"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, July 23, 2017

Sunday Salon, July 23

Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth
(aka Anne and Don Bennett)
Weather: Overcast. White skies, but once the clouds clear, it should be lovely.

Persuasion: a new musical: Last night Don and I went to the Taproot Theater in Seattle to see the world premiere of "Persuasion: a new musical" based on the novel by Jane Austen, written by Harold Taw, with lyrics and music by Chris Jeffries. What a fun production. I am not sure you will ever see this musical on Broadway, but with a few more bells and whistles, it could make it. We had a lot of fun. (See photo of Don and me as Captain Wentworth and Anne Elliot).

1979: In 1979 my friend Anne Marie and I took a college term in London. We lived with a British family and attended classes at the University of London, taught by US professors. We took courses in music appreciation, architecture, and politics. After that spring term finished, Anne Marie and I bought Eurail passes and traveled around the continent for another two months. This week Anne Marie came for a visit and brought the slides (yes, slides) of the pictures she took during the 4-1/2 months we were in Europe together. Her dad still had an old slide projector so we were able to view them and recall the details of our once-in-a-lifetime trip. We weren't able to identify locations of many of the slides which was frustrating. While on our trip, I had kept a fairly detailed journal. I located it in a box of books stored in a closet. The journal entries helped me figure out where some of the mystery slides were taken. The last two days has been a wonderful stroll down memory lane.

Book Clubs: Both of my clubs met this past week. The SOTH club discussed the book Every Last Cuckoo by Kate Malloy. It was not one of my favorite books and I think most gals felt the same way: a few too many characters and very unlikely situations. RHS Ladies BC discussed A Man Called Ove, which we all liked and the discussion was better than I anticipated.

Water Aerobics: After trying out three different types of water aerobics classes, I think I have settled on the deep water course as my favorite. It was the most sparsely attended, too, which meant I wasn't running into so many people. The Joint Care W.A. class had probably 30 people in attendance and the average age must have been 80. Ha!
Some of the books I ordered through Scholastic Books Order forms in 1970s
Scholastic Book Orders: A few days ago I looked through all the spots where I hide books around the house to see how many classics I have purchased and never read. While on the hunt I found a bunch of books I ordered when I was in junior high each month when the Scholastic Book order form was handed out in class. I would pour over the list and would order two or three books every month. Why not? The books cost 50¢ or 60¢. Smartly I bought mostly classics, but sadly I read very few of them. I still have them, all yellowed and aged and now I am finally determined to read all of them. I found 19 unread classics on my hunt, many I ordered in junior high. Almost 50 years after I ordered them, I hope to finally read them! ☮ (FYI- I have actually read all the books shown in the photo except Anna Karenina, but these were the books I was able to find from those scholastic sales of old.)

Books completed this week:
  • Loving vs Virginia: a documentary novel about the landmark civil rights case by Patricia Powell. Written in poetry, this novel about the actual court case of Loving v. Virginia didn't have as much weight as I would have liked. But since I knew nothing about the case but the bare bones, it was a good place to start my research. See my review here.
  • Of Thee I Sing: a letter to my daughters by Barack Obama. A beautiful children's book written by the President to his daughters, illustrated by Loren Long. This was a gift from Jean and Chrissy. Thank you.
Currently reading:
  • Dead Wake: The final crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson. Another book club selection. I am having trouble with this book. So many details. Audio. 56%.
  • The Uninterrupted View From the Sky by Melanie Crowder. A YA novel set in Bolivia that deals with the corrupt judicial system. Very well written. Print. 33%
A retirement epiphany: I just had a light-bulb moment this week. I was reading a YA book which I really didn't like. All the sudden it hit me, "I'm retired. I don't have to read this YA book if I don't want to." Ha! (I set it aside to return to the library unread!)

From the kitchen: Boysenberry or Mixed Berry Compote. The recipe is so simple. In a saucepan, mix one tablespoon of  corn starch into a 1/2 cup cold water. Add 2-4 tablespoons of sugar and the juice of one lemon. Heat on medium, stirring constantly until thickened. Add 1 qt of berries. Stir into the thickened syrup. Heat until the berries are slightly cooked. This is perfect for ice cream, cheese cake, or pancake topping. Yum. I made several batches and placed them in the freezer to enjoy sometime during the winter months for a taste of summer.

Happy Together: Somehow I missed seeing this video from the Piano Guys. Love it. Enjoy.


  1. You have had a wonderful week. What fun you must have had in going through your old slides and journal!

    And you are absolutely right: You are retired and you don't have to read it if you don't want to. Although I amend that personally to say: I am a grownup and I can read it or not.

  2. Good for you for returning a book unread. Unfortunately, I've done that too often lately and would like to find one that sticks.

  3. That is a great retirement revelation: only read what you want! I love the idea of you and your friend looking at slides (we recently had our converted to digital) and remembering your time in Europe. My junior year abroad in Germany and Austria was fantastic and I think of it often, decades later.

  4. So much retirement fun for you!! The play sounds wonderful, as does your reunion with your old friend - I always wanted to do a semester overseas. What memories you must have!

    I, too, loved those monthly book orders! I wasn't as high-minded as you - I don't think I ordered any classics, just fun, popular books!

    Love your search for classics all over the house! We have all of ours on one shelf in the guest room - many are from our high school & college days, so yellowed & aged like yours! I'm currently re-reading Jane Eyre :)


  5. Love that picture at the top! Looks like you guys had a great time! :D

  6. I love the photos! I've read nearly three of the next 5 books, and loved two of them. The third is a great discussion book too, just told in an unusual way.


I look forward to your comments and interactions! Join in the conversation.