Tag: sunday salon


Sunday Salon: Reading on Vacation

Posted 4 September, 2016 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in memes, Reading

sunday salon books

Good morning, Readers! It’s been a hot minute since I checked in here, but there are things going on and there is reading being done. While on vacation I made it through a fair amount of books. I hit up a wide array of books, making it through all of the current Wicked + Divine graphic novels that are available to date, as well as the first volume of Chew, which was not nearly as gross as I had anticipated. I managed to get through Graham Moore’s novel, The Last Days of Night, Lionel Shriver’s amazing economic dystopia The Mandibles: A Family, 2029 – 2047, and last but definitely not least was Amor Towles’ excellent historical fiction piece A Gentleman in Moscow. What I realized by the copious amount of reading I was able to get through on my vacation is that my main problem with my lack of reading these days is work. C’est la vie.

Now, a week back in the real world, I’ve started Herman Koch’s newest Dear Mr. M, so far its just as twisty as his other two novels, but I’m not sure where it’s going yet. I’m still working on Mischling, though not very studiously – it may be a bit too harrowing for what I need to be reading right now. We’ll see. I’m also thinking of starting The Mothers by Brit Bennett.

Had the pleasure of going to the Decatur Book Festival with Katie yesterday. We agreed that we’re super psyched about books in the moment, listening to the authors on the panels but over dinner got realistic on what we were actually going to read. Garrard Conley gave a pretty brilliant talk on a panel about changing ideas of masculinity that definitely piqued my interest in his memoir Boy Erased, which tells of going through conversion therapy as a boy. Jim Obergefell was there too, and he was incredibly inspiring when talking about why he chose to go forward with what became the landmark Supreme Court case making marriage equality the supreme law of the land. I’m extremely interested in his book, Love Wins.

We went and heard a few more talks which were all interesting in their own rights, but didn’t strike me the way Conley and Obergefell did.

So Reader? What have you been reading? 

April @ The Steadfast Reader

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Sunday Salon: Where Does the Time Go?

Posted 7 August, 2016 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in blogging

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Time // 8:15 PM EDT

Howdy, ho friendly readers! The past couple weeks have been a blur, things are busy at work and at home. Two weeks ago I second-chaired a particularly nasty trial against a particularly nasty defense attorney. Last week I had usual court things to do as well as prepping for a trial that will likely go sometime next week. The week after that I leave for Europe for two weeks, when I come back I’ll have to hit the ground running again because I’ll be up for jury trials again.

I went to see a regional production of Lin Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights on Friday and it was surprisingly excellent. I was extremely pleased and can definitely recommend The Aurora Theatre in Gwinnett County.

At home, The Girl starts kindergarten tomorrow so there have been the usual school prepping for her with handwringing from The Husband (Dad) and Grandmother. I’m sure she’ll be fine.

Around the blog, I’ve created a login for Katie who will start making posts as she feels the need, so get ready  for a new voice, y’all! I’ll wait for her to get up and running before I say more.

How was your week, Reader?

April @ The Steadfast Reader

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Sunday Salon: Anxiety

Posted 17 July, 2016 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in memes, musings

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Time // 6:41 PM EDT

Feeling // Wicked anxious. For no particular reason. I had a meltdown on Twitter today, at the pool. As I was saying, I’ve finally come to the point in my life, where for the most part, I don’t give a fuck what other people think about me. I’m comfortable with the way that I look, the job  that I do, the friends that I keep. Until I go out in public with The Girl. Then I lose. My. Shit. Is she bugging other people too much? Are they judging me for the way that she’s dressed? Am I paying enough attention to her? Too much attention to her? Helicoptering? Neglecting? On. And. On. And. On. My blood pressure rises, my heart starts hammering, and I usually feel frozen in place. It’s a terrible, awful, no good feeling that I don’t know how to shake. Anyway.

Reading //  I just finished up a book that I loved, except for the ending. I hate when an author takes a perfectly content atheist character and makes him/her find god. It’s so… trite. Also still working on Kathleen Glasgow’s upcoming YA(?) novel Girl in Pieces which is raw and powerful and awful in all the best ways. I’m in a reading slump and need to feel excited about something. Suggestions?

That’s all she wrote, Reader. How are you?

