Showing posts from 2018

Catherine E. Mckinley had a deep desire to know about Indigo. It became her purpose.

"We watched the woman disappear into the bend of the road. It was unsettling. She seemed possessed, driven by some mimetic force. I was afraid that that force was also a part of me. I was also a worshiper, set wandering in an unfamiliar land."

It seems this week I have been driven to write about my mother. It has happened more than once. Here she is again. Tapping my shoulder a reminder that she loved blue. There is the one and only photo of her where she wears a dress of blue. The photo was taken years and years ago. In the photo are my two nephews, my mother and myself.. The photo was taken in West Philadelphia. She sewed it. A light blue that now I wish to call "Indigo." I have much to learn about Indigo. It is easy to pick up on the author, Catherine E. Mckinley's, fervent love for the color. One day my son asked me my favorite color. I said, "I don't have one." I don't. Perhaps, I choose colors by mood. Today red  and tomorrow green, there…

Are these the types of lives we are seeing and reading about in the news today?

"The difference between life and death was information:..the greatest danger was not the river, but the desert beyond. There the temperatures were so hellish they melted stones, there was no water, and they could be preyed upon by scorpions, wildcats, and hungry real coyotes...Rattlesnakes, as well as coral, moccasin, and darting indigo snakes, came out to hunt at night, the time when the migrants set off, because the daytime heat was lethal."isabelallende

"Call it blue gold, the devil's dye, or the cloth of history" --Margo Jefferson, author of On Michael Jackson (Bloomsbury)


"Blue is one of nature's rarest colors. Indigo, a dye obtained from the tiny leaves of small parasitic shrubs that are part of the Indigofererearsa tribe, creates the bluest of blues."rosecityreader

Nigeria, Africa (Azure) A novel

"I will tell you that you could be a different kind of fishermen. Not the kind that fish at a filthy swamp like the Omi-Ala, but fishermen of the mind. Go-getters. Children who will dip their hands into rivers, seas, oceans of this life and become successful: doctors, pilots, professors, lawyers. Eh? He gazed around again. "Those are the kinds of fishermen I want to have as children."

I don't know what will happen in the lives of these four brothers. I already feel excited. My curiosity is jumping like a Jack-in-the- Box. To their father, their parents, education is very, very important. That means getting a Western education. Yes, English is spoken in the home. How amazing that the author, Chigozie Obioma, chose the number four. Four in my life has been magical and spiritual. It is a number meaning unconditional love. Love that brought happiness and freedom. It is a number that has overflowed dams of water with five, six, seven and on and on pass my knowledge but n…

The Tuscan Child by Rhys Bowen

Go to Tuscany, Italy by ship or boat or just by Armchair Travel and meet the wonderful characters written about in Rhys Bowen's novel. The novel takes place during the Second World War and also in the nineteen seventies. When a father dies and is found by his daughter, Joanna asks many questions. She wonders about a brother  whom she has never met. When Joanna leaves England and lands in Italy, much about her father and the people in his life will come to light. Of course, there are the atrocities of war to live through. There are the characters the village who lead secret lives. There is also the unexpected Romance.

Rhys Bowen shares the beauty of Tuscany. Among the olive groves are the names of famous artists and their paintings which were stolen during the war, and always there is hospitality. Italian dishes are named. It is difficult not to close the book and go out to eat. Throughout the pages of the book is the bravery of the Italians and one English soldier named Hugo. Wa…

From 1944 to 1973 back and forth in time

"It was clear that he had left right after breakfast. The remains of a boiled egg, toast in the silver toast rack, an empty teacup, and a milk jug stood on the table. This I actually found reassuring. If he had been meaning to kill himself he would certainly not have had a boiled egg for breakfast first. Neither would he have left the milk out to spoil."

All That Is Gone by Pramoedya Ananta Toer / Penguin

It's short stories. I'm in the mood. Spring is almost gone, and I'm just realizing it was here. Bird songs haven't been plentiful which reminds me of the bird on the cover. He's crying! The author is Indonesian. He is likened to Albert Camus. I like the review written by USA Today on the

"Here is an author half a world away from us whose art and humanity are both so great that we instantly feel we've known him--and he us--all our lives."

