Saturday, October 2, 2021

The Sunday Salon: A Conversation with Ruth Ozeki; Optimistic October; Plus Nominate Your Favorite Children's and YA Books for the Cybils








   
What I Read Last Week

Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner ⭐⭐⭐⭐
The Last Chance Library by Freya Sampson ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Saint Francis of Assisi by G. K. Chesterton ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Sea Lions in the Parking Lot by Lenora Todaro ⭐⭐⭐⭐
The Three Princes of Serendip by Rodaan Al Galidi ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Merci Suárez Can't Dance by Meg Medina ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I had a great reading week. I send a big thank you to those of you who recommended Crying in H Mart. It took me to that deeply sad place of loss that author Michelle Zauner experienced after the death of her mother. My only complaint would be that it might have also focused, for me, a bit too much on food. 

I also read three great new children's books. I put off reading Merci Suárez Can't Dance because I loved Merci Suárez Changes Gears so much, and I am always disappointed with sequels. Well, maybe there are some exceptions to that sequel disappointment...Merci Suárez Can't Dance was equal to the first book, and I might even say I loved it more than the first book. Rodaan Al Galidi shares his favorite childhood folk tales he first heard growing up in Iraq in The Three Princes of Serendip. These are fabulous stories. I was fascinated with Sea Lions in the Parking Lot, a nonfiction picture book about the reaction of animals around the world to the retreat of humans during the pandemic. Loved this one!



What I Am Reading Now

The Book of Form and Emptiness by Ruth Ozeki (Fiction)
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West by Dee Brown (Nonfiction)
The Gastronomical Me by M.F.K. Fisher (Food Nonfiction)
The Art of Eating by M.F.K. Fisher (Food Nonfiction)
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens (Classic)
 







It's time to nominate your favorite children's and YA books from 2021 for the Cybils Awards!
Please nominate your favorites here from now until October 15.





I heard the most marvelous conversation about books and writing through Inprint Houston last week. Elizabeth McCracken interviewed Ruth Ozeki about Ozeki's new book,The Book of Form and Emptiness. Both McCracken and Ozeki teach writing, and the ideas they shared...and their thoughts about Ozeki's book...marvelous.




The 2021 National Book Festival is over, but you can still experience it through the archive of authors here.






Keep your spirits up with the Optimistic October calendar from Action for Happiness. 







Good Thing #1
My comadre (my daughter-in-law's mother) bought this beautiful plate 
of cookies from Reuter's Bakery for me to take home
when we were in Chicago. Delicious.



Good Thing #2
My granddaughter, Annie, and her family spent the weekend with us
last week, and Annie made this handsome portrait of me for my refrigerator.



Good Thing #3
We had a party on our last day of water aerobics class.
We ate a yummy potluck breakfast with 
a spinach quiche, sausages, homemade bread,
fresh berries, deviled eggs, cinnamon rolls, and more.
We are planning to get together for an outdoor lunch once a month during winter.






I'm happy you joined us here at the Sunday Salon. Sunday Salon is a place 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.  

65 comments:

  1. Oh that is a very handsome portrait of you indeed Debbie!

    I'm just quickly dropping in to say hi and I hope you had a good week. Our week was good, but it's hectic!! I am a bit overwhelmed with the migration and Wordpress is a completely different ballgame. BUT I believe it will all be worth it. I wish I can show you what's we've done so far. I think it's amazing!!!!!!

    I hope to be up and running by next week Wednesday, but I will let you know.

    Have a good weekend and week to come and happy reading!\

    PS: I had a look at your link for the best Mood Boosting Books on Goodreads. Yes, I will have to add my books. I obviously have a a thing for mood boosting books as I had so many on that list! I got the cat book you talked about too. Is it The Dalai Lama's Cat?? I'm going to see if I can find it!

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    1. I wish you good luck with your blog migration. I'm such a stick-in-the-mud. I've lived in the same house for almost thirty-seven years, and I have the same shower curtain I got when we got married...I've been here at Readerbuzz for thirteen years, and I don't think I'll be moving any time soon. I can't wait to see your new look, Mareli.

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  2. Sea Lions in the Parking Lot does sound interesting, as does The Three Princes of Serendip. While I have heard a lot about Crying in H Mart, I just think it will be too sad for me. Glad you liked it.

    I love the portrait you granddaughter made! Quite a nice likeness.

    My husband and I are leaving for a trip to Utah to visit our son. We will gone all week and are looking forward to the road trip and seeing our son.

    Have a great week!

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    1. We love Utah, so I hope you will get to see a little of that amazing natural world along with your son, Gretchen.

