Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Sunday Salon: North Dakota and a Witch

January 20, 2008

The Sunday

This is my first Sunday of participating in The Sunday Salon. What is the Sunday Salon? According to its creator:
Imagine some university library's vast reading room. It's filled with people--students and faculty and strangers who've wandered in. They're seated at great oaken desks, books piled all around them, and they're all feverishly reading and jotting notes in their leather-bound journals as they go. Later they'll mill around the open dictionaries and compare their thoughts on the afternoon's literary intake....

That's what happens at the Sunday Salon, except it's all virtual. Every Sunday the bloggers participating in that week's Salon get together--at their separate desks, in their own particular time zones--and
read. And blog about their reading. And comment on one another's blogs. Think of it as an informal, weekly, mini read-a-thon, an excuse to put aside one's earthly responsibilities and fall into a good book.

Participation is open to anyone with a blog and a stack of unread books.

So a Salon sounds warm and inviting on a cold January day. And here is what I have to say about this week's reading: it was very, very good. To the younger kids, I finished reading Elizabeth George Speare's The Witch of Blackbird Pond. This is my second time reading this one aloud, as I read it to Jesse about five years ago. I love that I can't remember the outcomes of books! I remember liking this book the first time through, but the second time through: wow! My grasp of history has grown much in those five years (I, who was a history minor in college, have learned more history in the past 8 years of homeschooling than I did in 19 years of public-college-graduate schooling) and thus my understanding of historical novels is deeper. I'll review the book later, but I'm so glad I had an opportunity to read it again.

And in my own personal reading, late last night I finished reading The Horizontal World: Growing Up Wild in the Middle of Nowhere. This is a memoir about growing up in North Dakota written by my major professor at Iowa State University, Debra Marquart. I have a lot to say about this book and will do it in a proper review soon, but let me just say that Deb's writing is absolutely incredible. I loved this book.

I've got a stack of books by my bedside. I'm eyeing Broken for You by Stephanie Kallos or Ann-Marie MacDonald's The Way the Crow Flies. Both are books I picked up from reading blog reviews, and both look like just what I need for the rest of this cold, cold Southern night.

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