The Sunday Salon: Free Read For Interested Viewers

October 26, 2008


Today’s Sunday Salon is about a free electronic book offer that you can get in on, if you are interested, at The LibraryThing.


I’ve been in touch with SourceBooks about the book In the Land of Invisible Women.  This book is of interest to me because of my strong beliefs in women’s rights and equality.  From what I understand, Dr. Qanta Ahmed’s In the Land of Invisible Women is nearing bestseller status.  SourceBooks has partnered up with to put together an electronic giveaway of 2,500 ebook downloads of her memoir about being a female physician in the Saudi Kingdom.  Here is the information on the book: 

In the Land of Invisible Women (ISBN: 978-14022-1087-7; September 2; $14.99 US / $15.99 CAN; Trade Paperback) is the story of a western-trained Muslim female doctor (Ahmed) who spent two years working in the top hospital in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.  What began as a job initiated by a visa problem, quickly became a struggle and search for self empowerment, freedom and the right to follow her own truth.


Dr. Ahmed’s memoir is a fascinating and revelatory window into an enigmatic world.  Like Azar Nafisi’s Reading Lolita in Tehran, Dr. Ahmed provides a telling picture of what daily life is truly like in the Saudi Kingdom.  She describes:


  • How physicians trained by Jewish doctors in the United States applauded and cheered when hijacked planes destroyed the Twin Towers on 9/11
  • How men and women find marriage partners in a society that allows no dating and physical contact, and where they flee to have affairs
  • How Saudi women who are supported by advanced thinking parents and who must wear abbayas with their bodies fully encased are able to defy the Saudi’s oppressive rules and mores to become physicians
  • How she worked side-by-side with Wahabi scholars and physicians who seemed to shun her even in clinical contact
  • Why the religious police are so threatening and dangerous
  • How a father grieves
  • Her encounters with sexism, racism, anti-Semitism, sycophancy


Dr. Ahmed also evokes moments where she finds tenderness and true beauty in areas where she least expects it; at the tattered, curled edges of extremism. The last leg of her journey takes readers inside the Hajj, as she journeys to Mecca with 2.5 million other Muslims to perform the sacred duty incumbent upon every able-bodied Muslim in his or her lifetime.


In the Land of Invisible Women  is a fascinating look inside a culture that has become so

relevant to our own.


From October 27th – 31st, her book will be available for downloadto any LibraryThing member (membership is free).  Dr. Qanta Ahmed is going to make herself available to her readers by providing two weeks of author chat.  From what I understand, that means every week-night for two weeks, readers can post questions for Qanta on the LibraryThing website which she will then attempt to answer. 

So, if all of this sounds good to you, head on over to The LibraryThing and hook yourself up with an electronic copy!  I can’t wait to read your reviews… it’s on my TBR!

Best wishes for a relaxing Sunday, everybody!





The Sunday Salon: This Week’s Books & News

October 18, 2008

This Week’s Reads, News & Updates

I am exhausted.  I’ve definitely caught a flu bug, cold, or something.  But, I’ve had a lot on my mind and my “plate,” so I haven’t gotten sufficient rest.  I think I’m cranky (don’t you just hate that when you feel that way?).  For this week’s The Sunday Salon, I just wanted to update my co-bloggers, readers & friends on this past week’s “haps” and share my “stuff.”

  • NEW BLOGSITE:  I’m undergoing a site renovation.  I have been working on a new theme, colors, etc.  It’s coming along nicely.  I’m going to try to “self-host,” but I am totally scared.  I have not the slightest clue as to what I’m doing. Hopefully, the transition will work out okay and I’ll figure out the self-hosting rather quickly.  I just can’t wait to show everybody the new, improved site… and am hopeful that you all enjoy it.
  • THIS WEEK’S BOOKS:  I’m doing some book tours, so I haven’t posted as many reviews as I usually do.  I have reviewed The Lost Diary of Don Juan (post coming October 30th) and am currently finishing up Life After Genius (posting October 29th).  What I can report is that I did enjoy both reads and the forthcoming reviews are favorable.  I was able to post my review of The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks.  My favorite part of this post is that somebody actually wanted to pick up one of his books to “check him out,” and noted so on my post.  She wanted to know my favorite one, if I could only recommend one… it was so hard… like picking out your favorite child.  So, I emailed her.  It was sooo cool!

