Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sunday Salon: Thankfully Reading Weekend, Almost Over

It was a dark and stormy morning. Not really. It was only slightly overcast, the threat of rain hanging in the air. The wind blew the clouds away to make way for the sun before I even got out of bed, the bed where I spent most of the morning cheering Jess on as she took matters into her own hands and hoping Lindy and her father would find a way to reunite again. It has been a long while since I last stayed under the covers late into the morning reading to my heart's content. Only a dog anxious to be let out and my growling tummy forced me to budge. Even then it was with great reluctance. I set my book aside and assured it I would be back soon.

Ever since I first heard about the Thankfully Reading Weekend, I looked forward to a few hours of uninterrupted reading time. The weekend has almost come to a close and it is time to reflect on how it's been going. I set no rules for myself and made no book lists, all with the intention of keeping the weekend relaxed and stress free. There was no mad dash to finish as many books as I could or to read from dawn until all hours of the night.

Friday I was able to finish The Fifth Servant by Kenneth Wishnia, a novel set in 1592 in a Jewish ghetto in Germany. A girl had been brutally murdered and it was up to a newcomer to the community to uncover the murderer and try to avert the annihilation of the Jewish community. I sat down at my computer the next morning preparing to write my review, but the words would not come. My thoughts still needed time to percolate.

It dawned on me all at once that Christmas is a month away, and I still hadn't begun my shopping for gifts, many of which would have to be mailed shortly or risk being late. So, instead of spending much of Saturday reading like I originally planned, I went on a gift buying expedition with my husband. It is the Christmas of books for many of those on my Christmas list this year. I am not sure how long we were in the bookstore, but I was determined not to leave empty handed. I may hate shopping for clothing or shoes, but I can't resist book shopping. Finding that perfect book for someone can be quite a challenge, but I felt up to the task.

It just so happened that there was an author signing her books up at the front of the store that day. I was looking over the new release table when she approached me with a bookmark, detailing the information about her book--a juvenile court attorney caught up in the disappearance of her brother and a case she is working on that involves a nine-year-old boy and his father. The author, Teresa Burrell, had been inspired by her own work as an attorney in the juvenile court system in San Diego. I had not come to the store with the intention of buying any books for myself, but I couldn't resist getting a signed copy of Burrell's The Advocate.

Anjin and I left the bookstore with two rather heavy bags of books. I would tell you what we bought, but on the off chance my family actually reads my blog, it's probably best that I don't. We stopped off for lunch at the Elephant Bar (I love their Santa Fe Chicken Salad) before venturing over to the mall. It's been quite a while since I was last in the mall, and I wasn't too keen on fighting the holiday shoppers Saturday either. Still, I didn't want to have to come back, so we figured we might as well get it over with then and there. We weren't able to find everything we were looking for, but we came away with a few gifts to check off our list.

By the time we got home, it was late afternoon and my back and hip were screaming for a nap. That evening, Anjin and I caught up on the television show "V" and I spent a little time checking my e-mail. It wouldn't be until bed-time that I would finally crack open my next book, Jennie Shortridge's When She Flew. I was a good way in before my husband came to bed and I called it a night.

So, Saturday did not exactly turn out as I might have hoped, reading-wise. Still, I got a lot done and have a lot less shopping for the holidays to worry about now. I made up for yesterday today by spending a good part of the day reading. I finished When She Flew and look forward to sharing my thoughts about the book with your later this week.

Now I have to decide if I want to write my reviews for the two books I finished this weekend or start straightway into my next book. Or maybe I will catch up on a little blog hopping to see what you all are up to this evening.

I may not have read as much or for as long as I might have liked this Thankfully Reading Weekend, but since I really had no plan going in, I think I did just fine. Ultimately, I accomplished just what I set out to do, to read at my leisure, stress free. Many thanks to the Book Blog Social Club for hosting the Thankfully Reading Weekend.

How did you all spend your weekend? Did you read any good books you are just chomping at the bit to talk about?

This Week In Reading Mews:
Reviews Posted:
Tears of the Desert: A Memoir of Survival in Darfur by Halima Bashir

Reading Now:
The Girl on Legare Street by Karen White
Guests of the Ayatollah: The Iran Hostage Crisis
by Mark Bowden

Posts of Interest This Week:
Thanksgiving: Then and Now
Kicking Off the Thankfully Reading Weekend

© 2009, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved.
If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.


