Saturday, March 20, 2021

The Sunday Salon: A Week in Which I Go Inside a Store for the First Time in a Year

 





I must thank you all for your helpful advice last week. I was at a low spot emotionally, and you reminded me of all the many ways I can work to get myself out of that awful place. Thank you so much. Have I told you all lately how much I love my blogging friends? I do.






It certainly helped my mood to read four wonderful books last week. I delighted in The Color of Magic and All Things Wise and Wonderful, both of which were full of humor and good storytelling. I enjoyed Tom Brown's Schooldays, too, the story of an English boy's time in boarding school, first published in the early nineteenth century. I'd especially love to know if any of you have read The Portable Veblen, published in 2016, but which I just discovered last week. It went straight onto my Favorites shelf. Quirky times two.

The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett (Mood-Boosting Books)

All Things Wise and Wonderful by James Herriot (Mood-Boosting Books)

Tom Brown's Schooldays by Thomas Hughes (1001 Children's Books)

The Portable Veblen by Elizabeth Mckenzie (Fiction)








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

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

Tarka the Otter by Henry Williamson (1001 Children's Books)

The Little Book of Lent (Daily Reading During Lent)

Out of Eden: An Odyssey of Ecological Invasion (Naturalist Book Club)

Women Who Dared: 52 Stories of Fearless Daredevils, Adventurers, and Rebels (Women's History Month)






I finally was able to pop in for Battle of the Books, created by 1000 Books You Must Read Before You Die author Jim Mustich, and hosted over Zoom by the Cuyahoga County Public Library. The format is compelling: five people are given four minutes each to advocate for their favorite books that need to join the next 1000 BYMRBYD list, and then the audience votes. This episode featured author Thrity Umrigar, book reviewer Donna Seaman, author Andromeda Romano-Lax, blogger Anne Bogel, and professor Mary Bly (who writes romances under the pen name Eloisa James). It was great fun. You must stop in for the next battle, and if you don't subscribe to Jim Mustich's bi-weekly e-mail newsletter, you are missing out. 






It's harder than I expected to photograph a butterfly.


I'm excited to see that we have a lot of naturalist events coming up this spring. We're participating in Spring Fling, where we help birders at Quintana Neotropical Bird Sanctuary (masked, socially distant). We are participating in an eight-month long Butterfly Monitoring project at Camp Mohawk. And we will check out the sites on loops of The Great Texas Wildlife Trail in our county. 





Good Thing #1:
I went inside a store for the first time in a year.
Guess what kind of store it was?
Good guess! Yes, it was a bookstore.



Good Thing #2:
I was sure the freeze killed everything, but,
no, my azaleas are blooming.


Good Thing #3:
Our garden is in. Kale and basil and rosemary and carrots survived the freeze,
and now we have added tomatoes and green peppers and green beans and jalapeños





How are you doing this week?





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. 

69 comments:

  1. I'm so happy you enjoyed The Portable Veblen! It's definitely a book that deserves more attention. So quirky and fun! And yay for bookstores! It's been over a year since I've been in one, as well. It'll be one of my first stops when I'm able. <3

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    1. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one that loved that little story, Dedra.

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  2. You had a fine week and have much to look forward to. I am ending Spring Break and starting the second part of the semester this coming week. Sigh...

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    1. I know how much you love teaching, Rae, and I'm sure you are looking forward to this.

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    2. Because I'm entering a grading marathon on their argument/research papers, it's a bit tedious right now. I am making myself happy on the side by setting up my summer course. I haven't taught summer school since summer of '89, my first semester to teach at UHCL. But, I'm saving up for a bookstore!

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  3. I'm hungry just watching your garden :) I'm happy for you you were finally able to enter a bookstore ! I tried to take a picture of a humming-bird hawk-moth once or twice, then just gave up, they move too quickly. Enjoy your week-end :)

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    1. Butterflies allow you to get closer than birds do, but they can dart away so quickly.

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  4. Glad you were able to venture out Deb, and, what better than a bookstore? Your garden makes me happy spring is about here. High 50s and sun this weekend for us so progress. Hope you have a good week.

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    1. Everyone in the bookstore was masked and socially distant, so it was a great outing.

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  5. I, too, went into a business establishment for the first time in a year this week, but mine was a nursery. I was looking for plants to replace some that were lost in the freeze and something to add a bit of color to the garden. It was a successful trip!

    I finished How to Order the Universe by Maria Jose Ferrada and The Committed by Viet Thanh Nguyen this week. Both were excellent reads. But mostly I've been spending my time working in the garden and that is a very good thing.

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  6. Alas our bookstores are not open yet, not that I’m buying but it’s nice to visit!

    I have tried and failed to get a picture of a butterfly, they seems to sense me about to take the picture and fly away.

    Have a lovely week!

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    1. I was told to be careful not to let your shadow fall on the butterfly.

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  7. Your good things really make me happy. Gla dyou survived the store and that your azalias survived the snow and ice. The herbs and kale too. Well done, my friend. I might try a bookstore next week. We'll see!

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    1. It's spring break, so there were a good number of people in the store, but no one got close or was unmasked.

