Weather-wise, it doesn’t get much better than today here in Pittsburgh. Gorgeous blue skies, temperature in the low-mid 70s, and just a hint of crispness in the air. Bursts of crimson leaves are becoming more prominent on the trees. If we must bid summer an official farewell, this sun-drenched afternoon on the deck is the way to do it.
The photo above was taken exactly three years ago on this day, as Facebook reminds me. That September 20, 2012 was just as spectacular, made even moreso because I spent the day in Pittsburgh at the Phipps with one of my best friends from my college years, his partner, and another one of their friends.
(The Sunday Salon logo is problematic for me; no matter what I do, I can’t get it to appear in connection with my posts on Facebook. It’s one of those annoying things that I just don’t have any patience for right now. So, at least for today, I’m using a picture that reminds me of a happy memory.)
Before talking about books and whatever else, I wanted to thank those of you who have reached out either through commenting here or via Facebook regarding my last few posts. I am so grateful for each of you. And if you meant to but didn’t, or missed that our family is dealing with some difficult issues, I absolutely get it and am with you. So many of you have big stuff happening as well … I know. I don’t want to dwell on my own issues today, though, nor do I want to be vague-blogging about this all the time because nobody’s interested in constant Debbie Downer posts.
I’m still making my way through The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton and if a sinus headache wasn’t sidelining me a bit this weekend, I’d be further along. It’s a novel set in Amsterdam, in 1686. Eighteen year old Nella’s mother arranges for her to marry Johannes, a wealthy businessman. After becoming his wife, he buys her a cabinet (a dollhouse of sorts) that is an exact replica of his large home where the couple lives with two servants and Johannes’ sister Marin. They’re a bit of a secretive, dysfunctional bunch – especially Marin – and the novel focuses on Nella’s adjustment to her new role as Johannes’ wife in the midst of some odd goings-on within the house.
I did make the mistake of deciding to read a few pages right before bed one night this week – and those pages happened to include a rather pivotal, major, shocking plot development. (If you’ve read the book, you probably know what scene I’m talking about.) I mean, I’m not shocked about what happened, per se, it’s just that I wasn’t expecting it in this context and time period that The Miniaturist is set in.
I am really enjoying this book. It’s just the kind of suspenseful novel I like – kind of a psychological sort of creepy. It’s keeping me guessing, that’s for sure. This is also turning out to be a good choice for R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril X. This weekend happens to be the Dog Days of Summer Readathon … like I need any excuse to spend time reading. The sinus headache is starting to ease up a bit (we had a thunderstorm and torrential rain last night, so I’m thinking weather as a culprit) so hopefully I’ll get back to this later tonight.
Today’s the last day of Bloggiesta, which I admit I haven’t been all that diligent about during this go-around. The sinus headache has made extended computer time a little challenging, especially so when scrolling through posts and cutting and pasting reviews. But, I did manage to write a review of Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf as well as this post, and I added a few things to some other in-progress posts.
What are you up to this Sunday?