The Sunday Salon: 11/23/2014

The Sunday Salon

What a week.

Seriously, this was the sort of week that seemed like it would not end. It just dragged. A big part of that was because of all the uncertainty and sadness surrounding the death of The Husband’s grandfather on Thursday.  I mean, you generally expect such things at a certain age, but this was somewhat sudden – as these things go. Not to mention, the news in the greater world was also just so depressing and sad, too.

The big news from this weekend is that I officially have two teenagers. I’m not exactly sure how that happened – especially since The Daughter seems to have been a teenager for quite some time now.

Unfortunately, the weather was a bit lousy, so our plans to go out to dinner were scraped for dinner at home and a Chocolate Brownie Cookie mix that I happened to have in the pantry.  My in-laws will be here over Thanksgiving, so believe me, everyone will have plenty of opportunities to celebrate.

I’m saving my few remaining vacation days for Christmas week, so I’ll only be off on Thanksgiving Day this week. That’s OK.  The Husband and I have tickets to see James Taylor on Saturday, which we’re really looking forward to. We’re big fans and have seen him before (this will actually be the third time) and he always puts on a great show. It’ll be interesting seeing him at Consol Energy Center here in Pittsburgh; our other JT concerts have been in Philly and at smaller venues.

ThankfullyReading2014One of my favorite things about Thanksgiving is Thankfully Reading Weekend, hosted by Jenn’s Bookshelves. (Consider this my official sign up post.) As usual, I’m behind on my reading goals for the year. I’m at 61 books read for 2014 when my goal is 75, so Thankfully Reading is always a good time to try and catch up.

This week, I finished reading two poetry collections – Muscular Music and Wind in a Box, both by Terrance Hayes. I’ve been curious about Hayes’ work since learning  in September that this Pittsburgh poet was among the newest recipients of a MacArthur fellowship.

Muscular Music (1999) and Wind in a Box (2006) are both impressive, strong poetry collections about the male African-American experience within the family as well as within the greater history of the world. There’s an emotional rawness to these poems, a harshness of language and imagery that give his experiences even more resonance (not that they needed it).

Also this week, I finished listening to Think Like a Freak: The Authors of Freakonomics Offer to Retrain Your Brain, by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner. This was a fairly short audio (at least, it was compared to the 30-hour long Drood that occupied my last six weeks in the car) and like Freakonomics, it is mostly entertaining and informative anecdotes about thinking differently. I love the Freakonomics series of books (even though I haven’t read Superfreakonomics yet) and I thought this was perfect for a book to and from work.

I’ll try and have longer reviews of both of these up later this week – particularly Think Like a Freak, since it is still Nonfiction November – at least for one more week!





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