"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Sunday Salon, May 1st, Recap of April---a literary month

Kazu Kibuishi, cartoonist and author, and  GKHS student Athena at the Cavalcade of Authors West event

Weather: Beautiful. It is supposed to be hot today. I must remember to water the clematis we planted a few weeks ago.

Good news! Carly was offered a slot to attend grad school next Fall at Sarah Lawrence College in New York, for a Master's Degree in Human Genetics. It was a week of lows and highs. Monday the 25th, she learned she was on the waiting list for all four of the programs she'd interviewed with. Not good news or bad news necessarily, but it felt pretty bad. The programs all had a deadline of April 27th by 5 PM to fill their slots. She waited with hope. All of us felt like we were holding our breath. Just minutes before the deadline on Wednesday she got the call from Sarah Lawrence. She's in! And the wonderful part, Sarah Lawrence is the premier program in the country, having trained over half the Genetics Counselors in the country.

April was a literary month: I can't recall a month so full of literary events as this past April. I attended three evening or day long programs and I read lots of books---

Frank Beddor, author of Looking Glass Wars
  1.  Billy Collins and Amy Mann at the Broadway Center in Tacoma. Billy Collins is one of my favorite poets. I've never been to a poetry reading of this nature before. Loved it. 
  2.  An evening with Sherman Alexie, the featured author of the annual Pierce County Reads event. Please open up the link to read more about this event and his books. 
  3. The Cavalcade of Authors West, an all-day author YA event held at PLU yesterday. Nineteen students from my school attended along with 400+ other students from area schools. What a fun day for everyone who was there. See photo above of two authors, Frank Beddor and Kazu Kibiushi, signing their books.
  4. I participated in the Dewey 24 Readathon, which I modified. Instead of setting aside one 24 hour period to read, I attempted to read for 24 hours last weekend. I made it 21+ hours. I completed six books, started four others, two of them I set aside after deciding I really don't want to read them after all.
  5.  Two bookclubs. SOTH read and discussed Sherman Alexie's books. See my note about this here. I hosted the RHS Gals book club here at our house. We discussed Girl Waits with Gun, which we all liked better after examining the details of the actual sisters' stories that provided the material for the novel.
  6. Read fourteen books, a record for a non-summer month.
              - Eight YA novels, five of which I listened to the audiobooks

              - Three poetry books
              - One memoir
              - One nonfiction 
              - One classic

Currently reading: Lit Up by David Denby, The Bitter Side of Sweet (audiobook) by Tara Sullivan, and We Are All Made of Molecules by Susin Nielsen

Prayers for: my father-in-law who has pneumonia and can't seem to shake it. At 84 this can be very serious.


  1. Your literary events sound amazing! My daughter would be over the moon to see Billy Collins; he's her favorite poet. He really is wonderful; she's gotten me into his poetry as well.

    I like your modification of Dewey. I don't think I can stay up for 24 hours anymore (and it wouldn't be good for me if I did.) But 24 hours of reading in a weekend might be possible... or at least a good goal.

    I'm sorry to hear about your father-in-law, and will say a prayer for him.

  2. Congratulations to your daughter - what an achievement!
    And congratulations to you for your reading accomplishments last weekend :)

  3. Hoping for much better health for Don's dad; any illness is scary at that age! Such exciting news for Carly and for the whole family. I hope she loves NY!

  4. Congrats to Carly!!!! Hope your father in law is better soon! Curious to know how you guys find out about authors doing readings. Do you find out from the authors website/twitter/fB or do you find out from the bookstore or other venue where they are speaking at?

    1. Concerning the author events I attended this month: I found out about the Billy Collins event because of advertising from the Broadway Center; The Sherman Alexie event was highly advertised at the public library and at their website. It was the finale of the Pierce County Reads annual event. We look forward to it every year; The Cavalcade of Authors event was organized by two of my friends, fellow librarians so they kept me updated as to the progress of the program and then I was involved in recruiting students to attend. I have noticed that Indy bookstores often have author events if you pay attention to their flyers and advertisements. I have also noticed that the section of the newspaper dedicated to upcoming events sometimes mentions author events. One time i was just looking around an author's webpage and noticed he was planning a visit to my area later that year.

  5. You've certainly had a book-filled month. I like the way you broke the readathon into something doable.


    1. Yes, it worked out really well. I am too old to stay up all night and other 24 hour readathons I have only ended up reading for eight to ten hours total. This one was by far my most successful.

  6. Congrats to Carly! That's so exciting. Applying to grad schools can be tough. Glad you had such a literary month!

  7. Hope your father-in-law is still doing well and congratulations to Carly.

    My wife and I were supposed to go see Sherman Alexie last year but the event(s) got canceled due to snow in our area. So I'm extremely jealous of your going to see him and also Billy Collins, one of my favorite poets. Glad you got to see both of them.

  8. You are not kidding when you said that you had a literary month. Seeing Sherman Alexie must have been so much fun! And I am so excited for Carly; wait lists are no fun so to have a HUGE sucess at the end it fantastic.


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