What’s Going On in the (Sunday) Salon, 1/12/2014

Since it’s a new year, I’m trying out a new format for my Sunday updates here in the Salon. I reserve the right to tweak or toss it without prior notice.

What I’m Reading

  • In Print

I’m still working on my official “First Book of the Year,” The Book Thief–and I learned just yesterday that my sister is also in the middle of reading it. She usually posts her book reviews on Goodreads, but perhaps I’ll try to entice her into a joint review/Q&A here for this one… I’m alternating it with The Race Underground, a history of the rivalry between New York City and Boston in building America’s first subway system, which I’ll be reviewing for Shelf Awareness if I can finish it by deadline. I’m hoping to spend some time with both books today!

  • On Audio

My first audiobook of 2014 is the novel Fin and Lady by Catherine Schine, read by Anne Twomeny (who often sounds like a youngish Betty White). The story hits a lot of my sweet spots–New York City in the 1960s!–and I’m finding it thoroughly charming.

What I’m Watching

The holiday hiatus is over for most of our regular TV shows, and having cleared the buildup on the DVR, we can actually watch Parks and Recreation as it airs for the rest of the current season! (Fingers crossed this won’t be its last…) We will probably never get to that point with Supernatural, but we’re up to Season Two on Netflix now.

What I’m Writing

Most of my posts for the past week looked back at 2013 in reading and blogging. This week I’ll be posting my thoughts on the last two books I read last year, along with my #OneWord for 2014. Beyond those, I have no posts scheduled, but I’m sure that will change by this time next week…and if it doesn’t, I don’t intend to worry over it too much.

What Caught My Eye This Week

If you follow me on Twitter, you know I’m a big link-sharer, which is the main reason I stopped doing link roundups here on the blog. I miss it, though, so I’m going to try holding back a few particularly bookish and/or bloggy links for this section every week. Today I have these:

> “According to the article, readers are on the internet in the millions, but…well, they’re just recommending books to each other without any academic or professional credits whatsoever. It’s appalling, these filthy commoners just saying to each other ‘you might like to read this’ like they’re allowed”–from “The Decline and Fall of the Book Reviewing Empire”, a Book Riot response to a New York Times literary lament (which I will not link here, because you can find it there) 

> “That’s your safest bet. If you’re not 100% sure it’s okay to use, don’t. This includes things like celebrity photos. Someone owns those. There are enough free pics out there that you don’t need to risk violating someone’s copyright.”–from “Blogger Beware: You CAN Get Sued For Using Photos You Don’t Own on Your Blog” (PSA #1 of the Week) 

> From Good Books and Good Wine (via The Perpetual Page-Turner), a flowchart guide to culling your books (PSA #2 of the Week)

book culling flowchart GoodBooksAndGoodWine

What Else is New?

I’ve got about 8½ years left of the ten-year timeframe that Tall Paul has given me to learn Italian for travel purposes, and inspired by one ofAlison‘s New Year’s resolutions, I’ve gotten started on that project. I’m using the free Duolingo app on my iPad (if we’re Facebook friends, you may have seen some status updates about my progress over the last week)–it works like a computer game, but it really seems to be working, and I hope to have enough basic vocabulary to get around when I get to the end. (And since I’m getting an early start, maybe we can take that trip to Italy well before the ten years are up!)

Gratuitous Photo of the Week
crabapples produce aisle 3rsblogdotcom
When did crab apples become something so exotic you’d pay for them? Is it a California thing? Growing up in Connecticut, crab apples were just for throwing at each other.

So, what’s up with you this weekend?

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