Saturday, April 17, 2021

The Sunday Salon: Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm; Hemingway; and I Start a New Library Project

 










Four children's picture books plus a children's classic along with one light romance and The Divine Comedy. 

I had somehow expected an insipid and overly-optimistic main character, but I loved Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, as a character and as a book. I trudged through The Divine Comedy and finally got to the end; I'm glad I read it, but I'll never read it again. I loved People We Meet on Vacation...until I didn't. 

The links take you to the complete reviews.

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

Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggin (1001 Children's Books)

People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry (Romance)


Eve's Ducklings by Maria Monte (Picture Book)


Welcome Home, Whales by Christina Booth (Picture Book)







Wonderworks: The 25 Most Powerful Inventions in the History of Literature (Nonfiction Challenge)

The Guns of August by Barbara Tuchman (Nonfiction Challenge)

100 Poems to Break Your Heart (National Poetry Month)

Quo Vadis by Henryk Sienkiewicz (Chapter-a-Day Read)

The Art of Taking It Easy (Happiness Project)

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

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

Poemcrazy: Freeing Your Life With Words by Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge (National Poetry Month) 

The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins (Classics Club)







The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books is virtual this year.  It runs from April 17 through April 23. Most of it is free. Register for it here.



Viet Thanh Nguyen, the author of The Sympathizer, has a new book out, The Committed, and he spoke via Inprint Houston last week. He was hilarious, but somehow I cannot imagine that either of his books are funny. Maybe I'm wrong.



Dewey's 24-Hour Read-a-thon will be held Saturday, April 24 from 7 am CDT to Sunday, April 25 at 7 am CDT. Sign up for the readathon here.







We watched all three episodes of Ken Burns' new series, Hemingway, last week. He seems to be a person who experienced both great joys and great sorrows, sometimes both at the same time.

Any recommendations for what to watch next? 






Cape May warbler at Quintana in 2019

Good Thing #1: Spring Fling at Quintana Neotropical Bird Sanctuary. This was such a Wonderful Good Thing that I had to write an entire post about it, appearing Wednesday on my blog.



Good Thing #2: I went to the Native Plant Nursery at the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory near me, and I came home with fourteen plants for my yard. I'm not completely sure what I actually brought home, and I can't wait to see what happens after I put them in the ground.



Good Thing #3: I've brought home our Texas Master Naturalist chapter library, and I will start soon to catalog them and organize them and label them. I'm delighted to begin this project.





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. 

63 comments:

  1. Wow, I'm first ^^ I confirm, Viet Thanh Nguyen's books are great but not hilarious (I read The refugees). I'm rewatching "old" series these days (Star Trek and X-files, and watching a korean drama, Crash landing on you, that is really fun even if sometimes emotional. I've been meaning to watch The Indian doctor on Amazon prime but we don't have it here in France. Enjoy your week-end :)

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    1. Star Trek is always a good fallback show. (But which Star Trek to choose? So many possibilities...)

      I will look for The Indian Doctor.

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  2. The Hemingway series was fascinating to me. He's not my favorite writer -- I don't like his style all that much. And yet he and the world he lived in intrigue me. I thought the doc was very revealing.

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    1. There were so many photographs of him, so many videos. How could he possibly focus on writing with so many people around him, ogling him, sitting in judgment of him? Yet he did not seem to do well when he was alone either.

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  3. Beyond frustrated here as our cases continue to skyrocket.

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    1. I cannot understand why that is happening in Toronto.

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  4. Viet Thanh Nguyen's books are not without humor, but you are right that humor is not their focus and they do tell tragic stories but are so worth reading.

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    1. I should give one a try. I'm waiting to see if one arrives in the mail. That would be nice.

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  5. I've read both books by V.T.Nguyen, and they are definitely ironic, and in some places quite amusing. He has a sardonic sense of humor. I'd love to hear him speak! I hope you get to read them, though your list seems amazingly ambitious.

    best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

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    1. I think Nguyen was the best author speaker I've heard through Inprint.

