What’s What in the Sunday Salon, 5-18-2014

This is Post #2100 on The 3 R’s Blog
Sunday Salon 3rsblog

What I’m reading

  • in print / on screen

I had hoped to get two June releases read and reviewed for Shelf Awareness, but the day job has shoved the freelance work aside (no pun intended–well, maybe a little pun intended), and it looks like time won’t permit that to happen. However, considering that last year I completely stopped contract reviewing during audit season, I should be pretty pleased that I’ve been able to manage one Shelf review per month since March. Since I’ve already received some good-looking selections for July from them, I’ll be moving on to those…and maybe I’ll be able to get into some completely discretionary reading by the end of the week! Frankly, that’s going to feel a little weird at first, but I’m sure I can adjust.

  • on audio

I’m about halfway through Call the Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times by Jennifer Worth. Like Orange is the New Black, it’s a memoir that inspired a TV series that I haven’t watched, but I’m having no trouble seeing how it could make that transition successfully. Narrator Nicola Barber is making this a delightful listening experience.

What I’m watching


Seasons have finale’d, people! How long is it until fall? I don’t think we have much summer viewing lined up on the DVR other than the return of Jack Bauer, so I suspect we’ll be resuming our deferred, never-ending catchup of Supernatural pretty soon, and trolling around for something new (to us) on Netflix.

What I’m writing


I would like to get two reviews written today–one for the Shelf, one for the blog. And if things actually do slow down this week–I’ve been wrong about that before!–I’ll be preparing my introduction and some topic posts for Armchair BEAI can’t not join in, even though I’ll be out of my chair at the real, live BEA next week.

What caught my eye this week


Speaking of BEA, I came across a few helpful conference-prep tips this week. They don’t address comfortable shoes or planning your time or getting around the city–these are more about mental readiness:

  • “Introvert or extrovert, a weekend surrounded by strangers—whether that’s for a company getaway, a wedding, or a family trip—is always a little challenging. For introverts, it’s about finding a balance so you can survive the weekend.
  • “(I)ntroverts tend to do best when they have time to recharge away from people…”
  • “(W)e introverts tend to like plans and don’t like when plans change. The thing is, when you’re in a large group, those plans are going to change a lot.”

–“An Introvert’s Guide to Surviving a Weekend with Strangers” at Lifehacker

In the case of BEA, the “weekend” is figurative, as the event runs from Thursday through Saturday, and the bloggers meet on Wednesday.

“Once upon a time, you met a blogger, and you felt a bond. Now, we walk past each other in the conference hall— the book blogger, the coupon blogger, the advocacy blogger, the mom blogger, the dad blogger, the LGBT blogger— as if we were strangers. Once we asked, ‘What’s your name?’ and ‘Where are you from?’ Now we ask, ‘What is your blog about?’ or ‘Who is your sponsor?’ 

“Has blogging died? In some way, yes. But before I get angry emails saying that blogging LIVES, let me go zen Buddhist on you and talk about the concept of death. 

“‘What causes death?’ a student once asked his zen master. 

“‘Birth,’ answered the guru.”

–“Has Blogging Lost Her Soul?” by Neil Kramer on BlogHer.com

Bloggers get their day at BEA, but it’s books that bring us there:

“So what about the 1%, the never-published novelists who fly in the face of reason and the odds, keep slogging away, and then – cue the thunderclap! – land an agent who sells their work. Is their writing process somehow less vexing in retrospect?”

–“First Novels: The Weird, Thrilling Trip Through A Very Narrow Door” at Monkey See

And because you don’t have to be a “book blogger” to write an insightful, affecting, and deeply personal book review, I give you my friend Kim Tracy Prince and her thoughts on Everybody Has Everything by Katrina Onstad:

“No, the events are not real, because it is a novel, but the subject matter is My Worst Nightmare, and it’s a book that I shouldn’t have accepted for review especially in the wake of personal loss, but something drew me to it and I loved the writing and story and in the end it made me get off my ass and hire an estate planning attorney to finish the job that I started and never could bring myself to complete.”



What Else is New?


Just a few days ago, I was invited to moderate a panel at the BEA Bloggers Conference, which I’ll also be writing up for Armchair BEA after it’s over.

“Technology 201: Ad Networks” is intended to offer information and advice to “advanced bloggers with more than 3 years’ experience who are looking to expand their ad networks and generate more money and/or awareness from their blog.” If you’re looking to make your blog earn its keep–and maybe a little extra–come by and hear what panelists Jason Chambers of the Litbreaker ad network, Henry Copeland of Blogads and Swapna Krishna of S. Krishna’s Books have to say on the subject.

(And if you have questions or thoughts to share on this topic, please let me know–even if you won’t be at this session, or at Blogger Con at all, I’ll try to get them addressed for you!)

Gratuitous Photo of the Week

NYPL May 2011
From three years ago, in the city where I’ll be ten days from today

Happy Sunday! How are you spending this spring weekend?



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