  1. Hope you had a great weekend with Thankfully Reading. I thought it was fun!

  2. I didn't read much over the weekend either. I think it's the holiday mood, hehe. Or maybe I just read too many mangas and neglected the other books which I'm reading. :P

  3. I was happy to finish three books and an audio book this weekend. Much more than I'd expected.

    Next weekend is the Readathon, if we need more reading time....

  4. Hi Wendy! You've just reminded me that I should get started with my holiday gift shopping. It's nice to have author signings so often at your place. I wish it's the same over here.

    I didn't do much reading over the weekend, but was busy with photography class.

  5. I just started When She Flew last night! I'm not very far in, but it's good so far. Can't wait to read your review.

    Have a wonderful week - and I hope your back continues to feel better. :)

  6. Diane - It was a lot of fun, wasn't it? I'm glad I was able to take part.

    Melody - Too much stimulation and lots of things to do, no doubt. :-) We do what we can.

    Readerbuzz - You did very well! I am glad you were able to fit in so many books. Had I not decided to go shopping today, I'm sure I would have done better. That's okay though, I had fun and that's what matters most, right? :-)

    I won't be able to participate in the read-a-thon next weekend, but I'll be thinking of everyone who does.

    Alice - I seem to be stumbling on quite a few of those author signings lately, don't I? I wish some of my favorites would come to town! I also wish more authors could travel to tour in your country. When you come to the U.S. for Thanksgiving at some point in the future (we can dream, right?), you'll have to make sure you are in a town with a book signing. Maybe Nora Roberts!

    I hope your head is feeling better.

    Carrie - Oo! I look forward to reading your thoughts on When She Flew, Carrie. You, Florinda, and I will have to compare notes!

    Thank you. I hope you have a great week too.

  7. I didn't get a chance to read anything during the weekend. From Thursday - Sunday, we were celebrating Thanksgiving with families and friends. We were baking foods for our guests on Thursday and than the next few days other guests come and go. You so lucky you've finish your shopping already (or are you?). I only got few done but I do have LOT more shopping to do! Monday I'm mailing off Xmas cards and packages. With the rest of the other gifts I need to buy for others..well be done this weekend coming :)

    I hope you have a happy holidays! And good luck with reading more books :)

  8. My reading this weekend was totally pathetic, but then I knew it would be. Weekends are not very peaceful in my house. I'll get back to it this week, along with that darned shopping!

  9. Christmas shopping is somewhat stressful! This is our first year buying gifts for two families/sets of friends, so I made sure we got it out of the way early, and now we have just one person left, my dad, who we won't be seeing until late January anyway. I'm quite pleased with myself, LOL.

    I'm glad you enjoyed your Thankfully Reading weekend! I think relaxation was the goal, and you do seem to have accomplished it. =)

  10. Sounds like a successful weekend to me! We avoided the stores, but I didn't get in the reading I had hoped to. Still, it was relaxing and fun to know that I was reading along with others.

  11. It sounds to me like you had a great weekend! Reading, and shopping for books ... what could be better?!

    Have a great week!

  12. I only got one book read this weekend but I did love how relaxing the weekend was. Good for you getting some Christmas shopping done. I think books make excellent gifts!

  13. At least you got some shopping done! If I'd been in the bookstore, I would have bought some titles for myself too!

  14. Sounds like you had a great weekend as well. As you know, my hubby and I caught up on "V" as well. It's much different than the original series but we love it nonetheless!

  15. I envy you having much of your shopping done. I've barely started and couldn't bring myself to brave the weekend crowds. Glad you got to enjoy some reading time and some time with hubby.

  16. I am so glad you had a weekend spent with good books! It sounds very relaxing and I am just a bit jealous! :) Even though I spent a ton of time shopping this weekend, I still didn't get that many gifts, something I hope to rectify sometime this week, maybe even today!

  17. We did a bit of Christmas shopping at the bookstore yesterday, and I finished reading When She Flew - I'm looking forward to seeing what you thought of it!

    I would have liked to read more this past weekend, but since we had company I knew it would be tough. I need a Thankfully WRITING Weekend to get some blog posts drafted up!

