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The Sunday Salon: Final Salon of 2009

Welcome to this final Sunday of 2009.  I hope that all those who celebrated Christmas had a wonderful holiday.  Thanks to last week's snowfall, we had a white Christmas for the first time in I don't know how long.  And then on Christmas night it began to rain, washing all of the snow away overnight.  Continued rain on Saturday made it a "nice day for ducks," and it's been very wet indeed.  Great reading weather, but I actually spent the time doing odd jobs around the house.  Believe it or not, I have felt in need of a slight reading break!

What's the reason for this insanity you ask?  Regular readers will recall my decision to dedicate December to "comfort reads".  This has been largely successful and I've been moving through these books at a pretty fast clip.  Here's what I've read this month:
The last three books were read over four days, much faster than my normal pace and helped, at least in part, by being off work since December 18.  When I finished Eats, Shoots & Leaves on December 23, I realized if I continued at the same pace I could read as many as 5 or 6 books before the year ended.  But I also felt a bit "over-read," which was an odd feeling.  So I pulled two books off my shelves and have resolved to slowly read each of them for the rest of the month.  One of the two books is A People's History of the United States, a nonfiction book I began months and months ago and set aside for the better part of this year.  It's such an interesting, alternative view of American history and I'm finding each chapter quite enlightening.  The second book is a true comfort read: No Fond Return of Love, by Barbara Pym.  I love Pym's writing and characterizations, and this one is true to form -- I was taken with it from the very first sentence.  And it's nice to take this book at a slower pace.  I do expect to finish it this month, and it will be a very pleasant way to conclude my year of reading.

Did anyone receive books as gifts this holiday season?   My book gifts all came from a Secret Santa that I posted about last week.  I was OK with that; I really have plenty to read on my shelves. But I was still a bit naughty on Boxing Day.  I visited a new-to-me online source, Awesomebooks, and picked up a couple of Virago Modern Classics which can be a bit difficult to find in the US.  And then I started thinking about my Booker Prize reading.  I am a mere 10 books away from reading the entire list of winners, and expect to find most of those 10 at my local library.  But there are three Booker Prize winners my library doesn't have:  Holiday, by Stanley Middleton; The Elected Member, by Bernice Rubens; and Something to Answer For, by P.H. Newby.  Two book-collecting friends have come to my aid, offering to lend me the Middleton and the Rubens.  I've seen Newby's book on Amazon.com at ridiculously high prices, but found it yesterday at The Book Depository for a "mere" $25.  That's way more than I normally spend on a single paperback book, but considering I won't have to buy the other two, I feel like I've come out ahead.  Is that a giant rationalization, or what?  I knew you'd understand ... :)

Normally I would do a "month in review" post right about now; today's post will have to suffice.  I have a year-in-review planned for December 31 which will have lots of fun statistics, and even graphs!  And next Sunday I'll be blogging about my 2010 reading goals from my new address.  So for now I will sign off, and wish everyone the best of all things for the rest of 2009!

Read more from The Sunday Salon here.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 27th, 2009 05:45 pm (UTC)
Oh, I can completely relate to the feeling of being "over-read"! Same here. Like you, we've had the same exact weather (you must be on the East Coast?) and I've also been off from work since the 18th ... reading more books in one week than I have in a long time!
Dec. 28th, 2009 02:16 am (UTC)
Hi, thanks for stopping by. Yes, I live on the East Coast, in PA about an hour outside of Philadelphia.

I'm starting to get my reading groove back ... yay!
Dec. 27th, 2009 06:14 pm (UTC)
Statistics! charts! and graphs! oh my! I can't wait!!!! ;o)

Happy New Year, Laura - may your year be filled with joy and good reading!
Dec. 28th, 2009 02:16 am (UTC)
Thanks Terri!
Dec. 27th, 2009 07:41 pm (UTC)
I am glad you are able to do some comfort reading this month, Laura. The nonfiction book you describe sounds really interesting. I look forward to your year-in-review post. :-) I need to start preparing for mine which will go up on the 31st as well. Have a great week, Laura!
Dec. 28th, 2009 02:16 am (UTC)
Oh goody, I can't wait to read your year in review!
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )