I think of those who watched us sail from home; they would not think such change could come about. We were provisioned well; the boat was sound; the crew beyond reproach, but what we surely knew would see us through was this: a man whose faith had bred our own, and who had led a life of exploration on these seas and penned on careful charts each channel, shore and sound and every place where foolish man might run aground, this old man of the sea, in love and maybe envy of our youth and spirit, blessed us with his patronage.
His maps and notes he had no further use for: they were ours. Long hours we sat into the night, we and the old man, and he told of journeys round the good land — hidden always, so he said, in such thick mists and buffeted by storms, that he had never set a foot upon its sand. Nor would he now. What hope remained, he would transfer to us. Our journey would not fail.
In this perhaps we erred: we made one passing nod to science. We learnt to read as best we could its hieroglyphs, its shadows, points of light, which painted for us on its dark screen landscapes, barely seen in faint and unfamiliar images. Yet still we sailed, our expectations high, into a world of mists devoid of any shape we knew.
the mini miscellany Manual
We tried, and trying, became prey to every shift of wind and tide. Irresolution had become the skipper of our crew. And so the great decision; how to tell the crew? The land, the object of the quest, eluded us. After seeing the documentary last month about German artist Gerhard Richter together, we decided we'd like to make this a monthly kind of outing.
Tonight we're going to see Never Sorry a documentary about the Chinese artist and provocateur Ai Weiwei. Every little bit counts! Siri Paiboun and his sidekick nurse Dtui spend time in Northern Laos trying to solve their latest mystery which comes to light when the a human arm is found sticking out of a slab of concrete. Meanwhile, back in Ventiane, Geung, who's meant to hold the fort at the morgue while his boss is away, finds himself in serious difficulties and must rely on his own befuddled wits to find his way again, though a few well meaning souls are there to help him too.
The disco in the title may or may not be imaginary, but to Dr. Siri it's real enough and makes for some pretty wild partying for our septuagenarian hero. This mix of mystery and supernatural story elements in an exotic locale with, best of all, an always fascinating set of characters has become one of my personal favourites too. Adding to her sorrow and confusion is the recent memory of a threesome which she hadn't planned for and didn't necessarily consent to, but before she has a chance to sort out her thoughts and feelings, she's grabbed by a kindly stranger who pulls her into his house for protection as an air raid is underway.
The man is obviously in poor health, and even as he has innocently asked Juno to lie by his side, soon passes away, but not before having first written a letter to his father about the young girl. All these events are covered very quickly at the start of the story however, and the rest unfolds when Juno has made her way to the father's farm out in the English countryside. It's a wartime tale about the sorrow of loss and the hope new beginnings bring with wonderfully colourful characters, and best of all, Wesley's gorgeous prose.
I wish I could do this book justice, because it is one that definitely deserves to be read an enjoyed by many. Wesley herself is an interesting character, as it seems she only took up writing in her 70th year after the passing of her husband, and went on to become a bestseling British author in the last 20 years of her life. Definitely an author I'll be reading a lot more from. This audio version was narrated by Samuel West, who could possibly be the love of my life, or at the very least, my very favourite narrator.
Love the Coco photos, Ilana! Looks like your having lots of good reading lately - I have to get back and read another Dr.
Siri soon! These involve the pre-war games of a gaggle of cousins, including gorgeous Calypso Cuthbertson, who wanted only to be rich and didn't know how to love, Oliver Anstey who wanted only to have Calypso to himself but alas, was not rich, Sophy, who as the youngest, and living with aunt Helena and uncle Richard, only knew good times when her cousins were about, Walter Cuthbertson, Polly's brother who also loved Calypso, but knew better than to declare himself, and a pair of twins, the local vicar's sons.
And of course, uncle Richard, who defines himself by his lost leg, sacrificed during the Great War and Aunt Helena, who only discovered love when she began her extra-marital affair with the ever unfaithful Max Erstweiler, while Richard naturally took up with Max's wife, Monika. The Camomile Lawn of the story is one of the most charming features of Aunt Helena's house in Cornwall where all the cousins share their favourite fond memories. I truly loved this story and once again enjoyed Wesley's wonderful prose, but perhaps having such a large cast of characters made it more difficult for me to keep track of the goings on and form an attachment to any one of the characters.
All the same, a terrific family saga mostly set in the England of the Second World War. Not sure when I'll pick up Anarchy for Old Dogs since I have a lot of reading I want to get done first, but it'll be calling my name from the corner of the coffee table for sure this month! Just when I admitted publicly to losing it. Phew, I wont be forced to own it now. A dog crossed with a sheep! How funny that someone thought it was true Hi Ilana, I have been absent for a couple of days again over the weekend and I see I missed a lot.
Happy new thread, and thanks for posting these cute Coco pics! Great reviews again!
HTR&W Prologue: Why Read?
It hit some bad nerve with me, but I know it is a great favorite with most readers and although I wasn't happy with it I recommended it to some RL friends who all loved it. I'm sure I've said -- there's a fine biography of Mary Wesley who had an interesting life in her own right, not unsurprisingly. Glad to see you enjoyed the Mary Wesleys I'm bummed that I've read all the books she wrote. But they're all on my re-read shelf and a favorite re-read of mine. You should definitely pick up her other books. Of course, you're right that all kinds of inter-species mixes never considered possible before are now not so unlikely anymore.
Hadn't thought of that. I still wouldn't know how to react if ever someone believed me again! I've fixed it now to specify it was the clergyman's daughter her was in love with, of course! I tried to find your review of The Book Thief to see what you thought of it, but see you didn't post your review on the main page. Any chance I can read it somewhere? I'm very curious about your opinion and wonder if you've maybe already voiced some of the reservations I had about it that I can't quite put my finger on.
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I was sure I'd seen it on the library catalogue as well, but just searched for it now and it doesn't seem to be there after all. They have a number of her books at the library, but when it comes to it I'll also purchase those that aren't eventually I'm sure. I can very well see how her books would stand up very well to rereading, and definitely intend to re-read Part of the Furniture , though will probably get round to The Camomile Lawn again eventually too. Well, a new Audible sale necessarily means more audiobook acquisitions for me! This time they're having a 2 for 1 sale on selected classics, i.
Somerset Maugham, so might end up getting it along with another selection, though I'm as yet undecided. Rowling - had it in print and never got around to it Major pet peeve with that collection is they have three times as many books in WMA format as MP3s. It's really maddening because they have so many interesting titles! Unless someone knows a way around this? I googled it several time and didn't find a workable solution.
Not sure if I know a way round that WMA problem. I ended up using an audible credit for Keith Richard's Life so my son could have it on his iPhone even though I was able to listen to a free copy from my library. Oh man, I lost my entire post - what happened? Hello, Ilana, some very nice reviews, and I am completely distraught that my post just evaporated - where do they go, anyway? Sounds like you have some great finds at both the library and Audible. Loved your review of the Dr.
Why Read Fiction?
Siri, and sounds like I need to put Mary Wesley on my reading radar. I haven't read anything by her, but Part of the Furniture is calling to me.
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I would like to get to Farenheit this year - I have really loved all the Bradbury's I have read so far and would like to read more by him. I'm really upset at myself today. Somehow I managed to sleep in till 2 p.
TWO P. Of course, that hasn't left me time for anything. What I most want to do right now is spend time on LT. So I'm allowing myself 10 minutes here, and then it's work time. That doesn't leave much time for visiting anyone, and never mind writing more reviews for now!