Thoughts on books, family, and life in one impressive package.

The Sunday Salon

Good morning! The sun is shining. The snow is not melting. The house is quiet – but that’s because Connor is still asleep. The Christmas cards are waiting for the mailman. All presents I need to mail are ready to go to the post office. The Christmas tree has an ever-growing pile of beautifully decorated presents waiting for Christmas morning. Holly suggested a Sherlock marathon today. It’s a great morning!

I cannot say the same about the rest of the week. First, there was the travesty of last night’s Big Ten Championship. It is going to take a long time to recover from that embarrassment. Then, there is the discovery that Connor is not doing well this semester. In fact, he is a few short weeks of kissing his dream colleges good-bye because his grades are that bad. He has made the decision that homework is stupid, and therefore he doesn’t have to complete it or turn in the stuff he does complete. He does not see that his test grades are a direct result of his lack of homework completion, and so the downward spiral continues. The fact that he recognizes what he is doing but doesn’t seem to care or is not willing to use some willpower to subvert his natural tendency to do anything but “boring” things is probably the biggest frustration Jim and I have these days. It is times like these where we both wonder where we went wrong and start racking our brains in desperation to not allow this supremely talented young man to throw away his future so drastically. Connor doesn’t want help, and we refuse to let him fail. As you can imagine, things are slightly tense between the three of us.

It really was not all bad this week though. I’ve been holding back some supremely good news that all came to fruition this week. First off, I am in a book!!!! Atria Books sent me a notice a few weeks ago that they were using some of my review for a blurb in the paperback version of I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes. The release date for the paperback edition was this past Tuesday, and I came home to a lovely surprise from Atria of my very own copy of it. The thrill of seeing my name in a book, even if it is the name of my website, will never fade. Now, get thee to a bookstore and purchase a copy of this amazing spy thriller/murder mystery because it really is that awesome!

Then, I was invited to participate in a group interview with none other than David Baldacci! This was not something I was going to decline, so I bravely collated my list of questions for Mr. Baldacci and called into the teleconference number I had. It was a blast. I am planning a special post just about this special event later this week, so stay tuned!

Plans for the holidays keep moving forward. I addressed the Christmas cards last night. We have one more present for Connor to purchase, but that is the very last one I need. The rest are ready to go. Of course, I have not baked a single cookie yet, nor do I know if I am going to do so. Jim makes his great-grandmother’s shortbread so often during the holidays, and there really is no better cookie. Besides, I really am trying to keep things simple this season. Cookies are not so simple. I may just recruit the kids to make them this year. We shall see.

This is the first year where both kids openly admit to not believing in Santa – Holly has been keeping that little tidbit to herself for the previous two years – so it is both a relief and slightly bittersweet trepidation we all face on Christmas morning. I am still holding back the kids’ presents so they still get that Christmas Eve anticipation. I know it won’t be the same though, and I will just have to make my peace with it.

Speaking of Christmas and the holidays, have you seen Postertext yet? I cannot get over how beautiful the prints are or the fact that they make these haunting images with nothing but words from the books they represent. I honestly cannot pick a favorite. Of course, I would want ones of my favorite books, but there are others that are just so gorgeous even if I am not a huge fan of the novel. Either way, they would make a fantastic gift idea for the booklover in your family, don’t you think (Jim – hint, hint)?

Tomorrow starts week two of the busiest work schedule ever. Auditor visits, month-end close, physical inventory, 2015 prep, systems relaunch meetings…you name it, it is probably on my calendar for sometime over the next two weeks. It makes the work days pass very quickly but I have a constant flitter of panic that it is impossible to accomplish it all. I was planning on taking the last two weeks of the year as vacation, as I do every year, but with all of the changes and understaffing, it is still up in the air. It makes for a challenging month. I guess it is a good thing that I really do thrive on challenge. There is nothing I like better than accomplishing the seemingly impossible.

In case you missed it this week, Holly posted another review. I will admit her reaction to Mr. Baldacci’s YA fantasy novel she read and her excitement at the news that it is a series really makes me want to read it. Other posts this week included the following:

I hope everyone is having a relaxing weekend and a peaceful Sunday. I’ll be puttering around the house, writing posts, and getting ready for next week in addition to rewatching one of the best series on television with my kids. Not a bad way to spend the day, if I do say so myself!

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