Still reading and loving The Gardens of Kyoto by Kate Walbert

I am really savoring the novel named and photographed below. Not far into the novel, the famous poem Ode To A Grecian Urn by John Keats is named. This morning these lines spoke to me. It is a reminder that with me always are those who have gone permanently from my life whether in death or for some other reason. God is so kind. He does not allow the full pain of death's sting to reach us. I can just close my eyes and see and hear those I've loved in the past. Definitely, they were my "bliss."

yet, do not grieve;
She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss,
Forever wilt thou love, and she be fair!

John Keats Ode To A Grecian Urn

First Chapter, First Paragraph (A Tuesday Weekly Meme)

"I had a cousin, Randall, killed on Iwo Jima. Have I told you? The last man killed on the island, they said, killed after the fighting had ceased and the rest of the soldiers had already been transported away to hospitals or to bodybags. Killed mopping up. That's what they called it. A mopping-up operation."

Why did I pick this Historical novel? It's because there aren't any facts in my head about Iwo Jima. Only the name comes to mind. Don't worry ; I'm not a warmonger. Really, I adore peace and desire it with all my heart. Peace is like a handsome man watched on the movie screen, and you can't reach him.  However, I'm one of those readers who follow the words whispered in her heart. So, after reading "A Pale View Of Hills" by Kazuo Ishiguro, my hands kept reaching for Kate Walbert's novel. Maybe it's because of the word gardens in the title. Truly, I think it's because of the personal way the first paragraph is written. It&#…

Book Beginnings

"The Banker's Wife by Cristina Alger"


"At London RAF Northolt airport, very few planes were cleared for takeoff. The crosswinds were strong; the downpour of sleet reduced visibility to nil."

From the first line, you're sucked into the suspenseful novel. I look forward to getting back to reading it today. Maybe "sucked in" is a poor choice of words.

The Shoemaker's Daughter by Adriana Trigliani

Back and forth to Italy to New York, the rich characters in Adriana Trigliani's novel are followed through their marriages, births, and deaths. We learn to appreciate the Italians love for family and beauty in the Italian Alps. The author makes the reader comfortable while learning the Art of Shoemaking, while learning a bit about Catholicism and dressmaking and also, the culture of cuisine and music.  The thoughts in the novel do not take away from your beloved culture. The stories within The Shoemaker's Daughter add to your life story.

All of us who live on Earth seem to at one time or another live through wars and the deaths of those whom we love. Enza, a wife, and Ciro, her husband, and others live in such a way that their hardiness finds a place in our hearts. We want to live, grieve, leave and question as they so gracefully do on the mountain.

I did have a question about the Priest Gregorio. One of the main characters Ciro sees the Priest in a delicate moment that should…

"A Pale View of Hills means much more than it says" Review by The New York Times Book Review


The Shoemaker's Wife by Adriana Trigiani

"...There was no rest. There was no peace to be made with death. Conversations steered around it. Some men asked their fellow soldiers to shoot them if they were left without limbs. Others vowed to turn their guns on themselves if captured. It seemed every soldier had his own ideas about how to control the outcome of war, knowing he was powerless to change what fate had in store for him."

Quiet, liked to do crossword puzzles and...

"I realized an eternal truth: death makes people hungry. Either because they've decided to embrace life to the fullest in the wake of another's death, or maybe because they don't know what to talk about at such an event. In any case, the guests made a nice dent to the food. No one held back."

"Everybody's Son" by Thrity Umigar

Once Upon A Spine by Kate Carlisle

"For weeks now I'd been visiting the book almost daily. It was a little embarrassing to continually beg the bookstore owner to let me hold it, page through it, study it. I just wanted to touch it, stroke it, and once, when he wasn't looking, sniff it. But he didn't seem to mind my fixation. He's as big a book nerd as I am."

I love this series.

