Saturday, June 19, 2021

The Sunday Salon: In Which I (Finally!) Finish Quo Vadis and We Celebrate 10 Years of Book Club

  










Bewilderment: A Novel by Richard Powers ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants by Doug Tallamy (Naturalist Book Club) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law by Mary Roach ⭐⭐⭐

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

I finally (!) finished Quo Vadis, a story by Nobel-prize winning author Henryk Sienkiewicz. It's set in Nero's Rome, and I slogged through more than half the book, wanting to quit every time I picked it up. And then it suddenly got interesting, and I couldn't stop reading. It was hard to rate a book like that.

If you have any interest in nature, you might want to take a look at Bringing Nature Home and Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law (though, let's hope, it's not right after you brought it home). Bringing Nature Home is a deep and convincing explanation of why we need more native plants in our yards. Fuzz is a Mary-Roach-look at nature that gets in our way and what we try to do about it and why that never works. 

Bewilderment is another fabulous Richard Powers book about a troubled little boy who undergoes treatment. It's full of the usual Powers brilliance, and it's heavy with his recent environmental focus. And it's, oddly, quite short.






The Guns of August by Barbara Tuchman (Nonfiction Challenge)...47%


And I'm back to the 1001 Children's Books...along with a little bit of The Guns of August.





We celebrated the 10th year anniversary of our face-to-face book club this week. I made the cake. Don't look too closely. It's my first cake decorating effort.






Thoughts? We saw episode 1. Should we watch on?







Good Thing #1: 
We found a couple of these caterpillars in our garden.
Black Swallowtails!




Good Thing #2: 
We were delighted to see our first monarch in the pollinator garden 
we help maintain in a nearby park.




Good Thing #3:
New binoculars. And a new camera
For the swallowtails and the monarchs.
And the birds.
It feels like Christmas.







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've read books like Quo Vadis where you just cant get going and then of a sudden you are overwhelmed by the story. I do not know how they do that!

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    1. If I hadn't committed to reading a chapter a day, I'd have closed the book on Quo Vadis early on.

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  2. Well done on finishing Quo Vadis - interesting to find that you ended up enjoying it

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    1. Even as recently as early June, I considered giving up on it.

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  3. Mary Roach is an awesome nonfiction author. I liked her other books. I’ll have to pick up Fuzz. Congrats on 10 years of book club!

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  4. Lovely new camera & binoculars! I like your cake. 10 Years is a good amount of time in one book club. My book club died for a few years and then it came back! I'm curious about the Richard Powers novel ... is that a new book of his? cheers.

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  5. Lots of good things! Congratulations on finishing "Quo Vadis!"

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    1. I feel like I should get a trophy for making it through the first chapters.

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  6. Congratulations on finishing that long book, on the 10 years of book club, and on your cake. It looks perfect to me.

    I've preordered the Powers book on Kindle. Apparently it is to be published in September. I expect to pounce on it as soon as I get it.

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  7. That's exactly why I have a hard time not finishing a book. I always hope it will get better and sometimes it does.

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    1. I can understand your thinking. Mostly I give up if it is not good in the first few chapters.

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  8. Love that you got new binoculars and a new camera! The right equipment will make your nature work so much more enjoyable.

    I am so impressed with your book group cake!

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    Replies
    1. I can't wait to start using my new binoculars and camera.

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  9. Congrats on finishing the book! I think your cake is wonderful! I've seen all the seasons of Manifest and really enjoyed it. I hate that it was cancelled and I'm hoping Netflix will pick it up and wrap it all up. Hope you have a great week!

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  10. We watched Manifest for nearly a whole season, but it gets old fast. Your new goodies (camera and binocs) are really nice. You DID have a good week. Mine was so so. Sign...

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  11. So over the 10 years, what were some of your favorite books? Maybe a top 10 or ones that generated the movie sy discussion.

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    1. What a great question. I'm going to pose that to our group and see what everyone thinks.

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  12. A new camera and binoculars are great for expanding one's birding horizons. I hope you see lots of good birds this summer. We've been enjoying the birds around us lately, as well as traveling to see more. Also doing some bird-centered reading.

    best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

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    1. Summer is a slow time here, birding-wise, but we are hoping to go to West Texas soon and maybe we will see some there.

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  13. Your cake is lovely!

    Congratulations on the new binoculars and camera! I know you'll enjoy both of them immensely.

    I hadn't even heard of Fuzz but I do enjoy Mary Roach. There's always such a long wait list for her books at the library, I think I've only read two of them. When the last one I requested, Spook, became available, I wasn't even remotely in the mood for it so I just cancelled my hold. One day I'll catch up on her back list.

    Enjoy your week!

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    Replies
    1. I have missed several of Roach's books. I need to see what I have missed.

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  14. Hi there Debbie! I remember the movie Quo Vadis and I actually have a very old, beautiful edition on my shelf. A story that makes an impact for sure. Yea for new bird watching equipment. I need new binoculars for whale and dolphin watching from the veranda.

    We are almost done with the first season of Manifest (don't know if there are more?), Max enjoys it. I normally sit and blog while he watches, but it's interesting yes! I liked Lost more, but this isn't bad.

