I decided to start participating in Sunday Salon because I think it will give me good impetus to blog more generally about reading and reading habits, which is something this blog needs. For anyone unfamiliar, Sunday Salon is hosted by Deb Hamel at The-DEBlog.com.
Here is how Deb describes the Sunday Salon:
Imagine some university library’s vast reading room. It’s filled with people–students and faculty and strangers who’ve wandered in. They’re seated at great oaken desks, books piled all around them, and they’re all feverishly reading and jotting notes in their leather-bound journals as they go. Later they’ll mill around the open dictionaries and compare their thoughts on the afternoon’s literary intake….
That’s what happens at the Sunday Salon, except it’s all virtual. Every Sunday the bloggers participating in that week’s Salon get together–at their separate desks, in their own particular time zones–and read. And blog about their reading. And comment on one another’s blogs. Think of it as an informal, weekly, mini read-a-thon, an excuse to put aside one’s earthly responsibilities and fall into a good book.
I think this just sounds cool, so I’m in. Today, my first Sunday has been mostly school reading; I’ve tackled a few excerpts about the rise of mass society and it’s relationship to journalism. One really interesting piece was an excerpt from Middletown: A Study in Modern American Culture by Robert S. Lynd and Helen Merrell Lynd. Robert and Helen were sociologists in the early 1900s who spend decades doing an in-depth field study of the town of Muncie, Indiana. The section I read is about the changing leisure time they saw in the community in the 1920s. The observed that people are spend more of their leisure times in small groups or with family, and are increasingly turning to escapist entertainment like movies or magazines — stuff where they can experience “vicarious living in fictional form” to feed their “amusement hungry” culture. It’s a funny excerpt because the problems the Lynd’s observe are so similar to the things were criticize pop culture for today!
Yesterday, as a little retail therapy to get over what has been a personally tough week, I bought In The Land of Invisible Women by Qanta A. Ahmed, M.D. (inspired by my Weekly Geeks interview with Christine) and The Gravedigger’s Daughter by Joyce Carol Oates. I love Joyce Carol Oates immensely; The Falls and We Were the Mulvaneys are two of my favorite books. Her books end up being sort of similar in theme, how tragedy changes people and their relationships with others, but there is something about how she writes that draws me in every time. So, I’m excited to get further into The Gravedigger’s Daughter after I get my homework done!