I hope everyone is enjoying the dog days of summer! I’ve been indulging my love of the heat, elaxation, time with my sweetie and reading on beaches all over. Though this photo shows me catching up on back issues of The Atlantic, I’ve also been reading plenty of books in diverse genres, plus enjoying a number of other adventures. Here’s what I’ve been into this month!
This was the third book of the trilogy I began in June. All I can say is that it perfectly lived up to its rave reviews. Marilynne Robinson is a master of writing about people’s inner lives. Magnificent.
A Legacy (New York Review Books Classics)
I had never heard of Sybille Bedford until I went looking for a novel that I could download from the library for my midwest trip (more on that later). A Legacy is her semi-autobiographical gem set in continental Europe around the turn of the 20th-century. There is political intrigue, family drama, tortured love, and tragic illness. Think “War and Peace” without all the boring War parts. And with no real Peace either, but you get what I mean. Check this one out.
Ed Cyzewski is a lovely author and human. I admire him so much that I even learned to spell his last name without looking (though let’s be honest, I double checked this time). He compiles his series of blogposts about parenting as a freelance writer. As my dear one and I begin to contemplate moving from the newlywed phase into being newlyparents, Ed’s realistic but ultimately hopeful take on the challenges and blessings of adding little one to the mix does a bit to assuage the inevitable terror about the prospect of completely disrupting our lives.
A creatively written novel from Julia Alvarez about an immigrant family with four daughters was one of my first beach reads this summer. Not life-changing but very enjoyable.
At some point in the fall I will be leading small group of students in a discussion of this book, so I figured that for once I might try not leaving things until the last minute. This is a rich young adult novel that could also be a satisfying beach read. To summarize: poor little rich girl has a terribly mysterious accident, with secrets.
When I’m not reading books…
After three very enjoyable conversations last month on Elizabeth‘s show, she invited me to be a biweekly guest. I’ll be joining her every other Friday (what we have jokingly dubbed “Felice Fridays”) to discuss current events in the Catholic world. I have a great love of week-in-review roundtables so this ongoing engagement is a particular dream for me! Here are the podcasts from this month.
- 7/24/15 – We talked about Cuba, religious persecution in the Middle East, Robert Barron’s appointment as auxiliary bishop of LA, military chaplaincy, and the mayors conference on climate change at the Vatican.
- 7/10/15 – We couldn’t resist talking about Laudato Si, plus the Pope in South America, and the World Youth Day kickoff.
One of my favorite bands, they played a free concert on Boston Common as part of the Outside the Box music festival. I’ve also been into their latest album, which I was inspired to finally download before heading in with some besties to enjoy the outdoor concert.
As an aside, years ago I made the hard decision to stay in Boston instead of returning to Connecticut to be closer to my family. I knew that as a musician I needed to be somewhere that had many performance opportunities. But also, the part of me that loves excitement and energy and events wanted to be somewhere I could find all of those things on the ready. Concerts like this, being able to take public transportation and sit on an iconic patch of grass and meet up with other friends from the city, this was what I had in mind when I decided to settle in the city.
A few months ago I met a really talented couple during a show. I knew they could sing and act, that they were funny and friendly and talented, but it wasn’t until I saw their blog, Port Potager, that I developed major garden envy. Definitely visit their garden blog for a real-life take on creating a verdant home!
I made my first visit to South Bend as part of Notre Dame Vision’s inaugural Summer Conference for Liturgical Music Ministers and was absolutely blown away by the program. They have been serving youth and youth ministers for years and I am so impressed that they have decided to add a music ministry track. You can read my remarks from the conference here, here and here.
I’m performing this weekend with Greater Lowell Music Theatre in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. This sort of broad comedy is not what I usually do, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to give it a shot and learn from the best. Eddie Mekka is our star as Pseudolus and he is magnetic. If you’re local, check us out! Photo below is of the company, taken by Tory Germann.
Because having 4 or 5 jobs wasn’t enough for me, I applied to serve as the Interim Administrative Director for this local singers’ advocacy and resource group. I am a longtime member and have gained so much from BSR; it would have felt ungrateful not to apply for the job of administrator as the longtime director and founder, Lynn Shane, steps aside. I’m so honored to be following in her footsteps and am excited to get back in the arts admin mix after a few years off! (You may recall in the early days of this blog I was president of Boston Opera Collaborative)
Living in the same city as my husband
You may recall that my sweet and I decided to get married not knowing if we would still be a long-distance couple after the wedding. Through hard work, ambition and the grace of God he was able to move up here with a new job a few months before the wedding, and we have started our married life able to see each other every day. This makes me very happy. I’ll leave you with a gorgeous sunset panorama he took from our balcony this month.
I’m linking up as always with Leigh Kramer, so be sure to head over there and see what other folks are into, and let me know what you’re into this month!
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