Friday, November 23, 2007


A few years ago we spent ten days in Newfoundland, and I fell in love ... with the place and with the people, even the weather. We had happy days, hiking and meeting local people. On a bus ride up to see the old Basque whaling ships museum at Red Bay in Labrador, we passed briefly across one corner of Quebec and boarded a car ferry across the Strait of Belle Isle.

A bus tour took us up north to L'Anse Aux Meadows and the Viking Village heritage park On the way, we passed Annie Proulx's house at Straitsview. (note to the Grammar Police - how do you make possessive words that end with 'x'?)

Nan in New England and I were talking about Newfoundland in comments at Rare Birds ... about books and movies, so I'm listing a few here.

The Shipping News – Annie Proulx
There's not likely to be anyone who hasn't read this book or seen the movie ... both wonderful.

The Divine Ryans – Wayne Johnston – also a movie with Pete Postelthwaite and Mary Walsh

Draper Doyle's life in Newfoundland, circa mid-1960s, is as constrained as it is colorful. Cooped up in one house with various family oddballs, he views the world from the bottom rungs of the ladder.

Kit’s Law – Donna Morrisey

In a harsh Newfoundland outport, 14-year-old Kit tells the story of Lizzy, the steadfast grandmother, and crazy red-haired Josie, the mother. With its partridgeberry patches, moose stew, and endless cups of tea, this is quintessential Newfoundland.

Downhill Chance also by Donna Morrissey

An old-fashioned yarn of love, despair, and family secrets against the backdrop of World War II in pre-Confederation Newfoundland. Morrissey, has been called "a twentieth-century Brontë sister".

The Wreckage – Michael Crummy – early 1940s

Mercedes Parsons is only 16 when she meets and falls in love with hard-drinking Wish Furey. The problem here is that Wish is a Catholic, and for the Protestants of Newfoundland's north shore, Romanism is akin to devil worship

Monday, November 19, 2007

Trading in Memories

Travels Through a Scavenger's Favorite Places

Barbara Hodgson has written about visiting markets, bookstores, cemeteries and courtyards, looking for cast-offs and curiosities "to reveal rich and intimate insights into people, places, and times past." They end up as collages and art pieces in her books and journals. Her introduction is called "Travels in Bric-a-Brac". I've only read the first few pages and can't wait to dive into the rest.

She writes of her travels and scavenging adventures in London, Brussels, Paris, Naples, Budapest, Istanbul, Damascus, Aswan, Marrakech, Tangier, Shanghai, Stanley, Los Angeles, Portland, and Vancouver (her home).

"I have no use for shops where every image is sequestered in a gift frame, where every scrap has been examined for its monetary value; I'm not understood at those places. The streets and anarchic markets that resemble my brain - that's where I go."

In northwest London, she visits Kensal Green Cemetery, established in 1832. "Although Kensal Green has its true celebrities - Wilkie Collins, Anthony Trollope, and William Makepeace Thackeray - few people aside from mourners or joggers go there."

Above are souvenir offerings from Kensal Green - shards of blue-and-white pottery and specimens from huge patches of weeds.

Monique in Vancouver mentioned this book to me in her comment to Sointula. She sent me a review copy, and I'm so very pleased. I'd previously read two of Barbara Hodgson's books so I knew right away this would be another favorite. Her design and collages are so beautiful and inspiring. Thank you, Monique.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Rare Birds

I came to read this book after seeing the movie. Edward Riche has set his two novels on the east coast of Newfoundland. He writes with humor, and it is clear he loves this island.

Dave Purcell (played by William Hurt in the movie) used to work for the Newfoundland fisheries department, but now is proud owner of and chef extraordinaire at The Auk, a fine dining establishment just outside St. John's. Unfortunately, life is not going well for him. He’s drinking his way through his finest wines so the bankers won't get them when they foreclose.

Dave’s closest neighbor comes to the rescue with what he considers an ingenious foolproof idea to invent a rare bird sighting … hoping to have birders flock into the area, thereby filling the restaurant.

Russell Smith of The Globe and Mail said “Uproarious … Rare Birds is a farce that is particularly Newfoundland in its sense of humour, at once slapstick and satire … Comedy is replacing cod as the number one export of the Atlantic provinces.”

Friday, November 9, 2007

The House at Otowi Bridge

Peggy Pond Church was a native New Mexican and lived at Los Alamos for twenty years. She wrote this story about her friend Edith Warner.

