Sunday Salon…It’s October!

Sculpture by Yayoi Kusama installed on the pier of Naoshima Island

Last year I was so eager for autumn that I put up the few decorations I like at the end of August. It was a little lot too soon. By the time Halloween rolled around, I was thoroughly tired of the glass pumpkins we bought at the Morton Arboretum, the dried chestnuts we found at the dog park, and even the candy we’d purchased in preparation for Trick-or-treaters.

But, this year I waited until yesterday. Now I am sitting with gold velvet pillows, and a few small, paper bats from my classroom days, and pine cones from our front yard; it all feels very autumnal. These days hold great joy for me, largely in anticipation of cooler temperatures!

I have such exciting reads awaiting me. For both the R.I.P. XVI (@PerilReaders) and the 1976 club, I am planning to read Interview With the Vampire. Published May 5, 1976, when I was a mere sophomore in high school, this famous book is yet unread by me.

And, looking on to November I find myself greatly anticipating German Lit Month XI. There will be a read-along of The Passenger, which is an incredible read; I will be looking forward to that discussion. But, in perusing the selection of German literature from various prize lists, I came across In Times of Fading Light by Eugen Ruge (translated from the German by Anthea Bell).

An inter-generational family saga mirroring the rise and fall of the GDR, Eugen Ruge’s autobiographical debut novel tells of an imagined East German utopia and the ultimate failure of communism.

~Deutsche Welle

I am always so interested in Germany, ever since living there for several years while the wall was still up. Our landlord’s father was from East Germany; while he was visiting friends in West Germany the wall was erected. He never saw his family again. The buildings in our little town were riddled with bullet holes from WWII, and there seemed to be no men my father’s age. It was the closest I’ve ever come to experiencing war on a personal level.

Perhaps the stories from those who survived a communist or socialist government are suitable for the R.I.P. Challenge as well.

And you? Will you be reading for any of these challenges this October or November?

(Find more thoughts for the Sunday Salon here.)

37 thoughts on “Sunday Salon…It’s October!”

  1. Pushing the season here means many houses in my neighborhood already have a lawn decorated with gauze-draped witchy shapes surrounding a cauldron, skeletons pushing up through the grass or hanging from trees, and fake spider webs stuck on their hedges. I appreciate your strictly fall decor as described. For me, Sept. 17 is just too early to do Halloween.

    best… mae at maefood.blogspot.com

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  2. Love the Kusama pumpkin! She’s a fascinating artist and I’ve long intended to learn more about her art; it’s just so ecentric and so much fun to view.
    I was interested to see the German lit you plan to read. I haven’t read much in this area (I’m unfamiliar with these writers) but, as part of my effort to read more translated literature this year, I did recently finish Jenny Epenbeck’s Go, Went, Gone, which I found very powerful. You might be interested in the fact that it’s set in the former East Berlin, several years after unification; it’s fascinating to see how Erpenbeck portrays the adjustments her characters have made to the (radically) altered political situation.
    I’ll be very interested to learn your thoughts on Anne Rice’s Vampire. I think it’s a great horror classic myself (and much better than most of her other novels) but it’s quite transgressive (even after all these years I still find certain scenes quite shocking . . . ).
    Like you, I love autumn; it’s my favorite time of the year. Your decorations sound lovely.

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    1. I, too, found Go, Went, Gone very powerful! It opened my mind more than anything else I’ve read as to the dilemmas and pain involved with immigration.

      I’ve never seen that pumpkin sculpture, but when my husband and I were in Japan, posters of that pumpkin, and others like it, were everywhere. Of course, it was October.

      Hmmm, now I’m wondering if I’ll like Interview With A Vampire…there’s only so much I can read about and keep a peaceful heart. I’ll let you know.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’d love to know what’s on your list; I have “trouble” picking German and Spanish books for some reason, at least more difficulty than with Russian or Japanese, But, the one I decided on, In Times of Fading Light, has sold over 450,000 copies in Germany and won the 2011 German Book Prize. Not that it’s for everyone, but to me it sounds so promising.

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      1. Oh sure! Let me check…I see I have 5 books on my Goodreads German Lit shelf to choose from: 1. The Murder Farm by Schenkel 2. The Weekend by Schlink 3. Boy in a White Room by Olsberg 4. The Melting by Spit and 5. The Club by Wurger

        Boy and Melting were recommended by my friend who is an actual German and read the books in original German language.

        I’ve decided on Boy since I was able to get a paper copy of that (in English) from Abebooks.