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  6. I need to get some plants to put in the pots on our deck, but I've been busy raking and pruning the areas around the house first and will tackle the pots in another week or so. We did clean out our little fountain, so it's burbling quite nicely now and our temps were so comfortably warm that we were able to sit outside and have our drinks on the deck before dinner. I'll be interested to hear what kind of plants you wound up with! Well done on your huge stack of books for your naturalist library. That sounds like a fun project!

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    1. I went to the nursery on the day the expert was there, but he got delayed and I just had to make the best choices I could. I have no idea what I came home with!

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  7. Bob was watching the Hemingway show while I was reading my book. Par for the course. I'm just curious as to what the 14 plants are that you brought home from the nursery. Inquiring minds want to know.

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    1. I sent photos of the plants to the fellow who runs the nursery, and he tentatively identified them as Straggler Daisy; Upright Prairie Coneflower; American Pokeweed; Mexican Firespike; Maximilian Sunflower; Clasping-Leaf Coneflower; Texas Coneflower; and Red Mulberry. He had "maybe" by several of these.

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  8. I've always wanted to do the Dewey Readathon but I haven't had a chance. I don't know if I can do it this year but I'm thinking about it. Have a great week!

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  9. I am glad you enjoyed Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm despite your reservations about it! Sound like you will be spending a lot of time outdoors in your garden. :-) Enjoy your new plants! My yard is so bare--but I did not inherit the gardening gene and don't especially enjoy it. I do enjoy looking at pretty gardens though. I hope you have a great week, Deb!

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    1. I do hope everything will do well. Not sure if I have a gardening gene or just some darn good luck.

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  10. Your updates are sounding so much more hopeful than they were a couple of months ago. How far we've come!

    I think of Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm as being entirely too sweet for some reason. I guess I should actually read the book and find out instead of forming baseless opinions.

    Enjoy your week!

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    1. I was delighted to find Rebecca to be a strong and creative girl. Instead of a sickly sweet story I saw a girl in poverty struggling to help herself and her family.

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  11. Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm just sounds very wholesome (and I don't know much about it, not having read it, but I hope you're enjoying it- I really like some of those nostalgic older reads as I get older), and Out of Eden has me curious as well.

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    1. Out of Eden has me wondering about what is invasive and what is not.

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  12. The Woman in White is awesome. I hope you like it.

    I really liked The Sympathizer and will definitely be picking up Viet Thanh Nguyen's follow up to it!

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  13. I have no idea what Spring Fling at Quintana Neotropical Bird Sanctuary is, but I am so curious to find out now, it sounds lovely.

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    1. It was wonderful just to get out into the world and look for birds.

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  14. Deb, I always love looking at your children's book choices. I like reading these in between as I alway manage to find so new delights for the grandchildren. I hope to post a few Earth Days books for kids this week. Happy Sunday!

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    1. Picture books will always be my favorite kind of books.

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  15. Don't feel bad for me, Deb. I am resilient and was just venting my annoyance at the premier, Ford, mishandling of this. He is an idiot. Most cases are coming from factories like Amazon and he refuses to give them paid sick days.
    He had to rescind his order that police be allowed to stop and ask you where you are going as the police forces refused to comply. He also had to rescind the order to close playgrounds due to backlash from the medical community.
    Don't worry, I can keep myself entertained!

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    1. I understand your frustration. A lot of our problems here are caused by terrible political decisions.

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  16. I have Henry’s book to read, I hope I like it more than you seem to have. I’m looking forward to learning what you think of Wonderworks.
    As for a recommended tv show you might like The Miniaturist which is based on Jessie Burton’s novel.
    I can’t get excited about gardening, but I do like cataloguing :)

    Wishing you a great reading week

    Wishing you a great reading week

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    1. I loved Henry's book until I got to the last few chapters. I was left feeling meh.

      Thanks for the recommendation. I'll look for it.

      I love to catalog. I sort everything, even my pantry.

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  17. I am waiting impatiently for warmer weather to plant some flowers and shrubs at our new place.

    Have a great week!!

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    1. Everything seems to be bursting from the ground. I wonder if that is usual after a freeze or if it just seems more abundant after returning when everything looked dead.

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  18. I'm also doing a few LA Times Book Festival events and enjoying that they are virtual. I recently got People You Meet on Vacation and now I am worried. I'll go into it with a positive outlook and see how it goes.

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    1. No, it was probably just me. I enjoyed the back and forth between the two characters so much.