I read this book after reading “Changing Light” because of a strong interest in the geographical location and the time of the 40's and the Manhattan Project. It’s now the weekend of Remembrance Day in November 2007 … seems an appropriate time to remember the thousands killed and maimed at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Set in the region near Taos in the time of transition of Los Alamos from an isolated boys' school to a nuclear weapons lab
. It's the story of Edith Warner and her life near Los Alamos during the thirties and forties. Peggy Pond Church wrote the story that Edith was unable to finish. She made an attempt, but after the first few pages it sounded to her like the standard adventure: “White woman moves West. Lives among Indians.” Better nothing than that, she thought, and gave it up. Besides the unfinished manuscript and the handful of Christmas letters, a few typed pages of her journal are all Edith felt willing to leave behind in writing.

“This is the story of a house,” her manuscript begins, “a house that stood for many years beside a bridge between two worlds.” It stood, too, in the shadow of Los Alamos, the mushrooming shadow of violent change. More than the story of a house, it is the story of a woman who made an oasis of serenity and beauty in a world that seemed to grow more threatening. Edith died in 1951, the sound of the river was with her to the end.

Her house became a kind of sanctuary for the scientists from the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos in the tense years before Hiroshima. When the new bridge brought the road to Los Alamos so close to the house that life there could no longer be endured, some of those men worked side by side with the Indians of San Ildefonso to build a new house for Edith and Tilano.

She made the little house at Otowi (the place where the river makes a noise) into a tea room where she served a thin slice of lemon in the tea with a spicy clove and chocolate cake that was to become a tradition.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Sointula by Bill Gaston

On a tiny island just off the northernwestern tip of Vancouver Island is a fishing village named Sointula -- a Finnish word meaning 'place of harmony'. It was settled by Finnish immigrants in 1901, seeking an island utopia.

In his fifth novel, Gaston gives us equal parts light and dark, compassion and irony, the story of a modern-day female Don Quixote, who is joined on her quest by a would-be travel writer, an awkward, profane, funny and unforgettable Sancho Panza

Monday, August 27, 2007

Changing Light

I was drawn to this book because it's set in northern New Mexico where I lived for one glorious year in the Jemez Mountains. Nora Gallagher writes about Eleanor, a painter, and Theo, a Czechoslovakian scientist, who has fled from his job at the Manhattan Project in Los Alamos.

There is another book now that I want to read - The House at Otowi Bridge is the story of Edith Warner, who lived for more than twenty years as a neighbor to the Indians of San Ildefonso Pueblo, near Los Alamos, New Mexico, during World War II.

She opened a tearoom in her adobe home that became a haven for neighboring nuclear scientists and Indians alike.

Saturday, August 25, 2007


I found this tricky widget at my other book list ... hmmm ... wondering if it will change here as the other list changes



Saturday, August 18, 2007

The Lollipop Shoes

V'la l'bon vent, v'la l'joli vent,
V'la l'bon vent, ma mie m'appelle.
V'la l'bon vent, v'la l'joli vent,
V'la l'bon vent, ma mie m'attend

When the north wind calls again, Vianne leaves Lansquenet and establishes a chocolate shop in Montmartre, where she encounters another dark force ... a mysterious new arrival who stirs up trouble much darker than the convention and respectability of the traditional religious contingency she ran from.

"Tak-tak-tak went the lollipop shoes and stopped right in front of the chocolaterie." Zozie wears fabulous, luminous high-heeled shoes in lipstick, candy-cane, lollipop red - a bright red coat, coffee-cream hair tied back with a scarf, bells on her print dress, and a jingling charm-bracelet around her wrist.

In this sequel to Chocolat, Vianne is known now as Yanne Charbonneau. Anouk, a pre-teen with latent supernatural talent, is called Annie, and Rosette is a four-year-old charmer.

Another culinary fairy tale from Joanne Harris.
Allusions to Aztec gods and goddesses, consultation with the tarot cards. Magic, romance, and identity theft ... who could resist? Not me. I look for Johnny Depp on every page. Many trips to the French-English dictionary to look up words and phrases ... cantrip, pantoufle, couverture.

“Zozie is the mirror that shows us what we want to see. Our hopes; our hates; our vanities.”

