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The Sunday Salon: On Books, Blogging, and My Broadcasting

The Sunday Salon.com I have three sorts of things I want to write about for Sunday Salon today, so I broke them into clever alliterative headings. “Books” is about my reading life this week, “Blogging” is about some minor changes to Sophisticated Dorkiness, and “My Broadcasting” is about some writing I had published around the web this week. Happy Sunday!


the ominvore's dilemmaFirst, some musings on my bookish life. It’s been another slow, slow reading week around here. I’m working through The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan and listening to Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. It’s an interesting compare and contrast; they’re both about food and food systems, but so far each book puts very different values on the issue. Kingsolver’s book resonates with themes of family, locality, and personal responsibility. Pollan’s book, in contrast, thinks more about farmers and larger cultural and political changes. I love the differences, even if I can’t articulate their importance just yet.

I’m also reading The Djinn in the Nightingale’s Eye by A.S. Byatt for book club, which might be meeting next week. I chose this book because I had it on my shelf and wanted to read some Byatt. It’s a book of fairy tales, which are fun to read, but so far I’m not sure how discussable they are. I haven’t found a lot of controversy or things people may react strongly too, but I’m only about half way in. There might be more there in the future.


And now for blogging! I’ve decided that, for the moment, I need to start posting a little bit less. I feel like I’ve neglected some of the other responsibilities there are in the book blogging community, namely commenting and interacting on other blogs, in favor of writing here on my own. I’ve not been reading other blogs and much and I miss that.

Plus, I don’t like writing really short posts and long posts take a long time to write and edit. I like writing lots about the books I read and I like writing long posts musing on issues of books and journalism and blogging and reading. I want to focus on that rather than posting shorter things less often.

So for the next several months, at least, I’m going to move to only posting 3, possibly 4, times a week. I’ll miss getting new comments everyday on new posts, but hopefully with longer posts and more interaction I’ll start getting more comments which will make up for that. We’ll see… in either case, it’ll be a newish direction for the blog that I’m experimenting with.

My Broadcasting

Ok, what I really mean is writing, but that’s the best alliterative synonym I could come up with. I had another blog post about brain imaging and breakfast cravings published Eat. Drink. Better., so check it out if you’re interested.

WI book festival

I also covered the Wisconsin Book Festival for a local blog, Dane 101. I wrote a preview of the festival, then some reviews/stories from a couple panels I went to. The first panel was Jonah Lehrer, author of How We Decide and Proust Was a Neuroscientist. His speech was fascinating, although Boyfriend thought it was simplistic (but he studies psych and neuroscience, so whatever). I also went to a reading with two YA novelists: Laura Schaefer (author of The Teashop Girls), and Claudia Guadalupe Martinez (author of The Smell of Old Lady Perfume).  Bboth Laura and Claudia were such fun to listen to!


If you read this far, thank you! That’s a lot of stuff to cover, but life is sort of busy that way. Now I want you to fill me in on you: What has been going on in your book-ish, blog-ish, or other-ish life this week?

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Nicole October 11, 2009, 4:25 pm

    It had been a slow reading week for me as well. I was sick, and enough that I was unable to read, for three days, but I made up for it yesterday by reading two books from start to finish and finishing a third.

    I’m also trying to strike the balance with posting. Like you said writing and editing longer posts can be a timely process and my commenting does suffer when I post a lot. It’s been hard for me to figure out the right schedule, ut I keep trying,

    • Kim October 13, 2009, 9:15 pm

      Yay finishing books! I think scheduling is a really, really hard thing to do with blogging. There are always things you can be doing, but it’s important to remember to do the things you want to be doing. We’ll see how the newish posting goes. I’ve already been leaving more comments, something I’m really happy about.

  • Memory October 12, 2009, 1:29 pm

    Sounds like there are some interesting contrasts between THE OMNIVORE’S DILEMMA and ANIMAL, VEGETABLE, MIRACLE. I’ve already read the latter and plan to get through Pollan’s book sometime in the next couple of months. I’m looking forward to seeing how their different perspectives work with and against one another.

