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  2. This book starts out with a pregnant woman walking very long distances to find her lover. It's the second book I've read this year that starts out like that. The woman is Bella Ford and her long journey makes her very ill indeed. To the extent that she loses the baby. She is taken in by a hard working family who have three sons and one daughter and it takes Bella a very long time to recover. During this time she falls in love with one of the three sons and agrees to marry him. Just as she thinks that she can't get any happier tragedy strikes. This is a very well written book and the plot is well drawn, the characters are believable and it's not very long. It's a very gentle, easy to read book and very worth while. Recommended.
  3. Today
  4. Nevil Shute’s pre-apocalypse/present lockdown novel On the Bleach.
  5. The Grass Harp - Truman Capote
  6. The Death of Grass - John Christopher
  7. Yesterday
  8. I get it when a book gets loads of plaudits, your guard goes up and expectations are raised. Many books I've abandoned despite the praises of serious papers and authors I admire,. This one I felt lived up to the hype and still think about. Maybe its a generational thing and like music you just don;t identify with it. A book for the millennium crowd and for me twanged a lot of emotional strings and memories. I think she writes beautifully and in one short book showed the clash of sex, class , family and friends in a refreshing way. Hey it would be a boring world if we all liked the same books. Just bought The Leopard fingers crossed with all the hype 😀
  9. Last week
  10. The Death of Achilles - Boris Akunin
  11. It's been so windy too, and quite chilly too. Managed to finally get to a garden centre, bought loads of plants, hooray. Had a couple of heart in mouth moments watching the local cat stalking pigeons in the garden, twice it nearly got one but the bird managed to get away both times, feathers everywhere though. The cat is really cheeky ,we left the patio door open the other evening and it came strolling in!
  12. WHAT masque of what old wind-withered New-Year Honours this Lady? Flora, wanton-eyed For birth, and with all flowrets prankt and pied: Aurora, Zephyrus, with mutual cheer Of clasp and kiss: the Graces circling near, 'Neath bower-linked arch of white arms glorified: And with those feathered feet which hovering glide O'er Spring's brief bloom, Hermes the harbinger. Birth-bare, not death-bare yet, the young stems stand This Lady's temple-columns: o'er her head Love wings his shaft. What mystery here is read Of homage or of hope? But how command Dead Springs to answer? And how question here These mummers of that wind-withered New-Year? For Spring By Sandro Botticelli, by Dante Gabriel Rossetti
  13. Biscuits (custard creams in particular).
  14. This series, featuring Paula McGuire, a forensic pathologist who returns to a border town in Nothern Ireland to help her father who has broken his leg is a new discovery and one I highly reccommend. Paula's father was in the RUC despite being a Catholic in an almost entirely Protestant force and her mother vanished 17 years ago and is presumed to be one of the disappeared - those abducted by the IRA and murdered. Paula has been living and working in London for the last decade. There's lots of well fleshed out back story and the background of the ongoing tensions between the two communities despite the Good Friday Agreement is convincing and not heavy handed. Well worth a try.
  15. Tarquin Winot - hedonist, food obsessive, ironist and snob - travels a circuitous route from the Hotel Splendide in Portsmouth to his cottage in Provence. Along the way he tells the story of his childhood and beyond through a series of delectable menus, organized by season. But this is no ordinary cookbook, and as we are drawn into Tarquin's world, a far more sinister mission slowly reveals itself . . . This is a very clever book, too clever some might say, and beautifully written - there's not a duff sentence in it. It's barely 200 pages long, yet it took me nearly six weeks to read it, partially because the prose, though elegant, is verry dense and it gets wearing after a few pages, but mainly because Tarquin has to be one of the most unpleasant charecters in literature. I don't mind unpleasant narrators but Tarquin has no redeeming qualities at all and it gets hard to read of endless self absorbtion, conceit and downright evil with barely any relief. It's a book club choice and I must not have perservered otherwise - I would have deliberately abandoned it, just never got around to picking it up again. However I'm glad I did, it's definitely a book to look back on and consider and I hope will provoke a really good discussion.
  16. The Song of Achilles - Madeline Miller
  17. It's a wonderful book. I re-read it after about 30 years while visiting my daughter in Palermo (there's a museum dedicated to the Leopard) looking at the gloomy and distinctly shabby palazzos wondering which had inspired parts of the story. Probaby the best combination of book and place I've ever had.
  18. It's good to hear from you too Momac. We fairly miss the forest bathing though.
  19. Glad to hear from you Luna, I hope that you and your father are managing to ride out the storm of this nasty virus. Can understand lack of concentration at a time like this. Something we haven’t had to deal with before. Hopefully it will get resolved in a positive fashion. Suddenly we have good weather, supposed to go to 25 C today which will be a nice change from the cool weather we have been having. The Spring bulbs are all withered now and the people to plant the annuals should be here next week. Stay well and enjoy your summer. I spotted an article on the Internet and thought of you - it was on the benefits of ‘forest bathing.😊
  20. Happy Xmas (War is Over) by John Lennon and Yoko Ono and The Plastic Ono Band
  21. Zoom - Fat Larry's Band Next Category: Snacks
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