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Sleepless Nights

Elizabeth Hardwick writes of the inner life of an American woman, an imaginative reflection on the past and present. A novel about remembering, part fact and part fiction, intertwined so that I'm not sure which is which.

Kentucky to New York, to Boston, to Maine and to Europe. On the train from Montreal to Kingston ... all recorded in letters

In a squalid nursing home, a broken old woman remembers, "if only one knew what to remember or pretend to remember."

"The old pages of the days and weeks are splattered with the dark-brown rings of coffee cups and I find myself gratefully dissolved in the grounds."

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Hogwarts at Shawnigan

Driving up to the lake last week, we stopped at Shawnigan Lake School to have a look about. Good grief and Great Goblins. I thought I'd disapparated and landed at Hogwarts

My Latin is quite rusty, but I think this says something about hands and work and strength.This is a private residential school that sits on vast acres of beautifully landscaped property and buildings. Students come from around the world ... about 430 of them. It took us a good two hours to walk about, to enjoy the grounds and look into the buildings. I expected to see Harry or Hermione just around every corner.

I thought I spotted Nearly Headless Nick in the dining hall, but when I turned around he'd disappeared.

Later that evening I finished reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. It was a good read, but not my favorite of the series. I admired how she tied all the bits and pieces together, but the epilogue was a bit of overkill.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

The Adventures of Goodnight & Loving

by Leslie Thomas

"Dedicated to Paul Gauguin and other men who have run away

and discovered the consequences"

Thrown out by his wife, George Goodnight (a lawyer for a London newspaper) sets out on a hilarious round of aimless travel, taking him to Cherbourg, Paris, Rome, India, Darwin, Alice Springs, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Manila, Los Angeles, Texas and New York City. He sells his stamp collection piecemeal to fund his exploits and calling himself Oliver Loving. Occasional short-term employment is sometimes required to pay for food or lodging or ticket to somewhere else. He is frequently in trouble with the law (spent one Christmas in prison).

This is one of the goofiest novels I've ever read, and loved every minute of it. I came to know about Leslie Thomas after watching the "Last Detective" series on public television, in which Detective Constable Davies shares his weekly adventures with Mod, a longtime friend and sometimes housemate, and a giant dog. His nickname is "Dangerous Davies", a tongue-in-cheek reference by his coworkers.

This is the second of his novels that I've read so far ... the first was Dangerous by Moonlight. Recuperating from an injury, Davies is hired to investigate a murder of 15 years before ... more outlandish adventures

Monday, July 23, 2007

Tove Jansson and the Moomin Books

After reading The Summer Book and The Winter Book, I went immediately to look up the Moomin Books. And what a wonderful discovery this has been ... thanks to Simon of Stuck-in-a-Book for recommending this Finnish writer and illustrator. The Moomin stories have been translated into 35 languages. She was awarded the Hans Christian Andersen medal in 1966.

The characters who live in Moominland are entirely charming. Besides Moominpappa and Moominmamma and Moomintroll, there are Thingamy and Bob, Misabel and Hemulen, Too-ticky and Sniff, Snufkin and Groke, Little My and Snork Maiden who has taken a fancy to Moomintroll..

Moomins generally sleep through the winter, but one January morning, Moomintroll woke to find the valley covered in strange white-stuff. Little My is awake too and having a wonderful time sledding on Moominmamma's tea tray.

Monday, July 9, 2007

a new Reading Journal

I made a new journal because the old one was full

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Monday, July 2, 2007

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell

After two years of starting and stopping, I finally finished this book. I'm still not sure why it didn't grab my interest completely, but I suspect it might have been about the size of the book. Apart from the number of pages, the physical dimensions were awkward and uncomfortable.

Two magicians are attempting to restore English magic in the age of Napoleon. Mr. Norrell, a reclusive, mistrustful bookworm, reveals that he is capable of producing magic and becomes the toast of London society, while an impetuous young aristocrat named Jonathan Strange tumbles into the practice, too, and finds himself quickly mastering it.

With the onset of Harry Potter mania and release of the last book of the series, I'm returning to magic and fantasy. I wonder if Jonathan Strange will be made into a movie. Looking forward to seeing Phillip Pulman's The Golden Compass and Neil Gaiman's Stardust, both to be released this year.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Found Today in a Library Book

Reading a Leslie Thomas book after having watched the Dangerous Davies series "The Last Detective" on public television

Inside the front cover, I found this poem written by Janice James

Friday, May 25, 2007

More Than Words

Illustrated Letters by Liza Kirwin

Today, when personal communication more than likely travels through the ether, and the postman is relegated to delivering bills and junk mail, this epistolary art might serve a purpose.

