Saturday, February 13, 2021

A Swim in a Pond in the Rain; Infinite Country; and a Cat in a Zoom Meeting

 




Happy Valentine's Day! We're expecting a freeze tonight, with temperatures dipping down into the 20's. It will stay that way all of Monday, and then warm up. We will get another freeze on Wednesday, and then yet another next weekend. It's extremely cold weather for us, with expected icy roads and bursting water pipes and electrical outages. None of us know what to do in cold weather so please keep us all in your thoughts and prayers.







I only finished two books last week, but since one was nonfiction and the other was fiction, and since they were both excellent reads, I call it a great week. 

Here are my reviews:

A Swim in a Pond in the Rain: In Which Four Russians Give a Master Class on Writing, Reading, and Life by George Saunders. As I read A Swim in a Pond in the Rain, I found I am taking a class on the Russian short story, a class on how to write, a class on close reading; a c ...more

Infinite Country by Patricia Engel. "I often wonder if we are living the wrong life in the wrong country."And that's one of the thoughts that went through my head all through this story. ...more






All Things Bright and Beautiful by James Herriot (Book 2 in the ACGS Series)

Main Street by Sinclair Lewis (Classics Club)

The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri (Chapter-a-Day Read-along)

Yes, and...Daily Meditations by Richard Rohr (Daily Meditation Reading)

The Sea Around Us by Rachel Carson (Naturalist Book Club)

On the Narrow Road to the Deep North by Leslie Downer (Japanese Lit Challenge; Nonfiction)






The Texas Library Association has released its 2021 Lariat List, a list of current fiction that is a pleasure to read. Several of my recent favorites are on this list. TLA also has a Texas Topaz List, a list of the best recent nonfiction. 



My picture book Black History Month celebration calendar is filling up.




And the winners are...The Cybils Awards will be announced on Sunday, February 14th. I'm eager to see which books are the winners.






Good Thing #1: Life in a Day

Life in a Day is a documentary of a day---July 24, 2020---compiled of the best of 300,000 submissions from 191 countries in 65 languages. It's available on YouTube here.




Good Thing #2: Zoom Meeting with a Cat Friend




I had a delightful experience with a cat in a Zoom meeting this week. During our museum board Zoom meeting this week, the cat of one of our members, Adam Burkey, climbed up his neck and swished its tail back and forth in front of his face. I just barely managed to get a screenshot, but I found online someone who had a similar experience and I share that video here.



Good Thing #3: Sending You a Virtual Hug
I feel like we are getting closer and closer to being able to visit with each other in person. Until then, I send you this virtual hug.







I'm happy you found your way to the Sunday Salon. Sunday Salon is a place for us to link up and to share what we have been doing during the week. It's a great way to visit other blogs and join in the conversations going on there. 

Some of the things we often talk about at the Sunday Salon:

  • What was your week like?
  • Read any good books? Tell us about them.
  • What other bookish things did you do? 
  • What else is going on in your life?

Other places where you may like to link up over the weekend are below. Click on the picture to visit the site.


My linkup for Sunday Salon is below.

57 comments:

  1. My favorite part of watching news during Covid is seeing reporters in their homes on their zoom feeds. A dog or cat will walk through, a kid will bomb the zoom feed. It makes it so much more fun and so much more real!

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    1. I had to share your comment with my son and daughter-in-law who work in the news business.

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  2. That Life in a Day looks interesting. I started watching it already. Thanks for sharing! I'll have to finish after my work is done today.

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  3. I read your review for A Swim in the Pond (on Goodreads) and love all the passages you shared. This book didn't strike me as something I'd like to read until I read your excellent review!

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    1. I don't even know what category you'd put it in. A book for aspiring writers? A book about Russian literature? It's both of those, but it's also more than those.

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  4. Two books is good and it looks like you had some good reading too. I love the cat in the zoom meeting. Very cute. Have a great week!

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    1. I wished I had my video ready to record Adam as his cat climbed onto his shoulders during our meeting.

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  5. Our youngest cat does the same, climbs on our shoulders and swish her tail in our face ! I watched a serious video earlier this afternoon where a cat stepped in front of the camera and showed us a very big close up of his nose, lol. I love the books you're currently reading, I can't seem to finish mine and they're not big. Have a lovely evening (9.27 PM) and a nice sunday, it's very cold here, we're snowed but we had a bright sunny day :)

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    1. Oh golly, it's cold here this morning. We have actual snow and ice today.

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  6. Life in a Day sounds so interesting! Looks like you are making great progress on your picture books for Black History month! Hope you are having a great weekend and getting lots of reading done.

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    1. Life in a Day is emotionally moving. I'd like to see the 2010 edition, I think.

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  7. This was a great week for me because we finally got our first shot. I had a slight delayed reaction that evening, but who cares? I am soooo grateful.

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  8. It's Valentine's Day tomorrow, but it's very white outside, and cold! More snow on the way!

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    1. So cold here! No snow sticking on our grass, but snow on the roads and rooftops.

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  9. One of my high school classmates, a librarian who has struggled to read anything at all since the pandemic started, was just raving about George Saunders last week. I'm glad you enjoyed his book!

    Is this nasty winter weather supposed to affect you? My husband's older brother lives in San Antonio, where they're calling for something like 1-3" of snow followed by ice!

    Enjoy your week!

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    1. The tail end of that nasty weather blew in last night. It's 28 this morning, and the roads are covered with ice. It won't rise above freezing until tomorrow at noon. I hope your brother-in-law is able to stay indoors during this cold spell. We Texans don't know how to drive in weather like this.

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  10. Aaah loved those Zoom meetings bombed by cats. As lovable as Elza is, she is rather camera shy and if the kids want to see how she's doing, I have to go fetch her and and she doesn't always like that.

