Sunday Salon: Catching Up

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted; for me, anyway. Not only is there the start of school (preparing the classroom, re-connecting with my colleagues) there is the added excitement of my son’s announcement that he is joining the Marines. While I see much merit in his decision, not hastily arrived at, I’m also slowly adjusting to it. This mother? She’s a work in progress as much as her son.
As to those who were kind enough to leave a comment on the previous post, I can now inform you that Anna Karenina was indeed selected by our book club. Yippee! I’m all the more excited about reading it after seeing the trailer for the film when my husband and I went to see Meryl Streep in Hope Springs. (Now that film, like most well done comedies, had some serious sadness it! Marriage which has become that dormant must be the loneliest thing in the world. Worse, as she said in the film, than being alone.)
Anyway, Anna Karenina is slotted for October. I had decided to read it with sweet Arti, of Ripple Effects, who is kind enough to participate in another shared read with me after I abandoned the last book we read together (Midnight’s Children). We want to read it in October so that we can finish it before the release of the film on November 9. I’d love it if you’d care to read along with us.
And, my dear friend Les and I will be reading The Thorn Birds this September. We were discussing the possibility of rereading it last Spring when we both found ourselves nostalgic for some of our favorite novels. So, now’s the time. I’m sure we’ll post on The Thorn Birds the last week of September so we have plenty of time to read it. As always, you’re invited to read along with us.
I can feel myself moving away from the literature currently being published and leaning toward the classics so dear to my heart. For a long time, I’ve been blogging about what I had agreed to review with the publishers who contacted me. My life has been enriched by most of these books. But, I’m finding a longing for the classics, ever since reading Dostoevksy’s The Idiot this summer. I think I will spend more of my time with them going forward. I miss them.
Finally, please pardon my lack of comments, both here and on your own blogs. I opened my dashboard today to find one less follower; possibly because the content here is becoming dry. Possibly because I’m not doing so well in getting around to the blogs under my Friends and Book Lovers heading in the sidebar. At any rate, for those of you who stay, and visit, a very heartfelt thanks goes out to you.

36 thoughts on “Sunday Salon: Catching Up

  1. Thanks for reading along with me Anna K. as this must be the nth time you read this classic. Your enthusiasm is contagious. I'm not waiting till Oct. You see, as a slow reader, I've already started reading it… and greatly enjoying it so far. I look forward to your post in Oct. and Nov. As for me, I'm sticking with my slow reading plan of 10 pages a day (worst case scenario) to finish it by Nov. But you know, I find I can't just stop at 10 pages… it's that good. ;)

  2. I so hate it when I lose a follower. I know that it doesn't really mean anything. Follower does not equal reader and it's much better to have readers, but it's still annoying.

  3. Anna K. is one of my favorite classics, and I’ve been thinking of re-reading it before the new movie. Perhaps I’ll join you :)

    I’ve changed my blogging habits a bit too – consolidated into one blog now, and actually closed down the dedicated book blog.

    And your son going into the Marines – now that must take some adjusting. As I mother, I know you probably have many mixed feelings about it. Wishing him (and you) well for the future.

  4. Don't feel alone, Kathy, no one cares what I think either! We all have to be on this ridiculous schedule, starting in the middle of August instead of after Labor Day, so that the poor high school students don't have to study for their finals during Christmas Break. This way, they take their finals before vacation. And we wonder why the youth of today are so selfish; could it be that they've been catered to at every turn? (Well, that turned into a rant!;)

  5. Anna K is one that I loved, hope you enjoy reading it at thing time as well.

    I'm hoping your son is happy with his decision; it's hard to let our children become adults, but I am sure you will both be fine. Best of luck to him.

    It's hard not to feel bad when when lose a follower of 2, but often times, readers interests change, as doe the focus of our blog so change is normal. As soon as I lose a few, it seems I get a few new ones as well. The same is true for you I am sure.

    Have a great week — I'm guilty of being a bad commenter this summer:(

  6. Arti, I'm so thrilled that you're loving it! I think that Tolstoy captured so much that we'll want to talk about it, and so much more about humanity than Anna herself portrays. I have lots I want to say, but I'll wait until we post. I don't think I could stop after ten pages either, plus, when I take too long to read a book it loses momentum for me. We all have what works for our individual style, and I'm a slow reader myself. Slow and steady wins the race, however!

  7. Harvee, I'm sure that I read Dead Souls in college, but it's been so long ago that I can't remember it. I'll have to revisit it when I revisit the classics this year. Thanks for the reminder!

  8. “Follower does not equal reader” for sure! Nor does blogger equal sorority; I mean, this isn't a popularity contest. :) Still, one wonders what one did to make someone 'leave'…

  9. Anna Karenina is one of my very favorite novels of all time, and I'm so excited that you're considering joinin in with us! I noticed that you consolidated into one blog (why had I not connected Bookstack with Becca's Byline?! Hello!) and I think that it's a good idea to simplify whenever possible. Note to self.

    I keep telling myself that as far as the Marines go, there are more dangerous things. Like living on one's parents' couch and drinking beer all night. Not that he's doing that, necessarily, he is working at UPS. But, it's not exactly a disciplined, orderly life that we're enjoying here Chez Bellezza. I'm trusting God for His plan.

  10. Diane, you're guilty of nothing. We leave comments when we can, and we appreciate each other's thoughts when we receive them. This isn't to be a job, or a burden, afterall.

    Thanks for your reassuring words. You understand the role of a mother and a blogger so well! xo

  11. So enjoyed Anna Karenina. I'm sure you'll find your latest trip with her most illuminating. As for your son becoming a Marine, wow. I am impressed by your calm, and I am impressed by his willingness to embrace that life. It is not easy. Best of luck to you both –as Diane wrote, you will both be fine.