    You've really had a knack for stumbling on author signings lately, Wendy :-). Have a great week!

  18. I'm totally jealous you had time to read this weekend- I tried, right, but as soon as I sat down I fell asleep, and then my husband wanted to "go out and take advantage of the beautiful day." Ugh, whatever! :-) Sounds like you had some fun :-)

  19. Your weekend sounds pretty wonderful except for your hip screaming at you!!!

  20. Cozy reading in bed and Christmas shopping accomplished? I'd say you had a banner weekend!

  21. You got to read AND you got Christmas shopping done??? I'd say it was a GREAT weekend! Glad you enjoyed a stress free reading weekend and feel good about what you accomplished!

  22. My husband took the day off work and we had a V marathon. Love it!
    Last year I did all of my shopping in bookstores. This year I will only use it to supplement, I think. But who knows. Once I walk into our local indie bookstore I might go wild and buy all my gifts :)

  23. I'm sorry to hear you didn't get to read as much as you hoped, but at least you did read some! I haven't finished a book in ages, it seems. Ah well...hopefully we'll both have more time soon.

  24. There is still a lot that I could buy, but I think I am going to buy a few more things for a couple of people on my list and then just call it a day. Money is so tight this year I just cannot justify the spending this time around. It stinks because I normally get so excited over my Christmas list!!

    I think books make great gifts though and I NEVER feel as if I wasted money on a book.

  25. Julia - It sounds like you had a nice Thanksgiving weekend, Julia! A busy one at that.

    I am all finished with my Christmas shopping as of this past weekend. Well, mostly. I'd still like to pick up one more present for my husband and then I'll be all done. Whew!

    Sandy - This time of year for you does sound quite busy from what I've read over at your blog. I do hope you are able to sneak in some quiet time for reading. Even if only five minutes. :-)

    Meghan - Christmas shopping can be very stressful. Especially when you aren't sure what to get the person. Sounds like you got a good head start on the gift shopping! Less to worry about last minute. :-)

    Beth F - It was. I really am proud of what I managed to accomplish, even if it wasn't as much as I had originally hoped for, much like you. We were able to relax and have fun, and that's what matters.

    Laura - I could already use another weekend like that. LOL

    Beth (bookaholicmom) - I am glad you were able to relax over the Thanksgiving Weekend too! I wish more people gave me books as gifts. LOL I seem to give them a lot but receive them much less.

    Kathy - Yes, it was such a relief to get some of that shopping done. Whew!

    Jenn - I just love the new "V". I wish we didn't have to wait so long to see the next episode.

    Dave & Tami - It helped that my husband was shopping with me. He helps keep me focused so I don't stray too much. Since we were mailing out most of our presents, I had the added motivation of needing to get them in the mail in a timely manner to help spur me along.

  26. Kristie - I hope you were able to get more of your holiday shopping done, Kristie. A friend of mine attempted to hit as many of the sales as she could and ended up not getting much. I feel lucky I was able to do as well as I was shopping wise.

    Florinda - Bookstore shopping is the best kind. :-) Company does tend to put a damper on getting in any reading time, doesn't it? I hope you had a nice visit despite that.

    Marie - I couldn't resist fitting in a nap here and there either. :-)

    Staci - Yeah, that part wasn't any fun. Fortunately there were no visits to the emergency room or doctor's so in that way it wasn't so bad. :-)

    Kristen - I love reading in bed. :-) I am so relieved to have all that holiday shopping behind me. I really shouldn't wait until the last minute like that. I'll try better next year. Yeah, right. Haha

    Kathleen - It was quite productive in hindsight. :-)

    Stacy - Your a V watcher too! Isn't the show great?

    I did mostly gift cards last year--easier on the shipping bills. I figured I should send actual wrapped gifts this year. And since my budget is much tighter this year, books seemed a reasonable way to go. Besides, any excuse to buy a book--even if it isn't for me. :-)

    Nymeth - Yes, I did get some reading in. I am content with that. :-) I hope things will balance out for you soon. Your new job sounds so exciting!

    Ti - Money is really tight for us this year as well. I have a tendency to go overboard with gifts but I really had to cut back this year. Most of the people on my list understand times are tough, but there are a couple who might not be so happy. Can't do anything about that.

    I'm excited about the books I am giving people this year. I do hope they'll enjoy them.


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