Sunday, April 13, 2008

Sunday Salon


The Sunday Salon.com

When I first decided to participate in the Sunday Salon, I thought it would be easy to find time to both read and write about it on Sundays. I mistakenly thought I read quite a bit on the weekends. But I've since realized how wrong I was! Last Sunday, for example, I only read The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Go Away, Big Green Monster!...though I did read them both at least six times. This weekend we have houseguests, so it's even harder to get a few pages in.

But I did manage to sneak away and read some of Orhan Pamuk's Istanbul: Memories and the City, which I got from BookMooch. So far I'm really enjoying Pamuk's very personal style. In speaking about his family's apartments, he describes the gallery of family photos kept by his grandmother. Once enshrined there, a family member's photo was never moved. His musings on the family photographs resonated with me:
My prolonged study of these photographs led me to appreciate the importance of preserving certain moments for posterity, and in time I also came to see what a powerful influence these framed scenes exerted over us as we went about our daily lives...(I) was pulled in two directions, wanting to get on with life but also longing to capture the moment of perfection, savoring the ordinary but also honoring the ideal. But even as I pondered these dilemmas--if you pluck a special moment from life and frame it, are you defying death, decay and the passage of time or are you submitting to it?--I grew very bored with them.
I'm not very far into the book yet, but I appreciate Pamuk's blending of memoir with the history of his beloved city. His gift for description makes the city come alive--and makes me want to visit Istanbul someday!

I was also inspired by Pamuk's writing about his city to include a photo I took of my own city. In it I'm parked along Hollywood Blvd, and the Hollywood hills are behind me in the mirror, veiled in a typical Los Angeles haze.

10 comments:

Lisa said...

I can sympathize with you regarding finding time to read on the weekends. It stands to reason to think that I should be able to read more on the weekends when I'm home, but I always get more reading done during the week. Sorry if I've mentioned this before, but I'm just slightly overwhelmed at the moment. I started a new job today and had about a million things thrown at me. So ignore this if I've already told you. I've moved my blog (formerly PfeifferBooknotes). You can now find me at Booknotes by Lisa at www.Booknotesbylisa.blogspot.com.

Gentle Reader said...

lisa--I'm overwhelmed too, always! I read about your new job on your blog--sounds good! Good luck with the new job--I hope you enjoy it. I'll link you in at your new address on my blogroll :)

Bybee said...

I really like your Sunday Salons.

litlove said...

I think it must be hard to find time to read with three children on any day of the week! So glad to know you are enjoying the Pamuk, which I intend to get hold of myself one of these days. And love the photo - such a cool shot!

tanabata said...

I don't always get much read on the weekends either. It often depends on the weather!
I have yet to read anything by Pamuk although I do have 'My Name is Red' on the pile to read soon.

Gentle Reader said...

bybee--thanks!--I don't get to them as much as I'd like, but it's nice to have a reading "check-in" like the salon.

litlove--I've realized the only reliable time for me to read is at night after the kids are in bed. But then I'm so tired, I often just fall asleep...I'm enjoying Pamuk's style, must read a novel of his one of these days!

tanabata--the weather thing is a problem here, too--if it's a beautiful day, we're out and about, and not reading! I've heard My Name is Red is good--let me know if you get to it!

Amateur Reader said...

Istanbul is beyond wonderful.

Gentle Reader said...

amateur reader--my parents visited a few years back and thought it was a wonderful city. One of these days, I hope to get there :)

Dewey said...

Haha, I remember those days of reading the same book over and over again! My son still reads the same books over and over, but at least he doesn't want to sit on my lap, which is a relief, because he may weigh more than I do now. I wonder if your child snuck in a few extra reads from the houseguests!

Gentle Reader said...

dewey--lol, she probably did sneak in a few extra reads! Our guests have two daughters, and because they're older, my daughter followed them around like a puppy. I'm sure she coerced one or both of them to read to her, too.