Sunday, August 5, 2012

Sunday Salon: a new look & new release anticipation

A new look
Happy Sunday! If you've visited my blog in the past two days, you've probably noticed things look quite a bit different. I've been meaning to redesign it for quite some time. Although I loved my old design, particularly the gorgeous picture of an airplane flying over the globe, I wanted to have posts appear in black ink and a white background. I'm still tweaking a few things, some major and some minor, and I probably will continue to do so this week. As always, I'd love to hear what your thoughts and suggestions are.

Summer television love
I'm in the midst of my blissful two and a half weeks of vacation and have just enjoyed a relaxing week at home. I've been reading a lot, watching the Olympics, and catching up on my DVR. I finally started watching The Newsroom, which I'm really enjoying. I also had a mini-marathon of the first three episodes of Political Animals. Despite its poor reviews, I'm loving it. I expected to be wowed by Sigourney Weaver, but Carla Gugoni is stealing the show.

Vacation treats
Tomorrow Mr. Nomadreader and I set off for a vacation of our own. It's rare we get to take a trip that's not for another reason (i.e. wedding, funeral, family reunion), and I'm really looking forward to a week away together. The hardest choice for me on quiet vacations is always which books to read. I'm eager to make progress on the Booker longlist, but I'm also eager to dive into the pile of fall new releases I'm most excited about:



  • The Cutting Season by Attica Locke: I read Attica Locke's first novel, Black Water Rising (my review), when it was shortlisted for the Orange Prize, and utterly adored it. It made my top ten of 2012. It will be released September 18.
  • Eight Girls Taking Pictures by Whitney Otto: I first discovered Otto in high school (How to Make an American Quilt). I rediscovered her the year after college, when it felt like I had all the time in the world to read (the benefit of no longer having homework, moving to a city where I knew no one, it was a brutal winter, and it was January: lots of reading time.) A Collection of Beauties at the Height of Their Popularity remains one of my all-time favorite novels. Eight Girls Taking Pictures is her first novel in ten years, and even though I can't wait to read it, I fear the next one might take another ten years, and I don't want it to end. It will be released November 6.
  • Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon: I fell in love with Michael Chabon in college, mostly thanks to my brother. I adored Wonder Boys and The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, but somehow I haven't read The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Klay yet. Regardless, the premise of Telegraph Avenue is right up my alley. It will be released September 11.
  • Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver: I read The Lacuna (my review) when it was shortlisted for the Orange Prize, which it later won. Although I didn't love the novel, I did love Kingsolver's writing, and I'm eager to give her another chance. It will be released November 6.                   
I feel so blessed to have copies of these titles already, and I'm looking forward to digging in. I hope to alternate these new releases with Booker longlist titles. The Yips and Communion Town have arrived from the UK, and I have Skios and The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry on my Kindle. (I hope to finish Narcopolis this afternoon.) I can't possibly read eight books in one week of vacation, but I'll be pleased with reading four of them. This time of year is always overwhelming for me as a reader: I'm simultaneously trying to read the Booker longlist, anticipating fall releases, and awaiting the Dayton Peace Prize, Giller Prize and National Book Award. 

Now tell me: which fall release are you most excited for?

As an affiliate, I receive a small commission when you make a purchase through any of the above links. Thank you for helping to support my book habits that bring more content to this blog!

29 comments:

  1. I really like the new blog design! I loved your old one too, but this one is much easier to read. The bright colours are very nice. I have the same holiday problem, I haven't been on a vacation "per se" for years (at least not one that's been longer than a weekend trip)! Usually we're visiting family or friends, attending weddings etc. Enjoy yours and all your reading.

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    1. Thanks, Bettina! I'm hoping we can at least get away once a year just the two of us:-)

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  2. Love the new design. The darker colors really hurt my eyes, but I also love the sort of "peripheral vision" deal this one gives. It's nice.

    Good for you on vacay. I'm really itching for some time off. We only have about 7 days between teaching summer sessions and starting the fall semester. Plus, we have a new director starting then, so I really can't take off. I may take a day anyway, just to recuperate. Hope you guys have a great vacation!

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    1. Thanks, picky! The summer is really the only time I can take such a nice block of time off, so I'm getting the most out of it!

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  3. Love the new design, I'm a big fan of simple white backgrounds. I'm on staycation too and loving all of the Olympics, especially as they are just down the road from me.

    Hope Flight Behaviour is good - I loved The Poisonwood Bible but was ambivalent towards Lacuna.

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    1. Thanks, Sam! I hope you're enjoying the Olympics in your backyard. I was living in Atlanta in 1996, and it was just so much fun.

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  4. Love the new design -- it makes me want to work on redesigning my blog!!

    Enjoy the vaca -- and the reads! Can't wait to see what you think of Eight Girls... and Telegraph Avenue! I have a bunch of vaca time but no where to go (as my wife is a nanny, we can't really just take off) so I'm going to have a staycation at my apt later this month -- and I plan to read for ten hours a day!

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    1. Audra, it was a long time coming to redesign my blog. I definitely like it better, but I'm still not totally pleased with the photograph border.

      I get a ton more vacation time than my husband too, so I usually end up with four weeks of staycation through the year. I love it: I can read ten hours a day and spend a lot of time with him. Enjoy!

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  5. I love the new look! It's very clean and fresh, and I like the background behind the white.

    We just recently bought Kavalier and Klay and I'm really looking forward to reading it soon!

    Have a great vacation!!

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  6. I like the new look! Simple, uncluttered is always the way to go :-)

    Enjoy your week away!

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  7. The new look is perfect! I love simpler styled blogs with a touch of the writers' personality. Fantastic.

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  8. I see I'm not the only one who finds it difficult to choose books for a trip - the clothes are a breeze. I hope you have a wonderful vacation!

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  9. I like your new look! Enjoy the trip and especially the reading!

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  10. I love the new look! It's so clean and easy to read! I hopped over here to see how things were going, and everything had changed! I hope that you have an excellent time on your trip and that you come back renewed and refreshed. Lots of great books to take as well!

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  11. I really liked your old layout, but I like this one, too. I tend to like darker colors more, but the lighter colors make it easier to read. They also seem cleaner and more refreshing than darker colors. Have fun tweeting your look!

    Enjoy your vacation :)

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  12. 1. I love the lighter background!

    2. Have a fabulous vacation!

    3. I'm looking forward to The Twelve.

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    1. Thanks, Jill! I'm looking forward to The Twelve too, but I'm still waiting to read The Passage and The Twelve until right before the third one comes out. Enjoy!

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  13. The new design is so much easier on my eyes. Thank you!

    I have Flight Behavior on my Kindle but haven't started it yet. Enjoy your time away!

    Oh, I am most looking forward to The Twelve. Mostly because I have not been successful at obtaining an ARC of it and it's killing me!

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    1. Ti, I hope you can get a copy of The Twelve. I had the hardest time getting a copy of The Passage, and finally got one only two days before it came out. Perhaps that's why I still haven't read it! At this point, I think I'll wait for the third one to come to start it.

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  14. I love it! The look is fresh and clean and readable and super awesome. Your old theme was beautiful too, but this one has a brighter feel.

    Enjoy the vacation time (heaven!) and the books!

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  15. I like your new look … it is lighter and airier and clean looking! Well done. I always love looking at blog redesigns as I can't quite keep my hands off of my own blog. I'm curious to see what the story of the new Chabon book is. I am in awe of his writing!

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Thank you for taking the time to comment. Happy reading!