  • THIS WEEK’S ENTERTAINMENT NEWS & HEADLINES:  I’m pleased to report that each week I will be sharing a sprinkling of entertainment news & current headlines.  I’m focusing on the news that isn’t necessarily “mainstream,” and is fun or quirky.  If you haven’t watched the “Joe The Plumber” video, it’s worth the couple of minutes.  If you caught it on TV, don’t waste the time… but, it’s pretty humorous, the press, that it.  DWTS is coming up tomorrow, so I’m looking forward to writing an update on the show.  The video herein is the most current ABC video feed on DWTS and shows the “countdown clock” as to the next show (fun, huh?).  My brother, Bill, keeps saying… “Cheryl Burrrrrr…..” because of how the announcer says “Cheryl Burke.”  Now the kids always say, when talking about DWTS, “Cheryl Burrrrrr….” 
  • [clearspring_widget title=”Dancing With The Stars on” wid=”47df2410700a0b8c” pid=”48f43d5f4dce5a55″ width=”300″ height=”250″ domain=””]

  • CONTESTS:  Well, I’ve written and reminded about Menagerie’s Halloween Haunt.  Entries are due by the 22nd.  I was really hoping for more entries due to the size of the prize…. so, if you or your kids have a story, a post, or a referral on a good scary book…. get your comment posted or email me at  I have a Second Chance Drawing for those who post the buttons on their blog post or sidebar, as well.  For all of you who have entered… thanks so much for your participation!  I appreciate it!  My kids are so excited to help me judge the entries!

  • BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH:  A Novel Menagerie and Thursday’s Thoughts are focused on promoting Breast Cancer Awareness.  I’ve prepared a button for your site, if you are interested in spreading the word… mainly to remind the women you know about self-exams and the benefit of mamograms.  Thursday’s Thought’s Contest for the week hasn’t received as many entries as I’d hoped for.  Since the “winning prize” is a donation to charity in the name of the winner, I may extend Thursday’s Thoughts for another week, rather than doing a new MEME/Contest next week.  I’m really keeping my finger’s crossed on spreading the word via posts and buttons (badges).  Thanks to Shana and Yasmin for all of their support on this effort.

Well, it’s time to take this cranky butt to bed.  Yes, that’s where I need to be!  I look forward to posting this week on The Fall Into Reading 2008 Challenge (where I’m at), Lit Flicks Challenge Update, and hopefully Home Girl and My Husband’s Sweethearts.

The Sunday Salon: Yesterday’s Weather

October 12, 2008

The Sunday Salon:  Yesterday’s Weather by Anne Enright

I found out about this novel via People Magazine’s review section on books, some time ago.  I ordered it immediately after reading the great review and 4 out of 4 stars rating. 

I couldn’t wait to read it and had hated putting it behind the publisher-provided books and book tour books… So, again.. for me a bad case of the “expectations” for me on this book.  How do I stop that?

Now that I am reading 1-2 books per week and writing my thoughts on them, I find myself a different person… more critical of my reads and my time.  What happened to the old me that was just excited to have a new book?  I’m feeling bad about it.  I’m changing my pace, starting the next book!

So, Yesterday’s Weather.  The author, Anne Enright, is the winner of the Man Booker Prize for The Gathering.  She is definitely a talented author.  This book is a compilation of short stories.  Ms. Enright is from Ireland, so much of her English doesn’t mirror the “United States’ Version” of English, so there is a bit of a barrier there.  Each chapter is a story in and of itself.

The Review:

Title:  Yesterday’s Weather

Author:  Anne Enright

Publisher:  Grove Press, of Grove/Atlantic, Inc.

ISBN-10#: 0-8021-1874-7

ISBN-13#: 978-0-8021-1874-5

Type:  Short Stories, Fiction

Publisher’s Website:

Author’s Website:

This book is comprised of 29 short stories, all of them in chapter format.  Somewhere along the line, I missed understanding this, so for the first 6 chapters, I could not find the connection between the characters.  DUH!  I went back and read the “inside cover” to discover that I was on the wrong reading path and needed to re-start the book. 

I love short stories and usually devour a book that contains them.  This book, however, I had a bit more trouble with.  It’s almost as though a chapter, for me, is too short for a “short story.”   I need, for my PERSONAL TASTE, more depths to the characters and the stories.  Like, in Unaccustomed Earth, the stories were rich and just the perfect length for my taste. This book, however, the stories were too short.  Now, this may be just me.  I realize that. 