In the Archives of American Art at the Smithsonian Institution is a collection of illustrated letters that are autobiographical works of art. Those included in this book consititute some of the true gems. John Graham wrote in 1958, "letter writing is probably the most beautiful manifestation in human relations, in fact, it is its finest residue."

Writing to wives, lovers, friends, patrons, clients, and confidants, letters date back to 1813. The most recent1982. Short ones, long ones, humorous and poignant. Lovely handwriting and each has some sort of illustration ... some are stick figures, others elaborate watercolor paintings, or pen-and-ink drawings. One is typewritten on one of those very old manual typewriters. Charming vignettes, caricatures, portraits, and landscapes, revealing the joys and successes, loves and longings, triumphs and frustrations of the authors' personal lives.

In the back of the book is a section with verbatim transcriptions, preserving the exact spelling and punctuation of the originals. As you might imagine, some of the handwriting is not easy to decipher.

In 1912, caricaturist Alfred Frueh writes from Scotland, "an I hae in mind to gay to dancin's chool and learn how to highland fling but I hae me doots whither I kin larn it."

Frida Kahlo writes to Emmy Lou Packard in 1940, thanking her for taking such good care of her former husband Diego Revera. Joseph Linden Smith writes to his little brother, instructing him to take the two dollars from under the arm (through a slit on the page) and give it to their father. There are far too many to list here, but some are Frederic Edwin Church, Thomas Eakins, Winslow Homer, Andrew Wyeth, Rockwell Kent, Fyonel Feininger, John Sloan, Man Ray, Alexander Calder, Dorothea Tanning, Gio Ponto, and Andy Warhol ... all are endlessly fascinating

In 1963 Paul Suttman wrote to his friends about changing accommodations in Italy. He writes from the bottom of a wine glass, drunk on the pleasures of Italy, and reports that his traveling companion fell off a scooter and broke her collar bone. He settled in a rustic farmhouse near Imprunetta, south of Florence, in the Chianti region of Tuscany

Here is one of my attempts at illustrated letters ... during a road trip through the wine country of Oregon. The grapes are made with thumb prints in walnut ink

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Time in Between

In the Vietnam village where her father disappeared 29 years ago, Ada sits on a bench and watches the young boys circle the streets on their Hondas. Many years ago, in a cabin (caboose) on a mountain road in British Columbia where she lived with her father, he talked about the hum of bicycles on the Vietnamese streets ... a constant whirring he said like the sound of birds taking off. She did not hear that now, only hawkers and honking horns and a child laughing.

She'd returned now with her brother to search for him on the streets of Danang. They meet people, both expat and Vietnamese, and begin to see how in 30 years the country has subsumed the effects of the horrible war. She begins an affair with an older Vietnamese artist who also knew her father. The story of her father is also the story of this country.

Touching on themes of cultural differences and the weight of history in Vietnam, David Bergen examines the ghosts that remain 30 years after the end of that period ... a companion piece to Graham Greene's 1955 work The Quiet American.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Mariane Satrapi's story tells and illustrates her childhood in Iran. Born into a wealthy and secular Iranian family, she witnessed some of the most bitter years of her country's recent history. Social madness, teenage martyrs, political and religious disputes, torture in the Shah's prisons.

This is a graphic novel and very slow reading. So much to look at and take in. With humor, Satrapi does the important work of humanizing history. She wants to join the demonstrations but is not allowed, so she and her friends invent games in the garden. Trying out different hats, she talks to God and asks him, "don't you think I look like Che Guevara?" and then, "maybe I'll be better as Fidel Castro." The next frames show her looking under tables and knocking on doors. Then a heart-breaking frame of her in bed, tears streaming down, she says, "God, where are you?"

One of the worst things for her about the fundamentalists is that they curb her budding taste for Western fashion.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

The Knitting Sutra

Susan Gordon Lydon has written a lovely book subtitled Craft as a Spiritual Practice. After knitting a turquoise chenille sweater to help a broken bone in her arm "knit", she searched for a perfect silver button and a medicine man for her arm.