    Hope you will have a good week with many caterpillars and butterflies gracing you with their presence!

    Lots of love,

    Mareli & Elza

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  15. Congratulations on finishing Quo Vadis, I think I would have given up pretty close to the begining, and congratulations on the new binoculars and camera.

    I think you did an amazing job on the cake, especially for your first time!

    I started watching Manifest when it first aired, but didn't really enjoy it so I stopped watching it.

    Beautiful caterpillar and butterfly.

    I hope you have a great week!

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    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about Manifest, Vicki.

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  16. Replies
    1. Maybe we will keep on with it and see what we think.

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  17. I think you did great for a first-time attempt at cake decorating!

    I had to check my TV Time app to see how many seasons of Manifest there are and how many I've watched. There are three and I've watched one. If I remember correctly, Manifest is one of those series where the episodes themselves were just ok, but each one had an ending that made me want to move on to the next episode. Unfortunately, it has been so long since I finished S1, I think I'm going to have to rewatch it and then watch the next two seasons. In conclusion, I do think it is worth continuing on with it. Sometimes I don't get really hooked on a series until I'm 4 or 5 episodes into it. But that's just me.

    New binoculars and camera for bird & butterfly watching = FUN!

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    1. I know my cake decorating is very primitive, but I'm happy I tried it.

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  18. Oooh, binoculars and a new camera! You're going to have so much fun with them! The cake looks wonderful... and I'm happy to hear Mary Roach has a new book coming out soon. Have a great week, Deb

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    1. I am going to have fun with the binoculars and camera.

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  19. Bringing nature homes sounds fun. Currently I'm sitting by the river in the area reserved for picnic tables and it feels nice sitting in nature. a definite change in the routine.

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    1. There is something about being in nature that feels good.

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  20. Great job finishing Quo Vadis, you are a much better reader than I :) Enjoy you new gifts, I hope you continue to share all your findings.

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    1. Quo Vadis is a book that brought home what the world was like during Nero's time at the helm of Rome. It wasn't pretty.

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  21. What a wonderful cake, I’m sure they appreciated the effort you made.
    It seems you felt a bit lukewarm about Fuzz, I’m still interested in reading it though.
    Looking forward to you sharing photos from your new camera!

    Wishing you a great reading week

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    1. I wish we had more stars to pick from...I prefer a ten star scale. I'd give it seven of ten.

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  22. That cake looks yummy and how wonderful to be able to celebrate a milestone in person with your book group! Also that's wonderful that you got a new camera and binoculars. Can't wait to hear more about the birds and other wildlife you'll discover. I'm adding the Mary Roach book to my list. I've really enjoyed her writing in the past!

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    1. We had a lovely party at the library. I'm also thinking about volunteering there. I enjoyed being there so much.

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  23. I love the caterpillar! And Manifst looks good. I've heard good things, although I saw it as canceled- that's unfortunate.

    I love reading about nature too...

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    1. If lots of people enjoyed Manifest, I bet a network will revive it.

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  24. My week was dominated by animals so I dedicated my Sunday post to them. I am reading Four Winds and I keep thinking about you because, if memory serves, you didn't care for the book. It sure is depressing. My Sunday Salon post is mostly about animals.

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    1. Yes, you are right, Anne. It was depressing, but lots of it didn't ring true to me based on my family's experiences during that time.

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  25. You did such a great job on the cake! I can make cakes that are tasty and look like cakes but if I try to get more creative things go off the rails! The nature books sound really interesting. I've been wanting to start picking up more about bird watching and learning what kinds of birds are in my area and just develop a better understanding of nature in general. Have a great week!

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    1. Over the course of the pandemic, I've learned a lot about nature, and it is very soothing to me.

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  26. Cool camera and binoculars!

    Congrats on finishing the book!

    Your cakes looks lovely BTW.

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  27. Oooh! I love caterpillars! I remembered when we first saw a caterpillar growing into a butterfly when we were little!

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    1. I've never seen the actual transformation, and I would love to do that.

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  28. I've really been wanting to watch Manifest! Was the first episode good?

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  29. I don't always love caterpillars, but that one is beautiful!

    Congratulations on your Book Club Anniversary, and enjoy another ten years.

    Thanks for sharing your books and photos, and here are my WEEKLY UPDATES

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  30. Looks like you had a good week. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

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  31. our week was full of books - we finally put together our giant Ikea bookshelf and are happy with our results!! love that pic of the caterpillar.. and that new camera looks cool.. I am still to get to checking the 1001 children's books list..

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  32. This week i have been noting three good things in the evening about each day. You have started me on the venture. I think the cake is great and very worthy to present to your club for the celebration.

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  33. Love those pics of the caterpillar and the butterfly! Sounds like you have read some good ones so far and I love that photo of your really big pile of summer reading books. Those two nature books look right up my alley. And Congrats on your 10th book club anniversary! How fun. I think the cake looks beautiful!

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    1. I'm getting through the pile of summer reading books fast.

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  34. That cake looks amazing! Happy 10th! My club has been in existence, in various forms, for 24 years!

    Love the new camera and can't wait to see what you take with it.

    My reading took a dive this week. I hope to get back into it today.

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I love to hear what you think.