Enright does a great job in her prose and her absurdly EXCELLENT writing skills.  Her ability to describe a setting and its characters is WONDERFUL.  I just didn’t get enough of the stories I liked… and wanted to skip the stories that held no interest for me.  It’s almost as if I feel guilty about my reading or review of this book… like I need to take WAY MORE TIME and approach it with a different mind-set to fully appreciate this work. 

This book may be up so many other’s alleys.. and, this may just be me.  She, obviously, is an INCREDIBLE writer.  I just couldn’t connect with Yesterday’s Weather, for the most part.  There are some chapters, like “Until the Girl Died,” that I loved.  And, others that were just outside of my realm of understanding and taste.  But, do not let that preclude you from reading this book if you are interested in it.  This book may be your favorite!  Again, I think it’s just me.  This writer seems to have the ability to look into the psyche’s of others unlike anything I’ve ever seen.  So, give it a chance if you like short stories and interesting takes on the “norm.”

On Sher’s “One Out of Ten Scale:”

Like, Being Written,  I don’t want to give this book a rating because it’s so different from the books that I normally gravitate torwards.  This author is obviously SO TALENTED and, I’m sure it’s just me on this one.  But, in my PERSONAL opinion, which others may plainly disagree with, I have to give this book a 5.  Some chapters… a definite 8… but, overall, for me, a 5.  There are just some of the short stories that left me thinking… “what?” or “what else?”  I’m sorry Ms. Enright…. I really did look forward to this book and PAID FULL PRICE PLUS SHIPPING FOR IT.  (Oh, the guilt over the 5).

 Buy Yesterday’s Weather at

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The Sunday Salon: The Lost Diary of Don Juan

October 5, 2008

Long week!

Sarah Palin said in the Vice Presidential Debates that to get an understanding of what the typical American is feeling, just listen to what they talk about at their soccer game on Saturday.  This morning (Saturday) we were discussing value of stocks and their losses, and Wall Street.  The coach came over and said… “No discussing Merrill Lynch… only goals and kicks!”  We laughed.  I told the team mom, just keep in mind the long term goals with your investments!  Don’t worry….  We talked a bit more and then started talking about nothing but goals and kicks!

This week, I actually did finish another book since DeweyThe Lost Diary of Don Juan.  I really enjoyed it.  I have completed my review of the novel and am awaiting my date on the book tour to post it (and, I think I’m the last one).   So, in reviewing my “blog week”, it looks as though I’m missing a book review… and, that’s why… I’m saving it!  But, the book is in paperback and well worth the read, especially if you like historical romance novels.

Right now, I’m half way through The Story of Edgar Sawtelle.  It’s a good book.  I am enjoying it.  I’m trying to avoid reviews about it and Oprah’s comments about it until I’m done reading it.  Lisa at Books on the Brain said just plug my ears and say “nananananana.”  She’s so funny~!

I’m going to rest and read all day on Sunday.  Saturday was full of soccer and now I am now officially pooped de la pooped!

Have a great Sunday, everybody!  Get rest and ready for the upcoming week!



The Sunday Salon: The Art of Racing in the Rain

September 28, 2008



My Sunday Review

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein


This Sunday, and for my The Sunday Salon post, I have finished my second book of the week and will be commencing a new one, Dewey-The Small Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Vicki Myron.  But, before I scoot along to Dewey, I want to share with you my experience with The Art of Racing In the Rain

First and foremost, I must share that the picture of the doggie on the cover of the book looks just like my darling, Tori.  She’s a beautiful, 3-year old Yellow English Labrador Retriever with a heart of GOLD!  We call her “Golden Star, ”  amongst other things.  So, like Marley and Me, The Art of Racing in the Rain, grabbed me by the sheer connection to my beautiful “Puppers.”  The name of my blog, A Novel Menagerie, is not only because I have a menagerie of books that I love to read, but also because I am the master/owner of a considerably large in-home menagerie.  Tori, was our first dog… and the heart and soul of our family.

Here are some pictures of my baby-cakes:Doesn't this look like the book cover?

Doesn’t she look like the cover in this picture?  We were on our way to Big Bear for Thanksgiving, stuck in traffic on the 91… she was sitting in the front of my little Lexus (miss the gas mileage on that car!).

The picture below is on the first day that we brought her home and into our family.  I’ve never, in my life, seen the twins so completely and utterly happy.  She’s so pretty!

