The act of reading ... begins on a flat surface, counter or page, and then gets stirred and chopped and blended until what we make, in the end, is a dish, or story, all our own.
— Adam Gopnik

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July 4, 2021

Paris in July!


After having high hopes last year, then not participating at all, I've been especially looking forward to Paris in July this year.  July will be my last month of working full-time from home (we wander back to the office in August) so I'm trying to make the most of the extra time working this way has sometimes given me.But I've also promised myself that I won't overpromise ... one book and one new recipe, at a minimum. Still, the book is underway, and I've also been watching something on Netflix, and they're both very promising. And I think there will be more.

The book:

This is a new novel, with alternating chapters set in Paris during WWII and in Montana in the 1980s, and tells the story of a young French woman, Odile, who works at the American Library in Paris, and Lily, a teenager who befriends the mysterious older woman who lives next door. 

The series:

Shall we call it by its French name, Dix Pour Cent?  I am never an early adopter of Netflix series (so I'm still on season 1) but I am getting to be pretty good at binge-watching to catch up. :)  And my favorite thing about watching so far is to try to see how much of the French I can understand (not that much, but some).

Thanks again to notre ami Tamara for hosting Paris in July.

February 15, 2021

In winter, we are called inside ...


      In the high summer, we want to be outside and active; in winter, we are called inside ... Winter is when I reorganise my bookshelves and read all the books I acquired in the previous year and failed to actually read. It is also the time when I reread beloved novels, for the pleasure of reacquainting myself with old friends. In summer, I want big splashy ideas and trashy page-turners, devoured while lounging in a garden chair or perching on one of the breakwaters on the beach. In winter, I want concepts to chew over in a pool of lamplight -- slow, spiritual reading, a reinforcement of the soul. Winter is a time for libraries, the muffled quiet of bookstacks and the scent of old pages and dust. In winter, I can spend hours in silent perusal of a half-understood concept or a detail of history. There is nowhere else to be, after all.
      Winter opens up time. ...

from Wintering: the power of rest and retreat in difficult times
by Katherine May


February 14, 2021

In the almost-morning


      Once I abandon the fight to return to sleep and claim my wakefulness, I can find a slanting love for this part of the night, the almost-morning. ... Mostly I read at this hour. perusing the pile of books that live by my favorite chair, waiting to offer up fragments of learning, rather then inviting cover-to-cover pursuits.  I browse a chapter here, a segment there, or hunt through an index for a matter that's on my mind. I love such loose, exploratory reading. For once, I am not reading to escape; instead, having already made my getaway, I am able to roam through the extra space I've found. as restless and impatient as I like ... They say thay we should dance like one is watching. I think that applies to reading, too.

from Wintering:  the power of rest and retreat in difficult times,
by Katherine May

{The painting is 'Winter Primula,' by Winifred Nicholson.}

January 3, 2021

Anticipation: Biography edition


Oh, yes, please!  I don't see a U.S. publication date but it looks like it will be out in the UK in April. I shan't wait.

December 30, 2020

Favorites from this year


For me, this was unquestionably a strange year for reading, for reasons beyond the pandemic, but I loved these five books (listed in the order that they were read) and greatly enjoyed many others ... and because this year was sort of a missed opportunity, I'm especially looking forward to all the reading I'll do next year. :)

Thank you for visiting this year, and for sharing books with me here and in other places ... and I hope you have a safe and especially happy new year.


December 23, 2020

Before the snow goes...


This is what I love about experiencing the world at walking pace:  the small but significant luxury of having the time and headspace to notice details that make me feel part of my surroundings, a sense of belonging rather than passing through.

from Thinking on my feet:  the small joy of putting
one foot in front of another
, by Kate Humble

A lovely book to be walking with! 

December 20, 2020

Elf on a (book)shelf


My Christmas spirit definitely needs some boosting this year, but I'm getting there -- with the snow, and some extra time off before Christmas to bake cookies, and most of all, with the early gift of very easy and brilliantly successful surgery to fix a vision impairment that emerged earlier this fall. I can read again!! 

And with lovely bookish friends. I've already started a Christmas mystery by a favorite author (thanks to Frances!), and that started me thinking about looking for more Christmas books.  And that started me wondering about an Anthony Trollope Christmas book of some kind that I vaguely remembered from a few years ago, when I first went Trolloping with JoAnn.  And there it was, on my bookshelf.  It was either there and forgotten all along, or there was an elf.  I know which one I'm going to believe in. 🎄 

Thank you for visiting!

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