Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Sunday Salon

The Sunday I've been wanting to join the Sunday Salon for a while, but the problem is, Sunday's the day of the week I'm least likely to read. Rather than lazing around reading in bed for an hour before my kids wake up ready to start their homeschooling day, on Sunday mornings I'm often up and out of here by 8:00 to sing with my Unitarian church choir, then I'm teaching religious ed, and in the afternoons I have a writing class. Today I actually did do some reading, so I figured I'd go ahead and jump on in.

First, I want to share this interview with Annie Proulx, which would surely be more meaningful if I'd read any of her books (one day...) but I love the way Susan Salter Reynolds of the LA Times has turned her meeting with this author who rarely talks with the press into a study of Proulx's character and surroundings. One of the best author interviews I've ever read. My favorite quote:

She shoots a sideways look that says: "End of discussion."

This look -- in combination with Proulx's short, steely gray-brown hair, bright eyes, focused attention, utter lack of makeup or jewelry, and monastically simple clothing (white cotton shirt, linen pants and brown Merrells) -- is enough to make a person think twice before asking a personal question.

Proulx has a way of waiting politely while one stumbles, mutters and reveals personal tidbits entirely beside the point. And yet she is entirely gracious and hospitable, if a bit weary of where she lives and the people she lives among.

This morning I didn't have to be out of the house until 10:45 and my boys slept until 9:00, so I was able to spend a good solid hour reading My Father's Paradise by Ariel Sabar. From the subject matter, I expected this to be a dense read, and I have to admit I was putting it off a bit. I love that I was wrong. Sabar does a beautiful job of making the place and the characters come to life, and the historical details are easily digestible as well as being fascinating. More to come on this one when I finish it.

I also just finished Chris Lynch's Inexcusable. I picked this up off the YA shelf at the library and couldn't stop myself from starting it immediately. I'm not sure how I feel about it yet. Lynch accomplished a lot with this book and it was nominated for a National Book Award but honestly I think it could have been more. I need to think on this one and decide whether I want to review it, so I'll leave it at that for now. It was definitely a memorable book, though.

And now, I'd better get upstairs so I can read a few more pages of My Father's Paradise before I drift off to dreamland.


  1. I've just posted my first Sunday Salon too,although I've reading the feature for some time. I have a copy of Sabar book too so I'm glad you're enjoying it.

  2. I thought My Father's Paradise was great. If only all children could come to appreciate their heritage like Ariel did.

  3. Sandra, I've been reading it for a while, too. In fact it occurred to me this morning that maybe everyone doesn't know what it is and I should have given more of an explanation! I might go back and edit, later.

    BermudaOnion, One of the things I've enjoyed about My Father's Paradise is the way he begins by showing his lack of appreciation for his heritage as a teen and young man. That's what hooked me--wondering how he got from there, to a book!

  4. Interesting interview with Proulx...she sounds like quite the character.
    Her only book that I have read is The Shipping News, which I loved. But then I have a weakness for any books with a seaside location. I have always wanted to go to Newfoundland since then...

  5. I just finished My Father's Paradise and thought it was wonderful. I keep telling people, even if you think you're not interested in Kurdistani Jews, read this book! :-)