The Sunday Salon: …And That’s a Wrap (of Armchair BEA and May Reading)

The Sunday Salon

ArmchairBEA 2014

Another fantastic Armchair BEA is in the books! Kudos to all the organizers for a wonderful job in putting this event together. It looks effortless, but it is quite an undertaking along with other responsibilities with work and families, too. So, thank you to all who had a part in this year’s event for a great week!

Although I only participated on a part-time basis, I had a fabulous time with Armchair BEA 2014. I thought it was the best year yet.  The discussion topics were terrific – and I really liked the option of having two to choose from. I’m still reading my way through many of the posts, and loving the fact that I’m discovering so many new-to-me book bloggers. I also had fun being part of the Twitter parties on Monday and Saturday night.

If you missed my Armchair BEA posts, the links are below:

Monday: Introductions and Some Thoughts on Tomorrow’s Literature Today. Or Something. 
Tuesday: Some People Buy Shoes, I Buy Lecture Tickets (some of the authors I’ve been lucky to meet)
Friday: Playing Catch Up (Or, Wait, What Happened to Wednesday?) 

You get a little jaded after nearly six years of this blogging thing, you know? Sometimes it feels like you have nothing to say and other times it feels like you’ll never be able to write all the posts you want to write. You wonder, after you spend so much time writing a review (or any post, really) if anyone is paying attention, if you’re still relevant.

(Andi from Estella’s Revenge had a fantastic post (“Armchair BEA: Relevance in Blogging”) that touched on this on Friday. I encourage you to read it if you haven’t already.)

Yet you still do this because … well, sometimes the reasons vary. But it always comes down to the connections with other readers and the community that exists in this space and sometimes we need a reminder that it really does matter, that we matter. Which is one of the reasons that Armchair BEA came at a good time for me.  For example, it was gratifying to be able to give an encouraging word to some new bloggers this week. Sometimes we forget what it was like to be new at this and how much we “old-timers” know and take for granted. This week reinforced to me that I really want to be able to be more supportive of new book bloggers whenever I can.

Like a lot of bloggers, one of my goals was to get re-energized and Armchair BEA definitely helped in several ways. My blogging feels like it has been slacking a bit lately and my reading definitely has been. (My Goodreads challenge button says I am 7 books behind my 2014 goal of 75 books. Good thing I have a vacation coming up.) In May, I only read these three books:

The Storied Life of A.J. FikryPerfectBlown Sideways Through Life

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, by Gabrielle Zevin
(which I really didn’t care for at all, unlike everyone else who has read this)

Perfect, by Rachel Joyce
(loved this … probably going to be one of my favorites of 2014)

Blown Sideways by Life, by Claudia Shear
(which was all right)

Part of this is because I’ve gotten myself on a magazine and literary journal kick.  I read an issue of The New Yorker (4/14/2014) and I’m reading the back issues of Creative Nonfiction. This month I read CNF’s Spring 2013 issue, “Lust, Lies, and Bad Behavior,” which deserves its own review. Likewise, the latest issue of One Story featuring Katie Coyle’s “Fear Itself,” will also be getting a separate review.

(I loved both of them, by the way.)

So, OK, maybe May wasn’t such a slacker of a month. My June is looking promising. How about yours?

 

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One thought on “The Sunday Salon: …And That’s a Wrap (of Armchair BEA and May Reading)

  1. Sue Jackson

    I enjoyed Armchair BEA, too. Like you, I kept up as well as I could, with a few posts last week and really enjoyed discovering some new book bloggers.

    Looks like you read some good books in May! I need to post my May wrap-up this week.

    I hope you’ll consider joining the Big Book Summer Challenge this year! It only takes 1 book of 400 pages or more to participate…I can’t wait to dig into some of the big books that have been languishing on my TBR shelves (two more book group books to finish first!).

    Enjoy your books this week –

    Sue

    2014 Big Book Summer Challenge

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