"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, November 14, 2021

Sunday Salon...Rainy November

We experienced what the meteorologist called a, 'atmospheric river' this week, with substantial flooding and 'ponding'. My husband assured me that 'ponding' is not a word, then he went outside to our backyard and looked at the new pond where our lawn stood the day before, and he agreed that there was quite a bit of 'ponding' in our yard.

Van Gogh Immersive Experience: Don and I spent part of Veteran's Day in Seattle at the Van Gogh Experience. What can I say but WOW WOW WOW. (See collage above)

Eugene: Fortunately the atmospheric river was not aimed at Eugene, Oregon since we were once more down there attending a football game. Oddly, and this isn't a good thing, the temperature was in the mid-60s. In November!? It was nice for the game but bad for our climate. Actually I didn't attend the game. My daughter and her husband went in my stead and I stayed back and babysat the grandkids. 

I've Been Busy reading: I've read some really great books since my last Sunday post...

  • Completed in the past two weeks:
    • The Legend of Auntie Po by Shing Yin Khor -- a YA graphic novel based on Chinese-American folklore.A finalist for the National Book Award for the Youn People's Literature category. Print.
    • Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson -- I've never read this swashbuckling book before. I really enjoyed it a lot. Audio.
    • Transcription by Kate Atkinson -- a book club selection. Set during WWII in Britain, a gal is hired to work as a spy for MI5, domestic intelligence. After the war is over her past activities come back to haunt her. Audio.
    •  The Family of Man by Edward Steichen -- We had very few books around the house when I was growing up but we had this book. First published in 1955 it is full of black and white photographs chronicling the lives of people all over the world. I must have looked through this book 'a million times' as a kid and was pleased to see it on the coffee table at my mother's house when we visited her. What a gem.
    • Children and Their Mothers by Hanns Reich -- This is one of the books that was always around the house as I grew up. My mom recently found it and I had the opportunity to read it on a recent visit. As a kid I just looked at the photos -- all black and white, of mothers and children from around the world -- so it surprised me to notice this time that the book is full of poetry and little sayings about the relationship between the two.  
    • The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham -- I've had this short classic hanging around the house for several years. Themes: forgiveness, friendship, and personal growth. Print.
    • Hell of a Book by Jason Mott -- So, so profound. I think this book just turned my life upside down. WOW. Here's my review where I was able to isolate three especially profound aspects of the book. Audio.
    • Simple Prayers of Hope: Stories to Touch Your Heart and Feed Your Soul by Margaret Feinberg, illustrated by Norman Rockwell -- Not specific prayers but about people who prayed specific prayers and had them answered. Each prayer story is paired with a Norman Rockwell illustration. This is another book I found on my Mother's coffee table. Print.
  • Currently reading: 
    • Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr -- Another National Book Award finalist. I love this author but I confess that the plot is very complicated taking place during three (possibly four) time periods: The fall of Constantinople 1450s; WWII to current days (1940s to 2020s); in the distant future; and a bit during the 400 BC, the age of the Greeks! Don and I are listening to the audiobook and are enjoying it quite a bit. 59%.
    • Black Birds in the Sky: The Story and Legacy of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre by Brandy Colbert -- a Cybils nominated book for the High School Nonfiction category. Print. 54%.
    • Race Against Time: The Untold Story of Scipio Jones and the Race to Save Twelve Innocent Men by Sandra Neil Wallace -- Another Cybils nominated book in the nonfiction category. I'm trying to get a jump on possible reading in the new year when my judging stint starts. Print. 39%.
    • Without You, There Is No Us: My Time With the Sons of North Korea's Elite by Suki Kim -- Another nonfiction title, this one has been hanging around the house for several years. We purchased it after we heard the author speak at an event at Seattle Univ. I participating in a read-a-long with Helen@ Helen's Book Blog.
    • Matrix by Lauren Groff -- Yet another National Book Award finalist. This one is set during the time of the last Crusades. The main character is an actual historical woman. Audiobook. 58%.

On the lighter side:


Required pet photo:

Fred: Big cat, little drawer.



  1. The Van Gogh Experience looks awesome. Just this week we saw on TV the Willem Dafoe movie about Van Gogh ... called At Eternity's Gate, wow. Worth seeing. Is Cuckoo Land hard to follow on audio? Cheers.

    1. I will definitely look for that movie with Wm DeFoe. I read the book, Vincent and Theo, about Van Gogh and his brother several years ago and it helped inform my experience with the art project.

      Yes, I'd say in the beginning it was confusing to listen to Cloud Cuckoo Land. There are lots of characters and the different time periods. We would stop the audio infrequently and remind ourselves what was happening and what we could figure out together. Now that we know the characters and the settings, that confusion is cleared up.

  2. That's so true about the book versus the movie. It reminds me of the latest Dune adaptation. It looks like you have (and have done) lots of good reading!

  3. The Van Gogh experience looks amazing!! I was hoping to see it in Buffalo over the summer, but it didn't work out. Sure hope we get another chance! My daughter is going to her boyfriend's for Thanksgiving and they have tickets to see it then in Pittsburgh.

    You done some great reading the past couple of weeks. I remember that The Painted Veil was the first book I reviewed on my blog - back in 2008!! Have a good week.

  4. The Van Gogh exhibit looks incredible!

    Your reading is also impressive and I am so glad we're doing the read along. And the memes, you are so good at finding just the right ones. I especially like the book vs movie images!


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