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.