOY the rest of your reads, and I hope the baby is here soon.

    Silver's Reviews
    My It's Monday, What Are You Reading

  16. Wow first grandchild! Congrats. Has she arrived yet? And is it still raining? Maybe the hurricane did the trick. I'd like to hear if Big Magic is good. Enjoy your week.


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