Showing posts from June, 2018

"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."