The Best Loved Poems Of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis by Caroline Kennedy

"You can tell the world what you want from it...All the changes in the world, for good or evil, were first brought about by words." Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

So many poets in one work: Langston Hughes, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, William Shakespeare, Jean Toomer, Chang Wu - chien, Mary Austin, Elizabeth Bishop, etc.  Beautiful photos as well.

Milk! A 10,000-Year Food Fracas

 "It is sometimes claimed that ice cream was first served in Philadelphia on July 15, 1782, at the French Mission, where George Washington was an honored guest. ARC

Rain And Langston Hughes




It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

What I Read Last Week

I finished "One Book In The Grave" by Kate Gillespie. It's a cozy. I really liked it especially because one man chose a unique way to lead a new life in society. Then, there is a woman delivered in a box. Dead or alive? I'm not telling. 

What I Am Reading Now

Now, I am reading "Mademoiselle Chanel by C.W. Gortner. It's like a rag to riches biography. CoCo Chanel is first an orphan. Then, she rises and becomes a business woman. Sixty and more people become her employees in designing hats, evening wear. Now, she is involved in the world of perfume.

What I Will Read Next?

I want to read "Glory Over Everything" by Kathleen Grissom. It's a library book. I loved this author's first book "The Kitchen House." I also just received a copy of Milk! A 10,000-Year Food Fracas by Mark Kurlansky.

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Mademoiselle Chanel by C.W. Cortner

"Italy enchanted me. I had never been abroad and was swept up in the crumbling mosaic grandeur and serpentine waterways of Venice, where we stayed on the Lido, its stony beach washed by the turquoise lagoon."

Glory Over Everything by Kathleen Grissom Beyond The Kitchen House

"I looked at my hands to see if I was the same person now I was free. There was such a glory over everything. The sun came up like gold through the trees, and I felt like I was in heaven."

                                                                           --Harriet Tubman

Dover Beach by Mattehew Arnold

Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.

One Book In The Grave by Kate Carlisle

"Hello. My name is Brooklyn Wainwright and I am a book addict. It was Friday morning and I was on my way to the Covington Library to sniff out my personal version of crack cocaine: books. Old, rare, and beautiful."

Kate Carlisle doesn't wait to feed the reader's addiction. Immediately, there is interesting trivia about books. The cozy is just as friendly as the beginning sentence where Brooklyn gives her name. The cozy is also very serious in tone. When a person is harrassed, he might do anything. The mind becomes very creative and imaginative.

Wondrous Words
A fortepiano [ˌfɔrteˈpjaːno] is an early piano. In principle, the word "fortepiano" can designate any piano dating from the invention of the instrument by Bartolomeo Cristofori around 1700 up to the early 19th century. Most typically, however, it is used to refer to the late-18th to early-19th century instruments for which Haydn ...

The Lost Memoirs Of Jane Austen by Syrie James

"We found and hired the requisite help; my pianoforte arrived, along with a few other pieces of needed furniture; and we fell into a new routine."

The Lost Memoirs Of Jane Austen by Syrie James

Any recommendations or information about Jane Austen? I'm in the mood to hear bits of gossip from friends and share a cup of tea or two. I'm in the mood for love in a Classical style. By the way, it's still National Poetry Month. I'm enjoying it more than ever. I've been entranced with the Harlem Renaissance which happened during the Twenties. Persia Walker is an author who can make you really feel that period and see it too through her mysteries. .

Sotheby's was not to handle this auction.

"I gave in to my curiosity about the house. The place was enormous. I'd read that it contained eighteen rooms. That included seven master bedrooms,a grand reception hall, a library, three salons and a formal dining room...The gavel fell just as I arrived and the auction began. The first item up was an exquisite pink diamond-and-ruby studded tiara and necklace set."

Touched by An Angel by Maya Angelou

We, unaccustomed to courage
exiles from delight
live coiled in shells of loneliness
until love leaves its high holy temple
and comes into our sight
to liberate us into life.

Love arrives
and in its train come ecstasies
old memories of pleasure
ancient histories of pain.
Yet if we are bold,
love strikes away the chains of fear
from our souls.