 Tori was, for us, a dream and a goal that we all wanted to reach.  We decided that it was not fair to a dog to adopt her until we knew we owned a home and that took us 3 years to achieve.  We seaThe day we brought her home.rched and searched for her.  I wanted a small dog, like a purse puppy.  But, this dog is the one that God led us to… and we ended up falling madly in love with.  People exclaim that they are so jealous that we own her and promise to kidnap her one day while we are fast asleep.  FAT CHANCE! 

How does this relate to The Art of Racing in the Rain?  Well, the story is told from the viewpoint of “Enzo,” a yellow Labrador retriever mix, male dog.  That immediately grabs me into purchasing, reading and reviewing this novel.

Oh, and girls… I know totally inappropriate of me… but, the author is so friggin’ cute… but, married… with kidlets.  Well, I’m kinda into those grey-haired, goatee’d guys… with blue eyes.. and on the video… (below), <sigh>… Anyway, in case you know a single one that fits that description in Orange County, CA… write me! Oh, well… I’ll find my grey-haired fox someday!  Now, back to my story…

So, I picked up the novel as part of my Fall Into Reading Challenge 2008.  I expected a lot, of course, that may come from reading Marley & Me (wonderful book).  This book was a good one.  The only part I couldn’t really “sink my teeth into” were the racing metaphors and info.  Now, perhaps if I was a race car enthusiast, I may have LOVED the book… and, perhaps those who do follow the circuit… may LOVE this work.  I can’t say that I loved it, but I certainly did enjoy it and am glad that I read it.

My Review:

Author:  Garth Stein

Book Website:

Author’s Website:

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 978-0-06-153793-6

Type: Fiction

The Art of Racing in the Rain begins with the narration of Enzo, a yellow Labrador retriever mix.  He tells the story of how he met his owner, Denny, a race car driver and mechanic by day.  From there, Enzo tells the tale of how Denny fell in love with Eve, whom he marries quickly.  They have a daughter, Zoe, and eventually fulfill the “American Dream” and move into a house in Seattle, Washington. 

At first, Enzo is not thrilled with Eve or her relationship with Denny, but eventually he finds his place as her protector.  In addition, Enzo comes to love little Zoe beyond measure.  Enzo is completely obsessed with his next life as a human and the use of opposable thumbs.  He shows an innate intelligence and discusses his TV shows and knowledge of the human and animal races.  He is sure that, in his next life, he will be reincarnated to a man who will shake hands with Denny and become a race-car driver.

Enzo detects an odor from Eve’s head, that he believes to be an odor which describes a deep illness within her.  She subsequently suffers from migraines and horrible spells, but absolutely refuses to go to the doctor.  In addition, when she slices open her hand and OBVIOUSLY needs to go to the Emergency Room, she insists on not going.  But, fate has a way of just making things happen… she has an injury on a rock at a local waterfall and ends up being rushed to the hospital for a concussion.  Here, the large tumor is identified and later discovered to be a life-ending, cancerous one.

Eve’s awful parents… and, you’ll only understand “awful” when you read the book…. who live on a nearby island, insist that Eve is taken to their home for nursing and recovery as Denny was working and could not provide for her the full time attention that she required.  He begrudgingly agreed.  Then, they hit him with the WHAMMY, they feel it best that Zoe stay their during her convalescence as “her mother is dying” and “she should spend as much time with her as possible.”  The writing is on the wall.  So, Denny agrees and they set up a “visitation schedule” of sorts.

Months go by and eventually, Eve passes.  That’s when the madness begins.  The parents sue for custody of Zoe and go to extreme tactics to ensure their success.  This part of the story I shall leave out for the sake of those who have not yet read this book.  In any event, the second half of the book is Denny’s brave trail towards winning custody of his daughter back and realizing his dream in race car driving.

The story does end on a happy note, albeit a bit predictable.

My favorite quote from the book:

“…My soul has learned what it came here to learn, and all the other things are just things.  We can’t have everything we want.  Sometimes, we simply have to believe.”

-and later on the same page:

“I know this much about racing in the rain.  I know it is about balance.  it is about anticipation and patience.  I know all of the driving skills that are necessary for one to be successful in the rain.  But racing in the rain is also about the mind!  It is about owning one’s own body.  About believing that one’s car is merely an extension of one’s body.  About believing that the track is an extension of the car, and the rain is an extension of the track, and the sky is an extension of the rain.  It is about believing that you are not you; you are everything.  And everything is you.”

