The Sunday Salon: “Snowmageddon” Bookish Madness

I will never again mock Punxsutawney Phil‘s meteorological abilities.  He predicted six more weeks of winter, and to make sure we knew he was serious, sent “snowmageddon.” Yes, we’re up to our ears in it chez Musings.  Saturday was spent in Sisyphean snow removal attempts, followed by hot beverages supped from beneath a warm blanket.  It was a good day for reading and blogging.  And Sunday looks like it might be another good day to curl up with a book.

I’ve spent quite a bit of time with my blog this past week.  I joined the 2010 Blog Improvement Project and created my blog improvement to do list.  I’ve taken care of a few items already:

  • Use a social bookmarking plug-in (AddThis)
  • Add “subscribe by email” option
  • Add blog URL to my email signature.
  • List blog in Yahoo!, Google, DMOZ, and claim it in
  • Add ability to contact me by email (it’s on my “About” page … give it a try!)

Since one of my goals is to develop more connections with other bloggers, I’ve also been spending more time leaving comments on new-to-me blogs, and adding them to my Google Reader.  I think spending a little time on “community” each week will pay great dividends.

Although I haven’t published any book reviews this week, I’ve read quite a bit.  Look for my review of Langston Hughes’ The Ways of White Folks this coming Thursday, as part of the Classics Circuit Harlem Renaissance Tour.  I’ve enjoyed following the first week of the tour.  There’s so much to learn about the time period.  I’ve also been reading a Eleanor of Aquitaine: A Life for the Women Unbound challenge.  It’s quite interesting but in some ways frustrating, because there’s very little physical evidence remaining from that time period and Eleanor’s life specifically.  Biographer Alison Weir has done a nice job reconstructing Eleanor’s life by piecing together snippets from disparate sources.  Eleanor was clearly an influential figure, unusual for a woman in that age,and I’ve enjoyed learning more about her.

Next I’m planning to read a Virago Modern Classic; I’m reading one per month in a vain attempt to stay ahead of my collecting.  This month I’ll be reading Beyond the Glass, by Antonia White, which is the last book in a semi-autobiographical series.  The earlier book was a bit dark, as the main character found herself in an unhappy marriage.  However, the writing is excellent and I’m eager to see how things turn out.

Have you read any of these books?  Where is your reading taking you this week?

Read more from The Sunday Salon here.

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14 thoughts on “The Sunday Salon: “Snowmageddon” Bookish Madness

  1. I’m reading Dead Cold by Louise Penny, a lovely mystery, but it has reference to Eleanor of Aquitaine. Weird, because I’ve never heard of her before, and now twice in two days. It’s a sign, right?

    • OK, that’s weird! Is your mystery set in medieval times? Eleanor was Queen of England (and parts of what are now France) in the 1100s.

      • No, it’s not set in 1100s at all. But, the character admired Eleanor, and married a Richard Lyon. The book, and character, also referenced The Lion in the Winter, which is the Katherine Hepburn movie about Eleanor.

  2. I like your blog improvement ideas. I know I should be doing stuff like that myself, but it seems hard enough just to get posts up every day — at least if I am going to go to work to. 🙂

    In that blog improvement group, have you read anything about adding a rolling blog roll (not “scrolling,” definitely “rolling”)? I’ve seen them and want to add one, but now I can’t find any blogs that have them.

    • I think the key to blog improvement is to set goals that are realistic and meaningful for you (none of those “shoulds,” but ways to make blogging more fun and satisfying).

      I’ve only just started “getting fancy” with my blog and am by no means an expert, but when you talk about “rolling,” do you mean the kind where the blog with the most recent post is at the top of the list? An example is at Combray Furniture Studio. This is Blogger’s “Blog List” gadget. Maybe that helps?

      • No, that’s not quite what I mean. I used the “Blog List” gadget and set it up to list the blogs by recent post. But the list itself was gettign too long.

        What I want it a blog roll that doesn’t take up so much physical space over there in the right column because the list of blogs is moving — constantly rolling through the list so only a few show at a time, but they are moving. Sort of like the tv schedule of programs on the cable station. You know what I mean?

        I used to see them, but now that I am looking for one, I can’t find it.

  3. I have not read any of the books that you mentioned. I should devote some time to changes on my blog as well; keep up the good work – it looks great!

  4. Antonia White’s diaries (both volumes) were really interesting to me, so I would like to check out her autobiographical writing as well. I was so struck by how difficult she found the writing process at times and how much she struggled with carrying on with works she’d committed to writing. I’ve read Frost in May too, but still need to finish that series of novels, and would likely need to re-read FIM to do it justice. I’m trying the one Virago a month thing as well, but am actually squeezing four into February, which might be a little overly optimistic. :crosses fingers:

    • I have not read her diaries but they do sound interesting. As for FIM, I’ve enjoyed the “sequels” more but am glad I read FIM since it was VMC #1. I will be interested to read your reviews of this month’s VMCs!

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