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  3. Your books all sound good — I plan to read the new one by Ruth Ozeki soon. Calling your daughter-in-law’s mother your comrade is neat. In some languages other than English, such as Yiddish and Korean, there’s a word for this person (also for the fathers-in-law of your children). I think it’s because in those cultures, marriage is not just between two people, but between families. It’s great that you have the relationship even though we lack the word. But it’s Saturday today, not Wednesday so enough about words.

    best… mae at maefood.blogspot.com

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    1. The male equivalent is compadre, and it's a little more well-known. We are happy that we have been good friends with our children's spouses' parents.

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    2. I wrote "comrade" for "comadre" -- sorry. Same letters, different order. There's no correction for comments!

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  4. Your water aerobics potluck breakfast sounds yummy indeed. And I love your portrait. Your granddaughter is a very talented artist! I need to visit the National Book Festival. I had intended to while it was in session but got distracted and forgot, so thanks for reminding me. I, too, had another good week of reading, although not as many books as you, of course. I'll be reviewing the two that I finished sometime within the next couple of weeks.

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    1. I wish I'd taken a photo of all the food at the breakfast.

      I still need to check out a little more of the National Book Festival. It won't be long before the Texas Book Festival. Wish I was going in person.

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  5. I really like that excellent portrait of you, Deb. I think you should get it framed.

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  6. Nice week! Thanks for reminding me to watch some of these authors interviews

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  7. My husband and I were talking about Bury Your Heart at Wounded Knee a few nights ago. A classic now, but pretty astonishing when I first read it. I love "comadre" for your daughter-in-law's mother! Shorter than any English explanation and sounds warm and thoughtful. My granddaughter is impressed with her Spanish class this year, so I'll have to remember to use it when asking about her other grandmother.

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    1. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee is tough reading. It's difficult to read about the greed of the white settlers and their constant attempts to destroy the Native Americans in their way.

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  8. Oh geez, I wish I had heard the Ozeki conversation. Just been so busy .... but would have loved to have heard that! I liked Ozeki's first novel ... so I'm glad you're reading her second one and can vet it a bit for us ... as I think it is Long. Have a great week.

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  9. I have submitted a few CYBILS books and it made me so excited to see which ones people like!

    I agree that Crying in H Mart was too focused on food, but I did enjoy it.

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    1. I always love to hear what others think of the Cybils nominations I make.

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  10. Would love to read your comments on the Ozeki book!

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    1. I'm about halfway through now. I hope to read more today.

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  11. Crying in H Mart sounds amazing. I will have to check it out. I have The Last Chance Library on my TBR pile and am glad to see you liked it. I was eyeing The Book of Form and Emptiness at the bookstore yesterday. I bet the conversation between Elizabeth McCracken and Ruth Ozeki was really interesting. Aw! I love Annie's portrait of you.

    I am looking forward to a lazy day tomorrow. At least I hope it will be lazy. We need to get our flu shots and tomorrow might be a good day to get that done if we can get into the pharmacy. I hope you have a great week, Deb. Take care.

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    1. I would say that the conversation between these two writers was one of the most interesting I've ever heard.

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  12. Your granddaughter is quite the excellent artist!

    Yum! Cookies! What a thoughtful comadre you have!

    Sea Lions in the Parking Lot sounds interesting. I'll have to look for it.

    Enjoy your week!

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    1. Sea Lions gave me hope that, even if humans don't make it through this pandemic, the natural world will continue and even heal.

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  13. Sounds like you had a great week! Hope this one is good too.

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  14. So glad the sequel was so enjoyable. It looks like you had a really fun week too. Happy reading.

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  15. I finally read A Tale for the Time Being not that long ago and loved it, so I'm interested in the new Ruth Ozeki. I love the sound of The Three Princes of Serendip too. One of the best books I've read this month is Prairie Fires, the story of the Little House books and the "American dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder." I found that it illuminated so much about American history and culture, as well as about the books (which are decidedly fiction, not history or autobiography, and can use some balancing perspective, much as I love them).

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    1. I will look for Prairie Fires. It might be good to read soon, if I can find a copy.

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  16. Having spent much of the week binging on ocean life documentaries while reading The Whale in the Living Room’ by John Ruthven, Sea Lions in the Parking Lot sounds delightful!
    You’ll need to keep up with aqua aerobics if you feast like that every month, and eat all those pretty cookies 😜

    Wishing you a great reading week

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  17. Do you ever have a "down" day? You always seem so "up". Not that that is a bad thing, and I appreciate the positivity you bring each and every Sunday. Just wanted to let you know that you are appreciated for what you do here, and in your life, for your friends and family too. Keep up the good work, Deb.