An interesting interview with Garth Stein (from his website):

Your novel is told in the voice of Enzo, aspiring race-car driver Denny Swift’s loyal dog, who has a keen observer’s detachment, as opposed to the human characters and their conflicting emotions. How did you develop the dog’s voice?

If Enzo had a choice, he would love to interact with the world around him much more than his limitations as a dog allow. It is his enforced muteness that drives him to hone his powers of opinion and observation. So his voice grew out of that—what would it be like to be trapped in a sound-proof booth in which you could hear everything but say nothing? Well, first, I think, you would become a very good listener.

Enzo is one of those dogs that is “nearly human,” but at one point in the story he feels the need to lose that complexity and just be an animal for a while. Why did that happen?

We all suffer moments of self-doubt, and Enzo is no different. Midway through the novel, he has a crisis of faith—he believes that his attempts to live to human standards have not helped any of the people he loves so much, and so he goes wilding and embraces his true canine nature. It’s funny, but in the context of the story, it’s actually one of the most human things he could possibly do.

It is interesting that the dog can sense Eve’s illness before anyone else can. Where did that idea come from?

I have read articles about dogs who can smell disease, especially cancer, so that’s something that is out there and is not a new idea. But what I wanted to convey with Enzo is not so much his “smelling” of Eve’s illness but his sensitivity to her condition on an energetic level. My wife is an energy intuitive, which means she can read illness in people or bacteria in foods and so on. It sounds a little crazy to hear about a person doing it; for some reason, it’s somewhat less threatening to hear about a dog doing it.

How did your own experiences in racing influence the character of Denny Swift and his experiences?

I’ve done some racing on the club level, and I really enjoy it. My experience in racing definitely helped me write the car scenes. But, maybe more importantly, my racing experience led me to a great friendship with a semipro race-car driver, Kevin York, who kind of acted as the inspiration for Denny. Kevin is racing in the Koni Challenge series this year, and his #75 car sports a decal!

How do you balance writing with three kids at home?

I can answer that with a children’s riddle: A man who weighs 150 pounds has three ten-pound bowling balls. He has to carry all three balls across a bridge over a deep abyss, but the bridge can only support 170 pounds, and he can’t make more than one trip. How does he cross the bridge with all the bowling balls? (Answer: he juggles the balls as he crosses the bridge! Voila!)

What’s your next project?

I have a few different ideas I’m playing with, and I know that soon they will all fall into place, and I’ll have a great story. Until then, please enjoy Enzo!

Garth’s Video on the Book:


On Sher’s “One to Ten Scale…”

This is a tough one for me.  I wanted so much to give it a higher score than I’m able to give it.  It was an enjoyable book and one that I can relate to.  But, in my honest opinion, I have to give it a 7.

Oh, and just one more picture of my cute dog (sorry.. had to)

Other Reviews:,,20198691,00.html

Buy The Art of Racing in the Rain at

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The Sunday Salon: My Week’s Goals

September 21, 2008

The Sunday Salon

So much on my mind, Bloggers…

I have a lot on my mind today.  I’m thinking about the state of our nation’s economy, the plane crash that injured DJ AM and Travis Barker yesterday, my kids’ & our tough day yesterday, my friends, and my week.  I have soooo much reading to do this week… not because “I have to,” but, rather, because I want to.  There are so many books on my “nightstand” that I can’t wait to get to, that it’s almost as if I can’t wait to finish the ones that I’m on.  Thinking about it, that really isn’t fair to the current read(s), because I’m not savoring the experience of that particular work of art.  I need to work on that aspect of my book reading and blogging.

How do all of y’all bloggers get through these works so fast and write so accurately and beautifully about them?  You must, must, must share your tips with me!

Right now, I’m 1/4 of the way through The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson.    It is a very descriptive and well written book, so far.  It makes me wonder how much time this author spent on research as this novel ties back to many historical facts and literary works.  In any event, this book is a very visual  book and the characters are living creatures in my mind’s eye.  However, I can’t picture the narrator (the burn victim).  My mind just can’t wrap around what he must look like after his horrendous accident.  Perhaps later in the novel, I will come to picture him.  My daughter chose this book for me to read and she can’t wait until I finish it.  Her twin chose Water for Elephants for me and I’ve already finished that one… so, in order for me to like this one “as much as her twin’s choice,” I must devour it just as quickly… yes, surely I must!

