Sunday, June 11, 2017

The Sunday Salon: After the Rain


What a week - rain rain, and more rain. The sun came out, at last, on Thursday... and again Friday and Saturday. Three days in a row - what a treat! Finally, we got the lawn mowed, the first of the flowers planted, and the garage cleaned. Today we'll celebrate with the first boat ride of the season!

Finished this week//


The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
One YA novel every year or two is generally enough for me, and rave reviews from blogging friends convinced me this should be it. I also needed a complete change of pace after reading Elizabeth Strout's latest book. The Hate U Give is about the shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a police officer. The main character, Starr Carter, is the only witness. As she navigates life in two worlds - her poor, increasingly dangerous neighborhood, and the prep school she attends in an affluent suburb - she must figure out how to give her account of the tragic event. Riveting, timely, and discussable... give it a try!
My rating:




A short, light audio was just what I needed this week and Funny in Farsi delivered! I met this author several years ago when she was "in conversation" with her friend Khaled Hosseini (The Kite Runner) at a literary event. She was interesting and entertaining, and I made a mental note to read her book one day. A few weeks ago audible.com offered this audio, narrated by the author, as a daily deal... and 'one day' was here. I've added her follow-up, Laughing Without an Accent: Adventures of an Iranian American, at Home and Abroad, to my wish list.
My rating:



Current reading//


Phineas Finn by Anthony Trollope
Book #2 of the Palliser Series was off to a slow start but, after yesterday's encouraging twitter conversation, I read several chapters without distraction and finally feel like I'm making some headway... although I still don't care much about our hero. My approach to Trollope has always been as a read/listen combination, and always with Simon Vance narrating. Unfortunately, there is no Simon Vance version of Phineas Finn and I ended up with Timothy West. West's narration, while perfectly fine, seemed slightly off to me. I suppose I've grown too comfortable with Vance as the voice of Trollope.

At any rate, I'm on chapter 11 now and have finally settled in. I look forward to another chapter or two today. Follow (or join in) our conversation with #PalliserParty.



I just started this memoir by The Daily Show host  Trevor Noah on audio (narrated by the author) and love it already! Ratings on both goodreads and audible are very high... I suspect mine will be too.



Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien
My library hold came in on Friday and I had time to read just a handful of pages that evening. This appears to be beautifully written novel, with a powerful opening. I can't wait to read more!
In a single year, my father left us twice. The first time, to end his marriage, and the second, when he took his own life. That year, 1989, my mother flew to Hong Kong and laid my father to rest in a cemetery near the Chinese border. Afterwards, distraught, she rushed home to Vancouver where I had been alone. I was ten years old.

In the kitchen//


Mediterranean was the word of the week... two new recipes, both variations on that theme. Mediterranean Baked Halibut with Vegetables from The Mediterranean Dish was actually a sheet pan supper... so easy, so good, and very little clean-up. I shopped a little earlier than usual and Wegmans halibut hadn't arrived yet, so I substituted cod. We all enjoyed this dish and I can see trying it again with scallop or swordfish, as well as halibut. In case you're wondering, the photo is from the website ;-)

Last night I tried Mediterranean Grilled Chicken Breasts from Served from Scratch - only my chicken breasts were actually thighs. I followed the recipe exactly as written. It says to marinate the chicken for 20 minutes up to two days. After 6 or 7 hours, the chicken was a little too lemony for my taste, but my husband and Twin B loved it. There were no leftovers. Next time, I'll only let it marinate for an hour or two.

The week ahead//
It's going to be busy...  a lot of activities early in the the week, then we're off to NYC Thursday night or Friday morning. We'll return on Sunday in time for a Father's Day dinner with my dad.

How was your week? What are you reading today?

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42 comments:

  1. Love the picture of the lake with the daisies in front. So peaceful! I also listened to Born a Crime and is was amazing. Noah does such a great job telling his own story.

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    1. Susie - I know Born a Crime is going to be a book I recommend again and again... starting with my husband!

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  2. Lovely picture. The Madeleine Thien is on my radar, too. Hope you enjoy it.

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    1. Vintage Reading - I really like Thien's writing so far, and the story has piqued my interest, too. I have high hopes.

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  3. I loved The Hate U Give and Born a Crime on audio! I became fascinated with the Xhosa language after listening to Born a Crime.

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    1. Kathy - I think I'm going to learn a lot from Born a Crime!

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  4. I'm glad too for the Phineas encouragement! :) And for these recipes! I almost always bookmark somethig that you're cooking. Now if I'd only actually make some of them. :}

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    1. Audrey - With all the encouragement, I managed to get to the promised house party. I'd say things are looking up now :)

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  5. I have been meaning to read The Hate U Give and Born a Crime. And I love the look of that Baked Halibut with vegetables. Yum!

    Thanks for sharing and enjoy your week, and thanks for visiting my blog.

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    1. Laurel-Rain Snow - I think The Hate U Give is a great choice for readers that don't read much YA... lots of cross-over appeal. Born a Crime is excellent so far!

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  6. As usual, you have laid out some wonderful books for me to consider. Off to add a few more to my wish list. Thank you.

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  7. I've seen so many great reviews of The Hate U Give that I want to read it too. I have Born A Crime on my summer reading list. Love that photo! I hope you have a great time in NYC!

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    1. Vicki - I wasn't as blown away as some reviewers by The Hate U Give... it's still YA, but definitely appeals to a broader range of readers. Can't wait to get to NYC. Crossing my fingers for the weather.

