Saturday, May 28, 2022

The Sunday Salon: Reading a Stack of Picture Books and Traveling Again!

 





What a wonderful time we had at a party celebrating the high school graduation of our granddaughter, Bailey, last weekend! She is the valedictorian of her class and she will be officially graduating on Tuesday night. So happy for this sweet girl!

We also managed to squeeze in visits with my Aunt Karen and Uncle Steve, my Uncle Gene and Aunt Joan, my brother and his wife, and our son.

We are worn out from all the wonderful visiting!






I read a stack of picture books last week. 
Some were fiction picture books and some were nonfiction picture books.

Uncle John's City Garden by Bernette Ford
The Year I Learned to Fly by Jacqueline Woodson
Where is Bina Bear? by Mike Curato
The Treasure Box by Dave Keane



Another Year of Wonder: Classical Music for Everyday by Clemency Burton Hill (Nonfiction)
The Magician's Nephew by C. S. Lewis (Narniathon)
Around the World in 80 Books by David Damrosch (Book-About-Books)
Poetry Rx: How 50 Inspiring Poems Can Heal and Bring Joy to Your Life (Happiness; Poetry)
The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot (Chapter-a-Day)
Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus (Fiction)
Bloomsbury Girls by Natalie Jenner (Fiction)
Happy for You by Claire Stanford (Fiction)
Patient Zero: A Curious History of the World's Worst Diseases (Nonfiction)
Hard Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression by Studs Terkel (Nonfiction)





Last week I posted here at Readerbuzz:





Since April, we have been (1) to France for a month, (2) to East Texas for our granddaughter's kindergarten graduation, and (3) to North Texas for our granddaughter's high school graduation party. We are going (4) back to North Texas for our granddaughter's high school graduation this week. I will be going (5) back to North Texas for a baby shower in two weeks, and then my husband and I will be (6) flying to Montana for a week in June for a rock dig. 

Whew!







Good Thing #1

It was quite the adventure, going out to eat with my dad and his wife and my aunt and uncle, 
all of whom are in their 90s, while we visited in Ft. Worth.
We so enjoyed our time with them.



Good Thing #2

A family-owned grocery/hardware/feed store in my town celebrated its 100th anniversary
by having a fabulous mural painted on the side of the building
and a big party.



Good Thing #3

A pear.
I've never tasted a pear that melted in my mouth like this one.

Sometimes it's the little things...





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. 

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Summer Challenges: 20 Books of Summer and Big Book Summer Challenge

There are a couple of great summer challenges that work well for me. 

20 Books of Summer

It’s time once again for the 20 Books of Summer, hosted by 746 Books. This year the event will be kicking off on Wednesday 1 June and finishing on Thursday 1 September. If you want to join in, just take the Books of Summer image, and pick your own 10, 15, or 20 books you would like to read. Post the link to your choices in the post’s comments here.

I plan to read: 

1. First Summer in the Sierras by John Muir.   

2. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame.   

3. The Last Battle by C. S. Lewis.  

4. Hard Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression by Studs Terkel.  

5. The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot.  

6. Bloomsbury Girls.   

7. Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray.  

8. Le Petit Prince (in French)  

9. The Mystery of the Yellow Room.   

10. Captain Fricasse.   

11. Nana by Emile Zola.   

12. Patient Zero: A Curious History of the World's Worst Diseases.   

13. Dubliners by James Joyce.   

14. Lost Horizon by James Hilton.   

15. This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger.   

16. Different: Gender Through the Eyes of a Primatologist by Franz de Waal.  

17. Happy for You.   

18. River of the Gods: Genius, Courage, and Betrayal in the Search for the Source of the Nile.   

19. Remarkably Bright Creatures.  

20. Lessons in Chemistry.


Big Book Summer Challenge

The Big Book Summer Reading Challenge kicks off this Friday, May 27! This is the 10th anniversary of the challenge, so the host, Sue Jackson of Book by Book, has some fun surprises planned, including a double end-of-summer giveaway and some cool Big Book Summer products. In case you're not familiar with Big Book Summer, it is a fun and very easy-going challenge that anyone can participate in (even if it's Big Book Winter where you live!). A Big Book is 400 or more pages, and you can read just one over the whole season or two or however many you want. Some like to choose a whole stack and devote the summer to Big Books, even though we might not get through them all. The details will be explained in a post on Friday, May 27, on the blog (and she will post a video on YouTube, too), but in the meantime, you can check out the post from Big Book Summer 2021

The Big Books I hope to read are: 

1. First Summer in the Sierras  (400 pgs)  

2. Hard Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression (480 pgs.)   

3. The Mill on the Floss (683 pgs.)   

4. Vanity Fair. (624 pgs.)  

5. Captain Fricasse  (488 pgs.)  

6. Patient Zero (432 pgs.)   

7. This Tender Land  (464 pgs.).  

8. Different: Gender Through the Eyes of a Primatologist (408 pgs.) 


Have you read any of these? Are there on my list you'd recommend? 

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Wondrous Words Wednesday: Flâneur

From Wikipedia:

"Flâneur (/flæˈnjʊər/French: [flɑˈnœʁ]) is a French noun referring to a person, literally meaning "stroller", "lounger", "saunterer", or "loafer." A flâneur is an ambivalent figure of urban affluence and modernity, representing the ability to wander detached from society with no other purpose than to be an acute observer of industrialized, contemporary life.