    • Kim October 13, 2009, 9:16 pm

      It is an interesting contrast. Kingsolver is so involved with her issue, she’s living it, which makes the book much more personal. Pollan is a little more dry, I think, because he keeps some of his journalistic objectivity. But his book also seems more applicable, at least to me, which is interesting too.

  • Liz October 12, 2009, 1:50 pm

    Woah — you’re so busy! I completely understand about your wanting to interact with other book blogs, and so posting less on your own. I love, love love meandering through the Internet world and finding various book blogs. I get such good recommendations, and am exposed to so many books I wouldn’t have looked at or heard about otherwise.

    For me, reading wise, I’m about to finish a book on tape (name utterly escapes me, but it has “Death” and “party” in it and it’s a Max/Annie Darling mystery. It’s been quite fun, and I was right about the murderer! I’m also nearly done with my non-fiction book that a reviewer friend gave to me — she really enjoyed it and so have I. It’s about what our unconscious knows and how our unconscious affects just about everything in life. (The book is “What you Don’t Know You Know,” by Kenneth Eisold.) It’s really very intresting, and helps provide a better understanding of the complexity of human motivation. If nothing else, it will make you more aware and savvy about the ways in which we’re being manipulated.

    And now I’m going to try to take a look at some of the stuff you had published this week. Happy writing.

    • Kim October 13, 2009, 9:17 pm

      This week was especially busy, which was sort of tiring. But yeah, I am sort of busy… I like it that way though 🙂

      The Eisold book sounds fascinating — I’m curious about brains and neuroscience more since I started dating Boyfriend and since I went to the speaker on Friday. The brain is such a fascinating thing.

      Thanks for visiting!

  • Liz October 12, 2009, 1:50 pm

    Love the name of your blog by the way. I’ll have to come again!

  • Tracie Yule October 12, 2009, 1:52 pm

    I know that it is very hard to have a balance between your blog and interacting with others. I’m fairly new…well, I consider myself to be a beginner and I’m still trying to figure out what the balance is. Striking balance is always the life long struggle.

    Life here in MN got really cold, really fast. Plus, I have a sick kid. Combine all those things and I have a really clean house and I a lot of reading accomplished.

    • Kim October 13, 2009, 9:18 pm

      Everyone’s figuring out the balance, new and old 🙂

      I haven’t wanted to leave my apartment much since the cold hit! I have friends and family back in MN who have been talking about the snow — thank goodness I don’t have any here yet!

  • Michelle October 13, 2009, 4:12 am

    I think it’s a fabulous idea to cut back posting so you can participate more elsewhere. I know I’d like to be more active as well but sometimes I just get behind! Looking forward to seeing you out and about in the blogosphere.

    • Kim October 13, 2009, 9:19 pm

      Thanks Michelle — I sort of feel perpetually behind, but oh well, that’s life I guess 🙂

  • Eva October 14, 2009, 3:20 am

    I think the quality v. quantity approach to blog posts is a great idea! I hope you do follow-up posts on how it works for you. 🙂

    • Kim October 15, 2009, 6:39 pm

      Eva: Yeah, we’ll see how it works. I’m aiming for that over the next few months and will probably re-evaulate around Christmas to see how things are going 🙂

  • Care October 14, 2009, 5:43 am

    I think an every-other-plus-day-posting goal is wonderful idea. To be honest, when I see some of the blogs in my reader constantly having 10+ posts I haven’t read, I tend to then not read ANY. how bad is that?! (not you, by the way, but I’m starting to not check my reader every day so it fills up fast.)

    • Kim October 15, 2009, 6:39 pm

      Care: I do that too, which is one of the reasons I started thinking about posting less. I’ve got my blog reading on a sort of rotation where I go through a folder every 3 days or so and if one blogger has a ton of posts I skip some. I don’t skip you either 🙂

  • Rebecca Reid October 14, 2009, 6:51 pm

    I’m with you on the slowing down. I’m aiming for 3 or 4 posts a week instead of 5 or 6. I’m burning out as well and need to prioritize better!

    • Kim October 15, 2009, 6:40 pm

      Rebecca: Exactly, priorities! I want to read more 🙂