    I'm very interested in your thoughts on The Narrow Road to the deep north. I've picked it up years ago, but still didn't get to reading it.

    Numbers are finally going down here in SA and all schools are opening tomorrow. But we are worried about the vaccine as the Pfizer one is completely useless against the strain we had here in Africa. Trust Africa to be the difficult one. But we are staying positive and taking care as much as possible.

    Hope you are well dear Debbie and I hope to get a bit more to blog this upcoming week.

    Lots of love and happy Valentines Day!

    Mareli & Elza

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    1. I do hope that scientists are able to develop effective vaccines that work against the strains that have evolved. I have been worried about you in South Africa.

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  11. Two great reads are a good thing!

    Wishing you another great reading week, and Valentines Day wishes 😻

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    1. Even when I began to read again after a big stall at the start of the pandemic, I read very few great books. This year everything is great.

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  12. I love that cat in a Zoom meeting. As another commenter stated: seeing the homes of reporters doing their newscasts via Zoom are fun.

    Maybe it could be a Thing?

    I am hopeful that we are moving on toward some kind of normalcy, although I plan to keep the best things I have discovered during this horrific year: online shopping and deliveries!

    Enjoy your week, thanks for sharing.

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    1. There is nothing I love more than picking up groceries curbisde and having things delivered, I think.

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  13. We had a cat that loved lying on our shoulders. He would also pounce from on high onto your back or shoulders.

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  14. When you mentioned the cat in the zoom meeting, I was expecting the story of that hearing where one of the lawyers accidentally was using a cat filter as he was speaking to the judge. Funniest thing I saw all week. Good luck with the cold snap... I know folks in your area are not used to dealing with those conditions. Both of your books look great!

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    1. We have drained the pipes and turned the water off at the street. Hope we don't have any catastrophes.

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  15. We are used to the cold here but I hate it. Stay safe and stay inside with a good book as much as you can :)

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    1. One of the county judges said that this winter storm is similar to a Category 5 hurricane! That got our attention.

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  16. One of my colleagues' cat is always joining us on work calls. She thinks there are better things to do than talk to people on a screen all day. She's right of course, lol!

    Love the sound of Life in a Day. I haven't heard of that before so I need to check it out.

    I'm looking forward to hearing about the Cybils Awards winners!

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    1. I need to do a post on the Cybils winners. I've been busy preparing for this storm.

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  17. Keep warm! No church today, real feel -20. though alas that's not uncommon around Chicago.

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    1. We don't dare go on our porch---it's covered with snow and ice. No cars at all on the street.

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  18. My Cybils post and reviews of the winners for nonfiction have been posted this morning after the the official word of all the winners has been announced. Did you read for a category this year?

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    1. Hey, I just noticed that you nominated two of the nonfiction winners. Clever girl!

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    2. Yes, I generally read for the fiction picture books category that I chair. Just to shake things up, I think I'd like to switch to nonfiction one of these years.

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  19. Happy Valentine's Day. I'm currently reading Braiding Sweetgrass - wonderful book full of Native American wisdom about the environment and a botanist's appreciation of the interrelatedness of all things.

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    1. I got a copy of that book for Christmas. I hope our naturalist book club will choose it for discussion in 2022.

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  20. I just checked out the CYBILS winners and it looks like a good year! And, one of your nominees won; that's awesome!

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  21. Love the virtual hug! Lockdown somehow gets harder and harder every week to me, but I hope things will change for the better soon!
    Life in a Day looks good, thanks for sharing!
    Have a wonderful week!

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    1. We are starting to see enough doses of the vaccine around here so that everyone who wants to get the vaccine, and that is helping.

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  22. And a Happy Valentine's Day to you and yours.

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  23. Oh lord...gotta love our crazy cats.

    Thanks for the link to the Day in a Life video or whatever it is. I bookmarked it to watch later. Can't wait!

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    1. I think it was an entry to the Sundance Festival, and it's now on YouTube.

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  24. Oh I meant to watch the Day in a Life video when it popped up on my google home page.. I will do so shortly.. and I am going to get started on A Swim in a Pond in the Rain hopefully this week..

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    1. It will be interesting to see what you think of A Swim in a Pond.

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  25. My cat frequently makes appearances in my zoom meetings...as do my kids (if they are hungry or they need permission to play video games!).

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  26. We've had frozen pipes here a few times. My neighbor told us to leave one faucet on (just a trickle) and it will keep the water moving, avoiding a freeze. Works. Cold weather for your area is very strange. Texas is really feeling it too.

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  27. Good luck with your cold weather. It's cold here too but at least we are prepared for it. I'm glad you enjoyed two excellent books last week. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

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  28. That's what I'd call a very good week of reading. That's so funny about the cat, they seem to know when they can make "an entrance!"

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  29. Rhor is one of those folks I keep meaning to check out.

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  30. So many years of blogging and I have never once managed to write a Sunday Salon post! Sad, but I guess at this rate it's never going to happen. Funny about the cat! It's nice to have something like that to liven up the Zoom meeting. I love your Black History Month picture book calendar!

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  31. I hope you are able to stay warm. I have been hearing about the power outages and icy conditions in many parts of the country right now. You all are definitely in my thoughts. I am glad you had a good reading week. Infinite Country sounds really good--I love the cover too.

    I laughed out loud while watching the cat videos. My more affectionate cat likes to make an appearance during my Teams virtual meetings and will often try to walk across my computer, lay on my chest or behind me on the back of my chair. One of the managers always asks where she is if she doesn't make an appearance. LOL

    I hope you have a great week!

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    1. Whew. This winter storm has been awful. More next Sunday...

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I love to hear what you think.