Speaking on Water for Elephants, I’m not sure that my review of the book came across too favorably.  This book is a NY Times #1 Bestseller and has been very widely read and reviewed.  So many people expressed just how much they LOVED this book, that I think I expected MIRACLES to jump out from the pages.  Having these preconceived ideas about the novel, I think that I was a bit let down during my read.  As I explained in my blog, because I went into reading this book with very high expectations, I don’t think that it had a chance of meeting them.  Also, because of this, my review wasn’t quite as favorable as many of the other’s reviews… nor was my opinion of the book.  The feedback I got on my review made me think a lot about how I will approach other books and my mindset about them going into the read.  Also, I think that I may just need to wait to read others’ reviews of the book until after I’ve read it.  That way, I’ll have no preconceived ideas.  Then, when I review the book, I should go and read others’ reviews and link their reviews to mine in my blog.  Yeah, I definitely think that’s what I’m going to try next time if I plan on reading the book.  I’m a new blogger and I’m still learning this stuff… yeah, definitely learning.

Next on the nightstand is a book that I thought about purchasing after its review in People MagazineThe Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein.  The inside cover describes the book as:

“Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs), he has educated himself by watching television extensively, and by listening very closely to the words of his master, Denny Swift, an up-and-coming race car driver.  Through Denny, Enzo has gained tremendous insight into the human condition, and he sees that life, like racing, isn’t simply about going fast.  Using the techniques needed on the race track, one can successfully navigate all of life’s ordeals.”

I’m so hugely into doggies that I couldn’t help but to order this very well-read novel and push it up in my “List of Books to Read.” 

Another book that I purchased today that will most probably beat others to the “Top of the List” is I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou(In Hardcover at Amazon.Com for $14.93).   I listen to Oprah’s radio channel on XM Radio, pretty frequently, while driving in the car.  Maya has her own talk show on there and she’s an interesting lady.  One of the other radio show hosts on this channel was telling a little bit about Maya’s story… the hardship she endured as a child and how she stopped speaking aloud for a considerable amount of time.  The story, as recounted by this talk show host, pulled at my heartstrings.  This book was recommended and I just kind of forgot about it.  While visiting Apooo’s book blog today, I was perusing her list of authors and reads and was reminded about Maya Angelou and this book.  I ordered it on today and it will be here on Thursday. 

Lastly, although most of you amazing bloggers out there have already given it your shout outs, I owe mine, as well, to My Friend Amy and the incredible week she hosted in the BBAW (Book Blogger’s Appreciation Week)!  I had a blast with all of the contests.  I hosted two contests and am happily sending out prizes tomorrow.  It was so much fun and I honestly don’t know how she managed to do all of that work in one week.  She’s amazing!  Did she sleep at all?

This week’s goals:

  • Finish The Gargoyle
  • Read Racing in the Rain
  • Get that job that I interviewed for and so badly hope for (fingers crossed, prayers welcome)
  • Get more sleep
  • Exercise regularly
  • Did I say “get more sleep?”
  • Make 2 amazing dinners for the kidlets
  • Pray every day
  • Be thankful for my life

Have a great week, bloggers!  Thanks for all that you have been and all that you are in my blogging experience!


The Sunday Salon

September 7, 2008

Night time is the right time for my reading.  During the week, after the menagerie is in bed, I sit on my patio with either a great cup of tea or nice glass of wine and dig into my read of the day.  It’s so peaceful… the twins are in bed, Claire is in her crate, Tori is at my feet, the kitties are playing with furry mouse toy on the wood floor, the fish tanks have the midnight lights on, and I enjoy the slight ocean breezes… or marine fog (depending upon the night). 

I have been through many life changes in the past 4 months.  One drastic thing that has changed about me is that I watch MUCH less television and read four times more than I read before.  It’s changing the way that I relax and the way that I think.  I like this change in myself.  And… I can’t wait to blog about the book that I read and I must do it immediately after I finish the book so that my emotions about the book are very fresh in my mind.  Who is this girl?  Me?

This week, I am going through books on the bookshelf that I haven’t gotten around to because they weren’t peaking my interest as much as others.  This week, I am completing The Amateur Marriage by Anne Tyler.  Truthfully, I now wish that I hadn’t put it off.  I am really enjoying it, much more so than Back When We Were Grown Ups.  In any event, I only have approximately 30 pages left to finish the book and I’m hoping to actually do it this afternoon and not wait for the evening read.  Yeah… then it’s blog time!

I am so tired from a 40th Birthday party last night and may end up reading the remainder of the book in bed this afternoon.  I’m glad to join The Sunday Salon this week.