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