We are weaned from our timidity
In the flush of love's light
we dare be brave
And suddenly we see
that love costs all we are
and will ever be.
Yet it is only love
which sets us free.

Beaded Hope by Cathy Liggett

"In Africa," Mama Penny explained, "often the names we give our children stand for something. For example, my grandson's name is Rapala. It means 'pray.'"

Dreaming Picasso by Francine Sterle

All night an accelerating geometry of eyes—hundreds shaped like birds or boats or beetles, simplified to dots or crosses or a pair of 2s or mis- matched diamonds, perfect zeros, scoops of moon placed sidewise or lengthwise on a face, slipping out of orbit on a cheek, hung under an ear, planted mid-forehead, paper-thin planes of them, each one alive and staring from the dislocated faces of wives, lovers, mothers, serene and lopsided, splintered, wrenching, ravaged, a proliferating gallery of women, terraced in my head as I sleep, and my own curious eye: steering toward what it perceives, capturing exact duplicates of each stylized eye I run by, as I race to comprehend what I'm taking in, what expression I'd see if I raised the mirror to find my own eye, distorted and floating above an iron cheek.

Down by the Riverside by Forrest Hamer / Wanted to celebrate a California poet today.

Down by the Riverside
Ain't goin study war no more
Ain't goin study war no more
Ain't goin study war no more
During the time Daddy was becoming Dad,
the armies and armies of green plastic soldiers
went on with their wars, my empire of the private
grown. Walter Cronkite tallied each day's casualties,
and my soldiers named themselves Americans or Viet Cong;
they zipped themselves up in long full bags or lay about
without their arms and legs. My soldiers bloodied themselves
with our garden's mud, and they did so under orders
from the eight-year-old sergeant whose father
had not been home in months.

And since I had not seen him,
even in the crowds laughing at Bob Hope jokes,
a new crowd each new place, I commanded
that the Army needed chaplains more than sergeants,
and the next Sunday I joined church, begged God
to help me lay down burdens and bring Dad home;
and that day I baptized each of my soldiers
in large garden puddles, blessed the crowd of them at
attention, and s…

The Seven Sorrows Of Mary


Alentejo Blue by Monica Ali

"Villages are like people, we approach them slowly, a step of a time." --Jose' Saramago, Journey to Portugal

The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman A Novel

"You would think it would be impossible to find anything new in the world, creatures no man has ever seen before, one-of-a-kind oddities in which nature has taken a backseat to the coursing pulse of the fantastical and the marvelous."
I have heard what the talkers were talking, the talk of the
     beginning and the end.
But I do not talk of the beginning or the end.  Walt Whitman, Song of Myself

"What is death? There is the corpse--but that is the result, not the thing itself."

"Every dead body is a book with a story to tell, each organ a chapter, the chapters united by a common narrative....It makes for a hard-headed kind of poetry...Always he comes upon death's handiwork just as death itself has turned the corner, its hem disappearing with a quiet swish."

God Of Our Fathers, Whose Almighty Hand - Hymn Lyrics & Music


It Takes A Coven by Carol J. Perry

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

                                                                                                      Hebrews 11:1 

"We turned off the TV without watching the rest of the news and I fell happily, safely, confidently asleep in strong, loving arms, where no crows, no witches, no visions could touch me."

This Side Of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald


The High Mountains Of Portugal by Yann Martel

Winner of the 2002 Man Booker Prize for Fiction

Yann Martel, the son of diplomats, was born in Spain in 1963. He grew up in Costa Rica, France, Mexico, Alaska, and Canada and as an adult has spent time in Iran, Turkey, and India. After studying philosophy in college, he worked at various odd jobs until he began earning his living as a writer at the age of twenty-seven. He lives in Montreal.Amazon

Palm Sunday Video


The Masquerade by Francine Rivers

"He hoped Mama's new friend would leave enough money to buy a few cans of Dinty Moore stew and Spam, maybe even some eggs and bread and milk."