April @ The Steadfast Reader

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Sunday Salon: Hello July

Posted 3 July, 2016 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in blogging, memes, musings

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With June gone and July beginning in earnest I’m feeling the pressure of my Goodreads challenge weighing down upon me. I’m fifteen books behind schedule and I’m not sure I’m going to be able to pull out of this nosedive before the end of the year. I guess next year I’ll have to plan for job stress and family things.

I only managed to make it through four books last month and I’m hoping that I’ll do better in July. I’m working on Ben Winters’ Underground Airlines which is a thoughtful speculative fiction title due out on Tuesday. I’m also listening to Cronin’s The City of Mirrors which is the final book in The Passage trilogy.

In meteorological news, it’s so hot. I grew up in the south and have been back in Georgia for about three years now, but I never get over how damn hot it gets. We just got back from the pool. I hate the sun. I hate being tan. I hate burning more than all that. DESPITE all that I’m thinking that this summer I should take up swimming – because it’s aerobic and it keeps me cooler than running does in the 98+ degree heat. Still thinking the thoughts, trying to make a decision.

My best good friend (who also happens to be my trial assistant) came to the pool today with her boyfriend. I think that we’re about to embark on an evening of board games, booze, and fun. She has a DC Comics Deck Building Game that I suspect will be an excellent time as well as a Japanese board game that I haven’t played yet, but I am looking forward to.

Anyway. That’s my weekend thus far, Readers. What about you? Read anything worth reading? Done anything worth doing? 

April @ The Steadfast Reader

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Sunday Salon: ‘Twas the Day Before Jury Trial

Posted 5 June, 2016 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in memes, musings

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Time // 8:54 A.M. EDT

Thinking // About how I have to take a case to trial next week that I really don’t want to. I get that the idea of overworked public defenders is a way sexier news story than overworked prosecutors. (Also, malicious/improper prosecution is way sexier than the thousands of prosecutors that do their jobs properly and within the scope of the law every day.) But let me tell you, my office might represent The State, but it’s made up wholly of people – just people – handling enormous case loads. I can assure you that the vast power of the state is not so vast in backwoods Georgia. Anyway. I really don’t want to take this case to trial next week. Such is life.

Reading // Things. Lots of things. About 60% done with The Fireman – it’s got shades of The Stand in it… I’m liking it a lot but unsure if I’m going to topple over into loving it. Finished a weird little book that I picked up at BEA, I plan to write a review on it after this. Also finished re-reading Justin Cronin’s The Passage. Now I need to re-read The Twelve so I can pick up the thrilling conclusion in City of Mirrors.

Beginning // To run again. I got my two runs in last week and am aiming for a Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule from here forward (last Monday was a federal holiday, can’t run on federal holidays). It’s so dang hot and humid here I’m also considering taking up some type of swimming. The neighborhood pool is only about a half mile from the house and it’s big enough to do laps in – I don’t know, we’ll see if that works out.

So, that’s what I’m looking at, Reader. How’s your week? Anything exciting to look forward to?

April @ The Steadfast Reader

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

Posted 30 May, 2016 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in memes, musings

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Well, I went to Savannah on Friday with the husband for an impromptu holiday weekend for Memorial Day and some work detox. The problem is that Tropical Storm Bonnie came crashing into the east coast and it was a generally crappy time to be walking around in the outside. I say ‘problem’ but it was really not a problem for me, because it allowed me the weekend in the hotel room with Joe Hill’s newest novel, The Fireman. I finished up In a Dark, Dark Wood and meant to transition into another dead tree novel – but the husband was ready to turn the light off so I picked up my trusty Kindle instead.

The Fireman is a 768 page post apocalyptic chunkster. Naturally this means, I am loving it. I’m about halfway through and finding everything about it amazing.

Like I said, the weather in Savannah was crappy, but it didn’t stop me from eating all the things. I’m debating on whether or not to write a post about that. I need to write a review for In a Dark, Dark Wood – it’s the first BEA book that I’ve read that has been released – so that’s something to do.

I was thinking about joining Bryan in the 99 Days of Summer Blogging – but just in the next few weeks I have some pretty significant time commitments at work through trial week and being sent to GPSTC for training for another week, I’m just not sure that I can write anything worth reading every day for 99 days. I have a desire to revive the blog, but not to just hit the publish button just to publish. If I can get back to three times a week, I’ll feel okay.

So, it’s Monday! What are you reading? Turned into a little Sunday Salon as well. Let’s call it the best of both worlds. What are you reading, Reader?

