The Sunday Salon: Memorial Day reads

Sunday, May 24, 2015

The Sunday 
Salon.com

Happy Memorial Day in advance to my US readers! Hope you are having a good long weekend.


This week (and weekend)...

I spent much of this week waiting for the weekend. Not that we (or rather I) had any major plans for the weekend. The husband's friend is visiting us right now and the two of them have plenty of plans lined up - they visited the Natural Bridge, Caverns, and Zoo yesterday and came home super tired and happy. I did nothing but read, but I promise I felt more tired than they did. Today they are planning to visit Shenandoah National Park and Luray Caverns, and tomorrow, take part in an archery session at Wintergreen resort, which I plan to do as well.

Three days back, I stretched my legs when I woke up in the morning and instantly cramped both my calves. I have no idea where that came from and I've been mostly penguin-limping since then. The cramps have reduced a LOT today so I hope they're on the way out. At this point (33 weeks), I am pretty close to being done with being pregnant - only close, I still love every minute of this journey, even if it means I cannot hike or walk too much or be anywhere that doesn't have a restroom. But this week has been tough - sleeping is hard, trying to sleep is hard, walking is hard, having energy to do anything at all is hard. More reason to love having a stay-at-home weekend for myself.


Reading...

On the plus side, I have been reading a lot. I spent a good chunk of yesterday reading (and finishing) and loving A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan. I usually enjoy multiple narrator novels, as long as the number of narrators is under five. Goon Squad has 13 chapters and 15 narrators. That in itself is challenging under any circumstance and I wasn't sure I will enjoy it. But Egan makes it work so well that I was amazed at how much I enjoyed the format.

Then I went back to Flowers for Algernon, of which I have just a quarter more left. I know the remainder of the book is going to be a tough read but I am bracing myself for it. On the other hand, I am a little bothered by the portrayal of women in this book - they just have no substance to their character, all they exist for is to propel the protagonist's story forward.

Last week, I also went and picked up Sheryl Sandberg's Lean In from my library. When I checked my library catalog, I was surprised to see that they had a lot of copies available, but most of them were checked out and expected to be returned on the same day next month. Turns out, my library's book club is reading it this month. I would love to go join the discussions but I don't expect my next few weeks to be that free. I did start reading Lean In, and so far enjoy the voice of the author.

This weekend is unexpectedly turning into a readathon weekend. This morning, I decided to just read for much of this weekend and not do any chores. After Algernon, I am thinking of reading Annie Barrows' The Truth According to Us. You may remember Annie Barrows as the co-author of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Unlike the latter book, The Truth According to Us is a chunkster but luckily, I have it in both ebook and print format so that should make for a quicker reading.


How is your weekend going? I hope you have plenty planned as well - reading and otherwise. Are any of you going to BEA this week?


23 comments:

Bryan G. Robinson said...

Sounds like a lovely weekend...even though you're not getting out. I'm not getting out either, but I'm okay with that. I just want to read and nap...nap and read...read and nap...speaking of which....zzzzz :).

JoAnn @ Lakeside Musing said...

So glad you ended up loving Goon Squad. I listened to it and have to say it was very challenging on audio - all the narrators and time shifts! But it was also very rewarding. Hope you can give into the tiredness and just relax for the long weekend.

Athira / Aths said...

Yes, nap and read definitely is what I would love to do any day. I did want to spend some time outdoors, watch the mountains, lakes, and the beautiful greenery, but oh well, I can do that next year. Let me use my baby excuse to stay home and read while I still can. :-)

Athira / Aths said...

So far, it looks like I will be just reading and relaxing this weekend. Love it! I may do something outdoors tomorrow, but it will be short and at a place I love, so that would be great too.

Andi said...

I'm glad you're enjoying Goon Squad! At the time I read it, I wasn't blown away by it, but it's one of those collections that has aged well in my memory. :)

Diane D said...

The Good Squad wasn't one I cared for, but then not every book pleases every reader:) I am so excited for you in these final weeks of your journey. enjoy it all.

Kay said...

Glad to hear that you are having a nice, non-stressful, take-care-of-you weekend. Sounds like just the ticket. I'm curious about the Annie Barrows book too. I think this is her first adult book, other than the Guernsey book, of course, but i think that was more her aunt's book. I know that Barrows has written kids books. Will be interested in hearing your experience with it. Again, take care and enjoy these last weeks until your little one is here. :-)

Vasilly said...

As a veteran mom, I'm even surprised by the leg cramps this time around. I hope yours go away soon. They're scary! :-)

Athira / Aths said...

This was my second attempt with Goon Squad. I couldn't get past two chapters the first time around - the book was just not working. This time, for some reason, I loved it!

Athira / Aths said...

I didn't enjoy Goon Squad much when I tried it the first time, so I am surprised that it worked so well this time.

Athira / Aths said...

So they are normal, eh! I sure hope they go away soon. I would like to be able to walk without cringing and everyone asking me if I was okay.

Athira / Aths said...

That was my reaction too when I found out that she was releasing a book. She had only really done kids books in the past and then she was involved with the Guernsey book, which I also viewed as more her aunt's book than hers. So it will be interesting to see how this book fares.

bermudaonion(Kathy) said...

The only time I've had leg cramps was when I was pregnant. I'm heading to BEA on Wednesday.

tanya (52 books or bust) said...

I just listened to one of Sandberg's TED talks and I'm a total fan now. I plan to pick up this book soon.

Athira / Aths said...

Cannot wait to read about your BEA experiences - have fun!


I've been hearing from many women that they had cramps while pregnant. One of my friends just told me the same yesterday. Now I feel better about it. It was bumming me so much to complain about it.

Athira / Aths said...

I love her book so far, but I am only one chapter in - so it's a little to early to comment. I need to listen to that TED talk.

Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness) said...

Looks like a great bookish weekend! I just finished one long book, A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson, and a few comics (She-Hulk), but that was way more reading than it feels like I've done in weeks so I'll take it!

Jenny @ Reading the End said...

Oh, can't wait to hear about the Annie Barrows book! I haven't read anything that she's written solo, but I looooved The Guernsey Potato Peel etc., so I'd be willing to give her a try if you find her book to be good.

Athira / Aths said...

I wish we had more frequent long weekends so that we can get a lot of reading done. I did have a good reading weekend too.

Athira / Aths said...

So far, I love this book! It feels just as quirky and charming as the Guernsey book. I'm hoping to make more progress this week.

literaryfeline said...

Reading is always a good way to pass the time. :-) I am glad you enjoyed A Visit From the Goon Squad. Fifteen narrators is quite a lot!


I hope you have a great week, Athira!

Lisa Sheppard said...

Yea for a unexpected personal readathon!

Ti Reed said...

I had leg cramps this weekend too. What a pain! Literally.


My co worker had her baby this past weekend. Made me think of you.


My week is crazy but I am trying to read A Little Life and All The Light We Cannot See in the mornings before work. It's the only uninterrupted reading time I have.