The Sunday Salon

Wow, it’s been hot here in Southern California.  Our normal June Gloom is nowhere to be found.  

My daughter is going to summer camp tomorrow for 9 days.  Her bags are packed and she’s ready to go. It’s a Girl Scout camp 100 miles away from home, and she will be in the horse unit this year; grooming, feeding, and riding horses, and mucking out stalls (blech!), but she loves it all.  She’s most excited about trail riding, which she hasn’t done too much of in the past.  The camp had an Open House yesterday, so we all went up there to see it, even though the girls went to camp last year.  They wanted to show us what cabins they were in and tell us different things they did.  Plus this is my daughter’s first year in the horse area, so we wanted to see that.  I stuck this book into her duffle bag just in case she has any time to read.  It’s about a brave 10 year old girl, and I want her to be brave at camp!  I think she’ll like it.

I had lots of reading time on the way to the Open House and back.  I just finished Karen Harrington’s Janeology Friday (the review will be written soon!), and literally minutes after turning the last page, a package from Hyperion arrived on my doorstep with two new ARCs, House and Home by Kathleen McCleary and Sweetsmoke by David Fuller.  Even though I have a huge TBR pile, on our way out the door to the camp I grabbed House and Home.  There was some grumbling from The Red Tent and A Thousand Splendid Suns, who have been in the TBR stack for months, but House and Home had an appealing cover (the ARC has a completely different cover than the one shown here-blue with a box of wooden matches- and a picture of a house on the box) and the blurb on the back sounded really interesting.  And it was!  I read it straight through in one day.  It was terrific.  The author is a reporter and writer for HGTV, Good Housekeeping, and The New York Times. This is her first novel, and I was floored not only by the excellent writing, but how many parallels there were to my own life.  House and Home is set to be released July 1st, and I’ll write that review soon, too.  This is one I’ll be telling my friends about.

I started another book today while my kids swam in my mom’s pool.  For once it’s not an ARC or a book for review, but one that I’ve had sitting around awhile (since Christmas, actually).  Has anyone read Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott?  It is subtitled “Some instructions on writing and life”.  Well, who doesn’t need that??  I’ve only made it through the introduction and the first two chapters, but I’m hooked.  Funny, smart, and unpredictable is the way I’d describe it so far.  It’s one I don’t want to fly through, but rather savor and think about.  The TBR stack (“pick me!  pick me!”) will just have to hush for awhile.

With one daughter at camp and the other one a little lonely and clingy, it will be an interesting week.  My younger one will miss her sister, even though she insists that she won’t, so I plan to keep her busy.  She’ll be attending Vacation Bible School in the mornings and swim lessons at the high school with her “friend who’s a boy” in the afternoons.  The less time she has to complain about boredom, the better!

Oh, just a reminder about my June giveaway:  Leave a comment HERE by June 30th to win a copy of Mrs. Lieutenant.

What are you reading this week?

19 Responses

  1. Bird by Bird is one of my favorite books on writing – I loved it.

  2. *sigh* You mention so many interesting books. I want to read them all. (By the way, I can hear The Red Tent and 1000 Suns screaming read me all the way from Morro Bay. I loved both of those books.)

    Sugar Queen showed up (woo-hoo! and thanks!!). I want to read it, but I just finished a somewhat disappointing book with hints of magical realism, so I may need something different to cleanse the palate.

    It was unbelievably hot here this week, too…over 100 here in foggy Morro Bay. Hard to believe!

  3. Jill, my sister lives in Pismo and she said it was 114 there Thursday- a record for the city, not just for the day, but the highest it’s been EVER!! I’m glad to hear SUgar Queen showed up, but yeah, I wouldn’t want to read two ‘magical’ books back to back. It might be a nice break in between two intense books, though!

  4. Today it was finally cool…which motivated me to do some more stuff around the house.

    I’m reading J. Scott Savage’s Farworld…I tried to get in to Bunko Babes yesterday, I thought it would be awesome, and I’m totally hating the writing. ACK! After these two books I won’t have any review commitments for a while, so I’ll be like a kid in a candy store looking at my TBR pile. I have to say, some of the ARCs I’ve received recently are intriguing!!

  5. I’m dying in this heat! 😉

    I have House and Home and Sweetsmoke in mt tbr as well. thanks for the review I might read it sooner than I would have.

    I got Bird by Bird for Christmas and haven’t read it yet. I keep thinking I need to.

  6. Hey L! I just finished “Where the Red Fern Grows” and am now trying to decide what’s next. “The Art of Racing In The Rain” and “The Last Summer (Of You And Me)” both arrived in the mail over the weekend. I don’t know if my tear ducts have anything left for another dog book so soon but I really want to read it. We’ll see what the day brings and what I decide.
    I can’t imagine reading in a car. I can read on a bus or the subway but I think that the car is just too small and the moving scenery outside makes me car sick. I’ll bet you do get a lot more reading done on long trips when the hubby is driving though.

  7. This brought back memories of my time at a horseback riding camp. I hope your daughter has a great time! Write her letters, because mail is a big deal.

  8. It certainly has been hot here! I am reading my book club pick (still) but I just went to Barnes and Noble and picked up Barefoot, by Elin Hilderbrand. I don’t know much about it, but the cover caught me. Seems like it would be good for my vacation in July.

  9. I wish I could read faster! I’m looking forward to your reviews of Janeology and House and Home. I’m reading the fourth book in the Maisie Dobbs Series and will get to Matrimony this week.

  10. I loved Bird by Bird. It’s a quick and comforting read. I hope you enjoy it. House and Home sounds like one I’ll have to watch for.

  11. Thanks for all the great comments! Fightingwindmills, I wrote a letter to her for every day she’d be gone and gave it to the camp people this morning- the USPS mail delivery is super slow getting up there, but if you give it to the camp administration in advance they will distribute it to the girls each day!

    Ti- Check it out! Elin Hilderbrand is working on a guest post for me that should run July 2nd, and I think we’re also going to have a giveaway of either Barefoot and/or A Summer Affair through her publisher.. I’m so excited!

    I have to get that House and Home review written! It’s great and I want people to know- but my day is jam packed so I’m not sure when I’ll have time!

  12. Bird by Bird is one of my favorite Lamott books. She would be a gas to sit down and have lunch with, wouldn’t she?

  13. Stay cool! I bet your daughter will have a great time at Girl Scout camp.

  14. That is great news about Elin’s guest post. I cannot wait to read it! Of course, the giveaways are fun too.

  15. I’ll be glad when this heat wave is over. Wasn’t it supposed to be cooler today? Because it wasn’t! Bird by Bird is one of my favorite books on writing, ever! And have you read Lamott’s book Operating Instructions? One of my favorite memoirs. Hope your daughter has fun at camp. My 12-year-old son is going to sleep away camp for the first time this summer–for two whole weeks, yikes!

  16. […] it! gentle reader on The Sunday SalonSuey on It’s Almost Here..bkclubcare on Guest Post: Author Cheryl Kaye…Ti on The […]

  17. I remember going to summer camp when I was a kid. 🙂
    Hope it cools off for you soon.

  18. I hope your daughter has enjoyed her time at camp. I went to horse camp when I was a child and I loved being able to ride and care for my very own horse (for a week, she was mine anyway). It would have been better if I hadn’t sprained my ankle towards the end, cutting the fun short.

    I really must get myself a copy of Janeology and read it. I’ve read one book by Anne Lamott, but not the one you mention.

    I hope you are enjoying your week!

  19. I absolutely loved Bird by Bird and was one of the few instances where I rushed out to read anything else I could find by the author.

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