Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sunday Salon - April 14

The other night I had a friend tell me that "fiction is a luxury" he doesn't have time for. As a doctor, much of his reading is, of course, work related. For him, though, even the reading he does in his free time is all about learning so he sticks to nonfiction. I must say that I felt a bit sorry for him; he has never discovered how much there is to be learned from fiction and he doesn't allow himself to be lost in a book. What do you think - is fiction a luxury?

Here's What I'm:

Listening To: On Pandora, I've got a new station: Movie Soundtracks. I am LOVING it! I get to hear songs from Disney, songs that just scream out the movie they were in (Old Time Rock and Roll from "Risky Business," for example), songs from more recent movie musicals. Mostly, though, it's the songs that you've heard throughout the movie, including Gary Jules covering Tears for Fears' "Mad World" in "Donnie Darko." Love, love this song and this version. I'm finding lots of new songs to enjoy, too, which is half the fun.

As far as books go, I finished The Plague of Doves this week. If you remember my review of Anita Diamont's The Last Days of Dogtown, you'll have a good idea of the way I ended up feeling about this one.

Watching: This afternoon I'll be watching Defiant Requiem: Voices of Resistance on PBS. Here's the show description:

In the spring of 1944, a handpicked group of Nazi officers was treated to an unusual performance by inmates in a concentration camp. What appeared to be a soaring rendition of a choral masterpiece was intended as a subversive condemnation of the Nazis and a desperate message to the outside world. In the face of horrific living conditions, slave labor and the constant threat of deportation to Auschwitz, the Jewish inmates of Terezin concentration camp — artists, musicians, poets and writers — fought back with art and music. 

Watch Preview on PBS. See more from Defiant Requiem: Voices of Resistance.

There it is again - Terezin. A place I had never heard of until I read a book a few months ago. After I read that book, I did some research of Terezin. So when the commercial for this show started, I immediately recognized the setting. It's amazing to me that this place and time in history has now shown up three times in just a few months. Did I just miss it before?

Reading: I'll be finishing up Sarah Vowell's The Wordy Shipmates tomorrow for this month's book club meeting. My head is swimming from all I've learned! I'm hoping to get caught up with The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle today. It's much less intimidating than I had anticipated, although I find myself really highlighting and taking notes in it, too, trying to make sure I'm catching things. I'll continue reading that this week and I'll also pick up Lionel Shriver's The New Republic for review next week.

Making: I'm making bread this weekend. I haven't made yeast bread in more than 20 years and then I wasn't too successful. But my friend assures me that this recipe is foolproof and I'm just the fool to test it. It's rising even as I type.

Planning: I have a project I'm working on right now but it's a secret so I can't tell you about it just yet.

Grateful for: Great friends - who made sitting in 36 degree temps at the ballpark on Friday night fun.

Loving: The sunshine I'm basking in as I type this. Nebraska typically has very sunny winters but this has been a particularly grey winter and spring, so far, as not been much better.

Thinking: Some of you are doing a lot better at this thing called life than I am. How do you keep all of those plates spinning with out any of them crashing to the floor?

Looking forward to: I am beyond excited to be going to see Thrity Umrigar on Thursday. If I didn't listen to my local NPR station, I would never even have known that this internationally best-selling author were coming to town which is a tremendous shame. Fortunately, I do. As soon as I got to work the morning I found out about it, I got online and reserved my spot at the luncheon she'll be speaking at. If you're in Omaha, let me know if you'll be there!

What are you loving this week?


  1. Thrity Umrigar is a wonderful author - enjoy your time at this event.

  2. My husband mainly reads non-fiction as that is his interest and likes learning when he reads. He doesn't view fiction as a luxury, nor do I. Maybe your friend feels he must continue to learn and that is a more valuable use of time. I've made suggestions to him to read a few fiction books on audio book on his commute to/from work and he's broadening his readings choices on occasion. Thrity is a favorite author of mine and local and I've not been able to make it to one of her events yet.

  3. Wish I could hop on a plane to Omaha and have lunch with you and Thrity - enjoy!!

  4. Bread. Enough said. I really miss it.

    I have been listening to music more these days. I love Spotify for work but Songza seems to work better for me at home. It's like Pandora but I think it's a tad more intuitive.

  5. I have a relative, a retired doctor, who now wishes he had had a "broader" education, having missed out on so much while concentrating solely on being a physician. True, he does read the news online, but there is so much more...

  6. No, I do not think fiction is a luxury. I think it's an absolute necessity. I also feel very sorry for your friend. A person who does not experience fiction is robbing himself/herself of something joyful and rewarding. The way I feel about it is expressed well in this quote (not sure if anyone said it, but I do): I read, therefore, I am.

    I may have to check out that station on Pandora. Can I get Pandora on my computer? I had it on my smart phone, but I no longer have a smart phone.

    I laughed at your comment on my blog. It may seem like I'm managing well with all I do, but sometimes I'm not. I'm stressed all the time and this divorce is really getting to me. Not the sadness of the marriage being over...just the crap that I'm having to put up with from the ex. It's still far less than what I put up with when we were married so that's a plus. Hang in there! Just know that we're all in the same boat in one way or another. =O)

    Yum! Let me know how your bread turned out.

  7. I can't wait to hear about the Thrity Urmigar event - she is an excellent author and I would love to hear her speak!

  8. I feel sorry for the doctor too. I do know quite a few people who prefer nonfiction to fiction--and I don't begrudge them that. I do think that fiction offers us so much though, and not just as pure entertainment. I think some people don't realize that.

    Count me as another fan of Thrity Umrigar's books! I hope you have a great time!

  9. I will have to look at the pandora station. I have a station hand crafted for me now that I tend not to experiment anymore (Kate Nash with many thumbs up/down to create something good for me).

    Umrigar... so exciting!

    Did you see there's an 80 documentary narrated by Rob lowe? I need to find it so see if it's worth 6 parts.

  10. I really do love your Sunday posts. Mad World has to be one of my all-time favorite songs. I watched Donny Darko with my son and still don't really "get it" but at least we watched it together!!!!

  11. NOW I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR SECRET PROJECT!!! Is it to come visit me in Dallas with Other Lisa? :P Sorry--snark on a Friday morning. I hope it's been a wonderful week.

  12. I'm catching up with your news. I'm intrigued by your mention of a project so looking forward to hearing more about it! As always, I'm interested in what you're reading as it expands my knowledge of what's new in the book world. Although I've enjoyed the novels that I've chosen to read these last months I find that certain non fiction (travel and history related) just as satisfying.