The flâneur was, first of all, a literary type from 19th-century France, essential to any picture of the streets of Paris. The word carried a set of rich associations: a person of leisure, the idler, the urban explorer, the connoisseur of the street. However, the flâneur's origins are to be found in journalism of the Restoration, and the politics of post-revolutionary public space. It was Walter Benjamin, drawing on the poetry of Charles Baudelaire, who made this figure the object of scholarly interest in the 20th century, as an emblematic archetype of urban, modern experience. Following Benjamin, the flâneur has become an important symbol for scholars, artists, and writers."


You can't help but be a flâneur when you visit Paris. It's an essential part of the visit. 

My sister and I spend one day walking around. You never know what you will see.

My first castle.

For a place that prides itself on freedom, there are many indications that perhaps freedom was not for everyone.

We see an old arch, but then we take a closer look.



I'm happy to see lovers.


This statue always makes me look twice.


Eventually, we end up along the Seine.


I've never bought anything here, but it's fun to look. And I always look.



There it is. It's what many fly 5,000 miles just to see. 
It makes my heart beat a little faster.




A flâneur. Yes, I think that's what I want to be when I grow up.



For more wordless photos, go to Wordless Wednesday.

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where you can share new words that you’ve encountered, or spotlight words you love.  Feel free to get creative! It was first created by Kathy over at Bermuda Onion and is now hosted at Elza Reads.


Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Four Book Quotes that Remind Us Of the Exquisite Joy to Be Found in Small Moments


“Although Bertha Young was thirty she still had moments like this when she wanted to run instead
of walk, to take dancing steps on and off the pavement, to bowl a hoop, to throw something up in the air
and catch it again, or to stand still and laugh at - nothing - at nothing, simply.  What can you do if
you are thirty and, turning the corner of your own street, you are overcome, suddenly by a feeling
of bliss - absolute bliss! - as though you'd suddenly swallowed a bright piece of that late afternoon
sun and it burned in your bosom, sending out a little shower of sparks into every particle,
into every finger and toe?” 

                                                                                ---Katherine Mansfield, "Bliss"



"I became aware of the world's tenderness, the profound beneficence of all that surrounded me,

the blissful bond between me and all of creation, and I realized that the joy I sought in you

was not only secreted within you, but breathed around me everywhere, in the speeding

street sounds, in the hem of a comically lifted skirt, in the metallic yet tender drone of the wind,

in the autumn clouds bloated with rain. I realized that the world does not represent a struggle at all,

or a predaceous sequence of chance events, but the shimmering bliss, beneficent trepidation,

a gift bestowed upon us and unappreciated. "

                                                                                ---Vladimir Nabokov, "Beneficience"

                                                                      



“As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that

the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture,

and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste

of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.” 

                                                                                ---Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast




“Always when I woke up, I had the feeling which I am sure must be natural to all of us, a joy in being alive. I don’t say you feel it consciously – you don’t – but there you are, you are alive, and you open your eyes, and here is another day; another step as it were, on your journey to an unknown place. That very exciting journey which is your life. Not that it is necessarily going to be exciting as a life, but it will be exciting to you because it is your life. That is one of the great secrets of existence, enjoying the gift of life that has been given to you.”

                                                                        ---Agatha Christie, Autobiography



Photos are from my April trip to Paris.


Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each Tuesday That Artsy Reader Girl assigns a topic and then post her top ten list that fits that topic. You’re more than welcome to join her and create your own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well. Feel free to put a unique spin on the topic to make it work for you! Please link back to That Artsy Reader Girl in your own post so that others know where to find more information.  

Saturday, May 21, 2022

The Sunday Salon: Write for Your Life; Poetry Rx; Around the World in 80 Books; and Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? (Uh, No)

 





I'm off to North Texas this weekend to attend the high school graduation party of our granddaughter, Bailey. 




I finished Mary Barton this week, and I must say that I was a bit disappointed. Author Elizabeth Gaskell focused on the lives of desperately impoverished people of Manchester in Mary Barton and that was the part of this book I thought was impressive for a book that was first published in 1848. But the story plays out a little like a fairy tale, with bad people coming to a bad end and good people living happy lives, and that was my disappointment. 

I was also a little disappointed with On Quality, a posthumously published collection of quotes from writer and philosopher Robert M. Pirsig. It didn't really add much to what he'd already published in his two books, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and Lila, but it was a nice reminder of the thoughts he'd already shared. And the illustrations, photos of Pirsig's tools, added a lot to the book.

I completed two 1001 Children's Books, Nobody's Family is Going to Change, a novel, and Gargling with Jelly, a humorous poetry collection. I read Anna Quindlan's wonderful Write for Your Life. And I wrapped up Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are, concluding that we probably are not.



Write for Your Life by Anna Quindlen (Nonfiction)
Nobody's Family is Going to Change by Louise Fitzhugh (1001 Children's Books)
Gargling with Jelly by Brian Patten (1001 Children's Books)




Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell (Chapter-a-Day; Classics Club)






Another Year of Wonder: Classical Music for Everyday by Clemency Burton Hill (Nonfiction)
The Magician's Nephew by C. S. Lewis (Narniathon)
Around the World in 80 Books by David Damrosch (Book-About-Books)
Poetry Rx: How 50 Inspiring Poems Can Heal and Bring Joy to Your Life (Happiness; Poetry)
The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot (Chapter-a-Day)





Last week I posted here at Readerbuzz:








My husband has been suffering from a cough for several days and he finally took a Covid test (negative) and went to the doctor. The doctor thinks his allergies have gone crazy from all the time we've been spending outdoors, and we're trying to stay indoors a little more until all the pollen subsides.






All the time we have spent outdoors has 
allowed us to see several new-to-us species of butterflies lately.


Good Thing #1
Orange Sulphur




Good Thing #2
Spicebush Swallowtail





Good Thing #3
Southern Dogface




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.