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  19. People We Meet on Vacation is on my list. Beach Read, by the same author, was good but a little too romance-y... we'll see. I'll be looking forward to your bird sanctuary post!

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    1. It was the back-and-forth banter between the two main characters that I loved the most.

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  20. Hi Debs! I can see spring is in the air on your side. Yea! What a wonderful time of the year. Days are getting colder and colder here.

    I've made a note of the Dewey 24 hour readathon. We have long weekend next weekend, so I guess I can take part! Or at least try.

    Hope you will have a wonderful week!

    Elza Reads

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  21. I've wanted to read The Sympathizer for awhile now. I've heard they're quirky and dark...Good to know he's funny IRL, though. I may move his books up on my TBR pile.

    I can't wait to see how your plants do!

    Guns of AUgust has been on my list for awhile. I'll be looking forward to your review. My son and I have been reading a few of Langston Hughes' poems for poetry month. I enjoy spreading out the joy with my son.

    I may have to see what I can do for the Dewey readathon. Depends on how well I'm feeling...hopefully I can participate a bit.

    I started the Hemingway documentary over the weekend. I'll have to get back to it. It's made me want to read at least one of his books.

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    1. Guns of August...I feel like I'm right there in the rooms and the battlefields with these folks.

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  22. We read Dante my senior year in high school and I'm sure I'd get more out of it if I read it now but just can't make myself. That's good to know about Sunnybrooke Farms. It's one I've never read and possibly because I thought the same thing you did. I will have to pick it up. And it also reminds me I need to reread Anne of Green Gables. It's been to long since I've read Anne. I loved Woman in White but I found the writing so rich and gorgeous that I could only read it a few chapters at a time without feeling kind of oversaturated so it took me forever. Have a great week!

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  23. I have the audio of People We Meet on Vacation pre-ordered.


    I love the photo of the Warbler!

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  24. Hemingway sounds interesting! I will check that one out, thanks for sharing!
    Wow, The Divine Comedy, I would like to read it as well just to know what it's about but I'm not sure if I ever will. I'm currently reading Crime and Punishment and quite enjoying it.
    Have a wonderful week, Deb!

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    1. I hope to read Crime and Punishment one of these days.

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  25. I want to watch Hemingway...and I loved Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm as a kid...I wonder what I would think of it now?

    As an adult, I reread the Louisa May Alcott books, and found them so moralistic! But I did like realizing that I had memorized some of the dialogue...probably because I read the books several times back then. We didn't have a lot of books in our house, lol.

    Not having a lot of books was something I was determined to take care of in adulthood...and I did! But then I moved here, and I've been rebuilding my library. My daughter thought too many books would clutter the space and sent only a handful. She obviously doesn't know me. LOL.

    Enjoy your week!

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  26. You know, I think I've actually read Quo Vadis. I wonder if it was ever a Book of the Month Club book? My parents had a number of those when I was a teenager. You have such a wide variety of books on your Currently stack. I am always amazed. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

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    1. It definitely could have been. The author later won the Nobel Prize for Literature.

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  27. I had to read Dante’s book twice in college. Twice is more than enough! I’m participating in Dewey’s too. Work gave me that day off because I’m getting my COVID shot. I hope you have a great week!

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  28. I've been slowly working my way through Poemcrazy for several months now. It's SO good! With every chapter I read, I wish I had time to teach a creative writing class using these exercises!
    Sarah at SmallWorld Reads

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    1. It is a great read. I want to drag out the reading of it for as long as I can.

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  29. 14 new plants for your yard. I love that.

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  30. Yeah, somehow I don't think Nguyen writes humorous books. Perhaps I am wrong. Even books with dark subject can contain humor I suppose.

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  31. I think I will try and find that Hemingway documentary!

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  32. Thanks to your reminder (and link to) about Dewey's, I'm signed up! Thanks for keeping me straight. It's a full time job, as P says.

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  33. I am very interested in that Hemingway series. I am not a big fan of his work but I find him pretty fascinating, especially his time spent in Northern Michigan. :) We did visit his home in the Keys and that was pretty cool too. :)

    What a fun project! And congrats on all of your plants!!!

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I love to hear what you think.