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  8. Thanks for the tip about Tom Brown's Schooldays. I would like ton read that one. Love your azalea photos and the garden too. Our blooms are starting to come out and it's a nice time of year.

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    1. Tom Brown's Schooldays has a modern feel, a conversational tone, though it also has a bit of the heavy hand with spiritual teachings.

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  9. I’m delighted you had a much more positive week Deb,and treated yourself to a visit to a bookstore!
    It sounds like you will be busy this spring :)

    Wishing you a great reading week

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    1. I am eager to get out more after being cooped up for so long.

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  10. My mom went in a grocery store for the first time in a year, too. She was a bit nervous and overwhelmed and didn't stay too long, which is probably a good thing. But it's wonderful that she now has more freedom to go out and about and not rely on me to do all of her shopping. But you got to go inside B&N! Oh, how I miss that store. I follow my old store (where I worked) on Instagram and love to see all those beautiful shelves of books. Someday, I'll get back inside one, but not until we start traveling again. The closest is about 90 minutes away!

    Look at how well your garden is doing! Hooray for veggies!

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    1. I wish I had written down the name of the bookstore person who helped me. She looked up my books on her computer and darted here and there to help me get them. I hadn't planned to buy all five books, but, gosh, she worked so hard!

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    2. Most of my former coworkers loved to help customers find whichever books they were looking for, as well as recommending others. I'm glad you had fun! BTW, after reading your post, I kept thinking about the name Eloisa James and then it dawned on me that I had read her memoir (Paris in Love) many years ago. Found it on my blog and thought you'd be interested since you love everything Paris. ;) You've probably already read the book, but if not, I think you'd enjoy it. Here's the link. It's an older post, so a video that included is no longer visible. :(

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    3. Thank you so much, Les! It was so nice of you to look that up for me.

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  11. There's something special about discovering that your flowers and veggies survived the freeze; renewed hope. And, pair that with a visit to a bookstore and you are good to go! I definitely feel like there is hope on the horizon.

    I signed up for Jim's email newsletter so thank you for letting us know about that.

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    1. I subscribed to Jim Mustich's A Common Reader when I was a young mother, and I used to look forward to seeing his thoughts about books. He writes brilliantly.

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  12. I'm glad your first foray into the stores was a bookstore! I finally ventured into a bookstore in over a year a couple of weeks ago! It was heaven. I'm sorry you weren't doing so well last week. I'm glad you are feeling better. I blame everything on the pandemic!

    Those azaleas look beautiful and I'm jealous of your yummy veggie garden. I tried a couple of years ago to do a square foot garden but I'm in a public area since I live in a townhome and it was too hard to keep the neighbors and their animals out...I had some great jalapenos, though. So I may just plant those this year once we get out of the freeze zone. I console myself knowing we are getting a farm co-op this summer. We will be eating well.

    I will also be signing up for Jim's newsletters! I've enjoyed his book and am having fun with a fellow blogger on some of the French classics he has recommended.

    I hope you have a wonderful week. And Happy Spring Equinox!

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    1. I enjoyed the Battle of the Books much more than I expected to.

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  13. Cuyahoga is my library system and they are awesome!!! I'll be heading to my local indie bookstore this week to get the new Harlan Coben.

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    1. Stacy, they showed a little video of the library system at the end of the battle, and I was impressed.

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  14. I'm so glad you are doing better this week and reading so many good books. I hope this will be another good week for you.

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    1. I do, too, Yvonne. I see that I slipped in my morning practice in the last month and I think I need to get back to it.

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  15. That is wonderful that you finally went to a store (and I am not surprised it is a bookstore!)
    And the Battle of the Books sounds so tempting. I will be sure to see if I can join in the next time around. Wow, the episode you joined definitely had a great set of five people.. I love Eloisa James' books.. and I have Thrity Umrigar's book on my TBR from since well, a long time. And of course Anne Bogel too..
    I am heading over to subscribe to Jim Mustich's newsletter

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    1. I'd call Jim Mustich a Master Reader. He reads carefully and writes brilliantly.

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  16. There is nothing wrong with a bit of comfort reading to get us out of a lull. I'v never read Tom Browns school days but I am sure my Dad has. The colour of Magic is probably my least favourite of the series as he was just figuring out that writing lark but you have to start somewhere, and why not at the beginning.
    I remember watching the TV series based on the James Herriot books, are the books as good?

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    1. The books are just perfect for this time, with short chapters, each of which is an independent story. And who doesn't love reading about animals?!

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  17. Yay for bookstore visits! That had to feel good. :) I am glad you are in a better spot. Books and plants and nature are such great healers. :)

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    1. Nature and books and plants are great healers, Erin!

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  18. I find it interesting how many books you read at once. I only read two at a time.

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  19. I remember spending so long trying to take photos of butterflies while I was camping. I don’t think I got any good pictures. They don’t stay still! Going inside a store feels weird. I recently went into my first store too. I needed new clothes for a work thing and didn’t have time to get them shipped, so I went to Walmart. I wish I’d gone to a bookstore! That would have been more fun.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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    1. I was proud of how careful the readers in the bookstore were. And I got to overhear an actual book conversation while I was there!