On a Navajo reservation, she met a community of women who live by the proceeds of their craft in a unified cycle of livelihood, art, and spirituality.

Laborare et orare
Work is prayer

Many members of Simon's group of bookaholics are also knitters. Most mornings I enjoy browsing (with coffee and sunshine) their pages that tell about their reading and their knitting.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007


We go to Anny's heritage farm every week for eggs ... most wonderful eggs, warm from the nest and in all shapes, sizes and colors. Anny raises heritage chickens ... Naked Necks from Hungary (the rooster of the flock is Mr. Pasternak); Barred Rocks and Polish Crested "like the Queen Mother with plumed hats that hang in long strands over their elegant faces"; Buff Orpingtons from England and Araucanas from South America. The little Bantam hen is a Silkie and looks like a white ball of fluff.

In 2004 Anny wrote a charming book subtitled "Tales of a Heritage Farm". She writes about her life on Glamorgan Farm on Vancouver Island. Anny Scoones is a community activist, a heritage preservationist, a farmer, a writer, a friend to writers, and the daughter of two of Canada's best loved artists. There are delightful sketches in watercolor and in charcoal by her parents, Molly Lamb and Bruno Bobak.

Merlin, the goat; Mabel and Matilda, the Gloucester Old Spots pigs; Duke, the old Appaloosa and Valnah, the young strong Russian Bashkir Curly horse whose ancestors came from Siberia roam happily about the farm.

The front meadow is gardened by a group of six mentally and physically challenged adults. With the help of a horticultural therapist they formed a co-operative and called themselves the Healthy Harvest. They gather up Duke and Valnah's droppings and dig them into their organic garden beds. David is one of the most dedicated gardeners. When asked by a tourist from England in a Tilley hat and sensible shoes, "What conditions do these extraordinary fruits prefer?", he answered, "What I know about these fruits is that they do best in the years that wearing long pants makes you feel uncomfortable."

And a couple years later, Anny wrote Home and Away. More orphans adopted from the SPCA ... Norton, a huge white animal with brown patches and Ralph, a dim-witted chocolate Labrador and a mutt named Grizzly, later changed to Fidel.

In the dedication "for Mikki" and friends at the SPCA, who will receive a portion of the royalties and another portion for the Saanich Peninsula Hospice. Glamorgan Farm is bequeathed to North Saanich as a Heritage park.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Folk Medicine in Texas

In San Antonio, we met Frances Evans, who told us about some fascinating folk remedies from early times. Some of them are still known and used today. My grandmother in Ontario taught us about mud on insect stings and spider webs to stop bleeding. In very early Sears catalogs, opium was offered as a cure for addiction.

Infusions of Healing is one of the books that Frances recommended. Joie Davidow writes and illustrates a delightful collection of Mexican-American Herbal Remedies. She gives the common names, the botanical names, and the Nahuatl (Aztec) name; descriptions of the plant, where it grows, the parts used, and the properties, and its uses.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

The Caliph's House

When Tahir Shah, his pregnant wife and their small daughter move from England to Morocco, where he'd vacationed as a child, he enters a realm of "invisible spirits and their parallel world." Shah buys the Caliph's House, once a palatial compound, now heavy with algae, cobwebs and termites. Unoccupied for a decade, the place harbors a willful jinni (invisible spirit), who Shah, the rational Westerner, reluctantly grasps must be exorcised by traditional means. As Shah remodels the haunted house, he encounters a cast of entertaining, sometimes bizarre characters. Three retainers, whose lives are governed by the jinni, have attached themselves to the property. Confounding craftsmen plague but eventually beautify the house. Intriguing servants come and go, notably Zohra, whose imaginary friend, a 100-foot tall jinni, lives on her shoulder. A "gangster neighbor and his trophy wife" conspire to acquire the Caliph's House, and a countess remembers Shah's grandfather and his secrets. Passers-through offer eccentricity (Kenny, visiting 15 cities on five continents where Casablanca is playing; Pete, a convert to Islam, seeking "a world without America").