        Happy reading!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thank you for getting back to me, Jinjer! I haven’t heard of the books you listed, but I am certainly grateful to have a list from which to draw upon. I haven’t read much German literature in my life, and I’m always looking for good titles. (It seems that I gravitate toward Japanese literature first. ☺️)

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  3. I was thinking of pulling out my autumn decorations this weekend but it did not happen. Perhaps this week at some point. I do love this time of year. I hope you enjoy Interview with a Vampire. I read it years ago and liked it. Although I am not participating in R.I.P., it seems like much of my reading would fit the criteria. I hope you enjoy your reading this fall season. Have a wonderful week!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You say much of your reading would fit the criteria of the R.I.P., which sounds like me! I either gobble up translated literature or psychological thrillers/mysteries as my go-to genres. I’m sure you’ll get what you want to put out by the end of October. As rushed as we are by the stores, there’s no need to put pressure on ourselves.

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  4. Your fall decor sounds lovely and just right. The extent of my fall decor this year is a wreath on my front door and a couple of small ceramic pumpkins.

    I am not participating in any of the challenges, but I enjoy hearing what others are reading for them.

    Have a great week!

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    1. You should see some of the ‘fall’ decorations in the yards of many people in our town; there are life size skeletons, blow-up mummies, witches stirring caldrons. It’s certainly not what I remember as a child, when all we would put out is carved jack-o-lanterns (with no orange “Christmas” lights!). I like wreaths and ceramic pumpkins; then the creatures can’t devour them and leave a messy doorstep for you to clean. ☺️

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  5. Such a lovely post, Bellezza. I can picture your decorations. They sound lovely. I hope you will like Interview with the Vampire. I absolutely loved her Witching Hour but the vampire books are great too.
    Thank you so much for mentioning GLM. I’m looking forward to The Passenger. I wish I could participate in R.I.P. but I’m afraid I won’t get the time.

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    1. Thank YOU for hosting the German Literature Month. As I look over the years I’ve read for various challenges, including yours of course, I see how richly I have been stretched beyond my comfort zone. I would never have picked up the likes of Buddenbrooks had it not been for you and your challenge. And now I’m just itching to begin In Times of Fading Light, which won the German Lit Prize in 2019 (I think that was the year).

      I will visit to see what everyone thinks of The Passenger, which was a brilliant choice for a group read. It absolutely mesmerized me. Xo

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      1. I’m glad you discovered new books. I have the Ruge on my piles too. He actually won the prize in 2011. He was part of our giveaway in the first or second GLM. In German. I’ve only heard great things. I hope there will be people joining the Readalong. It’s become more difficult over the years. But I’ll be happy to discuss it with you. Xx

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  6. I was thrilled to find copies of about forty Halloween-themed books that I plan to put out in my appropriately-decorated Little Free Library the week of Halloween.

    I am another person who is looking forward to the cooler temperatures of fall. Autumn, winter, and spring are fabulous where I live.

    Thank you for reminding me about the German Lit Month. I should post about it on the Classics Club, I think.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I love thinking of your appropriately-decorated Little Free Library with its treasure of Halloween themed books! Recipients will be so delighted, I’m sure. (Where do you live again?😉) I loved doing Halloween-y things with my class, such as folding origami bats, or frogs, playing Boo Bingo with candy corn, learning about spiders and their various kinds of webs…

      I hope you find time and interest to do the German Lit Month. It’s always quite enriching to me.

      And, thank you for hosting the Sunday Salon! I left a comment, but the different platforms were giving me fits yesterday; Blogger, WordPress, Disqus, they all wanted their own secret passwords which I stumbled around trying to input. I’ll double check your site.xo

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  7. I loved autumn too and was definitely ready for it to arrive! Will be interested to hear your thoughts on the Rice – read it back in the day and thought it was excellent, and definitely agree with Janakay – head and shoulders above the rest of her books!

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    1. My husband was the one who read all of Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles, and while he doesn’t really read much now, he did in his first job. His team in the computer room would take turns, one reading to the group until a novel was finished, and then beginning another. Doesn’t that sound wonderful?! Well, with all the comments about Interview with a Vampire, I’m certainly eager to see what it’s about, and where I fit within the opinions. I believe you, and Janakay, who say it’s far superior to the rest of her books. You two are so trustworthy!

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  8. Hey there, lady! I’m back to visiting your blog again and found your new site. So happy to ‘hear’ your voice. No, I’m doing decorations, but we’re still in the midst of our move to another town. Well, we’re not in the midst, but we’re waiting for some renovations to be scheduled and I’ve decided not to unpack things that will just have to be packed again when we do the changes. I am totally enjoying my reading again – so good for my mental space – and happily doing read/listens of many books for R.I.P. I walk and listen and come home and read in print – same book. It’s working well for me. Take care and enjoy your October and November reading!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, there, Kay! So glad you visited me here! Well, a move can’t be terribly fun when I think of packing, unpacking and renovations on top of it! Surely it will be worth it when you are settled again, and everything is sorted; it’s the getting there that’s the hard part for me. So glad you’re enjoying reading again. It reminds me of Lesley when you say you are listening to books; both of you are good in the auditory department! (Something I could definitely improve upon!) Have lovely walk in the autumnal weather, and I hope you see some beautiful colors, too!