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  8. Wonderful pic! So glad summer is here. Hope you made it out on the lake...

    The Mediterranean halibut does sound good.

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    1. Greg - Yes, it's definitely summer... at last! The halibut recipe was so good. We've been trying to eat less meat.

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  9. I've got The Hate U Give on hold at the library so glad to hear you enjoyed it - and I'm on your 1-2 YA novels a year train (and only the crossover ones). Loved Born a Crime on audio as well!

    And - that opening of Do Not Say We Have Nothing is fantastic! Will wait to hear your thoughts once you've finished...may add that one to the list.

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    1. Sarah - Yeah, most YA novels don't have the writing or depth I like, but I still like to stay in touch. I didn't love The Hate U Give like most reviews, but it sure kept me turning the pages. Plus it's great for discussion. I've been trying to get into Trollope, so haven't been back to Do Not Say We Have Nothing yet, but have a feeling I'm going to love it.

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  10. Your Mediterranean dinners sound lovely...your reading very unique! I am so glad the sun is out! What would we do without Weggieman's?

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    1. Patty - My reading has been an unusual mix of things lately, hasn't it?! Not sure what that says about me and my current whims. I've got to be one of Wegmans biggest fans... sure wish they'd come to Florida!!

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  11. The sun finally arrived here with high temps! The Hate U Give is on hold at the library for me. Halibut is my favorite especially when I've caught it myself. This year we will not be going to Alaska (two babies arriving this summer) so no fish in the freezer for me. Boo :(

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    1. Nise' - Wow, what a treat to have fresh halibut you caught yourself!!! It's my favorite, too, and I'd probably never get anything fresh without Wegmans. I think the babies will be worth the empty freezer ;-)

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  12. Hi JoAnn: quite an opening for the Madeleine Thien book. I have it on my List too this summer; hope it is good. It's nice to see the sun in your photo at top. I hope your rain stops. Enjoy the Big Apple.

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    1. Susan - The longer I read your blog, the more similar I think our tastes are! Haven't picked up Haven't picked up the Thien book again since Friday, but am pretty sure I'm going to love it.

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    2. ha. I agree our reading tastes our similar -- which makes you the perfect reviewer/blogger for me. Fun. :-)

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  13. I always love seeing what you're cooking! It looks so, soooo good! I really want to give The Hate U Give a try after so many good reviews. And Born a Crime? YES! I need to see if Scribd has it on audio!

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    1. Andi - I've been trying to make more of an effort in the kitchen lately...the less prepared/processed stuff the better, just wish I could get hubby to agree to a vegetarian meal or two each week. The audio version of Born a Crime is SO good. I think you'd enjoy it, too.

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  14. Just got back to Tasmania yesterday after family visits. Have several posts to catch up on re Penguin's reading and travels. Stay tuned🐧🐧🐧

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    1. Pam - Welcome back! Can't wait to hear all about your travels :)

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  15. Wow, beautiful photo! Daisies (and lupine) are my favorite flowers.

    I've had The Hate U Give on my to-look-for list and hope to read it this summer. Also have been eyeing the Trevor Noah title too, with interest.

    I like the sound of your recipes. And I do love lemon and add it to my iced tea and recipes often, but sometimes too much marinating... is too much! Hope you had a fun weekend and another one next week in the city. Enjoy!

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    1. Rita - It turned out to be a wonderful weekend, but not boat ride yet. I'm making very slow progress on Born a Crime since I'm real trying to make headway with the Trollope. Finally feel like I'm fully invested, so can give my other books more time now. Not sure why I've been craving lemon in so many recipes, but it seems to match the season :)

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  16. JoAnn I'm amazed at how many books and things in life you can juggle! I usually can only handle one novel at a time, and life barely (lol). Have a great week.

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    1. Pat - I've got to admit that this is more books than I'm usually able to juggle... and I'm starting to feel just a little over-extended. It's probably time to dial it back down to one book and one audiobook, lol!

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  17. Look at that view! Hope you are continuing to see good weather so you can enjoy the outdoors. I've got Born A Crime on my TBR list. Trevor Noah is so funny. Enjoy your trip to NYC!

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    1. Iliana - Born a Crime just keeps getting better... think you'll like it, too.

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  18. I like your range of books. Different genres always make for the most interesting reading.

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    1. Mystica - Thanks, I feel the same way. It's hard for me to read books that are too similar at the same time, so I try to mix it up... fiction, nonfiction, and classics. That seems to work well for me :)

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  19. You certainly have a nice view from your home. I would love to live near the water. Great meals in the kitchen, love Mediterranean cooking and sheet pan is great. Easy clean up.
    Enjoy NYC!

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  20. Funny in Farsi sounds like an interesting read, or listen. Madeleine Thien's is a complex and dense novel, deserving all the accolades. We can exchange views after you finish.

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    1. Arti - I haven't made much progress on Thien's novel this week and the due date is looming. If I can't renew, I'll get back on the list... the book is too wonderful to rush through!

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  21. That halibut recipe looks delicious, so I've printed a copy and hope to make it in the coming week. Now that we're on the coast, I can buy fresh fish and halibut is a favorite. We've also tried rockfish, which we used in our tacos tonight. Delicious and so easy to grill. Love summer cooking!

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    1. Les - Halibut os fast becoming my favorite fish and I'm always looking for new ways to prepare it. Don't think we've tried rockfish... yet. It's onl a matter of time ;-)

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Thank you for taking the time to comment. These conversations are my favorite part of blogging. Please check back, I almost always respond to comments!

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