April @ The Steadfast Reader

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Sunday Salon: Local Election

Posted 22 May, 2016 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in blogging, memes, musings

sunday salon books

Time // 12:26 P.M. EDT

Feeling //  Exhausted. So exhausted. The local Judge’s election is on Tuesday and the mudslinging has been epic. All of my non-work friends (and my husband) are exceedingly bored with me because at this point the election is all consuming and leading me to be extra snippy and just generally boring. Just keep swimming, April.

just keep swimming

Reading //  Just finished the upcoming Blake Crouch novel. Review forthcoming. Also working on the new George Saunders Lincoln in the Bardo, it’s very Faulkner-eqsue. Read: Fabulous. There are so many books from BEA waiting for me, this keeps me excited. I’m hoping to get some regular reviews going here again.

Living //  With the windows open! I feel like I need to start running again – partially because the stress of this election has me off the charts. I know that the endorphins from running would definitely help me more than stalking election sites on Facebook, but… effort.

Blogging // Yes, I saw all the BEA brou-ha-ha on Twitter this past week. I agree with most bloggers that it’s rather dated and boring. Let me be clear on my position. The sentiment that I largely agree with is this:

Publishers owe me nothing. In return, I owe publishers nothing. I have no problem with book bloggers that are able to monetize their blogs, as long as they are upfront about the monetization. That doesn’t necessarily make their opinions on books more or less valid than mine. Please stop telling me that I don’t know my worth. I know my worth. The thing is that the worth of me writing book reviews (or writing in general) is less than what I’m willing to accept to give this up as a hobby. Taking money for my blog turns this into a job. I have a job that I love, I don’t need another one – therefore – it’s not worth it to me to seek out paying opportunities to review. If this means that publishers don’t send me ARCs or I can’t attend BEA because I’m not actually a part of the industry – that’s okay. I guess what I’m trying to say to authors, bloggers, and Twitterers who try to say that if I’m not charging for my reviews I’m just another cog in the machine, is this:

election

There’s so much more going on in my head, Reader but, you guessed it! It’s mostly regarding this local election that bores everyone but those involved. Someone send me an easy way to Zen.

April @ The Steadfast Reader

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Sunday Salon: Working Edition

Posted 28 February, 2016 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in blogging, musings

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Time // 12:20 PM EDT

Or it could be named: “It’s Sunday so why not work, edition.” Just got off the phone with a victim who said to me,”I can’t believe your working today.” Yeah. Well. At least I’m working from home. Then I took a phone call from a defense lawyer. The fun never ends.

Hubs is refinishing the doors to the fireplace so it looks less eighties-fabulous. We’ll see how that turns out.

Reading // my way through the Tournament of Books Shortlist. Let’s look at how it’s going. Watch your Instagram.

Tournament of Books 2016 Short-List

  • The New World by Chris Adrian and Eli Horowitz – review
  • The Sellout by Paul Beatty – Currently in DNF status. Trying to revive.
  • Bats of the Republic by Zachary Thomas Dodson – Read
  • The Turner House by Angela Flournoy – review
  • Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff – review
  • Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf – review
  • Ban en Banlieue by Bhanu Kapil – I’m worried about the availability of this one.
  • The Story of My Teeth by Valeria Luiselli – Owned and on the list to read.
  • The Tsar of Love and Techno by Anthony Marra – Read
  • The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen – Read
  • The Whites by Richard Price – review
  • Oreo by Fran Ross – Semi-DNFed
  • The Book of Aron by Jim Shepard – Read
  • The Invaders by Karolina Waclawiak – review
  • A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara – review

Play-In Round

  • Avenue of Mysteries by John Irving – Just bought the audio, let’s face it… I was going to read this anyway.
  • A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler – Zero interest. Might read it if it actually gets in.

I’m pretty amped at my progress, but also a little disappointed with the selections this year. I haven’t found nearly as many that have blown me away the way they did last year.

I also started The Man in the High Castle after finishing the first season on Amazon Prime. The series appears to be only related to the book in the loosest sense. We’ll see.

Ruffled Feathers // yesterday with my coloring post. I didn’t mean to and in retrospect I wrote it because I really felt alone in not getting the coloring fad. Now I know I’m not. 🙂 Still, good for the colorists! Just not for me.