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  9. I love fall, but have a hard time getting excited about it in SWFL. I’m glad we got to stay in the northeast long enough to experience some of the colors, sights, and smells of autumn. Hope you enjoy your upcoming RIP selection… we’re about the same vintage and I’ve never read it either. I’m also intrigued by your German Lit novel.

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    1. It was hard for me to get excited about Christmas when we were in the Keys for Christmas one year. The dolphin mailboxes were strung with lights, and the coconuts were painted red and green. We had a ‘traditional Christmas dinner’ which was just plain weird in 80 degree weather. I should have opted for lobster instead of turkey! But, Florida surely has other benefits: the beach, the sunset pictures you post…so lovely! It makes me smile that we “are the same vintage” and you haven’t read Anne Rice’s classic either. As for the German Lit novel, I read the sample on my nook and have definitely decided to buy it. I could not put it down, and it apparently won the German Lit Prize a few years ago. I’ll let you know my final thoughts when I have finished it.

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  10. I’m trying to remember when I read Interview With the Vampire and it had to have been in the late 80s, but I really don’t remember. We watched the movie, but I don’t know if that was before or after I read the book. I also don’t know if I went on to read any other of the books in that series, but my husband did. I wonder how you’ll like it.

    I’m enjoying the RIP challenge and am looking forward to putting together a stack for the Nonfiction November challenge. Those books tend to be lengthy, so I don’t read as many as I do for RIP (which is twice as long, too).

    Our front porch is decorated for autumn, but Halloween isn’t a favorite, so there aren’t any ghosts, bats, witches or Jack-O-Lanterns. Just pretty pumpkins and a wreath with autumn leaves. I love your glass pumpkins!

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    1. Wasn’t Tom Cruise in the film? Someone at the wedding we were at yesterday was mentioning that, about Interview With a Vampire. I couldn’t remember very much of what I read or saw in the 80’s either! Interestingly enough, my husband read the whole chronicles, too.

      Good for you to tackle Nonfiction November! Somehow, Nonfiction is not so appealing to me; it feels to much like school, when certainly there is much I still need to learn. Poetry and nonfiction are things I don’t pick up very often.

      I bet your front porch is beautiful! I know we would be similar in our decorations, using pretty pumpkins and wreaths. I have a smiling wooden jack-o-lantern from the days of my youth on our front door, and it makes me happy just looking at it. Nothing creepy for you and I! Xo

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      1. Yes, Tom Cruise was in the film, but I sure don’t remember much about it.

        I like certain types of nonfiction. Memoirs and travel essays are my favorite; history not so much. I’m always in the minority when I see glowing reviews for books by Erik Larson, Daniel Brown and Laura Hillenbrand.

        Sorry for the delay in responding to your reply. We’ve been on the road for the past 2 1/2 weeks and I’ve been ignoring my emails. 🙂 I hope you’re having a lovely weekend. We head home tomorrow and it’s currently raining cats & dogs, so I’ve made a big mug of tea and plan to curl up with my current book (a Deborah Crombie mystery) and spend the rest of the day reading. That is, after I respond to emails and compose my review for Hannah Tinti’s fabulous novel, The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley. I loved it!!

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  11. Have fun with Anne Rice. She’s a master storyteller. Hard to believe it was 1976 when that book came out. I remember reading her novel The Witching Hour … which was so good! I was turning the pages quickly. Enjoy.

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    1. I looked at the button created for the 1976 club, and I thought a similar thing: it’s hard to believe it was that long ago! Look how differently we dressed then! In many ways, it seems much closer in time than it actually is. I’ve never read The Witching Hour, but I’ll have to keep it in mind for the R.I.P. Challenge which comes around every year.

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    1. I just began Interview With a Vampire a few days ago, and it’s creepy! I get the “sensual connotations” reviewers have used to describe it, but there’s also the application to rosaries and churches and the devil which creep me out. We’ll see if I can finish it. 😉

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  12. Ah, The Passenger! It was translated into Dutch much earlier than into English, so I hoped to read it and review it early. Sadly, the library didn’t have it, I procrastinated about buying it, then when I did, I bought the ebook and forgot to read it. I suspect I’m far too disorganised for readalongs, but I have read a translated German book this year: Corpus Delicti/The Method by Juli Zeh. I’ll try to post a review of that in November. I’ll probably read some novellas for #NovNov, too, and I need to catch up on my reading about other countries, so that may well fit into Non-fiction November. The autumn is time to panic about all the year-long challenges that I want to complete.

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    1. I know just what you mean! I, too, buy books in anticipation of a read along, and then completely forget I own them, or run out of time to complete them. May we remember the joy of reading, not the job! And, The Passenger is short but so powerful!

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    1. I saw pictures of it broken up…😔I hope it can be properly repaired. You know how the Japanese repair something with gold? Maybe they can do that, or something like it here. They have a beautiful way of making the smashed seem whole again, even better than it was before.

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