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  20. Your vegetable garden looks beautiful! So glad to hear that many of your plants survived the freeze. It's such a pain when that last frost comes unexpectedly. The Battle of the Books sound fun - I didn't hear about it but will see if it can be watched again.

    My husband had never stopped doing the weekly (occasionally biweekly) grocery shopping but I haven't been into stores much - a few here and there, sure but not many. Even then, I'm not comfortable walking into a store - it makes me annoyed when some people don't actually cover their noses with their masks.

    Have a great week, Deb - I am glad you met some amazing books last week to keep the sad feelings at bay.

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    1. I've done curbside for a year now. I wonder if I should try grocery shopping in person.

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  21. I got into a Barnes and Noble too, they had a starbucks and so I got a multi-grain bagel, it was better than I thought. I tried to find a nice journal but couldn't find any that lie flat. I got a few pages farther in Liar's dictionary but i think I'm going to put it down.

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    1. I will be going back to Barnes & Noble, maybe once every two weeks.

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  22. I used to live around the corner from a Barnes & Noble...but haven't been in one for the whole year! I have fond memories of that store, and hope to go again soon!

    I'm glad you got to go. Ours also had a Starbucks inside.

    Have a great week, and here are my WEEKLY UPDATES

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    1. I think, when I go back to B&N, I'll try the Starbucks, too. It has an outside cafe.

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  23. Wow. That is a lot of kale that made it through your freeze. Kale does like cold weather so I am not surprised that it is growing so well. You haven't gone into grocery stores since last year? That is where I end up about once every two weeks or so. We keep having what we call COVID meals, though, when I don't go shipping and we have to cobble stuff together to make a meal.

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    1. I have done curbside from Kroger. Every other Friday at 7 am.

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  24. Oh wow, you got to go in a bookshop! None of that here until at least 12 April ... and I have to walk about 3 miles to get to my nearest, very small one, although there are plenty of books in the local charity shops.

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  25. So many good things this week! Your garden looks great...it's always so rewarding to plant, watch it grow, and enjoy the bounty later. And going into a store again is a BIG deal. Of course, it should be a bookstore! I must look into The Portable Veblen. Have a good week, Deb.

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    1. I bought another book by the author of The Portable Veblen after I finished that book. I hope it's as good.

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  26. Yay for going into the bookstore! Definitely a good place to spend some time and a place that is high on my list to go. Azaleas are hardy flowers and I'm glad yours made it. They're so pretty! I'm debating if I'm going to use my raised beds this year. I normally do vegetables but if I do anything I'll probably just stick to some herbs this year. Have a great week!

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  27. I'm glad you're feeling better this week.

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  28. I love your good things section! I need more of those! I hope you enjoyed your time in the bookstore!
    You made me very curious about The Portable Veblen, I will have to add it to my list.
    Have a wonderful week, Deb!

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  29. I love going to Barnes & Noble. :) And yes it has been a WHILE. Glad it was a good weekof reading. I need to try Pratchett...

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  30. I'm glad you're in better spirits this week!

    When my husband starts chasing a butterfly for pictures, I just settle in and get comfortable somewhere. He's a perfectionist and they love to tease him, staying still until he gets them perfectly framed, then fluttering away just as he clicks the shutter. I swear I hear butterfly giggles floating back on the breeze!

    I'm glad your garden survived the freeze!

    Enjoy your week!

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  31. Hi there Debbie! So glad to hear you are feeling better. We all go through a bit of a low every now and then and I also had a couple of low days last week. Just work stuff! But now it's holidays and I can relax and spend some more time on the blog. Really looking forward to that!

    I hope you will have a good week with a lovely spring in your step.

    Lots of love always,

    Mareli & Elza

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  32. The Portable Veblen does sound like a quirky story. We still have snow on the north sides of our yards and buildings but the last of it should melt off our deck today. Spring is still weeks away here in Duluth. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

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  33. I'm glad you had a successful store visit. I have been visiting stores but not for long. This weekend though we ate inside! No one was hardly there and our server told us that all staff had been vaccinated. I was inside for church too... away from others and double masked but I feel as if I am getting a little careless before my vaccine appt of 4/6 but my daughter heads back to school on Monday so that will be a tough week for exposure if it happens at all.

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  34. Wow your garden is further ahead than I would've thought by this time after the Freeze. Nice! We don't get to plant till the end of May. I have not heard of the Portable Veblen book ... now I will check it out. thanks. Enjoy your week.

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  35. Sounds like you had a good week Deb. I take terrible pictures, so your butterfly looks good to me. So happy that so much of your garden and plants survived the freeze. Enjoy the rest of the week.

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  36. Yes to the power of a great book community to lift our spirits! I just went over to subscribe to the newsletter. I have a book I got several years ago, 1001 Books to Read Before you Die, which I'll have to compare to this one! And, so glad you go to visit B&N. I've only stepped in one once since the pandemic. As soon as I get my vaccine I'll feel a bit more comfortable going out (masked of course!)

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