  12. I pay visits to the blog because of the person behind it and her heartfelt warmth, not because you visit me as well… Enjoy your day, Bellezza! Me, I just finished Piercing by Ryu Murakami and I am under shock…

  13. I've been feeling a craving to read a few classics too but I really need to clear my shelves of ARCs first. The second I get the review copies out of the way, the more relax I'll be!

    I'm enjoying your posts. It's inevitable that we sometimes lose followers. Maybe the person decided to follow you via a different method? Enjoy your week.

  14. I wouldn't judge anything on 'followers.' I read a lot of blogs and am not a follower on any of them. And many of the people I've known a long time who read my blog are not listed on my followers list. I think some people just follow; almost like spamming without writing a comment. I've deleted some over the years because I just knew they weren't interested in my humble little blog.
    I hope this is a good path for your boy. Thinking of you.

  15. Bellezza, your post touches on many topics, including the important issue of time–and not having enough of it–to read, to post, to connect or comment. I agree wholeheartedly!

    I wish you and your son the best of luck with the Marines and the new school year–and with your reading!

  16. Don't be impressed by my calm, ds. Any impression you have on that front is false; it's a daily battle to not give into to fear and doubt, and to trust for his future. Seriously. THE hardest thing I've ever done in my life, and he's not even in boot camp yet.

  17. Ally, I know our friendship goes beyond who's left what comment on whose blog. We have a good relationship, not based on following, and that's what it's all about anyway. As to Ryu Murakami, I've not read anything by that author, but i've heard Piercing is awesome. No, wait…I've read Coin Locker Babies which was quite moving to me. I'll see if Piercing is on my nook. Chances are, probably not!

  18. If I tried to clear my shelves of ARC's first, I'd never get to my classics! I should try, and I will intersperse them, but I can't give them my undivided attention at this point.

    I enjoy your posts, too, Vasilly. xo

  19. Nan, I really don't focus on followers. Hence the reason I haven't even put the widget on my blog. It just struck me as one more thing that wasn't going so well this week…small as it was. Thanks for your thoughts about my boy and his path. I'm trusting that he's finding his way. No one ever told me motherhood would be quite this challenging.

  20. Well, Suko, we have to admit: if one takes the time to read blogs, post on our own, and comment on others, we wouldn't have time to read our literature! Or, I couldn't keep my day job, that's for sure.

    Thanks for your wishes toward my son and I; as to the new school year, I'm sure I'll be posting a few funny things that happen on the way.

  21. Wow, best of luck to your son entering the Marines. I got to visit Parris Island a couple of years ago; it made quite an impression. I don't know if he's going there or California but either way he has quite a journey in store. And I hope you're doing OK with all this; it's a lot to take in. You'll be in my thoughts. And I hope the new school year goes well for you, too!

  22. Dear Bellezza, your thoughts on books and on other topics are wonderful – an inspiration for booklovers. Followers “hin oder her” (german idiom which I can't really translate) :) Bottomline is: Please, don't worry!
    What a substantial change it is that results from your son's decision! I will be thinking of you and your family and send you lots of good thoughts and energy to embrace the change which lies ahead of you as a family.
    Herzliche Grüße, santurini

  23. OH, you do have me tempted. I am such a failure when it comes to AnnaKarenina – I own it, have attempted it and get bogged down and bored in all the farming pages. BUT! I am willing to listen and perhaps I will make this my October freebie from audibles and join in. I would love to say I conquered this book. and if I have to listen to it to get it accomplished, it will count.

  24. Reading Buddy, thanks for your words of affirmation. As to the change in store for us, it's huge! But, I have confidence in my son who's pursuing his dream, and I have confidence in our Father who's been faithful in his protection. Still, it's hard for me.

  25. Care, I'd love it if you joined us in the reading of Anna Karenina. This translation, in particular, is highly recommended. But, if you listened to it on tape so much the better! I really think we'd have a lot to discuss; in fact, the Great Books Foundation highly recommends this novel for discussion purposes. Anyway, you'll want to have it under your belt before the film, right? :)

  26. Parrish, you're so right. No turning our joy into a job! Ever! As to Ryu Murakami, thanks for the suggestion. I've only read Coin Locker Babies by him, and I want to read Piercings. But, the title you've left here is brand new to me, and compelling because it comes from you.

  27. Bellezza, I swear sometimes your posts reflect what I'm feeling. Like you, I've been reading books that I agreed to review and while I've enjoyed many of them, I feel as if I never get to read the books that I want to read. You know, the ones that truly speak to you. Its like you and your classics. That's why I'm going to start saying no more and start reading what I enjoy more. I say, enjoy your classics. And with regards to your son joining the Marines – wow! Good luck to him and to you :)

  28. I read The Thorn Birds a couple of years ago when I had a blockbuster craze (and read Valley of the Dolls too – great book!). I really loved the first part, but my enthusiasm tailed off a bit in the second half. Still enjoyed it though, and still vividly remember Richard Chamberlain in the mini-series!

  29. Nadia, I've known we were kindred spirits before! We often have felt what the other wrote about, or enjoyed the same noveol, or something. Here's to saying, “No” to others and, “Yes” to what we want! Well, for the most part… :)

  30. I still haven't read The Valley of The Dolls by Jacqueline Susann, but I sure remember the cover! (Why does that remind me of Stepford Wives? I'm not sure, maybe the era.) I remember Richard Chamberlain, too. Did you ever see him in Shogun? Now that's another novel I'd like to pick up!

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