Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sunday Salon- Happy Birthday to Me (Yesterday)

Well yesterday was my birthday and I was lucky enough to spend it in NYC with some of my best friends including my husband of course. He was in town doing a talk at Columbia University's journalism school and so we got to spend the weekend before and after enjoying the city. We met up with my friends from college for part of the day, and while Saturday night was more laid back than what we expected, I had a great time. I always enjoy any time Jeff and I get to spend in New York; it's different every time, even when we hit a lot of the same places. We went to some of my favorite bookstores- The Strand and McNally Jackson- as well as a new-to-me used bookstore near the Strand called Alabaster. Fun fun.

Last night after a light dinner I saw the awful news about the death of singer Whitney Houston. I loved her music and I'm very saddened by her premature passing. It's a tragedy. She leaves behind an incredible musical legacy and will be missed.

As far as reading, I started reading An Ermine in Czernopol but I don't know if I'm going to finish. I brought it along with The Swimming-Pool Library by Alan Hollinghurst; I'm enjoying that book a lot more even if it does have a lot of graphic sexual content. Of course when Edmund White blurbs a book and remarks on the amount of sex (he called it "so literary and so highly sexed") maybe it's time to dial it down just a little. But I think it's what makes a book a Hollinghurst, at least from what I've heard.

And today? I'll continue with Swimming-Pool and organize the books I received as birthday gifts. It was a Crime Novel Birthday for me; I got two by Massimo Carlotto and three by Jakob Arjouni. I also got the box of Penguin book-cover postcards, a gift certificate to Powell's and several blank notebooks. And a new winter coat, and a tote. So I can read, carry my books around and look cute doing it. Ha!

For right now I'm relaxing over a leisurely breakfast with the New York Times book review section, and adding to my TBR pile in the process. They have a great write up of Audrey Schulman's new novel from Europa Editions, Three Weeks in December, and Francine Prose wrote a nice appreciation of British author Edward St. Aubyn and his new book, At Last. I'm adding that and his earlier Mother's Milk to my wishlist now. Who says no one reads traditional review sources anymore?

What are you up to today? I hope you have a great Sunday. More Sunday Salon here.