Edit // Oh! I almost forgot! We went to the circus yesterday (husband’s idea). We all know that among my causes animals and the environment rank pretty low on things that concern me, but I had to stop and think about the absolute hubris of man, of (hu)man(s) in the 21st century that we train wild and majestic animals like tigers and elephants to entertain us by doing parlor tricks. It’s disconcerting to me. Perhaps I think too much. The dogs, horses, and camels don’t bother me… why not? My only guess is that they’re domesticated. I knew there was something else I wanted to put out there. Okay, more working.

I thought I had more to say, but I have a pile of cases that have to be reviewed before arraignment on Wednesday not to mention motions to prepare for tomorrow. What are you doing with your Sunday, Reader?

April @ The Steadfast Reader

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Sunday Salon: Justice Scalia Edition

Posted 14 February, 2016 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in memes, musings

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Time // 8:11 A.M. EDT

News // In U.S. politics, of course Justice Scalia is dead. It’s too soon for the Dick Cheney jokes, but there you have it. This is a huge game changer both with the court and with the upcoming presidential elections. President Obama, for his part, has vowed to have a replacement appointed before he leaves office — but whether he can do that remains to be seen. Vox published an interesting article on who he might nominate and who has the best chances of getting confirmed, assuming the Senate Republicans aren’t just blocking nominations to be politically difficult.

But can they really do that? The Washington Post seems to think they might and SCOTUSblog talks about the possibility of a recess appointment if that happens. I can’t find the article that I read last night discussing the idea that in the event of a Hillary or Bernie victory that President Obama gets appointed. It’s not unprecedented, William Taft was appointed as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in 1921, after his presidency. I’m not going to lie, Michelle, also a lawyer, would make a pretty badass appointee as well. (That is unprecedented.)

political scalia

Look, I make it a practice of never being happy when an individual dies, no matter how repugnant I may find them. I wish those close to him my most sincere condolences, but I think the court is in a position to be better for the American people. We shall see. In the meantime NPR has five opinions from Justice Scalia that you really should read. If nothing else, the man could write a mean dissent.

Anything Else? // I’ll admit that Scalia dominated dinner conversation between me and Mr. SFR last night and it’s still occupying my thoughts today. But I have also been doing some decent reading this week. Finished up at least one more book slated for the Tournament of Books. Started Oreo which is also on the Tournament of Books short list, but I’m finding myself exhausted by racial discourse recently. I’m aware that from the position of privilege from which I sit that’s not really a fair thing to say, but my frustration lies with people of my own privilege and station refusing to recognize it.

Simply by the virtue of the fact that I am white means I am privileged.

The fact that I am white and well educated makes me very privileged.

The fact that I am white, well educated, and socio-economically can be considered (at least) middle class makes me extremely privileged.

Why is that so hard for white people to say/recognize?

Lent // Of course I’m not Catholic, but I do like the practice of Lent and my goal is to get 7,000 steps in a day. I’ll tell you, a proactive goal is much harder than a goal of giving something up for me. Though in the reverse you could say that I’m giving up sitting on my ass. 🙂

Okay Reader, I’ve been a political minefield this morning. How’s your week been? Feelings on Justice Scalia? White privilege? Been reading any books?

April @ The Steadfast Reader

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Sunday Salon: Lazy Days

Posted 7 February, 2016 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in memes, musings

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I’m too lazy even to format this post with much. I’ve been doing a lot of reading this past week I’m making some good headway into the Tournament of Books 2016. Managed to devour the entirety of The Invaders yesterday and I thought it was fabulous. Finished Bats of the Republic, started on The Tsar of Love and Techno, I’ve make it through the first two stories and I think it’s going to prove an excellent read as well.

What else? Started Weight Watchers last Monday and I’m pretty much feeling hangry all the time. I’m thinking of just re-reading Dietland and reminding myself that my health is the most important thing. I’m happy enough with my size most of the time…

Sort of zoning out while I’m writing this post half watching whatever the Sunday Morning ABC show is, talking about New Hampshire. I hate to say it, but I think Hillary is fucked. There are people out there with such vitriol towards Clinton for reasons that they are unable to articulate. That being said, I love me some Bernie Sanders.

In a similar yet unrelated vein I find myself quoting Ronald Reagan at work, mostly on probation days, “Trust but verify.” What is happening to me?

My plans for the day are few… more reading, maybe playing some internet card games… sitting around… not eating. :/ Being lazy.

Tomorrow is the best day of the year, the farthest point of the year until I have to start hearing about football again.

Whatcha reading, Reader?

April

April @ The Steadfast Reader

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