Sunday, February 5, 2017

A Super Bowl-less Super Bowl Sunday

It's Super Bowl Sunday and it's a day....well, if you don't love football, like me, you already know what I'm going to say, so why say it, and, if you do love it, you aren't reading this. It's probably among the sports-minded that I find myself most often having to channel my inner Martin Luther King, Jr.

Which is all really to say that I've been reading in a frenzy since the beginning of the year. I know many people can't read when the world is topsy-turvy, and I'm sorry about that, but I'm just the opposite; I can't seem to do anything else. I've already read a ridiculous seven books this month, and I'm deep into five more:
The Art of the Pie; H is for Hawk; Homegoing; March, Book Three; Tenth of Dec.

Rather than talk about what I'm reading or...heaven, let me catch you up on my adventures with the Inprint Reading Series. At the October reading, with Ann Patchett and Lauren Groff, I ran into a woman I met last summer at the Writers' Retreat in far west Texas. She oh-so-kindly invited me to join her circle of friends for dinner before the next Inprint author reading in November, and I did. And then she invited me again in January, and I did. What a lovely circle of friends she has. Literate, of course. But they also see films (not movies) and go out to eat and volunteer in hospitals and even march for Truth and Justice. Just being in the presence of these women gives me hope again that right will triumph in the world. 

And who have I seen at Inprint? In November, it was Rabih Alameddine and Juan Garcia Vasquez. Both are immigrants, Alameddine from Lebannon, and Vasquez from Columbia.  Both know the deep value of writing in a repressive culture. Alameddine tells us. "You're an easy audience. Where I come from, we heckle much better." Vasquez believes writing is a contact sport. Alameddine says the writer has to be both part of the culture and separate from it. "Good literature," Vasquez says, "doesn't come from certainties, but from questions." Vasquez says many people tell him they want to be writers but they don't want to read; what should they do? Vasquez quips, "Run for president."

In January, it was Annie Proulx. Barkskins is her tenth book. Proulx was trained as a historian, so she starts a book with a place. "Once I have the place," she says, "characters appear." She can spend days on a single sentence, on the precise word. "I know the ending before I know the beginning," she tells us. Ironically, she seems to have developed an allergy to trees while researching Barkskins, and her reading was kept short, perhaps due to that.

Thank you to all who recommended March. I think I'll spend a little time today on Book Three.

What are you reading today?

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 where we share what we read this past week, what we hope to read this week…. and anything in between!  This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from! I love being a part of this and I hope you do too! It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is now being hosted at The Book Date.


  1. Great post! Reading helps keep me from thinking of those unthinkable events in life...and I love what Vasquez said about people who want to write, but don't read! Good one.

    Enjoy your reading, and thanks for visiting my blog.

  2. I will take my cue from you and read more, watch TV and log on to social media less!

  3. I am not a Super Bowl fan (though the Falcons' center was a student at my school), so I'll be reading today: Night of Many Dreams by Gail Tsukiyama.

  4. OK, I'll forgive you for not being a football fan (and a Texan no less), but we're not much into the Super Bowl either - at least not this year. And, like you, I've been a reading and reading and reading. I've been volunteering at the Austin library and tomorrow I'm going to my first meeting of Friends group at another local library - a small one. I've been to their semi-annual book sale several times and decided it was time for me to offer my talents, such as they are, to help them out. I've worked in libraries for several years and volunteered in libraries for more years than I can count. I've never been part of a Friends group, though I've known of many who help so much. Looking forward to it. Your new group sounds very interesting. You'll have to keep us informed about it. Have a good week! Won't be long until the bluebonnets (well, it will be a while, but I love it when they come)!

  5. What a great, informative post! You are so lucky to be able to attend author readings, and I love that you are able to share this information. When I look at the list of books you have read, I am hit with book envy, even though I own almost every book in your post. I really need to get to March, and I've been meaning to read H is for Hawk simply forever. Thanks for such a good Sunday Salon post--I really enjoyed it!

  6. Oh lovely. I love it when I end up in places with people who love the same thing as me, like books, and saving the earth! I'm "watching the Superbowl" and blogging. Ha!
    My Sunday Salon

  7. Oh wow, the new group of people sound lovely. It's like finding your 'tribe' I guess. I'd like to meet more like-minded people where I live and I guess I need to make more of an effort in that regard!

  8. I usually read to get away from the craziness of the world.

    Here’s my Sunday Post!

    Ronyell @ Rabbit Ears Book Blog and join in this week’s Book Photo Sundays!

  9. Sounds like a fascinating group of people. I always enjoy hearing authors speak about their craft but usually focus on YA authors. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

  10. That sounds like a wonderful reading series! You get to hear so many great writers.

    I find myself reading a lot too. I think I'm more mindful about my threshold for news/tv/social media and books are a good place to go!

  11. This talk from immigrant authors seems very timely right now. We need to value immigrants' voices not ban them. It sounds like it was a great talk, and I'm glad you met this ladies group who definitely sound like inspiring people.


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