Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sunday Salon- Cranberries, Books and Books About Cranberries (Not Really)

Well today I'm on the island of Nantucket for the annual Cranberry Festival, which was actually yesterday. Nantucket is known as a center of cranberry harvesting and every year we get a big bag of fresh-off-the-bog berries for fall and Christmas baking. Anyone who's been to my Christmas Eve party knows about the cranberry-orange pinwheel cookies, and if you come visit me between now and Thanksgiving there's sure to be cranberry cornbread, muffins, galettes and more.

And that's where they come from. At the festival you can buy fresh berries but they're available all season long in Nantucket's farm stands and stores. We had a perfect day for the festival yesterday- temperatures in the 60s with bright sunshine and just a touch of a breeze. Couldn't ask for better!

This little fellow was from last week's fair, the annual Topsfield Fair. Part of the fair is a display of pumpkins and gourds that have been decorated by area schoolchildren. The hedgehog there was definitely my favorite!

Of course the fall wouldn't be complete without the area's largest pumpkin, this year weighing in at 1,668.5 pounds. That's a lot of pumpkin!

On another note, this past week I got meet author Joan Leegant, who wrote the very engaging (and popular book club choice) Wherever You Go, a novel tackling the subject of religious and political extremism in Israel. The book club at Temple Israel, a large Boston shul (and one where I used to work part-time), read the book and Leegant was kind enough to come to the meeting to talk about the book. It was a real honor to meet her! Avis of She Reads and Reads and Carrie of Books and Movies are co-hosting a readalong in October. You can find out more here.
Here's an ad you might have seen on or elsewhere for Joan's book- and look who's blurbed at the bottom! :-) :-) :-)

What am I reading today? I'm still finishing up Amitav Ghosh's masterful River of Smoke; it's a wonderful read but not a quick one! I also started Massimo Carlotto's Poisonville, a tough-necked thriller from Italy about a man under suspicion for the death of his fiancée. It's pretty great, and unlike the Ghosh a very quick read! I'm reading it for the Europa Challenge and for Jenn's Bookshelves' Murder, Monsters and Mayhem Challenge. Fun!

What are you up to today? More Sunday Salon here.