"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, February 23, 2020

Sunday Salon: February 23, 2020

After 80 days of cloudy weather, Seattle finally had it's first sunny day of 2020. Photo Credit: KOMO News
Weather: rainy and windy. I was awakened by hail hitting the bedroom window this morning.

Birthday week: Thank you to everyone who recognized my birthday. From my daughter who took us out for homemade pasta in S.F., a sister and mom who made a special dinner of Parmesan chicken and apple pie, to my husband, daughter and her family, who helped me enjoy a dinner of Mexican food and cake from a favorite bakery, it was truly a week of sweet celebrations.

Books whispering to me: "But those books have begun to whisper to him in the darkness, and as he takes refuge in his imagination, he finds that reality and fantasy have begun to meld" (The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly). When I was a librarian for a big high school library I could barely stand it, all the books whispering out to me that they wanted to be read. Now I am retired and have accepted a volunteer position as a church librarian. The library is small, contained on one wall of the room, but once again I hear the books whispering my name, asking to be read.

San Francisco: Last weekend Don and I drove to S.F. with a pickup truck load of things left behind by our daughter when she moved there a year and a half ago. She was moving into a new apartment and needed her cookware, TV stand, and art which she'd left at our house. We enjoyed our roadtrip and loved helping her make her new apartment into her new home. (Plus, she hired movers, so we didn't have to kill ourselves moving furniture up three flights of stairs.)

East of Eden: Nearly a year ago I started reading this classic. This week I made it to the half-way point. Ridiculous, I know, to keep reading a book one clearly doesn't like, but I have finally made it to the point with the Biblical allusions. I must admit they are so good and thought-provoking it makes the it worth the struggle. "Thou mayest."

Gardening glory: Earlier this week we experienced the first sunny day of 2020. The sunny day and the President's Day holiday were both good reminders to go outside and prune the roses. Here's our list and what we got done in a few hours of yard work:
  • Prune all 20 rose bushes✔ 
  • Prune blueberry bushes  ✔ 
  • Prune / deadhead hydrangea bushes
  • Prune apple tree ✔ 
  • Reseed lawn on bald spots
  • Marvel at the bulbs which are blooming or preparing to bloom  ✔ 
Upcoming musical week: This week, after not attending a music concert for over a year, we are going to two, maybe three concerts: Lyle Lovett on Tuesday, Beatles vs Stones on Wednesday (possible), and Leslie Odom, Junior on Saturday. La-la-la.

Books read since Feb. 9th (my last Sunday Salon):
  • Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater---YA audiobook. A spin-off series from the Raven Boys. Dark and thrilling. I look forward to reading the second book when it is published.
  • Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Letham---audiobook, a re-read. Don and I listened as we drove to California to this interesting and funny take on a detective story where the protagonist has Tourette's Syndrome. A book club selection.
  • Girl Waits With Gun by Amy Stewart---audiobook, a re-read. Don and I listened to this one as we returned from Cali. This is a book club selection as well as the Pierce Reads! book of the year.
  • Great Poems for Grandchildren edited by Celeste Frost. Print. Loved it.
  • Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson. Print. A teen pregnancy changed the life trajectory for a whole family. The story is told from a variety of narrators.
  • Give a Goat by Jan West Shrock. Children's book, print. A new selection for the church library about the vlue of giving living gifts through the organization of Heifer Project.
Currently reading:
  • East of Eden by John Steinbeck. Print and audio. 50%. 
  • The Yellow House by Sarah Broom. Audiobook. 10%.
  • Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid. Print. A Reece Witherspoon book. 17%
  • A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (Movie Tie-In): Neighborly Words of Wisdom from Mister Rogers by Fred Rogers. Print. 10%
Hot Wheels fun: Don and Ian are currently building a Hot Wheels track, saved from Don's childhood, to play with a new red and yellow race-car from friend Jill. Such fun. Pure joy.

Have a lovely week.  -Anne


  1. So glad that Carly is settled in and hired movers. Ashley did the same thing, and it was well worth the money! I didn't enjoy Motherless Brooklyn at all, although I really wanted to.

    1. I bet Motherless Brooklyn is one of those books which is better in the audio format. We thought it was lots of fun. With many laugh out loud moments.

  2. Wow, first clear day of the year after 80 overcast days?? How do you stand it, Anne? We've had several 5-6 day streaks of dark, gray days, and it SO gets me down! I need my sunshine!

    Your trip to SF sounds like fun! We could use a road trip.

    I was not a fan of East of Eden, either, even though it is one of my closest friend's all-time favorites!

    I have been hearing great things about both Motherless Brooklyn and Such a Fun Age - will have to check them out.

    Enjoy your books this week - and that sunshine!


    Book By Book

  3. Happy belated Birthday! It sounds like you had a wonderful week with family, friends, and good food. 3 concerts in one week sounds overwhelming to me, but I'll bet you'll have a great time.


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