"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=========

Monday, December 11, 2017

Sunday Salon, on Monday, Dec. 11th

"Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus" display in the New York Macy's store window display
Weather: Clear skies, cold temperatures, frosty mornings. While in New York we experienced a variety of weather: clear and warm, cold and windy, rainy, clear and cold.

Checking out those amazing dinosaur bones.
New York: Last week my sister, Kathy, and I traveled to New York to visit my daughter, Carly, and to experience NYC at Christmas time. What a week!

  • We saw six shows. Count 'em---six: The Play That Went Wrong; Home for the Holidays; Hello Dolly; The Rockette's Christmas Show; Waitress; and Come From Away. The last two shows we saw on Wednesday, one matinee and one evening show, after we stood in line in the cold for two hours to get rush tickets. Both were worth the effort! We even got back stage passes for Home for the Holidays after the show because Kathy is friends with two of the singers, Peter and Evynne Hollens. Fun!
  • We went to two museums: The 9-11 Memorial Museum (Yes, it was very emotional); and The Natural History Museum where we spent most of our time among the dinosaur bones and in the planetarium watching a show about dark matter and the universe, confirming how insignificant we are in the scheme of things.
  • We dined with friends twice: Chris, a Tri-Delta sister of mine, took the train over from NJ and we looked around Rockefeller center before heading to Carmine's for a fabulous feast; Ken and Carol drove over from NJ also for a quick dinner at the Glass House Tavern before we had to jet off to see our last musical of the trip, Come From Away. Thank you friends!
  • We walked half the Brooklyn Bridge and back so we could see the Statue of Liberty in the Harbor and the NYC skyline.
  • We did a bit of shopping, and more window shopping on 5th Avenue and Herrold Square.
  • We attended church at the 5th Avenue Presbyterian Church. The early service is in the chapel, but the space is bigger than our sanctuary at home and has a pipe organ. We didn't want to miss out on the first Sunday of Advent. 
  • We stayed in a funky apartment in the Hell's Kitchen district of the city, not too far from Broadway. Carly was able to spend a few nights with us between riding the train back to Yonkers for her classes. We had wonderful food the whole trip, all except for a disgusting breakfast sandwich I bought at Starbucks, of all places!
On the Brooklyn Bridge
Yesterday: I traveled with the church choir to a small town church in Mineral, where they performed a portion of their Christmas cantata for the congregation there. It always feels a little like I have stepped into a Courier and Ives postcard when we arrive in Mineral. Afterwards we dined in a new restaurant in Eatonville, not far from Mineral, with our daughter/son-in-law/grandson, and my second cousin and her husband. Because of this, I didn't get my Sunday Salon written and posted on Sunday!
The 9-11 Museum. Who remembers the color of the sky on the day right before the first plane crashed into one of the towers? None of the tiles are the same color blue.

Carly in front of the building where her classes are taught at Sarah Lawrence University

Chris and me.  Tri-Delta sisters.

The food in NYC is so good. This food shot was taken in Juniors.

My little camera on my phone doesn't do justice to the beauty of the tree at Rockefeller Center.

Kathy and me. Macys in Herrold Square.

Kathy and Peter Hollens back stage after Home for the Holidays.
47 best books: This is the time of year when publications like School Library Journal and the New York Times put out lists of their favorite books of the year. A blogger at BooksAreMyFavourteAnd Best compiled all the lists she could find and listed the books by how many publications each book was named in. The winner, with 23 publications listing it as one of the year's best books, was Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders. I haven't read this book, but it is certainly going on my to-read pile. Check out the rest of the books which got listed on a lot of the "best of" end-of-the-year book lists by clicking on the hyperlink. 

Cybils: my work on this project as Round 1 judge is rapidly coming to an end and I am in a frenzy to read as many of the books as I can in these last few days. Of the 64 books on the list I have read all or a apart of around 45 and I have six books sitting here and one on hold at the library. By Wednesday I have to submit a list of my five to seven books in each category (junior high and senior high nonfiction.) Needless to say I will only have time for a cursory peek at the remaining seven books before then but I am not giving up. Today I found two really great ones and who knows there may be more gems waiting to be discovered.

Books read this week (not Cybils): 
  • Strangers Tend to Tell Me Things by Amy Dickinson...a memoir by the syndicated columnist who writes "Ask Amy." This would make a good discussion book for a book club.
  • The Playbook by Kwame Alexander. 52 rules to follow to score in the game called life. Wonderful!
Currently reading (not counting the Cybils-nominated books):
  • My Brilliant Career. My Classics Club spin book. It is taking a back seat to my other books right now.
  • The Bus 57. A true story about how a crime brought two teenagers together. I've only just started it but am very fascinated by it.
Peter Hollens December Song: In case you aren't familiar with Peter here is his Christmas video from last year. He wrote this song. We saw him perform it at the Home for the Holidays show.


  1. Wow, what an amazing trip you had! 6 shows - awesome!! I love seeing live theater but don't often get a chance. Sounds like a really great trip all around - food, friends, sightseeing, and all those plays :)

    Lots of good reading for you, too - enjoy your books this week and welcome home!


    Book By Book

  2. What a great trip! The food and museums in NY are indeed awesome. I want Peter's eyelashes!

  3. NYC is so fabulous and it sounds like you really took full advantage of your time there! If your Cybils time is coming to a close, mine must be starting soon! We've had a horrible week with the fires in Santa Barbara, but I've shared the time between news/fire watching and reading


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