Reconstructing the house immerses Shah in Moroccan everyday life. He has to deal with plagues of rats, swarms of bees, and the ever-threatening prospect of organized crime. Shah's picture of Moroccan society, its deeply held Islamic faith, its primitive superstition, and its raucous economy makes for endlessly fascinating reading. Particularly telling is his encounter with the realities of Ramadan, which seems to bring out both the best and worst in people's characters

Sunday, April 29, 2007


From the first page, I was completely mesmerized by this story of a Greek American family, spanning 80 years from a fateful incestuous union in 1920's Asia Minor to Prohibition era Detroit. I had seen the movie The Virgin Suicides, but not read the book, so this was my first knowledge of the work of Jeffrey Eugenides.

"I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day in January of 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of 1974."

Cal Stephanides, a 41-year-old hermaphrodite was raised as Calliope, a seeming girl. His grandparents each carried a single mutated gene on the fifth chromosome. Its expression may go underground for decades only to reappear when everyone has forgotten about it. This is a strange unsettling story with generous amounts of humor and an aching adolescent love story.

Cal says "In the end, it wasn't up to me. The big things never are. Birth, I mean, and Death. And love, and what love bequeaths to us before we're born."

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Q's Legacy

Helene Hanff discovered Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch at the Philadelphia Public Library when she was 18. When she ran out of money and had to leave college, she took her education into her own hands.

She was impressed with his credentials and the simplicity and clarity of his writing. Reading ON THE ART OF WRITING, she says, "In the first chapter he threw so many marvelous quotes at me ... from Walton's ANGLER and Newman's IDEA OF THE UNIVERSITY and Milton's PARADISE LOST ... that I rushed back to the library and brought home all three, determined to read them before going on to Q's second lecture." And so it went. From PARADISE LOST to the New Testament to ... ad infinitum.

When Q died, she felt as though she'd lost a friend. And sets out to buy the books he taught her to love. In the Out-of-Print books column of the Saturday Review, she found an ad: "Marks & Co., Antiquarian Bookseller, 84 Charing Cross Road, London." And so began her long correspondence and friendship with Frank Doel and the staff at Marks & Co.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Nine Gates

Entering the Mind of Poetry
Where the voice of the natural and the voice of the poet meet

Jane Hirshfield has written nine essays geared toward the creative writing student, which I'm not. I bought the book because I loved the beautiful cover and the translations of classical Japanese verse, particularly those of Komachi, Shikibu and Ryokan, and the influence of Zen Buddhism

I was drawn to the poems and the poets rather than to the "talking about poetry".

She describes herself to the late poet, Richard Hugo, whom she did not know: "I don't write much about America, or even people. I'd often enough rather talk to horses."

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Kurt Vonnegut

Kurt Vonnegut died on Wednesday. "Like Mark Twain, he used humor to tackle the basic questions of human existence: Why are we in this world? Is there a presiding figure to make sense of all this, a god who in the end, despite making people suffer, wishes them well?" from the New York Times

His experience in the fire bombing of Dresden in 1945 was the basis of “Slaughterhouse-Five,” which was published in 1969 against the backdrop of war in Vietnam, racial unrest and cultural and social upheaval.

I'll be re-reading some of his books soon - Cat's Cradle, and Breakfast of Champions.

John Steinbeck

I've been re-reading John Steinbeck recently - Sweet Thursday, Cannery Row, The Long Valley, Tortilla Flat, The Log from the Sea of Cortez.

The last chapter of Travels with Charley broke my heart. The images he presents to us of the first integration of schools in New Orleans - the tiny black girl, the military guards, and the cheerleaders ... oh, the cheerleaders. As I write these words, the tears are spilling over still.

I thought I'd read them all, but then was surprised to discover one I'd not ... The Moon is Down

I've been reading an extraordinary number of novels about war recently ... Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels was the current selection for our book club ... from Poland in WWII to Greece to Toronto. Resistance by Anita Shreve, the Maquis in 1943 move Jews to France and freedom. And another recent re-read, Too Young to Fight. Priscilla Galloway compiled a book of recollections from Canada's best-known writers. The contributors were children and teenagers during WWII

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Helene Hanff

I've read all of her books and own most of them. This one is my favorite ... and the movie is wonderful ... Anne Bancroft, Anthony Hopkins, and a very young Judi Dench

Daniel Wallace

Wallace wrote The Big Fish, one of my favorite movies. I found the book in our library and looked for others he had written

Barbara Hodgson

In the exotic world of Morocco, Lydia writes daily in her journal ... later, when she disappears, Chris takes up her diary to record his search for her

A clever murder mystery, an acute study of human nature ... and a dark, sly fairy-tale quest

a local author