The Sunday Salon

 The Sunday

I’ve been sitting here on my porch for quite some time, while birds chatter happily about and water plashes in the fountain across the way.  This week away from home has been restful and almost childishly happy, and I’m trying hard not to let sadness creep in to mar this last day of vacation.

So Sunday stretches before me with very little to do until leaving for the airport tonight.  You all know how unusual it is for me to have empty days (even on Sundays!) ~ unusual enough that I’m sometimes flummoxed by them, and so fritter them away with indecisive dithering.  Today I’ve been reading quite a bit, and although I was thinking of telling you about the book I finished earlier this week (The School of Essential Ingredients, by Erica Baumeister), it was a book I loved so much I believe I’ll let it sit a while longer in my mind, marinate a bit (if you’ll forgive the cooking pun) because it is after all a book about slow food for the body and soul.

I brought three books with me on vacation, which proved to be just the right amount for this week.  One never knows how many books will be needed on a vacation, and I’m always fearful that the book cupboard will run dry, so tend to overstock the literary luggage.   Alas, the books I chose to bring were all hardcovers, and were heavy~but they traveled in my checked luggage this time, so were not a burden to carry.   When we left, I was midway through Laurie King’s The Beekeeper’s Apprentice, the first in her series of novels about young detective Mary Russell, a fictional protege of Sherlock Holmes.  What a delightful read! but very dense…lots happening on each page.  Not a fluff mystery by any means!  Fellow book blogger, Eva, recommended this series, and as I was reading about the supremely intelligent, quick witted, and industrious Mary Russell, I couldn’t help but think how much she reminded me of Eva herself (at least what I’ve gleaned from reading her blog).   I will definitely be continuing on with this series.   After finishing this one on Tuesday, I delved into School…and, well, more about that next week.  Suffice it to say, it was delicious and quite satisfying on a number of levels.

Now I’ve taken up The Piano Teacher, an extremely interesting novel by Janice Y. Lee, who gives us a look at Hong Kong during the days leading up to, through, and just after WWII.   The general air of wealth and plenty enjoyed by the expats who resided there in the 30’s and 40’s gives way to deprivation, fear, and intrigue when they are interned in camps following the Japanese take-over in 1941.  We see all this through the eyes of  one Will Truesdale, a rather stand-up British gentleman, and his lover, Trudy Liang, a quite fearless and volatile native, who, as a “Eurasian” (Portuguese mother, Chinese father) is neither here nor there in the eyes of the Japanese.  The title character, our “piano teacher” appears after the war, a young Englishwoman who arrives in Hong Kong with her husband, and finds her life dangerously entwined with Will Truesdale’s.   The author has created a compelling cast of characters, and set them in a place and period of history with which I’m not very familiar.   I’m always interested in seeing how world events shape lives and personalities, and this novel is doing a bang-up job  painting a picture of some very perilous times.    One of my favorite novels in this genre is an old chestnut ~ Gone With the Wind~ but it comes to mind since Matt  has gathered a group of book-bloggers for a Read-Along of this classic tale of the American old south and the changes wrought by the Civil War.

 So back to reading, although I must plan the rest of today’s reading carefully so as not to finish the book on the airplane tonight, and thus be left with nothing to read for the remainder of a flight (an unspeakably horrific prospect, no?)   But since this is the last day of my lovely vacation in Florida,  I plan to be out and about soaking up  sunshine, soft breezes and profusely blooming flower beds. 

Have a lovely Sunday, my friends ~ spend it as if it were the last day of your vacation! *smiles*


12 thoughts on “The Sunday Salon

  1. I have Essential Ingredients waiting for me in the next room. Thank you for your thoughts about it….I think I’ll read it next. It sounds perfect for my holidays…mine started yesterday and runs through next week.

  2. Dear Becca,
    Thanks for stopping by my cupcake entry…and for recommending the book The School of … which I shall look up.
    Yes, be sure you get Julie and Julia only from the library; I’m not sure if you’ll count it as “permanently shelf worthy.” Really not sure.

    Wonderful that you have had time in Florida and now have reached “travel home day.” And YES, it would be absolute horror to be stuck on the plane with nothing to read because you finished your book!!!!
    Anyway, just wanted to say “hi” and “thanks” and look forward to your review of The School of Essential Ingredients although by then, I may have it on my reading table!!!

  3. Becca!! What a sweet compliment!! I’m blushing and grinning all at the same time. 😀

    I’m glad you had such a wonderful vacation and even an ’empty day.’ Get home safely!

  4. Nice to hear you’ve had a lovely vacation. The best times never seem to last, and are over so quickly. 😦 But I’m sure you’ll be very glad to be home once you’re there. And get back to more reading.. 🙂 Have a happy week!

  5. Sounds like you are having a lovely, restful time with some wonderful reading – what could be nicer? 🙂 The Piano Teacher sounds like an interesting novel – I’ll have to look out for that one.

  6. Glad you had a nice vacation. I know what you mean about not knowing what to do with yourself when you have an entire day with nothing pressing in on you to do. It can be a little overwhelming. I want to make the most of the day and sometimes have a hard time deciding what to do.

  7. Hope your last day of vacation was lots of fun! I keep seeing The Beekeeper’s Apprentice and School of Essential Ingredients everywhere. I think that’s a sign 🙂

  8. And it is Tuesday and you are back to reality – but with lovely memories of that week in the sun to sustain you!

    I read the Beekeeper’s Apprentice and enjoyed it – now I am inspired to get the next in the series – thanks!

    Happy St. Patrick’s Day, Becca.

  9. Meanwhile you’re long back and I’m only just passing by – it is strange, isn’t it, to have a holiday with nothing to do and feeling at a loss. Work and pressure makes busy bees out of all of us! And then we don’t know what to do without it. I’m glad you had a lovely time and lots of reading. I must get a copy of the Beekeeper’s Apprentice, which I haven’t read.

  10. I’m enjoying every page of GWTW. I’m desperately waiting when the hardheaded Scarlett will wake up! The Piano teacher is something I’ve been saving for my upcoming vacation. I cannot wait. 🙂

  11. GWTW is a book I read countless times as a teen, crying each time and each time convinced that THIS time it would end differently. What a dreamer, I am, I know.

    I’m jealous of the vacation, simply because I wish I were on one, too. Instead, while it’s finally sunny here in the Midwest, it’s not even 50 degrees today. I’m pretty tired of cold…

    I think you might like this book on taking chances and following your heart, “Flying into the Sun,” by Ginger Blymyer. Great story — you feel like you’re living Katherine’e adventures, plus you get a real feel for Bangkok. It’s a nice romance. Perfect for a vacation! (And any time.)

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