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    1. Mercy, yes, Bryan. I've had "down" days, weeks, even months and years. I've spent a lot of time studying happiness as a way of self-treating, I think, and I do have a helpful list of strategies when those days appear.

      Thank you for your kind thoughts, Bryan.

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  18. Just jumped over to read your review of Crying in H Mart. So glad it resonated with you, too.

    That portrait of you by your granddaughter is so cute. I love it.

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  19. I love your good things, they always make me smile.

    I have the Last Chance Library on my TBR stack but I keep bumping it for another book.

    Have a fun week!

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    1. I'd say Last Chance is a little better than your average light fiction read.

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  20. I'm hoping to get to Crying in M Mart soon, and would like to read Ruth Ozeki's new book, too. Your "Good Things" always make me smile... your granddaughter is quite an artist!

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    1. I'm looking at my portrait right now. It makes me smile.

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  21. Ooh, Spinach Quiche! I love any quiche, but especially that one.

    Enjoy your books and your week, and I loved your three good things. Enjoy your week, and here are my WEEKLY UPDATES

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    1. The Spinach Quiche recipe was much, much easier than my usual quiche recipe, too.

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  22. Your potluck breakfast sounds delicious! Glad you're planning to continue the custom through winter.

    Love the magnet portrait! It's very well done. :) Kudos to your granddaughter.

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    1. The group at water aerobics is such a lovely group of people.

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  23. Your granddaughter's picture is cute. The cookies are so thoughtful.

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  24. I love the portrait! It's lovely!
    The Optimistic October Bingo sounds fun! October is always a tad difficult for me, especially since I started teaching, so I could definitely use this!
    Ruth Ozeki has been on my to read list for years, I hope to get to her works one day soon!

    Have a great week!

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    1. Ozeki is such a deep person. I would love to eat lunch with her and talk books.

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  25. Happy Sunday, Deb!

    Your granddaughter's drawing is so adorable! Thank you so much for including the link to the Ruth Ozeki talk. I got an ALC of her newest book and can't wait to hear what she's says about it in the talk.

    I hope you have a wonderful week! Here us my Sunday Salon post:

    https://introvertinterruptedcom.wordpress.com/2021/10/03/how-it-feels-to-read-as-an-empath/

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    1. I'll be eager to hear your thoughts about the Ozeki book.

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  26. Adding the Ruth Ozeki book to my TBR....I notice a five-star review for a Meg Medina book. I love her writing. Thanks for hosting.

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    1. I loved Medina's first Merci Suarez book, and I was completely captivated by this sequel.

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  27. All of your good things are wonderful. The cookies look amazing, the drawing is so sweet, and the party sounds fun. I am frequently disappointed in sequels as well so it is always so nice when one holds up to the first book. I'm glad you found some exceptions. Have a wonderful week!

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  28. I got stuck on the idea of an outdoor meal once a month during the winter. That's a major difference between Texas and Minnesota. Nice looking assortment of books. I haven't read anything YA, Middle Grade or Children's this year that was new - I don't think. I've been doing so much rereading. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

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  29. I still haven't started Crying In H Mart but hope to soon.

    The two M.F.K. Fisher books sound interesting.

    I love the wrapping for the cookies!

    Your granddaughter did a great job on your portrait!

    I would love to do water aerobics!

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  30. sounds like things are going well. :-)
    sherry @ fundinmental

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  31. I've heard very good things about Crying in H Mart -- I just need to remember to get a copy (either from the library or on audio). My TBR list is so long, but I've started saving images of the books I really want to read in a folder on my desktop. That folder is beginning to get out of control. ;)

    Speaking of my TBR list, I've had A Tale for the Time Being on it for several years and will probably read that before I try her latest. Thank you for sharing the link to the archives of the festival. I'll give it a listen later on tomorrow.

    Darling portrait of you by Annie! She captured your beautiful smile and arms wide open for big hugs.

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  32. I love your granddaughter's drawing!

    And Sea Lions in the Parking Lot looks really good! Although, it might make me wish some of those good things like how the animals reacted could stick around.

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  33. Your granddaughter is quite the artist!

    Those cookies look amazing, Deb.

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  34. love the optimistic calendar and your granddaughter's portrait of you!!! And I am sure I will enjoy Three Princes...

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  35. I am reading and thoroughly enjoying The Last Chance Bookstore.
    Your portrait shows great artistic potential. My friends 7 year old drew a portrait of me wearing an apron with a cat on it. I don't own an apron with a cat on it...wish I did. LOL
    The water aerobics crew looks mighty good!
    This was a fine post.

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I love to hear what you think.